Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 1/24/2020

Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing

Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 1/24/2020:


QUOTE OF THE DAY: This is a warning: if you are actively intimidating or assaulting women, we will find out who you are.” – Jeannine LaRue, member of Senator Weinberg’s ad hoc committee


TOP STORY: CD2 Flashpoint: Three Women at the Heart of a Fast-Developing National 2020 Contest


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


New Jersey added 6,500 jobs in December, edging the unemployment rate up by .1% to 3.5%.


Governor Murphy nominated Kevin Walsh of the Fair Share Housing Center as the state’s next comptroller. Murphy said that Walsh is ‘his own man and will approach this with his own instincts and skills, backgrounds, and perspectives’, praising former Comptroller Matt Boxer as a ‘great role model’ for the job.’ Asked if political caution will factor into Walsh’s approach, he said he sees the job as ‘being one of detaching from that and pursuing what is right and what is true, the consequences will be what they may but I don’t like to view it in terms of engaging powerful folks, but doing the right thing. ‘if that comes with certain consequences or tenses, that’s part of the job I’m ready for’. Walsh added that the ‘primary function is watchdog and sharing the truth, digging into the truth, demanding the truth, and that would be the primary role I look forward to’.


First Lady Tammy Murphy and NJDHS Commission Johnson announced a reduction in child care co-pays by 50% for parents who receive state assistance with child care. The First Lady announced an partnership with several organizations to reduce the state’s mortality rate by 50% and eliminate racial disparities in birth outcomes.


ELEC825 released a statewide poll based on the state’s Energy Master Plan draft from June 2019 showing that a majority of New Jersey energy consumers want access to affordable natural gas.


In his first post-presidential campaign interview with NJTV, Senator Booker discusses why his campaign failed and his disappointment with the limits imposed on the Senate impeachment trial.


Rep. Pascrell assailed President Trump’s comments that likened traumatic brain injuries were ‘headaches’.


Rep. Norcross introduced the ‘Non-Profit Security Expansion Act’.


Rep. Kim met with local leaders to discuss federal and state efforts to combat the opioid crisis.


Reps. Gottheimer, Sherrill, and Kim joined with the Greenwood Lake Commission to call for emergency state funding to combat toxic algae in Greenwood Lake and lakes around the state.


Monmouth County Clerk Hanlon is launching a year-long 19th Amendment Centennial Recognition program.


Burlington County Freeholder Director Hopson announced the members of the new Women’s Advisory Council.


The Burlington County Freeholders awarded municipal park grants.


ICYMI: Gilmore sentenced to a year and a day in prison; Adubato and West discuss truth in politics; 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


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In CD2, three female Democratic primary candidates are at the heart of the 2020 contest, which has taken on national dimensions in the re-election year of President Trump and party-switcher Rep. Jeff Van Drew. The Camden County GOP endorsed Van Drew, following the candidate screening. The Egg Harbor Township GOP also endorsed him.


In CD3, Rep. Kim was endorsed by UA Local 322 and Ironworkers Local 399.


In CD4, a group of local Democratic leaders endorsed Stephanie Schmid in the Democratic primary.


In CD7, Rep. Malinowski – presumably heading towards a general election face-off with GOP challenger Senator Tom Kean (read more here) in November following Rosemary Becchi’s transitioning to CD11 – says ‘bring it on’ in reference to ‘big name Republican‘ Kean; Malinowski says he wants a ‘contest of issues’.


In CD8, Democratic candidate Hector Osguerdo is confident that he can upset incumbent Rep. Sires in the primary, according to Hudson County View.


Former Senator and presidential candidate Bill Bradley endorsed Joe Biden for president, according to Politico.


The Hoboken GOP and Hudson County Young Republicans will hold a Lincoln Day dinner on February 25th.


ICYMI: In CD11, Sherrill relishes contest contest w/ Becchi, who formally entered afterr shifting from CD7 to avert Kean primary battle , Casha ended CD11 GOP candidacy; Francis enters CD2 Dem primary; PCYD elected exec team; Ciattarelli launched guv 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


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Here’s what’s on tap under the Gold Dome on Monday.


Senator Weinberg’s Workgroup on Harassment, Sexual Assault and Misogyny in New Jersey Politics held its first press conference yesterday, outlining the development of its plans to develop recommendations to improve the state’s political climate for women. Panel member Jeannine LaRue of Kaufman Zita Group said of male politicians who have harassed women, ‘they should be very, very nervous. We will find out who you are‘. Senator Weinberg said ‘we wanted to create a ‘firewall’ between the panel and the state’s male-dominated political power structure to assure women that we would truly be independent, that their voices would be heard, and that their confidentiality would be respected’. Referring to Governor Murphy’s mention of the state’s toxic climate for women in his State of the State, Weinberg was unimpressed, saying ‘I’m not sure what else he addressed’ beyond acknowledging the problem. Among the workgroup’s strategies for outreach will be public hearings, closed-door listening sessions, and the launch of an anonymous survey, the findings of which will be distributed.


Senator Ruiz was the Legislature’s most prolific lawmaker last session, with 116 bills signed into law, according to Politico NJ.


Senator Gill hosted a forum on the 2020 census with faith leaders in LD34.


Senator Singleton will partner with the Burlington County Animal Shelter for his February service project.


Assemblywoman Mosquera released a statement on Maternal Health Awareness Day, calling for a continuation of efforts towards improving maternal health.


The Pinelands Preservation Alliance released the State of the Pinelands report.


The NJBIA created two new councils to tackle business challenges.


ALEC released a report finding that the state faced $130B in unfunded liabilities for government retiree health benefits, second only to California.


