Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m not where Phil Murphy is, but I’m certainly not where Ron DeSantis is.” – Jack Ciattarelli on his opposition to COVID-19 mandates
TOP STORY: No Mask Mandate Advocates Rally in Trenton
The statewide cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 1,027,492 cases and 24,927 confirmed fatalities (and 154,559 probable cases and 2,810 probable fatalities) as of Monday (an increase of 903 confirmed cases, 208 probable cases, and 7 lab-confirmed fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is .92. There are 5,997,795 people fully vaccinated.
Download and read Insider NJ’s 2021 General Election publication.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell passed away at age 84.
Governor Murphy ordered flags to half-staff today in honor of the late General Ray Odierno, a native of Rockaway.
The Murphy Administration announced $4M for organizations to assist with health insurance enrollment.
Middlesex County closed the Johnson Park Animal Haven.
The NJMVC is offering driver knowledge tests at Rowan University on Saturday.
RWJBarnabas fired 118 employees who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccination, according to the Bergen Record.
The state had its first $1B month in sports betting, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
ICYMI: After final gubernatorial debate, which featured rowdy audience Murphy says he ‘wasn’t flustered at all‘; Guv race spending nearly $28M; Kean warns ‘democracy is in trouble‘ without local news; Stockton poll shows Murphy w/ 9-point lead; Murphy, Ciattarelli clashed in fiery debate (watch here); Murphy rolled out ‘Return and Earn’ program; Payne says bills are unique chance to bridge divide; Pascrell confident of passage of bills; Gottheimer central figure in ongoing debate
The NJ Outdoor Alliance endorsed Jack Ciattarelli for Governor.
Bergen County GOP Sheriff candidate Robert Kugler is pushing his campaign, despite an indictment, according to the Bergen Record.
The NJLCV Victory Fund launched a $147k media buy for endorsed legislative candidates.
Atlantic County legislative races stand out in a quiet election, according to NJ Spotlight.
ICYMI: Music video focal point in Sussex commissioners race; NASW released endorsements; Obama will campaign with Murphy; Environment NJ released endorsements; Murphy leads Ciattarelli among older voters; in LD1, Testa leading by 14-points; $14.5M has already been spent in legislative elections; Somerset’s Kirsch wants to offer an alternative all-Dem control; Murphys, Klobuchar campaigned in Fair Lawn; Passaic GOP took aim at ‘cancel culture’ in recent mailer; Murphy derided Ciattarelli over anti-profanity; NJYD endorsed candidates; Probation Association released endorsements; Biden, Harris endorsed Murphy; Oliver, Allen debated; Ciattarelli looking to appeal to voters outside GOP circle; ABC-NJ endorsed Ciattarelli; Testa threw elbow at Stockton’s poll; Ciattarelli town hall in Parsippany; Rancocas Valley Dems rallied for Addiego; Hyland running in CD3; sources consider debate aftermath; Murphy raised eyebrows w/ no tax pledge; insiders considered relations between Guv and Sweeney; insiders consider impact of guv race
Anti-mask mandate protesters rallied at the Statehouse yesterday, with several GOP figures addressing the crowd, including GOP congressional candidates Billy Prempeh and Rik Mehta; in attendance was former GOP gubernatorial primary candidate Phil Rizzo.
The Redistricting Commission began business with a show of bipartisanship, according to NJ Monitor.
A lawsuit alleges the state’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate is unconstitutional, according to NJ Monitor.
The NJ Chamber of Commerce will honor five legislators for their support of businesses and economic growth.
‘Salvation and Justice’ launched a statewide ‘Make The Right CALL’ initiative.
Drumthwacket has reopened to public tours, according to Planet Princeton.
ICYMI: Hamm and supporters marched 67 miles in support of CCRB legislation; HSG hired Anderson and Haddox; at Building Trades convention, Murphy received a warm reception; Murphy announced executive staff transitions; Mullen on Building Trades: ‘all we do is build‘; Sweeney discusses legislative battlegrounds; Mullen makes point to tout Oroho for Minority Leader; Oroho says leadership ‘very close race’
Listen to Politically Direct Episode 151 with host Fernando Uribe and Patricia Johnson, LD15 GOP Assembly candidate.
Download and read Insider NJ’s 2021 Millennials publication.
Democratic Party insiders are already looking at the next gubernatorial election cycle, with a gathering fatigue over 2021 focusing critical questions ahead of 2025.
The debate wins and losses between Murphy and Ciattarelli.
In Caldwell Borough, the council passed the 2021 budget, according to TAPinto.
In Camden, a lawsuit demands the clean-up of a North Camden waterfront site, according to the Courier Post.
In Dover, there are races for most seats on the Alderman board, according to NJ Hills.
