By Matthew Arco | January 29th, 2013 - 8:07am
| More


Morning News Digest: January 29, 2013

By Matthew Arco



SSW trial



Heavy on underdog imagery, Passaic Democrats embrace Buono for governor


NORTH HALEDON – The going statewide narrative hardly puts state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18) on the same war footing as incumbent GOP Gov. Chris Christie, but the Passaic County Democratic Organization welcomes the role of underdog.


“At this time last year, he met his (rival) right here,” Chairman John Currie said of U.S. Rep. Pascrell (D-9) in the sprawling ballroom of the Tides. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Obama: I will sign Sandy aid bill 'as soon as it hits my desk'


President Barack Obama signaled Monday evening he plans to sign off on tens of billions of dollars in federal disaster aid for states affected by Superstorm Sandy as soon as it hits his desk.


Obama issued a statement shortly after the U.S. Senate gave final approval on a $50.5 billion aid package. The action prompted the president to announce he would sign it “as soon as it hits [his] desk.” (Arco/PolitickerNJ)



Christie conditionally vetoes Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act, Clean Car Commission


TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie announced conditionally vetoing several bills Monday evening, including a proposal that would help transform foreclosed properties into affordable housing.


The governor sent back to the Legislature a bill, S1415 and A2014 that would have established the New Jersey Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act, which would give the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency the ability to purchase foreclosed homes and dedicate them as affordable housing units. (Arco/PolitickerNJ)



Senate approves Sandy aid, package heads to Obama's desk


The U.S. Senate approved a $50.5 billion aid package that will deliver federal disaster relief funds to states devastated by Superstorm Sandy.


New Jersey and other states are poised to receive tens of billions in aid after Senate lawmakers approved the package by a 62-36 vote. The Monday evening vote came about two weeks after members of the House of Representatives signed off on the package. (Arco/PolitickerNJ)



Bowser to run for reelection


East Orange Mayor Bob Bowser is running for reelection, the veteran politico told PolitickerNJ tonight. (Isherwood/PolitickerNJ)



Healy backs Buono for governor


Embroiled in the Jersey City mayoral race, incumbent Mayor Jerry Healy today formally backed Democratic gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18), Metuchen. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Christie awards second contract for Sandy cleanup to influential firm


TRENTON — A Florida-based company that has been criticized for charging towns top rates to dig out from Hurricane Sandy has been awarded a second contract by the Christie administration, largely for future work, despite prices that are significantly steeper than its competitors.


AshBritt of Pompano Beach was one of four companies the Christie administration awarded a debris-removal contract earlier this month, after a weekslong bidding process, according to Treasury Department records. The firm was granted its first contract on a no-bid basis days after the storm. (Renshaw/Star-Ledger)



Bergen and Passaic counties among recipients of open space funds


Communities in Bergen and Passaic counties will share a chunk of state funding for historic sites, urban parks, greenways and flood-prone properties.


Governor Christie was traveling out-of-state Monday, but his office announced that he signed three bills that release land preservation funds through programs aimed at preserving land for open space and recreation, and for buying flood-prone properties. (Hayes & Reitmeye/The Record)



At N.J. Supreme Court, lawyers argue over Christie's power on affordable housing


TRENTON — A landmark battle on the limits of Gov. Chris Christie's power reached the state Supreme Court today, where lawyers argued for more than an hour over whether the governor can scrap an agency charged with building affordable housing in New Jersey.


If Christie wins, several justices said a chain reaction could break out across the state government -- potentially bringing all of New Jersey's independent groups and commissions under the governor's thumb, including public defenders and the state's lobbying and campaign-finance watchdog. (Rizzo/Star-Ledger)



Battle Over Governor’s Powers Underscores Importance of Upcoming Supreme Court Fight


With a partisan Senate fight looming over Gov. Chris Christie’s two latest Supreme Court nominees, the administration yesterday argued that it has the right to unilaterally abolish the Council on Affordable Housing -- and thus has the power to seize more than $140 million originally earmarked for low-cost housing to balance the state budget.


While oral arguments before the Supreme Court yesterday focused on narrow constitutional and legal issues pertaining to gubernatorial powers under the 40-year-old Reorganization Act, the case underscored the importance of the ongoing struggle between Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) over the partisan makeup of the state’s highest court. (Magyar/NJSpotlight)



Is New Jersey Missing Its Offshore-Wind Opportunity?


