By Matthew Arco | November 23rd, 2012 - 7:22am
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Morning News Digest: Monday, November 19, 2012


Booker defends tie-breaking role at council meeting


Newark Mayor Cory Booker issued a release this morning following last night's controversial council meeting.


Booker cast a fifth vote in favor of Shanique Speight to fill an at-large council seat vacated by Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10), sparking pepper spray bedlam in the chamber. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



In Hamilton, succession is in the air


As Hamilton Township prepares to regroup after the stunning fall of Republican Mayor John Bencivengo, convicted Tuesday on corruption charges, the mayoral succession is already in play.


Bencivengo resigned effective today and Council President Kevin Meara will assume the role in the short term.  On Nov. 29, the township Republican Committee will meet to choose three names to pass along to the Republican-controlled council.  The council will choose from among the three. (Isherwood/PolitickerNJ)



Bill would sell vacant Camden prison site to the state


Nearly three years ago, the state prison on North Camden's waterfront was demolished to make room for development that local officials said would improve the neighborhood and boost the city's coffers.


But the land remains vacant, generating no revenue for the impoverished city. (Vargas/Inquirer)



Waywire founder Cory Booker has YouTube in his sights


Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker started dabbling with Twitter in 2009 and liked the instant feedback and cred that came from being a social-media maven.


So when the mayor with easily the most Twitter followers (1.2 million vs. 391,000 for runner-up New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg) was approached to participate in a side project — a new online video network aimed at young people — he was eager. (Graham/USA Today)



N.J. Assembly Democrats aim for stricter oversight of halfway houses


TRENTON — Assembly Democrats introduced a number of measures this week intended to provide stricter oversight of companies that run the state’s strained halfway houses, including several aimed at the largest of them: the 1,200-bed Delaney Hall in Newark.


The measures were introduced five months after the New York Times published a series of articles detailing frequent escapes, violence and lax oversight at the privately operated facilities that supplement the state’s prison system. (Friedman/Star-Ledger)



Monmouth, Ocean vote counting extended due to Sandy


TRENTON — Election officials across New Jersey are getting more time to verify and count ballots because of special arrangements the state made this month for voters displaced by Superstorm Sandy,


The state Division of Elections on Tuesday granted extensions for vote-counting in 14 of the state’s 21 counties. The deadlines statewide had already been extended from Sunday to Wednesday. (AP)



Third-quarter gross operating profits fall 18 percent in Atlantic City casinos


Atlantic City's casinos saw a 17.9 percent decrease in gross operating profit during the third quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, according to industry-wide figures released today by the Division of Gaming Enforcement.


Gross operating profit for the industry, including Revel, was $149.5 million in the third quarter of 2012, compared to the $182.1 million the properties posted in the third quarter of the previous year, when Revel had not yet opened. (Eder/NJBIZ)



An unusual first contract win set up Newark consultancy for neighborhoods projects


After barely nudging its foot in the door of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through a community revitalization program five years ago, Newark-based consulting firm BCT Partners has been flooded with government contracts related to the initiative — including a recent three-year, $3.3 million award to provide technical assistance and supportive services for that original job's expansion program.


"A lot of very experienced companies were bidding on this contract, but our experience providing the same services to the predecessor to this Choice Neighborhoods program put us right in the winner's circle," said Randal D. Pinkett, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners. "Unless you have a name in the business, no one wants to give you work. But now, HUD is our largest customer." (Eder/NJBIZ)



Sandy Seen Boosting U.S. With as Much as $240 Billion Rebuilding


John Cataneo is working his 20 employees overtime and still can’t keep up with demand from customers who need plumbing repaired after superstorm Sandy. He says he’s hired two new workers and may need more.


“We’re just not getting to some people that are asking for help,” said Cataneo, co-owner of Gateway Plumbing & Heating in Manhattan. “But we’re doing the best we can.” (Kearns, Park & Buhayar/Bloomberg)



Food-stamp diet for Booker, tweeter


NEWARK, N.J. - Mayor Cory Booker and a Twitter follower plan to try to live on food stamps for at least a week, the mayor has announced.


The idea stemmed from a back-and-forth conversation between Booker and a woman who goes by the name TwitWit and uses the handle @MWadeNC. They began talking about the idea Sunday night while discussing the role the government should play in funding school breakfast and lunch programs. (Zezima/AP) 




From the back room


Reconstructing Bedlam


The scene out of Newark City Hall shook Mayor Cory Booker’s seven league boots, at least in the eyes of some jittery supporters, who interpreted last night’s bedlam as political weakness.


But two sources close to Newark politics said Booker – noted more for twittering than brass knuckle Brick City politicking – made the right play last night. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ) 





Stile: So many reasons to offer gratitude


Thanksgiving offers political leaders, celebrities and a few corporate officials caught in the crossfire of the presidential campaign a chance to gratefully reflect on those who sustained their careers during the grueling 2012 campaign and another hectic year in North Jersey politics.


Here are a few notables and whom they should be sending thank you-notes to this season. (Stile/The Record) 



No justification for turning Newark Council's public business into a brawl: Editorial


We’re all for heated debate, but the behavior of Mayor Cory Booker’s opponents at this week’s Newark City Council meeting was truly off the charts. They bellowed like an angry mob as Rahaman Muhammad, president of SEIU Local 617, stormed the stage to disrupt the proceedings.


It was all caught on video: Shanique Davis Speight, a Booker choice being sworn in as a new council member, getting knocked over backward — right in front of her son, who is in grade school. A police officer grappling with Muhammad. A whole bunch of people getting hit with pepper spray. (Star-Ledger) 

The Back Room

Christie campaigns in New Hampshire

When asked in New Hamsphire today about whether he was considering a presidential run in 2016, Gov. Chris Christie said he wouldn’t discuss his plans until after November.

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 18th

Guv prospects Fulop and Sweeney add voices to Silva, Stack and striking 1199 SEIU workers UNION CITY – They tried out their blue collar tough guy tonsils today in front of a purple-shirted crowd of striking healthcare workers – two of three as-yet-undeclared Democratic candidates for governor: Jersey City...


Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >


(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“Clearly there’s some resemblance with Theodore Roosevelt. That direct confrontational style of leadership.” - historian Doris Hearns Goodwin, referring to Gov. Chris Christie.

- The Times of Trenton


Who would make the best running mate for Chris Christie if he lands the GOP nomination for president?:


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