Morning News Digest: August 22, 2011

Morning News Digest: Monday, August 22, 2011

By Missy Rebovich

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Winners and Losers: Week of the Toll Hike NJ-NY lovefest 

The Ames, Iowa Straw Poll produced a winner as Gov. Chris Christie himself appeared to have shaken the last strands of straw out of his gubernatorial stride.

He was apparently no where near either Iowa or a public embrace of the Bachmanns, Pauls, Santorums – or Perrys and Romneys – of the world.

But even as he landed a couple of good-natured jabs on New York and NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the Republican didn’t mind repeatedly riffing on the comfort level he feels in working with New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

As for that and everything else…  (Staff, PolitckerNJ)



Buono targets Christie in her LD 18 general campaign as running mate evokes futute gubernatorial run

Citing what they see as Gov. Chris Christie’s record of “vetoes and venom” and animated by national Tea Party trends they say are tugging the GOP drastically rightward, state Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D-18), Metuchen, and her running mates formally kicked off their general re-election campaign today at Wick Plaza.  (Pizarrro, PolitickerNJ)



In LD 18, a not-too-subtle back story: Joe Spicuzzo versus Rick Perry

Legislative District 18 senate challenger Gloria Dittman (pictured) of Edison today participated in a countywide day of action as she tries to gain support for her challenge of state Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D-18).

Since the statewide GOP establishment hasn’t embraced her specific campaign with big money, Dittman has early eked out a scrappy GOP operation, courtesy of the Middlesex County GOP and friends.

“We called over 500 people,” said Dittman, who made phone calls all day from the county party’s New Brunswick headquarters.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Report: Pawlenty crew only has eyes for Chris Christie

Tim Pawlenty’s campaign hasn’t endorsed a former rival in the presidential race he quit this week because they’re waiting on one more guy to get in the ring: Chris Christie. The Daily Caller’s Amanda Carey reports that Pawlenty’s former staff and fundraisers have been talking all week with the New Jersey governor and urging him to run. The Pawlenty people have even “resisted an overture” from Rep. Paul Ryan this week, according to Carey’s sources. Ryan is another conservative fantasy candidate who’s reportedly reconsidering his decision not to run.

Carey adds that, “At one point, there was discussion of Christie flying to Texas at the beginning of the week; he ultimately nixed that plan.”  (Reeve, National Journal)



How 9/11 changed Christie’s job, family

It was Sept. 10, 2001, and a guy named Chris Christie was elated to get a call from the White House telling him he had been named the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, the state’s top federal prosecutor.

He had no prosecutorial experience, and the highest elected office he’d held was at the county level — and he lost re-election. But he had made a name for himself as a top fundraiser for President George W. Bush and was rewarded with the plum appointment.

The next morning, the job would be dramatically different.

Yet that was the least of Chris Christie’s worries on Sept. 11, 2001, as he waited for hours to hear the fate of his wife, Mary Pat, and brother Todd, who were among the masses working near the fallen towers on 9/11.  (DeFalco, The Associated Press)



New Jersey voters are angry – at everyone

New Jersey is really angry about what’s happening in Washington, and more people in the state blame Republicans for the recent debt-limit crisis, a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released last week shows.

But that is not necessarily good news for Democrats or for President Obama, who got weak or dismal job approval ratings in two other statewide polls over the past week. One survey showed that people who disapproved of Obama would still vote to reelect him.

Confused? You’re not alone.

Pollsters say that after consecutive elections in 2006, 2008 and 2010 where the public nationally chose to give an opposing party more power in Washington, this year people are not sure where to turn.  (Jackson, The Record)



Puzzling moves from N.J. political boss George E. Norcross III

The shouting grew louder as the meeting wore on, echoing across Camden City Council’s art deco-style chambers.

From the audience came cries of “Norcross nephew!” and “Because George says!”

