Morning News Digest: September 21, 2011

Morning News Digest: Wednesday, September 21, 2011

By Missy Rebovich

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Smith authored autism bill passes House.  Senate version held by GOP

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a measure that will extend funding for autism research, detection and awareness for another three years.

The a bipartisan bill  authored by Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) passed unanimously in a voice vote.  Despite the measure’s smooth sailing in the House, a senate version of the bill was blocked by conservative Republicans who objected to “disease specific” funding.  U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has put a hold on the bill in the upper house.

“This legislation is critically important to continue without interruption the progress we have made in understanding autism and in developing interventions that will have the greatest impact in helping individuals affected by autism or another developmental disability,” said Smith. “When I first got elected to Congress in 1980, the community accepted that autism prevalence rates in the United States were 3 in 10,000.  Today, it is estimated to be 1 in 110, and in some places like New Jersey, 1 in 94 – for a total of 1.5 million individuals in the United States and autism is on the rise everywhere.”  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)

http://www.politickernj.com/51083/smith-authored-autism-bill-passes-house-senate-version-held-gop

 

 

State Sen. Doherty to endorse Ron Paul

State Sen. Michael Doherty is set to endorse Ron Paul Monday according to a release from the campaign.

“New Jersey’s motto is ‘Liberty and prosperity’ so it is fitting that a tireless proponent of these values is stepping forward to endorse Ron Paul, the nation’s undisputed champion of personal and economic freedom,” said National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton.

Doherty, who endorsed Paul in 2008, said the candidate is the only one in the GOP field spreading the right message.

I suppoterd Ron Paul in 2008 and I think what has happened in the meantime makes my decision in 2008 a correct one,” Doherty said, citing Paul’s stance on the Federal Reserve and the importance of a strong dollar. “I don’t think anything has changed regarding those issues.”

Doherty, who served in the U.S. Army and is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, said he also supports Paul’s stance on the military.  The country’s armed forces have no business policing foreign coutries, Doherty said.  They shoul dbe brought home from Iraq and Afghanistan and the money saved should be used to strengthen U.S. borders.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)

http://www.politickernj.com/51078/state-sen-doherty-endorse-ron-paul

 

 

In battleground LD38, Maywood councilwoman rebuff Eustace, changes party affiliation from D to R

Maywood Councilwoman Marianne Auriemma announced today that she has changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican effective immediately.  

“There were many factors that went into the decision to change parties, but perhaps the largest reason was that the Republican ideals of fiscal responsibility and smaller government were totally foreign to the Democrats on the council at a time when we need those ideals the most,” said Auriemma, who planned an afternoon press availability with welcoming Bergen County Republican Organization Chairman Bob Yudin.

“A town like Maywood needs to be preserved and the Democrats seem to be operating without a plan to maintain the Borough’s integrity.  I have come to realize that I have been voting like a Republican for some time.  My conversion is a natural progression of my ideals and ideas.”

“A town like Maywood needs to be preserved and the Democrats seem to be operating without a plan to maintain the Borough’s integrity.  I have come to realize that I have been voting like a Republican for some time.  My conversion is a natural progression of my ideals and ideas.”  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

http://www.politickernj.com/51075/maywood-councilman-changes-party-affiliation-democrat-republican

 

 

Christie details how he informs Guadagno he’s leaving the state

For an overnight trip out of state, she gets an official letter from his attorney. For two hours in Philadelphia or Manhattan for lunch, she gets a phone call.

That is Gov. Christie’s practice for notifying Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno that she is in charge of New Jersey, as elucidated by Christie at a news conference Tuesday.

This somewhat mundane formality became a politically charged issue after a secret Christie speech in Colorado came to light this month. On Monday, State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D., Bergen), who lost her bid for lieutenant governor on Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s ticket, introduced a bill to formalize the notification process.

