Morning Digest: July 1st

Gill charges Christie with ‘direct assault on integrity of institution’ of the senate

TRENTON – A spat between Gov. Chris Christie and the Senate Judiciary Committee spilled angrily onto the floor this afternoon, as state Sen. Nia Gill (D-34) excoriated the front office for withdrawing the nominations of Essex County judges due to questions she said the judiciary posed to a former Christie administration member in line for a judgeship. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



CD3: National Republicans take to the phones with district-wide anti-Belgard robocall

TRENTON – As the CD3 race between Republican hopeful Tom McArthur and Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard gains momentum, supporters of the former are wasting no time — and mincing no words — in defining their candidate’s Democratic opponent. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



U.S. Supreme Court decisions: Booker v. Bell

TRENTON – In two separate but similarly controversial decisions released earlier today, the U.S. Supreme voted definitively on issues of religious rights for corporations and union dues requirements for part-time state workers. Both rulings, unsurprisingly, have legislators and political onlookers in New Jersey and across the country riled. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



Sources: Under Anderson’s leadership, Newark public schools “a fear state” as internal dissension mounts

NEWARK – When it comes to Newark School Superintendent Cami Anderson’s leadership of the city’s public schools, the view from Newark’s streets in recent weeks to some resembles the view from the deck of the Titanic. Anderson was appointed to head the state-run Newark school district, New Jersey’s largest, by Gov. Chris Christie in 2011. The governor publicly stated in September 2013 that he planned to reappoint her, and that he did not care about community criticism. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)


Is Torres the new Stack?

Due to be sworn-in tomorrow, Paterson Mayor-elect Jose “Joey” Torres has a full-fledged theatrical set-piece planned that will set Passaic County Democrats’ teeth grinding amid the fanfare. Some publicly unresolved appointments also have Dems on edge. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Working with Paul in D.C., Booker campaigns against ‘hardened ideologues’

TRENTON – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) went to Louisiana, North Carolina and Arkansas in recent weeks, all with an eye to saving the country from “hardened ideologues,” even as he enthusiastically befriends the staunchest opponents of his party’s leadership in the U.S. Senate in a demonstration of “bipartisanship.” (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Monmouth Poll: Christie job approval 50%; 49% of New Jerseyans have no opinion re. pension payments

TRENTON – Public opinion of Chris Christie continues on an even keel since dropping precipitously after the Bridgegate story broke in January.  The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll also finds that few New Jerseyans are paying attention to issues surrounding the state budget pension fund contributions.  While most favor a millionaire’s tax to help pay the state’s pension obligation, less than half feel the same about raising the corporate business tax. (PolitickerNJ)



Prez 2016: Booker talks up Clinton’s ‘high marks’ from national-level Republicans

TRENTON – Cory Booker isn’t ready to issue a 2016 presidential endorsement, but based on what he’s heard in Washington, D.C., says he disagrees with the argument that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could be a nationally polarizing figure. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Alimony reform bill passed by Senate, awaits Gov. Christie’s signature

TRENTON – A bill that eliminates permanent alimony and revises certain standards for alimony awards was passed today by the Senate by a 30 to 2 margin. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



State AG: Bergen Hotel will pay $110K to settle Sandy fraud allegations

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that Tapah LLC, d/b/a “Comfort Suites Mahwah,” has agreed to pay $110,000 to resolve the State’s lawsuit alleging that the hotel engaged in 473 instances of unlawful price gouging in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. (Politicker Staff)




Christie signs budget; vetoes tax hikes proposed by Democrats

Governor Christie signed a $32.5 billion budget into law Monday evening, using his line-item veto to slash more than $1 billion in spending from the appropriations bill that lawmakers had approved knowing he would cut that funding and reject their tax increases. Christie cut funding for women’s health care, a tax credit for low-wage workers and legal services for the poor, all from the budget bill approved by Democrats on Thursday. The governor also delayed property tax relief to next year, overriding Democratic attempts to provide it next month. (Reitmeyer, Hayes/The Bergen Record)



GWB probe: Another Christie staff member subpoenaed to testify before legislative panel

Another high-ranking member of Governor Christie’s staff has been ordered to testify under oath next Tuesday before a panel of lawmakers investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closures. (Boburg/The Bergen Record)



Gov. Chris Christie vetoes tax hikes on proposed budget

Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed state lawmakers’ proposal for a tax increase on the state budget on the day of the deadline. Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron discusses the governor’s decision with NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider. Aron says that the governor kept his word about the veto. As for the tax hike proposed by politicians, according to Aron it was a separate legislation from the budget. (Aron/NJTV)