The proposed takeover of the city’s Police Department by the Camden County government had brought out a large crowd, and as Council members tried to explain their position this month, the hecklers jumped on them. But their real target was not even in the room:

George E. Norcross III, an insurance executive and chairman of Cooper University Hospital. He holds no elected office, but is referred to by a former governor as the second most powerful figure in New Jersey politics.  (Osborne, The Philaelphia Inquirer)



NJ Dems will try override of greenhouse gas veto

A top state lawmaker will seek to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of legislation that would keep New Jersey in a multistate pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

Assemblyman John McKeon, an Essex County Democrat who chairs the chamber’s environmental committee, calls the governor’s veto “a giant step backward” toward a clean energy economy.

Christie vetoed the bill late Friday, affirming an earlier decision to pull out of the greenhouse gas reduction pact known as RGGI. Christie had announced in May that New Jersey would pull out of the program by year’s end, saying the program was ineffective at stemming carbon dioxide pollution.  (The Associated Press)



Congressman to tour NJ factory, touting jobs plans

A New Jersey congressman is heading to a high-tech factory to tout a plan to create jobs in both the state and the nation.

Twelve-term Democrat Frank Pallone Jr. will tour the Siemens Hearing Instruments plant on Monday to hear from executives and employees about ways to create manufacturing jobs.

The Siemens facility in Piscataway makes hearing aids. Pallone will be there to promote the Democrats’ “Make It In America” agenda, which hopes to encourage companies to hire more American workers by offering incentives.  (The Associated Press)



New Jersey solar-energy boom hurts market for credits

New Jersey announced last month that it had reached a solar-energy milestone – more than 10,000 solar installations statewide.

But now some worry that the state’s solar industry, second behind only California’s in the United States, is being hurt by its own success.

That’s because an oversupply of solar renewable-energy certificates, a major means of financing solar projects, has led to a dramatic drop in their price in the spot market.

Solar customers earn a certificate every time their system generates 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Power suppliers are required to buy a certain amount of the credits, known as SRECs, to meet New Jersey’s renewable-energy standards.  (Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



NJ withdraws proposed charity fund-raising rule

New Jersey consumer affairs officials have withdrawn a plan restricting the language charities can use in soliciting donors.

Under the proposal announced last month, nonprofit groups would have had to tell donors they could designate which programs their money should fund.

The groups also would have had to note in fund-raising appeals that non-directed donations could be used for whatever purposes the charities chose, including general operating expenses.

But many groups balked, claiming the language implied that management and other overhead expenses are inherently bad.  (The Associated Press)



Agencies to promote ‘Jersey Fresh’ items

New Jersey state agencies will soon be featuring and promoting “Jersey Fresh” products in their eateries.

Gov. Chris Christie recently signed bipartisan legislation that requires the agencies — whenever possible — to provide enhanced visibility and accessibility to “Jersey Fresh” and “Jersey Grown” products they serve.

Proponents say it will benefit farmers and help boost sales of food products made with Garden State produce.

“There is a great interest in buying local and supporting our farmers,” said Douglas H. Fisher, New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture. “State agency food concession patrons do not have to go far to get high quality, healthy Jersey Fresh produce and other state agricultural products.”  (Shipkowski, The Associated Press)|topnews|text|State



Swamp dreams

Out on the edge of the Meadowlands, where the Hackensack River begins a grand and gentle sweep west, a ruin rises from the fields of mosquito-­patrolled phragmites and mostly empty parking lots. It sits between the New Jersey Turnpike’s vast superhighway and the older roads that serve paintball parks and low-slung manufacturers: a ­giant edifice that resembles a ship washed ashore. Or perhaps it was sent here from space, by a race of creatures who mistook Carlstadt, New Jersey, for a ­regional capital and crashed on landing beside Moonachie Creek.

Then again, to call it a ruin is misleading. To say that this empty giant indoor shopping center—larger than the malls at nearby Paramus, Short Hills, Woodbridge, and Wayne combined—is some kind of after suggests there was a before, a time when people ate at Cheesecake Factories or tried on Ray-Bans at Sunglass Huts. This is not the case.  (Sullivan, New York Magazine)



Mall seeks public aid

The new developers of a massive New Jersey amusement and retail project say they are looking for tax breaks and other public assistance worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The stalled $3.8-billion project—formerly known as Xanadu and since renamed American Dream at Meadowlands—has bedeviled two previous teams of developers over eight years. The partially-constructed project now stands stalled.

