Morning News Digest – April 8, 2013

Democratic state committee challenges Bergmenson’s signatures

Renegade Democratic gubernatorial candidate Carl Bergmanson said he plans to fight a challenge by the Democratic State Committee to the validity of his petition signatures.

Max Pizarro – PolitickerNJ.com

http://www.politickernj.com/64495/democratic-state-committee-challenges-bergmansons-other-challengers-signatures

Bollwage pans Buono campaign

ELIZABETH – Mayor Chris Bollwage said he feels uninspired by gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Barbara Buono’s (D-18) campaign and doesn’t foresee himself working hard on her behalf this year, if at all.

Max Pizarro- Poltickernj.com

http://www.politickernj.com/64493/bollwage-pans-buono-campaign-says-he-doesnt-plan-get-involved

Girding for battle, Lesniak prepares for Ode

ELIZABETH – The clang of cargo across the river sounds all day, where a block up from the docks in the First Ward, state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) went to the front of a roomful of neighborhood residents and said expansively, “These are my people.”

Max Pizarro- PolitickerNJ.com

http://www.politickernj.com/64492/girding-battle-lesniak-prepares-challenge-newcomer-obe-worn-terrain

Could gay rights be Buono’s key to defeating Christie n gubernatorial race

TRENTON — There will be plenty of time to talk about property taxes and jobs closer to November.

Matt Friedman – The Star-Ledger

http://blog.nj.com/njv_auditor/2013/04/early_on_in_the_campaign_buono.html#incart_river_default

NJ group homes offer care and community for severely disabled

Kelly is the very embodiment of one of the biggest issues confronting New Jersey as it revolutionizes the way it cares for the state’s most vulnerable residents.

But she doesn’t know anything about that. Like her five housemates at a group home run by the Arc of Morris County, she suffers from a range of severe physical and intellectual disabilities

Harvy Lipman- The Record

http://www.northjersey.com/news/Group_homes_offer_care_and_community_for_the_severely_disabled.html

Christie’s helicopter log

Gov. Chris Christie flew by State Police helicopter to five political events in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York over the past year, and took to the Garden State skies more than once a week in 2012, newly released records show.

The chopper trips to political events — which cost a total of $9,452, a tab picked up by Republican campaigns and committees — included the kickoff fundraiser for Christie’s campaign

Jenna Portnoy-The Star-Ledger

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/04/chris_christie_helicopter_log.html#incart_river

Donors behind millions in NJ political contributions kept secret

TRENTON — Politicians in New Jersey can receive more money while still keeping the names of their donors secret than those in any other state in the nation, masking the origins of millions of dollars in campaign contributions every year, a Star-Ledger analysis has found.

Christopher Baxter- NJ.com

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/04/donors_behind_millions_of_doll.html#incart_river

FBI eyes possible extortion at Rutgers connected to Rice scandal, report says

NEW BRUNSWICK — The FBI is investigating whether a former Rutgers basketball employee tried to extort the university before he made videos that showed former coach Mike Rice shoving and kicking players and berating them with gay slurs.

Star-Ledger staff

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/04/fbi_eyes_possible_extortion_at.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Immigration reform bill expected from senators this week

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A raucous public debate over the nation’s flawed immigration system is set to begin in earnest this week as senators finalize a bipartisan bill to secure the border, allow tens of thousands of foreign workers into the country and grant eventual citizenship to the estimated 11 million people living here illegally.

The Associated Press

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/04/immigration_reform_bill_expect.html#incart_river_default

Opinion

Time to legalize marijuana: editorial

Grab that jumbo bag of M&M’s and fire up the bong: A majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, the first time public opinion has swung that way in more than 40 years of pot polling.

Star Ledger editorial

http://blog.nj.com/njv_editorial_page/2013/04/time_to_legalize_marijuana_edi.html#incart_river_default

Rutgers likely to stand by its chief

Rutgers University President Robert Barchi will probably hold onto his job. The reason came about midway through his news conference on Friday when the besieged educator seemed to play his trump card.

Charles Stile- The Record

http://www.northjersey.com/news/politics/political_stile/Stile_Rutgers_leader_safe_in_his_job_as_he_helms_major_merger.html

Morning News Digest – April 8, 2013