Insider NJ’s Key Must-Read Pieces of the Past Week

The Venetian done up for the Saccco Ball.

From the halls of the Statehouse to to Dover, from Atlantic City to Franklin Township, here are Insider NJ’s key must-read pieces from the past week:

Vortexing the Murphy-Norcross Theaters of NJ Politics

It’s an instinct as old as Gaugamela and older, to don helmet and something intended to slash or serrate on horseback and carve out a name for oneself on the field of battle. Deprived of that, we have the civilizing combat of politics, and absent that, we have New Jersey politics, where a dominant Democratic Party lays waste to itself, in the name of buttressing the interfacing, antagonizing fortresses of Governor Phil Murphy and South Jersey Power Broker George Norcross III…

Atlantic City Postscript: Currie, Jones, the Ballroom, and the Swamp

The echo of some drunken boardwalk threat from years ago, “I’ll show you what Atlantic City’s all about,” drifted vaguely back whenever the party’s crumbums saw Leroy Jones standing calmly in the vicinity of an equally unruffled-looking John Currie, as if they kept waiting for someone to throw a punch…

WHO’S UP AND WHO’S DOWN: Week of the Gilliam Resignation

At least in terms of this week’s edition of Who’s Up and Who’s Down, what started out in Atlantic City with the Democratic State Committee’s packed but bifurcated party conference, highlighted by a New Jersey-centric update on her impeachment inquiry into President Donald J. Trump by herself, Speaker Nancy Pelosi; ended up in Atlantic City, with the FBI bagging of Mayor Frank Gilliam…

Murphy in Christie’s Backyard: ‘I Want to Kick Some Ass in Mendham Twp.’

Phil Murphy was clearly feeling emboldened. Here he was Wednesday night looking out at about 300 loyal Morris County Democrats at the party’s “fall gala” at The Mansion at Mountain Lakes catering hall. A few years ago, Morris Dems would have been lucky to get half as many to an event…

Sherrill Game Clocks Rock Star Role in Low Turnout Election Year

This is going to be a low turnout election. Everybody knows that. But to Mikie Sherrill, that’s a good thing…

A Painful Provocation of Memorialization in Franklin

Values of service and selflessness, humility maybe and sacrifice can find expression in the statues – or even chiseled obleisks – that adorn a town, or so thought Councilman Rajiv Prasad, who in the aftermath of the gang killing of an African American teenager in 2007, began his designs for a Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial, which would end up causing no end of local strife, hurt feelings, painful accusations of racism, and ultimately result in Prasad getting run off the council by his own party…

After Lyons’ Death, Vauss and Team Irvington Strong Allies Turn to North Warder Vick

The death in August of North Ward Councilman David Lyons prompted Team Irvington Strong to turn to the local school board president and assistant head of public works for his successor…

From Trump’s Tweet, to Christie, to the Roots of ‘The Van Drew Team’

One of 12 House Democrats opposed to the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-2) has a history of working with an excitable, explosive executive in the opposing party to maintain his cool hold on political power in a maritime and agricultural district where the conservative Democrat broke a decades-long history of Republican control…

Sacco Ball is (Mostly) a Local Affair

Paul Juliano, Democratic chair for Bergen County, perhaps reflected the mood of the Mayor’s Ball when he said he was glad he could join the intimate gathering of Nicholas Sacco’s friends – which by conservative estimates numbered as many as 2,000 – each of them paying the $150 ticket price to be there…

Gilliam Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud (Full details)

Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court in Camden on Thursday morning…

Eager for Face-off with Smith, CD-4 Rivals Scramble for Attention

It was hard not to notice a CD-4 vibe at the Democratic State Committee conference, and in particular the campaign mode presence of two contenders fort he party nomination to take on incumbent U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4) in 2020.

Anti-Dodd Dick Codey Going to Bat for Blackman in Dover Mayoral Tilt

Dick Codey was a bit nostalgic about journeying here years ago to visit a gin mill known as the Do Drop Inn. “And I did ‘drop in,’ ” the state senator said…

Confronted by Protesters, Baraka Takes Charge of Town Hall on City Water Crisis

A town hall on the city’s lead contamination crisis anchored by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Catherine McCabe threatened to devolve into chaos when Baraka, a former street protester himself, exerted control of the forum…

Peters Criticizes his Opponents for Being Instruments of ‘Camden Cartel’

Running for reelection in LD8, a key legislative battleground, Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-8) chastised his Democratic opponents for being beholden to what he described as “the Camden cartel,” and laughed at the ridiculousness of politically-connected donors funding his primary opponent to say he’s not Trump enough, only to have some of the same donors turn around and condemn him in the general for being too Trump…

In Politics, They Love You Until They Don’t

The carnal destruction of feeding piranhas is one of the more violent images I have of nature…

Latino Pride, Power & Challenges

New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the US. We have Latinos here who just arrived and those who trace their ancestry back to the original people in the Americas. Our shared history as Americans goes as far St. Augustine, an original Spanish colony that existed 100 years before the founding of Jamestown…

The Jersey Roots of Trump’s Despotic Rule

Our country is in the throes of a governing crisis unlike any in our history and the rule of law is at stake…

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