Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 12/13/2019

Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing

Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 12/13/2019:



The Title X gag rule is blocking desperately needed federal family planning funding, which endangers the health of tens of thousands of New Jerseyans, including those who receive care at one of New Jersey’s 22 Planned Parenthood health centers. S4103/A5802 will protect patients in New Jersey by providing emergency funding to reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood, who have been forced out of Title X due to the medically unethical gag rule. The Assembly passed A5802 in November – now, it’s the Senate’s turn to stand up for patients’ access to care. Learn more, and take action.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: Look, the president made some mistakes. I don’t believe they’re impeachable. I don’t see high crimes and I don’t see treason there.” – CD2 Rep. Van Drew


TOP STORY: Senator Loretta Weinberg’s 2019 Women’s Power List


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Coughlin jointly condemned the shooting in Jersey City as a hate crime. Murphy said ‘this is our signal to come together as the broad New Jersey family we are and recommit to the elimination of hate in all its forms’ and called for stronger gun control laws’. The shooting took the lives of six people, including a veteran officer. Mayor Fulop earlier this week said ‘this was a hate crime‘, while AG Grewal said the motivation was still being investigated by authorities and released new information about the shooting. Gun violence prevention groups will hold a vigil and rally today in Jersey City.


Senator Booker didn’t make the cut for next week’s debate, according to


Rep. Van Drew said yesterday that he won’t vote for President Trump’s impeachment, and that the House inquiry didn’t turn up any new evidence to change his mind, according to


Rep. Malinowski is hosting a town hall tomorrow, according to TAPinto.


Essex County Executive DiVincenzo, Freeholder President Gill, and the Freeholder Board announced that an ordinance was approved creating the Correctional Facility Civilian Task Force.


The state’s sportsbook hit a $5B milestone after $562M in bets were collected in November, according to PlayNJ.


Listen to Politically Direct Episode 75 with host Fernando Uribe and guest LD1 Senator Michael Testa.


ICYMI: McConnell holding a fundraiser w/ Christie; Murphy held DGA conference call; AAUPBHS chastised Rutgers officials; Menendez condemned re-arrest of Nigerian-American journalist


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Insider NJ’s Fred Snowflack interviews GOP Senate primary candidate Stuart Meissner.


In LD25, attorney Cliff Dawkins is considering a bid for Senate in next year’s special election.


In CD10, Democratic primary candidate John Flora wrote an open letter to residents.


ICYMI: Former CD2 candidate Turkvage leaving GOP; NJGOP announced Valenzuelo as new ED; Somerset Dems hired Garrity as new ED; Avelenda says NJ11th for Change ‘very ambitious’; Sulieman warns of CD2 primary potential; Hudson’s Romano not taking anything for granted; Insider NJ’s Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of Mike Testa’s Swearing-in; BurlCo GOP backing GOP CD candidates; in CD2, Francis seriously considering challenge to Van Drew, one of two names emerging along with Harrison, who’s mulling a challenge; Inglesino mulling Morris GOP chair


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing



The Senate Transportation Committee released legislation allowing driver’s licenses to be provided to undocumented immigrants, passing along a party-line vote.


Senator Rice testified that he’d support the bill as long as his other justice-related bills move forward as well, saying that he has a commitment from Senate President Sweeney. NJGOP Chairman Steinhardt testified against the bill, arguing that Democrats prefer ‘nihilism over ideas‘ and that ‘we won’t stop coming here’. The bill passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee earlier this week.


The Senate Transportation Committee passed legislation that would rename Route 19 in honor of Rep. Pascrell.


The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee passed legislation that would restore voting rights to parolees. Newark Mayor Baraka testified in support of the legislation.


The Assembly Appropriations Committee passed legislation allowing police and fire members to retire after 20 years of service with 50 percent of their pension.


The Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee held a public hearing on the marijuana legalization constitutional amendment. The Senate Commerce Committee also held a hearing. Assemblyman Danielsen said he’s ‘confident the voters will support this amendment if we are successful in placing it on the 2020 ballot’. Assemblywoman Quijano said it would be a ‘seismic shift’ and that ‘we would be creating, regulating and taxing a new industry, which is something I do not take lightly’.


The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee passed legislation that would prohibit municipal officials from using government vehicles for personal use.


Garden State Equality lauded the committee passage of legislation banning the gay panic defense.


Jersey Water Works will hold their annual conference today.


ICYMI: Darcy retiring from NJLOM; NJ Realtors announced 2020 leadership team; Bramnick bemoaned Dem legislative priorities; AJU passed DL bill after sparking debate, Peterson, a fierce critic, sparred w/ Mukherji and Schaer, bill will be considered by STR, Ruiz/Testa point/counterpoint; SLP heard testimony on female police recruit tests; plastic bag ban passed Assembly Budget; Coughlin outlines lame duck agenda; Labor passed ind. contractor bill; Testa sworn-in; Labor advanced the LSP bill


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Download Senator Weinberg’s 2019 Women’s Power List.


Al Sullivan analyzes the League panel of former Governors.


Read and download 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 Newark, the North Ward Democrats raised $35k at their holiday fundraiser.


In Watchung Borough, Jubin was appointed to fill a council vacancy, according to NJ Hills.


In Vernon, the council appointed a new clerk, according to NJ Herald.


In Mendham Township, an agreement was reached on the new police contract, according to NJ Hills.


In Northfield, the council nixed a shared services agreement with Egg Habor Township, opting to partner with Linwood, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Mahwah, the DEP ordered a 150-foot buffer for the wetlands, throwing the future of a proposed cell tower into question, according to the Bergen Record.


