Morning News Digest: March 30, 2011

    Morning News Digest: March 30, 2011   By Missy Rebovich Try State Street Wire, Follow PolitickerNJ on Twitter and Facebook. Text “PNJ” to



Morning News Digest: March 30, 2011


By Missy Rebovich

Try State Street WireFollow PolitickerNJ on Twitter and Facebook. Text “PNJ” to 89800 to receive alerts

McCabe gets in the race for Middlesex Dem chair, setting up McCabe v. Barnes

Kevin P. McCabe, former Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development and former Chairman of the Woodbridge Democratic Organization, today announced that he is seeking the support of the Middlesex County Committeemen and women to be the next Chairman of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



After all-nighter, sides return to their gun placements

The party that gave you George Bush and the party that took boss rule to a new level again went behind closed doors to earnestly and dilligently fulfill the will of the people.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Chris Christie headlines $10M fundraiser

With New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie as the star attraction, the National Republican Congressional Committee will rake in $10 million on Wednesday night at its annual fundraising dinner, according to committee officials.  (Bresnahan and Haberman, Politico)



Christie comes to South Jersey

Gov. Chris Christie used the first third of his town hall meeting in Hammonton on Tuesday to discuss what he called “two huge” issues looming over the state — pension and health benefits reforms.  (Leiser, Gannett)



Gov. Chris Christie outlines plan to fix pension crisis during Hammonton town hall meeting

Locals deserve to hear how deeply in debt the state’s pensions and benefits systems are, Gov. Chris Christie told residents of this conservative stronghold as he opened a town hall-meeting Tuesday.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



Christie fields town-hall queries on budget, as treasurer tangles with lawmakers at hearing

When the governor called on the “guy with gray hair and a mustache,” and the man announced himself as a school superintendent in Stratford, a murmur went through the crowd.  (Katz and Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Democrats label Christie’s town hall meeting, veto of sick leave bill “divisive”

As Gov. Chris Christie took to the floor in Hammonton on Tuesday to defend his aggressive policies on pensions, benefits and cutting other state spending, Democrats agreed with some of his priorities but questioned his public tactics.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



Christie defends lawyer who was target of bias

Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday launched into a spirited defense of a lawyer he nominated for a Superior Court judgeship after a questioner at a town hall meeting said the attorney had defended detainees at the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba where suspected terrorists are being held.  (Staff, Gannett)



Tax on millionaires gains no traction with Christie

Republican Gov. Chris Christie won’t sign a millionaires’ income tax surcharge, the state treasurer said Tuesday, setting up a possible confrontation with a state Legislature controlled by Democrats.  (Method, Courier-Post)|topnews|text|State



Sweeney blamed for court pick delay

Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday the delay in a confirmation hearing for his pick for a Supreme Court seat was driven by the personal feelings of Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney rather than the lawmaker’s complaint that the governor is undermining the independence of the judiciary.  (Staff, Courier-Post)



N.J. state budget takes back seat to redistricting

Last minute meetings to settle the boundaries of New Jersey’s 40 legislative districts have taken precedence over the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee’s review of the proposed $29.4 billion 2011-12 state budget.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



Republicans argue current N.J. legislative district map favors Democrats

Republicans seeking to sway a “tiebreaker” to choose their version of how new legislative districts should be drawn are making this argument as talks go around the clock: Three times in the last decade, more New Jerseyans in total voted for GOP candidates for the Legislature, but Democrats easily won the majority of the seats.  (Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



Garrett proposals would revamp mortgage giants Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would no longer face a federal mandate to invest in affordable housing, but they also would not be dismantled completely, under a package of bills Rep. Scott Garrett unveiled Tuesday.  (Jackson, The Record)



N.J. denies backing to planned Glouco power plant

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities dealt a blow Tuesday to a nearly $1 billion Gloucester County power plant project that could have brought 500 construction jobs to the region starting this summer.  (Hefler, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



State Sen. Jeff Van Drew wants parkway operator to explain discrepancy in reason given for tree clearing

A state senator is calling on the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to explain why it repeatedly misrepresented the purpose of the massive tree-clearing project along a 34-mile stretch of the Garden State Parkway.  (Spahr, Press of Atlantic City)



Camden slaying linked to early-release law

A man accused of killing a youth in Camden was released early from state prison before the slaying, and a South Jersey legislator says that’s a reason to end the controversial program.  (Walsh, Courier-Post)|head



Port Authority officials consider acquisition of Atlantic City International Airport

Legislation that paved the way for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s takeover of Stewart Airport in upstate New York, well outside the official port district, also allows the agency to acquire an airport outside the district in New Jersey.  (Strunsky, The Star-Ledger)



Turnpike Authority plans to raise fees, scale back discounts

Drivers who hold out-of-state E-ZPass accounts and toll violators may soon have to dig deeper.  (Higgs, Gannett)|head



Camco GOP election may be put off

The election of a new Camden County Republican Committee chairman will be postponed for the second time if the dark horse candidate gets his way.  (Roh, Courier-Post)



In his own words: Judge Doyne and his evidentiary opinion

Before moving on to yet more court hearings and documents surrounding the Abbott v. Burke school equity case — there have been 20 decisions after all — there is an opportunity to revisit an opinion that was as deep as it was long.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Kazmark announces run for Woodland Park mayor

Former Councilman Keith Kazmark publicly announced his candidacy for mayor Monday, backed by the approvals of prominent Democratic Party officials.  (Lawrence, The Record)



Budget spotlight: Hackettstown and Newark

Four weeks before the April 27 school budget elections, NJ Spotlight will travel New Jersey to provide occasional snapshots of how local communities are grappling with the costs of public education in what remains a fragile economy.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



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Chivukula questions Christie decision excluding regional greenhouse gas initiative from energy master plan

Assemblyman Upendra J Chivukula (D-17), of Somerset, who wrote the state’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), questioned Gov. Chris Christie’s decision not to include RGGI in the continuously-delayed Energy Master Plan.  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



New director named at state investigations board

The State Commission of Investigation on Tuesday appointed Philip James Degnan, an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, its executive director effective May 9.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Burzichelli predicts restoration of blind-child education funding

When the lower-chamber budget team traveled to Montclair State University two weeks ago, Assemblyman John Burzichelli, (D-3), of Paulsboro, promised 12-year-old Anthony Tumminello he would find the answer to why Gov. Chris Christie’s budget calls for $1.5 million in cuts in education services for blind children such as Tumminello.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



Greenwald says Christie failed to devise true property tax relief

Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald, (D-6), Voorhees, criticized the Christie administration Tuesday alleging failure to come up with a viable property tax relief plan.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Medicaid waiver to be submitted after July 1

The state is applying for a federal waiver to clear $300 million from a $1.3 billion Medicaid shortfall in the FY2012 budget, and state Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff was grilled on how this waiver process will work today by Assemblywoman Joan Quigley, (D-32), of Jersey City.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room 



Hanging at the Heldrich

The two sides have skidded to a halt at the Heldrich Hotel. Sources say both sides have submitted revamped maps to Dr. Alan Rosenthal of Rutgers University and are due for late evening interviews with the 11th member.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)







Chris Christie makes it rain…on D.C. Republicans

Gov. Chris Christie is leaving a key constituency with more money in their pockets than when they first met: the national GOP.  (Roh, Courier-Post)



Looking back at the start of school-funding fight

New Jersey has been arguing about how to pay for public schools, and how much to pay, for almost four decades. All three branches of the state government have been involved: the Legislature, the governor’s office and the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court.  (Ahearn, The Record)



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Morning News Digest: March 30, 2011