Morning News Digest: March 22, 2013

Christie spokesman responds to gay conversion therapy debate


Responding to criticism from his likely gubernatorial challenger, Gov. Chris Christie’s office said Thursday the Republican governor does not believe in so-called gay conversion therapy.

The governor’s office responded to a telephone news conference earlier today during which Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono referred to Christie’s refusal to publically reject the controversial therapy as “disgusting.”



Mercer GOP waits for word from Inverso


The Mercer County Republicans held their annual nominating convention last night, but one party member was absent from the room

Darryl Isherwood-



Andrezjcak, Space sworn into office

TRENTON – Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver today swore in the General Assembly’s two newest lawmakers.

Assemblymen Robert Andrezejcak, (D-1) and Parker Space, (R-24), officially assumed their roles in the New Jersey Assembly.

Matthew Arco-


Latest from State Street Wire


Health Dept. responds to medical marijuana critics

TRENTON – The state Health Department on Thursday issued the following statement following criticisms from medical marijuana advocates about what they claim is the slow pace of the program’s implemention.

Minhaj Hassan – State Street Wire



Assembly approves bills dealing with human trafficking, animal cruelty, more

TRENTON – The Assembly approved legislation that would put restrictions on people convicted of animal cruelty.

Matthew Arco-State Street Wire



Bills focusing on Energy Master Plan, employees computer passwords, passed

A1098: This bill requires 911 dispatchers to call for mutual aid assistance within 10 minutes if the basic life support ambulance service provider initially called does not respond.

Minhaj Hassan- State Street Wire



Bills to hike cell phone fines, have monitors for rebuilding projects passed by Assembly

TRENTON – The Assembly on Thursday passed bills that would have monitors for rebuilding projects and hike fines for talking on cell phone while driving,

Minhaj Hassan-State  Street Wire




From the Back Room



Lance staffer registers


An aide to U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance earlier this month registered the domain name, but a spokesman said the Congressman has no plans to run for Senate, “now or ever.”

Aide John Byers registered the domain through Go Daddy on March 4. The site is not functional and shows only a homepage picture unrelated to Lance


Darryl R. Isherwood –



Christie expects FEMA to revise flood plain maps

Governor Christie said Thursday that he expects the Federal Emergency Management Agency to update flood-elevation maps drafted after superstorm Sandy to make them less aggressive.


Melissa Hayes and Shawn Boburg-The Record



Jersey City election 2013: 2 mayoral candidates engage in critiques


The four Jersey City mayoral candidates engaged in a spicy, two-hour debate last night as they met for the first time in the 2013 campaign season


Terrance T. McDonald-Jersey Journal



Watchdog group says Democratic group must follow campaign finance rules


TRENTON — The state’s campaign finance watchdog agency today told an out-of-state Democratic group that intends to take part in this year’s Assembly and Senate races that it must register as a campaign committee and adhere to contribution limits.


Matt Friedman- The Star Ledger





Stile: Separating Sandy and politics easier said than done

In his State of the State speech, Governor Christie characterized superstorm Sandy as one of those rare traumatic events that “are above politics.”

Charles Stile-The Record



Don’t overreach on gay conversion therapy

Imagine being forced to take “flirting classes,” designed to teach a gay teenage boy how to talk to the opposite sex. Being ordered to masturbate to images of women. To undergo electric shock treatments, and take medicine to induce vomiting when a therapist flashes a photo of two men holding hands.

All administered with parental consent — and the false promise that it will change your sexual orientation.

Star Ledger Editorial


Morning News Digest: March 22, 2013