Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 2/21/2020

Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing

Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 2/21/2020:


QUOTE OF THE DAY: May the best person win.” – Governor Murphy on the Democratic presidential primary battle


TOP STORY: All Eyes on Atlantic County in the 2nd Congressional District


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Governor Murphy will headline the NJ Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner at the Walk to Washington next Thursday.


At his town hall in North Brunswick last night, Governor Murphy conducted an informal straw poll of the audience’s choice for President. The Governor mentioned his two new legislative initiatives at the town hall: workplace anti-discrimination reform and state government ethics reform. Returning to the topic of elections, Murphy urged the crowd to ‘make sure you vote’, regardless of party, saying ‘let the chips fall where they may‘.


A Monmouth University poll shows Senator Bernie Sanders leads the field with California Democratic primary voters, with 25% supporting him. Joe Biden garners 17%, and Mike Bloomberg garners 13%.


Senator Booker applauded the House for announcing a vote on anti-lynching legislation.


Rep. Kim released the results of an online survey showing 70% of CD3 residents claim their road is in need of repair.


Rep. Gottheimer, Senate President Sweeney, and Senator Oroho announced a new bipartisan economic growth plan for the Pinelands and Highlands regions by establishing a Rural Enterprise Zone.


The League of Women Voters announced a voter registration drive for residents on parole or probation, according to NJTV.


The Bergen County Debate Club set a new record at the annual Harvard National Forensics Tournament.


ICYMI: Weinberg cautioned establishment against ‘the rush to endorse‘ Bloomberg; Ali slammed Sherrill on Bloomberg endorsement; 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, all eyes are on Atlantic County in the Democratic primary, as six candidates appeared before the screening committee last night, ahead of the March 8th convention. The county is the biggest part of the district; Democratic Chairman Suleiman said ‘at the end of the day, they’re all going to be better than Jeff Van Drew, so we’re going to be behind whoever the nominee is, that’s for sure’. Brigid Harrison was endorsed by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Locals 4 and 5.


In CD4, several Democratic leaders in Monmouth County endorsed Democratic primary candidate Stephanie Schmid.


In CD5, Rep. Gottheimer endorsed Mike Bloomberg for President, according to the Bergen Record. Bloomberg donated over $13k to Gottheimer’s re-election campaign in 2018, and the Congressman’s brother-in-law is an adviser to Bloomberg’s presidential campaign, according to the Record. GOP primary candidate Frank Pallotta blasted Gottheimer over the endorsement, saying he ‘aligned himself with a corporate authoritarian who wants to tell us what to eat, what to drink, and what to think’.


In CD11, former Rep. Frelinghuysen endorsed GOP candidate Rosemary Becchi.


In LD25, Senate candidate Cliff Dawkins was endorsed by Morristown religious leader Dr. Joseph Woods.


ICYMI: Christie, Murphy encounter at Rutgers game; Essex’s Luciano’s future uncertain; Malinowski officially kicked off in Morris; in CD4, Schmid endorsed Bloomberg; 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 SC for Biden amid Bloomberg ad-valanche; CD2 campaigns clash; Hamm ‘livid’ over Bloomberg; Sussex Dems internal fight; in CD2, Dems competed in Cape May County amid Van Drew anger


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


The Select Committee on NJ Transit will hold a hearing today.


Recent hires raise questions about NJ Transit’s hiring process, according to the Bergen Record.


Senator Testa derided calls by liberal advocacy groups for $3B in new taxes in the upcoming budget, calling it a ‘recipe for disaster‘ and ‘taxes are the problem, not the solution’.


Assemblyman Wimberly welcomed the Murphy Administration’s announcement of a plan to allocate $60M from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.


Representatives from labor, business, energy, and civic groups launched the Affordable Energy For New Jersey Coalition in response to the state’s Energy Master Plan.


Environmental groups sent a letter to Governor Murphy urging him to increase funding for environmental programs.


The NJ Charter School Association and JerseyCAN released a report finding that public charter and renaissance schools need $900M in construction, renovation, or capital improvement funds over the next decade.