ICYMI: In Atlantic City, residents filed petitions for change of gov’t; in Atlantic City, Small announced Perskie as adviser; in Linden, judge dismissed Roman complaint against Armstead; in Linden, Cosby writes ‘Plantation Politics’; in Bridgewater, Pappas will serve as administrator; in Hoboken, Raia sentenced to 3-months


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘Reeferendum Madness


Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘The Hunter Biden Controversy Will Not Damage Joe Biden‘ and ‘The LeRoy Jones Endorsement is a Game Clincher for Phil Murphy


Insider NJ columnist Robert Hennelly writes ‘Part 2: The Cons of A Bloomberg Candidacy


In a guest column on Insider NJ, South Orange Village President Sheena Collum writes ‘A Letter to Steve Sweeney


In a guest column on Insider NJ, Louis Maggazu writes ‘Mayor Chuck Chiarello and His Miracle on Route 40


In a guest column on Insider NJ, Christian Barranco writes ‘Making NJ Affordable Shouldn’t Mean Cutting Wages For Skilled Tradesmen


Insider NJ columnist and ELEC ED Jeffrey Brindle writes ‘Alaska Case No Threat to New Jersey’s Contribution Limits


Insider NJ reporter Fred Snowflack writes ‘Peterson’s Play to Immigration Passion






Jeff Van Drew is about to vote against Trump’s impeachment and Democrats are turning up the heat

Pranshu Verma, Politico


  • The politics of impeachment are getting hotter for Jeff Van Drew. The New Jersey congressman was one of just two House Democrats who voted against the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Local progressive activists have been seething ever since, even as strategists in both parties saw his vote as shrewd given the conservative leanings of his South Jersey district.


‘It hit a raw nerve’: Lakewood reacts to anti-Semitic shooting in Jersey City

Gustavo Martínez Contreras, Asbury Park Press


  • Township residents woke up aghast at news that perpetrators of Tuesday’s deadly Jersey City shootout may have targeted the Jewish Orthodox community there. Many also wondered what’s next. “It hit a raw nerve as they say,” Naftoli Mandelbaum, 23, a student at Beth Medrash Govoha, the yeshiva in the heart of Orthodox Jewish life here, told the Press as students rushed to class early Wednesday.


The writing’s on the wall: Schools should go back to teaching cursive | Mulshine

Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger


  • As I was watching that U.S. Senate hearing on the Russiagate investigation yesterday, I noticed a woman sitting behind the senators taking notes on a legal pad. She seemed to be making quite a good job of it. Her pen flew across the page in keeping with the words spewing from the speaker’s mouth.


Princeton Public Schools delay release of public records for the third time

Krystal Knapp, Planet Princeton


  • The public records custodian for the Princeton Public Schools has extended the time for releasing public records to Planet Princeton for the third time in response to recent public records requests.


Darcy to retire as executive director of League of Municipalities

Eric Strauss,


  • The New Jersey State League of Municipalities will have a new leader in 2020, as Executive Director Michael J. Darcy has announced his retirement. Darcy, who has served in his current role since 2015, will retire effective July 1, the league said in a news release this week. He has been with the league since 1990, and in his current role oversees the staff, business operations and member programs, among other duties.


Fire captain gets $80,000 after alleging ex-Paterson fire chief retaliated against him

Jayed Rahman, Paterson Times


  • The city is paying $80,000 to fire captain Salvatore Brigati after he filed a lawsuit alleging former fire chief Michael Postorino retaliated against him. Members of the City Council agreed to settle Brigati’s lawsuit on Tuesday night. Brigati alleges he faced “escalating level of retaliation and harassment” at the hand of Postorino from 2006-17. His suit states, in 2003-4, then-battalion chief Postorino wanted to purchase a property he owned at a reduced price, but Brigati refused to sell.


$223k raised for fallen Jersey City police detective, funeral arrangements set

John Heinis, Hudson County View


  • The official GoFundMe page for fallen Jersey City Police Det. Joseph Seals has already raised a whopping $223,000 in just over a day as his funeral arrangements have been set for next week.


Bergen County employee files lawsuit, claims retaliation for critical financial report

Svetlana Shkolnikova,


  • A Bergen County employee claims he was demoted for reporting financial irregularities in the Health Department, according to a lawsuit filed this week. Gregory Condal, a senior accounting procedure analyst, said he began experiencing a hostile work environment early this year after filing a report on Spring House, a halfway house for women recovering from alcohol and drug abuse, that noted a significant decline in Medicaid revenues and payroll discrepancies in the substance abuse coordinator’s office.


Hunterdon County should focus on promoting tourism, study says

Mike Deak, Bridgewater Courier News


  • A study has determined that Hunterdon County should undertake a “significant” marketing campaign, establish a formal tourism office and create a brand for the county. Those were the recommendations included in a county-solicited study by Stockton University’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism. The study found that 94% of tourists express satisfaction with their Hunterdon experience and that 91% said they wanted to return.


Two former students file sexual abuse lawsuits against shuttered Mendham boarding school

Svetlana Shkolnikova, Morristown Daily Record


  • Two former students of a now-defunct Mendham boarding school where the headmaster sexually abused children in the 1980s are suing the school for failing to protect them from assault. James Schwartz and an unnamed plaintiff claim the Chartwell Manor School, a boarding school for students with special educational needs, negligently deemed headmaster Terence Lynch fit to work with children and failed to report known or suspected abuse to law enforcement.
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