“Guys, understand what this is, it’s all politics,” Christie said. “All of a sudden Loretta Weinberg is concerned about this. Jon Corzine was overnight in New York four nights a week, five nights a week, I never heard her be concerned about it.”  (Katz, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/130244878.html

 

 

Lt. Gov. assumes power in NJ 26 times so far

In the 20 months since being elected, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno has formally assumed power at least 26 times, according to public records released this week.

But what the records don’t show far outweighs what they do.

They don’t show how often Gov. Chris Christie has left the state or what the circumstances were when he did. And the decision to transfer power is largely the governor’s decision to make.

While other governors have transferred power more often than Christie — Democrat Gov. Jon Corzine spent a portion of more than 100 days out of the state in 2008 and Republican Christine Todd Whitman also hit triple digits for days out of state in 1997 — it is tough to compare.

Before 2010, there was no lieutenant governor and sitting governors were expected to transfer power anytime they left the state, legally handing the reins to the Senate President, who was sometimes from a different party.  (Associated Press)

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Lt-Gov-assumes-power-in-NJ-26-times-so-far-130244298.html

 

 

Weinberg’s travel criticism ‘just politics,’ Christie says

Governor Christie has dismissed efforts by Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, to curb his private travel, saying Tuesday her suggestion that he give written notice whenever he goes out of state was “just politics.”

Weinberg introduced legislation Monday that would require a governor to give one day’s notice if he left the state for political or personal trips.

Christie, who frequently passes power temporarily to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno when he leaves the state, said Tuesday his office already sends letters to Guadagno and legislators when he expects to be out of New Jersey overnight. In two cases, he said, his counsel’s office had failed to do that.

But daylong trips across state lines to political events just merit a call to Guadagno, he said.

“If it’s intraday — I go to Philadelphia to give a speech,” he said. “I go to New York to give a speech. I go to Colorado to give a speech. We don’t send letters.”  (Fletcher, The Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/news/politics/Weinbergs_travel_criticism_just_politics_Christie_says.html

 

 

As Gov. Chris Christie’s national profile rises, new TV ad highlights his accomplishments

For all his insistence that he isn’t interested in living in downtown Washington anytime soon, Gov. Chris Christie has sure been talking about the place a lot lately.

Take Monday, for instance.

“They’re ignoring the problems of Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security and even though they can be fixed they’re, ‘too hard,’ ” Christie told a gathering in Union as he merrily mocked federal politicians.

Then Tuesday, a polished ad by a group of Christie donors materialized — part of a $1.5 million campaign — that will be shown on television stations in New York and Philadelphia.

“Runaway spending, record debt, gridlock government,” it begins. “Washington is backwards. But Chris Christie, with bipartisan support, is taking New Jersey another direction.”

Since the governor scored his biggest victory in June, which is when the Democratic-controlled Legislature passed his overhaul of public employee benefits, his remarks about Washington — what it is and is not doing right — have poured forth.  (Gibson, The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/09/as_gov_chris_christies_nationa.html

 

 

Clinton donor helps Christie raise millions outside New Jersey

Billionaire John Catsimatidis, one of Bill Clinton’s biggest fundraisers in the 1990s, is the face of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s success drawing out-of- state cash for November’s legislative elections.

Catsimatidis, 63, said he gave $25,000 to the New Jersey Republican State Committee in June, personally and through Red Apple Group, his New York investment company. Donors from Florida to Colorado helped drive a 12-fold increase in funds from other states for the party this year, when all 120 members of the Democratic-controlled Legislature face re-election.

Whether you agree with him on everything he expounds is irrelevant,” Catsimatidis, a Democrat-turned-Republican, said of Christie in a telephone interview. “He’s an honest guy, number one. And number two, he’s on the taxpayers’ side. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a combination of the two.”  (Dopp, Bloomberg)

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-09-21/clinton-donor-helps-christie-raise-millions-outside-new-jersey.html

 

 

Christie to work at tightening disability pension rules

Gov. Chris Christie promised Tuesday to work to tighten pension disability rules two days after a published report raised questions as to whether some workers, in particular police and firefighters, were gaming the system.

