Morning News Digest: March 18th

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 The March to Healy’s Tavern: in Jersey City, old rivals find their way home to Hudson

JERSEY CITY – Drums, pipes, kilts and hard faces trudging behind Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes in this year’s annual one block St. Patrick’s Day Parade felt like staging area props and players for the next war, as though a moat or open field or another nondescript block would unleash house-to-house fighting or worse, an abiding grimly contained havoc finally diffused and prevented alone by the presence of a tavern with its doors flung wide. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

The March to Healy’s Tavern: in Jersey City, old rivals find their way home to Hudson | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Newark Mayor Baraka, in first State of the City address, calls out Christie, Port Authority

NEWARK – In his first State of the City address, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka took New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to task, demanding official approval so that the state’s largest city can ultimately help itself. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

Newark Mayor Baraka, in first State of the City address, calls out Christie, Port Authority | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Fixing school funding ‘single most frustrating arc’ of tenure, Christie says

FREEHOLD — At his 131st town hall here today, Gov. Chris Christie said his administration’s repeated failures to overturn the state’s school funding formula has been the “single most frustrating arc during my time as governor.” (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

Fixing school funding ‘single most frustrating arc’ of tenure, Christie says | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Christie not responsible for ‘sins of the past’, but says he’s committed to fixing them

FREEHOLD — Appearing comfortable in this overwhelmingly Republican town, where former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won solidly over President Barack Obama in 2012, Gov. Chris Christie went about reassuring residents this afternoon that he is not responsible for the “sins of the past” that have left the state facing major fiscal problems — but that he won’t shy away from solving them either. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

Christie not responsible for ‘sins of the past’, but is committed to fixing them | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Sweeney, Senate leadership push Port Authority to sell assets to fund rail tunnel

NEWARK – State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), flanked by ranking Senate members, business and labor leaders, called on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to sell some of their considerable real estate holdings to pay for the construction of a new railway tunnel between the two states. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

Sweeney, Senate leadership push Port Authority to sell assets to fund rail tunnel | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Will the Barr vote boomerang on Sweeney in a Democratic Primary?

It’s too easy to use the word raucous, but it looked like a St. Patrick’s Day crowd bucking for a fight a day early yesterday in the senate gallery: green-shirted, loud and obnoxious and reining colorful invective on a single, smoldering, square-jawed target planted on the rostrum below.

They were actually furious environmental activists, fearful of the destruction of the environmentally sensitive New Jersey Pinelands, propelled into the statehouse hallways to torment state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3). (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Will the Barr vote boomerang on Sweeney in a Democratic Primary? | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

On Saint Patrick’s Day, Irish-Americans in New Jersey reflect

NEWARK – It took Rosemarie Mellody, the first female Grand Marshal of the Newark Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, just a few seconds to remind those at Friday’s parade about one link between Ireland and New Jersey that went back decades. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

On Saint Patrick’s Day, Irish-Americans in New Jersey reflect | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Bayonne contractor admits to collusion for HUD contracts

An owner of a plumbing and heating company in Bayonne admitted today to colluding with other contractors to secure projects funded by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grants, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

Bayonne contractor admits to collusion for HUD contracts | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Weinberg and Mosquera to host gun violence roundtable with Gabby Giffords in Trenton

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-38) and Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-4) will join former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords for a roundtable discussion on domestic abuse and gun violence in the statehouse tomorrow. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

Weinberg and Mosquera to host gun violence roundtable with Gabby Giffords in Trenton | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Report: More Exxon Mobil scrutiny

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s controversial deal with Exxon Mobil to settle an $8.9 billion natural resources damage claim for less than 3 cents on the dollar is now coming under additional scrutiny from New York City elected officials, according to a report by veteran New Jersey newsman Bob Hennelly.

Report: More Exxon Mobil scrutiny | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Former federal official Cullari pleads guilty to fraud

The former assistant division administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), New Jersey Division, today admitted using a straw company to fraudulently obtain grant funds, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.  (PolitickerNJ)

Former federal official Cullari pleads guilty to fraud | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Christie repeats message about pension system at Freehold Town Hall

They say repetition is the key to success when selling a message. In his fourth town hall since the budget address Feb. 24, Gov. Chris Christie repeated almost the exact same lines he’s been delivering ever since. (Aron/NJTV)

Christie Repeats Message About Pension System at Freehold Town Hall

 

 

Senate Dems propose new rail tunnel

World Trade Center’s among several Port Authority assets that Senate Democrats want to leverage — sell, basically — to drum up $3 billion down payment for a brand-new Gateway Tunnel under the Hudson. (Flanagan/NJTV)

Senate Dems Propose New Rail Tunnel

 

 

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, defying expectations, pulls off a big victory

TEL AVIV, Israel — In a dizzying outcome to a divisive and angry Israeli election campaign, preliminary official results early Wednesday pointed to a sweeping victory for the party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, paving the way for him to form a new government. (AP)

http://www.northjersey.com/news/israel-s-benjamin-netanyahu-defying-expectations-pulls-off-a-big-victory-1.1291161

 

 

