Morning News Digest: January 5, 2011

Follow PolitickerNJ on Twitter and Facebook. Text “PNJ” to 89800 to receive alerts     Zogby Poll: Christie beats fellow Republicans in prez

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Zogby Poll: Christie beats fellow Republicans in prez matchup and leads Obama, 43-40%

Hobbled by snowstorm press and amping up the anti-“Obamacare” rhetoric in a Sean Hannity interview yesterday, Gov. Chris Christie comfortably leads a field of potential GOP contenders and barely beats President Barack Obama in a head-to-head, according to a Zogby Interactive poll released this week.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Christie responds to Prez poll

Gov. Chris Christie this afternoon dismissed the results of Zogby poll that put him ahead of a field of GOP contenders, confirming yet again that he has no interest in running for president.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



Christie unveils higher-education reform proposals

Gov. Chris Christie and his blue-ribbon panel unveiled Tuesday sweeping recommendations to overhaul New Jersey’s financially beleaguered higher-education system.  (Mooney, PolitickerNJ)



N.J. House members ready for new chapter

New Jersey’s Democratic-majority delegation returns today to a Congress in which the tables have turned.

Republicans seized control of the House in November’s mid-term elections, and they’re raring to undo a host of President Obama’s signature accomplishments.  (Roh, Courier-Post)



N.J. Supreme Court to weigh school funding cuts amid impasse

The New Jersey Supreme Court, already embroiled in a battle with Governor Chris Christie over its membership, will hear arguments today on whether the governor unlawfully cut $1 billion in school aid during a budget crisis.  (Voreacos and Dopp, BusinessWeek)



Christie waited to ask for a vacation fill-in

Gov. Christie said he knew for months that he and his second-in-command would be vacationing out of state between Christmas and New Year’s, but he waited until Dec. 22 to ask the Senate president if he was available to fill in.  (Delli Santi for The Associated Press)



NJ governor says economy key to higher ed spending

Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that higher education will be the first area to see increased spending once New Jersey’s economy turns around.  (Delli Santi and Mulvihill for The Associated Press)



Panel urges changes to New Jersey public colleges

A task force appointed by Gov. Chris Christie to suggest ways of improving New Jersey’s public colleges and universities made dozens of recommendations on Tuesday, including lifting tuition caps and reorganizing the long-troubled University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  (Foderaro, The New York Times)



N.J. lawmakers call on Gov. Christie, Attorney Gen. Dow to address 14 percent spike in homicides

The chairmen of the state Legislature’s public-safety committees are calling on Gov. Chris Christie and Attorney General Paula Dow to address an almost 14 percent rise in homicides throughout New Jersey last year.  (Queally, The Star-Ledger)



Public-interest group’s report hits the road

A report issued by the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group Tuesday said state and federal gas taxes paid by drivers only cover half the cost to maintain and build roads, and it urged government officials to fund only the best projects that provide the most benefit.  (Higgs, Asbury Park Press)



Appellate court hears arguments for raising NJ state troopers retirement age

A state appeals court heard oral arguments Tuesday on a case brought by some 200 State Police troopers who want to increase the mandatory retirement age.  (Method, Home News Tribune)



New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford’s trust on ‘partnership’

Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford should put aside concerns about growing state influence in the resort based on the two men’s long-standing acquaintance and trust.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



Lawmakers mapping A.C. dist

New Jersey lawmakers may set the boundaries of a proposed tourism zone in Atlantic City this week, defining exactly where increased public-safety, cleanliness, and development initiatives will extend in the nation’s second-largest gambling market.  (Parry for The Associated Press)



N.J. to close 2 residential treatment facilities, displacing 39 children

The state will close two publicly-run residential treatment facilities that are home to 39 children with mental illness or who come from abusive families, state Children and Families Commissioner Allison Blake announced today.  (Livio, The Star-Ledger)



Plan would merge S.J. medical schools

A state report released Tuesday floats the idea of merging two local institutions — the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford and the new allopathic Cooper Medical School at Rowan University — to form one “University of South Jersey.”  (Rothschild, Courier-Post)



More cuts in S. Jersey-Phila. bus service

Bus service from South Jersey to Philadelphia is being cut – again.  (Nussbaum, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



N.J. BYOB gets check

New Jersey’s restrictive liquor-license laws have some owners of BYOB restaurants looking for ways to uncork their profit potential.  (Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal)



Harmon honored by 100 Black Men of NJ

John Harmon Sr., 50, continued the legacy of his father, a Trenton entrepreneur, by opening a trucking business in Trenton back in 1989. (King, The Times of Trenton)



From the Back Room



Veteran statehouse reporter dies

Friends and colleagues at the statehouse are mourning the passing earlier today of Bloomberg reporter Dunstan McNichol.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



Goldberg steps down from sports authority

Carl Goldberg submitted his resignation as board chairman at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to Gov. Chris Christie today, according to The Record.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Unless Christie’s pension reforms are enacted in 2011, New Jersey faces pension fund bankruptcy in 2018

In 2010, Governor Chris Christie confronted New Jersey’s crisis of affordability by successfully enacting a strengthened property tax cap and a budget with no tax increases.  (Steinberg, PolitickerNJ)



The perception is Christie failed leadership test

The post-Christmas blizzard delivered tons of frozen particulate matter and a crisis of perception. Snow melts, but in politics, perception is reality and in the long term more damaging.  (Ingle, Daily Record)



Some advice for new freeholder director

William Chegwidden gives his “state of the county” address at tonight’s freeholder reorganization meeting. Always willing to help, here are a few things he should say.  (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 5, 2011