“This is something we need to work with the Legislature on, to tighten up, in terms of the disability pensions being taken,” Christie said at an afternoon press conference where he took questions on a range of topics.

“Nobody wants that kind of stuff going on, most of all the police and firefighters, who want their pension,” he added.

Christie said rank-and-file workers should want tougher disability requirements as a protection to a pension system that is currently underfunded.

Christie noted that under reform measures passed in June, annual cost-of-living increases for retirees will be eliminated until individual pension funds have enough cash assets to cover 80 percent of their long-term costs.

Hence, “they don’t need people jumping in there to take disability pensions,” Christie said.  (Method, Gannett)

http://www.app.com/article/C0/20110920/NJNEWS/309200039/Christie-work-tightening-disability-pension-rules

 

 

Partisan dispute puts special aid for NJ cities at risk

A partisan fight in Trenton over special aid that goes every year to New Jersey’s neediest municipalities could continue deep into the fall even as cities such as Paterson are “hanging on by a thread,” as one advocate put it.

Governor Christie, a Republican, and the Democrats who control the state Legislature were unable to reach an agreement before the new state budget was enacted in early July on how to best monitor the $149 million that was to go to cities such as Paterson and Passaic.

And with little action expected before the November election, when all 120 legislative seats are up for grabs, there is slim hope for a breakthrough that would free up the funds even as the cities have had to lay off police officers and other workers due to the poor economy.

“We sit here now in September still with no action,” said Bill Dressel, executive director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities. “There are some municipalities out there that are hanging on by a thread.”  (Reitmeyer, The Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/news/state/politics/Partisan_dispute_puts_special_aid_for_NJ_cities_at_risk.html

 

 

Christie to fast-track medical schools merger

Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that his administration will move quickly to merge Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and a public health school into Rutgers University’s Central Jersey campus.

An advisory committee he appointed to examine the future of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey filed an interim report Tuesday, and Christie said he will swiftly enact its ideas through an executive reorganization. Such a move can be vetoed by the Legislature within two months of its formal filing, but it doesn’t require lawmaker approval to be enacted.

The committee will also assess the future of medical education in North and South Jersey, but those recommendations will wait until a final report is filed by year’s end.

UMDNJ runs educational programs in both regions: University Hospital in Newark is struggling financially, and Rowan University is developing a medical school with Cooper University Hospital in Camden.

Christie alluded to the criminal investigation of UMDNJ for Medicare and Medicaid fraud he pursued as U.S. attorney for New Jersey, which ended with a federal monitor installed to ensure governance changes at the school.  (Symons, Gannett)

http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20110920/NJNEWS/309200050/Christie-fast-track-medical-schools-merger

 

 

Getting ready for Race to the Top III

After all New Jersey went through with the federal Race to the Top competition last year, the next round may seem anticlimactic. And that’s even if it wins.

The federal Department of Education has released the initial guidelines for the third round of the competition — and it’s a distant third to its predecessors.

For one thing, after New Jersey barely missed out on receiving close to $400 million last time, the prize money for this round will be a maximum of $28 million. For another, the competition is definitely leaner, with only the nine previous finalists eligible to apply.

The federal department will do its own reviews and decision-making as well, eliminating outside teams of judges that tripped up New Jersey last time out. It was before the judges that former Commissioner of Education Bret Schundler and his team were caught in an error in the application, ultimately leading to his firing by Gov. Chris Christie.

Still, New Jersey has some challenges ahead to meet the new requirements, many of them similar to the last ones. For instance, the competition requires states to have the formal pieces in place for improved evaluation of teachers and the expansion of quality charter schools.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/11/0920/2205/

 

 

Facebook funds go to teachers

Some of Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to the Newark school system will be given directly to public schoolteachers, one year after the Facebook founder announced the donation, said three people familiar with the plans.

The foundation that manages the gift will announce Wednesday a two-year, $600,000 program that provides $10,000 grants to teachers or groups of teachers who come up with innovative classroom programs, these people said.

It’s one of the few programs so far to come out of the high-profile donation, which was announced on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” last year by Mr. Zuckerberg, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s gift has drawn scrutiny from some Newark residents who are skeptical of outside direction after years of state control for the city’s school system has done little to alleviate its problems.  (Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904106704576583571812451968.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

 

 

N.J. educators and police directed to work more closely on school bullying incidents

New Jersey school districts and police must improve their reporting systems and information sharing in order to effectively address incidents of bullying, according to a memorandum issued by the state’s attorney general Tuesday.

In the past, schools typically would suspend their own investigations when police took over a bullying case. However, the new Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act calls for schools to complete harassment, intimidation or bullying investigations within 10 school days. As a result, coordination between school officials and law enforcement is critical, the directive states.

The memorandum provides tighter standards for schools and law enforcement regarding reporting and information sharing, the preservation of evidence, the coordination of investigations and testimony at school student conduct hearings.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)

http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/nj-educators-and-police-directed-to-work-more-closely-on-school-bullying-incidents

 

 

‘Jersey Shore’ tax credit may be vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie

Gov. Chris Christie has not ruled out blocking a controversial tax credit awarded last week to the hit MTV television show “Jersey Shore.”

At a news conference Tuesday, the governor said he was just as surprised as the public to learn that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority had granted a $420,000 film tax credit — later coined the ‘Snooki subsidy’ — to the company that produced the inaugural season of “Jersey Shore.”

But in setting the record straight, Christie perked up like a winner at Boardwalk game of chance, and took a free shot at state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), who had criticized the governor for granting the credit.

Christie — a vocal critic of the show and the tax incentive program — said his office would review the actions of the authority once his office receives the minutes of the meeting and decide whether to veto the tax credit.

Last week a spokesman for Christie, Michael Drewniak, said the governor could not veto the authority’s action. But the governor said Tuesday that Drewniak was mistaken. Based on the program’s guidelines, Christie has until at least the end of the week to make a decision.  (Renshaw, The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/09/gov_chris_christie_has_not_rul.html

 

 

Newark corruption trial: Cory Booker testifies in trial of ex-deputy mayor

Newark Mayor Cory Booker distanced himself today from alleged corruption in the early days of his administration, testifying in federal court that he was unaware former Deputy Mayor Ronald Salahuddin’s was allegedly fixing government contracts.

Booker took the witness stand against Salahuddin and Salahuddin’s alleged co-conspirator, Newark business owner Sonnie Cooper. Cooper and Salahuddin are charged with multiple counts of extortion and bribery.

The government claims Salahuddin used his status as a government official to influence demolition contracts around the Prudential Center in return for political donations to non-profit organizations associated with the city.

Booker testified today that in 2006 and 2007, the first two years of his administration, he had no knowledge of any business relationship between Cooper and Salahuddin, wasn’t aware Salahuddin was allegedly soliciting donations to non-profit organizations, and knew nothing of Salahuddin’s involvement in city demolition contracts.  (DeMarco, The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/09/newark_corruption_trial_cory_b.html

 

 

SDA finally puts two new schools out to bid

Marc Larkins, the chief executive of the Schools Development Authority, said yesterday that construction bids will finally go out this fall for two new schools in New Jersey’s high-poverty districts. He added that the bulk of the remaining eight projects slated to proceed could be put out to bid next year.

But construction is unlikely to start on any of them until 2012, making 2011 the second consecutive year — both under Gov. Chris Christie — that the authority did not break ground on any projects under the court-ordered program.

The slow progress getting shovels in the ground continued to be the source of frustration yesterday, as Larkins and his staff testified for two hours before the legislature’s Joint Committee on the Public Schools.

