Morning Digest: August 8th

RIP: Morris County Clerk Joan Bramhall

PolitickerNJ extends condolences to the family of Morris County Clerk Joan Bramhall, who was found dead in her home today, the victim of an apparent murder-suicide, according to published reports. (Editor/PolitickerNJ)



Bergen County Exec’s race: Fulop, in Bergen backing Tedesco, meets Clark, talks leadership

FAIR LAWN – On the day when retired four-star general and former NATO commander Wesley Clark appeared at an American Legion post in Fair Lawn to support Democrat Jim Tedesco in the Bergen County Executive’s race, the chief executive of Hudson County’s largest city slipped quietly into the crowd. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



O’Toole seeks special meeting of Senate Budget Committee to look at Newark’s finances

The Republican senator from Essex County wants Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) to convene a special meeting of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee “to better understand Newark’s budgetary situation and needs.” (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Rutgers-Eagleton Poll: Clinton at 50%, Christie 40% with NJ voters

New Jersey Republicans unsurprisingly want Gov. Chris Christie to run for president, while Democrats overwhelmingly pick former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to today’s Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Payne Jr.: no to 2017 N.J. gubernatorial run, undecided on 2016 Democratic presidential race

NEWARK – U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10) stood wharfside on Thursday in Port Newark, holding a press conference to discuss his efforts against what he believes are the damaging effects of employee misclassification on workers and therefore the regional economy. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



Turner to introduce bill curbing corporate inversions

Senator Shirley Turner (D-15) announced today that she is introducing legislation that would deter companies from reincorporating overseas to avoid paying taxes in the United States. The bills come in response to a growing trend — called corporate inversions — where American companies merge with foreign companies to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes. (Politicker Staff)



Former AC inspector pleads guilty to taking bribes

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a former Atlantic City inspector pleaded guilty today to accepting cash bribes from a taxi operator and operators of massage parlors and “stress therapy centers.” (Politicker Staff)



Sources: Morris political figure Joan Bramhall dead in apparent murder-suicide

DENVILLE — Former Morris County clerk and longtime fixture of local Republican politics Joan Bramhall is one of the two people found dead in a Denville home Thursday, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation. (Hochman/



Port Authority confirms grand jury subpoenas

A bond prospectus issued by the embattled Port Authority has confirmed what many government agencies have declined to: It is being investigated by the Manhattan district attorney and the Securities and Exchange Commission in addition to the U.S. attorney for New Jersey and the state Legislature. (Strunsky/The Star-Ledger)



Wooing Hispanic voters at home, Republicans turn to Latin America

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey will journey to Mexico next month to meet with the country’s new president, court its corporate titans and mingle with its cultural leaders. (Barbaro/The New York Times)



Passaic Housing Authority chairman’s cocaine arrest shocks city

He’s a well-schooled civil servant, active church member and family man who oversees a city agency charged with taking action against public housing tenants involved in drug crimes. On Wednesday, Darien Allen was himself accused of drug and weapons crimes after a police raid at his Pennington Avenue home. (Green, Koloff/The Bergen Record)



In Senate race to watch, Jeffrey Bell is running against Janet Yellen

Why isn’t the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee coming in for Jeffrey Bell in New Jersey? He’s in a remarkable political fight, running surprisingly close to the incumbent, Cory Booker, despite having zilch in his campaign account. Yet he can’t get his phone calls returned by the national GOP. This is all the more amazing because Mr. Bell is framing a national issue — the failure of the Federal Reserve to create jobs. It’s almost as if Bell’s real opponent were not the glad-handing Booker but Janet Yellen, the Fed chairman. (Lipsky/The New York Post)



N.J. political poll: the good, the bad, the strange

WASHINGTON – There’s good news for Hillary Rodham Clinton, bad news for Gov. Christie and President Obama, and strange news for Sen. Cory A. Booker (D., N.J.) in a poll released Wednesday. (Tamari/Philadelphia Inquirer)



Newark mayor not discouraged by budget shortfall

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka was sworn into office five and half weeks ago and walked straight into a budget crisis. (Aron/NJTV)



New Jersey town renames building after Obama

WILLINGBORO, N.J. (AP) — John F. Kennedy’s name is coming off a town-owned building in New Jersey, and President Barack Obama’s name is going on it.



U.S. Senate candidate Bell says his focus is economy

With less than 100 days until the November election, recent polls have shown Republican candidates coming on strong. U.S. Senate Republican candidate Jeff Bell told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that he has been a man for big ideas and that his campaign is focusing on the economy. (Williams/NJTV)



Lawmakers seek to ban Hudson River chopper tours

HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — Tourists who want a bird’s eye view of the New York City skyline might be out of luck.



Senator wants more railroad safety standards

PAULSBORO, N.J. (AP) — A U.S. senator from New Jersey is calling for tougher penalties for railroads that violate safety rules among other changes he’s proposing to try to prevent accidents involving hazardous materials.





Assembly Speaker Prieto shows why Chris Christie’s ethics reform is needed: Editorial

It was bad enough that Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto holds three public jobs, raking in multiple taxpayer-funded salaries and pensions. Combined with his $65,000 salary as speaker, his public positions netted him more than $200,000 a year. (Star-Ledger Editorial Board)



Stile: Legislature’s ‘courtesy’ rule bogs down courts in Bergen County

A backroom tradition in Trenton explains why justice is slowing to a crawl in the courtrooms of Bergen County. (Stile/The Bergen Record) Morning Digest: August 8th