Morning Digest: September 17th

U.S. Senate race: Bell defends gold standard stance

MONTCLAIR – On the same day he was politically brickbatted by the chief adviser to the last Republican challenger to incumbent U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), GOP Senate candidate Jeff Bell stood by a key plank of policy platform: monetary reform that includes a return to the gold standard. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)




U.S. Senate Race: veteran Republican operative laces into Bell Campaign

A Republican operative who last year advised longtime political charge Steve Lonegan this afternoon upbraided the Jeff Bell camp for running when he sees as a lame campaign. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




CD 5 race: Cho, Weinberg lambaste Garrett at Teaneck HQ opening

TEANECK – At the opening of his campaign headquarters in Teaneck, Democrat Roy Cho tore into the record of his Republican opponent in New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)




ForwardNJ coalition announces membership and mission on TTF issue; Prieto welcomes support

TRENTON – At a press conference in the Statehouse today, ForwardNJ – a recently announced advocacy coalition for New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure — announced its members and mission, taking aim at the state’s depleted Transportation Trust Fund and calling on lawmakers to come up with solutions for financing it. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




The 10 best – and worst – Republican presidential primary matchups for Chris Christie in 2016

New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie is back on the Republican Governors Association campaign (read: presidential campaign) trail this week with a trip to the Carolinas today to stump for incumbent GOP South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and North Carolina Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Thom Tillis. Tomorrow, he returns to New Hampshire — a first-in-the-nation presidential primary battleground — for his third visit to the state in recent months. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




Stockton Poll: Booker leads Bell by nine points in CD3

In the most-watched Congressional District in the state this season, incumbent U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) leads Republican Jeff Bell by 9 percentage points in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, according to a Stockton Polling Institute poll released today. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




U.S. Senate race: Bell wants Gill at a podium to sub for Booker in three debates

Irritated at U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) for resisting two debate forums, Republican challenger Jeff Bell said he wants a substitute showdown with Booker Campaign Manager Brendan Gill, an Essex County Freeholder and the former state director for the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Bramnick urges Atlantic County prosecutors to use discretion in Shaheen Allen case

TRENTON – Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) today urged prosecutors in Atlantic County to reconsider the case of Shaneen Allen, a Pennsylvania woman who was arrested for possessing a legal firearm in Atlantic County earlier this year, and called on lawmakers across the state to revisit the issue of prosecutorial discretion to better deal with similar circumstances. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




N.J. pension system sells investment in fund tied to Massachusetts GOP candidate

New Jersey’s pension system has sold its stake in a venture capital fund with ties to a candidate running for governor this year in Massachusetts, but a broader review of the investment by the Christie administration continues. (Reitmeyer/The Bergen Record)




State Investment Council touts pension investments

There is a density to the proceedings at regular meetings of the State Investment Council that can be difficult to penetrate. (Cruz/NJTV)




N.J. Gov. Chris Christie visits South Carolina

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stayed coy Tuesday about any presidential plans as he raised campaign cash for GOP candidates in North and South Carolina. (AP)




New Jersey’s Christie stumps for NH candidates

SALEM, N.H. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a potential Republican presidential candidate, is making his third trip to New Hampshire to campaign with the Republicans topping the party’s ticket this November.




Gov. Chris Christie draws comparisons to Teddy Roosevelt from historian Doris Hearns Goodwin

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bears some resemblance, both in temperament and juxtaposition to the Republ
ican party, to Theodore Roosevelt, presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin said Tuesday. (McGrath/The Times of Trenton)




Barack Obama’s dirty war

How dirty is President Barack Obama prepared to get in the war to defeat ISIL? Beating back the brutal Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant may require cozying up to unsavory groups in Syria — including some currently affiliated with the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front — and may collide with existing law if the groups the U.S. wants to train or co-opt have murky human rights records, former officials and analysts say. (Gerstein/Politico)




Dems divided on Obama’s Syria plan

The deep divisions among Democrats over President Barack Obama’s plan to attack Islamic State militants foreshadow fights ahead within the party over how aggressively to assert itself on foreign policy. A growing number of rank-and-file Democrats are worried that the president’s plans would commit the United States to an open-ended conflict against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, costing the country blood and treasure in another unpredictable Mideast war. Yet party leaders and senior Democrats believe now is the time to stand behind the commander in chief, given the lack of viable options and the deepening crisis threatening to plunge the region into further turmoil. (Raju, Kim/Politico)




Where the Bergen County candidates stand: open space

In May 2013, the Freeholders rejected the advice of an advisory panel that wanted the county to double its open space tax. Panel members argued that the amount of funds generated by the tax is insufficient and noted that Bergen ranked last among the 21 New Jersey counties that have an open space tax. (Ensslin/The Bergen Record)




N.J. legislator demands halt to Garret Mountain reservoir project

State Sen. Kevin O’Toole on Tuesday joined a rising chorus of opposition to the Garret Mountain reservoir project, calling on the Passaic Valley Water Commission to “immediately” stop all work and seek alternatives to the current plan to build tank farms in public parks. (Cowen/The Bergen Record)




Hackensack City Council votes to hire Troast as city manager

HACKENSACK – The Hackensack City Council has hired its first full-fledged city manager since taking office more than a year ago. (South/The Bergen Record)




Let’s consider merging NJ’s three big transportation agencies: Wisniewski

New Jersey should consider merging its three main transportation bureaucracies in an effort to make travel in the state more efficient, the influential head of the Assembly Transportation committee said Tuesday. (Strunsky/NJ Media Advance) Morning Digest: September 17th