From the Statehouse to Perth Amboy, from CD2 to CD7, from Atlantic County to Middlesex County, here are the Insider NJ key must-read pieces from the past week:
In the following pages you will find an accounting of some the rising minds on the Garden State political scene.
In the old days, it was shirts versus skins. In this apocalyptic version of America, it’s the masked versus the maskless. The earlier game was played in the street. This game is played on either side of the street
Many young voters across North Jersey are finding it difficult to confidently vote for either candidate this 2020 presidential election.
From supporters waving Trump flags at passing motorists to outdoor rallies to old-fashion intimate fundraisers, the pandemic is not stopping many Republicans from campaigning as usual.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2) has a rep as a fierce and hard campaigner but, in the words of one source who spoke to InsiderNJ on condition of anonymity, “I do think the thing that concerns the Van Drew camp is [Amy] Kennedy’s seemingly unlimited cash supply. He’s also worried about challenger Kennedy aligning notoriously fractured parties and producing big Democratic Party turnout in Atlantic County (home to 67,562, or the biggest concentration of the district’s Democrats).
I steadied myself and took a deep and fateful breath before, one foot in front of the other, I crossed the bridge from 2020 national nonentity New Jersey into legitimate battleground state Pennsylvania.
Voting continues to divide Republicans.
The source spoke as though he was sitting on a stool in a tavern with sawdust on the floor, only this was the COVID-19 era, so only the voice came through the phone, atmospheric and suggestive of grim proximity but in actuality occupying nowhere.
In many ways, Governor Murphy will need to seriously scrutinize his political blueprints to build not so much a better mouse trap, but a better mix of fertilizer, if he wishes to clear a greener path and transcend the political maelstrom of Trenton for a stake in Washington DC.
In some respects it can be argued that Christie was the political Trump long before the latter made any attempt at running for office. Christie was the founding father of Republican tough guy assurance in a time of lukewarm Obama gentility.
In a downtown Main Street office formerly occupied by former U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-7), Somerset County GOP Chairman Tim Howes handled the institutional reference points of his organization with a kind of loving care.
Wearing a black mask emblazoned with a fist and the words “I can’t breathe” over his face, and a Yankees cap on his head, the brother of the late George Floyd came to New Jersey today to march with members of the Black Lives Matter movement and their allies, and to express opposition to the police brutality that extinguished his brother’s life on May 25th.
There’s a lot of “lesser of two evils” and “both parties are the same” chatter happening, especially with the presidential election heating up. But historically and also and right now, the fight for gay/LGBT rights is proof that democrats and republicans are definitely not the same.
Controversial local political operative – and driver of the local Democratic Committee, whose sister chairs the Atlantic City Democrats – Craig Callaway said he doesn’t owe the party a fig.
Tom Malinowski can’t ignore the attacks coming his way from Tom H. Kean Jr., especially one linking him to protecting sex predators.
The battle of the two Toms in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District is intensifying and the outcome of the election could be determined by how voters, especially women, feel about President Donald Trump and his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic and demands for racial justice across the country.
At opposite ends of the state last December, activists ignored the cold weather and rallied in Glen Rock and Mays Landing, demanding that their local Democratic congressmen support impeaching Donald Trump.
“Nobody knows the legislative district like Jeff Van Drew, and I think he does transcend party,” Testa told InsiderNJ in a Wednesday afternoon phone interview. “I don’t think Jeff Van Drew would say he left the party so much as – like Ronald Reagan – the Democrat Party left him.”
Of the 12 congressional races in New Jersey this year, the Kennedy-Van Drew matchup in south Jersey’s CD-2 is attracting the most national attention. It’s easy to see why.
Driven to action by the 2011 police killing of Barry Deloatch, and pulled again with renewed urgency onto the streets after the police killing of George Floyd of Minneapolis, Tormel Pittman of New Brunswick says he doesn’t affiliate with Black Lives Matter, and instead calls himself a humanitarian and a global advocate.