Now, its new developers, Canada-based Triple Five, are looking to restart it with the help of three forms of tax-free financing that could raise as much as $800 million, the developers say. The financing deals would rely on bond sales tied to future revenues at the development.

Triple Five—which built the Mall of America in Minnesota—says it would use the funds to significantly enlarge the already huge project and make it a major tourist destination, complete with an indoor water park and an indoor ski slope.  (Brown, The Wall Street Jounal)



Secaucus given $133,000 to make various facilities more energy and cost efficient

Secaucus has received more than $133,000 from two sources to perform energy upgrades at municipal facilities, Mayor Michael Gonnelli announced.

The town was approved for a second Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant ($50,000), in addition to another round of funding from Direct Install ($83,686) an energy incentive program offered by the NJ Clean Energy Program.

The monies are expected to pay for the installation of new light fixtures, boilers, switches, thermostats, and sensors at the DPW Garage, the Senior Center, the MUA, and Fire House 3.  (Staff, The Jersey Journal)



Did Newark bet on the wrong sport?

When the first pitch was thrown, there wasn’t much of a crowd in the ballpark to see it. Entire sections were unoccupied. The flow of people through the front gate was a trickle. The most fan-generated noise came from a children’s birthday party on a concourse in the right-field corner.

The Rev. Joe Kwiatkowski, among the few in attendance, said this was not the loneliest feeling he had ever had at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium, capacity 6,200.

“I’ve been here on nights when I literally counted the crowd and it’s been like 90 to 100,” he said from a seat behind first base. “Tonight will probably be a little more because they’ve got fireworks.”  (Araton, The New York Times)



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Gov. signs numerous bills, vetoes RGGI measure

Gov. Christie concluded the week with a flurry of action on bills.

In addition to establishing an advisory council on end-of-life care and revising collection of surplus lines insurance premium taxes, he vetoed an attempt to keep the state in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



‘Anti-Snow Dumping Act’ signed

A bill to prevent commercial snowplow operators from dumping snow onto public areas has become law.

Gov. Chris Christie signed the “Anti-Snow Dumping Act” (S-1924), sponsored by Sen. Donald Norcross, (D-5), Camden/Gloucester.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Bills repealing outdated language regarding women signed into law

Gov. Chris Christie has signed into law bills that repeal very old, derogatory state statutes containing outdated language regarding women’s status.

Among those statues that will be repealed under the new law, S-2665/A-3841,  are the “Married Women’s Property Acts,” which were first enacted in the 1800s and represented an advance for women’s rights at the time because they allowed married women to own, control, and dispose of property. Prior to the statutes’ enactment, the common law had imposed restrictions on married women’s legal and property rights.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room 



Is Kyrillos jittery about Perry?

“It’s a great question,” said the GOP insider, when asked if a successful rightward tilting Republican presidential candidacy of Texas Gov. Rick Perry could force the shuttering of state Sen. Joe Kyrillos’ (R-13) 2012 U.S. Senate campaign.

Kyrillos is only in the exploratory stage of a bid against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and this week at least two Republican allies of the state senator’s chewed over the prospect of Kyrillos aborting operations if Perry appears strong and on his way to winning the Republican nomination of his party.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Finally, someone got it right

When we weren’t looking, a panel of New Jersey Appellate Court judges got it right!  On July 12, a three-judge panel issued a decision that upheld a state agency’s right to reduce benefits because of the state’s financial situation.  In other words, Judges Philip  Carchman, Ronald Graves and Carmen Messano agreed that the state does not have to spend money it does not have.  What a novel concept.  I wonder if that type of sanity will ever make its way to the New Jersey Supreme Court.  (LaRossa, PolitickerNJ)



Congressman Scott Garrett (NJ-5) leads New Jersey trade delegation to CandyLand; Governor cheats on New Jersey with another state

Congressman Scott Garrett of New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District led a trade delegation to CandyLand in order to increase the possibilities of exchange of goods with the small island nation. “Their population is in great need of medical supplies from all their tummy aches. New Jersey’s pharmaceutical can meet that need,” recognized Garrett. He negotiated a trade deal himself, with their big yellow president.  (Novick, PolitickerNJ)



Democrats show interest in courting Wall Streeter

Here is a scenario making the rounds in the Democratic Party lately that might sound eerily familiar: Recruit a wealthy candidate for governor in 2013, a former Wall Street executive who can self-finance his campaign, replenish party coffers with his generosity and contacts, unify a party Balkanized by machine warlords and liberal activists.

