Morning Digest: August 19th

Essex Royale: Jones pulls party faithful in for night of gaming, political mixing

BELLEVILLE – Elbows on the felt table top, veteran Democratic Party political operative Phil Alagia looked across the void in a room crammed with party members getting a groove on as a bow-tied dealer dealt another round of chips. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



CD 7 race: Lance “confident” that perceived policy changes won’t hurt him

SOMERVILLE – Moments before he spoke at a Somerville town hall meeting, U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) pushed back at claims that his views have drifted too far to the right since getting elected to Congress in 2008. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



Senate brings years-long battle to a close with passage of Essex County judicial nominations

TRENTON – After a four year battle between senate Democrats and the governor’s office over a package of Essex County judicial nominations, the state senate approved the names of eight judges today to serve full terms in the state Superior Court. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



After long stalemate, Senate Judiciary Committee releases Essex County nominations

TRENTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee has released the nominations of eight Essex County judges, bringing closure to a long standoff between Gov. Chris Christie and the Democratic-lead state Senate. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



The State of the Party Organizations: Part One; Gilmore’s Run and Range…

The sprawling South Jersey shore county numbers 100,276 registered R’s compared to 68,564 D’s (Bergen has more – 104,462 – but Dems outnumber them; Morris is comparable in terms of number and plurality). But the county invariably drives the biggest Republican statewide totals come general election time owing to Ocean’s Republican leanings among unaffiliated voters. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Christie comes to Texas Governor Perry’s defense after indictment

NEWARK — Gov. Chris Christie came to the defense of indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Monday, praising his “honesty and integrity.” (Colvin/The Associated Press)



Eyes on 2016? Clinton goes to Iowa next month

DES MOINES, Iowa  — Hillary Rodham Clinton will headline a high-profile fundraiser next month in the nation’s first presidential caucus state of Iowa, creating a big campaign splash as Democrats scramble to hold a key Senate seat in November and the former secretary of state considers a campaign of her own in 2016. (Lucey, Thomas/Associated Press)



Sen. Weinberg: Essex County judge posts are better filled than vacant

The stalemate between Gov. Chris Christie and legislators over vacant court benches is a big step closer to being over. The Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously confirmed eight judges to fill the posts in Essex County courts. Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D) told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that filling the posts was better than having them left vacant. (NJTV)



Whatever happened to Springsteen’s childhood idol?

In the mid-60’s a little known Jersey Shore band called the Motifs was packing venus, until their young frontman was sent to Vietnam. (Johnson/Gannett)

Morning Digest: August 19th