Morning News Digest: January 18, 2011

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FDU: His 2012 fortunes tied to Obama, Menendez would be six Republicans

Up for re-election in 2012, President Barack Obama has an approval rating of 47% to 41% and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) polls “comfortably ahead” of Republicans who may oppose him, according to a poll released this morning by Fairleigh University’s PublicMind.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



In 2011 redistricting, population change will drive GOP gains

New Jersey’s legislative redistricting process officially kicks off in Trenton this morning, as the state commission in charge of reapportioning legislative districts after the 2010 U.S. Census meets for the first time.  (Magyar, NJ Spotlight)



NJ school voucher program in committee’s hands

A bill that would create the state’s first school voucher program and offer scholarships to students in low-performing school districts is scheduled to be considered Thursday in a key Senate committee.  (Method, Home News Tribune)



Mixed bag in school report

As Gov. Chris Christie prepares to announce new charter schools approved to open in New Jersey, data obtained by The Star-Ledger shows well over half of the state’s charter school classes outperformed their local school district counterparts on standardized tests.  (Rundquist, The Star-Ledger)



Christie orders Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission to explain friends, family in payroll records

Gov. Chris Christie has given the commissioners of the state’s largest sewerage authority seven days to explain why they appear to be using their agency as a “piggy bank” for friends and family, or he will likely demand all seven resign.  (Sherman, The Star-Ledger)



Camden on the brink as layoffs near

After months of disbelief over mass police layoffs in the nation’s second most dangerous city, Camden officers Monday began turning in their guns and badges.  (Mast, Courier-Post)



Wallace honored for service

Preaching a message of love and righteousness, the sorority of Coretta Scott King honored John E. Wallace as a guardian of justice on the federal holiday named for King’s husband.  (Mathur Desai, Courier-Post)



Government Efficiency Movement proposing consolidating all Morris County, NJ, police into 4 departments

Five years from now, if Roxbury Councilman Tim Smith has his way, Morris will be transformed into a county with four regional police services.  (Manochio, Daily Record)



N.J. DEP takes action on proposed gas pipeline in Hudson, Union counties

The state Department of Environmental Protection has filed a legal motion to intervene with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the case of a natural gas pipeline expansion proposed by Spectra Energy that would run through Hudson and Union counties.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



University seeks a new direction

Stevens Institute of Technology, the science and technology university in Hoboken, N.J., on Tuesday introduces its new president, more than two years after the state accused the school of shoddy corporate governance.  (Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal)






A Supreme power clash under way in Trenton

Governor Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney cast themselves as stubborn, principled warriors in their nine-month standoff over a Supreme Court nominee.  (Stile, The Record)



Rhetorical question: Why does Christie stretch the script?

I see our governor is giving the former governor of Alaska some advice. On “Fox News Sunday,” Chris Christie repeated a prior criticism of Sarah Palin for sticking to scripted speeches. He added this, “”If you avoid those unscripted moments, I don’t think the American people will trust their instincts about whether you would make a good president or not.”  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)



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: January 18, 2011