Monmouth University Poll examines President Donald J. Trump's job rating and the impeachment question.

Trump Pardons Charles Kushner

From a White House statement released last night:

Charles Kushner — President Trump granted a full pardon to Charles Kushner. Former United States Attorney for the District of Utah Brett Tolman and the American Conservative Union’s Matt Schlapp and David Safavian support a pardon of Mr. Kushner. Since completing his sentence in 2006, Mr. Kushner has been devoted to important philanthropic organizations and causes, such as Saint Barnabas Medical Center and United Cerebral Palsy. This record of reform and charity overshadows Mr. Kushner’s conviction and 2 year sentence for preparing false tax returns, witness retaliation, and making false statements to the FEC.


Murphy Extending Public Health Emergency For Another 30 Days

Governor Murphy announced he is extending the public health emergency for an additional 30 days, and is moving February fire district elections, March special school elections, and other special elections to April 20th.

Senate President Sweeney

Senate Passes ‘Economic Recovery Act’

The Senate this afternoon passed S-395.

Everyone voted yes in the senate except Senator Michal Doherty (R-23).

The Assembly passed its own version of the act prior to the senate recording its vote.


Senator Ronald Rice says that he will not vote on a NJ state budget that doesn't include $140 million in cost savings gained through a marijuana decriminalization and expungement law that eliminates unjust judicial and correctional practices targeting poor, minority and urban residents.

Ronald C. Rice Calls on Scutari to Publicly Apologize

Former Newark West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice, son of the state senator and a practicing attorney, stood beside his father in the aftermath of comments made by state Senator Nick Scutari (D-22) during yesterday’s senate session.

“Boss Scutari [can] come see me like a man about his comments if he does not issue a public apology,” said Rice.

“He was out of pocket, but I can put him back in pocket if and when he wants to ever come out of his smoke filled room and back up his tough talk,” added the former councilman.

nellie pou

Senate Rams Horizon Restructuring Bill

The state senate this afternoon passed the Horizon restructuring bill.

Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) abstained.

Senator Nia Gill (D-34) voted no.

Senator Shirley Turner (D-15) voted no.

Otherwise the senators voted on party lines.

The final tally was 23-16-1.


Assembly Passes Marijuana Legalization Bill

The New Jersey Assembly tis afternoon voted to legalize marijuana, 49-24 and 6 abstentions.

It was essentially a party line vote.

Murphy Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Winter Storm

Governor Murphy announced ‘In preparation for the upcoming winter storm, I’m declaring a STATE OF EMERGENCY beginning at 2:00 PM today.

State offices will be closed beginning at 1:00 PM.

We urge all New Jerseyans to stay off the roads, stay at home, and stay safe.’

No Formal Result Yet in Perth Amboy Mayoral Runoff, but Caba Ahead

There is no formal result yet in Perth Amboy, though challenger Helmin Caba leads incumbent Mayor Wilda Diaz and it will likely be difficult for the mayor to make up the ground Caba has on her.

Report: Ramos Potential Mayoral Challenger To Bhalla

The Hudson County View reports that Ward 4 Councilman Ruben Ramos filed ELEC paperwork indicating a potential mayoral candidacy next year, though is ‘still weighing his options’, according to the report.

Mayor Bhalla is up for re-election next year.



Lavery Becomes Republican State Party Chairman

Michael Lavery defeated Bob Hugin tonight 24-18 to succeed Doug Steinhardt as Republican State Party Chairman.

Lavery is returning to the job of state party chair, in fact.

An attorney and former Hackettstown mayor, he suddenly became chairman in 2017 after Warren County GOP Chairman Steinhardt bowed out of the running on orders by then-Republican gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno. The gubernatorial candidate expressed concern about Governor Chris Christie earlier that same day appointing Trudy Steinhardt, the chairman’s wife, to the state parole board, and the potential for people to draw the wrong conclusions about Steinhardt.

So Lavery stepped in, triggering puzzled reactions around the state and then cynical head shakes of disbelief when people learned he was the nephew of powerful Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore, a close ally of Guadagno’s.

But Lavery is also very close to Steinhardt, one of his best friends, in fact, who was slated to become Steinhardt’s counsel at the state GOP. The two men had traveled to the state convention  together. If the party is divided regionally and otherwise, with the wounds of the primary still stinging and Christie in some senses overshadowing the nominee, Lavery with friends in both main camps presents as a true consensus choice for a reeling Republican Party.

Tonight, Lavery resumed the chairmanship he once place-held for Steinhardt.

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape