Howes, Testa and Pennacchio All Absent from Trump Bedminster Function

The gatheringat President Donald Trump’s golf course in Bedminster had tickets costing up to $250,000. Dr. Rich Roberts, a longtime Republican donor, told The Lakewood Scoop on Friday that Trump privately met with about 19 people at the event. Roberts estimates that the meeting lasted about 45 minutes.

Somerset County GOP Chairman Tim Howes told InsiderNJ he was not present at the fundraiser, not wwas anyone from his organization present.

The co-chairs of Trump’s reelection campaign in New Jersey, senators Joe Pennacchio and Mike Testa, likewise were not present, they told InsiderNJ.


Christie Says He Heard about Hope Hicks Positive COVID-19 Test through the Media

Former Governor Chris Christie just spoke on ABC News with George Stephonopolous.


“We worked Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, mostly in the map room of the White House. We were all pretty spread apart.”

Christie said he was sitting across from the President, about four feet away.

Christie said he was not contacted by the White House about Trump testing positive.

“I heard about Hope through the media,” Christie said.

Christie said he heard about Hope testing positive last night at around 9. Christie said he went to a center near him and got a test. He’ll get the results tomorrow morning.



Murphy Says He Still Hasn’t Read SCI Report On SDA Hiring Scandal

At his afternoon briefing in Ocean County, Governor Murphy says he still hasn’t read the SCI report on the hiring scandal at the Schools Development Authority, which says his office knew more about the hiring spree than previously known:

‘Yeah, I have not read it, we’ve had a few balls in the air, we are right now trying to save as many lives as we can, and I would just repeat, Manny da Silva is doing a great job leading the SDA’.

The report was released on Wednesday.

Trenton is seeing a power struggle between Mayor Reed Gusciora and Council President Kathy McBride.

Gusciora Slams Morelli Ouster: ‘This Council Should Be Ashamed’

Mayor Gusciora slammed the City Council’s firing of Law Director John Morelli, saying the council ‘should be ashamed’ by ‘this hateful, unwarranted, and excessive use of power’:

“We intend to keep John Morelli in place as Law Director until the N.J. Department of Community Affairs makes a decision about his status pursuant to Trenton’s Memorandum of Understanding with the State of New Jersey. John has been an exemplary civil servant and true champion for the City of Trenton. To have his storied career and tireless efforts blemished by this hateful, unwarranted, and excessive use of power is a total disgrace. This is not how people who fight for Trenton should be treated. This Council should be ashamed.

From the Trentonian: ‘Council voted 5-2 to fire John Morelli for cause Thursday night over several alleged failures as city law director, including allegedly “disseminating” executive session information from the Sept. 3 closed-door session.’

The council also overrode Gusciora’s veto of the election date change ordinance, which have moved the nonpartisan elections from May to November, according to the Trentonian.


Murphy and Oliver Running Again

Governor Phil Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver are running again in 2021.

This from a letter by First Lady Tammy Murphy to his supporters:

“I am reaching out to let you know that Phil is declaring today his intention to run again in next year’s gubernatorial election.  I do not want you to hear this from anyone other than Phil or me.

“Please know that Phil will continue to focus almost exclusively on the government and ensuring New Jersey is as strong and fair as possible moving forward.  I will serve as Finance Chair of the campaign and will raise the requisite monies as quickly as I can, in order that we both can maintain our focus on the work at hand.  I will reach out personally to you in the coming days by phone but wanted to be sure you heard about this directly from us.”

Murphy and Oliver

Murphy, Oliver In Gear For Re-Election In 2021

Governor Phil Murphy today announced that he will file the necessary paperwork with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission to open a candidate committee account for his 2021 re-election campaign. Filing with ELEC will allow Governor Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver to begin fundraising for next year’s election.

“Filing with ELEC is a procedural step that will allow our campaign to legally begin raising money for the 2021 Primary Election,” said Murphy campaign spokesperson Caitlin Mota. “Governor Murphy remains focused on leading New Jersey through the COVID-19 pandemic and building a stronger and fairer economy for every family.”

