Morning News Digest: October 26, 2010


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Dems short on arbitration bill votes

TRENTON – Sources now say the Assembly Democrats do not have sufficient votes to pass an arbitration reform bill crafted by Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald (D-Voorhees) as an alternative to Gov. Chris Christie’s arbitration proposal.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Stark differences of Rothman and Agosta in 9th District debate

PARAMUS – In a Democratic district that snakes though southern Bergen County and touches Passaic and Hudson, U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) has a challenger from inside his home town.  (Carroll, PolitickerNJ)



Christie takes to the road

Just a year ago, Chris Christie was a relatively unknown former U.S. prosecutor about to win the race for governor of New Jersey.

Now, Mr. Christie’s blunt style has made him a hot get for competitive 2010 campaigns. From California to Connecticut, he not only packs banquet halls and gymnasiums, but also draws donors to intimate gatherings and photo lines where they can grab a few minutes with the governor.  (Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal)



Census response down in N.J.: loss of seat feared

Seventy-four percent of New Jersey households returned their 2010 Census forms, according to the federal Census Bureau, a figure equal to the national participation rate, although down by 2 percentage points from the state’s performance 10 years earlier.  (Statehouse Bureau, Asbury Park Press)



Outside interest groups spent $1M. on southern New Jersey congressional races

Corporations, trade groups and political action committees have spent more than $1 million to influence area congressional campaigns, mostly in the 3rd Congressional District, after a January court decision that removed election spending limits on corporations.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



GOP national chair to stump for Runyan in Toms River

TOMS RIVER — Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is scheduled to be in Toms River Thursday morning for a campaign rally for GOP congressional candidate Jon Runyan.

Steele, who has been stumping for Republican congressional candidates across the country on a “Fire Pelosi Bus Tour,” is expected to appear with Runyan at 11:30 a.m. at the Toms River Holiday Inn on Route 37.  (Larsen, Asbury Park Press)



Political attack ads reign

Turn on your TV, fellow voter.

Look, there’s dastardly Dan Onorato, who seemingly has turned thousands of Pittsburghers into unemployed zombies.

And dirty Jon Runyan, who appears to help fist-shaking foreigners in their oil fields by opposing clean-energy jobs in New Jersey. (King, Infield, Burton, and Fitzgerald, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Cumberland County GOP candidates meet with labor

MILLVILLE — The Cumberland County Regular Republican Organization on Monday announced GOP freeholder candidates Sam Fiocchi and Carl Kirstein met with a pair of labor union officials for lunch at the Vineland Ramada Inn to discuss common concerns.  (Laday, The News of Cumberland County)



Sipprelle slams Rep. Holt’s campaign ad implying impropriety in Princeton revaluation

PRINCETON BOROUGH — Republican congressional candidate Scott Sipprelle yesterday lashed out at his opponent, Rep. Rush Holt (D-Hopewell), over an advertisement released by the Democrat’s campaign last week suggesting that, while serving on a voluntary advisory committee, Sipprelle knowingly allowed the borough to lower his property taxes during last year’s revaluation.  (Fair, The Star-Ledger)


Tea partiers losing steam?

Tea-party-backed outsider candidates became the superstars of the midterm elections, drawing national attention after big Republican Senate primary wins — and leading tea partiers to pour millions into those campaigns, seeking credibility. But on Nov. 2, the tea party itself could get a mixed return on those investments.  (Toeplitz, Politico)



State Sen. Lesniak targets affordable housing

TRENTON – State Sen. Raymond Lesniak doesn’t lack for confidence when he talks about his latest effort to overhaul affordable-housing rules: He calls it “as perfect a bill as is possible.”

Some question his certainty, given that an appeals court recently struck down a housing formula that is part of the new proposal. (Lesniak dismissed the ruling as irrelevant to the bill.)  (Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Story of the midterms, told through 5 races

The House of Representatives increasingly looks as though it will shift significantly in favor of Republicans as campaigns head into the final week before Election Day.

A growing number of analysts believe nearly 100 Democratic House seats are at least somewhat competitive, and Republicans need to win 39 of those to gain control of the chamber—assuming they hang on to their current seats. A handful of Republicans in the House also are considered to be vulnerable.  (Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal)



From the Back Room



Assembly passes sick leave bill

The Assembly today unanimously passed tool kit legislation to limit the unused sick-leave payouts and vacation carry-over for all public employees.

The bill – which passed 78-0 – now heads to the Governor’s desk, as the Senate cleared the measure last month.  (Editor, PolitickerNJ)



COAH delay

Despite Gov. Chris Christie’s efforts at his town hall event last week to get the legislature to drive Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) reform, the Assembly will not take up COAH this week.  (Editor, PolitickerNJ)






Arbitration ‘reform’ without a cap misses the point

Mayors across New Jersey are putting together 2011 budgets in the worst of times: The economy has not recovered. An anxious public expects relief from the new 2 percent levy cap. Yet the gap between expectations and what we mayors can deliver right now is huge.  (Mayor Dave Fried, guest columnist for PolitickerNJ)



Crumblin caucus

Speaker Oliver is in a tight spot.  She owes her job to the Essex connection…and now those same forces are aligning against her. It may be “only a matter of time” until they really move against her. For good.  (Fink, NJN)



No second thoughts

When times get tough, it’s really important to believe in yourself. This is something the Democrats have done splendidly this year. The polls have been terrible, and the party may be heading for a historic defeat, but Democrats have done a magnificent job of maintaining their own self-esteem. This is vital, because even if the public doesn’t approve of you, it is important to approve of yourself.  (Brooks, The New York Times)



Midterms will decide very little

If your days are spent listening to talk radio and your nights are filled with cable news chatter, you could be forgiven for believing the future of the American Republic rests on next week’s elections.  (Scarborough, Politico)

  Morning News Digest: October 26, 2010