News Roundup & Open Thread for Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2009

Snowzilla v. Flakenstein (h/t

  • Get ready for more. A lot of more.
  • Some parts of SJ are still struggling with the last storm’s damage.

    Westwood Marine is laid to rest in snowy Arlington Cemetary

  • Marine Sgt. Christopher Hrbek was killed last month by an explosive device in Afghanistan. Hrbek, whose stepfather and brothers are firefighters, also served three combat tours in Iraq within six years. He had been planning to become a drill sergeant at Parris Island, SC. Rest in peace.

    Garden State Equality closes the gay ATM to political parties

  • Donations will now be only to those politicians who are working for the same things the group is, to avoid situations where its donations filter to politicians working directly against the interests of the people it represents.
  • Missing the point, new Democratic State Chair Asm John Wisniewski says Garden State Equality’s decision “throws the baby out with the bathwater.” Actually, what it does is refocus contributions – expect them to soar, by the way – to individual candidates who are pro-equality.

    Steven Goldstein’s Telepalmter

  • Best. Laugh. of. the. Day.

    Closing arguments in the Beldini political corruption trial

  • Best coverage all along is by Jack Bohrer here at Jersey City Independent.

    After 5-hour grilling, Paula Dow makes it through the Judiciary Committee

  • Among the issues Christie’s AG nominee dealt with Monday was an hour-long discussion with Sen. Nia Gill about former Newark councilwoman Dana Rone, and whether Dow’s opposition to removing her from office after her conviction for obstruction of justice was politically motivated. She also went head-to-head with Sen. Nicholas Scutari over a proposal to alleviate witness intimidation.
  • Also approved by Senate Judiciary Committee, Major General Glenn Rieth, to continue leading the NJ National Guard, a Corzine holdover.

    Want to bet on the next Super Bowl?

  • Sen. Ray Lesniak wants you to be able to.

    Reform state spending on its public workers

  • Comprehensive changes to public worker salaries and benefits introduced.
  • Star Ledger likes the reform to public worker salaries and benefits driven by Christie, but want them to go further to contain rising salaries, and change collective bargaining rules they say tilt toward unions.

    NAACP wants Lesniak and Bateman out of the affordable housing reform business

  • Both Senators, says NAACP, should recuse themselves instead of drafting policy change because both their law firms represent dozens of towns throughout the state. The Senators are prime sponsors of a bill that would dismantle COAH and change the responsibilities town have for creating housing low-income people can afford. NAACP’s view of their bill is that it would create more economic and racial segregation. Lesniak flatly denies conflict of interest, and Bateman says his firm benefits from COAH as it iss, and would actually lose business if COAH was ended.

    Leonard Lance gets a challenge from the right

  • “My opponent’s family career is government and politics – and my career is windows and doors,” says David Larson of Tewksbury. The political neophyte, who raises quarterhorses to supplement his window business, is opening a campaign HQ in Green Brook this week. He’s pro-life, “womb-to-tomb”, disparages Lance’s career & family ties in politics, and he’s talking teaparty.

    Joe Vas gets a court date

  • The ex-Assemblyman is facing charges in campaign finance corruption, along with 5 co-defendants. Ah, remember the days when Vas was touted as a reformer? Sigh.
  • Comment (1)

    1. Bill Orr

      Snowzilla v. Flakenstein (h/t More shovel-ready projects!  I assume us homeowners can apply to the federal government for stimulus funding.

      Want to bet on the next Super Bowl? Give a child a candy bar and soon the child wants another one and then another one, and soon the child becomes addicted, fat and sick.   Gambling becomes an addiction for both the gambler and the state who soon learn to rely on it.  I like a candy bar as much as anyone, but perhaps at this point we should painfully follow Nancy Reagan’s advice and “Just Say No.”  No more increase in state sponsored gambling.  Let the State invest and raise monies in a more productive manner. For politicians state gambling ventures appear to be a shortcut to raising revenues, but long-term the benefits are dubious (witness Meadowlands Race Track) and only feed an ever increasing competition between regions and states for these funds.  


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