Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 12/6/2019:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I support the governor today. I supported him yesterday. And there’s no indication in my mind at any point that I will not be prepared to support him tomorrow for reelection.” – Essex County Democratic Chairman and NJDSC chair candidate Leroy Jones
Senate President Sweeney threatened the use of a subpoena to compel the public release of the State Police review of the Altman ejection from the Senate Labor Committee last month, saying that any ‘unsubstantiated rumors or manufactured conspiracy theories by the Murphy paid protester‘ or administration allies are ‘nothing more than irresponsible attempts to exploit the incident for self-serving political purposes’. Sweeney added that the AG’s Office and Murphy Administration are ‘refusing to be fully truthful by making public the review of the actions by the officers’. Working Families Communications Director Rob Duffey released a statement saying that Sweeney ‘needs to look in the mirror’ instead of ‘throwing around Trumpian epithets like ‘paid protester’. Sweeney’s statement follows Senate Majority Leader Weinberg’s call for public disclosure of the review.
The NJDOL announce the first recipient of the Innovation and Research Fellowship Program grants.
Seven individuals were charged in an interstate scheme to steal over $235k from three insurance annuities policies.
Reacting to the impeachment hearings, Rep. Pascrell says that they’ve released a ‘constitutional crime spree‘ by President Trump and that the proceedings are an ‘act of patriotism’. Rep. Sires issued a statement of support for moving forward, adding that Trump has a ‘fundamental flaw in his understanding of the duties of President’.
Rep. Pascrell sent a letter to HHS Secretary Azar calling for the improvement of medical device safety.
The Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council is seeking nominations for the Outstanding Women Awards.
The US Senate renewed funding for minority-serving institutions of higher education.
America’s Health Rankings finds New Jersey is the nation’s 8th healthiest state, according to NJ Biz.
West Cape May Commissioner John Francis says he’s seriously considering a primary challenge to Rep. Van Drew next year, one of two names that have emerged this week as potential candidates, along with Dr. Brigid Harrison, who is mulling a challenge to the freshman Democrat. Van Drew’s nay vote on the impeachment inquiry launch raised the ire of progressives, while establishment Democrats disagreed with the political strategy during the LD1 Democratic ‘Team Van Drew’ campaign, which was ultimately unsuccessful. Former LD3 Assemblywoman and Sweeney ally Celeste Riley’s name briefly circulated as an option before saying she won’t run against Van Drew.
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Brown issued an apology for the handling of former CD4 primary candidate Tiffany Kaszuba’s complaint, according to More Monmouth Musings; Senator Gopal said he regrets not acting sooner.
NJDSC chair candidate Leroy Jones says he will back Governor Murphy for re-election as state chair, even if the Governor has a primary, according to Politico NJ. Jones also said he would back Murphy from his role as Essex County Democratic Chairman as well.
Senator Booker delivered remarks in Des Moines, Iowa on the changing Democratic party field in the presidential primary. The super PAC United We Win launched a $500k multi-media campaign in support of Booker ahead of the next debate deadline.
CD9 Rep. Pascrell was endorsed by the Brady Campaign.
Hudson Freeholder Romano held a holiday fundraiser attended by over 150 people as he gears up for re-election next year.
NJ Democratic Chair battle:
- Avelenda joined Currie-Schaffer team as campaign manager
- The chairs criss-crossed and made the rounds at AC events
- Jones announced Marta Harrison of Ocean County as running mate
- Golden: Anti-Christie Enablers Versus the Purveyors of Democratic Party Unity
- Currie and Schaffer bemoan Altman ejection
- Schaffer came face to face with Earp
- The Democratic Party braces for the worst
- Currie campaign ripped into Jones and allies, calling it ‘act of political aggression‘; Cryan says ‘time to accept reality and move on to the hard work of electing Democrats’
- Chairman Currie and Vice Chair Schaffer announced their candidacies
- Essex Dems Chairman Jones announced his candidacy
- Both sides apparently failed to reach a power-sharing agreement
- Earp endorsed Jones, a key blow to Murphy/Currie team, who were counting on support, and significant in short-circuiting negotiations
- Murphy decried Jones candidacy as handiwork of ‘Christie and his enablers weakening our state and our party.
