News Roundup & Open Thread for Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011

Fitch Ratings downgrades the State of New Jersey’s outstanding general obligation (GO) bonds to ‘AA-‘ from ‘AA’ in the state Christie calls “business-friendly”

  • With some pretty big political implications for the man in charge, according to … pretty much everyone, except GOP activists.

    Today: God Hates Fags people to disrupt Navy SEAL’s funeral in Philly today

  • Some Iraq & Afghanistan vet friends of Blue Jersey plan to cordon the grieving family of Navy SEAL Michael Strange in a zone of respect to shield them from all the God Hates Fags signs. Want to help get their backs? A quiet, dignified, non-violent vigil is planned.

    Christie source: Pressure to run in 2012 is ‘ratcheting up’

  • Christie strategist Michael DuHaime flatly denies there are focus groups being conducted now in advance of a Christie announcement. (CNN)

  • Christie denies he’s preparing 2012 run. Please ask him again, he waaaants you to.

  • There was a little flutter today – TPM picked it up, and so did we – when Jonathan Alter tweeted that focus groups were at work for a Christie 2012 run.

  • Karl wants Chris in the race; looks like Chris does, too. (Paul Mulshine)

  • Christie, despite the GOP drumbeat for him, is no dream candidate. (Bruni, NYTimes)

    Christie: Lewis ballot spot is Guadagno’s call

  • “It is clear you directed her to get me off the ballot. Tell the truth, governor,” Lewis said via Twitter. The incumbent LD-8 senator Dawn Addiego, is a longtime friend of Christie’s.

    Additional Assorted Christie

  • Christie’s energy plan gets a hearing today in Toms River.

  • Veepstakes speculation heats up. (Politico)

  • Christie & Cuomo: Elbowing for a seat at the 9/11 table.

  • Poll: Deep Partisan Split on Christie’s Performance.

  • Christie says he’s still ‘undecided’ on toll hikes.

    Garrett ‘victory committee’ makes Top 10

  • Scott Garrett, making friends with hedge funders. (Jackson, Capital Games)

    Lautenberg & Pallone

  • Pushing for faster testing of NJ ocean waters.

    Democrats in Trouble in Garden State

  • Just a little flare of concern from Hotline

    Newark’s police force likely to come under federal monitor, experts believe

  • The city’s PD has had lasting problems with issues like excessive force complaints, discrimination and poor Internal Affairs oversight. Last year, ACLU-NJ formally petitioned the U.S. Justice Dept. to investigate the Newark Police Dept., claiming it was incapable of policing itself

    Port Authority Audit

  • Overtime pay “flows like water” at the Port Authority, New York State’s top auditor said Wednesday, days before a vote on the agency’s proposed largest-ever toll and fare hikes.

    More Jerseynomics

  • Come on, it isn’t waste if it’s sports! Yeah, right.

  • $90 million for farmland preservation.

  • Regional police force might not save money, consultant says.

  • Property reassessment in Camden sparks protest.

    By 54-41, NJ opposes toll hike. Plus, want fewer scandals? Elect more women, say 80% of New Jerseyans sampled

  • Quinnipiac poll.

    Education

  • Survey says: New Jersey’s among the best states to raise and educate kids.

  • Study says: NJ teachers getting smaller raises.
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