Morning Digest: Aug. 23, 2013

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Democratic gubernatorial nominee Barbara Buono took her campaign to a New Jersey tent city Thursday to argue the incumbent governor’s “merciless cuts” in spending have had detrimental effects on the state’s most vulnerable. PolitickerNJ



Lonegan bashes Booker’s record

NEWARK – Steve Lonegan said he’s tired of the platitudes spouting from Newark Mayor Cory Booker, his general election opponent in the U.S. Senate contest. PolitickerNJ




From the Back Room


Christie nabs small business association backing

Gov. Chris Christie today received another endorsement from the business community, this time from the National Federation of Independent Businesses. PolitickerNJ




Latest from State Street Wire


Union opposes cross-training of elevator, amusement ride inspectors

TRENTON – A union opposes changes the state made regarding inspections of elevators and amusement park rides. State Street Wire

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Dems watch as Christie rolls

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has made little secret that he wants a resounding win in his reelection this year as a show of strength for his all-but-assumed 2016 presidential candidacy. Politico



Debt ceiling drama underway

House Republicans have no idea how they’re going to lift the debt ceiling this fall — top aides and lawmakers freely admit it. Politico



Koch Brothers not buying Tribune Co.

The Koch Brothers won’t be buying the Tribune Company after all, the company confirmed on Thursday. Huffington Post



More bad news for casinos

Atlantic City’s 12 casinos saw their collective earnings fall by nearly 45 percent in the second quarter of 2013, state regulators said Thursday.According to figures released by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, the casinos made just over $65 million in profits during the second quarter, down from nearly $118 million in the same period last year. 101.5 FM



Union Beach Sandy victims face choice of their lives

UNION BEACH — Eighth Street off Florence Avenue was a block where neighbors gravitated to front stoops to talk about life — their kids, report cards, football games and casserole recipes — all as the ocean breeze reminded them why they moved to this bayside town. Asbury Park Press



N.J. Syrians want U.S. to act after gas attack

From his home in Garfield, Jamal Laham has pored over heartbreaking images of lifeless children in Damascus, Syria, hoping he won’t see his loved ones among them.  Record



Bergen Republicans dismiss suggestion of rift

HACKENSACK — Governor Christie called on Bergen County Republicans to work together Thursday night at a fundraiser for which the county executive, Kathleen Donovan, was omitted from the host committee, raising questions about party unity. Record



Rand Paul may help Lonegan raise funds

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says he may endorse and help raise money for Steve Lonegan, the Republican candidate facing Newark Mayor Cory Booker in New Jersey’s special Senate race this year, according to a report by National Review Online. Star-Ledger



Mercer County willing to consider regional police force

Mercer County freeholders said tonight they are willing to consider Gov. Chris Christie’s idea that a regional county police force would help solve Trenton’s problems with violence, but they said the state should really provide more aid money for additional police hires. Trenton Times



State orders firing of woman from Sandy program

The state Department of Community Affairs has ordered the firing of a woman from its Hurricane Sandy recovery program after learning she pleaded guilty earlier this year to her role in the largest pay-to-play scandal to rock New Jersey in recent history. Star-Ledger



Booker: Expect cheap shots in this campaign

NEWARK, N.J. – Mayor Cory Booker expects his U.S. Senate race will be a nasty one. Associated Press



Jersey City mayor reappoints chief municipal court judge

A Jersey City judge who was nominated by former Mayor Jerramiah Healy as the municipal court’s chief judge in February, and whose appointment was then slapped down by a City Council bloc led by then-Councilman Steve Fulop, has been reappointed chief municipal judge by now-Mayor Fulop. Jersey Journal



DRPA deal in holding pattern

CAMDEN — The Delaware River Port Authority has made progress getting elevators and escalators operational at PATCO Hi-Speedline stations, although it cannot yet hire an interim contractor to make the repairs. Camden Courier-Post







Christie endorsement of Lonegan navigates tricky terrain

Governor Christie, who boasted to GOP bigwigs in Boston last week of his ability to attract minority voters, returned home Tuesday to endorse Steve Lonegan, even after the conservative hard-liner complained that “running as a white guy in New Jersey” puts him at a disadvantage. Stile, Record



New ideas could level college debt

Every college graduate struggling to pay student loans and every parent worried about tuition should applaud Oregon’s new proposal to finance higher education. South Jersey Times



Forming Trenton ethics board step in right direction

In an era of dicey job security, members of the newly forming Trenton Board of Ethics need not worry. It’s doubtful they will ever lack for work. Trenton Times





Morning Digest: Aug. 23, 2013