- Insider NJ Poll: Who should Lead the Democratic State Committee?
ICYMI: Inglesino mulling run for Morris GOP Chair; in CD1, pro-Trump Gustafson formally declared candidacy; in CD11, Casha’s onetime nemesis pledges assistance; Mehta confident he’s GOP’s best bet to beat Booker; Toto running for AC freeholder; SJPD elected leadership team
The Senate Labor Committee passed Senate President Sweeney’s independent contractor bill yesterday following a contentious and impassioned hearing. Senator Greenstein, who voted in favor, remarked that the bill was ‘the most confusing‘ in her 20 years in the Legislature. The SMO released a statement on the bill’s committee passage.
LD1 Senator Mike Testa was sworn-in yesterday, saying he’s ‘going to spend every day as a senator working to restore common-sense to Trenton and fighting to stop the parade of moving vans from New Jersey’. Testa will serve on the Senate Budget Committee and Labor Committee. Among Testa’s first votes was in opposition to the $9.5M family planning appropriation; Testa said that he’s ‘proudly pro-life and don’t believe our tax dollars should be used to support organizations whose primary focus is providing abortions’.
The Senate Labor Committee advanced the Liberty State Park Protection Act.
The Senate Budget Committee passed legislation that would ban plastic bags in the state.
Senate President Sweeney is taking aim at ‘shadow lobbying’, and planning to introduce a proposal to require lobbyists and firms to disclose outside consultants and firms, according to NJ.com.
Republicans on the Assembly Education Committee voted against a $250k appropriation for Rutgers’ Dental School, with some citing the $32M contract for Greg Schiano, according to NJ.com.
The Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on veteran property tax deduction legislation tomorrow.
The NJBIA will host their ‘Igniting Innovation‘ forum today.
The Civil Service Commission will hold a series of public employment fairs into the new year.
ICYMI: Rice won’t vote to extend driver’s licenses unless other bills moves; STR will hold hearing on the license bill on 12th, AJU hearing date on 9th; Sweeney slammed Murphy for ‘playing politics‘ on school funding, Murphy had dismissed Sweeney’s cap relief plan; new Horizon bill could spark a battle; Dunn sworn-in to office; Testa will be sworn-in next week; state police removed activists; Assembly passed NJDOH $9.5M supplement
The final Montclair Salon Series event of the year will be next Tuesday, with Dr. Brigid Harrison in conversation with members of NJ11th For Change.
Read and download Insider NJ’s 2019 Insider 100: Power publication.
In Sayreville, Kilpatrick remains the winner over Rittenhouse following yesterday’s recount, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Bogota, the ex-schools chief won a $800k settlement from the school district, according to the Bergen Record.
In Jersey City, the council passed a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, according to Hudson County View.
In Hillsborough, the school district may study later school start times, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Atlantic City, the city is considering a ban on marijuana business ban on the Boardwalk, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Union Township, incumbent BOE member Williams will hold her seat following a recount, according to TAPinto.
In Bloomingdale, the Highlands Council awarded the town a $70k grant for a sustainable economic redevelopment plan.
In Hopatcong, Rep. Sherrill announced a $900k USDA grant to repair and rehabilitate housing.