Governor Murphy unveiled a legislative package aimed at ethics reforms in state government (read his prepared remarks).


Steve Adubato and Ginger Gold Schnitzer discuss hair discrimination and legislation in NJ (video).


ICYMI: Murphy announced legislation to overhaul the state’s anti-harassment laws; Brennan’s policy reform recommendations; NJ Legislative Black Caucus hosted gala; Murphy announced new workplace reform initiative


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


DayTop is appealing to Governor Murphy and the state to intervene to prevent its possible closing – and Senator Bucco wants to help in that effort.


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


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


Listen 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 Plainfield, Mayor Mapp urged fellow Union County Democrats to support Mike Bloomberg in the Democratic presidential primary, writing in an email last week that ‘we should not be looking for the perfect candidate but the best one’.
In Westwood, former Mayor John Birkner endorsed Pete Buttigieg in the Democratic presidential primary, amid a fractured establishment going in the direction of various candidates.
In Cherry Hill, former Councilwoman and CD3 Democratic candidate Shelley Adler, wife of the late Rep. John Adler, endorsed Mike Bloomberg for President.
In Evesham, Phil Warren is stepping down as Democratic municipal chair to work on Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign as a field organizer.
In Paterson, the council is moving towards making the appointment process more equitable, according to TAPinto. Rep. Pascrell and Mayor Sayegh announced $817k in federal grant money to combat HIV in the city.
In Hoboken, a RentCafe report finds that rents increased an average of $60 over the past year, the highest in the state. The council approved the Railyard Redevelopment Plan, according to Hudson County View. The council narrowly approved increasing parking fees in the business district, according to Hudson County View.
In Asbury Park, Help Not Handcuffs announced a drug decriminalization mini-grant program for the area.
In Perth Amboy, a unionization campaign launched at the Target warehouse over growing concerns about worker treatment.
In Holmdel, the town selected a location for its new firehouse, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Vernon, Rep. Gottheimer and local officials called for a clean-up at the Waste Mountain.
In Chester, the NJDOL announced that workers’ wages were repaid by a restaurant following a stop-work order.
ICYMI: Municipal Innovation Summit’s 2020 summit; in Bergenfield, Amatorio filed defamation suit against Schmelz; in Paterson, Sayegh endorsed Bloomberg; in Montclair, Spiller, Schmidt, Baskerville vying for mayoralty; in AC, Dems challenging ballot proposal to change form of government, Mayor Small’s Insider NJ Interview, Thomas-Fields looks to make history


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘Mayor Mike Did Not Disclose His Taxes. I Have The Tape.‘ and ‘Bloomberg Strategy And Primary Calendar Puts African American Voters In The Driver’s Seat


Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘The Las Vegas Night of The Glass Jaw of Michael Bloomberg, the Political Floyd Patterson


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




NJ Transit blames rogue employee for ‘inappropriate’ tweet slammed by gov’s advisor

Larry Higgs, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com


  • After a sharply-worded NJ Transit tweet sparked backlash and criticism from the governor’s office, the agency is blaming a worker who wasn’t supposed to post on social media.


Fort Lee bottleneck near George Washington Bridge named worst in the nation

Kristie Cattafi, NorthJersey


  • In a report that shocked no one, the interchange leading to the George Washington Bridge has been named the most congested in the nation. For the second year in a row, the intersection of Routes 95 and 4 in Fort Lee was named the most congested bottleneck in the country by the American Transportation Research Institute, a trucking industry group.


Jackson woman charged with bias intimidation over anti-Semitic graffiti

Erik Larsen, Asbury Park Press


  • A 40-year-old township woman was charged Thursday in connection to anti-Semitic graffiti that was spray-painted on a Jewish-owned business on Progress Place, according to authorities.Virginia Mailloux, 40, of Jackson, was processed and charged with criminal mischief, trespassing and bias intimidation.


Demand for Trump merchandise is so high, his signature might sell in South Jersey for over $40,000

Rob Tornoe, Philadelphia Inquirer


  • When it comes to swag, whatever President Donald Trump is selling, his supporters are buying. The latest Trump item to garner widespread interest comes from an auction house in South Jersey that is selling what it says is Trump’s signature on a copy of the House’s impeachment report.


