Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 2/19/2020

Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing

Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 2/19/2020:


QUOTE OF THE DAY: It’s a clear distinction between the moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic party. Sanders has captured the hearts and minds of Jersey progressives, much to the dismay of Warren, while Bloomberg is it for moderates….” – FDU Polling Director Dr. Krista Jenkins


TOP STORY: DayTop and the Law of Unintended Consequences


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


A poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University shows former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg tied with Senator Bernie Sanders in New Jersey. Sanders slightly edges Bloomberg, 24% to 23%. Sanders has a commanding lead among millennials (18-34) with 44%, while Bloomberg and Joe Biden do best among older voters. Following Sanders and Bloomberg, Biden garners 16%, Pete Buttigieg garners 10%, Elizabeth Warren gets 7%, and Amy Klobuchar gets 3%. A Monmouth University poll finds Bloomberg and Sanders tied in Virginia at 22% each, with only 1 in 4 voters firm about their choice in the primary.


Adolescent substance abuse treatment center DayTop is appealing to Governor Murphy and the state to intervene to prevent its possible closing.


The Division of Disability Services within the NJDHS announced grant awards to several organizations to promote healthy living for New Jerseyans with disabilities.


NJ Transit was approved to begin Revenue Service Demonstration of its Positive Train Control System by the Federal Railroad Administration.


Rep. Pascrell blasted President Trump’s announced pardons of former disgraced Illinois Governor Blagoevich and Michael Milken, saying Trump ‘has used pardons almost exclusively to shield unrepentant felons, racists, and corrupt scoundrels like Blagojevich and now Milken, one of the most prolific financial criminals in U.S. history’.


State Police Superintendent Callahan will speak at Stockton University on March 3rd.


Atlantic County freeholders and residents debated the 2nd Amendment ‘sanctuary’ resolution, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


Somerset County freeholders are attempting to keep an MVC agency in the county, according to MyCentralJersey.


ICYMI: Insider NJ’s key pieces; Pennacchio wants Trump back in Jersey; Pascrell ripped into Trump’s ‘Fredo’ tweet, Pennacchio doesn’t think its an issue; Murphy teases budget address; Lassiter, Snowflack win NJPA awards


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In CD2, GOP Rep. Van Drew and primary challenger Bob Patterson traded barbs at a Ocean City GOP meeting, according to SaveJersey.


In CD3, Rep. Kim was endorsed by the Amalgamated Transit Union NJ State Council.


In CD4, Democratic primary candidate Stephanie Schmid is facing some backlash on Facebook over her endorsement of Mike Bloomberg for President, according to MoreMonmouthMusings.


In CD5, GOP primary candidate Frank Pallotta was endorsed by Franklin Borough elected officials.


In LD25, Eric Baum is joining Cliff Dawkins’ campaign for the Senate seat as finance director.


LG Oliver and former LG Guadagno will be the featured speakers on a panel discussion during the Asbury Park Women’s Convention on March 15th.


The Hopewell Valley Republican Association and Trenton GOP will host their inaugural Lincoln Reagan Breakfast on Saturday, February 29th.


Suasion Communication President Susan Adelizzi-Schmidt was honored as one of Ragan’s 2020 Top Women in Communications.


ICYMI: Ali wants full term for Morris GOP chair; HCDO announced endorsements, Torres doesn’t get party support; Gibbs won Ocean GOP recommendation; Auth suspended CD5 candidacy; Rice poised to go to South Carolina for Biden amid Bloomberg ad-valanche; CD2 campaigns clash; Hamm ‘livid’ over Bloomberg candidacy; Sussex Dems internal fight; Avelenda to take helm of NJ Dems as ED, Olasanoye reassigned to Milwaukee following Alonso/Gilbert firing after toxic workplace allegations; Warren wins Hunterdon straw poll; in CD2, Dems competed in Cape May County amid Van Drew anger


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Governor Murphy announced legislation to overhaul the state’s anti-harassment laws for public and private employers following a year-long review of discrimination laws by the Division of Civil Rights within the AG’s Office. Among the proposals are: strengthening the definition of ‘hostile workplace’; employer accountability measures; expanded employee protections. Senator Weinberg, who’s spearheading a workgroup on sexual harassment in state politics, will sponsor the legislation. At a press conference announcing the legislation, Murphy insisted that his campaign took complaints seriously, saying ‘every time anyone raised, has raised, (or) will raise today or anytime in the future any concerns whatsoever about workplace conditions, every single time those concerns have been taken seriously, they’ve been addressed, and they’ve been run to ground’, according to The Governor also refused to say whether he’d cut ties with anyone in his circle with allegations against them, saying ‘I literally have nothing else to add’, according to


Katie Brennan sent a letter to Senator Weinberg’s Workgroup on Sexual Harassment laying out policy reform recommendations to address sexual violence and harassment in NJ politics.