No, it’s not a desperate draft Jon Corzine from political exile movement. But the thought of drafting a well-regarded former Corzine colleague has intrigued a few party operatives  (Stile, The Record)



Why the PA should sell off the WTC

The Port Authority toll-hike outrage is a signal to Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie, who control the agency for New York and New Jersey: The Downtown reconstruction project is consuming tolls that should go to bridge and tunnel work, not to real estate.

Sure, the Port Authority backed away from its plan to hike tolls by 50 percent — but only temporarily. EZ-Pass tolls on the Lincoln and Holland tunnels and the George Washington Bridge will reach $9.50 at rush hour in September, up 19 percent. Four years from now, they’ll be $12.50 — a 56 percent hike.  (Gelinas and McMahon, New York Post)



It is more than shrimp that divides us

I was on vacation in Cape Cod two weeks ago. At the inn where I was staying, there was a cocktail party. It was an opportunity for guests at the inn to mingle for a few hours. Conversation was encouraged.

If you’re in the opinion business, it’s smart to shut up at these social gatherings. And if you talk, stick to health and the weather. Avoid politics and religion. As luck would have it, there were folks from New Jersey at the party. Even worse for me was they talked trash about Governor Christie and his reduction of pension and health benefits.  (Doblin, The Record)



Nutter delivers a message to youth

The Abbott school experiment is a colossal failure because it is based on the theory that throwing money at a problem fixes it. Problems facing urban schools are cultural and socio-economic. When people in power face up to that, we can make progress.

There’s not a lot of political profiles in courage because it is easier to toss tax money or make excuses than to say until underlying causes are dealt with, it won’t get any better, just more expensive with more kids’ lives wasted. A few politicians do get it.  (Ingle, Gannett)



In case you missed it 



Christie keeping tight leash on Republicans

When New Jersey was socked by a December blizzard as Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno vacationed out of state, Sen. Sean Kean did something almost unheard of among New Jersey Republicans: He criticized the Christie administration.

The critique was mild. Kean simply told a reporter the administration and then-acting Gov. Stephen Sweeney should have declared a state of emergency sooner.  (Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



Christie treading a fine line on tolls

When New Jersey taxpayers were on the hook for billions in potential cost overruns tied to building a Hudson River transit tunnel last year, Governor Christie stepped in and canceled the project to protect taxpayers.

Christie said last year it would be “unthinkable” to ask state taxpayers to bail out the $2 billion to $5 billion over budget tunnel project.  (Reitmeyer, The Record)



Democrats considered recalling Gov. Chris Christie

For a brief time this summer, Democrats were considering doing something no major political party has ever attempted in New Jersey, The Auditor has learned: Recall a sitting governor.

As outrage among Democrats over Gov. Chris Christie’s budget cuts simmered in late June and early July, at least one high level Democrat — Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), the party’s state chairman — seriously considered an all-out effort by the party and its allies to collect the 1.3 million signatures necessary to remove Christie from office.  (The Auditor, The Star-Ledger)



New Jersey against re-election of Gov. Christie in 2013

As out-of-state Republicans urge Gov. Chris Christie to seek the party’s presidential nomination next year, a majority of New Jerseyans questioned in a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll made public on Friday say they would not vote to re-elect him as governor in 2013.

Forty-nine percent said they would support another candidate while 42 percent said they would vote for Christie.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



Top Christie adviser seen as national GOP force

At a private dinner in New York last December, Robert E. Grady was one of some 18 guests urging Gov. Chris Christie to run for president.

