Morning Digest: August 27th

One night in Clifton: Pascrell town hall crystallizes New Jersey’s side of Arab-Jewish divide

CLIFTON – It was the typical crowd with black yarmulkes and leopard-patterned hijab sprinkled among uncovered bald heads – Ukrainian, Turkish, Polish – Spanish Flamenco-style hair pulled back and framed by loop earrings and at least one tricorn hat: a Great Falls-sized confluence of humanity crammed into Town Hall here where U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) stood at the front of the room straddling the most obvious divide. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




As troubled One Newark school enrollment plan process continues, Baraka amplifies need for local control

NEWARK – The school year is set to start next week in the state’s largest city, but many Newark residents feel schooled by what they see as a confusing school enrollment plan put in place by the controversial One Newark school reorganization plan. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)




Sweeney has ‘a lot of respect’ for O’Dowd, but won’t take position until Christie submits AG nomination

ROSELLE – Senate President Steve Sweeney said today that he won’t stake out a position on Gov. Chris Christie’s top pick for the state’s next attorney general until the governor actually submits the nomination. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




‘The Midas Man’: regardless of what Munoz does, Wiley in rev-up mode ahead of 2015 West New York Mayor’s race

“Freedom, freedom, freedom.” It was one of those inspiring, uniquely American campaign trail moments – that soured irrecoverably right after the election. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




CD 7 race: Kovach campaign laces into Lance assertion that GOP incumbent represents district’s views

CRANFORD – Last week, U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) shot down the notion that a critically-perceived drift to the Republican Party’s right wing could cost him votes in November. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)




Time to act is ‘way past due’ on Transportation Trust Fund, Sweeney tells Christie

ROSELLE – The Gordon Street Bridge — a teetering, hundred-year old arch of rusted steel in Union County’s Roselle township– has a sufficiency rating of 22.5 out of 100, making it structurally deficient, by most building standards. Yet it’s still used by tens of thousands of commuters who traverse the bridge daily, making their way to and from work. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




Lakewood, Singer, assisting Sofer family in search for missing student

The Ocean County town of Lakewood is in a state of heightened expectation right now as the family of Aaron Sofer makes contact with Israeli authorities to try to determine the whereabouts of the missing 23-year old student. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Key Christie campaign strategist: no comments about 2016 until end of 2014 elections

WESTFIELD – The lead campaign strategist for Gov. Chris Christie told PolitickerNJ on Tuesday that, regarding plans for a potential Christie run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, inquiring minds will have to wait. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)




Holley on LD20 assembly run: ‘I’m still interested’

One-time ironworker, senate president, and prospective gubernatorial candidate Steve Sweeney was busy making more inroads into North Jersey’s political soil today, showing up at a presser in Union County to champion the state’s Transportation Trust Fund and slap Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley on the back in appreciation for letting him use the small town as the backdrop. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




In AC, Guardian readies for impact stage next month as three casinos close

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian didn’t try to paint a rosy picture, but insisted the city’s doing everything it can to capitalize on the structures still standing – and open – in his embattled home town. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Trenton Councilwoman Caldwell-Wilson going to her native Scotland to vote in referendum election

Scottish-born Trenton Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson has a dual citizenship, and she’s watching with considerable interest those political events unfolding in the country of her birth in the lead up to a September 18th referendum election on independence. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Brothers who grew up with Christie in Livingston find themselves linked in GWB scandal wake

They shared their childhoods in the same well-to-do Essex County suburb, replete with youth sports leagues, small-town politics and accolades for their every milestone published in the exhaustive local newspaper. (Akin, Reitmeyer/The Bergen Record)




New misconduct trials ordered for ex-Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission officials

A judge has ordered new trials for two former Passaic Valley Water Commission supervisors convicted of using employees to fix their families’ and friends’ homes on company time. (Markos/Cowen/The Bergen Record)




Bergen County tab totals $507,000 in back pay in 2 cops’ acquittal

More than a half million dollars in back pay will fuel a total $1.12 million settlement with two county police officers acquitted earlier this year of charges they lied to investigators and removed evidence from the scene of a police shooting. (Rimbach/The Bergen Record)




Firing up the base: Cory Booker stumps from coast to coast

In a hard fought midterm election campaign that hinges heavily on galvanizing the party’s political base, Democrats have found a potent weapon in one lowly freshman senator. (Hook/The Wall Street Journal)




Christie pitches in for GOP in Arkansas race

A trip to Arkansas by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday will give the Republican a chance to lend a hand in a state where the GOP sees an opportunity to pick up an open governor’s seat and test the waters in the South as a possible 2016 presidential candidate. (Haddon/The Wall Street Journal)




Demonstrators call out Booker, Menendez on their support of Israel

New Jersey’s two Democratic senators are staunch in their support of Israel, even as many of the world’s nations join in condemning the Jewish state’s recent actions in Gaza. Both senators receive tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from pro-Israeli groups like the American Israeli PAC and NORPAC. Demonstrators contend that New Jersey voters want a tougher stand on Israel, but that PAC money is directing the senators otherwise. (Cruz/NJTV)




Officials discuss building casinos in North Jersey

“We don’t want to be where AC is now,” said Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce President Jim Kirkos. (Flanagan/NJTV)




Christie campaigning in Arkansas for Hutchinson

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is campaigning in Arkansas on behalf of Republican gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson‘s campaign.




A Whopper of a tax problem

Even the loss of the Whopper and fries won’t budge Congress. Burger King’s $11 billion takeover of Canadian doughnut chain Tim Hortons, a deal that lets the burger behemoth drastically cut its U.S. tax rate by moving its headquarters to Canada, moved closer to fruition on Tuesday, following a chain of companies using an increasingly popular tax maneuver. (Snell/Politico)




Déjà vu for Barack Obama in Syria

Barack Obama has a bad case of Syria déjà vu. Nearly one year after he stood at the brink of ordering military action against Syria — but said he’d only step across if Congress agreed — the president finds himself in an eerily similar situation. (Herb, Ewing/Politico)




John Boehner, donors huddle in Jackson Hole

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi brought her top donors to California wine country earlier this month. This week, Speaker John Boehner took his to Jackson Hole. (Sherman, Palmer/Politico)




After Ferguson: St. Louis’ decaying black suburbs are about to be forgotten. Again.

What we want to know,” the barber said, “is where has the media been? Because these problems aren’t new.” It was a Tuesday afternoon in Ferguson, and we were at a barbershop a few blocks from where 18-year-old Michael Brown had been gunned down by Officer Darren Wilson nine days before. Barbers and patrons were giving us the gossip. Police had long been harassing the black community, they said. One customer reported seeing officers taking backpacks from young black men and emptying the contents on the ground. When asked if Wilson had been among them, he said yes. (Kendzior, Lee/Politico) Morning Digest: August 27th