Morning Digest: July 31st


Christie to Newark hecklers: ‘I’ve spent as much time in Newark as anyone else’

BELMAR – Gov. Chris Christie’s got nothing but love for The Brick City, or so he says. In response to a Newark school student here today — a 17-year-old president of the Newark Student Union — who asked why the governor has “blatantly ignored” the debt-ridden city during his famed town hall meetings, Christie fired back with a retort that had some raising eyebrows. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



Bramnick says the assembly has the votes to pass bail reform package

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) says it’s over. The Assembly can join the senate and pass the bail reform package tomorrow sought by Gov. Chris Christie. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Legislature is ‘running the risk of running out the clock’ on controversial bail reform package, Christie says

TRENTON – With 36 hours to go before the Legislature reconvenes for a special session to address a controversial bail reform package — and four days before an official deadline to get it passed — Gov. Chris Christie today reiterated the need for Republicans and Democrats to get behind the legislation. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



N.J. state economist’s exit follows bumpy tenure

Charles Steindel, who is leaving next month as the state’s chief economist, is a former executive at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a winner of a prestigious award for career achievement in economics and a proponent of what he has called “tempered” revenue projections. (Reitmeyer/The Bergen Record)



Christie urges lawmakers to change bail system

Gov. Christie on Wednesday urged lawmakers to vote for changes he says are needed to reverse the “utter failure” of New Jersey’s bail system, declaring that “we are nearly out of time to act.” (Seidman/The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Menendez: Federal flood insurance system ‘stacked against homeowners’ after disasters

The federal flood insurance system is “stacked against homeowners” who try to file claims after disasters like Superstorm Sandy, Sen. Bob Menendez said Wednesday at a hearing where he confronted the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency that runs the program. (Jackson/The Bergen Record)



Chris Christie sidesteps Bridgegate, again tops Republican presidential field

Mr. Christie, though, has some challenges to overcome as the polling shows that he is the most polarizing figure among the crowded field of likely GOP contenders. “He is leading right now if you ask people who they are going to vote for, but he is also leading in the dubious honor of which candidate you would not vote for under any circumstances,” Mr. Smith said. (McLaughlin/The Washington Times)



Christie in Granite State to revive 2016 drive

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will join the rotating cast of Republican presidential candidate hopefuls with a visit to New Hampshire today in an attempt to resurrect a 2016 bid that was crippled by the notorious George Washington Bridge political payback scandal. The Granite State — which usually leans toward more moderate Republicans like Christie — is probably the brash pol’s best hope in terms of making up lost ground and even earning the 2016 Republican nomination. (Chabot/The Boston Herald)



FDU PublicMind Poll Exec. Director: most in New Jersey support Death with Dignity Act

For the second time in over three years, the state legislature is considering allowing physician assisted suicide. FDU PublicMind Poll Executive Director Krista Jenkins told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that the majority of New Jerseyans support the legislation. (NJTV)



Christie comes under attack as he heads to New Hampshire

On the eve of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s visit to New Hampshire, a conservative group is launching a television commercial that criticizes the potential 2016 Republican presidential contender over his Garden State record on judicial nominations. (Steinhauser/CNN)



Philadelphia Ironworkers Local 401 union faces additional indictments

A federal grand jury has added two counts of extortion and other charges to the case against members of Ironworkers Local 401 of Philadelphia, whose leadership were indicted on charges of arson, assault and extortion last February. (Laday/The South Jersey Times)



Booker, Bell both get most of campaign cash from out-of-state: The Auditor

Republican Jeff Bell isn’t easily mistaken for the man he’s challenging in November, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. But the two do have one thing in common: Most of their political donations come from outside of New Jersey. (The Auditor/The Star-Ledger)



Books test market for Hillary Clinton hostility

It’s the summer of anti-Clinton books. There may be no clearer sign of Hillary Clinton’s political reemergence than the flurry of new books critical of her — two in the past month alone, with another pair coming soon. It’s all testing the depth of a market for anti-Clinton fare that had gone mostly dormant — and triggering a fierce campaign by her defenders to shame the mainstream media not to write about the books, lest they lend them legitimacy. (Haberman/Politico)



Next stop for 2016 Democrats: Harry Reid’s Nevada

Potential Democratic presidential candidates have a must-stop this campaign season: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s backyard.

At Reid’s request, Vice President Joe Biden helped fill the coffers last week of a Nevada Democratic congressional candidate and his state party’s political apparatus, a central cog in the Senate majority leader’s political machine. (Raju/Politico)



Bergen County sheriff gets U.S. approval for pair of armored military vehicles

Despite questions about their suitability for a suburban law-enforcement agency, two military-surplus armored vehicles will soon be on their way to Bergen County. The county Sheriff’s Office says it has received approval from the federal government to receive two MRAPs, or mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles — versions that are lighter than the behemoths the agency had originally expected to receive but still weigh in at nearly 15 tons. (Rimbach/The Bergen Record)


Paterson council approves plan to acquire abandoned properties

PATERSON — With more than 1,000 vacant properties creating crime havens all around the city, Paterson officials on Tuesday night approved a plan designed to spur the redevelopment of the abandoned locations. (Malinconico/The Paterson Times)

  Morning Digest: July 31st