Morning News Digest: October 22, 2010


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Democrats to move arbitration reform without award cap

TRENTON – Democratic lawmakers said this morning they plan to move the arbitration reform bill out of committee today, without the hard cap on awards demanded by Republicans, including Gov. Chris Christie.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Front office responds to arbitration reform bill

A spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie weighed in on the arbitration reform bill moved by the assembly budget committee this afternoon, saying the measure does go far enough.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



As a rookie politician, Runyan remains a gamer

Jon Runyan’s life of hard work has brought him financial rewards and made him one of football’s most reliable players.
In his very public career change to Republican candidate in New Jersey’s Third Congressional District, Runyan has promised potential constituents the unwavering dedication that led him to two Super Bowls as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tennessee Titans.  (Burton, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Nearly one-third of N.J. lawmakers hold another elected office or public job

TRENTON — Nearly one-third of New Jersey’s 120 legislators hold another elected office or publicly funded job, something most states already limit and Gov. Chris Christie wants to outlaw.  (Reitmeyer, The Star-Ledger)



Gov. Christie extends deadline to consider Hudson River rail tunnel

TRENTON — It appears the deadline has been extended to determine whether to continue the biggest public works project under way in the nation.

Gov. Chris Christie had said he would tell U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today whether he would stand by his decision to scrap a new rail tunnel linking the Garden State with New York City.  (The Associated Press)



NJ-NY Hudson rail tunnel estimate is $9.77B

TRENTON — On the eve of Gov. Chris Christie’s expected decision to kill or proceed with the $8.7 billion second Hudson River rail tunnel project, Democratic lawmakers reiterated their request: Show us the cost overruns.

The answers they sought were not contained in the pages of a phone book-sized stack of documents received by Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, Wednesday evening. He sought the information that led Christie’s Oct. 7 decision to end the project based on concerns that cost overruns could push the tunnel total to $14 billion.  (Higgs, Daily Record)–Justify-tunnel-overrun-estimate



Christie, New Jersey legislative leaders trade harsh words

TRENTON – For weeks, Gov. Christie has been aiming his famously barbed rhetoric down the hall of the Capitol, blaming the Democratic-led Legislature for stalling progress on his 33-bill property-tax overhaul package.  (Lu, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Christie prods lawmakers to enact reforms

SCOTCH PLAINS — Gov. Chris Christie stepped up the pressure Thursday on the Democrat-controlled Legislature to enact his reform agenda in the 61 days remaining in its session.

Speaking at a town hall meeting at the Italian-American Club, Republican Christie berated the Legislature for not working on his reform package and taking a two-week recess instead.  (Deak, Asbury Park Press)



New political map takes old shape

After consecutive elections marked by big gains in Republican territory, the Democratic Party of 2011 is poised to shrink back to its form before the GOP’s downward spiral: more coastal and urban, and less Southern, Midwestern and rural.  (Martin and Isenstadt, Politico)



Political ads attack the other guy’s lavish living

WASHINGTON — Living small is the new living large, at least when it comes to candidates running for election in November.

With unemployment at 9.6 percent and the economy still struggling, the latest vogue in political ads is attacking the other guy for living it up.  (Parker, The New York Times)



Campaign’s big spender

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is now the biggest outside spender of the 2010 elections, thanks to an 11th-hour effort to boost Democrats that has vaulted the public-sector union ahead of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and a flock of new Republican groups in campaign spending.  (Mullins and McKinnons, The Wall Street Journal)



Democrats try to revive female voters’ enthusiasm

SEATTLE — Women came out strong for Barack Obama in 2008. Now, with barely 10 days before the midterm elections that are looking increasingly perilous for his party, he is trying to win them back.

Mr. Obama turned his attention on Thursday to convincing the female voters who helped deliver the presidency to him not to abandon the Democratic Party in its hour of need.  (Cooper and Davey, The New York Times)



From the Back Room



He needs it more than they do

The latest campaign finance report from the Bergen County Democratic Organization shows a $25,000 outstanding loan from disgraced attorney Dennis Oury, who pleaded guilty last year to federal corruption charges.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)






A cap without a cap is a diet without dieting

THERE’S ONLY one way to lose weight and keep it off: Eat less and exercise more. There is only one way to lower taxes: Spend less and exercise restraint.

In the latest Trenton drama, Democrats in the Legislature have been debating arbitration reform without insisting on a 2 percent cap on awards. Maybe 2 percent is too restrictive. But having no restrictions equals no real reform.  (Doblin, The Record)



The Christie Clones

Republicans are doing it; even some Democrats, too. It’s called the Chris Christie.

“I want to be the Chris Christie of Connecticut,” declares GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley. “Chris Christie is the primo example of how you turn around government,” says Scott Walker, vying to run Wisconsin. Mr. Christie’s reforms are a “road map” for California, pronounces Meg Whitman.  (Strassel, The Wall Street Journal)



Tea Party to the rescue

Two central facts give shape to the historic 2010 election. The first is not understood by Republicans, and the second not admitted by Democrats.

The first: the tea party is not a “threat” to the Republican Party, the tea party saved the Republican Party. In a broad sense, the tea party rescued it from being the fat, unhappy, querulous creature it had become, a party that didn’t remember anymore why it existed, or what its historical purpose was.  (Noonan, The Wall Street Journal) Morning News Digest: October 22, 2010