Murphy

Murphy Returning to 3X Per Week COVID Briefings

Beginning next Monday, Governor Phil Murphy will return to a COVID-19 briefing schedule of Monday-Wednesday-Friday.

He admitted not being happy about having to go from twice to three times weekly, but the COVID-19 case count continues to rise n New Jersey.

Sayegh

Sayegh Quarantines

A statement this afternoon from Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh:

“Unfortunately, I have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Therefore, while I am asymptomatic and this morning’s rapid test was negative, out of an abundance of caution, I will work from home through the weekend and abide by public health protocols. I will provide further updates early next week.”

Bucco

Bucco Victorious

State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco apparently has won reelection in the 25th Legislative District.

Bucco claimed victory tonight in what had been a close race with Democrat Rupande Mehta. Also in line for an apparent win is Bucco’s partner in the Assembly, Republican Aura Dunn.

The Republicans cited recent campaign results that give Bucco a lead of almost 6,000 and Dunn an advantage of almost 3,000 over Democrat Darcy Draeger.

These results are not official. In fact, they come from the campaign itself.

The Morris County Clerk’s Office has not updated election results since about 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

In the last official update, Bucco and Dunn had taken the lead after trailing their Democratic opponents in early vote counting.

The latest unofficial results are also good news for Republican freeholder Tayfun Selen, who is now leading Democrat Cary Amaro by about 3,000 votes.

Amaro, who is trying to become only the second Democratic freeholder in Morris County history, had led the race since election night.

The pattern of these results confirm what some observers had predicted.

Democrats, who are more likely to vote early by mail, would take the lead, but then Republicans would catch up.

Bucco’s statement took satisfaction in the fact he and Dunn seem headed to victory despite President Trump losing the district by about 14 points.

Speaker Craig Coughlin says he opposed a millionaire's tax going back to October of last year, and money dumping into New Directions NJ's millionaire’s tax campaign didn’t alter his essential attitude.

Coughlin Gave Donations to Caba in Perth Amboy Mayor’s Race

Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19) of Woodbridge chipped in some cash to the mayoral ticket of Perth Amboy Councilman Helmin Caba.

According to ELEC, Coughlin made two contributions totaling $800 to challenger Caba, who’s running

Perth Amboy Mayor WIlda Diaz.
Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz.

against the state’s only elected Latina mayor. He made the first contribution totaling $500 on Sept. 11th, and made the second totaling $300 on the 14th of the same month. He made the campaign contributions in 2018 and 2019, prior to Caba formally switching over to a dedicated mayoral run, but they are recorded by ELEC as having been absorbed into the candidate’s mayoral account.

The ELEC report of the Caba ticket likewise showed considerable contributions from the Greater NJ Carpenters, at least $20K recorded in the closing days of October, a restructured labor outfit that in another iteration maintained strong ties to the Middlesex County Democratic Organization. In 2012, the NJ Regional Council of Carpenters backed the Diaz ticket. After that race, the mayor parted company with the countywide party establishment and the LD19 Legislative team.

In office since 2008, grassroots anti-establishment local candidate Diaz defeated longtime incumbent Mayor Joe Vas to land the executive position in City Hall. After originally trying to make peace with the old order that in the wider domain of Middlesex maintained party ties to Vas, the mayor decided to reside off the reservation for the last seven years. In addition to Caba and two other challengers, Vas’s son took a stab at the seat this year, but as of this week appeared unable to catch Caba, who unofficially finished in second place behind Diaz. Both leading candidates – the mayor and Caba – failed to get to the required 50% plus one to avoid a runoff.

Barring a significant vote tally alteration, Diaz will face Caba in the runoff on Dec. 15th, the date affixed by a governor’s executive order.

McKnight

LD31 Assemblywoman McKnight To Self-Quarantine After COVID Exposure

Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-Hudson) issued the following statement on quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19:

“Early Monday morning, my daughter Ana’jah was not feeling well to the point where we made the decision to take her to the hospital. Later that day, we learned she was positive for COVID-19. My family and I were all tested, and today, I was informed that I too have tested positive for COVID-19. I am currently quarantining at home as I have symptoms and need to rest. I have begun the contact tracing process to notify everyone who I have come into contact with.

“My family and I practiced the proper mitigation measures of wearing a mask in public and practicing social distancing, and I encourage everyone to continue these measures as well. We also have taken all the precautions necessary to help prevent any further spread.

“The reality is the number of cases in our state are drastically rising and we have to do all we can to stop the spread. My family and I will continue to quarantine for 14 days per the CDC guidelines. PLEASE remember to continue to take the necessary precautions as we are still in the midst of this pandemic. Thank you to everyone who has prayed for my family and I, and I ask that you continue to keep us in your thoughts as we fight this.”