Larkins said in an interview that he did not view the delay as a two-year lag. The SDA’s chief executive officer contends that the agency spent more than a year reviewing and revising its operations and the school plans under consideration.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/11/0920/2054/

 

 

Record number of women seeking state Legislature seats

The 65 women running for the New Jersey Legislature this year constitute a record, according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers.

Twenty women (12 Democrats, eight Republicans) are seeking state Senate seats, while 45 (25 Democrats, 20 Republicans) are running for the Assembly. (For a complete candidate list, see http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu.)

The previous record was set in 2007, the last time that both Senate and Assembly seats were at stake, when 61 women ran – 17 for the Senate (11 Democrats, six Republicans) and 44 for the Assembly (29 Democrats, 15 Republicans).

“Even with a record number of women candidates, there’s no guarantee of a record number of winners,” CAWP director Debbie Walsh said. “Six incumbent women are leaving the Legislature, so we have considerable ground to make up. And not every race is truly competitive, so while some candidates are heavily favored, others face tough battles in November.”  (Staff, Gannett)

http://www.app.com/article/CN/20110920/NJNEWS/309200028/Record-number-women-seeking-state-Legislature-seats

 

 

Judges reconsider Lewis case

A panel of three federal judges indicated Tuesday they were having second thoughts about their ruling last week that Carl Lewis, the nine-time Olympic gold medalist who has had a bumpy entry into New Jersey politics, was eligible to be on the ballot for a state Senate seat.

The same three judges from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asked for additional arguments, posed more questions and promised a new ruling soon in the complicated saga. With the election seven weeks away and ballots to be printed any day, there could be a lot of activity in the case, and the race, in short order.

Lewis, a Democrat, is trying to run in the 8th Legislative District, a Republican stronghold. If he stays on the ballot, he’ll face Republican incumbent Dawn Addiego.

New Jersey Secretary of State Kim Guadagno, a Republican who was also elected lieutenant governor as Gov. Chris Christie’s running mate, says she removed Lewis from the ballot under a residency provision that’s been in the state constitution since 1844. But Lewis and his supporters say he’s been singled out for political reasons.  (Mulvihill, Associated Press)

http://www.app.com/article/BZ/20110921/NEWS01/309210008/Judges-reconsider-Lewis-case

 

 

Lieutenant governor pays visit to Vineland business

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Tuesday visited Vineland’s own Limpert Brothers Inc., which makes, processes and cans fruits and other ingredients for ice cream and frozen yogurt, as part of her recent state-wide tour of 100 local businesses.

Limpert Brothers was number 66 on Guadagno’s tour; the company’s recent feature in Parade this summer on the company’s newest flavors had attracted the lieutenant governor to the Vineland small business.

“First and foremost, I’ve noticed that people are surprised to see us,” said Guadagno, standing on Limpert Brothers’ production floor. “The goal here is to get to small businesses and provide them with information, about energy audits and different kinds of incentives available to them — all the info that we should be able to get out to them so they can focus  on their business.

“Really, small businesses are the hardest to reach with a lot of this information, because they’re too busy surviving. They don’t really have time to join things like local chambers of commerce.”  (Laday, The News of Cumberland County)

http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2011/09/lieutenant_governor_pays_visit.html

 

 

Democrat running for state Senate in 9th District talks about Oyster Creek, senior citizens and millionaire’s tax

Dorothy Ryan, 9th Legislative District senate Democratic candidate, said fellow Democrats in Barnegat Township tell her she thinks like a Republican. But Tuesday, Ryan said she thinks for herself. 

“I tend not to vote along political lines — but instead if something is good and if it will make a difference for the people,” Ryan said.

“If I win this election, it’s going to be a lot of hard work.”

The 78-year-old former Barnegat Township committeewoman participated in an editorial board meeting with The Press of Atlantic City on Tuesday afternoon. 

She spoke of her “20-year plan,” which included marrying at 20-years-old, being a stay-at-home mom for 20 years and then returning to work for about 20 years.

“Now we’re on the last leg,” she said and smiled.

