Morning Digest: July 8, 2013

Winners and losers: Independence week

While June went out like a lion in the political world, July sauntered in like a lamb.  The short week led to little in the way of political news, though Monday’s swearing in in Jersey City made for big headlines, as did the celebrations surrounding the Rutgers merger. PolitickerNJ



Holt: ‘There’s nobody I know who can run a campaign like I can’

PLAINSBORO – You’d think it might get tiresome sometimes being Rush Holt trying to navigate in what is often perceived to be a dumbed-down profession, populated by those seeking to have beers with the world’s bar stool-bound sports fans sooner than discuss issues – let alone the fine points of quantum physics. PolitickerNJ

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Teresa Heinz Kerry hospitalized

BOSTON (AP) — Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and heir to a ketchup company fortune, is in critical condition at a Boston hospital. Associated Press



Hillary Clinton’s answer to the has-been charge

Republicans in search of an attack line against Hillary Clinton have begun to cast her as a tired relic of the past — an implicit contrast to their own bench of up-and-comers like hip hop-listening Marco Rubio and libertarian-leaning Rand Paul. Politico



Voting rights ruling poses backlash danger for GOP

WASHINGTON — Several Republican-led states have already rushed to capitalize on the Supreme Court’s recent rejection of a key part of the Voting Rights Act, but some Democratic and civil rights leaders say the price for threatening Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream could be a nightmare for the GOP. Huffington Post



Pilot in San Francisco crash had little experience with 777s

The pilot at the controls of an Asiana plane that crash landed was guiding a Boeing 777 into the San Francisco airport for the first time, and tried but failed to abort the landing after coming in too slow to set down safely, aviation and airline officials said Sunday. Townsquare News Media



Codey blasts N.J. Dems

If you’re looking to hear something positive about the Democratic Party in New Jersey, don’t ask former Governor and current State Sen. Dick Codey. 101.5FM



Report: N.J. tax assessments down $4.3B in Sandy’s wake

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Tax assessments on more than 40,000 properties in New Jersey have been reduced by $4.3 billion due to damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, according to a published report. Associated Press



N.J.’s first medical practice aimed at gays, lesbians opens in Millburn

Howard Grossman’s 30-year career as a doctor began as a resident at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Star-Ledger



Mandatory drug court sentences kick off in five counties

When Thomas Blankenship visits with family members, they no longer hide their purses. Star-Ledger


Jersey tomato, potato crops threatened by blight found at five farms

Organic farmer Jess Niederer is terrified of late blight, a destructive disease specific to tomatoes and potatoes that was recently discovered on five farms in the state. She knows the fast-spreading disease has the potential to wipe out her crop of tomatoes at Chickadee Creek Farms, and she also knows the first case of blight in New Jersey this year was discovered in Mercer County. Trenton Times



N.J. gay marriage would gratify early proponent

Other than dear, what was Diane Marini supposed to call Marilyn Maneely, the love of her life? Inquirer




Congress on pace for record-breaking low

The current U.S. Congress, facing a backlog of unfinished business and sliding approval ratings, is on pace to clear fewer bills than its predecessor — which had the least number of measures signed into the law since modern record keeping began in the 1940s. Bloomberg



Business leaders applaud delay of insurance mandate

State and county business leaders applauded President Barack Obama’s move to delay penalties for companies that don’t provide health insurance, but cautioned that the extra time won’t necessarily ease concerns about the president’s signature reform law. Burlington County Times



N.J. Transit trying out ‘stretch’ trains

Sitting with the entire family while traveling on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail might not be a problem any longer. Jersey Journal


N.J. gives innovation a zone of its own

As New Jersey looks for new ways to attract and retain high-paying jobs in a climate where seemingly every state competes for the same or similar companies, legislators and pro-business forces are heavily promoting collaboration between academia and industry as a way to attract investment and cut the time it takes to get a product or process out of the lab. NJ Spotlight


Funds flocking to Christie

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie enters the gubernatorial general-election race with a familiar, commanding advantage in campaign cash. N.J. Press Media



Obama offers Christie shelter from storm

SEASIDE PARK – Heralding the $265 million reconstruction of a major road along the New Jersey shore, the only question Gov. Chris Christie faced about the recovery from Superstorm Sandy was about how he planned to spend the Fourth of July vacation. National Journal



Booker: Friendship with Christie could hurt Senate race

Cory Booker is one of the more famous mayors in New Jersey. The mayor of Newark is not just a celebrity. According to a July 4 New York Times article, he is also a close friend of New Jersey’s Governor Christie; an association that is rubbing some Democrats the wrong way. Examiner




N.J. GOP hopefuls stake ground to right of Christie

Gov. Christie may be touting his ability to compromise with Democrats as he seeks reelection this year, but a fellow Republican and onetime rival of his who is seeking their party’s nomination for U.S. Senate is promising anything but. Jackson, Record



A better world when Mandela is finally free

AS I WRITE, Nelson Mandela is clinging to life. His family is clinging to all that is petty. And much of the world waits for the news that this great voice for racial equality has been liberated from an aged body and lives free in the hearts and souls of the ages. Doblin, Record



A new day for higher ed in N.J.

Stronger higher education and medical schools lead to a stronger economy, and the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act, which went into effect this month, will contribute to both. Senate President Steve Sweeney, Inquirer


  Morning Digest: July 8, 2013