Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 1/23/2020

Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing

Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 1/23/2020:


QUOTE OF THE DAY: What a surprise. Senator Codey is criticizing me again. He’s never gotten over the fact that I beat him.” – Senate President Sweeney


TOP STORY: Sherrill Relishes Contrast Contest with Becchi


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Former Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore was sentenced to a year and a day in prison following his conviction last year for not paying payroll taxes and for false statements on a bank application.


A Monmouth University national poll finds a majority of Democrats want a single national primary to select presidential candidates, as opposed to the state-by-state system, with states like Iowa and New Hampshire holding too much influence.


Gun rights advocates are requesting that Atlantic County become a 2nd Amendment sanctuary, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


Watch Steve Adubato and Dr. Cornel West discuss pursuing truth in politics (video).


New Jersey Airbnbn hosts earned over $57M during the biggest weekends in 2019.


Governor Murphy took action on over 100 bills; Holloway named next President of Rutgers; Who’s Up And Who’s Down: Week of Murphy’s State of the State; key pieces of the week; following SOS, Murphy unveiled ‘Jobs NJ’, reiterated call for millionaire’s tax; leaders reacted to SOS; SCOTUS waded into the Bridgegate appeal; Christie in attendance


Vote in Insider NJ Poll: Who Should Booker Back for President?


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In CD2, West Cape May Commissioner John Francis will enter the primary for the Democratic nomination. The Commissioner had been seriously considering a candidacy throughout the past two months, as a favorite of Cape May progressives. He joins Brigid Harrison, Amy Kennedy, Ashley Bennett, Rob Turkavage, and Will Cunningham in the primary. (Correction: Yesterday’s MIB inadvertently wrote ‘Atlantic County Democrats’ endorse Amy Kennedy instead of ‘Atlantic City Democrats’; the line in the email should have read: The Atlantic City Democrats endorsed primary candidate Amy Kennedy).


In CD11, Rep. Mikie Sherrill relishes the coming contest between her and Rosemary Becchi, who formally entered the CD11 race after shifting her CD7 candidacy where she would have faced Senator Tom Kean in the primary. Becchi has support from the CD11 GOP county chairs, while candidate Larry Casha ended his candidacy, clearing the field of announced candidates.


Atlantic County Sheriff Sheffler announced he’s running for re-election, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


The Passaic County Young Democrats elected their 2020 executive team.


In Morris County, eight GOP candidates are vying for the for the vacant freeholder seat, according to NJ Hills.


ICYMI: Ciattarelli formally launched his gubernatorial candidacy; in LD25, three Dems vying for Senate; top Republicans launch Lead Right New Jersey PAC; In CD4, Keady dropped out of the race following intense scrutiny; Booker quickly pivoted to Senate re-elec; Codey endorsed Biden; Malinowski endorsed Biden; Mimms withdrew freeholder intent following Best re-election announcement, Mimms previously expressed interest in the seat; Wayne Witherspoon also expressed interest; Joe D. formally endorsed Murphy


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Senator Codey was critical of the removal of Senator Lagana from the Judiciary Committee following his opposition to the vaccine bill, saying ‘this goes too far’ and that it ‘should never happen to any legislator’. Taking aim at rival Senate President Sweeney – who dethroned him in 2010 – Codey said ‘unfortunately, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this play. We’ve seen it much too often over the past ten years’. Sweeney responded, saying ‘what a surprise‘, according to


Senator Weinberg’s Workgroup on Harassment, Sexual Assault, and Misogyny will hold a press conference today to discuss their plan for outreach to develop recommendations to improve the political climate for women in the state.


Kaufman Zita Group’s Beth Dohm and Eric Orlando were named to executive vice presidents.


Senator Cunningham highlighted her bills that were signed into law during the lame duck period.


Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson was named the Vice-Chair of the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.


ICYMI: Assembly committee memberships, full list of bills introduced, legislative leadership positions, Senate committee appointments; Murphy says campaign staffers free to talk about workplace issues; breaking down Tax Incentive Task Force report; Quinn departing AMO; frozen budget items to be released, Senate President Sweeney says ‘its about time!‘; Sweeney sworn-in to sixth term, Coughlin sworn-in to second term


Vote in the Insider NJ Poll: Grade Governor Murphy’s State of the State Speech


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Watch Politically Direct host Fernando Uribe discuss the minimum wage with Imani Oakley in a roundtable discussion on EyesOnNJ.


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2019 Retrospective publication, Senator Weinberg’s 2019 Women’s Power List, and Insider NJ’s 2019 Insider 100: Power publication.


Visit the Insider 100 Publications page, the Events Calendar, the Press Release page, and check out the Insider NJ Video Gallery and Insider NJ Podcast page.


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In Mountain Lakes, newly elected Mayor Shepherd was charged with a DWI in Denville, according to the Daily Record.


In Atlantic City, Harry Hurley reports on a ‘perfect political storm‘ brewing, with Mayor Small not getting the Atlantic City Democrats’ support for a re-election bid.


In Hawthorne, BOE member Mike Sciarra was selected by the council to the vacant Ward 3 seat, according to TAPinto.


In Bridgeton, the council elected Councilman Bethea as president, according to


In Rockaway, Councilman Kelley wants the court to reconsider a ruling to let the council redo a meeting from September, according to the Daily Record.


In Hamilton, the council appointed Chuddy Whalen to Mayor Martin’s vacant council seat, according to the Trentonian.


In Stillwater, the committee voted for a resolution in support of the 2nd Amendment, according to NJ Herald.


In Galloway, political fighting took over a council meeting, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Hillsborough, the Democrats launched a search for 2020 committee candidates.


In Fairview, the town’s volunteer ambulance squad was disbanded, according to


In Maywood, a councilman was charged with harassment and resisting arrest, according to the Bergen Record.


