Morning News Digest: Aug. 16, 2013



Morning News Digest: Aug. 16, 2013



SSW trial



Garden State Equality increasingly optimistic of successful veto override


TRENTON – The head of one of the organizations leading the charge in New Jersey for marriage equality says he’s growing increasingly confident gay rights advocates may soon have a victory in the Legislature.


Troy Stevenson, executive director of Garden State Equality, is predicting a successful overturn of Gov. Chris Christie’s gay marriage veto in the Legislature within the next six months. Stevenson spoke to reporters outside of a Trenton courthouse Thursday as GSE and other groups fight for same-sex marriage in the courts. (Arco/PolitickerNJ)



The players in the room at tonight’s Dems’ dinner on the invitation of Norcross


The phone rang with that familiar South Jersey area code the signature calling card of power.


It was a dinner invitation from the boss, George Norcross III, and those who got the call showed up.


They appeared in Due Process Stables in Colts Neck and suddenly found themselves among the reconfigured power elite of the party: Norcross, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6) and others. (Pizarro/PolitickeNJ)



Assembly candidate charges Hoboken Mayor Zimmer with ‘ethnic cleansing’ in lawsuit


On the same week Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer kicked off her re-election effort, the virtual assemblyman-elect in LD 33 took aim at her in a lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey.


Head of the local Housing Authority, Carmelo Garcia alleges that Zimmer and her allies tried to buffalo him in his official capacity into taking their side in a political theater of war that boiled down to yuppies versus Hispanics. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



NJ AFL-CIO votes to back Booker for U.S. Senate, Lagana in LD38


Now that the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate has ended, the labor endorsements are piling up for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the party nominee for the vacant seat. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Backroom collision course as three statewide names circulate among Dems


Having resigned themselves to the yoke of Republican Gov. Chris Christie and the celebrity transcendence of U.S. Senate Party nominee Cory Booker, many in the party establishment have begun – over coffee and in the watering holes of Democratic Party burghs – to keenly look beyond the Christie era to consider the next governor.


Three names keep recurring within the power circles of Democratic Party chairs: Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-4), Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6) and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



N.J. lost 11,800 jobs in July, state reports


TRENTON – New Jersey unemployment rate dropped slightly in July despite the state losing 11,800 over the month, according to the latest job figures.


The Department of Labor and Workforce reported the state shed 6,000 private sector jobs and 5,800 jobs in the public sector. However, the unemployment rate edged down slightly from 8.7 percent in June to 8.6 percent last month. (PolitickerNJ)



Christie tells Republican leaders his efforts in N.J. can serve as model for the party nationally 


Governor Christie took shots at other potential GOP presidential candidates at a Republican National Committee event in Boston and said he’ll do whatever it takes to win reelection this year, according to media reports.


And Christie offered a clear path to party leaders gathered to assess the GOP’s future in electoral politics: his own campaigns. (Hayes/The Record)



Menendez calls for end to violence in Egypt


New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for the violent attacks in Egypt to stop, saying Thursday that the mayhem is counterproductive to achieving democracy.


“A prosperous, thriving, and democratic Egypt is a nation that renounces violence and that respects the basic human rights of its citizens,” said Menendez, who was traveling in Asia this week. (Gannett)



Residents express anger, frustration at post-Sandy rebuilding to state lawmakers


Residents looking to rebuild their homes after Hurricane Sandy told state lawmakers today they’ve been stuck in a morass of bureaucratic red tape as they try to get a share of the millions in federal housing funding being administered by the state.


After hearing the stories of homeowners and renters during a joint hearing of the Senate and Assembly environment committees, the heads of those panels vowed to pressure the Christie administration to fix problems they said have become commonplace. (Spoto/Star-Ledger)



Christie rallies Republican leaders ‘to win’ and calls out N.J. teachers’ union


Gov. Chris Christie, whom many consider a leading Republican presidential candidate in 2016, rallied party leaders in Boston today to “focus on winning again,” according to a report by


“We are not a debating society,” Christie said during a private speech at the party’s summer meeting, according to the report. “We are a political operation that needs to win.” (Johnson/Star-Ledger)



N.J. ranks low in Baby Boomer obesity, study shows


Baby boomers in New Jersey are apparently watching their waistlines, according to a national survey released late today that ranked the Garden State one of the least obese in the nation.