Christie, as he has stated publicly and repeatedly, told his suitors he wasn’t ready. Some of the guests countered that neither was President Barack Obama in 2008. “I rest my case,” Christie shot back.  (Method, Gannett)



Christie signs two laws in support of New Jersey National Guard

New Jersey National Guard troops, veterans and military families will get new services to help them cope with wartime deployments and their aftermath under two new laws signed by Gov. Chris Christie on Friday.

One measure establishes a permanent 24-hour free hot line for veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress and other psychological and emotional issues. The other funds a council to support families of those serving at a difficult time when troops from New Jersey are fighting in conflicts all over the world.  (Lederman, The Associated Press)



Christie pulls N.J. out of clean-air pact

Governor Christie vetoed legislation late Friday that would have required New Jersey to remain in a 10-state program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — a program Christie had previously called a “failure.”

Christie announced in May that the state would withdraw at year’s end from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, saying the program had not changed behavior or reduced greenhouse gas emissions but that it had raised the cost of electricity for state residents and businesses.  (O’Neill, The Record)



Gov. vetoes bay storm-water bill

Saying homeowners and businesses cannot afford new fees, Gov. Chris Christie on Friday vetoed legislation that would allow Ocean County to establish a new storm-water utility to help restore Barnegat Bay.

“Notwithstanding my administration’s strong and dedicated commitment to the Barnegat Bay environment, I cannot support new fees imposed in addition to what are already the nation’s highest property taxes,” Christie said in a four-page statement to legislators that was also a spirited defense of the administration’s strategy for the bay.  (Moore, Gannett)



NY Fed president sees hope for N.J.’s economic recovery

New Jersey’s economy has gotten a pretty bad rap in the past few months.

First, S&P downgraded its rating on the state’s bonds, citing high debt levels and an underfunded pension system. Then, Moody’s joined in, pointing to a sluggish recovery, rising costs and lack of a clear financial strategy. Fitch followed suit Wednesday, apparently unswayed by the newly-minted state budget.  (Kwoh, That Star-Ledger)



In New Jersey, oversight of higher education is up in the air

The days leading to the approval of New Jersey’s budget in June were chaotic, with fears of a July 1 government shutdown and rumors about what Republican Gov. Christie planned to do with the Democrats’ spending proposal.

On June 29, amid that din, Christie’s office released an order to reorganize government – including a mandate to eliminate the Commission on Higher Education, which oversees the state’s colleges and universities.  (Katz, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Lawmakers pressure Christie to help racing, casino sectors

New Jersey lawmakers are having second thoughts about overhauls to the state’s horse racing and casino industries.

With the owners of the 900-acre Perretti Farms announcing last week they plan to get out of racehorse breeding, state Sen. Raymond Lesniak and others have called for state intervention to head off a collapse for other breeders and racetracks.  (Jordan, Gannett)



NJ Sen. Lautenberg among richest in Congress with $55M in assets

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, one of the most liberal members of Congress, is also one of its wealthiest, according to a Capitol Hill publication.

The Democratic senator is the seventh-richest lawmaker on Capitol Hill, with his and his wife’s assets worth at least $55.07 million and no reported liabilities, according to the latest edition of Roll Call magazine.  (Chebium, Gannett)



Carl Lewis can continue his Senate run – for now

Carl Lewis can continue his run for state Senate until a final decision on his candidacy in federal court, a judge said Friday.

Because the November election ballot will not go to print until Sept. 18 at the earliest, U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman said he would not rule on Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno’s decision this week, in her capacity as secretary of state, not to certify the former Olympian’s candidacy.  (Farrell, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Sen. Stack holds a political revival at Fulop suds gathering

I guess Jersey City Councilman Steven Fulop was kidding when he said: “You know, it’s supposed to be a closed meeting.”

After all, he was half-smiling. Yet, the councilman’s non-smiling half was edgy, and there was a pinch of nervous energy in his body language.

I responded — with a half-serious smile: “So, throw me out.”

C’mon, after all, it’s a beer garden, Peter Mocco’s place at Liberty Harbor North. You would of thought Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy and his crew would have been here just for the ambience.  (Torres, The Jersey Journal)



N.J. state Sen. Steve Oroho receives financial support from four unions

Four trade unions have contributed a combined $15,475 to Republican incumbent Sen. Steve Oroho’s re-election campaign.