ICYMI: In Paterson, Sayegh shakes up staff; in Hoboken, prosecutors dissatisfied with Raia sentencing; in Teaneck, Hameeduddin won’t seek re-election; in Jersey City, BOE debate intensifies


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘Atlantic City and Bobby Kennedy: 1964; Atlantic City and Amy Kennedy: 2020


In a guest column on Insider NJ, Dr. Patricia Campos Medina writes ‘Justice Over Order: Women Of Color and NJ’s #MeToo Moment


Insider NJ columnist Robert Hennelly writes ‘Will 1964 King “American Dream” Speech Echo in 2020 Democratic Debate on Capitalism?




It’s what Murphy didn’t say in the state of the state that’s outstanding

Carl J. Asszony, Special to the USA TODAY NETWORK


  • Gov. Phil Murphy gave the annual State of the State address on Jan. 14 — as others have observed, it was not a particularly grand speech. To me, what was outstanding were the things Murphy didn’t mention.


Thousands are expected to descend on Wildwood for Trump’s rally. Here’s how another city prepared.

Molly Bilinski, Press of Atlantic City


  • The city manager of Battle Creek, Michigan, had only one week’s notice that President Donald Trump was going to be visiting her city for a December campaign rally.


Not a typical diner trip: NJ Democrat gets grilled by Trump supporters over impeachment

Terrence T. McDonald,


  • A private chat on Tuesday between Rep. Josh Gottheimer and former state Assembly Speaker Chuck Haytaian turned into a public grilling of Gottheimer over his decision to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump.


Rep. Andy Kim held a town hall. No one wanted to talk impeachment

David Levinsky, Burlington County Times


  • There were no protests, interruptions or expressions of outrage from the over 100 residents who crowded into Ocean Gate’s tiny town hall. The only raised voice came from one resident who said she was fed up with the Veterans Administration’s handling of her husband’s medical care.


Vape shop owners decry NJ’s status as first state to ban flavored products

Raven Santana, NJTV


  • Come April, flavored vape products, including menthol, will be illegal in New Jersey. The new law comes as state health officials identified serious lung illnesses related to vaping and after the recommendation of a state task force to ban e-cigarette flavors that might be attractive to children. New Jersey is the first state to actually enact a ban, but e-cigarette sellers are crying fowl.


Bayonne expected to see 4.1 percent water rate tax increase in 2020, officials say

John Heinis, Hudson County View


  • The City of Bayonne is currently expected to see a 4.1 percent water rate tax increase in 2020, with the Mayor Jimmy Davis administration calling this an example of “an automatic, built-in” increase” as the result of the contract approved in 2012.


Decades-old cases of sexual abuse brings new charges against Newark Archdiocese

Ted Sherman, NJ Advance Media for


  • Two new lawsuits detailing allegations of sexual abuse dating back 40 years or more by a now-deceased Catholic priest have been filed against the Archdiocese of Newark by men who say they were victimized as children.


Randolph Board of Ed chief says 2017 JLo tweet ‘was something I should not have done’

PC Robinson, Randolph Reporter


  • Outcry over a social media comment he posted in 2017 forced Board of Education President Joseph Faranetta on Tuesday to issue a public apology.


Bon Jovi’s community restaurant JBJ Soul Kitchen opens at Rutgers–Newark

Gabrielle Saulsbery,


  • At Rutgers University–Newark, where more than half of all students have exceptional financial need, no one needs to worry about going hungry.


24 from N.J. land on Forbes’ annual America’s Best Employers for Diversity list

Emily Bader,


  • Forbes announced its third annual America’s Best Employers for Diversity list, and 24 New Jersey companies earned a place in the Top 500. New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson was the highest-ranked New Jersey company on the list at No. 28.


A ticket does not guarantee you access to Trump’s Wildwood rally

Michelle Brunetti Post, Press of Atlantic City


  • Got a ticket to the Trump rally at the Wildwoods Convention Center next Tuesday? So do more than 100,000 other people — and tickets are still being requested for a venue that holds about 7,400. “This is going to be a little bit extreme because of how small the venue is,” Darwin Cooper, 30, of Vineland, said of making the cut and getting inside.


Father sues Wanaque Center over death of toddler in 2018 viral outbreak

Scott Fallon,


  • The father of a 2-year-old Paterson boy who died in a 2018 viral outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation sued the center’s former parent company on Tuesday, claiming that negligence led to the child’s death.


Mohammed Hameeduddin, first Muslim mayor in Bergen County, will not seek reelection

Megan Burrow,


  • Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin, who was the first Muslim mayor in Bergen County, will not seek reelection in May. After 12 years on the Township Council, Hameeduddin, who owns a title company in Hackensack, said he believes that stepping down will allow new leaders to emerge in the township.


Murphy Signs 151 Bills, Including Ban on Flavored Vapes

Colleen O’Dea, NJ Spotlight


  • Flavored vaping products will soon be illegal in New Jersey, state lottery winners can now remain anonymous and the Garden State got a “state dog” with Gov. Phil Murphy’s signing of 151 bills, about 80% of the last batch lawmakers sent him before the end of the last legislative session last Tuesday.


Hope’s Mayor recognized for, reflects on 30 years of service

Jennifer Jean Miller, NJ Herald


  • As Hope Mayor Timothy McDonough enters his third decade of consecutively serving as mayor, McDonough looks ahead at the positives that he says residents will see in the coming year, including a debt-free township and lower tax bill.


Galloway council meeting heated over mayoral switch

Vincent Jackson, Press of Atlantic City


  • The political firestorm set off by the removal of Republican Anthony Coppola as mayor and the installation of Democrat Jim Gorman still burns hot in the municipality as evidenced by a Township Council meeting Tuesday.
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