In Edison, the re-establishment of the open space trust fund is in the hands of voters, according to TAPinto. The mayoral race is dominated by warehouses and school overcrowding, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Englewood Cliffs, the clerk was rehired, according to the Bergen Record.
In Jersey City, the Ward E council race features a clash between incumbent Councilman Solomon and challenger Jake Hudnut, according to the Jersey Journal. Mayoral candidate Lewis Spears has raised $20k to date, according to Hudson County View.
In Lakewood, Ray Coles is the unlikeliest mayor the town could have, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Metuchen, the ‘Lucille Ball pond’ on the Edison border may be saved, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Paramus, the teachers’ union is suing the school district over a nurse’s salary, according to the Bergen Record.
In Vernon, a judge dismissed a lawsuit by the town against the Sussex County Utilities Authority, according to NJ Herald.
ICYMI: In Atlantic City, Small predicts a loss for Guardian; in Morris Township, GOP looking to retake control; 32BJ announced endorsements; in Parsippany, Musella held a fundraiser; in Buena Vista, Ellen Testa running for council; in Paterson, Mimms considering mayoral candidacy, Mendez running for mayor, Davila says she’ll remain neutral; in Newark, Amador won’t seek re-election, confirming recent speculation; in Bayonne, Davis and Dems preparing to get into trenches for election; in Jersey City, LSP advocates rallied against privatization efforts; in Newark, city unveiled a statue of history-making former Mayor Kenneth Gibson; in Newark, no clear alternative to Baraka
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘On Election Day 2021, the NJ Republican Consolation will be Jean Stanfield‘
Insider NJ columnist and ELEC Executive Director writes ‘Pandemic or Not, ELEC is Fulfilling Its Mission‘
Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘What’s Missing from the 2021 Campaign? Harris has More than a Clue‘
Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘Straight. But But Not Narrow. A tribute to Straight People who Fought for LGBTQ Liberty‘
Insider NJ reporter Christine Sloan writes ‘Gottheimer and Malinowski Pursue Divergent 2022 Strategies‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Matt Arco, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
- New Jersey voters will decide Nov. 2 who will serve the next four years as their governor: Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy or Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli.
Veronika Dolar, NJ Monitor
- For decades it was conventional wisdom in the field of economics that a higher minimum wage results in fewer jobs. In part, that’s because it’s based on the law of supply and demand, one of the most well-known ideas in economics. Despite it being called a “law,” it’s actually two theories that suggest if the price of something goes up – wages, for example – demand will fall – in this case, for workers. Meanwhile, their supply will rise.
Daniel Uloa, Hudson County View
- The Jersey City Council’s ad hoc committee to investigate Suez Water’s Hurricane Ida response convened for their first, brief meeting earlier today.
Tom Bergeron, roi-nj.com
- Hospitalizations are under 900 — for almost a week. The rate of transmission continues to be under 1.0. The positivity rate in the state, as of Oct. 14, was under 4%. Does this mean COVID-19 is under control?
Brenda Flanagan, NJ Spotlight
- Wrestling coach Jason Marasco is one of several plaintiffs — most of them teachers — who sued Monday over New Jersey’s COVID-19 testing mandate and made their case before a crowd of some 500 supporters at a Trenton rally against Gov. Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing orders.
Michelle Brunetti Post, Press of Atlantic City
- Candidates from both parties for Assembly and State Senate in the second legislative district chose dates for their editorial board meetings. The editorial board meeting for Republican candidates Don Guardian and Claire Swift has already run and can be found online.
Charles Stile, NorthJersey.com
- When it comes to his opposition to coronavirus mandates, Jack Ciattarelli, the Republican nominee for governor, insists he’s no clone of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a leader of the anti-mandate resistance in the GOP.
Michael Aron, NJ Spotlight
- Did this week’s gubernatorial debate give Republican candidate Jack Ciattarelli a bump in support? What is Ciattarelli’s strategy in these last weeks before the election and can he tighten the gap that polls say Gov. Phil Murphy maintains over him? Bob Hugin, chairman of New Jersey’s Republican Party, goes on the record to answer those questions.
Sophie Nieto-Munoz, NJ Monitor
- New Jersey voters will be faced with two statewide referendums on the ballot this year, both aiming to amend the constitution to change gambling rules. The first ballot question will ask voters whether to allow betting on all in-state college sports. While sports betting was legalized in 2018, this question would amend that law to include New Jersey college teams and other college-level sporting events in the state.
Tom Gralish, Philadelphia Inquirer
- The Making Strides of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey annual fundraiser Oct. 17, 2021 will help save lives and pay for the future of breast cancer research and programs.
Mike Deak, MyCentralJersey.com
- A Superior Court judge has reserved decision on a $7.985 million settlement in a class action lawsuit for victims of sexual abuse and sexual harassment at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women. Judge Michael O’Neill said he had several follow-up questions and needed to “flesh out” some issues.