ICYMI: In Linden, Cosby writes ‘Plantation Politics’; in Bridgewater, Pappas will serve as administrator; in Hoboken, Raia sentenced to 3-months; in Jersey City, Pesin a chief advocate for Liberty State Park; Murphy admin announced $161.25M in muni aid; in Boonton, Cabana will take job as administrator
Insider NJ reporter Fred Snowflack writes ‘Mikie Sherrill and the 12 Days of SALT‘
Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘Sparking 2% Cap Debate, Sweeney Knows Exactly what He’s Doing‘
Insider NJ columnist Al Sullivan writes ‘Murphy Breaks out Al Gore to Solve the State Green Dilemma‘
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘Biden Likely to Clinch Democratic Nomination Before New Jersey Primary‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, Jack Harris writes ‘Rutgers Must Embrace Its Identity, Stakeholders‘
AROUND THE WEB:
- New Jersey has made great strides in criminal justice reform. The prison population has declined by more than a third over the past 20 years, decreasing from a peak of 31,000 persons in 1999 to 19,000 in 2018. Two recent initiatives will potentially further shrink state prison populations.
Pranshu Verma, Philadelphia Inquirer
- New Jersey politics is dealing with a stone-cold whodunit. Two weeks after police dragged progressive activist Sue Altman out of a Statehouse hearing room for no apparent reason, political insiders are consumed with every detail surrounding this year’s most viral moment in Garden State politics.
Briana Vannozzi, NJTV
- In the not-too-distant future, scientists say patients undergoing treatment for diseases like cancer or diabetes will know whether it will be effective before they begin their medical regimen. A $33 million grant from the National Institute of Health to three New Jersey institutions is helping the state get one step closer to making this practice, called personalized — or translation medicine — a reality, taking medical breakthroughs from the bench to the bedside.
Patrick Villanova, The Jersey Journal
- A pair of state legislators from Hudson County are sponsoring a three-bill package aimed at increasing the financial transparency of hospitals and strengthening state oversight.
- Two Bound Brook women are speaking out about President Donald Trump’s practice of employing undocumented immigrants at his golf clubs. Reporters for The Washington Post extensively interviewed, verified and researched the claims made by the two women who were in the country illegally and worked as housekeepers at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster. The anecdotes were published in a recent report by The Post.
Jai-Leen James, Asbury Park Press
- Fret not, Circus Drive-In affectionados. Your beloved clown sign will live to smile another day. Developers of the site where Circus Drive-In once stood are donating the iconic clown sign, according to a report on WHYY.org. The sign will be preserved and displayed elsewhere, though details have not yet been revealed, including where and how soon.
Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger
- There’s an old joke about a guy who loses his watch in the weeds but looks for it on the sidewalk because “I’d never find it in the weeds.” That provides a perfect parallel to the efforts of gun-control advocates. The perpetrators of gun violence tend to be gang members and other unsavory types who are not easily brought under the purview of the law.
Charles Stile, NorthJersey.com
- It’s about the closest Cory Booker comes to admitting that his 2020 campaign for president is in trouble. “We are at a crossroads — are you with us?” Booker’s website asks above a set of boxes for donations ranging from $3 to $250 to “Other.”
John Mooney, NJ Spotlight
- In a process that started in earnest in 1996 at the height of the standards and testing movement, the state every few years reviews and revises the requirements for what every New Jersey student should know and be able to do. While the standards from cycle to cycle haven’t changed all that much, they do remain closely examined benchmarks that assist districts to set curriculums and purchase textbooks and other instructional materials.
Jayed Rahman, Paterson Times
- Former Harvard-educated chief data officer Jeron Campbell has filed a lawsuit against the Paterson school district and superintendent Eileen Shafer alleging racial discrimination and retaliation led to his termination. Campbell accuses Shafer of orchestrating his firing to keep him out of running for the superintendent’s job.
Briana Vannozzi, NJTV
- Last month, the Trump Administration began officially withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord, but at a recent United Nations climate conference in Madrid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed the United States’ continued support for the climate agreement. Also present at the conference was New Jersey Representative Frank Pallone.
TAPinto Livingston Staff
- In an official publication of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, which is distributed to elected officials throughout the state, Livingston Mayor Al Anthony described the “green win-win” the township created earlier this year when the governing body unanimously adopted a resolution providing for 100-percent renewable energy to the majority of Livingston residents at a significant cost savings earlier this year.