Senators Pennacchio and Testa introduced a series of vaccine bills to support parental rights and provide legal recourse for adverse reactions. Senate Health Committee Chairman Vitale said he won’t post the bills, according to Politico NJ.


Former Senator Lesniak could face calls for recusal if he’s named to the Waterfront Commission, according to Politico NJ.


Assemblywoman Lopez introduced legislation to provide protections and regulations in the virtual currency industry.


A coalition of groups launched ‘For The Many’, a budget effort to revamp the state’s tax code so it can reinvest in public programs, communities, and infrastructure.


The NJBIA will hold a ‘Made In Jersey’ Day at the Statehouse on March 26th to showcase the manfacturing industry in the state.


The Sierra Club released a statement urging Governor Murphy and the Legislature to do more for the environment in the FY2021 budget.


ICYMI: NJ Legislative Black Caucus hosted gala; Murphy announced new workplace reform initiative aimed at changing Trenton’s toxic culture


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Steve Adubato is challenging the next generation of leaders to hone the skills needed for effective communication and understanding.


Barry Brendel reminisces about Joe Biden’s 1984 speech in Atlantic City.


Several key Democratic establishment players are increasingly irritated by Biden’s inability to kickstart excitement, while momentum builds for other candidates, such as Mike Bloomberg, who netted the Sherrill endorsement, among others. Biden’s Iowa and New Hampshire performance could have consequences as Jersey politicos who were leaning his way now could potentially pivot away from him.


Join Insider NJ at our 2nd ‘Inside The Beltway’ reception in Washington DC on Thursday February 27th.


Listen tomorrow at 9pm to Politically Direct Episode 82 with host Fernando Uribe and guest Stacie Sherman, Bloomberg News NJ Bureau chief.


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 Bergenfield, Mayor Amatorio filed a defamation suit against former Mayor Schmelz and his running mates alleging a pre-election press release included misrepresented material in an effort to damage his reputation. Amatorio had condemned the release as a ‘blatantly false, desperate attack’ and vowed to sue for $10M.


In Jersey City, Mayor Fulop and Councilman Yun unveiled a school funding action plan aimed at closing the $250M budget gap.


In Brick, Democratic Club President Barbara Reilly endorsed Mike Bloomberg for President.


In Garfield, Councilman Rosolen passed away, according to the Bergen Record.


In Franklin Borough, CFO (and former Assemblywoman) Allison Littel McHose will retire in July, as she looks to relocate to Arizona; the borough will combine the CFO and administrator posts, according to NJ Herald.


In Egg Harbor City, Councilman Mays was chastised by residents and colleagues for comments he made saying that the council was consumed by ‘white nationalists’, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Paterson, ex-BA McKoy is getting a $17.5k contract to advise Mayor Sayegh, according to Paterson Times. Ward 1 Councilman Jackson previously voted against the hiring of council aides, but now will receive one, according to Paterson Times.


In Belmar, the future of the seaport project is uncertain, according tot he Asbury Park Press.


In Lodi, the town was certified as veteran-friendly by the NJ State Veterans Chamber of Commerce.


In West New York, an ex-DPW worker is representing himself in a federal free speech retaliation lawsuit, according to Hudson County View.


In Alpine, a developer looking to build affordable housing is suing the town, according to the Bergen Record.


In Bernards Township, Anne Parsekian was named chair of the Environmental Commission, according to TAPinto.


In West Wildwood, a taxpayer group dropped a petition drive, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Hamilton, the council passed an ordinance raising the BA’s salary, according to the Trentonian.


In Middletown, the town wants to close a school and move the students into another school, according to the Asbury Park Press.


In Berekely Heights, the council approved a shared services agreement with Union County, according to TAPinto.


In Egg Harbor Township, a judge denied Sea View Harbor’s request to leave Egg Harbor Township for Longport, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Bernardsville, lax zoning enforcement is an issue, according to NJ Hills.


