Morning News Digest: November 29, 2010

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Winners and Losers: Thanksgiving Edition

But the holiday goodwill engendered this week didn’t bat the cold eye of politics – and the win/loss record of its adherents and addicts.   (Staff, PolitickerNJ)



State digs deeper hole on pensions

State leaders began to debate again last week how much money they should put into New Jersey’s beleaguered pension system.  (Method, Asbury Park Press)



Slight majority of N.J. voters approve of President Obama’s job performance, poll says

A new poll indicates a slight majority of New Jersey voters approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance.  (The Associated Press)



Pa., N.J. miss out on federal charter school start-up money

New Jersey’s proposed charter schools, hailed by Gov. Christie as part of his school-choice agenda, are at record numbers. But the state has no new start-up money for them because it failed to win another federal education grant.  (Giordano and Hardy, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Assisted-living bill progresses

A measure that would enhance protections for residents of assisted-living facilities in New Jersey is advancing in the state Legislature.  (Shipkowski, Courier-Post)



Christie considering N.J. school bus ads bill

New Jersey’s cash-strapped public school districts may soon be able to raise money by soliciting school bus advertising.  (The Associated Press)



N.J. bills seek to curb mail solicitation by lawyers

Marcus Rayner was pulled over for speeding in North Jersey recently, and within days he had received a half-dozen letters from lawyers all over the state seeking to represent him.  (Osborne, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Adoptees lobby for access to their original birth certificate records

A local man is on a crusade to help adoptees be able to access their original birth certificates in New Jersey. And the crusade is personal for him, since he is an adoptee as well.  (Johnston, The Record)



Legislature OKs “Made With Jersey Fresh”

The state is adding a new wrinkle to its long-running “Jersey Fresh” campaign to promote New Jersey produce.  (Newman, The Record)






Christie’s real political agenda

Governor Chris Christie emerged as America’s major winner of Election 2010.  He is nationally both the avatar of center-right Republicanism and the major force for unity in the GOP.  (Steinberg, PolitickerNJ)



About those conflicted school board members

The governor, thankfully, reads the Daily Record.

We know that because at a town hall meeting in Hackettstown last week, Chris Christie referenced a Daily Record story about school board members having ties to the teachers’ union — the New Jersey Education Association.  (Snowflack, Daily Record)



Haste can lead to flawed bills

Legislation rapidly passed is trouble, especially if it’s named for somebody. The recent New Jersey bill about bullying wasn’t named for an individual, but a well-publicized suicide gave it urgency and emotional impact and the rush may have caused it to be flawed.  (Ingle, Daily Record)



In case you missed it



Sharon Elghanayan, Jon Corzine

Sharon M. Elghanayan, a psychotherapist, and Jon S. Corzine, a former governor of New Jersey, were married Tuesday evening in Mr. Corzine’s apartment in Hoboken, N.J. Judge Edward McBride of the Camden County branch of the Superior Court of New Jersey officiated at a ceremony that was primarily led by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner of the New Jersey Supreme Court.  (The New York Times)



Is NJ Governor Chris Christie a mad man?

It’s a Friday night in mid-October, 18 days before the midterm elections, and Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is out on the stump, expertly inhabiting what has now got to be the most famous body in American politics: the big arms and legs, the umpire shoulders, the triangular face welded to a bulging neck, the hooded eyes and double chin, the pinkish lips on a potholed turnpike of skin.  (Fagone, Philadelphia Magazine)



New Jersey’s tiniest towns fight efforts to merge

At 1.1 square miles, this town is smaller than Central Park — smaller even than Teterboro Airport, which spills past its borders.  (Pérez-Peña, The New York Times)



Rookie U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan gets D.C. orientation

U.S. Rep.-elect Jon Runyan sat on the “freshman bus” in Washington, D.C., recently, waiting to be taken to an orientation seminar offering a crash course in how to govern.  (Spahr, Press of Atlantic City)



New Jersey legislation targets “super political action committees”

New Jersey is considering a cutting-edge campaign-disclosure law that would bring well-heeled groups out of the shadows.  (Burton, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



State mismanagement of U.S.-funded weatherization program is worse than previously thought

Alex Ibarra pries back the faded green siding on the Newark home and props it up with a screwdriver. Then he grabs a power tool and starts drilling a hole. Next he’ll pump insulation made from recycled newspapers into the wall cavity, stopping hot air generated by the basement heater from escaping through the attic.  (Megerian, The Star-Ledger)



Mount Arlington mayor in line to head N.J. League of Municipalities

Mayor Arthur Ondish has been named the first vice president of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, an office that puts him in position to take over as the organization’s president in the near future.  (Paik, The Star-Ledger)



People and Power: Timing of Sweeney, Christie speeches overshadows announcement of plan to cap arbitration awards

State lawmakers delight in starting policy battles or picking personal fights. But one official who this week launched a war of words later reconsidered its timing.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



In a DIY world, those in New Jersey still can’t pump their own gas

People in New Jersey pick their own strawberries. They chop down their own Christmas trees. They check themselves in at airports and check themselves out at supermarkets.  (Newman, The Wall Street Journal)



A new push to rescue Xanadu mall project

Lenders and state officials in New Jersey are desperately trying to cobble together the second rescue of Xanadu, one of the nation’s largest, most expensive and still incomplete retail and entertainment malls.  (Bagli, The New York Times)



NJ governor promotes “Small Business Saturday”

New Jersey’s governor is lending his support to a national campaign to encourage shopping at small businesses during the holiday season.  (The Associated Press)



Open Public Records Act is it working?

Mid-afternoon on his 10th day as governor, Chris Christie convened his first Cabinet meeting before a crowd of reporters in the Senate Republicans’ caucus room on the third floor of the Statehouse.  (Symons, Asbury Park Press)



Carla Katz starts second career in Jersey political circles

Carla Katz has raised the curtain on her second act in New Jersey politics, and already there’s intrigue.  (The Auditor, The Star-Ledger)



Morning News Digest: November 29, 2010