Morning News Digest: July 29, 2010

Follow PolitickerNJ updates on Twitter and on Facebook Obama touches down President Barack Obama touched down in Newark at 1:29

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Obama touches down

President Barack Obama touched down in Newark at 1:29 p.m. and will head to Edison to talk economic recovery at a sub shop. Obama was met by Gov. Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who chatted with each other and did some hand shaking on the ropes before the president arrived. (Carroll, PolitickerNJ) 

 For on-hand locals, Prez adds to sub relic’s stature 

The place isn’t much to look at on the outside: squat and corrugated like a disgarded leftover from a trailer park on one of those nondescript scraps of Jersey roadway. But people swear by what’s inside, which for President Barack Obama this afternoon proved half a super sub, which he ordered to go, according to co-owner David Thornton. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Lesniak: ‘Obama got off track with healthcare’ 

A key Democratic Party power player says President Barack Obama lapsed out of focus with healthcare over the past year, but trusts Obama’s ability to rebound. “I’m happy he chose New Jersey to get back on track,” said state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Elizabeth). (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Obama talks small business in Edison 

President Obama told the owners of four small New Jersey businesses Wednesday that a small business tax credit bill he hopes the Senate will take up this week will benefit them. “This town, Edison, was named after somebody who was not only one of history’s greatest inventors but also a pretty savvy small business owner,” said Obama after meeting with the businessmen and women at the tiny but renowned Tastee Sub Shop on Plainfield Avenue for about 25 minutes. “The small business people who are with me here today exemplify that same entrepreneurial spirit.” (Friedman, The Record) 

Obama’s brief Edison visit leaves lasting memories 

Barack Obama entered the Tastee Sub Shop Wednesday as the President of the United States. That didn’t last long. “As soon as he said “hello,’ he put you at ease,” said Dave Thornton, co-owner of the landmark sub shop on Plainfield Avenue. “It was like he was one of us,” said Brian Bovio, operations manager of his family’s energy company in Sicklerville. “It was amazing how he put people at ease right away.” (Malwitz, Gannett) 

President Obama’s remarks resonate with business owners 

The crowds gathered near the Tastee Sub Shop on Plainfield Avenue in Edison cheered as President Barack Obama’s motorcade arrived in the township. President Obama’s motorcade pulled up to the Tastee Sub Shop at about 2:10pm – 40 minutes behind schedule. He entered through the back, while Edison Mayor Antonia Ricigliano entered through the front. The small business owners were waiting for him at a small rectangular table set up at the side of the tiny store. (Gannett) 

New Jersey Plans to Make First Pension Payment Since 2008, Treasurer Says

 New Jersey intends to contribute $512 million to its pension funds for teachers and government workers in fiscal 2012, its first payment in four years, State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff said. The contribution would be made in tandem with proposals to trim employee retirement costs that Governor Chris Christie plans to present to lawmakers later this year, Sidamon-Eristoff said in an interview today in Trenton. Such moves may include reducing the rate at which current employees earn retirement credits or scaling back annual cost-of-living increases for retirees, he said. (McNichol/Dopp, Bloomberg News) 

 Ahead of elections, Obama ramps up his fundraising

 President Barack Obama is stepping up his fundraising efforts as the midterm elections draw closer and Democrats need money to battle a Republican Party energized in part by voter concern over government spending and regulations. Obama was to speak Wednesday at a sandwich shop in Edison, N.J., to tout a lending initiative aimed at small businesses. From there he was to travel to New York to tape an interview with the daytime talk show “The View” and attend two high-dollar fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee. (Pace, AP) 

Gloucester County freeholders placed under judge’s watch

 In a rare move, a state Superior Court judge Tuesday placed the Gloucester County Board of Freeholders under his watch for six months to keep it from improperly conducting public business behind closed doors. Assignment Judge Francis J. Orlando Jr., who sits in Camden, will appoint an independent monitor to observe the freeholders’ meetings and report on whether they are complying with the state’s Open Public Meetings Act. (Hefler, Inquirer)

 New Jersey women’s health centers react to cuts 

New Jersey’s family planning health centers are bracing for reduced hours, layoffs, and even closings after Gov. Christie’s veto of a bill to restore $7.5 million for women’s health services. Planned Parenthood of Southern New Jersey, for example, expects patients will have to wait or travel longer to receive care following the elimination of state funds, which make up a quarter of the organization’s budget. (Rao, Inquirer)

 From the Back Room

 Great Moments in New Jersey Presidential History

 1. George Washington, December 26, 1776. George Washington crossed the Delaware into New Jersey and defeated the Hessians stationed in Trenton. He wasn’t president yet, but Washington set the bar high in terms of what a future president might attain here. “Let the hour of attack be the 26th,” Washington famously wrote to John Cadwalader. (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)

 Irony for a summer day 

Since the president didn’t provide us with much in the way of real news today, we’ll report some political irony about his last visit instead. It was just over a year ago, July 16th to be exact, when Obama came to the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. It was one of three visits to stump for Gov. Jon Corzine’s doomed campaign. (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ) 

Obama visit a bust for spectators, press 

A visit from the president is always a big deal among us media-types as well as fans and haters alike who all hoped to get a glimpse of the commander-in-chief on his trip to Edison today. But Obama became GObama when he bypassed gathered reporters at Newark Airport without taking any questions or making any statements, despite an invitation from White House communications staff for reporters to attend “the arrival.” But the president did not get within 50 feet of reporters before boarding his chopper and heading to Edison to eat a sub. (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)

 Judge monitors Gloucester Freeholder Board 

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported today that a state Superior Court judge worried about lack of compliance with the Sunshine Law yesterday placed the Gloucester County Board of Freeholders under his watch for six months. The report says Assignment Judge Francis J. Orlando Jr. will appoint an independent monitor to observe the freeholders’ meetings to determine if they honor the state’s Open Public Meetings Act. (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ) 


Ingle: Did Christie upstage the president?

 Gov. Christie continues to be in demand for network TV. Today, he did the “Today” show on NBC and later “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. He’s becoming a fixture aro0und Rockefeller Plaza. Christie likes the give and take with other guests and they are blown away with a politician who is as blunt as here is. (Ingle, Gannett)

Morning News Digest: July 29, 2010