Morning Digest: August 1st

Christie makes his pitch on bail reform

TRENTON -In a win-win moment for Gov. Chris Christie as he seeks tough guy points ahead of the 2016 GOP presidential primary, both houses of the legislature packed into the assembly chamber and listened as Christie pleaded for a constitutional amendment on bail reform this afternoon. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



At Christie’s urging, Assembly to vote Monday on bail reform

Governor Christie’s renewed push for bail reform will be decided Monday after he urged lawmakers during a special joint session of the Legislature on Thursday to act immediately. “It is a system that is failing the very people who it is supposed to serve,” Christie said, once again offering examples of two groups of victims: those hurt by people out on bail and the poor accused of minor crimes who are frequently stuck behind bars while awaiting trial. (Phillis/The Bergen Record)



Can Democrats flip Texas, Arizona and Georgia?

Democratic political strategist David Plouffe made waves a few weeks back when he suggested that Texas, Arizona and Georgia would soon become blue-ish states.  His analysis is here and also reflected below: “All three have large minority populations that, in the case of Georgia and Texas, have been getting larger at a rapid clip and that vote primarily Democratic. . . . Each of these states has postindustrial areas where the Democrats are doing well. . . . The Democrats have a chance in all three of these states if the minority vote continues to grow, if white voters eventually experience the same kind of cultural change that residents of other ideopolises have.”



Congress races to finish veterans, highway bills before recess

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rushing toward the exits, Congress on Thursday scrambled to wrap up legislation addressing the troubled Veterans Affairs Department and a looming shortfall in highway money. House Republicans unexpectedly put off a vote on a border security bill as tea partyers withdrew their support.



Poll: Malloy up by 1 point on Foley in 3-way Connecticut gubernatorial race

NEW HAVEN >> A new automated poll shows Gov. Dannel P. Malloy essentially tied with Republican Tom Foley, with third party contender Jonathan Pelto picking up enough votes to further give an edge to Foley. (O’Leary/The New Haven Register)



Chris Christie defends his record in second summer stop in New Hampshire

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Promising to visit New Hampshire often, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday defended his economic record against Democratic attacks while courting voters in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state for the second time in little more than a month ahead of a prospective White House bid.



5 reasons Chris Christie and other N.J. governors have held special sessions

What’s so special about today’s state legislative session? The governor of New Jersey is arguably the most powerful in the nation, and one of the office’s myriad powers is to be able to call the state Legislature to convene — whether they want to or not. (Friedman/The Star-Ledger)



Baraka warns employees about state involvement in city’s finances

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka warned city employees today that the local budget crisis may require state intervention. Baraka delivered the talk during a staff meeting at City Hall with several hundred city employees. (Nix/The Star-Ledger)



DNC criticizes Christie’s record with baseball video

As Gov. Chris Christie prepares to cap off his trip to New Hampshire tonight with a fundraiser at a minor-league baseball game, the Democratic National Committee has released a online video taking a swing at the Republican governor’s handling of New Jersey’s economy. (Johnson/The Star-Ledger)



The top 12 governor’s races of 2014

Could Republicans win the Senate but lose some of their governors in 2014? It’s appearing increasingly possible. As the 2014 election cycle has progressed, a number of lower-tier pickup opportunities for the Democratic Governors Association have crept up the list below, including some in some pretty unexpected states like Georgia and Kansas. (Blake, Sullivan/The Washington Post)



Wisconsin judges uphold union limits, a victory for the governor

CHICAGO — The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a law that significantly limits collective bargaining rights for most public workers, dealing a decisive blow to labor unions in the state and handing Gov. Scott Walker a crucial victory in an election year. (Davey/The New York Times)



John Hickenlooper: the man in the middle

John Hickenlooper knows a thing or two about fracking. When the subject comes up, the Colorado governor is likely to launch into a detailed discourse on the geological and chemical intricacies of the oil extraction process. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise: Hickenlooper’s first career was as a geologist. That was the job that brought him to Colorado in the early 1980s, working for a now-defunct oil company called Buckhorn Petroleum. Still, as he sat in his wood-paneled office in the state Capitol on a recent morning, it was a little jarring to hear him delve into the minutiae of microfractures, wellbore integrity, “frack fluid” and leakage gauges. (Patton/Governing)




Senate passes bail reform; Assembly to take it up Monday, along with open space bill

The Senate this afternoon passed bail reform and the Assembly will reconvene Monday to post it on orders by Assembly Speaker Vinny Prieto (D-32). (Politicker Staff)





Congress shirks its duty to deal with a humanitarian crisis

OPTING FOR the preposterous when summoned to do the practical, House Republicans rallied Wednesday behind a measure to sue President Obama, then threw up their hands Thursday when called on to resolve the crisis of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors streaming across the southwestern border. Having postponed its planned Friday adjournment, the House now faces the choice of redeeming itself by acting on the humanitarian emergency or slinking away in disgrace. (The Washington Post)



Can the GOP take the senate?

Just in case you haven’t had enough bad news, here’s a bit more from the domestic-politics desk. With less than a hundred days until the midterm elections, the Republicans now have a very realistic chance of retaking the Senate, which would leave them in over-all control of Capitol Hill for the next two years. (Virtually all the pundits reckon that it is a foregone conclusion that the Republicans will also maintain their majority in the House of Representatives.) (Cassidy/The New Yorker) Morning Digest: August 1st