News Roundup & Open Thread for Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blue Jersey was down a few hours this morning; all the blogs across the country set up like ours were. Hopefully all the gremlins are unconscious now.

Looks like another NJ Democrat goes down to corruption

  • Sheriff Joe Spicuzzo, longtime Middlesex Democratic Chair. Attorney General Paula Dow Monday accused the veteran politician with selling jobs and promotions at the sheriff’s office, introducing young recruits to careers in law enforcement by forcing them to pay “cash tribute.”

  • Carteret mayor Dan Reiman running for Chair.

    This is the Christie administration at work

  • Patients and caregivers involved in the fight to see a sensible medical marijuana policy actually begin spoke at a state Health Dept. hearing yesterday. The state employees did not ask or answer any questions.

  • More on how emotional the hearing was (for the patients and caregivers only, apparently), plus Meadowlands Hospital forms a non-profit to grow & sell medi-pot.

    Tea Party

  • First-ever convention of Tea Partiers planned: The Citizens Convention: The Second Battle for Trenton Begins History in the Making. April 16, at the National Conference Center, East Windsor, NJ.

  • New Jersey Tea Party steeped in redistricting (POLITICO)

    Trentonia

  • Fracking: Assembly Committee Seeks to Stop Hydraulic Fracturing Before It Can Start.
  • Steve Sweeney aims to revive the Local Unit Alignment, Reorganization and Consolidation Commission (LUARC) to push NJ’s 566 munis into sharing services.
  • Sen. Sweeney will force Gov. Christie to deal with both the pension and health care reform packages together, to prevent Christie from signing one part of the reform, then vetoing another because it doesn’t go far enough.
  • Vaccination showdown: Herb Conaway, a physician, shuts it down.
  • Transparency: Bi-partisan bill would require local authorities, boards & commissions to maintain websites with at least basic info of budgets, meetings, employee rolls.
  • Unanimous committee backing: Heart & lung tests for all newborns before leaving hospital.
  • Under consideration: mandatory 5-year prison term for killing a police dog.

    Budget

  • Christie’s poll numbers reverse after budget address: Unfavorables now higher than favorables.

  • Senate budget hearing: Advocates for the poor and disabled called on lawmakers to restore funding to several critical programs slated to be cut in Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to overhaul Medicaid, increase co-pays and cut reimbursements to nursing homes & adult day care centers.

  • Charlie Stile: Social advocates steer clear of Christie: “The reason is simple. Mocking Christie’s shared-sacrifice mantra or highlighting the hypocrisy of letting millionaires off without a tax increase for the second consecutive year, while these social service groups skimp and limp along with scaled-down state investment, would be suicidal.”

    Union

  • 48 labor attornneys, in a letter to the NJ legislature, state that if lawmakers move forward on Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to force employees to pay 30% of their health costs through law, it would eliminate any future ability to negotiate on the subject.

    Schools

  • His charter school figures questioned, Chris Cerf now says he will bring in an “outside agency” to see why (he says) charter schools outperform some public schools.

    UEZ

  • 80 mayors from the state’s 32 UEZ zones met yesterday in Jersey City, with a consensus that New Jersey’s urban areas will be set back decades if Gov. Chris Christie has his way and state UEZ zones are eliminated.

    Atlantic City voter fraud case

  • Jury close to deliberation. Councilman Marty Small & 5 others are accused of absentee vote tampering in the mayoral primary Small lost.

    Who’s complaining?

  • At the Division of Consumer Affairs, complaints about motor vehicles and home improvements, loans and internet sales top the list of what DCA heard about.  
  • Comments (3)

    1. carolh

      I wish I could have been there yesterday.  I think we seriously need to look into Merck’s influence ($$$$)  in Trenton.

      Reply
    2. carolh

      himself from the vote on the Vaccine exemption instead of preventing it altogether.  For SHAME.  He accepted donations from a company that MAKES vaccines.

      http://www.merck.com/responsib

      This just sickens me.

      Reply

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