Morning Digest: April 18, 2013

Jersey City mayoral candidates spar over issues

JERSEY CITY – Sparks flew off the exchanges between an animated Mayor Jerry Healy and his most aggressive challenger, downtown City Councilman Steve Fulop, at tonight’s mayoral debate sponsored by St. Peter’s University and PolitickerNJ

Seven party chairs say let Buono pick chairperson

Following cries by party leaders in support of state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18) having her own choice of a state party chairperson, seven county party charis responded with their own chorus of support for the presumptive Democratic nominee. PolitickerNJ


Van Drew: If wanting tax break makes me ‘an a-hole,’ so be it

TRENTON – Well, if the shoe fits.

That’s the response by a Democratic state lawmaker who says if wanting a tax break for middle-class families makes him “an a-hole,” according to a top union official, then so be it. PolitickerNJ

Latest from State Street Wire

Report says Newark hard hit by foreclosures

TRENTON – Newark has been extremely hard hit by the foreclosure crisis. State Street Wire

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Obama calls Senate rejection of background checks shameful

An angry Preident Obama scolded the U.S. Senate for rejecting a bill expanding federal background checks to more firearms buyers. 101.5FM

Senate kills background checks

WASHINGTON — It ended in a flash. Months of work aimed at revamping the nation’s gun laws prompted by one of the worst shooting tragedies in U.S. history met an inglorious conclusion on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. Huffington Post



Ricin suspect describes bizarre conspiracy

WASHINGTON — A man accused of mailing letters with suspected ricin to national leaders believed he had uncovered a conspiracy to sell human body parts on the black market and sometimes performed as an Elvis Presley impersonator. Associated Press


Casino Pier closer to pulling rollercoaster from water

SEASIDE HEIGHTS — The rollercoaster that has become a symbol of superstorm Sandy’s devastation is closer to coming out of the water. Asbury Park Press


Companies shielded as Court cuts human rights suits

The U.S. Supreme Court insulated multinational corporations from at least some lawsuits over atrocities overseas, scaling back a favorite legal tool of human-rights activists. Bloomberg


Andrews says bombing suspect in custody

U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews says that a suspect is now in custody from the Boston Marathon bombings, and that the public was key to helping authorities identify him. Burlington County Times


Delay in getting electronic records to first responders

While emergency medical services would seem to be an area where instant access to health records would be critically important, implementing such a scheme has proven difficult. An attempt to institute a statewide system five years ago has met with numerous obstacles and now seems to be back to square one. NJ Spotlights



Bergen freeholders introduce plan to relax pay-to-play restrictions

The Bergen County Freeholders introduced revisions to the county’s “pay-to-play” law Wednesday that critics contend will “open the floodgates” to a tide of campaign contributions from firms doing business with the county. Record


Two Secaucus incumbents say ‘machine’ beat them

After getting handily defeated by the candidates supported by the town’s mayor, the losing incumbents in this week’s school board race characterized the results as “typical Hudson County politics.” Record


Memo requires changes for Trenton to receive transitional aid

A new agreement tied to a $25.4 million state aid award for Trenton will require the city to work on increasing parking collections and enforcement, and to give the state documents on hiring, mayoral appointments, legal settlement and any penalties imposed by state and federal agencies. Trenton Times


Revel eliminates 83 jobs in cost-cutting push

Revel AC Inc., the bankrupt owner of Atlantic City’s newest casino, said it eliminated 83 jobs to bring costs in line as the New Jersey resort town’s gambling business shrinks. Bloomberg


Huge blast at Texas fertilizer plant

WEST, Tex. — A huge explosion tore through a fertilizer plant near West, a town in central Texas on Wednesday night, killing at least 5 people, injuring more than 100 others, laying waste to swathes of buildings and potentially sending toxic fumes into the air, authorities said. N.Y. Times


Burlco zoo closed, up for sale

A small Burlington County zoo that was the scene of fatal fires, animal escapes, and violations over unsanitary and unsafe conditions closed last month. Inquirer


Giffords: I’m furious

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) responded with anger to the Senate’s rejection Wednesday of the Manchin-Toomey gun measure. Politico


Gang of Eight aims to stop conservative attacks

The Senate’s Gang of Eight is mounting an aggressive lobbying campaign with one major goal: weaken the conservative opposition to a sweeping immigration overhaul. Politico



Christie’s bargaining with tax credit plan

Governor Christie, who has repeatedly protected millionaires from paying higher taxes, took to the airwaves this week as a champion of “working-class folks.” Stile, Record


Shameful vote on gun control

The heart of the Senate’s gun control bill, a compromise to expand background checks, wasdead on arrival today. Most Republicans opposed it. But above all, we can thank the kowtowing Democrats who jilted it. Star Ledger



  Morning Digest: April 18, 2013