“At this point, the campaign will consist primarily of a fundraising operation. As we near the most important election of our lifetimes, the Governor is committed to helping elect Joe Biden, elect and reelect our Democratic congressional delegation, and help lead Democrats up and down the ballot to victory on November 3rd.”

The New Jersey Statehouse and Capitol Building In Trenton

Cannabis Advisory Group to balance Commercial Concerns when NJ legalizes Pot

New Jersey voters are poised to legalize recreational cannabis on Election Day Nov 3.

The Cannabis Advisory Group is a new, non-profit organization designed to bridge “the knowledge gap between government and business in regulated cannabis markets.”

Legalized cannabis is probably coming to New Jersey, a state with plenty of cannabis trade associations already in full swing.

Jackie Cornell co-founded the Cannabis Advisory Group. She’s NJ’s former deputy Health Commissioner.

“The intention of CAG is to serve as a cannabis movement ‘think tank,'” Ms Cornell told InsiderNJ. “We aim to be a valuable resource for policy and public awareness through research and education with an expressly regional bent.”

According to a statement, CAG’s first initiatives will be a survey of New Jersey mayors “to gather data and questions on local implementation of cannabis. The findings will help CAG prioritize creation of resources and inform surveys to deploy in additional states.”

Mayor Janice Kovach of Clinton, NJ is incoming president of the New Jersey League of Municipalities.

“Education and engagement at the local level is a critical piece of a robust cannabis market – in New Jersey and in any state,” Ms Kovacs said. “I’m pleased that the Cannabis Advisory Group is partnering with the NJ League of Municipalities to bridge this existing gap and support local officials with the tools we need to make the best decision for our communities.”

New Jersey votes Nov 3. Mail in ballots area already arriving at addresses around NJ. 


Garden State Equality’s Local Endorsements

Today Garden State Equality released their slate of local endorsements. With Election Day 2020 right around the corner, the following state- and local endorsements complement GSE’s Federal endorsements list, released last week.

(See Garden State Equality’s Federal endorsements here.)

Topping today’s slate is Rupande Mehta who’s running for State Senate in District 25 in Morris/Somerset Counties. Ms Mehta’s opponent, incumbent Senator Anthony Bucco, Jr, voted against marriage equality, against conversion therapy ban, and against recent transgender-friendly birth certificate legislation.

Danielle (Danni) Newbury for reelection as 5th Ward City Council member in Rahway, Union County. Danielle is the Chair of the Union County LGBTQ Democratic Caucus, helped led the development of the first county government LGBTQ office and has been recognized by USA Today and The Advocate for her work to advance equality in New Jersey’s LGBTQ.
Amy QuinnYvonne Clayton, and Eileen Chapman for reelection as Asbury Park City (Monmouth) Council members.
Eddie Freeman for Township Council in Marlton, Burlington County
Ed Zipprich for Council in Red Bank, Monmouth County.
Pamela Renee for City Council in Neptune City, Monmouth County,
Biden and Trump

Presidential Debate Commission Exploring ‘Additional Structure’ Measures After Tuesday’s Debate

The Presidential Debate Commission released a statement saying last night’s debates ‘made clear’ that additional structure should be added to debate formats going forward.

“The Commission on Presidential Debates sponsors televised debates for the benefit of the American electorate. Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues. The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly. The Commission is grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates.”

The debate was widely panned , with some commentators calling it a ‘train wreck’, ‘shit-show’, and ‘a disgrace’.

The New Jersey Statehouse and Capitol Building In Trenton

State Commission Of Investigation Report: Murphy’s Office Had ‘Close Contact’ On SDA Hiring Spree

From a report by Dustin Racioppi: ‘Gov. Phil Murphy’s office was “in close contact” with the former head of the Schools Development Authority and knew much more about the hiring spree there than was previously known, according to an investigation by a state watchdog agency.’  Read the article here.

Read the Commission’s report below:


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