Morning News Digest: December 1, 2010

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Christie looms over redistricting and coming legislative contests, where GOP craves five seats

The roads of Republican redistricting and 2011 campaign strategy all lead back to the Trenton front office where Gov. Chris Christie wields a Teddy Roosevelt-sized club and wants legislative wins.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Booker: Police union didn’t try to avoid layoffs

There’s “massive restructuring” of government in the city of Newark, a polite way of saying that up to 500 people could be losing their jobs soon including 167 police officers, Mayor Cory Booker said at a press conference Tuesday.  (Carroll, PolitickerNJ)



Christie: Have sympathy, I’m the governor of New Jersey

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is known to pick fights, particularly with people who talk trash about the Garden State.  Barrett)



Chris Christie, N.J. Governor, is a YouTube standout

A little shaky, the camera shows Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey shedding his sport coat at a town-hall-style meeting as a teacher criticizes what she sees as his attacks on her profession. He begins to respond, the woman tosses her head in frustration, and Mr. Christie goes for the jugular.  (Pérez-Peña, The New York Times)



New Jersey Turnpike may reallocate $1.25 billion from canceled rail tunnel

The $1.25 billion of toll-backed bond proceeds the New Jersey Turnpike Authority planned to spend on a canceled trans-Hudson rail tunnel will be used instead for roads and other projects outside the system.  (McNichol, Bloomberg)



Gov. Christie authorizes state to hire lawyer to fight $271 million tunnel bill

Governor Chris Christie’s administration plans to file a federal lawsuit to fight the U.S. government’s $271 million bill to New Jersey to pay for work on canceled rail tunnel to Manhattan, an administration source said.  (Method, Home News Tribune)



Budget committees to review job creation bills

The state Senate and Assembly budget committees will each meet five times over the next two weeks for hearings on a package of bills meant to spur job creation.  (Friedman, The Record)



Report: To pay 1 NJ worker’s salary, it takes up to 90 private sector workers

It takes up to 90 private sector workers to support the salary of one state worker making the same amount of money, according to a new analysis.  (Method, Daily Record)–To-pay-1-NJ-worker-s-salary–it-takes-up-to-90-private-sector-workers



Newark fires police officers

Calling it a “sad day for our city,” Newark Mayor Cory Booker fired 167 police officers Tuesday after last-ditch negotiations with the city’s largest police union failed.  (Gardiner and Shallwani, The Wall Street Journal)



N.J. approves Camden plan to lay off 383 city workers Jan. 18

City Council on Thursday will consider a layoff plan that could end the jobs of nearly 400 municipal workers — including police officers, firefighters and public works department members.  (Murray, Courier-Post)



NJ unemployment payments will continue despite Congress actions

People claiming unemployment insurance in New Jersey will continue to receive benefits even if Congress lets benefits expire for the long-term unemployed.  (Willis, Asbury Park Press)



N.J. business group cautious on 2011 economy

The year ahead could be grim for unemployed workers in New Jersey, according to a report released Tuesday by the New Jersey Business and Industry Association. Any glimmer of hope in hiring may be matched by layoffs.  (Conaboy, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Senate rejects ban on earmarks

By a nearly 3-2 ratio, the Senate voted Tuesday to let lawmakers keep sprinkling bills with home-state pet projects like roads, bridges, water treatment plants, grants to local police departments and special interest tax breaks. But with anti-earmark GOP reinforcements arriving in January, the curtain may soon come down on the practice.  (Staff, The Record)



Coalition urges lawmakers to save NJ Network

A coalition of 20 groups has formed to urge Gov. Chris Christie and state legislators to continue funding New Jersey Network.  (The Associated Press)



Casino Control Commission member says reforms make Division of Gaming Enforcement too powerful

One of New Jersey’s top gaming regulators contends that the Legislature’s proposed casino reforms go too far and would concentrate too much power in the hands of a gaming “czar.”  (Wittkowski, Press of Atlantic City)



US casinos struggle back from recession

Amid a new reality — casinos are not recession-proof — gambling in Louisiana and Mississippi is staging a slow comeback from the economic meltdown of 2008, aggravated for a time by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that chased away some tourists.  (Sayre, BusinessWeek)



Democrats hope recount swings Gloucester County race

Stung by its defeat in the race for two Gloucester County freeholder seats last month, the South Jersey Democratic machine hopes a full recount will deliver enough votes to put at least one of its candidates into office.  (Hefler, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



‘I am not resigning, it’s just that simple’

Several members of the Mercer County Republican Committee have signed a letter saying they have no confidence in Roy Wesley, the group’s chairman, and they want him to step down.  (Cusido, The Times)



Troops, phone home

Two local legislators are looking to brighten up the holidays for troops overseas.  (Duffy, The Times)



Senate measure aims to reduce the price of solar systems

In a step aimed at driving down the price of solar systems, legislators are gearing up to pass a bill to encourage electricity suppliers to enter into long-term contracts to buy power from solar panels on New Jersey homes and businesses.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



First Lady Mary Pat Christie launches website highlighting N.J. groups, events

In recent years, the position of New Jersey’s First Lady has been filled in a variety of ways and styles.  (O’Brien, The Star-Ledger)



From the Back Room



Former senate staffer to return

Former Senate Republican Deputy Director Kevin Davis is returning to the Senate, effective January1.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



Must read from Record Columnist Charlie Stile

Check out this must read from Record Columnist Charlie Stile who writes about Gov. Chris Christie’s penchant for attack-dog politics.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)






The case for NJN

The clock is ticking for NJN. 

New Jersey Network.  The New Jersey Channel.  JerseyVision (yes, it was once called that).  (Murray, PolitickerNJ)



Politics in Morristown; education officials don’t budge on gap

So, what was the idea here — bust chops or sincerely suggest that Vij Pawar, the director of Morristown’s legal department, is covered by pay-to-play laws?  (Snowflack, Daily Record)–education-officials-don-t-budge-on-cap



The sure thing

The completely underrated Mid-80′s classic involved a cross country road trip for John Cusack. He is going to visit his friend Anthony Edwards on the West Coast who will introduce him to a college co-ed who is described as a “sure thing.” And by “introduced” they mean much more than that, but I’ll spare you the specifics ( this a family friendly blog after all! ).  (Fink, NJN)



Cold water on A.C. plans

A key corporate rating company says proposed changes for Atlantic City aren’t likely to make any difference in the declining gaming industry there.  (Ingle, Asbury Park Press)



Morning News Digest: December 1, 2010