Morning News Digest: December 30, 2010

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Rosenthal likely 11th member of redistricting committee

Sources say both political parties have agreed upon the potential 11th member of the state redistricting committee that will determine the legislative map for the next decade.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



Christie fundraising arm brought in nearly $624K in 2010

A 501(c)(4) group operated by Christie’s allies and not required under federal law to disclose its contributors, Reform Jersey Now under political pressure today raised $623,784 in 2010, including big dollar amounts from a prime highway contractor and other companies doing business with the state, according to a release issued this afternoon by the Christie fundraising arm.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



State nixes Hoboken’s superintendent contract

The Hoboken Board of Education hired a superintendent in November, but today his contract was nullified by the state, according to board member Theresa Minutillo, under the new superintendent regulations of Gov. Chris Christie.  (Carroll, PolitickerNJ)



List of biggest donors to pro-Christie group includes contractors paid millions by N.J.

Contractors paid hundreds of millions of dollars by state agencies were among the top donors to a group that has been publicly promoting Gov. Chris Christie’s legislative agenda for the past six months.  (Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



Stephen Sweeney stepping down from Gloucester County freeholder board

Stephen Sweeney is one busy guy.

As president of the New Jersey Senate, the Gloucester County Democrat travels throughout the Garden State, shepherds party lawmakers into line, and alternately battles and compromises with Gov. Christie.  (Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Pallone asks Obama to act on disaster aid for blizzard-stunned New Jersey

Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-6th.) Wednesday sent a letter to President Obama asking the federal government to approve federal disaster aid for New Jersey in response to the blizzard that slammed the state Sunday and Monday.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



Gov. Christie halted support of harness racing in NJ

New Jersey’s Republican governor made big bets during his first year in office that the Atlantic City casino halls will be able to fight off a financial freefall. But that was only part of Gov. Chris Christie’s sweeping policy changes for the gambling industry.  (Jordan, Asbury Park Press)



Sen. Robert Menendez’s re-election theme: Champion the middle class

The 2010 election results are still resonating, but New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez already is busy preparing for his re-election campaign two years away.  (Chebium, Daily Record)–Champion-the-middle-class



Booker faces storm, critics

While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his lieutenant were taking heat for enjoying the sun during the snowstorm, Newark Mayor Cory Booker became a one-man snowplow, personally shoveling out residents and vehicles.  (Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal)



A taxpayer-funded party?

The Bergen County Freeholder Board will hold its reorganization on New Year’s Day, a date that some critics are calling into question because of concerns about cost and accessibility.  (Gartland, The Record)



In the snow, New Jersey budget cuts show

In Morris Township, fewer drivers arrived to tackle the piles of snow. In Pequannock, officials cut back on rock salt. And in Brick Township, workers facing a new layoff plan did not bother to show up.  (Mascarenhas and Paik, The Star-Ledger)



Jersey City complex awaits tax-credit boost

With construction projects stalled throughout the region, developer George Filopoulos is hoping a vote by the New Jersey Senate next month will help him continue his high-profile redevelopment of the old Jersey City Medical Center into a 14-acre mixed-use complex.  (Banjo, The Wall Street Journal)



Cumberland County ends health benefits for elected, appointed officials

Cumberland County is cutting off health insurance benefits for elected and appointed officials in another move to cut spending.  (Smith, Asbury Park Press)



Lacey to receive more than $47K in energy funding

The township is set to receive more than $47,000 in state and federal funding for the installation of energy-efficient lighting and a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, according to state officials.  (Huba, Asbury Park Press)



N.J. bridge could get a big lift for ships

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey wants to raise the Bayonne Bridge’s roadway so big new cargo ships can get to its docks.  (Grossman, The Wall Street Journal)



From the Back Room



As if the snow weren’t trouble enough

Police went to the home of Newark Council President Donald Payne, Jr. tonight to confiscate an unknown powdery substance the councilman received, according to sources.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






News shocker: New Jersey to eliminate offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor

State Sen. Ray Lesniak is initiating legislation in the Senate that would eliminate the office of Lieutenant Governor and Governor,  considering that  “the state is working very well while Gov. Christie  is in Disneyworld and Lieutenant Governor is in Mexico.”  (Novick, PolitickerNJ)



Christie’s 2011 will being issues old and new

Governor Christie succeeded in seizing New Jersey’s political agenda last year. But 2011 poses a laundry list of daunting challenges that could make or break his agenda and his own party’s hope of regaining power in the next decade.  (Stile, The Record)



Pro-Christie group reveals political spending

A nonprofit run by top advisers to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie raised nearly $625,000 to promote his agenda and punish lawmakers who opposed him.  (Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal)



Chris Christie is too important to care about snow, or cancer, or his job

If it’s possible to fly in and out of snow-crippled New Jersey tomorrow, governor Chris Christie is due to return from his now-notorious vacation at Disney World. It is true that the governor’s decision to go ahead and leave the state with a blizzard blowing in—and to stay away, even as the disruption mounted—has been bad image management. And, yes, it has provided material for his political opponents.  (Scocca, Slate)




In 2000, (now entered the political stage, changing how New Jersey’s power elite received its daily political fix. Starting in January 2011, we’re shaking up Trenton once again. Stay tuned for State Street Wire.

  Morning News Digest: December 30, 2010