Morning News Digest: May 4, 2011



Morning News Digest: May 4, 2011


By Missy Rebovich

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DiVincenzo huddles up with Dem Party power players

Political lesson number one: when you’re wounded, don’t curl up in a ball – go on the attack with muscles rippling and pray for the intervention of time.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



More firings at PVSC

Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission Director Wayne Forrest fired another 18 employees at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission – and more are on the way, according to insiders.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Water commission wavers on rehiring lobbying firm

The Passaic Valley Water Commission is thinking of dumping its politically connected grant-writing firm, Millennium Strategies LLC, rather than continue paying the $5,000-a-month retainer.  (Cowen, The Record)



After bin Laden’s death, New Jersey’s senators want answers on aid to Pakistan

Sen. Frank Lautenberg dug in his heels against additional federal aid to Pakistan on Tuesday, angered about anti-American protests in Islamabad and the failure of Pakistani security forces to notice Osama bin Laden hiding in a residential compound.  (Jackson, The Record)



Christie vows to fight Obama administration in court over $271M for scrapped ARC tunnel

Come and get it.

That was what Gov. Chris Christie had to say today to federal officials demanding that New Jersey repay $271 million after he scrapped plans to build a new rail tunnel from New Jersey to Manhattan.  (Rizzo, The Star-Ledger)



Christie is top Republican presidential candidate

Out of 18 potential Republican presidential candidates, Gov. Chris Christie has emerged as the favorite of likely GOP primary voters, according to a Rasmussen poll made public Tuesday.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



Gov: I won’t run for president

Josephine Lisciandro of Covered Bridge waited through most of Gov. Chris Christie’s town hall meeting here to ask one question: If he became president, what would he do to reduce gas prices?  (Williams Boyd, Gannett)



Christie picks Newark schools chief

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has selected Cami Anderson, a top New York City schools official, to lead the state-run Newark Public School system, according to several people with knowledge of the selection.  (Fleisher and Martinez, The Wall Street Journal)



Christie and developers detail plan for Xanadu complex

Much bigger and more expensive, but less gaudy: Gov. Chris Christie and developers laid out a new vision on Tuesday for completing and expanding the vast retail and entertainment complex formerly known as Xanadu in the Meadowlands.  (Pérez-Peña, The New York Times)



N.J. Sen. Weinberg demands Christie restore funding for family planning centers

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg vowed Tuesday an all-out war by female Democratic lawmakers against Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed $29.4 billion budget if he does not include $1 million to treat lower-income women at health centers.  (Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



State probes double-dipping allegations

Officials say they’re looking into possible double dipping by sheriff’s officers in three counties who may be improperly collecting pensions from previous law enforcement jobs on top of their salaries.  (The Associated Press)



N.J. seeks policy to disqualify more workers from OT

The Christie administration is seeking to make it tougher for white-collar workers to qualify for overtime.  (Renshaw, The Record)



Assembly to debate joblessness tax charges

Employers face three more years of increases in unemployment fund taxes and a longer wait until rates are reduced under legislation set for for a vote by an Assembly committee Thursday.  (Symons, Gannett)



Ballot position in question for 38th primary

A judge has temporarily barred the Bergen County clerk from printing ballots for the 38th District’s Republican primary election where GOP state Senate candidate Kenneth Del Vecchio is not listed in the ballot position he claims was initially assigned to him.  (Sudol, The Record)



Carl Lewis back to court to get on ballot

Attorneys representing Democratic state Senate hopeful Carl Lewis will be back in court this morning in the increasingly difficult fight to get him on the 8th legislative district primary ballot.  (Roh, Gannett)



Legislators, resident advocates demand answers to Vineland Developmental Center closure questions

Despite philosophical disagreements regarding care for the developmentally disabled, those opposed to the proposed Vineland Developmental Center (VDC) closure agree with the state on at least one point: care for the consumer is the highest priority.  (Taniguchi, The News of Cumberland County)



Evaluating school principals: The “other” educators

As teacher tenure and other reforms get debated ad nauseum in New Jersey, one topic that seems to have fallen off the radar screen is how to improve the quality of the people who actually supervise teachers: school principals.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Push for more conventions pays off: New Jersey Chamber of Commerce bringing event to Atlantic City in September

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce is coming to Atlantic City this September, as a state push for more convention business here shows early results.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



New Jersey saltwater anglers can now fish for free

The state has set up a web-based saltwater fishing registry, a system that is keeping recreational saltwater fishing in New Jersey a sport anyone can enjoy without having to pay fees.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



Turnpike Authority details plan to end off-peak E-ZPass discounts for some turnpike drivers

Halfway through a public hearing Tuesday on eliminating off-peak toll discounts on the New Jersey Turnpike for some E-ZPass users, not a single member of the public had shown up to weigh in.  (Hayes, The Record)



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Christie on ARC money: “I ain’t payin it.’

Gov. Chris Christie today said he has no plans to pay back the federal government $271 million already spent on the Access to the Region’s Core tunnel.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Overheard in Monmouth: Christie’s town hall sound-bites

Gov. Chris Christie has more than three dozen town halls under his belt and still is keeping the audience engaged and laughing on serious issues. How?  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



At 39th town hall, ‘teacher’ Christie gives ‘student’ Dems a report card

He started a half-hour late, but Gov. Chris Christie stood grinning at the center of applauding folks at the Monmouth County over-55 community recreation center in Manalapan, a political swing town, with grades on a poster board behind him.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



Christie: PVSC security axed after raw materials “grow legs”

At his town hall today, Gov. Chris Christie said today’s firings at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority, reported at PolitickerNJ, were based on a few disconcerting facts.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room



County party committees raise nearly $1.1 million in three months

With legislative campaigns looming this fall, county party committees jointly have $1.0 million in reserve after raising nearly $1.1 million during the first three months of 2011, according to quarterly reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)





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Morning News Digest: May 4, 2011