Ryan, a widow, lives in an age-restricted community in the township, and said issues concerning senior citizens will be one of her top priorities if she is elected in November. Ryan is challenging incumbent Republican State Sen. Chris Connors R-Ocean, Burlington, Atlantic.  (Weaver, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/press/ocean/democrat-running-for-state-senate-in-th-district-talks-about/article_f6b7ae2a-e3e4-11e0-ab63-001cc4c03286.html

 

 

Cape May County reevaluated its evacuation and safety procedures

Plenty of backslapping and congratulations were proffered about how well Cape May County evacuated 800,000 tourists and residents last month under the threat of Hurricane Irene, but officials at a public-safety meeting Tuesday conceded room for improvement.

“It’s an important subject and one that needs some discussion. This was the first time any of us had ever lived through something like this,” said Freeholder Director Ralph E. Sheets Jr., who headed the county’s annual Emergency Preparedness Conference, attended by about 100 people.

The mandatory countywide evacuation went more smoothly and quickly than anticipated, officials said. But more shelters for evacuees and their pets, and better collaboration with neighboring Cumberland and Atlantic Counties are areas for work, said attendees and speakers, who ranged from a TV weatherman to federal, state, and county emergency-management personnel.

State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D., Cape May) told the group that he was sponsoring a bill to codify training for and implementation of coastal-evacuation recommendations. Among the measure’s provisions, he said, is a requirement that new schools be constructed in ways that permit their use as emergency shelters for people and pets.  (Urgo, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20110921_Cape_May_County_reevaluates_its_evacuation_and_safety_procedures.html

 

 

Restraining order denied to block Camden business curfew

Camden activist Frank Fulbrook pulled out a measuring tape Tuesday afternoon to determine the distance between a 24-hour downtown restaurant and the closest residential zone.

It was a last-minute attempt to prevent Broadway Food Court from having to close at 11 p.m. under a business curfew adopted last month by Camden City Council, an effort to curb crime near the city’s late-night takeout food shops.

The curfew was supposed to take effect Monday, but Fulbrook on Friday filed a lawsuit and sought a temporary restraining order to stop the curfew. On Tuesday, a Superior Court judge said no.

Following the hearing, Fulbrook determined that Broadway Food Court might still be able to avoid the curfew because it is more than the required 200 feet – 527 feet, he claimed – from the nearest residential zone at Fifth and Stevens Streets.  (Vargas, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/130244883.html

 

 

Can state agency’s 15-year plan prop up price of solar certificates?

It probably will fail to stabilize a solar market in turmoil, but a state agency is expected to act today to fulfill a long-delayed legislative mandate to set the prices power suppliers pay to help promote the development of solar energy in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is scheduled to adopt a 15-year timeframe for payments made by suppliers who fail to buy enough solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) to comply with state mandates that a certain percentage of their electricity be produced by solar systems.

Ironically, the action, long pushed for by the solar sector in New Jersey, comes at a time when there is an oversupply of SRECs, which owners of solar systems earn for the electricity their panels produce. The result has been a deep drop in the price of the certificates, making the adoption of the compliance payments less important than it had been in the past.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/11/0920/2058/

 

 

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Final hurdle removed in state’s $8.25 million settlement with investment bank

The bankruptcy court handling the Chapter 11 filing by Lehman Brothers has removed the final hurdle in an $8.25 million settlement between the state and the now defunct investment bank.

The settlement, announced last month, will be paid by an insurance company covering the company and its former executives.  (Isherwood, State Street Wire)

http://www.politickernj.com/51084/final-hurdle-removed-states-825-million-settlement-investment-bank

 

 

N.J. League of Municipalities’ study says state cut $271M destined for property tax relief

A paper by the New Jersey League of Municipalities makes the case that the state, including both Gov. Chris Christie and the Legislature, cut some $271 million in state aid this year that would have gone toward property tax relief.

