News Roundup & Open Thread for Monday, April 16, 2012

Even if Gov. Christie does consider VP post, he’s no sure thing

  • Would he even help Romney carry New Jersey? No. And the prospect of a man who appears to say and do whatever he wants to might scare the crap out of Romney’s tight, boring little bubble.

    Trayvon Martin mural in Elmwood Park

    Trayvon Martin mural in Elmwood Park

  • The brightly-colored, spray-painted mural features a faceless, hoodie-clad figure with the words, “Trayvon, we got you”. Art? Property devaluer? Community contribution? Violator of sign ordinance? Beautiful?

    Photo: Amy Newman (Record). Click to enlarge

    NJ congressional delegation split by party on ‘Buffett Rule’

  • The Republicans are an embarrassment.

    Robert Barchi: New Rutgers president promises sweeping changes, and is confident he will succeed

  • Renaissance man Robert Barchi wants to get an old university ready for new realities but his first challenge – the Rut-Ro merger scheme – is looming in the foreground before any of that. Bob Braun profiles.

    The Chris Christie “Town Hall” Show

  • Part stump speech, part quiz show, part comedy hour, Chris Christie’s town halls are probably not what Norman Rockwell envisioned in his famous 1943 painting of an assembly where people come to air their grievances and an elected official listens patiently. And he’s built his rep on that show.

    Frank Lautenberg

  • If he seeks re-election in 2014, he’ll be 90, with plenty of Democrats impatient to shove him aside. But Lautenberg is assertive when it comes to standing up to Christie, not co-opted as some other Democrats are. Herb Jackson writes skeptics are giving him a 2nd look now.

    Electric car folks meet up in Montclair

  • At a pizza joint parking lot, the plug-in car drivers get together to talk gas mileage, solar power, and peek under each other’s hoods.

    Tax Day

  • For NJ same-sex couples, filing taxes turns headaches into migraines.


  • Outta state again for GOP campaigning.


  • Like a playground bully, Trenton is taking money that’s supposed to be passed to the munis and keeping it instead. The difference could mean a higher muni tax rate for you, or fewer police or fire fighters.
  • Rental rules: Critics say suburban towns are trying to keep the poor out. Defenders say they target crime and crowding.
  • Gov. Christie urges residents to vote down towns that try to ‘get around’ property tax cap.

    BYOB vs. Ocean City’s social capital

  • 26 years ago, Ocean City voters succumbed to merchants’ demands to repeal the town’s century-long restraints on Sunday commerce. Residents who valued the “founding principles” of America’s Greatest Family Resort feared the 1986 referendum would lead to rethinking the town’s other signature ordinance: no sales or public consumption of alcoholic beverages.

    New Jersey likes both red and blue

  • Approving of both Christie and Obama.
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