Morning Digest: September 11th

At birthday fundraiser, Christie, Romney present united Republican front

EAST BRUNSWICK – At a birthday bash fundraiser on Wednesday night, Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, verbally embraced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the man who could be the 2016 presidential nominee. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)




The PolitickerNJ Interview: Senator Gerald Cardinale

FORT LEE – State Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-39) remembers then-Bergen County Democratic Organization Chairman Joe Ferriero jabbing a finger at him and telling him, “The reason network television costs so much, Gerry, is because it works!” (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Donovan formally kicks off fall portion of campaign by burnishing labor support

CARLSTADT – At the head of a local sheet metal workroom, incumbent GOP Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan today kicked off her re-election campaign with the backing of three New Jersey building trades unions and the promise to continue building on the more than $200 million in savings and efficiencies to county residents over the past four years.




Bennett hosts birthday fundraiser for PAC-kickoff on same night as Christie’s bash

At the Hilton in East Brunswick tonight, Gov. Chris Christie will be basking in the spotlight alongside former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney for a NJGOP fundraiser he’s branded as his 52nd “birthday bash.” (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




Stockton Poll: Booker leads Bell by 13 points

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) leads Republican challenger Jeff Bell by 13 percentage points in U.S. Senate race, according to a poll of likely New Jersey voters released today by the Stockton Polling Institute. (Politicker Staff)




Baraka, Fulop and Torres outline elements of three-city public safety partnership at urban mayors conference

NEWARK – At an urban mayors roundtable on public safety at Rutgers-Newark on Wednesday, the mayors of the state’s three largest cities – Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres- who recently announced a three-city partnership to fight crime, sat side by side, asking questions and seeking solutions. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)




Bergen County Exec’s race: Dem Chair Stellato rallies troops for Tedesco

LYNDHURST – Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato was house-proud in his hometown before he got down to political business on Wednesday morning. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)




Lesniak to introduce new sports betting bill on Monday

Saying he hopes “the second time’s the charm,” Senator Raymond Lesniak said on Wednesday he will introduce new legislation that will bolster the state’s legal position on sports betting. The bill, which Senator Lesniak will introduce on Monday, would explicitly abolish language in state law that prohibits sports betting, a move that would reinforce the attorney general’s motion to lift the injunction preventing the state from moving forward on plans to allow casinos and racetracks to accept wagers on sporting events. (Politicker Staff)



Booker campaign responds to 13 point gap, says voters ‘clearly responding’ to incumbent

The campaign of U.S. Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) isn’t being deterred by a poll today that showed the race’s Republican opponent trailing just 13 points behind the popular incumbent. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




ELEC Analysis: top 25 NJ special interest groups spent $311 million on campaign contributions, lobbying and independent spending over 15 years

The top 25 special interest groups during the past 15 years spent a combined $311 million on campaign contributions, lobbying and independent spending, according to an analysis by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). (Politicker Staff)




Christie and Wisniewski end up in the same steakhouse

Following Gov. Chris Christie’s birthday bash in East Brunswick, he headed over to Steakhouse 86 in New Brunswick, where Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) was holding court at his annual fundraiser. (Politicker Staff)




Christie to campaign with Scott on Friday

Republican Governors Association Chairman Chris Christie will travel to Florida this Friday to attend events for Governor Rick Scott.  (Politicker Staff)




S&P downgrade of New Jersey credit deals fresh blow to Governor Chris Christie

In a significant blow to Gov. Chris Christie, Standard & Poor’s on Wednesday said it is downgrading New Jersey’s credit rating. The announcement said Christie’s management of New Jersey’s $78 billion pension system has “significant negative implications” for the state’s finances. S&P also cited the state’s below-expected tax revenues as a factor that “put additional pressure on future budgets.” The downgrade comes as Christie aides have been publicly suggesting that the governor’s fiscal-management record would be a boon should he decide to run for president in 2016. (Sirota/International Business Times)




Senate President calls for investigation into handling of Ray Rice case

A troubling question: why did it take a video of Ray Rice knocking out his now-wife Janay for the NFL to suspend him indefinitely, for the Baltimore Ravens to terminate his contract and for the general public to universally condemn Rice — when Rice already had told investigators he had punched Janay and when the video of Rice dragging a limp Janay out of the elevator had been viewed millions of times? (Hill/NJTV)




The speech Obama didn’t want to give

This was the speech President Barack Obama never thought he’d have to give. Standing in front of the cameras in prime-time, Obama — the man who won the White House in part due to his opposition to the Iraq War — prepared the country to get even more deeply enmeshed in the violent part of the world he’s spent much of his presidency trying to get out of. (Dovere, Gerstein/Politico)




Obama announces ‘broad coalition’ to fight Islamic State extremist group

President Obama on Wednesday night outlined an open-ended campaign to combat the threat posed by the Islamic State, significantly expanding the counter­terrorism strategy that has been a hallmark of his presidency. (Eilperin, O’Keefe/The Washington Post)



Kelly: War on terror drags on with no end in sight

The early morning wail of bagpipes, punctuated by the sharp pinging of a solitary silver bell and the slow reading of the names of the dead at the memorial plaza in lower Manhattan that was once known as Ground Zero, will signify that another 9/11 anniversary has come. (Kelly/The Bergen Record) Morning Digest: September 11th