Morning News Digest: May 9, 2011

Morning News Digest: May 9, 2011

By Missy Rebovich

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Winners and Losers: Week of May 2nd

Gov. Chris Christie announced this week that the doomed and now kick-started $2.7 billion swamp megamall will be renamed American Dream Meadowlands.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)



Iowans to visit New Jersey Gov. Christie; hope he’ll run for president

Some of Iowa’s top Republican campaign contributors, unhappy with their choices in the developing presidential field, are venturing to New Jersey in hopes they can persuade first-term Gov. Chris Christie to run. The entreaty is the latest sign of dissatisfaction within the Republican Party over the crop of candidates competing for the chance to run against President Barack Obama in 2012.  (Beaumont, The Associated Press)



Christie administration urges school districts to spend

It’s some of the last of the federal stimulus money for New Jersey’s public schools, a cool $200 million still sitting in the bank, and the Christie administration is imploring districts to spend it — or lose it.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Camco Dems deny luring Lewis

When Olympic legend Carl Lewis jumped into the 8th Legislative District Senate race last month, it was widely assumed Democrats in Camden County — not Burlington — deserved the credit.  (Roh, Gannett)



Bill to stagger New Jersey business tax hike advances

New Jersey’s unemployment-benefits fund is broke, but there is bipartisan agreement in Trenton that a steep tax hike on businesses is not the way to build reserves.  (Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Cap-and-trade pact draws fire

Sen. Diane Allen and Sen. Michael Doherty are diving into the debate over the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative with the assistance of a conservative former gubernatorial candidate who has consistently railed against the pact.  (New Jersey Press Media)|topnews|text|State



Crunch of pension, benefit costs may be hitting N.J. now

New Jersey’s long-term pension and benefit costs for government workers may not just be a ticking time bomb; it also could be costing taxpayers right now.  (Method, Gannett)



Seeking business, states loosen insurance rules

Companies looking to do business in secret once had to travel to places like the Cayman Islands or Bermuda.  (Williams Walsh and Story, The New York Times)



NJ ranked 47th as place to do business CEO poll

Despite Governor Christie’s efforts to make New Jersey more business-friendly, the state has yet to improve its position in an annual ranking.  (Morley, The Record)



N.J. Assembly this week to consider harsher legislation against those who harm police dogs

People who intentionally kill police dogs or dogs involved in search and rescue operations may soon face stiffer penalties in New Jersey.  (The Associated Press)



Newark leaders are seeking lessons from peace summit

Newark resident Dashaun “Jiwe” Morris, a self-described “gangbanger” turned community activist, says he hopes an upcoming peace summit in his city will bring some much needed attention to the problems facing the city’s youth.  (Henry, The Associated Press)



Commuter rail lines slated to get federal aid

The New York region is set to receive a large chunk of federal money to improve its rail system, people familiar with the matter said.  (Fleisher and Grossman, The Wall Street Journal)



Local, state, federal interests in Atlantic City Airport complicate sale

Viewed from the air by the 1.4 million passengers who used it last year, the Atlantic City International Airport site may appear seamless.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



Newark’s new school superintendent in her own words

Cami Anderson is not short on opinions as to what she can do for Newark public schools as their new superintendent.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



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U.S. unemployment rate at 9 percent, initial jobless claims increase in New Jersey highest in nation

The U.S. economy added 244,000 jobs last month, but the unemployment rate edged up slightly to 9 percent.  (Isherwood, State Street Wire)



Bill would permit microbreweries to increase production while cutting some fees

Fans of craft beer, you might want to lift a pint for this legislation.

A bill has been introduced that would allow microbreweries to increase production while reducing some fees.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



AG’s Office revises internal affairs procedures

The Attorney General’s Office Friday said it has issued revised, stricter internal affairs procedures, including more monitoring and transparency.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



DEP forms advisory panel as part of Oyster Creek power plant oversight

An advisory panel has been formed to review ongoing safety plans at the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, the Department of Environmental Protection announced Friday.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room



State Supreme Court declines to rule on Lewis appeal

The New Jersey Supreme Court today denied the Petition for Certification finding that “there being no warrant for the Court to address the federal constitutional claims that remain pending in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.”  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Never enter a land war in Asia or Jersey

“Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous of which is ‘never get involved in a land war in Asia.’”

Fans of the cult-classic film “The Princess Bride” know that dialogue well. The smug speaker of these lines thinks he has outwitted the film’s hero in determining which cup before him is laced with poison.  (Doblin, The Record)



Christie discreetly draws in donors

Governor Christie headlined a low-key, big-bucks reception Thursday night at the Saddle River Inn, extending the off-the-radar fund-raising approach hewed during last year’s county executive race.  (Stile, The Record)



Federal budget cuts hit home with Paramus children’s aid charity

Everybody wants to cut the political pork from the federal budget.  (Lipman, The Record)



School elections prove property tax cap and voter approval requirement work

Now that the dust has settled, let’s go back and take a look at the recent school district elections and municipal budget requests. There are lessons to be learned.  (Ingle, Gannett)



Expert gives Meadowlands project 50-50 shot at success

Triple Five Group’s top executives came to the Meadowlands with great fanfare last week, offering a horde of media members a two-hour tour of American Dream Meadowlands, the new name for the Xanadu project.  (Brennan, The Record)



In case you missed it



Retirements dump more red ink on N.J.

Fear that Gov. Chris Christie will cut benefits for New Jersey public employees motivated about 30 percent of multiple job holders to retire last year, saving taxpayers approximately $55 million in salaries.  (Rosen, Gannett)|mostcom



Jail time irrelevant, candidate says

A state Senate candidate who acknowledged Friday that he spent time in jail for deceptive business practices said he did not think his past was relevant to the race.  (DeFalco, The Associated Press)



Camden next on school help list?

Gov. Christie has devoted considerable attention to the failing school district in Newark, the city of his birth.  (Katz, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Lt. Gov. Guadagno’s own records contradict public criticism of N.J. arts council

The testimony was dramatic. The lieutenant governor suggested that all is not well at the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the body responsible for the nurturing of the state’s artistic enterprises. The same body that is considered part of her department.  (McGlone, The Star-Ledger)



Double-dipper numbers decline

Hundreds of so-called “double-dippers” — employees with two or more public jobs — received sizable raises last year even as governments at all levels scaled back operations and reduced staff.  (Clurfeld and Koloff, Gannett)



In New Jersey, pre-pupil cost proves divisive

Does Newark spend $24,500 or $17,000 per pupil to educate its students? Or is it closer to $10,000? Depends who’s counting.  (Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal)



Corzine still a big political spender

Former Gov. Jon Corzine is back where he was when New Jersey voters first heard of him, running a Wall Street firm and raising big money for Washington Democrats.  (Jackson, The Record)



More cash to the capital?

Several top officials in the city administration sat down Friday with Assemblyman Reed Gusciora to hash out ideas to help compensate Trenton for hosting the seat of the state government.  (Fair, The Times of Trenton)



State senators seeking to ratchet up the movement to repeal emissions pact

Sen. Diane Allen and Sen. Michael Doherty are diving into the debate over the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative with the assistance of a conservative former gubernatorial candidate who has consistently railed against the pact.  (Schoonejongen, Gannett)



New rules will force N.J. law enforcement to beef up training, publicize complaints against officers

Law enforcement agencies in the state will have to police themselves much more vigorously under sweeping new rules announced today by Attorney General Paula Dow.  (Rizzo and Megerian, The Star-Ledger)



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