Morning News Digest: June 15, 2010

Girgenti: ‘I am committed to running next year’ State Sen. John Girgenti (D-Hawthorne) acknowledged an anti-incumbent atmosphere that contributed to

Girgenti: ‘I am committed to running next year’

State Sen. John Girgenti (D-Hawthorne) acknowledged an anti-incumbent atmosphere that contributed to a majority of his county committee people losing last Tuesday to a slate organized by marriage equality activist Jeff Gardner. But Girgenti, who will formally relinquish his local party chairmanship at a reorganization meeting tonight to Gardner, made no apologies for opposing last year’s marriage equality bill, which sparked the younger man’s challenge and last Tuesday’s local upset. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Christie joins neither Lonegan nor Senate Dems on healthcare lawsuit

With Steve Lonegan and Anna Little telling him to join a multi-party lawsuit against federal healthcare reform, and Democratic legislators urging him not to take such action, Gov. Chris Christie refused – for the moment – to issue a definitive statement. “As the Governor has stated previously on this issue, he will do what he believes is in the best interests of the citizens and taxpayers of New Jersey,” said Christie Press Secretary Michael Drewniak. “This is not about politics, but about the facts and how they impact New Jersey.” (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Gooch campaign statement concerning a recount 

After losing today to Highlands Mayor Anna Little by 84 votes in the 6th Congressional District GOP Primary, the Gooch for Congress campaign wants a recount.

”With over 13,500 votes cast, unofficial results indicate that approximately half of one percent still separates the two candidates,” Gooch Campaign Manager Tony Sayegh said in a formal statement. “A recount is the only legal mechanism we have to secure confidence in the result, ensuring that no errors in the tabulation of votes have taken place.
(Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Former Jersey City deputy mayor sentenced to 3-year prison term 

Leona Beldini, a former Jersey City deputy mayor found guilty of bribery, was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for accepting $20,000 in illicit contributions while serving as campaign treasurer for Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy. With head bowed, the 75-year-old Democrat and one-time burlesque dancer stood before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark as he imposed the prison term and a $30,000 fine. (Sampson, The Record) 

N.J. Senate panel OKs resolution asking Gov. Chris Christie not to join health care lawsuit

 The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee approved a resolution Monday urging Governor Christie not to join 20 other states in a lawsuit against the new federal health care law. The resolution (SCR108) is a push back to conservative pressure on the governor to join the suit, which holds that the mandate for individuals to purchase insurance is unconstitutional and that the new regulations will burden state governments. It was 6-3 along party lines and heads to the full senate for a vote. (Friedman, The Record) 

Edison school board postpones vote on fate of 137 jobs 

A planned vote on a controversial plan to eliminate the jobs of 137 paraprofesionals and replace them with a private service was tabled Monday by the Board of Education. Two weeks ago, the board adopted a revised 2010-2011 budget which included proposed cuts of 137 paraprofessionals from the school district to meet part of a $6.5 million cut recommended by the Township Council. It was also discussed at that meeting that the paraprofessional services would be privatized. (Amuthan, Gannett) 

Sen. Menendez pushes bill as Obama meets with BP 

 Sen. Robert Menendez is asking Congress to lift the liability cap on economic damages from oil spills, even as President Barack Obama presses BP to commit billions to compensate individuals and businesses hurt by the massive Gulf of Mexico spill. The New Jersey Democrat complimented Obama on Monday for pressing BP executives to create a compensation fund to cover damages from the Gulf spill. (Chebium, Gannett) 

DEP: Oil unlikely to reach N.J. 

 Although as much as 100 million gallons of oil has spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, the chances of the slick reaching the Jersey Shore are remote, state environmental officials said Monday. “The oil will not affect New Jersey this summer, and it is extremely unlikely that it will affect New Jersey at all,” said Bob Martin, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection. (Larsen, Gannett) 

Ingle: Court sides with Christie on surplus 

Gov. Christie has the right to tell school districts to use surpluses they’ve built up to make up for cuts in state aid. So says an Appeals Court in a suit brought by the Perth Amboy school district. It lost $15 million in state aid. Greedy school districts like to build up surpluses so they can continue to milk property tax payers. Good on the Appeals Court. If the Supreme Court tries forcing more Abbott money down the rat holes, maybe some of the appeals judges can be promoted to replace the remaining three justices Christie can appoint. (Ingle, Gannett) 

 Kelly: N.J. refuses to return Madoff victims’ overpaid taxes

If you invested with convicted Ponzi scammer Bernie Madoff and you live in New Jersey, you may have gotten robbed twice. First, Madoff fleeced you. Then, Trenton likely took a cut. And Trenton isn’t in the mood to give back the cash. (Kelly, The Record) Morning News Digest: June 15, 2010