Morning Digest: Oct. 1, 2013

Government Shutdown: Congress sputters on CR The government has officially shut down. The partisan gridlock in Washington proved insurmountable, as

Government Shutdown: Congress sputters on CR

The government has officially shut down.

The partisan gridlock in Washington proved insurmountable, as House Republicans continue to insist on changing, delaying or defunding Obamacare as the price for keeping the government open, while Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama firmly rejected that position.

It’s the first government shutdown since 1996, when Newt Gingrich was the House speaker and Bill Clinton was president. The House and Senate stayed in session until the wee hours Tuesday morning, but there is no clear path toward solving the budgetary impasse. (Sherman, Bresnahan, and Everett/Politico) 


Christie formally nominates pick for Bergen County Prosecutor

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie on Monday formally nominated Gurbir Grewal to be the next Bergen County Prosecutor.

Grewal, a Glen Rock resident, has worked since 2010 as the deputy chief of the Economic Crimes and Computer Hacking and IP Crimes Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark. He previously worked as assistant U.S. Attorney at the Business and Securities Fraud Unit in the Eastern District of New York. (Ma/



Senate Dems want Supreme Court to take up gay marriage question 

TRENTON – Senate Democrats called Monday on the state Supreme Court to immediately take up the question of gay marriage in New Jersey.

Although a Mercer County judge ruled on Friday that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry in New Jersey, starting on Oct. 21, the state said almost immediately it would appeal, making the key question now whether a judge will grant a stay if one is requested. (Mooney/PolitickerNJ) 


LoBiondo asks for wage freeze in the event of shutdown

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBionod has requested that his $174,000 per year salary be frozen in the event that the cuirrent stalemate over Obamacare leads to a government shutdown. (Isherwood/PolitickerNJ) 


‘Boss’ Christie: How I’d solve it

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the shutdown in Washington can be blamed on everybody, but it is especially a failure of leadership on the part of the president.

“No matter where the partisanship is, the failure is in people not bringing people together to get it done. My approach would be, as the executive, is to call in the leaders of the Congress, the legislature, whatever you’re dealing with and say that we’re not leaving this room until we fix this problem. Because I’m the boss, I’m in charge,” Christie said hours before the government shut down on Monday night after Congress failed to reach a deal on funding. (Kopan/Poltico) 


Christie seeks to delay start date for same-sex marriages

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie will seek to delay the Oct. 21 start date for same-sex marriages in New Jersey and wants the state Supreme Court to fast-track an appeal in the case, according to a letter sent to the justices today by acting state Attorney General John Hoffman. (Rizzo and Friedman/Star-Ledger) 


Poll: Booker leads by 13 points in U.S. Senate race

TRENTON — Steve Lonegan’s stream of attacks on Cory Booker — portraying the Democratic mayor of Newark as more concerned with being a celebrity than representing New Jerseyans in the U.S. Senate — appear to be working, according to the second poll in a week.

The Monmouth University poll of 571 likely voters, made public this morning, shows Booker leading Lonegan by 13 points, 53 percent to 40 percent. (Friedman/Star-Ledger) 


Sandy aid, beachwork to continue in shutdown

TRENTON — Officials expect major federally funded Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts will continue even if the federal government shuts down Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs says states would continue to have access to the billions of dollars in grants already obligated for various relief programs, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says beach rebuilding efforts can continue. (Associated Press/ 


Parks closed, workers furloughed: how government shutdown will hut N.J.

The gates at Sandy Hook will be closed, with park rangers turning beach-goers and bicyclists away, now that the government shutdown is under way, shuttering the country’s national parks.

The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island will be closed to visitors, too.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey will be forced to keep about 40 percent of its staff home. While criminal prosecutions will continue, civil cases involving the U.S. government may be suspended. (Rundquist/Star-Ledger) 


Fernandez-Vina formally nominated to high court

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie today formally filed his nomination of Superior Court Assignment Judge Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina to a seat on the state Supreme Court. (State Street Wire Staff/PolitickerNJ) 


Ocean County sheriff’s race gets personal

NEPTUNE — The campaign for Ocean County sheriff turned ugly Monday.

For Toms River Police Chief Michael G. Mastronardy, the Republican nominee, a conversation between candidates at an Asbury Park Press editorial board meeting went out of bounds after he perceived that his parents had been insulted by the Democratic nominee, George “Bob” Armstrong. (Larsen/Asbury Park Press) 


Hospitals seeks to add newly insured through ACA marketplace and Medicaid

Meridian Health executive predicts agreements will benefit healthcare providers and patients

Hospital systems across New Jersey are signing contracts with insurers participating in the new health insurance marketplace or exchange that launches today. While they’re doing it because they want to attract new patients, their initiative is also expected to benefit uninsured residents by improving access to coverage and care. (Kithcenman/NJSpotlight) 


Christie calls government shutdown ‘a failure of everyone responsible for the system’

RED BANK — Gov. Chris Christie today offered a simple plan to solve the budget showdown gripping Congress if he were president: He’d lock Washington’s top leaders in the White House until they emerged with an answer.

“I told my staff today: If I were down there, I would say, ‘Listen, we’ve got seven hours to go. Guess where you’re spending the next seven hours? Right here in the Roosevelt Room. We’re not leaving until we get a solution to this problem,’” the Republican governor said during a roundtable discussion on hunger at the Count Basie Theatre. (Johnson/Star-Ledger) 


Cory Booker lead shrinks slightly in special senate race, new poll says

Cory Booker is seeing his lead in the special U.S. Senate race in New Jersey tighten slightly, and a plurality of voters believe his national profile is more important to the Newark mayor than serving the state, according to a new Monmouth University poll. (Statehouse Bureau/  


 From the Back Room

 Holding a Torch for Louis

Newly sworn-in Newark Council President Luis Quintana gave a shout-out to a special guest sandwiched into the front row among other political dignitaries. (PolitickerNJ Staff/PolitickerNJ) 


A new role for Mo

Mo Butler, Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s chief of staff, will have a new job if Booker wins his U.S. Senate race on Oct. 16th.

Two sources tell that Butler is set to become Booker’s state director if Booker defeats his Republican opponent, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan. (PolitickerNJ Staff/PolitickerNJ)   



What Factors Determine Elections?

With the political campaign season starting to wind down, the candidates and their handlers are beginning to go full throttle, pulling out all the stops to emerge victorious. We invited Ben Dworkin, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University, to talk about the factors that can determine the outcome of elections. (Asbury Park Press)  Morning Digest: Oct. 1, 2013