Morning New Digest: August 10, 2010

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Passaic GOP challenger intent on dimming more than the shine on Speziale’s star

A glamorous, uniformed fixture in the constellation of North Jersey politics, Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale this year “will be fine,” according to his campaign consultant; but this week, an AP story revealed the contents of a Civil Service Commission report that says the sheriff must fire eight investigators because his office is overloaded with patronage appointments. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Frelinghuysen proves even more elusive to longshot Herbert

Receiving no reply after his campaign hand-delivered an invitation on June 28th, Attorney Doug Herbert of Chatham continues to pursue U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-Harding) in hopes of nailing down a debate. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

No tree left behind

A broken promise from the state over the replacement of hundreds of trees felled for the Turnpike expansion has Republican mayors in at least two towns spitting mad and threatening to sue the administration. (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)

Layton won’t succeed O’Toole as chair of GOP chairs

Burlington County GOP Chair Bill Layton (pictured) today told that he’s not interested in succeeding state Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Cedar Grove) as chair of the GOP chairmen. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Christie administration may not apply for $268M U.S. education aid

The Christie administration may not apply for $268 million in federal education aid up for a vote in Washington Tuesday, the governor’s spokesman said. (Fleisher,  Star Ledger)

Judge hears testimony to determine if Elizabeth election had invalid results

Two Elizabeth council candidates who claim voting irregularities cost them victories in June’s Democratic primary want a Superior Court judge to invalidate the election results. (Spoto,  Star Ledger)

Survey shows more than 80 percent of N.J. public schools to see fewer teachers in September

Students in more than 80 percent of New Jersey’s public schools will see fewer teachers when they go back to class in September, leading to larger class sizes and reduced programs, a survey released today by the New Jersey School Boards Association found. (Fleisher, Star Ledger)

New Jersey teachers hope federal funds restore raises

School officials in districts where teachers took wage freezes to save jobs want to know if they can use proposed federal stimulus money to restore raises for the 2010-11 school year. If not, they say, the districts and their employees would be punished financially for having taken the wage freeze the governor requested.

State takes over case against Hunterdon County Sheriff Deborah Trout

The state Attorney General’s office has taken charge of the official misconduct case against Sheriff Deborah Trout, Undersheriff Michael Russo and former investigator John Falat Jr. (Cooper, Hunterdon County Democrat)

States test whether public pension benefits given can be taken away

State legislators are beginning to challenge one of the ironclad tenets of public pension policy:  that states cannot legally reduce pension benefits for current and future retirees. (Fehr, Stateline)

Runyan reaches GOP ‘Young Gun’ fundraising status

The National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP’s fundraising arm, announced on Tuesday that Jon Runyan is now a Young Gun. (Roh, Courier Post)

Ousted Asbury Park schools chief to return as principal

Antonio Lewis, who twice lost his job as schools superintendent, is expected to return in an administrative capacity now that the state education commissioner agreed that he retained his tenure rights as a middle school principal. (Shields, APP)

Former NJ union official admits taking kickbacks

A former New Jersey union official has admitted accepting kickbacks from a company he hired to install electronic equipment at the union’s offices. (AP)


From the Back Room

Sources: GOP to tap Davis as top chair

Republican sources say Atlantic County GOP Chairman Keith Davis has a majority of support from his fellow chairmen to succeed state Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Cedar Grove) as chair of the 21 Republican county chairmen.

Haines’ long goodbye

Republican sources expect the slow fadeout from senate chamber into judge’s robes for state Sen. Phil Haines (R-Mount Holly) to come sometime in late September or early October

New Jersey’s U.S. representatives, who showed up?

Forget that there’s only one photo finish shaping up for the November general election (see: Adler vs. Runyan); in an election year, every elected official should be accountable for their performance. (Carroll, PolitickerNJ)



Same sex marriage: Right or wrong it’s not a right

I have been having tremendous fun watching the lawyers who comment on this blog trying to come to terms with the recent decision by a federal judge to negate the results of a referendum in California that bans same-sex marriage. Judge Vaughn Walker is wrong, of course, for simple reasons that can be simply stated, as you will see below. (Mulshine, Star Ledger)

Stile: History doesn’t exist for Christie

History isn’t made at the State House. It’s ignored. (Stile, The Record)

A governor who tests GOP strategy

With all eyes focused on how the Democrats will do this November, the story about the divisions unfolding within the Republican Party have equally important long-term consequences for national politics. And now with the Tea Party movement as an additional force in the party, Republican leaders are struggling to contain tensions between right-wing activists and fiscal conservatives.

Give Anne Patterson a hearing

There’s nothing like a hometown, or is it home state, touch?

When the U.S Senate last week approved Elena Kagan to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, the Christie Administration back in Trenton was watching closely. The governor may be on vacation, but his press office sent out a statement noting that it took the Senate 88 days to vote to confirm Kagan. Morning New Digest: August 10, 2010