Morning Digest: Nov. 4, 2013

Hometowns of Buono, Christie consider gubernatorial canidates’ fate

MENDHAM and METUCHEN – Gov. Chris Christie, the Republican incumbent, and state Sen. Barbara Buono, this year’s Democratic standard bearer in the New Jersey gubernatorial race, come from hometowns that share one thing – a main drag called Main Street.  

But a walk down these two streets suggests that Christie and Buono will not share the same political fate following the Nov. 5 election. Conversations on Saturday night with locals on Main Street in Metuchen, where Buono lives, hinted at the twilight of her political career. Similar exchanges on Sunday morning in Mendham, when Christie lives, pointed towards not only victory in this race but also the increasing legitimacy of Christie’s chances in the next presidential contest.  (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)







Teacher who says she was chastised by Christie yesterday pens a reflection

A woman who says she’s a South Jersey public school teacher upbraided by Gov. Chris Christie at Somers Point yesterday put together a reflection piece on the incident.

Melissa Tomlinson said she tried to ask the governor why he portrays New Jersey schools as “failure factories.” (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)








Chris Christie: National reach ‘inevitable’

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie described the message people will take nationally from his all-but-assured reelection on Tuesday as “it’s inevitable,” as he blasted the authors of the second “Game Change” book for trying to “sensationalize” things.


Christie made the comments Saturday evening to NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell, after a day on the campaign trail ahead of his Tuesday re-election fight against low-polling Democratic candidate Barbara Buono.  (Haberman/Politico)






New Jersey’s Chris Christie looks to send a message to GOP with his reelection campaign

LIVINGSTON, N.J. — When Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign bus made its first stop last week, in front of the Ritz diner, the event had the trappings of both a victory lap and a road test.

The official victory lap can’t come until Tuesday night, when Christie is expected to cruise to reelection in his race against Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono. If current trends hold, Christie could be the first Republican statewide candidate to win more than 50 percent of the vote since 1988. His percentage could be the highest for any gubernatorial candidate since 1985, which was long before New Jersey turned blue. (Balz/Washington Post) 










Hopefuls in New York and New Jersey Pack Their Final Weekend


On a bright autumn day, the candidates for governor of New Jersey and mayor of New York City embraced the final days of their campaigns with rallies, bus tours and visits to diners, butcher shops — and the site of a planned garbage transfer station.


In New Jersey, the race for governor on its final weekend was as lopsided as it had started. Gov. Chris Christie, who has dominated the polls throughout the campaign, was traveling the state on a bus tour that he promised would take him to all 21 counties before Election Day, and encountering crowds that treated him more like a celebrity than a politician. (Kaplan/New York Times) 







Administration Faulted for Lack of Transparency with Sandy Recovery

Storm czar, DCA head continue to duck legislative committee meetings, prompting members to consider using subpoenas to compel their presence


Simone Dannecker grew increasingly emotional as she described her predicament to state lawmakers. Sandy had caused thousands of dollars in damage to her home, and in the course of paying for repairs, she and her husband had fallen behind on their mortgage. After living in Union Beach for 43 years — her entire life — she was now battling her bank to avoid foreclosure. (Gurian/NJSpotlight) 





With Medicaid Cuts Pending, Urban Hospitals Plead for Protection

Safety-net hospital advocates say funding reductions could be premature, repeat call for local tax


The hospitals that serve New Jersey’s poorest residents are asking state officials and legislators for protection from potential cuts in federal Medicaid funding, arguing that it’s premature to say how quickly they will benefit from increasing the number of residents with health insurance.

Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, most Americans are required to have health insurance, which was expected to benefit the hospitals that have long provided charity care to the uninsured. With hospitals expected to receive more insurance payments, the law included a series of cuts to the federal program that traditionally funded charity care.

But hospitals are concerned that the cuts will occur before enough people become newly insured through private insurance.(Kithcenman/NJSpotlight) 









Paul Ciancia of Pennsville, LAX shooting suspect, brings unwanted notoriety to his hometown


PENNSVILLE TWP. “Enough is enough,” said Gary Hankins. “It’s like beating a dead horse.”


Hankins is a neighbor of the family of Paul Ciancia, 23, who has been charged in Friday’s shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport that left a Transportation Security Administration officer dead and others wounded.


Thousands of miles away, the small town of Pennsville struggles to come to grips with the news, and to deal with the maelstrom of media attention. (Tomlinson/South Jersey Times) 






Christie’s cottails are wild card in whether Democrats retain control of legislature

TRENTON — Outwardly, most Democrats are confident about retaining control of the Legislature tomorrow, when all 120 seats in the state Senate and Assembly are up for grabs

But they can’t ignore the looming threat at the top of the ticket, with polls showing Republican Gov. Chris Christie leading Democrat Barbara Buono from anywhere between 18 and 33 percentage points.

No matter how rosy Democratic legislative candidates’ internal polls look, if their candidate for governor gets blown out by 20 points or more, all bets are off.  (Friedman/Star-Ledger) 






New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez to join Christie on the campaign trail Monday


New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez is set to join Gov. Chris Christie on the campaign trail Monday.

Martinez will join the governor for stops in Nutley, Hillside, Freehold, South Plainfield, Morris Plains, and Union City.

