Morning Digest: June 23rd

Sponsored by Auto Alliance

Legislation now moving through the State House could make buying and maintaining a car in New Jersey more expensive.  S-927 would effectively eliminate such popular consumer incentives as 0% financing and customer cash back at sale… adding upwards of $6,000 in new interest fees to the cost of the average car purchased in New Jersey…and raise repair costs.

Tell your State Senator today to reject the Assembly’s plan to raise costs for your car.  Tell the Senate to stand up for New Jersey consumers and OPPOSE S-927.  Find out more at


Winners and Losers

Stuart Rabner

The state Senate this week overwhelmingly officially re-upped the appointment of the chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court despite the protests of some Republicans in the senate, including state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-13), who characterized Rabner as an enabler of statewide economic failure. (Politicker Staff)


Iraq Crisis: Menendez opposes combat boots-on-the-ground, but sees national security threat in group ‘stiff-armed by Al-Qaeda’

HOBOKEN – As President Barack Obama deploys up to 300 military advisers to Iraq help quell sectarian violence, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, denounced the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) as a national security threat and applauded the president’s efforts to find unity in the embattled middle-eastern country. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)


For war veteran Assemblyman Andrzejczak, Iraq chaos, local poll numbers “absolutely frustrating”

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – The worldview of State Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak (D-1) was inexorably shaped in Iraq. A proud son of South Jersey, Andrzejczak, 28, has served in the Assembly since 2013 after serving with the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division in Iraq from 2005 to 2010. During his second combat tour in 2009, Sergeant Andrzejczak lost his left leg during a grenade attack. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



Veteran AP reporter Delli Santi takes communications job at AFL-CIO

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO announces the hiring of Trenton political reporter Angela Delli Santi as its new communications director. (Politicker Staff)



Christie backs N.H. candidate, blames Obama for global unease

Governor Christie backed a primary candidate during a visit to a crucial early presidential state Friday afternoon, hours after first pitching his policies to a group of conservative Christians meeting in Washington, D.C. His focus is not presidential politics, but electing Republican state leaders, Christie insisted. (Jackson, Hayes/The Bergen Record)



Christie stands behind Wisconsin Gov. Walker after alleged campaign finance conspiracy

Governor Christie said he stands behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, someone he called a friend, after prosecutors alleged in court documents released Thursday that Walker is at the center of a criminal campaign finance conspiracy. (Hayes/The Bergen Record)



Chris Christie pushes ‘pro-life’ reforms

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie argued Friday for reforms in education and the treatment of non-violent drug offenders as part of a “pro-life” philosophy that extends beyond abortion. Christie, a possible GOP presidential contender who has been damaged by a traffic jam scandal linked to some of his aides and allies, was speaking to a gathering hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a socially conservative group. He received a warm reception, and indicated he has no plans to leave the political stage anytime soon. (Glueck/Politico)


Chris Christie’s new compassionate conservatism

Republicans have an image problem. “Only 16 percent of Americans believe the Republican Party is compassionate,” Arthur Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute, told a roomful of Christian conservatives on Friday, citing a recent poll. Voters, he said, see Republicans as fighting against things and Democrats as fighting for people—and, framed in those terms, it’s no surprise people tend to prefer the latter. (Ball/The Atlantic) 


Chris Christie to participate in celebrity charity softball game at Yankee Stadium

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Gov. Chris Christie is taking a break from budget showdowns for the chance to hit one out of the park. The governor will participate in a celebrity softball game Monday at Yankee Stadium against a long list of sports greats. (AP)


Chris Christie can’t dance away his growing scandal

Wasn’t it all … over? … for Chris Christie? The void of negative national Christie news stemming from the George Washington Bridge scandal seemed to be leaving him room to rebuild. (Newell/Salon)



Bergen executive assails Democrats’ budget plan

Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan delivered a blistering critique of the freeholders’ proposed 2014 budget, contending it will leave the county up to $3 million in the red starting early next year. But Freeholder Chairman David Ganz disputed Donovan’s numbers and contended the board’s $507.6 million budget will deliver real relief in the form of a slightly less than zero tax increase. (Ensslin/The Bergen Record)


N.J. task force looks to preserve military bases

WRIGHTSTOWN, N.J. – For Tom Harper and other town business leaders, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is absolutely crucial. It’s the difference between making a profit and closing. Service members and civilian workers regularly pull up to the pumps at Harper’s gas station, and they have their cars repaired there. They patronize restaurants, dry cleaners, and retail stores. (Colimore/The Philadelphia Inquirer)


South Jersey schools worry new free meal program has hidden costs

A federal program available in New Jersey for 2014-15 would provide free breakfast and lunch to every student in low-income schools. But officials at many local eligible schools said they are not sure it will be cost-efficient to participate. They are also concerned that the new program could cost them other state or federal aid, and that some families could object to a possible new requirement that all families provide income information. (D’Amico/The Press of Atlantic City)


Rules, cost hamper medical marijuana

A week after the CEO of Egg Harbor Township’s medical marijuana facility resigned, legislators, advocates and others say the state’s medical marijuana program continues to be slowed by high costs and regulatory snafus, although changes may be coming. (Harper/Press of Atlantic City)


Car plows into Washington Township Republican headquarters

Washington Twp. Republican Executive Committee Headquarters was covered in shattered glass and scattered campaign signs on Sunday afternoon after a car smashed through the front window of its office around 3:30 p.m. on Egg Harbor Road. (Caffrey/South Jersey Times)





Jackson: Booker’s push for truck safety is facing a roadblock

Democrat Cory Booker is waging his first floor fight in the U.S. Senate, taking on colleagues in both parties who want to suspend regulations specifying how much rest truck drivers should get each week. The issue drew attention because of the high-profile crash involving comedian Tracy Morgan on the New Jersey Turnpike this month, but it is also so closely identified with Booker’s predecessor, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, that a safety-advocacy group named a “congressional courage” award after Lauten­berg last week. (Jackson/The Bergen Record)


Stile: Christie gets out in attempt to move on 

Governor Christie is on a hectic, return-to-the-spotlight tour. One minute he’s having a post-news-conference catch with kids in Camden, the next he’s rubbing elbows with elite Republican fundraisers in a Utah resort. (Stile/The Bergen Record)


Sabrin points finger at Christie: The Auditor

The fourth-place finisher in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate is suggesting Gov. Chris Christie’s closest allies may have tried to rig the race to help re-elect Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. (The Auditor/The Star-Ledger) Morning Digest: June 23rd