Morning Digest: Aug. 30, 2013

Members of Syrian community protest air strike possibility

PARAMUS – Aligning themselves with GOP Senate candidate Steve Lonegan on this issue, members of the local Syrian community spoke out against the United States bombing their country of origin. PolitickerNJ



Holder making mistake in not opposing recreational pot laws, Christie says

POINT PLEASANT BEACH – Gov. Chris Christie criticized Attorney General Eric Holder this afternoon over the prospect of decriminalizing so-called “recreational” marijuana in two Western states. PolitickerNJ




Latest from State Street Wire


Christie signs bills

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie today signed several bills, including ones dealing with immigrant student enrollment, portable fire extinguishers, and barring employers from requiring disclosure of passwords and user names of employees’ computer accounts. State Street Wire


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From the Back Room


Donnelly taking leave from Sweeney’s office

Senate Majority Office spokesman Chris Donnelly is taking a leave of absence to serve as the communications director for New Jersey United for Marriage, a partnership of organizations seeking legalization of same sex marriage. PolitickerNJ



White House gears up for Affordable Care Act push

Three years after signing Obamacare into law, President Barack Obama finally looks eager to talk about it. Politico



White House offers no Syria timetable

White House officials offered few details and no timeline for a possible attack on Syria during a 90-minute conference call on Thursday evening for members of Congress, according to a congressional source who participated in the call. Politico



British Parliament votes against Syria strike

LONDON — British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a vote endorsing military action against Syria by 13 votes Thursday, a stunning defeat that will almost guarantee that Britain plays no direct role in any U.S. attack on Bashar Assad’s government. Associated Press



Booker: Marijuana is overcriminalized

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker (D), campaigning for U.S. Senate, defended his plans for criminal justice reform and the rehashed talks of his sexuality in an MSNBC interview with Chris Hayes on Thursday. Huffington Post



Christie runs up vote, faces partisan pivot others missed

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, strolling the Wildwood boardwalk for 90 minutes, belonged to anyone who wanted to gab about Hurricane Sandy rebuilding or razz him about his belovedNew York Mets baseball team. Bloomberg



NFL to pay $765M to settle brain trauma lawsuits

The NFL agreed to pay more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to settle lawsuits from thousands of former players who developed dementia or other concussion-related brain disorders they say were caused by the very on-field violence that fueled the game’s rise to popularity and profit. Associated Press



Buono campaigns in Edison

On the same day a new poll showed she’s making progress against Governor Christie but still faces a long road, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono talked about education, business policies and other issues with diners in Edison on Thursday afternoon. Record



FAA takes up Hudson County complaint about helicopters

Elected officials from a number of Hudson County waterfront municipalities met with Federal Aviation Administration officials, aviation experts, community members and representatives of New York City helicopter tourism businesses for a symposium on complaints about low-flying choppers.  Jersey Journal



Bergen police disciplined after confrontation with trooper

BERGEN COUNTY — The two Bergen County Police Department officers who werecaught on video having a heated argument with a state trooper in May were disciplined following the incident, officials said today. Star-Ledger



Agency seeks affordable housing on Woodcrest site

In a new twist in the aftermath of the Woodcrest Country Club bankruptcy, the Fair Share Housing Center is taking the state to court, seeking to allow development of affordable housing on the Cherry Hill golf course. Inquirer



Trenton’s city-owned hotel to file for bankruptcy

TRENTON — The board that oversees Trenton’s city-owned hotel voted to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this afternoon, saying that reducing its debt will help attract a buyer. Trenton Times



Jersey shore beach income lags last year by millions

Area beach badge sales lag last year by more than $4 million, and it remains unlikely the Jersey Shore will recoup that money by the end of Labor Day weekend, an Asbury Park Press analysis found. Asbury Park Press



















Quinn, Weiner skewered by fast food workers

At least they weren’t throwing food. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Congressman Anthony Weiner received a round of boos this afternoon when they appeared at a fast food workers rally–one they were there to support–in Union Square. PolitickerNY




Booker isn’t gay but so what if he were?

The hullabaloo over Newark Mayor (and my friend) Cory Booker, his sexual orientation and his response to questions about his sexuality is the very definition of nonsense. Yes, it’s fine to ask whether Booker is gay or straight. What’s ridiculous is that folks won’t accept his highly evolved answer. Capehart, Washington Post




End budget brinksmanship

Members of Congress will face two acute budget problems when they return to Washington next month. Having failed to pass appropriations bills to fund the government, Congress will need to adopt a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown on Oct 1. Carter and Weinstein, Politico



Of fetishes, cabbages, well-groomed mayors and Lonegan

EARLIER this week, The Washington Post published a profile of Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who is leading in the polls to win the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s U.S. Senate seat in an October special election. Toward the end of the Post’s profile, Booker made a reference to repeated rumors that he is gay:  Doblin, Record



Obama, while supporting Booker, stays out of N.J.

TRENTON — Cory Booker has President Barack Obama’s endorsement for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Frank Lautenberg and he possibly has the president’s ear, but it doesn’t look like Obama will be coming to New Jersey to do any work for him. Ingle, Asbury Park Press|newswell|text|Frontpage|s



Stop yet another pension assault

When it was first revealed that lobbyists for several statewide organizations were drawing taxpayer-funded state pension benefits, or were eligible for them, a common reaction was: Only in New Jersey! South Jersey Times Morning Digest: Aug. 30, 2013