Urine bucket, stabbing, racial slurs: Matawan-Aberdeen Regional settles bias suit

Alex N. Gecan, Asbury Park Press


  • The Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District has agreed to pay out $25,000 to settle a lawsuit from the family of a student who claims he suffered racist abuse, a stabbing and having a bucket of urine kicked at him at Lloyd Road School during the 2017-2018 school year. The school district has denied the allegations from the boy and his family.


‘People still care’: Citizens, responders honored after back-to-back emergencies

Kurt Bresswein, For lehighvalleylive.com


  • Teams of police, firefighters and other emergency personnel scoured the Oxford Township neighborhood where a 10-year-old girl went missing last Thursday afternoon.


Sinnings Accept Tribute to Late Councilman on His 54th Wedding Anniversary

John Van Vliet, TAPinto Hawthorne


  • The family of the late Councilman Garry Sinning was honored at the Wednesday night council meeting by Mayor Goldberg. “Tonight is a special evening as we remember our friend, Councilman Sinning,” Goldberg said.


Paterson sees 54-percent drop in Community Improvement inspections

Jayed Rahman, Paterson Times


  • After mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration made staffing changes, the Community Improvement Division, tasked with enforcing property maintenance and housing violations, saw a 54-percent drop in inspection activities, according to municipal documents. Inspectors conducted 421 inspections in Dec. 2019, a drastic 54-percent reduction from 913 in Dec. 2018, according to Community Improvement Division data released last week.


NJ ports energize economy with 400,000 jobs, $65B in business income

David Hutter, njbiz.com


  • Ports are essential to New Jersey’s economy. That was Wednesday’s message Robert Bouchard, director of the Office of Port Infrastructure Development in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, highlighted during his keynote at the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey’s Transportation Summit at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Woodbridge in Iselin.


President Trump’s greatest hits: The Donald Will Be The Donald | Mulshine

Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger


  • In the middle of his speech last week in Manchester, N.H., President Trump read the lyrics to “The Snake.” This was a song first popularized by soul singer Al Wilson in 1968.


Recent anti-Semitic attacks sent chills through Lakewood, other Jewish enclaves

Gustavo Martínez Contreras, Asbury Park Press


  • Recent attacks on Jews have sent reverberations throughout the country, including Lakewood. A rundown on major attacks.


State GOP, Dems Readying Vaccination Bills for New Legislative Session

Lilo H. Stainton, NJ Spotlight


  • Democratic control of Senate and Assembly could block Republican bills, but is next round of vaccination protests in the offing?


Report: 38% of RCBC students ‘food insecure’

David Levinsky, Burlington County Times


  • Released Wednesday, the report marked the first time that the Temple University-based center had released data specific to New Jersey’s county colleges.


Does Bloomberg want to show Booker the door?

Art Gallagher, More Monmouth Musings


  • Could Mike Bloomberg possibly be supporting Cory Booker’s opponent in the Democrat primary for U.S. Senate?Larry Hamm, a civil rights activist from Newark, is challenging Booker in the June 2 primary. Hamm is also leading Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in New Jersey. He does not have much nice to say about Bloomberg.


Not every N.J. hospital sees need to merge into bigger system — but independents are dwindling

Brett Johnson, roi-nj.com


  • Every year, New Jersey’s health care system moves one merger closer to making independent hospitals a relic of the past. As hospitals struggle to face industry headwinds alone, enough consolidation has occurred to move the number of remaining independent hospitals into nearly single-digit territory. But even if their numbers are shrinking, those that have resisted what many others have done — giving up their independent status — are adamant that they’re going to continue to go it alone. Whether that lasts remains to be seen.


Bishop rules former Sea Isle City building no longer a church

Bill Barlow, For the Press


  • Thomas Henry first attended Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church in summer 1945. It’s where he married his wife, Loretta, and where his children were baptized. “It’s been an integral part of our life in Sea Isle City since my wife and I got married there in 1965,” he said.
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