NJ Political Digest: Sweeney Appears in No Hurry to Revive Political Watchdog

It’s Friday, the start of a long holiday weekend in New Jersey, where Senate President Steve Sweeney appears in no rush to revive the moribund state Election Law Enforcement Commission. The news come on the day when both the Star-Ledger and NJSpotlight take a look at the worries over the possibility of voter fraud in the coming election, and what to do about it. And dirty tricks aren’t waiting until November, with one county prosecutor telling vandals to step away from the campaign signs of presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to the Asbury Park Press. For this and more of the state’s political news, read on.

Quote of the Day: “We’ve reviewed some candidates, we’re vetting them and we’ll put them up them up when we’re ready,” – Senate President Steve Sweeney, on Democratic nominations to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission.

N.J. watchdog group’s policing ability hangs in limbo
The New Jersey watchdog agency that polices lobbyists and campaign financing has largely been stripped of its power to punish offenders because of a feud between Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney over filling vacancies on its board.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

Vote fraud: It can happen here
There’s a movement afoot to make voting easier and easier. Some are even suggesting that we should be able to vote on the internet.
Paul Mulshine, The Star Ledger Read more

Armed Men Once Patrolled the Polls, Will They Reappear In November?
In the 1981 election for governor of New Jersey, the Republican National Committee spent $75,000 to ostensibly prevent voter fraud by dispatching teams of off-duty police and sheriff’s officers to voting precincts in black, Hispanic and Democratic neighborhoods.
Matt Katz, NJSpotlight Read more

Murphy in Monmouth: 3 platforms by gov candidate
Calling Monmouth County a “personal” part of his campaign, the county’s own gubernatorial candidate outlined his platform at a town hall Wednesday night.
Mike Davis, Asbury Park Press Read more

OC Prosecutor: Stop stealing Trump signs
County authorities are asking for leads on two people caught on camera taking a Donald Trump campaign sign from a front lawn in the Bayville section of town.
Alex N. Gecan, Asbury Park Press Read more

New Norcross fund would direct millions to Camden’s ‘Renaissance’ schools
George E. Norcross III, the longtime Democratic power broker in South Jersey and chairman of Cooper University Health Care, announced the launch Wednesday of a $28.5 million fund that will pay for construction and renovation of Camden’s “Renaissance” schools.
Allison Steele, Inquirer Read more

Test plays greater role in New Jersey teacher evaluations
A standardized test will play a greater role in the evaluation of teachers in New Jersey.
Associated Press Read more

Republicans tell Gov. Christie to let N.J. bridge project resume
Two prominent New Jersey Republicans have joined the call for Gov. Chris Christie and the state Department of Transportation to declare the replacement of the Route 518 bridge over the Delaware and Raritan Canal in Franklin Township an essential project.
Craig Turpin, NJ.com Read more

Is your kid in the right car seat? 6K tickets issued under N.J.’s new law
New Jersey implemented one of the toughest child car seat laws in the nation last year and dramatically increased fines for motorists caught with kids unbuckled or in the wrong seats.
Kelly Heyboer, NJ.com Read more

Gov. Christie signs N.J. river flooding task force bill
Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday signed legislation creating a task force to address Raritan River and Delaware River flooding in Somerset and Hunterdon counties.
Craig Turpin, NJ.com Read more

N.J. paid $2.3M too much to hospitals, audit finds
The state should recoup the $2.27 million it mistakenly paid out to 15 hospitals as an incentive to use electronic medical records, according to an inspector general’s report.
Susan K. Livio, NJ.com Read more

Info on Bayonne mayor’s unused time payout hard to come by
While payouts for unused sick and vacation time for high-ranking public officials in Bayonne are normally reported, repeated requests for Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis’ expected payout have been unsuccessful.
Jonathan Lin, The Jersey Journal Read more

Paterson schools security director says budget cuts put students, staff in danger
The city’s public schools have lost more than 30 percent of their security personnel as a result of last-minute budget cuts imposed during the summer, officials said.
Joe Malinconico, The Record Read more

N.J. official accused of stealing from youth sports will resign
A New Jersey municipal official accused of stealing almost $2,500 from a youth sports league is stepping down, not because of the charges but because she has moved out of town.
Steve Novak, lehighvalleylive.com Read more

Piano tuner’s fight to save A.C. home isn’t over yet
A state agency that lost its bid to seize the home of piano tuner Charlie Birnbaum in state Superior Court last month plans to continue its lengthy legal battle to acquire the Oriental Avenue property.
Erin O’Neill, NJ.com Read more

NJ Political Digest: Sweeney Appears in No Hurry to Revive Political Watchdog