Morning News Digest: June 3, 2010

In letter to Christie, Judiciary Advisory Panel resigns in protest over Wallace – ‘good riddance,’ says Cardinale

Citing collective distress over his refusal to reappoint Supreme Court Justice John Wallace, a governor’s Judiciary Advisory Panel resigned today in a joint letter to Gov. Chris Christie. Acknowledging the power of the executive in appointing judges, the panel – which includes former Supreme Court justices – nonetheless specified the intent of the Constitution’s framers to protect the impartiality of the court and noted that a “judge serving honorably and effectively, with competence and integrity,” should achieve tenure in judicial office. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Tea Party challengers by the numbers

Challenging in the 7th District, Tewskbury businessman David Larsen leads other conservative NJ Congressional primary challengers in terms of money – but not by much. In sum, the reports filed by Tea Party challengers and their ilk with the Federal Election Commision (FEC) reflect no overwhelming force as they try to hobble a New Jersey Republican establishment now helmed by Gov. Chris Christie, a darling of the national Republican Party, whose fan club includes Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

In Paterson, Rodriguez appears to be back in as councilman

Paterson Councilman-elect Ken McDaniel moments ago posted a Facebook page message to his friends indicating that he may have lost the May 11th council race to incumbent At-Large Councilman Rigo Rodriguez following a recount. “They found 49 extra ballots,” McDaniel reported. “If these lost ballots are counted, I’m out and he’s in.” (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Gov. Chris Christie plan to merge watchdog agencies sets off turf war with Dems 

Governor Christie’s plan to merge New Jersey’s government watchdogs has touched off a turf war with Democratic lawmakers who say they won’t let him take away the State Commission of Investigation — an agency that is part of the legislative branch. In a Senate Legislative Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono said Christie had “chutzpah” to try to cut $3.5 million from the SCI — more than 75 percent of its budget — and merge it with the state comptroller’s office, which is a quasi-independent agency within the executive branch. (Friedman, The Record) 

Former N.J. official acknowledges ethics violations 

A former Philadelphia deputy mayor who later oversaw New Jersey school construction projects statewide made false statements during an ethics investigation about prior business and personal relationships, according to a report issued Tuesday by the New Jersey inspector general. While serving as the vice president and chief operating officer of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA), Gerald Murphy filed a written statement to the state Ethics Commission that contradicted previous sworn interviews to ethics investigators, the report said. (Lu, Inquirer) 

 Ingle: He sure looks in charge all right

 It sure looks like the Obama people can run a campaign but it comes to running a government they come up short especially in public relations. Last week the president, aware of the ever-growing chorus of former supporters who think he was slow to act on the Gulf oil blowout, held a news conference to say he has always been on top of it. A reporter asked whether Minerals Management Service Director Liz Birnbaum quit or was fired. (Ingle, Gannett)

Morning News Digest: June 3, 2010