Morning News Digest: January 19, 2011

Follow PolitickerNJ on Twitter and Facebook. Text “PNJ” to 89800 to receive alerts     Zimmer helms recently formed political arm of pro-vouchers

Follow PolitickerNJ on Twitter and Facebook. Text “PNJ” to 89800 to receive alerts



Zimmer helms recently formed political arm of pro-vouchers group

Republican allies of Gov. Chris Christie leaned on tax exempt nonprofits to generate support for Christie’s budget measures and for GOP redistricting efforts.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Hawthorne’s Gardner launches Senate candidacy

Hawthorne Democratic Committee Chair Jeff Gardner announced his decision this afternoon to run for the state Senate in the Democratic Primary, presumably against state Sen. John Girgenti (D-Hawthorne).  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Officials: Public has say in redrawing districts

The typically partisan exercise of redrawing the boundaries of the state legislative districts to rebalance their populations will have unprecedented levels of public input this year, Democrats and Republicans said Tuesday.  (Symons, New Jersey Press Media)



Tunnel Division

New York Sen. Charles Schumer Tuesday blasted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal to spend $1.8 billion of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey money on roads and bridges west of the Hudson.  (Grossman, The Wall Street Journal)



More charters on tap in N.J.

New Jersey will greatly increase its number of public charter schools, adding 23 this year, the Christie administration said Tuesday.

The additions, including nine in Newark, would bring the number of charter schools in New Jersey to 97 by September.  (Fleisher. The Wall Street Journal)



A Christie doctrine for charter schools?

It was news enough that Gov. Chris Christie yesterday announced 23 new charter schools in New Jersey, the largest class yet of the semi-autonomous schools. Nine were approved for Newark alone, nearly doubling the total in that city.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Democratic power broker has Christie’s ear

Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., the Essex County executive, flips open his ringing cellphone and says “Hey, Gov,” raising a finger to pause an interview as he steps from the room. “We talk a lot,” he says later, grinning broadly, when asked about Chris Christie. “A lot.”  (Pérez-Peña, The New York Times)



Menendez starting 2012 race on solid footing

When the Democratic-leaning automated polling firm Public Policy Polling released some less-than-stellar approval ratings for Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) last week, speculation arose that his seat might be vulnerable in 2012. According to the poll, 37 percent of New Jersey voters approve of Menendez’s performance, while the same percentage disapproves.  (Brennan, National Journal)



Runyan urged to oppose repeal of health care law

About a dozen activists braved slushy weather Tuesday to press Rep. Jon Runyan on bucking the Republican Party in its attempt to repeal health care reform.  (Roh, Courier-Post)



Newark schools chief steps down

Newark schools Superintendent Clifford Janey, who was told in August his contract would not be renewed, stepped down on Tuesday.  (Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal)



N.J. lawmakers agree Newark, Jersey City should be consolidated into 2 legislative districts

For decades, Newark and Jersey City have been split into three legislative districts, which means New Jersey’s two largest cities each have three senators and six Assembly members representing at least some of their residents in Trenton.  (Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



Fine print: NJASA v. Rochelle Hendricks

The New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA) has filed a statewide challenge to Gov. Chris Christie’s controversial caps on superintendent pay, naming acting education commissioner Rochelle Hendricks, among others.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Cop’s slaying spurs death penalty talk

New Jersey did away with its death penalty in 2007, but Lakewood’s representative in the state Senate said the cold-blooded killing of a township police officer is a striking example of why the punishment should be restored.  (Jordan, Courier-Post)



Bill proposes extending veto power over actions of Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission

A bipartisan effort to put the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners under the thumb of the governor gained steam today, with sponsors on both sides of the aisle pushing for an immediate vote on the measure.  (Sherman, The Star-Ledger)



Mayor must find options

With his back to a stretch of Broadway marred by drug users, dealers and prostitutes, Tony Girgis lifted the gates guarding his Camden liquor store Tuesday morning as the city laid off half its police force.  (Rosen, The Courier-Post)



Edison mayor expects to meet Obama at D.C. conference

Mayor Antonia Ricigliano has a question ready for President Barack Obama: “Does he think there are any possibilities for manufacturing jobs coming back to New Jersey?”  (Aloor Amuthan, Courier-Post)



From the Back Room


O’Toole wants sewerage commission veto bill posted

Senate Minority Whip Kevin O’Toole urged Senate President Steve Sweeney Tuesday to post for a vote on Jan. 25 a bill that would give Gov. Christie veto power over the actions of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Health care repeal a political stunt

Today is the day the new Republican-controlled House plans to repeal what they derisively call “Obama-care.”

We are positive about a few things.

One is that the repeal will pass. The second is that the story will end there.  (Snowflack, Daily Record)



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 19, 2011