Morning News Digest: October 25, 2010


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5th District faceoff: Garrett vs. Theise

WOODCLIFF LAKE – Democratic challenger Tod Theise left it all on the field on Sunday, his only debate with U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage).  (Carroll, PolitickerNJ)



Christie stumps for Runyan

TOMS RIVER — Gov. Chris Christie invigorated an already enthusiastic crowd of GOP supporters at a rally for Jon Runyan and other GOP candidates Sunday night.

“With nine days left before the election, where else would I rather be than Ocean County,” Christie told the standing-room-long crowd at the Elks Club on Washington Street.  (Rizzo, Asbury Park Press)



Ex-football star tries to return NJ seat to GOP

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. (AP) — With polls and history both suggesting either party can win it, the race to represent southern New Jersey’s 3rd District in Congress began the year as the state’s most closely watched — and the most surreal.  (Mulvihill, The Associated Press)



In New Jersey’s 2nd District, LoBiondo tries a new tack

Gary Stein keeps coming at U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo from new directions.

In 2008, the resident of Mullica Township, Atlantic County, ran as an independent hoping to unseat the Republican powerhouse then seeking his eighth term in New Jersey’s Second Congressional District.  (Urgo, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Early vote by mail alters pace of a race

Wonder why those nasty John Adler and Jon Runyan political ads featuring miniature donkeys and grainy photos of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi began airing on television when it was still beach weather?

Credit New Jersey’s increasingly popular vote-by-mail program, which experts predict could be used by as many as 20,000 people in the Third Congressional District this year.  (Burton, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



The early vote: Signs of GOP passion

Just over a week before Election Day, signs of widespread Republican enthusiasm are apparent in the early-voter data, including in some places with highly competitive statewide races. Yet at the same time, for Democrats there are promising data in numerous states suggesting that the idea of a devastating turnout gap may be overblown.  (Ball, Politico)



The verdict: Independents side with GOP

Republicans are on the verge of broad wins next week for one big reason: independent voters are ready to boot Democrats from office, according to a new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll.  (Hohmann and Vandehei)



Tea Party already shapes ’12 race

The tea-party phenomenon is forcing possible Republican presidential candidates in 2012 to make early and potentially high-risk strategic gambles over how to harness the movement.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is traveling the country to build alliances with local tea-party activists in key presidential primary and caucus states.  (Wallsten, The Wall Street Journal)



For college students, it’s so not ‘08

On college campuses where Barack Obama made politics cool again, most students have moved on.

They’ve quit bugging their friends about change, they’re no longer trying to sign up new voters and the knock-on-door day trips now draw only the most hard-core.  (Negrin, Politico)



Assembly bill would bind arbitrators in effort to keep tax hikes in check

TRENTON – Ask a New Jersey mayor what he or she needs most to keep property-tax increases in check and chances are you’ll hear about changing the salary-arbitration process for police and firefighters.  (Lu, The Philadelphia Inquirer)






We don’t need ARC, we have Lautenberg

THE ARC tunnel may be on again. The Access to the Region’s Core project is New Jersey’s own version of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” One day you can ask, one day you can’t and the next day, it’s back into the closet. Or in the case of the great train rip-off, back into the subterranean station.  (Doblin, The Record)



N.J. cannot afford putting off Hudson River tunnel project

If, as the trite greeting card wisdom goes, life is a journey and not a destination — New Jersey is the right place to live. For decades, it has been far more a transportation state than a garden state. The governor could change all that when he decides whether to shut down the Hudson Tunnel projects.  (Braun, The Star-Ledger)



Authorities are one of the bigger money drains

TRENTON — Gov. Christie says to change New Jersey’s image nationally New Jersey itself has to be changed, and let’s face it: New Jersey can’t be changed in any substantial way until the independent agencies and authorities are brought under meaningful control or eliminated.  (Ingle, Daily Record)



New Jersey’s governor and the public education debate

New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie, has been bludgeoning the state’s teachers and their unions since he took office earlier this year. The name-calling has raised his profile nationally, and made him a darling of the right. It has also made rational conversation on school reform nearly impossible.  (Staples, The New York Times)



November winners might feel like losers when bills come due

Joe Hallett, probably the best political journalist in Ohio, wondered recently in his Columbus Dispatch column why his state’s candidates for governor would want the job, given the immense financial problems facing the Buckeye State.  (Peter Brown, guest columnist for The Wall Street Journal)



Dysfunction of politics: A constant stalemate

To its practitioners, politics is about power: getting it, keeping it and using it. But for the nation, the basic purpose of politics is to conciliate. If everyone agreed on everything, politics would be unnecessary. So would democracy and elections.  (Robert Samuelson, guest columnist for Asbury Park Press)



In cases you missed it



Runyan on losing third party votes: “There’s concern there”

MARLTON – Republican congressional candidate Jon Runyan and Gov. Chris Christie followed a headquarters rally with a round of booth-side handshakes at the Marlton Diner.  (Carroll, PolitickerNJ)



Gov. Christie stumps for Massachusetts GOP candidate Baker at rally MELROSE, Massachusetts — On stage today, the two men were a study in contrasts.

Charlie Baker, the Republican candidate for governor of Massachusetts, cut a genial country club image with his blue shirt, khakis and wide smile. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in a politician’s dark suit, showcased the fiery style that has brought him YouTube fame.  (Megerian, The Star-Ledger)



Rep. Scott Garrett aims to maintain GOP stronghold in 5th District

After defeating Democrats by double-digit margins in his past four elections, U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5th District) has solidified his position in Congress and is aiming for another big win at the polls next month.  (Lockwood, The Star-Ledger)



Senate scenario: Election overtime

It may not be over in 10 days after all.

While control of the House is all but certain to be resolved on the evening of Nov. 2, the Senate, with its collection of dead heat races, is shaping up to be another matter entirely.  (Catanese, Politico)



GOP is poised to seize House, if not Senate

WASHINGTON — A costly and polarizing Congressional campaign heads into its closing week with Republicans in a strong position to win the House but with Democrats maintaining a narrow edge in the battle for the Senate, according to a race-by-race review and lawmakers and strategists on both sides.  (Zeleny and Hulse, The New York Times)



4 legislative races on NJ ballot

Voters in three New Jersey districts will be deciding more than just their Congressional representatives when they go to the polls next month.

They’ll also be deciding representatives in the state Legislature.  (Shipkowski, The Associated Press)



Flawed Congressional candidates for N.J. 3rd District race have employed slippery tactics

To find the most important congressional race in New Jersey this year, travel south to the forests of the Pine Barrens and beyond that to the strip malls in the working-class suburbs of Philadelphia.

There you will find a Democratic incumbent who is trying to convince people he’s a conservative, running against a retired pro football player who is trying to convince people he’s ready for Congress.  (Moran, The Star-Ledger) Morning News Digest: October 25, 2010