Morning News Digest: May 9, 2012

Morning News Digest: May 9, 2012 By Missy Rebovich Try State Street Wire, Follow PolitickerNJ on Twitter and Facebook. Text


Morning News Digest: May 9, 2012

By Missy Rebovich

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




McDaniel wins at-large seat; Cotton victorious in Ward 4; McKoy leads Mendez in Ward 3

In the closest race of the night in Paterson, incumbent Ward 3 Councilman William McKoy leads challenger Alex Mendez.

The vote tally stands now at 1,479 for McKoy and 1,378 for Mendez.

In the at-large contest for Assemblyman Benji Wimberly’s vacated seat, Kenneth McDaniel defeated Frank Filipelli and Flavio Rivera.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Warren defeats Hawkins in the City of Orange

Powered by the backing of public sector unions eager to make a statement against the incumbent, challenger Dwayne Warren tonight defeated Orange Mayor Eldridge Hawkins.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) in particular got behind government attorney Warren to drive him over two other challengers, and ultimately over Hawkins.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



In JC Mayor’s race, Fulop announces three running mates

Today, nearly one year to the day before the 2013 Jersey City Mayoral Election, Steven Fulop announced the first three candidates that will be joining the 2013 “Team Fulop” city council ticket.

Fulop and today’s announced council candidates intend on announcing the next three candidates for the team at the end of the summer and the final three candidates in late Fall. Those candidates have not been selected yet and the team continues to interview candidates interested in running for office.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Christie won’t say whether he’ll seek re-election

The political world has gotten used to hearing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dodge questions about whether he’s running for a job in Washington.

He was just as coy Tuesday when he was asked at a town hall event whether he’s running for re-election in his home state next year.

“There’s a lot of people who have a say in that other than me,” he said, and began to list his wife and children: “Their names are Mary Pat, Andrew, Sarah ….”  (Mulvihill, Associated Press)



N.J. revenue trails budget as Christie touts comeback

New Jersey receipts from income and corporate taxes fell short of Governor Chris Christie’s budget targets last month and appear to be on track to trail the same period a year earlier, according to legislative analysts.

Preliminary information indicates collections from both levies fell in April, according to a May 3 memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Services Office. The e-mail to lawmakers, which isn’t public and was obtained by Bloomberg News, said a detailed figure won’t be available until May 14.  (Dopp, Bloomberg)



As budget deadline looms, Gov. Christie pushes to reform teachers’ tenure, lower N.J. taxes

With fewer than two months before the state budget is due, Gov. Chris Christie said this morning he wants the state Legislature to deliver laws changing the tenure system for public school teachers in a way that will result in decreased taxes for New Jersey residents.

“I want to make one thing really clear to the state Legislature: Do not send me watered down B.S. tenure reform,’’ he told a crowd of more than 450 at a town hall meeting in Monmouth County.  (Spoto, The Star-Ledger)



Poll: Despite Christie’s popularity among N.J. voters, most prefer Obama as president over Mitt Romney

Gov. Chris Christie may be popular, but he hasn’t swayed New Jersey voters to support his choice for president, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released this morning.

President Obama leads presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney 50 percent to 36 percent in the poll of 797 Garden State voters. Fifty-percent of voters also approve of Obama’s performance, while 42 percent disapprove.  (Griffith, The Star-Ledger)


Politics may be behind Christie’s Internet gaming change of heart

With his political stock rising, Gov. Christie may again be backing off on approving Internet gaming, and has delayed action that would free New Jersey from a federal ban on sports betting, says the Democrat who sponsored both measures in the Legislature in the hope they would boost Atlantic City.

“Christie is putting the future of A.C. in jeopardy because of his overriding concern for support from [Sheldon] Adelson, a right-wing money machine of Newt Gingrich and right-wing causes; Caesars, a huge contributor based in Nevada; and Woody Johnson, Jets owner and NFL opponent of sports gaming,” Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D., Union) wrote last week in an e-mail, not long after a meeting with Christie’s staff.  (Parmley, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Fine Print: Cerf enters Perth Amboy Superintendent fight

What it is: New Jersey’s acting education commissioner, Chris Cerf, yesterday ruled on a legal challenge that Perth Amboy superintendent Janine Caffrey must be reinstated to her job, at least for now, after the district’s school board voted in April to dismiss her over a number of political differences.

