Morning Digest: Feb. 15, 2013

Holt interested in Senate seat

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) wants to be a U.S. Senator.

The news today of U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s (D-N.J.) reconfirmed that, although Holt was not ready tonight to say he is definitely running. Politicker 


Booker: Lautenberg a model to me personaly

Occupied in an exploratory examination of a 2014 U.S. Senate run, Newark Mayor Cory Booker this afternoon called U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) a champion for the people of New Jersey for decades whose legacy of service will improve the lives of all American’s for years to come.  Politicker


Thigpen: Successor won’t deliver way Lautenberg did

Phil Thigpen, Democratic Party county chairman of the largest Democratic county in the state, mourned U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) decision not to pursue re-election. Politicker



Latest from State Street Wire

Passed by Assembly: Sandy monitors, human trafficking, tanning bed and other bills

TRENTON – The Assembly today passed bills including ones establishing monitors for Sandy-related work, tanning bed prohibitions, human trafficking awareness, and more. State Street Wire

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Trump Plaza bought for $20M

Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza casino-hotel has been sold to a Southern California company for $20 million.  Inquirer


Lautenberg exit to set off frenzy for Senate seat

WASHINGTON – Sen. Frank J. Lautenberg, a defiantly liberal Democrat who has represented New Jersey for nearly three decades, said Thursday that he would not seek reelection in 2014, opening the door to a furious round of maneuvering to replace him.  Inquirer


GOP blocks vote on Hagel

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked President Obama’s nominee to lead the Pentagon in a defiant move likely to further strain partisan tensions while preventing the White House, at least temporarily, from assembling its second-term national security team. N.Y. Times


Postal union millions to Dems roils Saturday cuts

All but five of Congress’s 255 Democrats and independents received campaign donations from postal worker union groups in the past six years, raising the political risk of Postmaster GeneralPatrick Donahoe’s move to end Saturday mail delivery. Bloomberg


Meteorite streaks across Russian Urals; hundreds injured

MOSCOW — A meteor streaked across the sky above Russia’s Ural Mountains on Friday morning, causing sharp explosions and injuring more than 400 people, many of them hurt by broken glass. At least three people were reported hospitalized in serious condition. Huffington Post


Congress will let sequester kick in, sources say

High level sources on Capitol Hill expect the sequester to happen at this point.

Some leading Republicans have said this. But Hill aides also say they expect, essentially, two failed votes and then a possible negotiation after the impact of the sequester is actually felt. Huffington Post



N.J. Transit workers went to Super Bowl on taxpayers’ dime

NJ Transit sent four employees to the Super Bowl in New Orleans — including a key rail official who was in charge of the Hoboken terminal when dozens of rail cars and locomotives, left to sit in low-lying yards, were damaged during superstorm Sandy — at a taxpayer cost of $14,505, expense reports show. Record


N.J. schools damaged by Sandy to share $1.25M

New Jersey schools affected by Hurricane Sandy will share $1.25 million in federal grants to assist with recovery efforts, the U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday. Atlantic City Press


Menendez off to Afghanistan as conservative groups take aim at ethics

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is off to Afghanistan this weekend, heading up a congressional delegation in his new role as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Star-Ledger


‘James Bond’ gang members caught in N.J.

Police in New Jersey say they’ve arrested three members of the long-running “James Bond gang” that had been targeting high-end homes in affluent neighborhoods across the tri-state for years. NBC News


Bayonne, Jersey City win pledge from FAA that helicopters will fly higher

A low-flying nuisance for many residents of Bayonne and southern Jersey City will soon be resolved, thanks to the pressure from U.S. Rep. Albio Sires, Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith, and other elected officials. Jersey Journal



Lautenberg relied on business sense on when to retire

Frank Lautenberg evolved into a liberal lion of the United States Senate over the past three decades, publicly tangling with tobacco executives, gun lobbyists, even a vice president. Stile, Record Morning Digest: Feb. 15, 2013