Supreme Court rules against Obama in contraception case

Some corporations have religious rights, a deeply divided Supreme Court decided Monday in ruling that certain for-profit companies cannot be required to pay for specific types of contraceptives for their employees. The 5-4 decision on ideological lines ended the high court’s term with a legal and political setback for a controversial part of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law. (Mears, Cohen/CNN)




U.S. Supreme Court: Religious rights trump birth control rule

WASHINGTON   — A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that some companies with religious objections can avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law. (Sherman/The Bergen Record)



Christie to head to Iowa fairground in fundraiser for state’s governor

Governor Christie will visit a fairground in Iowa next month to raise money for Terry Branstad, the Iowa governor’s re-election campaign announced Monday. The fundraiser, dubbed “An Evening at the Fair,” is open to the press — giving Christie some valuable media exposure in Iowa, the first state to weigh in during the 2016 presidential nomination process. (Linhorst/The Bergen Record)



Christie cuts $1 billion of tax increases from budget

Governor Chris Christie cut more than $1 billion in spending and vetoed Democratic tax increases on New Jersey millionaires and corporations before signing a $32.5 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts tomorrow. The second-term Republican removed a higher pension payment and money for women’s health care from the $34.1 billion plan sent to him last week by the Democratic-controlled legislature. He also rejected tax surcharges meant to pay for them. (Dopp/Bloomberg News)


New Jersey’s Chris Christie Vows to Persevere on Pension Reform

Gov. Chris Christie said he would propose an overhaul to the state’s pension and health benefits system later this summer, revisiting an issue that burnished his national political image in 2011 but challenged him this spring when he scaled back promised funding. (Dawsey, Haddon/The Wall Street Journal)



Court’s union-fees ruling could have impact in N.J.

Pamela Harris is an Illinois mother who takes care of her adult son, Joshua, who has a disabling condition. And with Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case bearing her name, Harris’ advocacy against public-sector unions could have far-reaching consequences for organized labor, and for a particular and growing class of workers – those who provide home care for people with disabilities. (Von Bergen/The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Warren, Booker are Dems’ secret weapons

Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) have become the Democratic Party’s secret weapons in some of its toughest states this cycle. They can rally key portions of the Democratic base — women, African American and young voters — and effectively deliver the populist, progressive message that resonates with blue-collar workers in the South. Outside of President Obama, Warren and Booker are two of the party’s biggest fundraising powerhouses, able to rake in hundreds of thousands in a single event. (Jaffe, Cirilli/The Hill)


Anderson to Remain at Helm of Newark Schools, Activists Vow Ouster

Coming as it did — late on a Friday afternoon, on the final day of classes — the reappointment of Cami Anderson, the dominant education issue of the past three years in Newark, seemed anti-climactic. Reaction was, likewise, muted. (Cruz/NJTV)



Ras Baraka to be sworn in as Newark mayor

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Newark is set to swear in its new mayor. Former councilman Ras Baraka is due to take the oath of office on Tuesday in front of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. (AP)



Christie to talk budget at Caldwell town hall

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie is setting out to sell his just-signed budget on the first day of the new fiscal year. The Republican governor will host his 123rd town hall-style event Tuesday at the Caldwell Community Center in Essex County. (AP)



Court: public unions can’t make nonmembers pay fees

The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions Monday, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover a union’s costs of collective bargaining. (AP)


Whelan bill would return noise regulation to Atlantic City beach bars

Atlantic City may not be turning out the lights just yet, but it may ask to turn down the music. The bass-pounding beach bars on the Atlantic City Boardwalk may need to get quieter if a bill stripping them of state anti-noise law exemptions is signed by the governor. (Lemongello/Press of Atlantic City)




North Bergen’s Herb Klitzner retires after 29 years as North Bergen attorney

North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco issued a prepared statement regarding Klitzner’s retirement: “Herb Klitzner’s total devotion to North Bergen and the years of service he gave to the township will never be forgotten,” said Mayor Sacco. “He has been one of the key figures in my administration and has been instrumental in the revitalization of North Bergen into one of the model urban communities in the state. He will be greatly missed but I believe we will be in excellent hands with Tom Kobin.”




CD 5 Race: Poll shows upward trend for Dem Cho vs. GOP’s Garrett

A poll conducted by a Washington D.C. research firm hired by Fifth Congressional District Democratic candidate Roy Cho shows Cho with increasingly positive results against incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5) depending on how a critical poll query was asked. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ) Morning Digest: July 1st