ICYMI: In Paterson, Sayegh endorsed Bloomberg; in Montclair, Spiller, Schmidt, Baskerville vying for mayoralty; in Hamilton, Martin announced new staff; in AC, Dems challenging ballot proposal to change form of government, AC Mayor Small’s Insider NJ Interview, Thomas-Fields looks to make history in the city by becoming the first female mayor; in JC, Thomas appeared in court


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘Bloomberg Strategy And Primary Calendar Puts African American Voters In The Driver’s Seat


Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘Tuesday Political Potpourri: ‘Insulin is too Expensive’ Edition‘ and ‘Weinberg’s Panel is Already Working


Insider NJ columnist Matthew Hale writes ‘A View from the Middle: The Mouse and Trade-offs


Insider NJ columnist and ELEC Executive Director Jeffrey Brindle writes ‘Sixteen Years Later, the McCain Feingold Law of 2002 Appears More Boomerang than Reform


Insider NJ columnist Koren Frankfort writes ‘We Must Support Women Before, During and After Coming Forward in NJ




Hudson County GOP chair hopeful seeking to recruit county committee candidates

John Heinis, Hudson County View


  • Joshua Sotomayor Einstein, a GOP state committeeman seeking to become the new Republican county chair in Hudson, is recruiting any potential committee candidates ahead of the June 2nd primary election.


Overdose deaths spike in Sussex County, investigators issue overdose alert

Michael Hill, NJTV


  • An overdose alert has been issued by State Police and medical authorities for Sussex County. The warning comes after an alarming spike in both the number of overdose-related deaths and the administrations of Naloxone in just the last two months.


New ‘Fair Workweek’ legislation hammers hospitality industry

Marilou Halvorsen,


  • The misleading “Fair Workweek” legislation will limit opportunities for workers seeking part-time or flexible shifts and place undue burdens on employers attempting to staff their small businesses. A one-size-fits-all approach to regulating restaurants fails to recognize the unique needs of individual businesses, employers and workers.


Women’s groups ‘speed date’ with Democratic congressional candidates

Michelle Brunetti Post, Press of Atlantic City


  • Democratic 2nd Congressional District candidates made quick pitches to groups of mostly women voters at the Shore Diner on Monday night, moving from table to table as moderators called the time.


N.J. tops ‘Safest State To Work In’ list

Emily Bader,


  • Have you ever thought about how physically dangerous it is to go to work? For some, it’s a daily reality, and for those living in New Jersey, apparently not so much.


Proper incentives

Daniel J. Munoz,


  • With the release of a Senate committee’s recommendations for new corporate incentives, the Murphy administration and legislative leadership could be closer to an agreement on how to replace New Jersey’s tax break program than the two sides have been since the old regime expired last summer. Still, without an overall cap on awards – a provision Murphy insists upon but was not included in the panel’s proposals – a deal remains far from certain.


Fight in GOP as David Richter jumps in Congress race to take on Andy Kim

David Levinsky, Burlington County Times


  • David Richter spent years preparing for his first foray into politics. The 53-year-old Willingboro native and former CEO of construction giant Hill International already held degrees in law, engineering and business from the likes of the University of Pennsylvania and Oxford, when he decided a few years ago to return to school yet again to attend Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in anticipation that he would one day run for Congress.


Kearny, get on the bag-wagon | Jersey Journal editorial

Jersey Journal Editorial


  • The Kearny council has the opportunity today to join four other Hudson municipalities in prohibiting stores from handing out single-use plastic bags.


Don’t mention retirement around this 97-year-old Bergen County lawyer

Tom Nobile, NorthJersey


  • In what could be his 100th murder trial, Frank Lucianna stepped before the jury. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, poised to give a rousing opening statement. Instead, the 97-year-old attorney paused, turned around and walked back toward his briefcase. “I better get my glasses.”


Pushing back on requirement that LGBT history be taught in schools

Joanna Gagis, NJTV


  • With six months to go before New Jersey schools must have a curriculum in place, opponents continue to push back against a requirement that middle and high school students be taught about the historic contributions people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Among the opponents is a Republic lawmaker from Bergen County who says he is introducing a bill that would give parents the option of having their kids opt out of the curriculum.


Opinion: Convene a Constitutional Convention to Tackle Property-Tax Crisis

Carl Golden, NJ Spotlight


  • When the current New Jersey Constitution was enacted, less than two years had elapsed since the end of World War II. Harry Truman was president. Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play major league baseball, and there were 48 states in the Union.


Will it ever snow again? Should we be worried? Yes and yes, says New Jersey’s international snow expert.

Anthony R. Wood, Philadelphia Inquirer


  • This has been one brutal winter — at least for a snow-lover and cross-country ski enthusiast like David A. Robinson. Yet he still feels like he’s someone with a dream job, like covering the ice-cream beat at the local newspaper.
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