Morning Digest: Sept. 24, 2013

Rice doesn’t rule out challenging Joe D

Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28) wants Democrats to mount a challenge against incumbent Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo next year, and he hasn’t ruled out himself – although he acknowledges the unlikeliness of a Rice candidacy. PolitickerNJ



The Roque Trial continues

NEWARK – An animated defense team got a crack at the prosecution’s star witness today in the federal hacking trial of West New York Mayor Felix Roque. PolitickerNJ




From the Back Room


Stockton poll: Booker leads Lonegan 58-32%

Democrat Cory Booker holds a 26-point lead over Republican Steve Lonegan in New Jersey’s U.S. Senate race according to a Stockton Polling Institute poll released today. PolitickerNJ




Latest from State Street Wire


Lawmakers probe jitney-related concerns in wake of fatality

HOBOKEN – A jitney-related fatality earlier this year brought state lawmakers to this riverside city Monday to weigh the issues of passenger and pedestrian safety as well as the ability of a small industry to survive. State Street Wire

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Lhota wants to bar New Yorkers from homeless shelters

Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota wants to stop non-New Yorkers from hogging the city’s shelter beds. PolitickerNY



Dems will highlight Sandy rebuilding issues in campaign against Christie

New Jersey Democrats are criticizing the handling of housing funding for victims of superstorm Sandy and intend to make it an issue in the November governor’s race. Wall Street Journal



Booker’s problematic tax returns

Newark mayor Cory Booker, who hopes to be New Jersey’s next senator, claims to have “released” 15 years’ worth of his tax returns in what his campaign trumpeted as a “historic gesture of transparency.” National Review



Lobbyists roll up sleeves for pharmacy compounding battle

If you want to know how nervous the pharmaceutical industry is about the prospect of new federal regulation of compounding pharmacies — like the one involved in last year’s lethal fungal meningitis outbreak — look to K Street. Politico



Affordable Care Act: One blow after another

The Obamacare that consumers will finally be able to sign up for next week is a long way from the health plan President Barack Obama first pitched to the nation. Politico



McConnell rejects Cruz push on Affordable Care Act filibuster

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn’t back the push by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to vote against bringing up a bill to defund Obamacare, a McConnell aide told The Huffington Post. Huffington Post



Americans among mall attackers

WASHINGTON — Two or three Americans and one Briton were among those who attacked a Nairobi shopping mall, Kenya’s foreign minister said Monday. Huffington Post



Princeton University to open offices in Beijing

Princeton University faculty and students conducting research in China will have a new support system beginning early next year, when the university opens administrative offices in Beijing, officials announced today. Trenton Times



Councilman wants to ban smoking in Jersey City parks

Jersey City parks may soon be smoke-free, thanks to the efforts of a City Councilman who is a nicotine addict himself. Jersey Journal



Judge announces $85M damages in long-running lawsuit

MORRISTOWN — A Superior Court judge today awarded $84.5 million to two business partners who she said were cheated by the Wilf family out of revenues from a Montville apartment complex for more than 21 years. Star-Ledger



Pope to name assistant to Newark archbishop

In a move seen by some church experts as a rebuke of Archbishop John J. Myers for his handling of clergy sex-abuse claims, Pope Francis is expected to appoint a coadjutor archbishop Tuesday to help run the Newark Archdiocese. Record



Two Passaic judges accused of misconduct

Two judges in Paterson courts were accused of misconduct Monday because they regularly dined publicly with an indicted Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission supervisor, a longtime friend and fellow church group member. Record



Station linking River Line, Atlantic City to open in October

PENNSAUKEN The new $40 million train station in Pennsauken is slated to open next month to link the River Line and the Atlantic City line. Inquirer




N.J. hospitals changing to meet needs of Affordable Care Act

Each day, about a dozen employees gather at CentraState Healthcare System in Freehold Township to come up with a plan to ensure they don’t see their patients again any time soon. Asbury Park Press






New law could jump-start Trenton development projects

With enactment of the Economic Development Act, Trenton could be in line for a modest revival of long-stalled development plans. The law signed last week by Gov. Chris Christie provides special incentives for development and job creation in Trenton. Trenton Times




Christie’s pay hike diversion

Just weeks before Election Day, Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election campaign is running a TV ad that paints his challenger as a typical tax-and-spend Democrat. The spot busts state Sen. Barbara Buono for voting to hike lawmakers’ salaries, including her own, 13 years ago. Star-Ledger



Walk for hope in Paterson

FRIDAY MORNING, I scanned the headlines online before I reached for a newspaper. There it was: “33-year-old man killed in Paterson shooting.” It was a short story. A few paragraphs. A man fatally shot in the torso. An unidentified young woman was shot in the arm. An abbreviated story for yet another abbreviated life.  Doblin, Record




A good idea going nowhere

State Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer, a member of the Senate Education Committee whose day job is as a college administrator, has been trying to get New Jersey high schools to teach American Sign Language and to recognize it as a “world language” that could be taken to meet graduation requirements. Quigley, Jersey Journal

Morning Digest: Sept. 24, 2013