Morning Digest: Feb. 11, 2013

Durbin: Menendez should stay

The second highest ranking Democrat in the Senate said today that U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez should keep the chairmanship of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, despite the controversy that continues to roil the political waters around him. PolitickerNJ

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Budget battle brewing between Christie, Legislature

When Governor Christie presents his budget to New Jersey at the end of this month, the document will lay out his priorities for the year ahead and how to fund them. Record


Menendez and Melgen: Inside look at how the money, access flowed

Last fall, despite predictions of a sweeping victory on Election Day, Sen. Robert Menendez continued to campaign hard, taking nothing for granted. Star-Ledger


Rising voice of gun ownership is female

PAINESVILLE, Ohio — Mary Ann Froebe stood feet apart with knees slightly bent and aimed the .22-caliber Ruger semiautomatic. N.Y. Times


Shore rebuilding means lifting homes, paying a lot

TUCKERTON BEACH, N.J. – Contractors slid 80-foot steel beams through the crawl space beneath the beige ranch house. They turned on a compressor, inflating a series of air bags that had been placed under the beams. Inquirer


Sandy relief group raises $1M, skirts N.J. law

A Sandy relief group that has raised $1 million in cash is not a tax-exempt organization, as it claims, nor is it registered in New Jersey to operate as a charity, an Asbury Park Press investigation found. Asbury Park Press


Will online gambling be hit or miss in Atlantic City?

Supporters of Internet gambling see it as a way to transform Atlantic City into the high-tech “Silicon Valley” of gambling. Atlantic City Press


Fulop accuses Healy of cronyism in judicial appointment

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy’s recent appointment of a former councilman and ex-deputy mayor as a full-time Municipal Court judge has led Healy’s mayoral opponent to call for a committee to review potential candidates for the bench. Jersey Journal


As N.J. sheds pharma jobs, other areas emerge as life science hubs

The steady departure of pharmaceutical industry jobs in recent years has helped other states, but hurt the standing of the nation’s medicine chest. As more companies take root in far-flung locations, the New Jersey and New York City region has dropped significantly in the national ranking of life sciences markets, according to a recent report on commercial real estate. N.J.Spotlight


Obama’s state of the union: aggressive

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech will be less a presidential olive branch than a congressional cattle prod. Politico


Obama weighs executive action on gays, housing, other issues

President Obama is considering a series of new executive actions aimed at working around a recalcitrant Congress, including policies that could allow struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages, provide new protections for gays and lesbians, make buildings more energy-efficient and toughen regulations for coal-fired power plants, according to people outside the White House involved in discussions on the issues. Huffington Post



In praise of drones

On Sept. 30, 2011, a CIA drone lifted off from a secret base in Saudi Arabia, flew to the remote hideout of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, and fired a Hellfire missile that killed him. Star-Ledger


Gov. should reveal Drumthwacket guest list

It was a simple request.

Star-Ledger reporters sought information on the holiday gatherings at Drumthwacket, the official residence of the New Jersey governor. Specifically, they asked for a list of the guests invited to the mansion in Princeton for the various parties and celebrations hosted by Gov. Chris Christie. Trenton Times