Phil Murphy

New Jersey Reports Over 3,800 COVID-19 Cases In ‘Devastating’ Six Month-High

New Jersey reported a one-day increase of 3,877 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the highest increase since April.

Governor Murphy tweeted that ‘these numbers are devastating’.

The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 260,430 cases and 14,661 fatalities (and 1,800 probable fatalities) as of Tuesday; the viral transmission rate is 1.25.

Former EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg says that Governor Phil Murphy is winning his power struggle against South Jersey Democratic leader George Norcross because Murphy is on television with his message, while Norcross is not.

Apparently, New Jersey out in the Cold of Biden Administration

Check out this list of possible cabinet members for the Biden Administration.

Of course, it’s not just unofficial, it’s strictly speculative, but it’s perhaps not surprising that it includes no one from New Jersey’s political orbit.

 

Perth Amboy Mayor WIlda Diaz.

Perth Amboy Destined for 2020 Mayoral Runoff Election

This today from NJToday.net:

Mayor Wilda Diaz, Councilman Helmin Caba and attorney Joseph B. Vas are locked in a close count for two slots in a December 15 runoff election that will determine who leads Perth Amboy for the next four years.

For now, the race remains too close to call, with preliminary results showing incumbent Diaz in first place with 3,713 votes (33.15%), followed by Caba at 3,292 (29.4%) and Vas at 2,810 (25.7%) after the latest vote tallies were released on Sunday.

Murphy

Murphy: ‘I have My Dream Job’

Governor Phil Murphy again said he plans to stick around and run for reelection, and does not intend to go to the Biden Administration if offered a position in the cabinet.

What if someone offers you your dream job?

“I have my dream job,” Murphy insisted. “I’m not going anywhere.”

The governor said he hasn’t any conversations with the president-elect or his people.

That’s not surprising.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) ill-fated presidential contest bottled him up while sharper elbowed players piled onto the Biden bus early.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Booker likewise look like they’re prepared to hunker in here while Biden’s team takes shape.

Scutari

Senate Judiciary Committee Moves Bill to Legalize Marijuana

On the heels of a public thumbs up to a ballot question on the issue, the Senate Judiciary Committee today moved S-21, the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act”, which legalizes personal use cannabis for certain adults, subject to regulation by Cannabis Regulatory Commission; removes marijuana as Schedule I drug.

“The public recognizes that ‘marijuana prohibition’ has been a failed policy,” said Senator Scutari (D-Union), who also authored the law creating New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. “We can do away with punitive laws that fall the hardest on minorities and create a regulatory system that ensures the safe use of cannabis products by adults. Legalization will deliver social justice reforms and create a new business sector that produces economic opportunities.”

Following a contentious discussion, here’s how they voted 6-1-3:

Doherty NO (“I would vote for a bill, really small amounts, let’s not destroy their life. But this bill just goes way too far.”).

Cardinale ABSTAIN (said he could vote for it on the floor)

Corrado ABSTAIN

Bateman ABSTAIN (may vote for the final version)

Turner YES (still wants relief and reparations to African American communities)

Singleton YES

Sarlo YES (still has serious concerns about liability and rights of employers and workers, voted “no” in the booth but emphasized

Sarlo
Sarlo

that the people have spoken; thinks legislation in its current form is vague, needs more hammering.)

Ruiz YES (criticized Doherty for using what she described as an “unacceptable” tone of voice with her during cross-examination)

Pou YES

Scutari YES (wants to continue to improve “what I think is already a really good bill”. “You satisfy one end, you piss someone off on the other side.).

The Senate Judiciary Committee also passed the following bills:

A1897/4269 Acs (ACS) Provides for certain criminal and civil justice reforms, particularly with respect to legal consequences associated with certain marijuana and hashish offences as well as broadening awareness of available expungement relief.*

S2535 Provides for certain criminal and civil justice reforms, particularly addressing legal consequences associated with certain marijuana and hashish offenses as well as raising awareness of available expungement relief.

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) today released the following statement about cannabis legalization enabling legislation:

“Last Tuesday, the people of New Jersey overwhelmingly voted to legalize cannabis for recreational use. In crafting the enabling legislation to support this referendum, I am committed to ensuring that we impose an additional user fee on cannabis consumers that will help to reduce the financial burden on New Jersey’s taxpayers and specifically on its urban communities. 

“The legal sale of cannabis will allow us to fairly address issues of criminal justice and provide needed revenue for our state. The enabling legislation will ensure that this money is returned to our communities and that it is distributed fairly.”

 

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape