Morning Digest: Oct. 9, 2013

Christie presidential run speculation discussed at debate

WAYNE – Gov. Chris Christie’s possible presidential aspirations took center stage Tuesday evening at the state’s first gubernatorial debate. (Arco/PolitickerNJ) 





Christie – in run-up to debate – stops in Buono’s district

EAST BRUNSWICK – Hours before Chris Christie is set to appear under the spotlight and debate his Democratic challenger, New Jersey’s incumbent governor brought the race to Barbara Buono’s home turf. (Arco/PolitickerNJ)







Chris Christie makes point on Obamacare

Republican Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that he doesn’t like Obamacare but that he found a way to deal with it in New Jersey, another signal that he sees the government shutdown as an opportunity to contrast himself with feuding parties in Washington.

“I don’t agree with the law, but we’ve complied with it, and that’s the job you have as governor,” Christie said at a gubernatorial debate at William Paterson University in Wayne. “You don’t always agree with every law you have to enforce, but I’ve enforced this one, and I’m proud of our record on health care.” (Titus/Politico)








Government Shutdown Sparks Race For 2014 Election Leverage


WASHINGTON — WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats have wasted little time trying to use the first federal government shutdown in a generation for political advantage ahead of next year’s midterm elections, seizing on the plight of furloughed workers and shuttered government services to cast blame on each other. (Lederman and Thomas/Huffington Post) 






Tornado touched down in Paramus, National Weather Service confirms

PARAMUS – A tornado raked a 100-yard-wide path through a mile and a half of Paramus at the height of the storm that swept through North Jersey on Monday, the National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday. (Norman/The Record) 





Bitterness deepens, shutdown talks yield no progress as U.S. Obama to nominate Yellen as Bernanke replacement

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will nominate Federal Reserve vice chair Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the nation’s central bank, the White House said Tuesday. Yellen would be the first woman to head the powerful Fed, taking over at a pivotal time for the economy and the banking industry.  (Kuhnhenn and Crutsinger/The Record) 







Government shutdown a focus in Booker, Lonegan race


As Cory Booker called for an end to the federal government shutdown on Tuesday, his campaign felt its effects.

Vice President Joe Biden cancelled a campaign swing through New Jersey with Booker that had been scheduled for Friday. Biden’s office said he was staying in Washington because of the shutdown.

Booker, meanwhile, was in Cliffside Park to argue that his Republican opponent in the U.S. Senate race, Steve Lonegan, would only make the problems in Washington worse if he is elected.

“If you like the shutdown and think it should keep going, Steve Lonegan is your guy,” said Booker, the Democratic mayor of Newark. “If you want to end it and think it’s no way to run a government, I ask for your vote.” (Linhorst and Bureau/The Record) 






Christie, Buono clash sharply in first gubernatorial debate

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic challenger Barbara Buono clashed sharply tonight on everything from unemployment to gay marriage to Hurricane Sandy in a contentious first televised debate. (Johnson/Star-Ledger) 






Charity director speaks out over Essex County aid disbursement

EAST ORANGE — The woman at the center of a conflict over how money was disbursed through an Essex County-funded charity broke her silence Tuesday after three days of swirling allegations that county officials mishandled state and federal dollars. (Giambusso/Star-Ledger) 






Kinder, Gentler Chris Christie Wins First Debate by Not ‘Losing It’

Buono hammers away, but calm, cool, collected Christie won’t take the bait

With polls consistently showing him leading Democrat Barbara Buono by anywhere from 19 to 35 points, the only thing Gov. Chris Christie had to do to “win” his debate against Buono last night was not to “lose it” – his temper, that is.

To the delight of his Republican strategists and the chagrin of Democratic leaders, it was a kinder, gentler Christie that showed up at William Paterson University last night and on CBS-TV screens across the state. (Magyar/NJSpotlight) 






Debate: Sen. Barbara Buono blasts Gov. Chris Christie on economy

WAYNE — With exchanges that were often sharp — and only occassionally personal — Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Barbara Buono met in a wide=ranging debate that seemed unlikely to change the trajectory of the race.

Speeding through two dozen questions in less than a hour, Republican Christie and Democrat Buono drew contrasts on most issues during their first of two scheduled debates. Neither appeared to stumble during the exchange, even with the rapid-fire questions posed by the panel.

But the debate didn’t have the game-changing moment that most analysts agreed Buono needed to shake Christie’s lead.

Most of the major issues facing state government were explored, including property taxes, whether to raise the minimum wage and rebuilding progress after superstorm Sandy. (Symons/Asbury Park Press) 






Obama: Default would trigger economic ‘chaos’

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that his staff is “exploring all contingencies” to avoid a government default, but stressed that Congress can head off economic calamity by simply raising the debt ceiling.

