Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “There has been a colossal failure in terms of security here at the Statehouse.” – Speaker Coughlin
TOP STORY: The Return of Jack Ciattarelli
The statewide cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 1,092,722 cases and 25,593 confirmed fatalities (and 166,633 probable cases and 2,827 probable fatalities) as of Thursday (an increase of 3,591 confirmed cases, 1,053 probable cases, and 12 lab-confirmed fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is 1.15. There are 6,213,114 people fully vaccinated.
Republican lawmakers entered the Capitol for yesterday’s session without COVID-19 vaccination proof, flouting the Statehouse mandate and encountering state troopers as Speaker Coughlin ordered a security sweep. In a video clip posted to Twitter by Politico NJ’s Matt Friedman, Assemblyman Peterson calling it ‘tyranny‘ and saying ‘America, see what’s happening here’. Coughlin expressed outrage, and chastised Republican (and security officers), saying ‘we’re better than that’.
Senators Menendez and Booker and Judge Esther Salas held a press conference following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s markup of the ‘Daniel Anderle Judicial Security and Privacy Act of 2021’.
Senator Menendez pressed the Biden Administration to halt the resumption of the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy.
Rep. Gottheimer urged congressional leaders to focus on finding supply chain solutions.
Rep. Van Drew voted against funding for a federal vaccine database, calling it ‘government overreach’.
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’
Download and read Senator Weinberg’s 2021 Women’s Power List publication.
ICYMI: Sweeney ‘will be back, probably sooner than you think‘; 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
Governor Murphy announced his support for a comprehensive gun safety bill package that Speaker Coughlin committed to posting before the end of the current legislative session.
The NJ Sierra Club welcomed Anjuli Ramos-Busot as their new chapter director.
ICYMI: Scutari named Senator Pou to leadership team; 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 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.
In Hoboken, Mayor Bhalla reinstated the Office of Constituent Affairs.
In Newark, Mayor Baraka announced public involvement in the city’s 10-year master plan.
In Clinton Township, the school district is now facing 8 sex abuse lawsuits, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Englewood Cliffs, two police officers are suing, alleging racial discrimination, according to the Bergen Record.
In Florham Park, the BOE approved solar panels on all three schools, according to NJ Hills.
In Neptune, the teachers’ union stalled contract negotiations entered a new phase, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Sea Isle City, a new policy could spell the end for the Polar Bear Plunge, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
ICYMI: In Newark, Amador’s impending retirement sets up a three-way race, ELEC finalized its decision on Baraka case; in Belleville, Melham announced his intention to seek re-election; 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 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‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Sophie Nieto-Munoz, New Jersey Monitor
- After Gov. Phil Murphy issued a conditional veto on a bill aimed at protecting student journalists, supporters of the law are making another push for it. The measure (S108) unanimously passed both houses of the Legislature before landing on the governor’s desk in June. In his veto, Murphy said while he applauds efforts to protect student journalists’ freedoms, the bill needs to give school administrators more leeway to “maintain the safe and orderly operations of the school district.”
Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger
- At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, I spoke with a number of top epidemiologists about how it was likely to unfold. There were differences of opinion on how bad it would be. But there was consensus on one point.
ROI NJ Staff
- While elected officials and economic thought leaders debate the merits of any number of programs that can be used to jump-start the post-pandemic economy, business leaders know an old axiom still holds true: Real estate leads the way. Whether it’s the industrial boom (fueled by e-commerce), the continued multifamily expansion (which will help house the much-needed workers) or redesigned and reimagined office complexes, nothing represents economic growth quite like real estate.
John Heinis, Hudson County View
- The Hoboken City Council unanimously approved (9-0) a non-binding resolution at last night’s meeting calling for Medicare for All.
Max Marin and Julia Terruso, Philadelphia Inquirer
- The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed poised to uphold a Mississippi abortion law that could have far-reaching impact, with members of the court’s conservative majority signaling that they may even make sweeping changes to limit abortion rights in the United States.