Morning News Digest: April 22, 2013



Morning News Digest: Monday, April 22, 2013

By Matthew Arco



SSW trial



Judge rules Garcia ineligible to run for LD33 seat


Assignment Judge Peter F. Bariso this afternoon ruled that Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia is ineligible to run for the assembly in LD33.


A suit filed by Hoboken residents asserted that Garcia cannot run in the June Primary while serving as executive director of the federally subsidized Hoboken Housing Authority. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Winners and Losers: Week of the Debate


We had a great time at St. Peter’s University on Wednesday night talking to the four candidates running for mayor of Jersey City.


The evening featured’s renunion with the elegant Nicholas Chiaravalotti (pictured above), executive director of the school’s Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership, who co-moderated the debate along with editor Darryl Isherwood. (PolitickerNJ)



In Newark, Ramos has over $287K COH


In support of state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18), former Ohio Gov Ted Strickland (pictured) and Newark Mayor Cory Booker this afternoon is participating in a conference call with Democratic Party financial donors.


Strickland was the keynoter earlier this month at the Democratic State Committee’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Strickland joins Booker on fundraising call for Buono

In support of state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18), former Ohio Gov Ted Strickland (pictured) and Newark Mayor Cory Booker this afternoon is participating in a conference call with Democratic Party financial donors.


Strickland was the keynoter earlier this month at the Democratic State Committee’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.  (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Christie sees no disconnect in Barchi statements, eventual payout agreement with ex-coach 


TRENTON – When Rutgers University’s president appeared before Assembly lawmakers Thursday, he told officials he was unlikely to budge on a big payout for former head basketball coach Mike Rice.


Hours later, the university announced it had agreed to a $475,000 separation settlement following Rice’s April dismissal for physically and verbally abusing his players, and that announcement caught some Statehouse insiders in the Assembly by surprise. (Arco/PolitickerNJ)



Grand Jury files count of conspiracy in Roque computer hacking case


A federal Grand Jury has filed a superceding indictment of conspiracy against West New York Mayor Felix Roque and his son Joseph.


Roque is already facing charges of computer hacking. The superceding indictment specifically asserts that the mayor and his son conspired together to hack a computer without authorization. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Christie proposes series of changes to crack down on gun trafficking 


Governor Christie proposed a series of changes to criminal law today to crack down on gun trafficking and straw purchasing – crimes he said are behind much of New Jersey’s gun violence.


Christie also said the should make it easier to force mentally ill people into treatment before they become violent. He also said the state should require mental health records be included in the instant background check process for buying firearms. (Linhorst/The Record)



Watchdog: NJ voters wary of tax-cut talk


Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic state lawmakers have started new talk of a tax cut — but long-suffering New Jersey taxpayers might be in for a replay of futile discussions that took place a year ago, resulting in no action.


New Jerseyans paid a highest-in-the-nation average property tax bill of $7,759 in 2011. Analysts say a political divide and a shortfall in state revenue make it a long shot that a reduction in tax bills is on the way. Yet the topic is expected to be a major issue in an election year. (Jordan/APP)



N.J. Senate Democrats to introduce major overhaul of campaign finance laws


State Senate Democrats this week plan to introduce a major overhaul of the state’s campaign finance laws that would force political candidates and advocacy groups to disclose the donors behind every penny they receive, The Star-Ledger has learned.


The legislation, expected to be introduced Thursday, would no longer allow candidates to hide donors who give $300 or less, an issue that has received renewed attention since the indictment of the engineering firm Birdsall Services Group. (Baxter/Star-Ledger)



New Jersey’s antique infrastructure: The cost of doing nothing


If New Jersey is a car, then its paint is peeling, the wheels are wobbly and the radio plays only Michael Bolton. The state’s infrastructure — water and sewer, transportation, the electrical grid — is falling apart.


We got ourselves into this mess, and it’ll cost around $70 billion to get us back to even. Do nothing, and it only gets more expensive. (Namiotka/Star-Ledger)



Buono’s uphill climb looking even steeper 


TRENTON – Barbara Buono is losing.


Yes, it’s still more than six months until an election in which she tries to unseat a popular governor. And yes, beating Chris Christie – named last week to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world, for God’s sake – was never going to be easy.


But at this early stage, the little-known Democratic state senator from Middlesex County is outmatched in the crucial areas of polls, party unity, and cash. (Katz/Inquirer)



Izzo talks about Rice scandal as Rutgers hires crisis communications firm


Rutgers University has hired Hill & Knowlton to handle crisis communications during the ongoing fallout and media scrutiny from former basketball coach Mike Rice’s abusive treatment of players, Ralph Izzo told NJBIZ Friday.


Izzo, chair of the university Board of Governors, did not know how much Hill & Knowlton was being paid but said the money would be well spent/ (Waters/NJBIZ)



Superstorm Sandy hitting summer rentals on New Jersey shore


Superstorm Sandy shifted the sands of the New Jersey shore’s summer rental landscape, where some resort towns are suffering lasting effects of the barrage and others are, as they say, cleaning up.


Summer rentals are a backbone of the tourist season along the 127-mile stretch of coastline and barrier islands, where vacationers flock to the beaches and boardwalks that are convenient to New York and Philadelphia and more affordable than the celebrity-studded Hamptons on New York’s Long Island. (Reuters),0,5615483.story



From the Back Room



McCabe well-positioned in Middlesex


Sources in Middlesex County report Democratic County Committee members consolidating a majority of support behind Kevin McCabe to succeed sitting Middlesex County Chairman Peter Barnes at the end of Barnes’s term.


A labor leader with the New Jersey Regional Council of Carpenters and former chairman of the Woodbridge Democratic Organization, McCabe – a close ally of Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac and state Sen. Joe Vitale (D-19) – lost to Barnes in 2011. (PolitickerNJ)



Bellew responds to education flap


Leigh Ann Bellew, a state Senate candidate in the 13th District today responded to an article posted on PolitickerNJ yesterday questioning her educational credentials, demanding that the article be retracted.


Bellew has described herself as holding “advanced degrees” in constitutional law and history and was described by one media outlet as an attorney when quoting her analyzing a legal case involving home schooling. (PolitickerNJ)







Column: Did Christie trump Dems with tax-cut plan?


Gov. Chris Christie unveiled a tax cut proposal for New Jersey and some called it “new,” but was it? In the words of our beloved fellow Jerseyan, Yogi Berra, “This is like déjà vu all over again.”


The proposed tax cut would be spread out over four years and be available to households with incomes of up to $400,000. They would get an income tax credit equivalent to 10 percent of their property tax bill and be capped at $10,000. To start with, qualifying homeowners would get a $100 credit for the second half of this year. The credit would be 4 percent of property taxes next year, 8 percent in 2015 and 10 percent in 2016. (Ingle/APP)



More money is needed for the wrongly convicted: Opinion


In 1984, when I was just 21, I was convicted of a rape I did not commit. DNA evidence would subsequently prove my innocence, but not before I spent a decade behind bars.


Nothing is more horrifying than prison life when you know you shouldn’t be there. You lose more than just your freedom; you lose your very identity. (Shephard/Star-Ledger)

  Morning News Digest: April 22, 2013