Morning Digest: July 9th

Sweeney “looking to do my job” when asked about potential 2017 rivals Kean, Fulop SOMERVILLE – In a surreal twist

Sweeney “looking to do my job” when asked about potential 2017 rivals Kean, Fulop

SOMERVILLE – In a surreal twist on summer board games, State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) shied away from a proposed confrontation with two political rivals, one on each side of the partisan aisle, yet could not resist calling out the most powerful politician in the state. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



Sweeney: Christie “a viable candidate for President,” clashing with Fulop’s view

SOMERVILLE – State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) spoke out regarding the feasibility of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, days after Sweeney’s main potential rival for the 2017 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, questioned whether Christie had the right temperament to be America’s commander-in-chief. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



Ruby Murphy, grandmother of Gail Gordon, passes away at 108

Ruby Murphy, grandmother of state Sen. Robert Gordon’s (D-38) wife, Gail Gordon, passed away yesterday at 108, PolitickerNJ has learned. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



Father of slain Paterson girl calls for justice as Mayor Torres echoes call for safeguards

The father of a 12-year-old girl who was fatally shot while riding her scooter made an angry and tearful plea to city officials Tuesday night as the sounds of a large and emotionally charged rally could be heard outside, where 500 people crowded into the square in front of City Hall, spilling onto nearby streets. (Bergen Record Staff)



Joe Scarborough slams Chris Christie on guns

Joe Scarborough on Tuesday slammed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s refusal to meet with the parents of the Sandy Hook shooting, calling his defense one of the “stupidest arguments” he’s ever heard. (Topaz/Politico)



The Cubans, the prostitutes, the senator, and The Daily Caller

The competition was stiff, but there was no stronger/stranger headline yesterday than “CIA is said to link Cuba to plot to smear senator.” Five Washington Post reporters broke the story that Cuban-American (and resolutely pro-embargo) Sen. Bob Menendez was “asking the Justice Department to pursue evidence obtained by U.S. investigators that the Cuban government concocted an elaborate plot to smear him with allegations that he cavorted with underage prostitutes.” It had been more than a year since sources in the Menendez “scandal” recanted or disappeared; now, it was reported that the mysterious “Pete Williams,” who tried to pitch the story to several outlets but only succeeded with the Daily Caller, was a golem created by “operatives from Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence.” (Weigel/Slate)



Showboat employees, Asm. Brown decry casino closure

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder behind Assemblyman Chris Brown, workers shouted things like “We need our jobs!” and “Middle class!” (Duffy/NJTV)


A casino in Jersey City? A venture capitalist wants to make it happen

A venture capitalist from Massachusetts has been quietly meeting with leading New Jersey politicians in recent months, pushing a proposal for a casino and hotel rising 95 floors above New York Harbor. (Friedman/The Star-Ledger)



Menendez’s Senate colleagues call for probe of alleged Cuban plot to smear him

A report that Cold War animosities fueled an Internet-age attack against Sen. Bob Menendez brought new attention to the scandal that has nagged him since early last year and, with his own call for more investigation, is unlikely to end soon. (Jackson/The Bergen Record)



Christie again pursues withdrawal from climate initiative

TRENTON – Gov. Christie is again taking steps to keep New Jersey out of a regional program enforcing regulations on carbon emissions by power plants. (Hanna/The Philadelphia Inquirer)



New Jersey’s Sandy czar steps down

New Jersey’s little-known Hurricane Sandy czar, who oversaw the distribution of billions of dollars in federal aid during a challenged recovery effort, stepped down Tuesday and will be replaced by his deputy, Gov. Christie’s office said. (Hanna/The Philadelphia Inquirer)



NJ Transit to vote on budget that keeps fares flat

NEWARK, N.J. — New Jersey Transit is expected to approve a budget that includes no fare hikes for the fifth consecutive year. (Associated Press)



Value of export-import bank touted at Clifton business

DriTac, a glue company in Clifton, recently wanted to sell to a customer in India, but needed assurances that the overseas company would be able to pay. So DriTac turned to the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that insures loans to foreign buyers of American-made goods. Now, DriTac ships more than $100,000 a year worth of glue to the Indian company. (Lynn/The Bergen Record)



Pascrell rues NJ marketing

“The reasons that New Jersey is the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to online gaming are multiple,” he said. “The New Jersey gaming regulatory structure is the best in the world,” claimed Pascrell, “but with that comes a lot of issues because of a lack of familiarity with online gaming – but that’s changing. (Darkin/intergame)



State ethics panel says Elizabeth School Board president should be reprimanded

The state School Ethics Commission has recommended city school board President Armenio “Tony” Monteiro be reprimanded for voting to have the school board reappoint a business partner as the board auditor. (Haydon/The Star-Ledger)



Ex-NJ correction officer sentenced to 7 years in prison for smuggling contraband

A former state correction officer at Northern State Prison was sentenced today to seven years in prison for conspiring to smuggle cash and a prepaid calling card to an inmate in 2011, the state Attorney General’s Office said. (Baxter/The Star-Ledger)



Fort Lee trustees prepare to start search for new schools superintendent

FORT LEE – School board trustees are gearing up to start searching for a new superintendent, a year and a half after severing ties with the last permanent schools chief. (Tat/The Bergen Record)



Little Falls’ error may set off $3 million budget scramble

LITTLE FALLS – An auditor found nearly two dozen accounting mistakes in township finances and an administrative lapse that will cause a $3 million budget gap next year, officials said. (Green/The Bergen Record)



Bogota hires lawyer to defend councilman

BOGOTA – Councilman Jorge Nunez says the Borough Council simply followed the advice of its legal counsel in choosing to hire an attorney to defend him in litigation with a housing developer. (Morrison/The Bergen Record)





Christie issues statement backing Bell

Gov. Chris Christie today released a statement through the New Jersey State Republican Committee endorsing its nominee, Jeff Bell, for U.S. Senate against incumbent Cory Booker this year. (Politicker Staff)





Stile: Governor Christie’s stance on gun bill a nod to the right

Governor Christie has spent the past four years portraying himself as a “principled” conservative who isn’t afraid to compromise with Democrats and their allies. (Stile/The Bergen Record) Morning Digest: July 9th