What it means: While the commissioner hears countless personnel appeals, it was unusual for him to get involved in such a high-profile leadership fight. But it was also unusual for the board to try to dismiss Caffrey without the usual notice, especially on more political grounds that were not so much about misconduct as misbehavior, at least in the board’s eyes.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Analysis: Rothman, Pascrell primary battle is ‘a race to the left’

The fierce primary battle between Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell Jr. has taken a sharp turn to the left as they scramble to attract the undecided liberal-leaning Democratic voters likely to choose the winner in this redrawn 9th Congressional District.

The trend accelerated during their feisty first debate Monday. The buzzwords most often heard were “progressive” from Rothman and “fighter” from Pascrell, as both men tried to outdo each other in promoting their liberal credentials.  (Ensslin, The Record)



Local emergency services fees targeted by Bucco

Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, has proposed a bill that would restrict towns from charging user fees to get around the state’s cap on property tax levy hikes.

A bill by Sen. Anthony Bucco, R-Morris, would specifically prevent towns from charging fees for local emergency services.

Bucco put forward the legislation in response to Passaic’s decision last month to begin charging for a response to emergencies such as car accidents, hazardous material spills and water rescues.  (Reitmeyer, The Record)



Lawmakers work on highway bill

Sen. Robert Menendez called Tuesday for lawmakers charged with coming up with a deal on legislation to fund the nation’s transportation programs to work together and stay away from politically charged issues that would kill the bill.

“Given these high stakes, no one in this room should be willing to put politics before the retention and creation of two to three million jobs,” said Menendez, D-N.J.  (Herman, Gannett)|topnews|text|State



Industry groups slam wage-equality bills as duplicative, harmful to economy

While legislators today called on Gov. Chris Christie to support bills that would narrow the wage gap between women and men, employer groups are voicing concerns about the legislation’s duplicative nature and legal repercussions.

The four-bill package, sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt (D-Voorhees), chairwoman of the Assembly Women and Children Committee, would require employers to notify workers about their right for gender pay equity; allow employees to share pay information with others without punishment; make public contractors report information about their employees’ pay to the state; and oblige employers to repay employees for discriminatory pay differentials with no statute of limitations, regardless of when the initial biased decision took place. The bills recently passed the Assembly, and companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate.  (Eder, NJBIZ)



Foreclosures in New Jersey in a troublesome state of flux

While two of New Jersey’s largest mortgage lenders are vigorously filing new foreclosures, the state is still waiting for them and other major banks to certify the accuracy of documents in a huge backlog of pending cases.

The parallel trends have worried some foreclosure counselors who fear the reckoning, when it arrives, will be worse for the state’s housing market than previously predicted.  (Tyrrell, NJ Spotlight)



New Jersey’s newest solar farm is a real dump

The former Kearny garbage dump is a 66-acre plot of land, fallow for more than three decades, although practically within shouting distance of some of the most expensive real estate in the nation, with a bird’s eye view of the Manhattan skyline.

Today, it may be emblematic of a new chapter in New Jersey’s development, as Public Service Electric & Gas and others yesterday dedicated a new 3-megawatt solar farm on 13 acres of the former landfill, producing enough electricity to power up to 500 homes.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



Cooper University Hospital wins prestigious $2.8 million federal grant

For nearly a decade, Dr. Jeffrey Brenner has led the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers into the city’s homeless shelters, public housing hallways, and emergency rooms in search of ways to improve medical care for Camden’s sickest and poorest residents, while at the same time reducing wasted healthcare spending. On Tuesday, Cooper University Hospital, where Brenner heads the urban health institute, won a prestigious $2.8 million federal grant that will allow the coalition to expand — and get the chance to prove whether it has found an antidote for the relentless rise in healthcare costs.  (Fitzgerald, NJ Spotlight)



7,000 seek jobs as troopers

More than 7,000 people started filling out forms in the first 24 hours since the New Jersey State Police started accepting new applications for the first time in more than two years. But it’s unclear if those applicants represent a more diverse cross-section of the population than the force’s current makeup.

Trooper Christopher Kay said Tuesday that the applicants’ sex, race and other data haven’t been compiled yet. State police in the past have fielded criticism from the National Associated for Advancement of Colored People for not hiring more minorities.  (Duffelmeyer, Associated Press)|topnews|text|State



EDA offers $34.6M incentive package to lure online grocer

Online grocery seller Peapod would locate in Jersey City under a $34.6 million incentive approved by the state Economic Development Authority today.