“There is no magic wand that allows us to wish away the chaos that could result if — for the first time in our history — we don’t pay our bills on time,” he said during a news conference at the White House.

On the eighth day of a government shutdown, Obama delivered a familiar message to House Speaker John Boehner and other congressional Republicans: No negotiations until the government is reopened and the debt ceiling is raised.  (Jackson/USA Today) 






In New Jersey Debate, a State Senator Tries to Deflate a Confident Christie

With less than a month before Election Day, it was a rare sign that, in fact, there is a race for governor in New Jersey this year.

At the candidates’ first debate on Monday night, Gov. Chris Christie just had to hold the line on poll numbers that show him walking away with a margin of victory big enough to make him a formidable contender for the Republican nomination for president.

His Democratic challenger, State Senator Barbara Buono, was looking to make an impression, something she has struggled to do since entering the race with little name recognition and little money to increase it. (Zernike/The New York Times) 






N.J. Supreme Court Justice Helen Hoens bids farewell in personal speech

TRENTON — Justice Helen Hoens bid farewell to the state Supreme Court today, giving a deeply personal speech about patience and compassion while pulling back the curtain on a life spent “in the margins and the shadows of society” raising her autistic son. (Rizzo/Star-Ledger) 






DiVincenzo critic wants to know more about his campaign spending

TRENTON — A political opponent of Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo who brought his use of campaign funds to the attention of the state’s campaign finance watchdog said today she wants the agency to make more of its findings public.

Marilynn English, a mortgage lender who ran as a Republican against DiVincenzo in 2010, wrote to the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) requesting that it compel DiVincenzo to disclose campaign spending that he has kept from the public but has shared with the agency. (Friedman/Star-Ledger) 






In 14th, Inverso/Greenstein camps trade barbs


HAMILTON – Utilizing a tactic employed in other legislative contests this year, the Republican challenger in the 14th District Senate contest painted the incumbent with the so-called Corzine Democrat brush today.

Spencer Sullivan, campaign manager for GOP candidate Peter Inverso, seeking to reclaim the seat he held for 16 years before stepping down, issued the attack on Sen. Linda Greenstein Tuesday.

The point of attack – which Gov. Chris Christie has often used against challenger Sen. Barbara Buono as well – stresses that the lawmaker voted “consistently with Trenton Democrats’’ to increase state spending and shortchange pension payments.(Mooney/PolitickerNJ) 







Hudson Democrats feeling a surge of power; just not for the November election


JERSEY CITY – Hudson Democrats tonight tried to sell themselves as the rightful power base of the party, falling in behind state Sen. Nick Sacco (D-32) of North Bergen. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)






 From the Back Room


James leaving job as Oliver’s chief of staff

There is a shift in the office of Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34).

Oliver’s chief of staff, Chis James, will join Aaron Binder and Steve Gardner as deputy executive directors of the Assembly Majority Office, according to the speaker. (PolitickerNJ Staff/PolitickerNJ)





Gill, Vitale reiterate Booker’s depiction of Lonegan as too extreme for N.J.


TRENTON – Picking up on the theme of extremism, Cory Booker supporters on Tuesday hammered home their belief that Steve Lonegan is out of touch with the country and is a symptom of the divisiveness in Washington, D.C.

As the Oct. 16 special election for U.S. Senate approaches with Booker holding a 45-29 percent lead, according to the latest Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll, Democratic Sens. Nia Gill and Joseph Vitale took time out today to reiterate the point the Newark mayor stressed in Friday’s debate: That Lonegan’s viewpoints are out of step with New Jersey voters.

“Lonegan is intolerant of people,” Vitale said. “He is not based in thinking of this century, but centuries past.’’ (Mooney/PolitickerNJ)
















The government shutdown’s latest outrage


By this stage in the government shutdown, everyone has a story they find most outrageous. Our choice is the denial of benefits to families of military troops who are killed in Afghanistan or in other actions.

The Pentagon is no longer paying these families the customary $100,000 death gratuity, or even reimbursing them for the flight to Dover Air Force Base to recover the remains. It is not covering the cost of their funerals, or their caskets. (The Star-Ledger Editorial Board/Star-Ledger) 








Seaside boardwalk owner promises bigger, better pier after fire


SEASIDE HEIGHTS — The twisted metal that belonged to Bill Major looked like something out an Apocalyptic alien invasion movie. All those mechanical arms and legs and rails from his Seaside amusement pier had collapsed or were tossed by Hurricane Sandy. (Di Ionno/Star-Ledger)   Morning Digest: Oct. 9, 2013