Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 12/2/2021

Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing

Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:


QUOTE OF THE DAY: The state needs to get back to the middle where 80% of the people are.” – Senate President Sweeney


TOP STORY: Amador, the Past, the Coming Campaign, and the Enduring Pride of Newark’s Ironbound


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


The statewide cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 1,089,151 cases and 25,582 confirmed fatalities (and 166,742 probable cases and 2,827 probable fatalities) as of Wednesday (an increase of 2,471 confirmed cases, 890 probable cases, and 20 lab-confirmed fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is 1.16. There are 6,202,095 people fully vaccinated.


Voter turnout in the gubernatorial election was 40%, according to the NJ Division of Elections (iLine post).


A former State Trooper was sentenced to prison after pledging guilty in connection to an incident in which he stalked a female motorist.


A DOJ audit faults record-keeping by the Camden County Police Department, according to the Courier Post. Grace McAuley was named Acting Prosecutor, according to the Courier Post.


A lawsuit alleges that officers coerced sex from an inmate at the Cumberland County Jail, according to the Courier Post.


Senator Booker introduced a World AIDS Day resolution.


Rep. Gottheimer urged the SEC to investigate Unilever filings following the announcement that Ben & Jerry’s are boycotting a sale of products in the West Bank and Jerusalem.


Rep. Sherrill’s office collected over 3,000 thank you letters for veterans written by CD11 residents.


Rep. Pascrell announced a hearing by the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee on ‘The Pandora Papers and Hidden Wealth’.


ICYMI: Sherrill wants SALT deduction; Murphy: ‘we’re not there yet‘ on lifting student masks; House Dems celebrated Build Back Better passage, with SALT crucial; Holmes’ name in mix for AC prosecutor; Christie ‘definitely thinking about‘ prez run; Murphy: ‘we got to connect more deeply‘; Sherrill made case for infrastructure; Sweeney bowed out and conceded, submitting to ‘red wave’


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


During a ceremony in his honor yesterday, Senate President Sweeney vowed to remain active in politics, saying he ‘will be back, probably sooner than you think‘ and that he has a ‘lot of great things left to do’.


Former Morris County Commissioner Cesaro requested a judge dismiss a six-count indictment against him, according to Morristown Green.


The Monmouth County GOP touted their election victories.


Download and read Senator Weinberg’s 2021 Women’s Power List publication.


ICYMI: LD2, 8 among top five costliest races; SJ source pushes back on Sweeney-Van Drew hypothetical; Morris’ Ali in gear for midterms; Middlesex rising and observations; Lassiter’s interview with Altman; Lassiter’s interview with Guardian; Redistricting commission held a public meeting; Pallotta underwhelmed by DeGregorio candidacy; Sooy, Robinson prevailed; county party fundraising reached highest levels since 2009; Diaz decried ‘Corzine-level energy’; Burzichelli on wipeout


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


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


Incoming Senate President Scutari named Senator Pou to the Senate leadership team, serving as the newly-created position of Senate Majority Caucus Chair.


Senate Republicans filed a court challenge to block the enforcement of the Statehouse’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate policy, as the Legislature heads into a legislative session today at the Capitol. Senate Minority Leader Kean said a favorable ruling would be a ‘big win for open, transparent, and accessible government’.


Governor Murphy joined advocates in support of the Reproductive Freedom Act.


Groups are pushing legislators to create a reparations task force, according to NJ Monitor.


ICYMI: Conaway promoted Zupko to COS; GOP on collision course over Statehouse vaccine mandate; Dems’ difficulty in advancing RFA; Senator Testa hired Geist as COS; Murphy appointed Lipman as Rate Counsel director; Lassiter’s interview with Senator Schepisi; Pennacchio and Testa introduced legislation taking aim at CRT; Scutari affirmed as Senate President Gill says ‘process has just begun


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Insider NJ’s Fred Snowflack’s review of Chris Christie’s new book ‘Republican Rescue’.


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2021 Insider 100: Power publication.


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2021 General Election publication and download and read the 2021 Insider Out 100: LGBTQ Power List written by Jay Lassiter, and download and read Insider NJ’s 2021 Millennials publication.


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In Newark, East Ward Councilman Amador’s impending retirement sets up a three-way race to succeed him next year. ELEC finalized its decision regarding alleged violations of campaign finance law by Mayor Baraka’s 2017 campaign and treasurer.


In Belleville, Mayor Melham announced his intention to seek re-election next year.


In Bayonne, BOE Trustee Watson resigned due to moving outside the city, according to Hudson County View.


In Bloomfield, the town is looking to update its marijuana retailer ordinance, according to


In Bordentown, the jury deadlocked again in the hate crimes retrial of former Police Chief Nucera, according to the Trentonian.


In Clinton, Mayor Kovach invited residents to a town hall about the new community center and police station, according to NJ Hills.


In Harding, major votes are expected this month, according to NJ Hills.


In Howell, an $8.7M settlement ended the anti-Semitism lawsuit, according to the Asbury Park Press.


In Long Hill, the town is revisiting flood mitigation efforts, according to NJ Hills.


In Trenton, the council is moving towards firing Clerk Conlon, according to the Trentonian.