To some, the state’s efforts to develop offshore wind farms is a win-win proposition. It is a way of producing cleaner electricity, a means of spurring a green economy, and a step in reducing New Jersey’s greenhouse gas emissions.


But 30 months after a bill to promote offshore wind farms was enacted, a legislative committee yesterday focused on why that has yet to happen. But the agency most responsible for pushing offshore wind ahead failed to show up to answer questions about what is slowing down the process. (Johnson/NJSpotlight)



Cerf's Visit to Education Committee Raises Question About Budget Balance of Power


The Christie administration and Senate Democrats continued their tug of war over the details of state aid to schools yesterday. But it took a Republican to raise an important question as to how much say the Legislature will have in the distribution of the final amount for next year.


State Education Commissioner Chris Cerf testified for the first time yesterday before the Senate Education Committee, with much of his visit taken up defending the administration’s latest proposal in his Education Adequacy Report for adjusting some weights in the state’s school-funding formula. (Mooney/NJSpotlight)



Colleges aim to clear planning hurdles as they await bond funding


When the Building Our Future Bond Act passed with voters on Election Day last year, most schools knew what they wanted to build using the funding, but few were far along in having the details.


At William Paterson University, though, the $750 million bond issue came at a time when administrators already were planning a facility expansion. (Callendo/NJBIZ)




From the Back Room


Morris Dems set to endorse Buono


According to a source close to the Buono campaign the Morris County Democrats are set to endorse Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono.


The Morris Dems are the latest county part to endorse Barbara, who looks to be the only candidate in the race. (Isherwood/PolitickerNJ)





Christie veto on minimum wage another blow to the working poor: Editorial


In a move that took no one by surprise, Gov. Chris Christie yesterday again disregarded the pressing needs of the working poor, this time by vetoing a bill to increase in the minimum wage.


That fits a pattern. His first budget effectively raised income taxes on low-wage families by scaling back the earned-income tax credit. He has also ended health care coverage for thousands of low-wage families, closed down Planned Parenthood clinics that served them, and tried his best to raid huge sums of money from a trust fund set aside for affordable housing. In each case, the target is the working poor. (Star-Ledger)



The Mount Laurel Doctrine


The New Jersey Supreme Court’s 1983 ruling in the Mount Laurel fair-housing case is rightly regarded as one of the most important civil rights decisions of modern times. The ruling, which greatly influenced fair-housing policy across the nation, limited the use of exclusionary zoning as a means of preventing the construction of affordable housing in wealthy communities. (NY Times)



Stile: Democrats' hopes for savior from Christie unfulfilled


Monday should have been Barbara Buono’s triumphant moment as the Democratic Party started to coalesce around her candidacy for governor.


A cascade of endorsements minted her as the party’s genuine standard-bearer. It was time for the feisty, 59-year-old Metuchen lawyer to bask in the aura of inevitability. Yet the pledges of loyalty and support did not dispel the ambivalence the Democratic Party has about her quest to unseat Governor Christie in November. (Stile/The Record)


The Back Room

National progressive group backs Watson Coleman in CD12

The Progressive Democrats of America Co-Founder and National Director Tim Carpenter and State Chair Mary Ellen Marino today endorsed Bonnie Watson Coleman for the Democratic nomination in the 12thCongressional District.

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 24, 2014

Organization to honor Gov. KeanAn event next month for Community Options, Inc. will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the organization's founding and honor Governor Tom Kean, Sr., a was an advocate over 25 years ago for bringing individuals with developmental disabilities out of state institutions into small group homes.Robert...


How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >


(4-23-14) Bridgegate Witnesses Not "RATS" if Testimony is Forced -Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision last week was covered in most newspapers and blogs as an affirmation of the... more »
(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is the only Tea Party group that endorsed Mitt Romney. These guys are the Vichy French of the Tea Party movement. They're the guys who say 'Viva la France,' and then you can't find them when the fighting starts. Come on." - GOP strategist Rick Shaftan, on the Independence Hall Tea Party group.



Who would you back for Governor of NJ in this 2017 general election dream match-up?:


Visit the page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.


  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.