The state ranked 48th out of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., for the prevalence of obesity among baby boomers: those 45 to 64 years old. (Livio/Star-Ledger)



All-star governor: Chris Christie to be inducted into Little League Baseball hall of fame


Gov. Chris Christie will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence next week, the organization announced this afternoon.


The Republican governor will be joined by author Harlan Coben. They were teammates on a Livingston American Little League team in the mid-1970s, and Christie’s father, Bill, was their coach. (Portnoy/Sar-Ledger)



Chris Christie to hold fundraiser in the Hamptons


Chris Christie and Sofia Vergara, together again?


The television actress and Christie’s table mate at the 2012 White House Correspondents Dinner is the girlfriend of Nick Loeb, according to the New York Daily News, and Loeb will be hosting a swanky fundraiser for the New Jersey governor in the Hamptons this month. (Gannett)



Chris Christie Lays Out Argument For 2016


BOSTON — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie laid out his ideas for saving the Republican Party at a gathering of the Republican National Committee on Thursday, in remarks that offered sharp criticism of rival Republicans and a window into his own potential 2016 platform.

Christie spoke at length about his record in New Jersey, emphasizing accomplishments like teacher benefit reform and bringing down the Garden State’s budget deficit. Christie’s remarks were closed press, but multiple guests provided quotes and recordings. (Miller/TIME)



Ron Paul: Son ‘capable’ of being nominee


Former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul thinks one Republican very close to him is capable of winning the GOP nomination: his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).


“I would think so certainly,” Ron Paul said on CNN on Thursday when asked by host Wolf Blitzer if he thought his son could win the nomination. (Politico)



5 Republicans Christie is sorta fighting with



Despite landslide, Lonegan’s turnout shows weakness 


NEWARK, N.J. – Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan both won easily Tuesday in New Jersey’s U.S. Senate primaries, but the numbers behind their victories tell very different stories about their trajectories.


On a rainy summer day when few were expected at the polls, Booker showed the upside of his celebrity status. In winning nearly 211,000 votes despite facing three credible opponents, the Democratic Newark mayor beat pundits’ turnout predictions and showed an organizational ability many say he lacks. (Inquirer)



From the Back Room 



The Big Three


The big three counties in terms of vote production and the Democratic Primary winner’s totals…



By the numbers in Hudson


Hudson County numbers told the post Election Day Cory Booker story.


Jersey City operatives were thumping their chests hard with the Democratic Party turnout numbers out of their hometown.






Christie should sign N.J. medical marijuana bill and save kids: Editorial 


When Brian Wilson confronted Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday, he wanted to bring his 2-year-old girl, Vivian, so the governor could see what’s at stake in the medical marijuana debate. But she was too sick, so Wilson came alone.


Vivian has a rare form of epilepsy that could kill her any day. The Wilsons have tried every conventional medical treatment, but her ferocious seizures remain part of this family’s routine. When it happens, they pick up Vivian and rush her to an established corner of the house where they hold her down on a padded mat, spray emergency medicine into her nose, strap on an oxygen mask and wait out the longest six minutes any family can endure. Her sister Adele, 4, rushes to bring Vivian stuffed animals. (Star-Ledger)



Doblin: Steve Lonegan declares war on California


In 2006, Steve Lonegan declared war on the Spanish-speaking, iced-coffee-drinking McDonald’s consumer. His tirade over a billboard that was not in the Queen’s English got him lots of attention. Steve Lonegan likes attention.


Much of what Lonegan says is aimed at a crowd, even if there isn’t one nearby. Lonegan is a little bit David and Charles Koch and a little bit Barnum and Bailey. (Doblin/The Record)


Morning News Digest: Aug. 16, 2013