Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He can bring in the ghost of FDR, I don’t give a s —.” – Jack Ciattarelli on Governor Murphy’s campaign appearances with national Dems
The statewide cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 1,029,748 cases and 24,973 confirmed fatalities (and 154,647 probable cases and 2,810 probable fatalities) as of Wednesday (an increase of 1,150 confirmed cases, 351 probable cases, and 15 lab-confirmed fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is .89. There are 5,989,956 people fully vaccinated.
Governor Murphy and NJ State Police Superintendent Colonel Callahan announced an administrative order that lifts the mask requirement for many polling locations.
The Murphy Administration announced a proposed $100M investment in urban parks, playgrounds, and open spaces through the Green Acres Trust Fund.
Most counties have fewer early voting sites than the state is willing to pay for, according to NJ Monitor.
Mercer County College and the Citizens Campaign partnered to establish the Citizen Leadership Center.
NJASCU released a study finding the state’s colleges and universities generate $6.1B in state economic activity.
Capital Health Maternity launched the ‘Rainbow Baby Program’ to help families navigate grief.
Hackensack Meridian Health transitioned to Google Workspace and Chrome OS devices.
Humana extended its health care options in the state.
Kean University held its first Jazz and Roots Music Festival, drawing 2,000 attendees.
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
Jack Ciattarelli derided Governor Murphy’s campaign appearances with national Democratic figures, while urging Republicans to vote, saying ‘don’t think it’s rigged, you’re going to psych yourself out‘.
NJ Right To Life released endorsements in the legislative elections, as well as a recommendation of Jack Ciattarelli in the gubernatorial race.
The Probation Association of NJ endorsed Governor Murphy for re-election.
Bergen County votes will decide if Bridgegate’s Bridget Kelly can ever move on, according to the Bergen Record.
Morris County commissioner candidates will debate on October 26th, according to Morristown Green.
In CD5, Protect Our Care released a poll showing voters support giving Medicare the power to lower prescription drug prices.
In LD10, the Democratic candidates highlighted ways to make the Shore safer from storms.
In LD39, the HPAE recognized the Democratic candidates
ICYMI: NJOA endorsed Ciattarelli; 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’; NJYD endorsed candidates; Probation Association released endorsements; Biden, Harris endorsed Murphy; Oliver, Allen debated; Ciattarelli looking to appeal to voters outside GOP circle
A report alleges a lack of transparency and Port Authority violations relating to the Amazon deal, according to Politico NJ.
Senator Testa was honored as Legislator of the Year by the NJ Chamber of Commerce.
Assemblywoman McKnight’s ‘AngelaCARES’ celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Assemblywoman Timberlake is hosting two community events.
The Civil Service Commission will host virtual information sessions for veterans.
NJ Restaurant and Hospitality Association President Lancellotti addressed the Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
ICYMI: Chemistry Council announced promotions; anti-mask mandate protesters rallied at Statehouse; Hamm and supporters marched 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’
For a state that prides itself on diversity, New Jersey has had only one female Governor and never a person of color.
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.
Critical Race Theory has become a hot button issue at the local BOE level, according to the Bergen Record.
In Atlantic City, mayoral candidates agreed, disagreed, and dissed each other at a debate, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Bernards Township, future decisions animate a low-key committee race, according to NJ Hills.
In Flemington, council candidates debated, according to TAPinto.
In Hoboken, BOE Trustee Chetali Khanna endorsed the Team Bhalla slate.
In Hopewell, the Mercer County Parks Commission released the final master plan for the Moores Station Quarry.
In Middle, the township is moving closer to an affordable housing agreement.
In Nutley, the town plans to form a ‘Third River Mayors Group’ to address flooding, according to TAPinto.
In Paterson, only 75% of school personnel are vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Paterson Press.
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 reporter Fred Snowflack writes ‘Ciattarelli Actually has to Hope New Jersey isn’t California‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, NJ Audubon’s Eric Stiles writes ‘The Cusp of a Wildlife Protection Renaissance‘
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:
Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger
- Ronald Reagan was famous for citing what he called the 11th Commandment of politics: don’t speak ill of your fellow Republicans. Donald Trump has managed to break that commandment more than any Republican in history.
Amanda Hoover, NJ Advance Media For NJ.com
- A former employee of an embattled medical marijuana company has accused the cannabis giant of demoting him because he is Black.
- As an active member of the Morristown community and a young professional myself, I am disheartened to hear many residents disparage young professionals coming in and settling in Morristown. Time and time again, it’s insinuated that anyone who is not a longtime Morristown resident does not have the best interest of the Town and its residents at heart.
Richard Cowen, Paterson Times
- Paterson on Tuesday let freedom ring once as community and political leaders gathered at the Huntoon-Van Rensalier Underground Railroad memorial on Broadway for installation of the freedom bell. The bell, which was cast in 1871, stood at the entrance to the Great Falls National Park since the mid-1970s.
John Heinis, Hudson County View
- Jenn Onofrio, a Jersey City resident and longtime director at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has been named as part of this year’s White House Fellows class, detailed to the U.S. Secretary of the Navy.
Tom Johnson, NJ Spotlight
- When Phil Murphy ran for governor four years ago, he promised bold changes in energy policy. By and large he delivered, overseeing a dramatic shift in policies as significant as in any other area of state government in recent years. In four years of his first term, Murphy, a Democrat now seeking reelection, revived a dormant offshore wind program.
Ahmad Austin Jr., Burlington County Times
- A long-expected trial between two South Jersey hospitals opened Tuesday morning. Deborah Heart and Lung Center initially filed a civil complaint in 2009 alleging Virtua Health conspired to shut Deborah down by ignoring patient requests for transfer and telling patients it had poor care, was understaffed or in jeopardy of closing.
Brett Friedensohn, New Jersey Hills
- If Republican Jack Ciattarelli is elected governor, he’ll be declaring “economic war” on our neighbors.
Scott Fallon, NorthJersey.com
- It’s been nearly a month since Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shot became available, but nearly 80% of those eligible in New Jersey have not gotten one, according to state data. The low rate appears to have raised concerns among state officials, who on Monday publicly encouraged the 1.1 million eligible New Jerseyans to schedule a booster shot via a state website, even though many providers offer walk-in shots.
Anthony R. Wood, Philadelphia Inquirer
- Gently clasping the wings, Betty Ross delicately touched the butterfly’s abdomen and instantly recognized the evidence for what it was: Clearly, it had just indulged in a banquet of nectar. Not that gluttony would be an issue: The butterfly would tip the scales at under 0.02 ounces.
Erik Larsen, Asbury Park Press
- The question won’t be on the ballot this year, but voters in the Pinelands Regional School District may soon be asked to expand the number of grades it serves to include pre-kindergarten through the sixth grade.