Morning News Digest: August 24, 2012


Morning News Digest: August 24, 2012

By Missy Rebovich




Booker tells chairs he’s weighing 2013 gubernatorial run

In the lead-up to next month’s Democrat National Convention in Charlotte, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and his political consultant Mark Matzen are meeting face-to-face with county chairs and making it known that Booker is weighing a run for governor and plans to decide by December, according to party sources.

Some Democrats see Booker as the only 2013 option against Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

By virtue of his fundraising ability, charisma and potential to transcend a fragmented state party, others see him, at the very least, as the preferred nominee.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Tenure reform a key achievement on Christie’s educational agenda

If taxes were No. 1 on people’s minds this year, probably the next biggest issue for the fiscal year 2013 budget season was education.

Styling himself as an education reformer, Gov. Chris Christie has consistently proposed four major elements in education reform: changing teacher tenure, expanding school choice,  compensating teachers differently, largely through the inclusion of merit pay, and giving principals a greater say on which teachers they want in their schools.  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



Menendez releases tax returns

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) reported taking home between about $150,600 and $171,800 from 2007 through last year, according to the federal lawmaker’s tax returns released today.

The Menendez campaign released five years worth of tax returns Thursday showing the lawmaker drew his income from his salary as a U.S. senator and received additional income from rental property, according to the returns.

Menendez netted $171,874 in 2011 and paid 21.4 percent in federal taxes and 5.2 percent in state taxes. He paid nearly $37,000 in federal taxes and more than $9,800 in state taxes in 2011, according to the documents.  (Arco, PolitickerNJ)



Christie: Successes, family in GOP keynote speech

Gov. Chris Christie, who has been writing, revising and trimming the keynote speech he’ll deliver at the Republican National Convention next week, dropped a few hints Thursday about what he’ll say and how the address is coming together.

The speech, which presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney asked Christie to give, will be televised at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to an estimated 30 million to 40 million viewers. It is by far the biggest speech of Christie’s political life and will last about 20 minutes, ending in time to cut to the local news at 11 p.m.

The governor told a boardwalk audience in Sea Isle City that he planned to talk about the people who influenced him as a leader. He told reporters at his next stop at the Braca Cafe that he would cite examples of how New Jersey has rebounded during his tenure, though he would steer clear of the phrase “New Jersey Comeback,” which has become a lightning rod for Democrats to attack his economic policies.  (Delli Santi, Associated Press)



Christie uses teleprompter to prep for GOP speech

Governor Christie practiced with a teleprompter for his keynote speech at the Republican convention on Thursday as excited partisans prepared to head to Florida to cheer him on even as they kept a watchful eye on Tropical Storm Isaac.

“You’re going to hear a lot of how proud I am of where I’ve come from,” Christie later told reporters in Sea Isle City, where he visited the boardwalk to promote late-summer tourism.

The wild card for Republicans is Isaac, which was expected to hit Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with heavy rains and high seas Thursday before tracking to the west toward the Gulf of Mexico. How much of a risk it poses the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, where the Republicans are meeting from Monday through Thursday, depends on how far west or east it moves over the weekend.  (Jackson, The Record)



Christie warms up at Shore for Tampa GOP speech

In his last public appearance in New Jersey before the biggest speech of his political life, Gov. Christie took a walk down the Shore on Thursday afternoon and basked in some homegrown adoration.

“Go get ’em next week!” yelled Bob Bannon, 38, well aware that Christie will deliver the keynote speech at the Republican convention on Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.

Such sentiment was echoed again and again by universally adoring crowds who shadowed Christie on the Sea Isle City promenade, a short speech about tourism, and a visit to a bar with a small group of reporters.  (Katz, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Gov. Christie says he would not accept cabinet post from Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney can forget about offering Gov. Chris Christie a cabinet spot if he’s elected president.

The governor today said he wouldn’t accept it.

There’s been talk that if elected, Romney would tap the former federal prosecutor for U.S. Attorney General.

Christie, speaking with reporters and Jersey residents at the Bracas bar after walking the promenade to promote Jersey tourism, was asked if he’d accept a cabinet position.  (Portnoy, The Star-Ledger)



Self-serve gas stations in N.J.? Not a chance, Gov. Christie says

Anyone in New Jersey longing for self-serve gas stations, don’t get too pumped up about it.