ICYMI: In Newark, Bridgeforth considers the terrain, political establishment attention on West Ward; in Paterson, Sayegh’s wide-ranging interview, w/ Insider NJ; in Bayonne, city heads into election mode; in Newark, Diaz announced mayoral run; in Chatham, Abbot withdrew challenge; in Newark, Baraka considered infrastructure bill; in Paterson, Torres imbroglio continues; in Newark, Montague will run for mayor, heading into significant election year, including politically volatile Central Ward


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘The SALT Controversy: Its effect on New Jersey Congressional Elections


Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘Murphy Needs to Confront the Anger out there


Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘Dems on a Luxury Glide Path to 2022 Defeat


Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘Lame Duck Wish List





Democrats risk losses in 2022 if they give up on paid leave, advocates say 

Laura Olson, New Jersey Monitor


  • When paid family leave was briefly dropped from congressional Democrats’ massive social spending and climate bill earlier this fall, the outcry was swift. Women and caregivers suddenly were calling lawmakers and advocates, and they were sharing their own stories on social media in huge numbers, said Dawn Huckelbridge, director of Paid Leave for All, a national advocacy group, during a virtual event with reporters on Tuesday.


Roxbury, Mount Arlington, all of Morris see real estate boom, local Realtor says 

Mike Condon, New Jersey Hills


  • “Very good” might be a bit of an understatement for the current real estate market in the Roxbury and Mount Arlington areas.


Stop using redistricting to hurt voters of color | Opinion 

Imani R. Oakley


  • New Jersey has a voter disenfranchisement problem and it’s time to address it. The key to a functioning democracy is that voters get to choose their representatives in fair and free elections. These contests rarely — if ever — exist in our state and if the political machine gets its way with this year’s redistricting process, our democracy will get even worse.


N.J. Republicans gained quadruple the voters Democrats did in November 

Matt Rooney, Save Jersey


  • Jack Ciattarelli may’ve come up short in November, but the closeness of the race suggests Republican momentum heading into the 2022 midterm cycle. New Jersey Republicans gained a net of 1,762 new registered voters in November while Democrats picked up only 404. That’s according to the latest data released Wednesday by the Division of Elections.


More cast ballots this year than in any NJ governor’s race this century 

Colleen O’Dea, NJ Spotlight


  • After much conjecture about who did and didn’t vote in New Jersey’s general election, the final number of ballots cast ended up the highest for a New Jersey gubernatorial election in at least 20 years, according to data from the state Division of Elections.


Voter turnout in 2021 N.J. governor election among lowest in a century at 40% 

Jackie Roman, NJ Advance Media for


  • Only 40% of eligible voters cast their ballots in the 2021 election, making it among one of the lowest turnouts for a gubernatorial race in the past century.


Listen to Bernie: Go easy on the SALT | Moran 

Tom Moran, Star-Ledger


  • Democrats in Blue Jersey were the first to gripe when President Trump shaped his 2017 tax cut to deliver most of the cash to the wealthiest among us, while leaving crumbs for the middle-class. So, it is quite a spectacle to see them now, doing the same thing. If it was a sop to the rich when Trump did it, isn’t it the same when Democrats do it?


With little public detail, NJ approves latest pandemic-relief spending 

John Reitmeyer, NJ Spotlight


  • The latest plan for spending some of New Jersey’s remaining federal pandemic aid allocates more funding for hospitals and eviction-prevention efforts while also underwriting several other initiatives, including land preservation and redevelopment programs. Funding is also set aside for community center projects in Montclair and Pennsauken, according to a proposal that was approved by a special legislative budget panel on Tuesday.


North Hunterdon book ban controversy enters another chapter 

Cheryl Makin,


  • Since the issue was first raised during “Banned Book Week” at September’s North Hunterdon Regional Board of Education meeting, there is still no decision on the complaint about books deemed “obscene” by a group of parents as of November’s board meeting.


Searching for omicron: Is NJ’s testing network ready for the new COVID variant? 

Scott Fallon,


  • When COVID-19 variants were first detected in New Jersey in January, the state lacked the ability to identify these new mutations on a large scale, causing setbacks in determining their prevalence and tracking outbreaks. But over 11 months, laboratories have made significant improvements to speed up the process.


Did NJ lawmakers really hear what voters were saying in November? 

Eric Scott, NJ1015


  • In the aftermath of the November election, Democratic Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin said, “There was clearly a message that was sent by voters last Tuesday. We’re going to sit down and figure out what that was.” On Tuesday I moderated a panel of legislative leaders for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s 2022 Public Policy Forum held at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Woodbridge.


As hiring shortage persists, employers must change tactics 

Daniel Munoz, NJBIZ


  • New Jersey employers should not expect the hiring shortage to end soon, and employees will likely have leverage for quite some time. That’s according to a group of experts gathered for a Nov. 30 NJBIZ panel discussion titled The Great Resignation: Recruit & Retain, which covered a variety of issues related to hiring in a difficult environment. “We don’t see this as a temporary situation,” said Manisha Subramanian, the owner and strategic partner at the Edison recruiting firm PrideStaff & G.A. Rogers.
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  • Sha H

    Murphy celebrates “a full week of declining numbers” then says “status quo of lockdown will remain until new cases and fatalities decrease.” So, which of Murphy’s statements is accurate? He said 2 opposite things in a single paragraph of speaking.

    • John Fiorentino

      He;s “vacationing” at his villa in Italy, while Covid surges and the state is paralyzed by “remote work”…………translation: NO WORK

  • Sha H

    That is what happens in practicality when they are “suspending their disbelief” (HR Clinton) in real numbers and going on predictive models to make decisions. And then after doing that, they vote with “feelings.”

  • keeping up with the news

  • Amber Si
  • Zyra Alissa

    What I — and most of the women I know who are passionate about cosmetics —like about make up isn’t that the right gloss can make your lips poutier or that false lashes can make your eyes more doe-like. Rather, it’s how women can communicate messages and express ourselves through makeup. Certainly it’s not our single factor of communication, but it’s one of many forms of expression that allow us to showcase our individual styles.

  • Emmanuel Orta
  • Mary Ann McKinney

    So….about those 56 machines in Bergen… <<>>

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