Oroho’s political opponents say the unions are ignoring ideological beliefs — unions typically back Democratic candidates — to hedge their bets, as if on a horse race. Experts cite building relationships as the reason for the donations.  (Molnar, The Express-Times)



New Jersey public colleges’ tuition rises 4 percent on average

Undergraduate tuition and fees at the state’s 10 public colleges will increase an average of 4 percent for the 2011-12 academic year, data compiled by The Press of Atlantic City show.

With no state legislative cap on tuition this year, the increases range from 1.6 percent at Rutgers University to 7.2 percent at New Jersey City University. But even with the increase, NJCU will still be the most affordable state four-year college, costing $10,021.  (D’Amico, Press of Atlantic City)



New Jersey’s economic development team bears female stamp

The Old Boys’ Club of New Jersey business is undergoing a makeover.

By coincidence or design, the three most powerful people in Governor Christie’s economic development team are women, putting a female stamp on New Jersey’s aggressive effort to become more business friendly.

The trend began with Christie’s choice of his running mate, Kim Guadagno — the state’s first lieutenant governor — to head his effort to create jobs and boost the economy.  (Morley, The Record)



N.J. attorney general looks into whether Passaic Valley Water commissioner favored ex-client

The attorney general has subpoenaed documents from the Passaic Valley Water Commission to determine whether one of the commissioners improperly steered a $743,000 contract to a former client, according to three sources familiar with the investigation.

The documents focus on the contract awarded to Medina Consultants, an infrastructure-engineering firm, in October 2009.  (Goldberg, The Star-Ledger)



Elizabeth school officials’ kids don’t pay full meal costs, records show

When schools open in Elizabeth next month, Carlos Lucio’s 6-year-old daughter is scheduled to receive a subsidized lunch through a federally supported program that helps feed children of needy families.

Lucio is a school principal for the Elizabeth Board of Education, with an annual salary of $103,163.  (Sherman, The Star-Ledger)



Chris Christie, American’s Caesar

Near the statehouse office of New Jersey’s 55th governor sits a sort of shrine to the 34th. Fortunately, Chris Christie is unlike Woodrow Wilson.

Christie, who resembles Falstaff in girth and Jack Dempsey in pugnacity, is a visceral politician who thrives on conflict. Wilson — lean, intellectual and pious, particularly about himself — regarded opposition as impious.  (Will, The Washington Post)



Christie must move on ‘foreclosure rescue bill’

Hunting season is about to reopen in New Jersey. No, not for bears, not for deer. But for the tens of thousands of people in the meat-grinder of home foreclosure. The hunters, the predators, aren’t people with guns, but people with stacks of paper who, while promising their prey “rescue,” all too often are stealing their homes.  (Braun, The Star-Ledger)



Christie? President? Fuhgeddaboudit!

CAN WE STOP THE INSANITY? Chris Christie will never be president. There, I said it. Quote me. Note the date and time. Chisel this onto my tombstone when I pass, probably from Christie Overload.

He won’t be president. Not in 2013. Not in 2017. Not from here to Hawaii. Not from here to eternity.  (Manahan, The Star-Ledger)



Christie’s farm policy wouldn’t play in Peoria – or Des Moines

Chris Christie is not the first prominent New Jersey politician who’s been pushed for the presidency in recent years. He’s not even the first with an alliterative name. In 2000, Bill Bradley made a run for the Democratic nomination for president.

Bradley ran into trouble in Iowa, traditionally the first state to award delegates. Eventual victor Al Gore figured he could score some points by highlighting Bradley’s inattention to farm issues during the 18 years he represented New Jersey in the U.S. Senate. To that end, Gore’s campaign flew a farmer from Monroe Township out to appear at an Iowa farm.  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)



The incredible shrinking mayor

A top aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared the other day that Mayor Bloomberg is “not the dictator anymore.” Though spoken by someone who’s obviously never tripped over a Gotham bike lane, the comment contains more than a nugget of truth.  (Goodwin, NY Post)


  Morning News Digest: August 22, 2011