Morning News Digest: Dec. 21, 2012

Buono calls on Democrats for their support

Praising Mayor Cory Booker for his work ethic and wishing him well in all his future endeavors, state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18) called on the Democratic Party to support her in her bid for governor.

(Max Pizarro)



Former Toms River superintendent and coconspirator ordered to pay $4.3M in restitution


TRENTON – A judge has ordered the former superintendent of the Toms River School District and his coconspirator in a bribery and kickback scheme to pay more than $4.3 million in restitution, officials said.

 (Matthew Arco; Street Wire)



Knapp vote aftermath: disagreement over his status


TRENTON – In the aftermath of the Senate Democrats’ rejection today of the nomination of a Morris County prosecutor, there was disagreement over what practical effect the vote had.

(Bill Mooney/ Street Wire)



Christie says he’s not concerned with standing in Republican Party

BELMAR – Gov. Chris Christie told residents he refuses to be labeled too moderate or too conservative after being asked by a resident if he thinks he’s too moderate for the Republican Party.

(Matthew Arco;



In Newark, the early pros and cons of the men intent on succeeding Booker

With Newark Mayor Cory Booker fixing his gaze on Senate 2014, the men who want to succeed him are beginning to jockey with renewed intensity.

(By Max Pizarro;


Christie says Sandy evacuation orders could have been more forceful

BELMAR – Gov. Chris Christie says if given the chance to do things differently before and after superstorm Sandy he would have been more forceful in his evacuation orders and instituted odd/even gas rationing more quickly.

(Matthew Arco;

Latest from State Street Wire

OLS snapshot: 11.9 percent revenue gain needed to meet year-end projections

TRENTON – An Office of Legislative Services’ preliminary examination of total revenue so far in fiscal year 2013 showed no appreciable growth after five months.

(State Street Wire Staff)

Morris Cty. Prosecutor nomination rejected amid heated partisan debate

TRENTON – The Senate rejected the nomination of a Morris County prosecutor amid a heated back and forth over procedures and politics.

(Bill Mooney; State Street Wire)


Unemployment rate edges down, state loses 8,100 jobs

TRENTON – New Jersey’s unemployment rate edged down in November despite the state losing 8,100 jobs, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

(Matthew Arco; State Street Wire)

Court remands disability retirement issue involving one-time Buena Vista mayor

TRENTON – The Superior Court has remanded back to the Public Employees Retirement System board a disability question involving the one-time Buena Vista mayor and his job at the South Jersey Transportation Authority.

(State Street Wire Staff)

Senate passes Internet gaming bill

The Senate approved bill S1565/A2578, which authorizes Internet wagering at Atlantic City casinos to enable New Jersey residents to place wagers on casino games.

(Minhaj Hassan; State Street Wire)


From the Back Room

6th Congressional District Underground

A future decision by U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) to run for U.S. Senate would jar loose a Middlesex-Monmouth universe of Democrats eager to run for his seat.

(Max Pizarro;


Emerson Poll: Patrick leads Brown in U.S. Senate matchup

With the expectation that U.S. Senator John Kerry will be appointed Secretary of State, attention now focuses on who will be his successor. A new survey by the Emerson College Polling Society (ECPS) finds that Governor Deval Patrick is ahead of U.S. Senator Scott Brown (48% to 43%) and former Governor William Weld (50% to 32%) in head-to-head matchups to succeed Kerry. Brown leads Vicki Kennedy, the widow of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, (46% to 40%). There was a 2.9 percent margin of error in the ECPS survey.

(Politicker Staff;


Cory Booker’s announcement leaves N.J. Democrats hoping to find a Christie challenger quickly

TRENTON — With Cory Booker out of the picture in next year’s race for governor, Democrats on Thursday said they need to move fast to get behind a candidate to take on Gov. Chris Christie.

(Matt Friedman; Star-Ledger)


Bowl or bust? Rutgers facing thousands of dollars in unsold, free postseason tickets

Rutgers takes the field against Virginia Tech next Friday at the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando — a prestigious game for the Scarlet Knights with a bigger audience, more TV revenue and prime-time exposure for the school.

But in a strictly financial sense, both teams will likely be losers.

Required to purchase thousands of tickets to the game, no matter how many they actually sell, the two schools are expected to eat thousands of dollars in unsold or free seats, adding to the cost of an already expensive post-season showcase experts say is rarely profitable for teams.

(Ted Sherman and Jarrett Renshaw; Star-Ledger)

House GOP pulls ‘Plan B’ as fiscal cliff looms

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, pulled the Republican package known as “Plan B” tonight that was meant to show Republicans were acting to prevent a tax cut for the majority of Americans while allowing rates to go up on millionaires.

(CBS News)


Christie promises to hound Congress for full $60.4B in Sandy relief

Governor Christie said he would personally call members of Congress and stress the need for full funding of a $60.4 billion aid package as the Senate nears a vote and his fellow Republicans call for cuts.

(Anthony Campisi, Herb Jackson, and Melissa Hayes; The Record)


Legal heavyweights add punch to NJ sports betting fight

Two of the country’s most prominent conservative lawyers are arguing opposite sides of a case that tests New Jersey’s newest constitutional amendment — a law that allows gambling on sports in the Garden State and runs square against the 20-year federal ban on betting.

(Anthony Campisi; The Record)


Novartis buys Morris Plains manufacturing site in $43M deal

A Morris Plains pharmaceutical manufacturing site will stay in operation under new ownership.

(Jared Kaltwasser; NJBiz)$43M-deal


Pension funds reconsider investments in gun makers

From California to New York, teacher and public-worker retirement funds are reconsidering their investments in gun makers and confronting an uncomfortable fact: Their pensions have supported the manufacture of deadly weapons, in some cases the same type of gun used in the Connecticut school shooting.

(Michael Gormley; Associated Press)



Doomsday 2012 arrives in some parts of the world, leaves without doom

MERIDA, MEXICO — Doomsday hour is here, at least in much of the world, and so still are we.

According to legend, the ancient Mayans’ long-count calendar ends at midnight Thursday, ushering in the end of the world.

Didn’t happen.

(Associated Press)



Stile: Booker decision clutters the Democratic field for governor

New Jersey Democrats no longer have a dream candidate for governor.

(Charles Stile; The Record)

Morning News Digest: Dec. 21, 2012