N.J. Supreme Court strikes down part of bias-intimidation law

The New Jersey Supreme Court struck down on Tuesday a section of the state’s bias-intimidation law that allowed a jury to convict a defendant even when bias did not motivate a crime as long as the victim believed he or she was targeted based on race, color, national origin or ethnicity. (Sampson/The Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/news/n-j-supreme-court-strikes-down-part-of-bias-intimidation-law-1.1290736

 

 

Ballot positions are drawn for Passaic City Council

PASSAIC — Ballot positions were drawn Tuesday for the May city council election, with Gary S. Schaer winning the top spot. (Cowen/The Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/news/ballot-positions-are-drawn-for-passaic-city-council-1.1290748

 

 

Political leaders get an up-close look at Bergen County Technical High School

No sooner had State Senate President Steve Sweeney and a group of elected officials sat down with several students at Bergen County Technical High School on Tuesday than one of young people asked the question. (Ensslin/The Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/news/political-leaders-get-an-up-close-look-at-bergen-county-technical-high-school-1.1290746

 

 

North Jersey farmers face tightened rules for tax breaks

What defines a working farm — and qualifies it for an extremely valuable property-tax break — is about to get tougher for large landholders. (Yellin/The Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/news/north-jersey-farmers-face-tightened-rules-for-tax-breaks-1.1290764

 

 

80 years later, how would Atlantic City-based Monopoly look?

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – Monopoly is turning 80. (Parry/The Associated Press)

http://www.njherald.com/story/28547604/80-years-later-how-would-atlantic-city-based-monopoly-look

 

 

Assembly panel holding hearing on Christie’s budget

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — Members of the public and other stakeholders have another chance to weigh in on Gov. Chris Christie’s 2016 budget proposal. (AP)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/ap/new_jersey/assembly-panel-holding-hearing-on-christie-s-budget/article_ab31b702-6cb7-521d-b218-a5765565ad55.html

 

 

In states with the first 2016 primaries, Democrats ask: Where’s Hillary?

In Iowa, Democrats want to see Hillary Rodham Clinton mingling in their neighborhood coffee shops, answering their questions and sharing laughs. In New Hampshire, they expect her on their living-room couches, listening to their tales of struggle. In South Carolina, they’re eager to hold hands with her and pray together. (Rucker/The Washington Post)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-states-with-the-first-2016-primaries-democrats-ask-wheres-hillary/2015/03/17/21283ba8-ccb1-11e4-8c54-ffb5ba6f2f69_story.html?hpid=z1

 

 

Obama heads to Cleveland to pitch economic recovery

President Obama travels to Cleveland on Wednesday to make the case to middle- and working-class Americans that the economic recovery now underway will reach them soon. (Eilperin/The Washington Post)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-heads-to-cleveland-to-pitch-economic-recovery/2015/03/17/e6ebe010-ccd4-11e4-a2a7-9517a3a70506_story.html

 

 

Central N.J. Republicans to tap former state trooper, attorney to run for Assembly

A retired state trooper and a lawyer are Republicans’ picks to challenge Democrats for state Assembly seats this year in one of the state’s most competitive districts. (Friedman/NJ Advnace Media for NJ.com)

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/central_nj_republicans_to_tap_former_state_trooper.html#incart_river

 

 

Maybe Chris Christie can break through with honesty about the budget

Both the House and the Senate are rolling out their budget proposals this week, and Republicans are already facing internal disagreements over how much money should be allocated for defense spending and how much to slow the increase in welfare spending.  At the end of the day, both the House and Senate budgets propose cuts of about $5 trillion in projected spending growth over the next decade – out of $50 trillion spent in total. Yawn. (Rogers/The Washington Post)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2015/03/17/the-insiders-maybe-chris-christie-can-break-through-with-honesty-about-the-budget/

 

 

Gov. Chris Christie’s allies seek to bolster support for presidential run

Chris Christie’s backers are moving to assure nervous donors that the New Jersey governor will have a clear strategy and enough money to compete in the 2016 Republican primaries after the bumpy start of his potential presidential campaign. (Haddon, Dawsey/The Wall Street Journal)

http://www.wsj.com/articles/gov-chris-christies-allies-seek-to-bolster-support-for-presidential-run-1426548930

 

 

Tesla Closer to Being Able to Have New Jersey Dealerships

Tesla Motors Inc. is close to an important victory in New Jersey as a bill that allows up to four dealerships in the state passed both legislative bodies and awaits the governor’s signature.

A similar a bill in Georgia also has advanced, which would clear the way for five dealerships there. (Ramsey/Wall Street Journal)

http://www.wsj.com/articles/tesla-closer-to-being-able-to-have-new-jersey-dealerships-1426600533

 

 

Part of New Jersey’s Bias-Intimidation Law is Rules Unconstitutional

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the state’s unusual bias-intimidation law was unconstitutional, dealing a potential reversal to one of the most well-known hate crime prosecutions in recent history.

The state’s statute on bias intimidation was the only one of its kind in the nation in saying that defendants can be convicted of bias intimidation if their victims “reasonably believed” they were harassed or intimidated because of their race, color, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. (Zernike/The New York Times)

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/18/nyregion/parts-of-new-jerseys-bias-intimidation-law-ruled-unconstitutional.html?_r=0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning News Digest: March 18th