A subsidiary of Ahold USA Inc. is considering leasing 344,000 square feet in an 878,000-square-foot distribution center to be owned by Prologis. The facility would serve Peapod, another Ahold USA subsidiary.  (Kitchenman, NJBIZ)$346M-incentive-package-to-lure-online-grocer



Dry NJ resort votes to stay that way, rejects BYOB

The same disdain for alcohol that drove Christian clergymen to establish this Jersey shore town that calls itself America’s Greatest Family Resort led voters to overwhelmingly reject a proposal Tuesday that would have let restaurant patrons bring their own wine or beer to enjoy with dinner.

A referendum on whether BYOB should be allowed was soundly rejected by a 2-to-1 margin. Final unofficial tallies showed the referendum received 3,137 “no” votes, and 1,425 “yes” votes.  (Parry, Associated Press)



(Click here to request a free trial)



Daily State House Schedule



Bateman bill addresses evidence problem in child porn trials

A bill introduced last week seeks to address a problem concerning evidence in a child pornography case when a defendant is preparing for trial.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Christopher Bateman, (R-16), Branchburg, would bar reproduction of child pornography during the discovery trial of a criminal case.

S1876 is modeled on a provision of the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.   (Mooney, State Street Wire)



College freshman’s death prompts calls for appointing members to alcohol task force

Spurred by the recent alcohol-related death of a Montclair teenager at a college campus in Pennsylvania, New Jersey lawmakers are renewing calls for Gov. Chris Christie to appoint members to a state alcohol task force.

Sens. Richard Codey, (D-27), Roseland, and Shirley Turner, (D-15), Lawrenceville, issued a statement Tuesday calling on the governor to appoint members to the state’s Task Force on Underage Drinking in Higher Education.  (Arco, State Street Wire)



Christie takes aim again at Giordano remark

That “life’s not fair” comment just won’t die.

Gov. Chris Christie zeroed in on that controversial response given by one of this favorite targets – Vincent Giordano, executive director of the New Jersey Education Association – at Tuesday morning’s town hall.

Giordano gave that response during a televised interview to a question regarding some children’s inaccessibility to good public schools. An official with NJEA later said the executive director’s comments were misinterpreted.  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



Christie backs equal pay for equal work

The governor’s office today said it supports equal pay for equal work.

The statement was issued in response to a call this morning by Democratic lawmakers for Gov. Chris Christie to take a public stand in regards to gender equity salary bills working their way through the Legislature.  (Mooney, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room 



N.C. approves ban on gay marriage

North Carolina today became the 30th state in the nation to approve a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

According to the Associated Press, the measure passed with about 58 percent of the vote.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



Bergen Banter

In Teaneck, Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin won tonight, along with newcomers Mark Schwartz and Henry Pruitt. 

In Ridgewood, Paul Aronsohn’s slate won.

That means Aronsohn is likely the new mayor, as the council picks the mayor.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)



Rothman hammers Pascrell in new TV ad

A day after the two men engaged in their first debate of their Democratic Primary, U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9) released a television ad going on offense against his opponent, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9).

Called “Great Ideas,” the ad focuses on Congressman Bill Pascrell’s vote to repeal the Estate Tax (HR-8 in June 2000) and his statements that Capital Gains taxes and Corporate taxes should be lower than they are now.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Perth Amboy schools attempt to censor superintendent

The Perth Amboy school board voted again to place Superintendent Janine Caffrey on leave, a move that will stall reform of the schools, waste taxpayer money and lead inevitably to a lawsuit that Caffrey is almost certain to win.

The reason she’ll win is that this move to fire her is based on flimsy grounds and political cat-fighting. Caffrey had the temerity to refuse to make patronage hires, she says, and to cooperate with a state investigation into board president Samuel Lebreault’s improper attempt to get free or reduced-priced lunch for his kids.  (Moran, The Star-Ledger)



Governor’s edict on colleges flunks review

When it’s time for the state to make an important decision, there’s no doubt these days who will make it. It will be the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. He will be front and center with the announcement, at the State House podium.

He will introduce the official directly involved. While this person speaks, the governor, off to the side, will regard him or her with narrowed gaze, seemingly prepared to correct any misstatement on the spot.  (Ahearn, The Record)


  Morning News Digest: May 9, 2012