ICYMI: Codey critical of Lagana SJU removal by Sweeney, who responded ‘what a surprise‘; KZG’s Dohm and Orlando named Exec VPs; 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!


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


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Listen to Politically Direct Episode 79 with host Fernando Uribe and guest Brigid Harrison, CD2 Democratic primary candidate.


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 Trenton, a budget meeting was nixed after four council members didn’t show up, according to the Trentonian. Mayor Gusciora announced the reclamation of $100k in funds from the state for the city.


In Hamilton, the township is facing a ‘challenging year’ according to the acting financial director, according to the Trentonian. Mayor Martin tapped Bianca Jerez as his Chief of Staff, according to the Trentonian.


In Camden, the city and unions are working to avoid firefighter layoffs following changes to a federal grant program, according to the Courier Post.


In Howell, Councilman and former Mayor Bob Walsh passed away, according to More Monmouth Musings.


In Newark, United Airlines and the Port Authority is spending a combined $44M to upgrade the Terminals B and C restrooms.


In Hoboken, only six residents voiced their opinion on the Rail Yard Redevelopment Plan, according to Hudson County View.


In Paterson, Senator Pou praised grant money for Hinchliffe Stadium as a ‘lifeline’.


In Hasbrouck Heights, politics intrudes on the library board, according to the Bergen Record.


In Bridgewater, Mayor Moench announced the first of his public outreach initiative.


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 Jay Lassiter writes ‘Get to Know NJ’s 2nd Congressional District (a little better!)


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?





Road closure wasn’t political hit on Trump. A 3-foot sinkhole is to blame, state says

Larry Higgs, NJ Advance Media for


  • A structure not even big enough to be called a bridge on a road that supporters attending President Donald Trump’s Jan. 28 rally in Wildwood might use was closed by state Department of Transportation officials because it could collapse.


A place of ‘perpetual doom,’ is rising from the ashes, councilwoman says

Felisha Reyes Morton


  • Years ago, the small city that I was born in, grew up in and went to school in was left for dead. Growing up in Camden’s Parkside neighborhood, I got to watch Diane Sawyer come to my town in 2007 to show the “worst” examples of urban decay in America, chronicling the lives of several of our children.


Nomination of Walsh as state comptroller applauded by many — but not all

Tom Bergeron,


  • As the head of the Fair Share Housing Center, Kevin Walsh made his mark by being unrelentingly persistent in his desire to hold municipalities accountable for their affordable housing obligations in accordance with the Mount Laurel decision. No one is better at doing that, I have been told repeatedly. Everyone knows they can’t do a thing until they get his buy-in, many others have said.


Major Hurley Exclusive Regarding Brigid Harrison & Craig Callaway

Harry Hurley, WPG Talk Radio


  • This is a rare look inside the belly of the beast of electoral politics. You almost never get to see or hear something this raw and real. We reported earlier that Amy Kennedy had received the unanimous endorsement of Atlantic City Democratic Committee. Here’s the inside story about what really happened in the run-up to that critical decision. In a Hurley in the Morning / exclusive, I have interviewed Craig Callaway, who has confirmed the following explosive details.


What’s in a name: A New Jersey town’s weird Irish connection

Steve Novak, For


  • When the 2020 Hackettstown St. Patrick’s Day parade steps off on March 15, it will be headed by someone from out of town – 3,200 miles out of town, to be precise.


Schepisi blasts Murphy’s far-left pick for state comptroller

Matt Rooney, Save Jersey


  • Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-39) is hopping mad. She says Phil Murphy’s decision to nominate affordable housing activist Kevin Walsh, Executive Director of Fair Share Housing Center, as the next state comptroller is cause for ‘grave concern’ for New Jersey taxpayers.


Alaris accuses CarePoint owners of embezzling millions as hospitals continued to lose money

John Heinis, Hudson County View


  • In the latest round in the ongoing feud between Alaris Health and CarePoint Health, the owner of Alaris accuses the owners of the Hudson County hospitals of embezzling millions from the company – even as they continued to fall deeper into debt.


Will the 2021 Republican gubernatorial candidates rally to Donald Trump? That could be decisive | Mulshine

Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger


  • Perhaps this was an omen. If so, it will take a while to find out whether it’s a good one or a bad one. I’m talking about Jack Ciattarelli’s decision to kick off his campaign for governor on Tuesday, the same day that the U.S. Senate began its trial of President Donald Trump.


Murphy to nominate top housing advocate for comptroller

Ryan Hutchins, Politico


  • Gov. Phil Murphy plans to nominate Kevin Walsh, one of New Jersey’s leading affordable housing advocates, as the state’s next comptroller — a move that could rejuvenate the independent office as a headline-making government watchdog.


Under Consideration: New Jersey’s Congressional Contenders

Colleen O’Dea, NJ Spotlight


  • Tuesday’s announcement by former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli that he is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Gov. Phil Murphy kicked off the 2021 governor’s race. But first, voters and the parties need to get through this year’s federal elections.


Why are neighbors trying to halt proposed expansion at Turtle Back Zoo?

Briana Vannozzi, NJTV


  • Neighbors rattled off a list of arguments against the latest expansion at the Turtle Back Zoo — a roughly $8 million amphitheater that’ll seat 500 visitors at a time for conservation education classes. But critics question the tax dollars it would cost, and the acre of trees that would need be cut down to make room for it.


Pleasantville school board election challenger to provide details on illegal votes

Michelle Brunetti Post & Claire Lowe, Press of Atlantic City


  • Pleasantville school board candidate Doris Rowell, who challenged November’s election after a deluge of mail-in votes reversed her lead at the polls, must provide specific examples of illegal votes, a judge said at a hearing Wednesday.
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