Property tax relief comes in the form of two long-time programs – the Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Program and the Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Act Program, or COMPTRA, the League reported.  (Hassan, State Street Wire)

http://www.politickernj.com/51079/nj-league-municipalities-study-says-state-cut-271m-destined-property-tax-relief

 

 

Newark to receive $32M in aid

Newark will receive $32 million, with some strings attached.

The Department of Community Affairs announced today that the state will award $32 million in aid to the city, which combined with spending cuts and other initiatives will close a $57 million gap in the calendar-year budget, according to DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa.

The aid will be in the form of a short-term loan that includes state oversight, including appointment of a State Fiscal Oversight Officer, Grifa said in a release.  (Staff, State Street Wire)

http://www.politickernj.com/51080/newark-receive-32m-aid

 

 

From the Back Room 

 

 

Christie continues to target Weinberg

Gov. Chris Christie stopped just short of taking the bat out on state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-37), Teaneck, at his press conference today.

“She wanted to be lieutenant governor and she didn’t get it, I understand,” said Christie.

Former Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine “was in New York four nights” a week and Weinberg didn’t complain.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)

http://www.politickernj.com/back_room/christie-continues-target-weinberg

 

 

Guadagno to keynote BCRO fundraiser next month

There is still no evidence that Gov. Chris Christie plans to personally campaign for GOP candidates in Bergen County, but he is dispatching his chief ally next month.

The Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO) has an Oct. 12th fundraiser and the keynoter is scheduled to be Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, according to Republican sources.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)

http://www.politickernj.com/back_room/guadagno-keynote-bcro-fundraiser-next-month

 

 

Opinion 

 

 

Will Christie run for president? Yes and no

In this Washington Post column,  Jennifer Rubin   makes an argument that Chris Christie should get into the race for the Republican nomination for president – if for no other reason than he’s convinced credulous Beltway types like her that “Christie is someone who embodies the Tea Party spirit (feisty, anti-D.C. establishment) but is more than sophisticated enough to satisfy mainstream conservatives, business leaders and policy wonks.”

Christie Anti-establishment? That’s news to me. But if he’s got her and the rest of the Beltway pundits  fooled, then maybe he can fool the electorate as well.

For an opposing view on whether the Guv will enter the race, go here. Darryl Isherwood quotes a couple of political observers who say it may be too late for Christie to enter the race.  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)

http://blog.nj.com/njv_paul_mulshine/2011/09/will_christie_run_for_presiden.html

 

 

How Christie could run

Bill Kristol has the timetable. I offer some additional details on how a Chris Christie presidential campaign could start.

He announces at an event featuring former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. The GOP all-stars explain that they’ve gone on bended knee to the one person they think can unite the party, win in the general election and make the hard calls to return us to fiscal sanity and revive American prosperity. They all pledge to raise money and provide policy advice to Christie. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour announces he will lead the Christie super-PAC and can raise tens of millions of dollars by the end of the year.  (Rubin, The Washington Post)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/how-christie-could-run/2011/03/29/gIQATMZkhK_blog.html

 

 

Services abound for firms harmed by recent storms

The Chris Christie administration has worked hard to create a climate amenable to business through the New Jersey Partnership for Action. In turn, the private sector has responded by creating 58,200 jobs since we assumed office.

Without question, the foundation of this progress has been the expeditious and streamlined process by which vital services are delivered to businesses whatever their needs, in good times or periods of hardship.

At no time has this been more important than in the aftermath of unexpected natural disaster such as Hurricane Irene and subsequent flooding caused by the remnants of tropical storm Lee. Indeed, providing rapid response capabilities to unexpected events was a major factor in creating the Business Action Center. The state’s business community needed a one-stop resource capable of quickly coordinating often disparate entities across state government. This is invaluable to supporting business expansion, yet equally imperative when disaster strikes.  (Guadagno for NJBIZ)

http://www.njbiz.com/article/20110919/NJBIZ01/110919841/-1/opinion/Corner-office:-Kim-Guadagno

 

 

Morning News Digest: September 21, 2011