“It’s never going to happen,” Gov. Chris Christie said on a monthly call-in radio show. “There is just no appetite, republicans or democrats in the legislature, to make us a completely self–serve state.”

A caller on NJ 101.5’s Ask the Governor show encouraged Christie to pursue self-serve gas stations. Christie said he used to talk about this issue a lot, but fuel hasn’t been added to that fire.  (DeMarco, The Star-Ledger)



Beach protection funding key to state’s economy, congressmen argue

The importance of tourism to the state’s economy is a key reason why the federal government must maintain funding for protecting beaches, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) said today.

“People have to be satisfied that the beaches are clean and the water is safe for them to swim,” said Pallone, a sponsor of a federal law enacted in 2000 that sets national water quality standards and provides states with funding to test water quality and notify the public when conditions are unsafe. 

Pallone said he and Lautenberg are seeking to maintain $10 million in federal appropriations for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. He said it is likely the funding will be including in a “continuing resolution,” used to fund the government.  (Kitchenman, NJBIZ)



Rabbi Shmuley’s candidacy gets another boost

What looked like a sideshow in New Jersey is turning into a hotly contested, big-bucks Congressional race.

Republican Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a TV celebrity who’s a favorite of Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is forcing incumbent Bill Pascrell Jr. to turn up the fundraising volume among Democrats.

Mr. Pascrell, who’s served eight terms in Congress, still seems the likely winner in his Democratic stronghold – a newly redrawn 9th district in northern New Jersey that includes Hackensack.

But the race is probably going to cost Democrats more now than it did before the recent news that casino mogul Mr. Adelson and his wife Miriam, a doctor, gave $500,000 to a brand new pro-Shmuley super PAC called “Patriot Prosperity.”  (Mundy, The Wall Street Journal)



Garfield woman sues state, operator of Newark halfway house following sister’s murder

A Garfield woman is suing the state and the operator of a halfway house for wrongful death following the 2010 murder of her sister allegedly by a parolee who had been staying at one of New Jersey’s privatized correctional facilities.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Essex County’s Superior Court by Stella Tulli-Makowski, the sister of Viviana Tulli, who was murdered in August 2010.

Tulli-Makowski is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages, damages for pain and suffering, funeral costs and attorneys fees, according to a complaint filed by attorney Michael S. Bubb.  (Reitmeyer and Hayes, The Record)



(Click here to request a free trial)



Daily State House Schedule







Both political parties support the welfare-warfare state

In an op-ed, “Romney-Ryan worldview:  Reaganism on steroids,” Joseph Chuman, leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, makes more economic fallacies and historical inaccuracies than you can shake a stick at.  President Reagan’s fiscal conservatism was all rhetoric.  Spending skyrocketed under the Gipper and taxes, especially payroll taxes, were hiked to “save” Social Security.

Mr. Chuman asserts that a Romney-Ryan administration would “starve the beast”—the federal government– and hollow out both Social Security and Medicare.  Under Rep. Ryan’s budget plan federal spending increases as far as the eye can see and the budget is not balanced for the next twenty years.  This is hardly a “starve the beast” approach to the federal budget.  (Sabrin for PolitickerNJ)



Gov gets some love on the way to Tampa

In his last public appearance in New Jersey before the biggest speech of his political life, Gov. Christie took a walk down the Jersey Shore today and basked in some serious homegrown adoration.

“Go get ‘em next week!” yelled Bob Bannon, 38, well aware that Christie will be delivering the keynote speech at the Republican convention in Tampa next Tuesday.

Such sentiment was echoed again and again by universally adoring crowds who shadowed Christie during a walk down the Sea Isle City promenade, a short speech about tourism and a visit at a bar with a group of reporters (including me…I needed a beer…it was hot.)  (Katz, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Platforms really do matter, Governor Christie

Platforms matter, particularly when you’re standing on a stage.

On Wednesday, when asked about the National Republican Party platform that calls for a Human Life Amendment, Governor Christie said, “I don’t really care about the platform. And I don’t think most Republicans care about the platform.”

The usually feisty Christie went all diplomatic. Not so much when he has been asked to comment on Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who believes that women who have been “legitimately” raped can somehow tell their bodies not to become pregnant.

“I’m offended by what he thinks,” Christie said. He called Akin’s comments “asinine” and said the congressman should drop out of the U.S. Senate race in Missouri. Christie has all but said: “Get the hell off the ballot!”  (Doblin, The Record)


  Morning News Digest: August 24, 2012