In a wide-ranging interview this afternoon at City Hall, Small spoke about his own record as mayor, the relationship between Black Lives Matter and the police, the challenges of a vote by mail campaign, and the uniqueness of his own political obstacle course.
They had a shark problem around here over a hundred years ago, but the area townsfolk handled it, bludgeoning the beast out of commission and into local folklore, though the baywaters still have a Peter Benchley glisten in early autumn.
In Perth Amboy this year, Mayor Wilda Diaz is seeking a fourth term in office.
Senator Ronald Rice (D-28) and Senator Nick Scutari (D-22) had to be separated in the caucus room on Thursday after the two men intensified their public spat over marijuana decriminalization.
The thought (or the tweet) echoes the core of the op-ed the senate president – somewhat sheepish about backing a millionaire’s tax – penned today in the Star-Ledger.
Everybody knew the state’s nine-month, pandemic-influenced budget was going to be approved Thursday by the Democratic-controlled Assembly.
Over vociferous GOP entreaties checked by a reminder by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) for them – amid chafing – to keep their masks in place, the state Senate this morning passed Senate Bill No. 2021, which appropriates $32,711,205,000 in State funds and $13,856,161,239 in federal funds for the State budget for Fiscal Year 2021.
At a meeting this morning of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on the subject of police reform, state Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28), himself a former Newark Police officer, expressed the importance of contextualizing the issue.
The big political win for the governor was with the so-called millionaire’s tax. For the last two years, Murphy wanted to raise income taxes on those earning more than $1 million a year from 8.97 percent to 10.75 percent. Making the very rich pay more is a big part of Murphy’s “tax fairness” plan.
CD9 Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. today was named the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight by Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA-01) and his Democratic colleagues on the committee.
In the continuing bruising behind-the-scenes fight for governor 2021, look for the name of Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon to surface as a potential candidate for lieutenant governor.
Today marks 10 years since the passing of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University freshman whose death by suicide siezed the conscience of the nation. The following tribute was written by Tyler’s cousin Jen Ehrentraut whose memorable testimony helped pass NJ’s anti-bullying bill of rights.
The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had, and will continue to have, a profound impact on the residents of our community. I’d like to think that is so regardless of political stripes.
In my column of Tuesday, September 22, 2020, I deliberately did not object to consideration of President Trump’s forthcoming nominee for the Supreme Court. While I reserved the right to object to the nominee, depending on her record and judicial philosophy, I did not protest Trump’s right to have his nominee considered by the Senate.
As my readers know, since my days as a Northwestern University undergraduate, the study of American history has been my leading intellectual passion. At my tender age of three score and ten, my intellectual passions are those most capable of fulfillment!
It took a few days, but cooler and infinitely wiser heads among Democratic Party leaders — including presidential candidate Joe Biden — prevailed and distanced themselves from demands from its vocal in house leftists that should the Senate confirm a Supreme Court justice nominee, the court should be expanded and packed with jurists who will swear to uphold the party’s legislative agenda.
As Rabbi Sacks points out, for most people, the most damaging part of COVID-19 is insecurity and uncertainty.
- Amy Kennedy
- Atlantic City
- Atlantic City Democrats
- Atlantic County
- Atlantic County Democrats
- Bill Pascrell
- Chris Christie
- Christine Hanlon
- Craig Callaway
- Donald Trump
- Garden State Equality
- Glen Rock
- Gurbir Grewal
- Insider 100: Millennials
- Insider NJ
- Jeff Van Drew
- Jen Ehrentraut
- Joe Biden
- Joe Vas
- Josh Gottheimer
- Marty Small
- Mays Landing
- Mike Testa
- Monmouth County GOP
- New Brunswick
- Nick Scutari
- Perth Amboy
- Phil Murphy
- Ronald Rice
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Somerset County
- Somerset County GOP
- Steve Sweeney
- Tim Howes
- Tom Kean
- Tom Malinowski
- Tormel Pittman
- Tyler Clementi
- Wilda Diaz
Click here for the full Insider Index