The One O’Clock Review of the News

political-newsKey news articles, opinion pieces, and reports to improve our understanding of the political landscape:

GOV. CHRISTIE OFFERS JUDGESHIP TO DIRECTOR OF GUADAGNO PROBE

Gov. Chris Christie has offered a judgeship to a state official who heads the agency investigating a pension scandal involving Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, Christie’s running mate.

Christie submitted the nomination of Stephen J. Taylor for Superior Court judge to the state Senate last week. Taylor, 52, has been director of the Division of Criminal Justice since he was appointed by Christie in 2010.

DCJ began the criminal investigation in 2011 at the behest of a state pension board. Spokespersons for DCJ, Christie and Guadagno have declined to comment on the probe, now 21 months old.

Taylor’s nomination is the latest twist in the political soap opera surrounding an alleged $245,000 pension scheme and an upcoming gubernatorial election.  Click here to continue reading this story.

As NJ Sheds Pharma Jobs, Other Major Metro Areas Emerge as New Hubs for Life Sciences

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.

Last year, the region slipped to seventh place among metropolitan life sciences clusters from second place in 2010, according to the latest annual report from Jones Lang LaSalle, the commercial real estate firm. The reasons cited for the slide: ongoing consolidation following big mergers and the simultaneous efforts among such cities as San Diego to offer competitive environments.  Click here to continue reading this story.

CHP Subsidy Bill Clears Committee, Despite Reservations About Financial Incentives

Does New Jersey need yet another subsidy to the energy industry to promote new power plants in the state?

The bill cleared the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee last week despite reservations of some lawmakers and consumer advocates that the measure will only add to energy costs for New Jersey’s electric and gas customers at a time when they are already hard-pressed to pay their utility bills.  Click here to continue reading this story.

GOP threatens walkout on Chuck Hagel vote

Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel could get a vote in committee as early as Tuesday, but Republican aides reacted to that idea by suggesting that some members could walk out in protest.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) is considering a vote to coincide with a previously scheduled hearing on sequestration, and is “fed up” with Republicans after a boisterous hearing last week with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Democratic sources told POLITICO.  Click here to continue reading this story.

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