Morning Digest: June 18th

  An Earned Sick Days law would ensure that all workers in New Jersey can earn a limited amount of paid time-off to be used if they or a family member get sick. CLICK HERE to send a message to your legislators in the State Senate and Assembly to express the importance of passing Bill A2354/S785. Take Action

Fight of the week: Doherty v. Lesniak

For the second time in almost as many years, state senators Ray Lesniak (D-20) and Mike Doherty (R-23) found themselves at opposites ends of a public quarrel in the statehouse yesterday. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)


Atlantic County Sheriff’s Race: Munoz already running hard at incumbent Balles

Responding to a June 16 press release calling on him to “return $4,600 in tainted campaign contributions” from a vendor with a $88,000 no-bid contract with the Atlantic County government, Atlantic County Sheriff Frank Balles said there’s “nothing wrong” with his campaign finance records. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



WNY Mayor Roque helps man crushed by collapsed building facade

West New York Mayor Felix Roque this evening rushed to the aid of a citizen in distress beneath a collapsed building facade and secured a possible obstructed airway before ambulances arrived on the scene. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



The Odd Man Out: Lesniak uses local northern political battles to try to regain an edge

When the Democratic power brokers decided to restructure the party in 2009, South Jersey boss George Norcross III huddled up with Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo and state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) and executed a battle plan. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



West Hudson mayors endorse Hudson County Exec DeGise for re-election

HARRISON – Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise struggled to be heard over the din of passing cement trucks and PATH trains as he spoke at a press conference on Tuesday near the entrance of a parking garage adjacent to the Harrison train station. But what DeGise, who is seeking re-election in 2015, heard was not a cacophony, but a symphony. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



In Trenton, Jackson rolls out his transition team

Trenton Mayor-Elect Eric Jackson today announced the leadership of his transition committee. The following members will help guide the transition team in advance of Jackson’s July 1st inauguration: (Politicker Staff/PolitickerNJ)



In hard political terms, can Ras Baraka wield influence as Sharpe James did?

Coming off last week’s Essex County Democratic reorganization meeting, sources continue to speculate about the political role Ras Baraka plans to undertake within the Democratic Party. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Shore program countering heroin overdoses going NJ-wide

TRENTON – The opportunity to prevent a drug overdose death a month ago is having a lasting impact on Frank Moschella, a young Toms River police officer. (Jordan/The Asbury Park Press)



Christie, Sweeney together for groundbreaking

New Jersey’s political calendar for Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 includes … Gov. Chris Christie speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony for Daytop New Jersey’s new outpatient facility for providing substance abuse treatment and education programs to adolescents, 11:30 a.m. in Pittsgrove. Senate President Stephen Sweeney also speaks at the event. (Symons/The Asbury Park Press)



Lockheed Martin inks Army deal for $35.7 million

SALINA, N.Y. — Lockheed Martin has landed a $35.7 million contract with the Pentagon to produce mobile, ground-based radar. The units are designed to operate with such weapons defense systems as HAWK and Patriot missiles. The radar can detect and track missiles and planes from up to 400 miles away. (AP)



Teach in NJ, live elsewhere? Lawmakers consider rolling back residency requirement

When Gov. Chris Christie signed a law three years ago that required new public employees to reside in the state, the logic was simple: If you are paid by New Jersey taxpayers, you should call New Jersey your home. (Friedman/The Star-Ledger)



Christie announces expansion of program to fight heroin addiction

Gov. Chris Christie today announced the state will expand a program aimed at saving the lives of New Jerseyans fighting heroin addiction. (Arco/Star-Ledger)



Kochs launch new super PAC for midterm fight

During a closed-door gathering of major donors in Southern California on Monday, the political operation spearheaded by the Koch brothers unveiled a significant new weapon in its rapidly expanding arsenal — a super PAC called Freedom Partners Action Fund. (Vogel, Goode/Politico)



Menendez: “There aren’t too many Castros I like,” but he likes Julian Castro

As both Democrats and Republicans show signs of backing Julian Castro for secretary of Housing and Urban Development, one senator already invited the nominee to his home state. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., was one of several senators Tuesday to voice support for the San Antonio mayor, whom President Barack Obama tapped for the cabinet position last month. (Gurcillio/The Houston Chronicle)


Senators Question Housing Secretary Nominee Julian Castro

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro sought to reassure a Senate panel Tuesday he would demand performance and accountability if confirmed to be Housing and Urban Development secretary. (Gamboa/NBC News)



Meryl Streep calls on Christie to sign anti-ivory bill

Meryl Streep has a message for Governor Christie: Save the rhinos. Streep, a three-time Academy Award winner best known for movies including “The Iron Lady” and “Sophie’s Choice,” issued a statement Tuesday urging Christie to sign a bill that would prohibit the importation or sale of products made from ivory or rhinoceros horn. Supporters of the measure say that elephants and rhinoceroses are being killed at an alarming rate and quick action is needed to protect them from extinction. (Linhorst/The Bergen Record)



N.J. police get OK to carry nasal spray that can halt heroin overdose

Police across New Jersey will soon carry a nasal-spray that can halt a heroin overdose, an expansion of the state’s efforts to counter the toll of drug addiction, Governor Christie said Tuesday. (O’Brien/The Bergen Record)





Protecting the right to vote… or not to vote in America

Should we as a nation mandate voting by our citizens in every election under penalty of law? (Durkin/for PolitickerNJ)



Chris Christie to the drug war: I wish I knew how to quit you

The 43rd anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s War on Drugs was a confusing time for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has been on a subtle-but-consistent campaign to position himself as a leader, stationed on the front lines, of reforming drug policy in America. (Nuzzi/The Daily Beast)



As American cities grow, new urbanism must be inclusive

Mention affordable housing and too often it conjures up the thought of failed housing programs from the ’50s and ’60s. Not only does this fly in the face of reality of what’s happening in our cities today but it does a disservice to the residents of recently built affordable homes. Simply stated, affordable housing means bringing income diversity to neighborhoods, rather than isolating communities from one another. (Fulop/for Blue Jersey)



Christie’s bid to revive ‘Compassionate Conservatism’

At a time when a large segment of the GOP base is gravitating towards an increasingly libertarian worldview, Save Jerseyans, Governor Chris Christie isn’t trying to compete for the same Republican primary market. He’s making a hard play to carry the standard for Bush-era “compassionate conservatives,” a term popularly used to describe the 43rd President’s social conservatism and support for tax cuts moderated by hawkish foreign policy stances and an allowance for big government intervention in a social context. (Rooney/Save Jersey)

Morning Digest: June 18th