Morning Digest: March 8, 2013

LD38 shocker: Driscoll, Alonso tied at 120 votes

The most highly anticipated matchup of the pre-primary season ended with an invitation to another pre-primary showdown a week from tonight. Politicker


Political, governmental underpinnings of AshBritt hearing

Democrats say tomorrow’s AshBritt hearing represents an examination into government practices, while Republicans decry the proceedings as politics. Politicker


Latest from State Street Wire

Bedbug bill held in committee

TRENTON – The Assembly Housing Committee on Thursday held a bill that would require landlords to take prompt action on bedbug issues that their tenants bring to their attention. State Street Wire

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Latinos gain political muscle

SAN ANTONIO — On a wall in his sun-drenched, art-filled Tudor home, Henry R. Muñoz III displays a memento of his childhood: a framed protest sign proclaiming, “Texas needs $1.25 an hour minimum wage.” He carried it when he was 6 years old while riding a burro during a farm workers’ march alongside his father, a labor organizer, and the Mexican-American activist Cesar Chavez. N.Y. Times


Uncertainty at Jersey Shore over costs of rebuilding, elevating

LONG BRANCH – Rebuilding rules that dictate how high storm-damaged homes must be elevated would impose a heavy financial burden on property owners and risk forever altering the character of the Jersey Shore, several who live and spend their summers there said at a public hearing on Thursday. Record


U.S. court charges al-Qaida member on 9/11 crimes

WASHINGTON   — A senior al-Qaida leader and member of Osama bin Laden’s inner circle was charged Thursday with conspiring to kill Americans in his role as the terror network’s top propagandist who lauded the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — and warned there would be more. Associated Press


Senate confirms Brennan as CIA director

The U.S. Senate confirmed John Brennan as CIA director, making a 25-year veteran of the intelligence agency its leader and rounding out President Barack Obama’s second-term national security team. Bloomberg


Flooding, falling wires still concern for N.J. Transit

NEWARK — NJ Transit’s not out of the woods yet on the North Jersey Coast Line, where officials remain concerned that wet snow may bring down trees and take overhead wires with them. Asbury Park Press


North Korea ratchets up threats

The U.N. Security Council responded swiftly to North Korea’s latest nuclear test by punishing the reclusive regime Thursday with tough, new sanctions targeting its economy and leadership, despite Pyongyang’s threat of a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the United States. NBC New York–195822521.html


Rainfall limits controlled burns at time of forest fire risk

Jeremy Weber wanted to burn 700 acres of wooded area in Hamilton Township and central Atlantic County before fire season started this month.

No such luck. Atlantic City Press


Levin announces retirement

WASHINGTON — Democratic Sen. Carl Levin announced Thursday he will not seek re-election in 2014, saying he wants to serve as Senate Armed Services chairman and an advocate for his home state of Michigan “without the distraction of campaigning for re-election.” Huffington Post


Obama’s drone muddle

President Barack Obama tried to offer a simple assurance: he isn’t claiming the power to have drones kill an American not “engaged in combat” on U.S. soil. Politico



One gun bill worthy of consideration

Critics of the state Assembly’s recently passed 22-bill package meant to target gun violence have complained on many fronts, about the sheer number of bills, about possible redundancies with current law and about the swiftness with which they were passed. On hearing of the Assembly votes last month, Governor Christie said he was “surprised” that lawmakers had acted so quickly. Lowry, Record


Obama’s late-breaking charm offensive

President Obama is many things, but he’s not a backslapping, glad-handing, arm-twisting pol. And that’s too bad. What might have he accomplished by now if he was a champion schmoozer in the mold of a Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan? Star-Ledger


Stop dawdling on voting system upgrade

A New Jersey appeals court is considering a request to replace the state’s touchscreen voting machines with a system that they say would be less vulnerable and could be used for recounts. The hearing is the latest development in a case stemming from a suit filed in 2004 by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer, and several voting rights activists. South Jersey Times


Morning Digest: March 8, 2013