Morning News Digest: June 18, 2010

Spicuzzo: comes November, ‘Middlesex is going to be more Democratic than usual’

Unanimously re-elected Middlesex County Democratic Chairman on Tuesday night, Joe Spiccuzo anticipates that GOP chest-thumping in the historically Democratic county will subside after the November election. “Middlesex is going to be more Democratic than usual,” the party chairman told, acknowledging last year’s Chris Christie victory over Jon Corzine on Spicuzzo’s home turf. “Don’t take this Corzine race as a weakening of the Democratic Party in Middlesex. That was an altogether different situation than what’s going on now.” (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Rasmussen Poll shows Christie job approval at 51%

Results from a Rasmussen poll today show that 51% of Jersey voters approve of Gov. Chris Christie’s job performance and 45% disapprove. These marks include 33% who “strongly approve” and 31% who “strongly disapprove.” (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Christie administration will have until 2011 to roll out N.J.’s medical marijuana program

The Christie Administration will get an extension through January 2011 to roll out New Jersey’s medical marijuana program, according to the senator who sponsored the law. Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) also said he is considering another request by Health and Senior Services Commissioner Poonam Alaigh to change the law to allow one centralized marijuana growing operation that would supply the six alternative treatment centers or dispensaries that would sell the product. (Livio, The Record) h


Poll: Voters are split on NJ Gov Chris Christie 

Voters are split on Gov. Chris Christie’s job performance and oppose most of his budget cutting measures, but they overwhelmingly support his plan to curb growth of property taxes, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning. Forty-four percent of 1,461 New Jersey voters surveyed approve of the job Christie has done since taking office January, while 43 percent disapprove. (Friedman, The Record) 

2 plans for N.J. property tax relief; no consensus 

Democrats and Republicans are vowing to combat New Jersey’s highest-in-nation property taxes in very different ways, but each side has one thing in common: Neither idea is likely to get legislative approval anytime soon. Democrats want to raise taxes on the wealthy and Republicans want to enact a tax cap, but neither idea has enough support to move through the Legislature. (AP)

 GOP calls on Dems to post gov’s tax cap plan 

Gov. Chris Christie’s 2.5 percent property tax proposal has the potential to be a political hot potato. Assembly Republicans on Thursday called on the Democratic speaker schedule a vote on the measure, which must pass the Assembly in less than three weeks to make it on the November ballot. A spokesman for Speaker Sheila Oliver says the speaker will not be rushed and is focusing on getting the budget passed on time. (AP) 

GOP wants quick action on N.J. 

Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to curb annual property tax increases With Governor Christie and top lawmakers in the final throes of budget negotiations, Republicans today tried to force the envelope on Christie’s plan to curb annual property tax increases.
Assembly Republicans held a press conference to push for action on a proposed constitutional amendment banning local governments from hiking property tax collections by more than 2.5 percent annually without voter approval. They said the GOP governor’s plan would need to pass legislative committees by July 6 and get final legislative approval by the end of that month to go to voters on Nov. 2. (Heininger, The Record) 

Stile: GOP raises the stakes on raising big money

 Jason Dechert, a Republican activist from Carlstadt, recently launched a business as an “auto broker” who serves as an intermediary between dealers and skittish customers. Dechert is also something of a political entrepreneur. Last month, he formed a political action committee, Meadowlands United PAC (or “M.U. PAC” as it’s listed in state election finance records). For someone who ran unsuccessfully for the school board several years ago, Dechert’s debut fund-raiser was impressive. (Stile, The Record)

 Ingle: What Obama should have said

 Unhappy with President Obama’s Oval Office speech on the Gulf Oil crisis, I was going to write a column about what he should have said. But MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow beat me to the punch with this presentation on what we would like to have heard from our president. Somebody at the White House just keeps dropping the ball. Republicans on the Hill, on the other hand, keep fumbling it. (Ingle, Gannett)

Morning News Digest: June 18, 2010