Martinez was the first elected female governor of New Mexico and the first Hispanic female governor anywhere in the United States.

This year, she joined Christie on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. (Isherwood/ 





Kim Guadagno: The woman who could be governor

She has made hundreds of public appearances in the past four years, was the architect of a controversial set of bureaucratic reforms and has been credited with helping keep some of North Jersey’s biggest companies from leaving the state. Yet Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is virtually unknown to the vast majority of New Jerseyans. And if she and running mate Governor Christie are reelected Tuesday, she would automatically succeed him if he resigns to run for president, as many expect.

With the election one day away, attention has turned to Guadagno and her political future as polls show the Republican Christie with a commanding lead over his Democratic challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono.

A Quinnipiac University poll last week showed that 72 percent of New Jerseyans didn’t know enough about Guadagno to decide if she would make a good governor.

“Whether people know her or not, she matters,” said Maurice Carroll, director of Quinnipiac’s polling center. “Because 8 o’clock on Election Day is the start of the Christie for president campaign and then she becomes very important.” (Fallon/The Record)   




Bob Menendez revives act to protect people with disabilities


Supporters of a treaty declaring global rights for people with disabilities are gearing up to try again to have the measure ratified by the Senate — a move that failed after a small but vocal conservative group derailed the effort last year.

Advocates were caught off-guard last year by a home-schooling association’s dire warnings that language in the treaty could somehow lead to a United Nations commission ordering parents how to care for disabled children, warnings that were amplified by conservative radio and television shows.

In the end, 38 Republican senators, citing either the uproar or the procedural timing of the vote during a lame duck session in December, voted no. That left the treaty six votes short of the two-thirds needed for approval, and ended a tradition of bipartisan support for advancing disability rights that started with passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act more than two decades ago. (Jackson/The Record) 





Christie Rep Clarifies Campaign Teacher Incident

Melissa Tomlinson, a teacher in the Buena public schools asked the governor during a stop in Somers Point, “Why are you portraying our schools as failure factories?” according to the Star Ledger account of the encounter.

Christie, who was about to get on his campaign bus, turned around and snapped,  “What do you want? I’m tired of you people.”

Tomlinson told the Record, “I was shaking by the time we got done. I was stunned. The crowd cheered him on, all of his supporters, and I basically ran for the parking lot.”

Maria Comella, a spokesman for the governor, responded to the incident, news of which spread quickly on social network sites on Sunday. “They were having a discussion about the (education) funding levels and the governor said that no matter how much money we spend, it will never be enough for you people,” Comella explained to the Star Ledger. She denies the governor said he is “tired of you people.”

“He was explaining how much money we’ve increased education by,” spokes­woman Maria Comella said Sunday. She told the Bergen Record, “He wasn’t yelling.” (Alexander/NJ101.5) 








Cory Booker Backs ENDA ‘With Gusto And Enthusiasm’  


WASHINGTON — Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) plans to vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, saying on Saturday that he would like it to be the first piece of legislation he cosponsors in the Senate.

Booker broke the news in a tweet on Saturday afternoon:


ENDA would make it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is already illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, nationality, religion, age or disability.

Every single Senate Democrat backs ENDA, and it was widely expected that Booker — who was sworn into the Senate on Thursday after winning a special election last month — would join his caucus. (Terkel/Huffington Post) 










 From the Back Room



Tuesday another polling duel between Rutgers and Monmouth  

Tuesday’s election will once again pit the divergent polling results of Rutgers-Eagleton against Monmouth University.

Today’s Rutgers Eagleton poll of the givernor’s race shows incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Christie with a huge lead over Democratic challenger Barbara Buono.

The 36 point margin anticipates the possibility of the governor producing coattails that could create down-ballot legislative wins for Republican candidates. (PolitickerNJ)










Newark: The Movie


In great anticipation of next year’s mayor’s race, we did a quick bar stool poll to find out who would play the lead roles in the epic blockbuster “Newark: The Movie,” which would be better by far than any of the comic book fare currently dribbled onto the screen by Hollywood. Here is what we came up with informally:  (PolitickerNJ) 









A new bishop for Newark on Election Day


THERE IS a change coming in Newark, and it has nothing to do with Cory Booker’s departure for the U.S. Senate. On Tuesday, Bernard Hebda is officially welcomed to the Archdiocese of Newark as a coadjutor bishop. Archbishop John Myers will no longer be solo at the helm.

Myers is only 72, three years shy of mandatory retirement. When the announcement came in September that the Vatican had named a coadjutor archbishop, Myers said he had requested one. Maybe so, but as a longtime observer of bishops and their relations with Rome, the odds of the Vatican sending in a second-in-command three years before a bishop’s usual retirement for no reason other than a simple request for help are about as likely as Justin Bieber announcing he has a priestly vocation and is entering a seminary.

The Archdiocese of Newark is in need of a shepherd, not an autocrat. And Myers has been very good at the latter and not so hot at the former. The archdiocese may be on good financial footing; the cogs may be turning fine and dandy when it comes to processing money coming in and money going out. But when it comes to speaking to the people of his church, Myers has been less successful. (Doblin/The Record)   

Morning Digest: Nov. 4, 2013