Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 3/4/2024

Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing

Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:


QUOTE OF THE DAY: Andy is appealing to the Democratic party as it currently exists in New Jersey. The first lady is running a race designed to appeal to the party as it existed 10 years ago.” – Former Rep. Malinowski on the Democratic Senate primary


TOP STORY: InsiderNJ’s Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of Feb. 26th


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2024 Advance publication.


Businessman Jose Uribe, indicted alongside Senator Menendez, pleaded guilty to corruption charges and is cooperating with federal authorities in the ongoing investigation.


The state is looking to fill 800 park, forest, and historic site positions, according to the Bergen Record.


NJ Transit calls Route 9 a ‘sleeping giant‘, according to the Asbury Park Press.


Warren County commissioners will hold traveling meetings, according to TAPinto.


ICYMI: Hayden slammed colleagues after censure; Murphy delivered budget address laying out several priorities; Sherrill made case for Ukraine aid; Murphy addressed Drumthwacket confrontation


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Read Insider NJ’s Who’s Up And Who’s Down to see where the players stand over the past week in Jersey politics.


Senate primary candidate Rep. Kim secured the backing of the Sussex County Democrats on Saturday and secured the backing of the Warren County Democrats on Sunday, giving him five straight convention wins. While the two counties represent a small portion of Democratic primary voters, the wins continue Kim’s momentum heading into the highly-anticipated convention of the Bergen County Democrats tonight.


The Senate primary is at a boiling point, according to


Former Passaic County Sheriff Speziale is returning to the turbulent world of Passaic County politics, formally kicking off his off-the-line candidacy for sheriff on Friday. With nearly 100 supporters, many of them union members, Speziale was described as a ‘working man’ for ‘working people’. Two former supporters slammed him for not donating his campaign warchest to charity after dropping his re-election campaign in 2010; Passaic County Democratic Chairman Currie railed against Speziale ahead of the kick-off.


GOP Senate primary candidate Curtis Bashaw won the backing of the Cumberland County GOP, while Christine Serrano Glassner won the backing of the Warren County GOP; Alex Zdan scored an upset winning the Monmouth GOP line, according to SaveJersey.


In CD2, former Cumberland County Commissioner Pearson endorsed Democratic primary candidate Tim Alexander.


Thursday’s Ocean County GOP convention was a potentially seismic win for Ocean GOP Chair Gilmore and gubernatorial primary candidate Bill Spadea, according to SaveJersey.


ICYMI: Kim’s lawsuit line lawsuit ironic; Kim overwhelmingly won the BurlCo Dems convention and secured the backing of Hunterdon Dems after chaotic start giving him three-convention winning streak; Baraka guv candidacy implications and reverberations; Glass departed as Murphy manager; in CD2, Alexander wants another crack at Van Drew; in CD7, Kean strategy contextualized; Kean fundraiser; Baraka enters guv race; in CD8, dueling polls; Murphy, Kim debated: takeaways; Sacco cleared up intentions w/ developing JC mayoral contest as Hudson politicos key in; in CD8, Menendez released poll showing large lead; Kim’s upset win over Murphy at Monmouth convention; Murphy secured Passaic Dems backing and shows no signs bowing out; Zdan formally kicked off GOP Senate bid; challenge for Somerset GOP, Vice Chair will ‘continue my conversations‘; Pascrell maintained backing of Passaic Dems, Sumter made late play


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Here are the 10 biggest winners and losers in the Governor’s school funding plan, according to


Activists from around the state gathered in Trenton for the Poor People’s Campaign launch of a campaign to motivate low-income voters.


Senator Zwicker and Assemblymembers Drulis and Freiman proposed changes to the Governor’s school funding allocations.


ICYMI: Books continue to be hot topic; Poor People’s Campaign held rally; book battle exploded in Zwicker-Peterson showdown; Scutari announced Farias as Deputy Director; Turner reintroduced ‘John Lewis Voting Rights Act’, Reynolds-Jackson champions the act (video)


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Read Insider NJ’s 2024 African-American List in honor of Black History Month.


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2023 Retrospective publication.


Download and read Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter’s 2023 Women’s Power List publication.


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2023 Insider 100: Power publication.


Download and read Insider NJ’s special edition publication ranking the top 25 county chairs, Insider NJ’s Gaming, Sports, and Entertainment special edition publication, Insider NJ’s 2023 Labor publication, Insider NJ’s 2023 Insider 100: Policymakers publication, Insider NJ’s FY2024 Budget special edition publication, and Insider NJ’s Out 100: LGBT Power List, compiled by Jay Lassiter.


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In Atlantic City, Paterson Mayor Sayegh surfaced at a fundraiser at the home of power broker Joe Jacobs. The city will begin work on a plaza honoring the late LG Oliver.


In Perth Amboy, Mayor Caba announced his re-election bid.


In Bedminster, the GOP will screen committee candidates, according to NJ Hills.


In Clifton, the city has a plan to alleviate Athenia section flooding, according to


In Lyndhurst, a judge ruled that a fired cop must be reinstated, according to the Bergen Record.


In Jersey City, a BOE meeting devolved into chaos, according to Hudson County View.


In Montclair, Mayor Spiller won’t seek re-election, according to TAPinto.


In New Brunswick, three challengers will face off against three BOE incumbents, according to TAPinto.


In Nutley, the commissioners race tightened, according to TAPinto.


In Ocean City, there are nine BOE candidates for five spots, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Phillipsburg, the mayor discussed his goals for the year, according to Lehigh Valley Live.


In Plainfield, the Democrats endorsed two council incumbents, according to TAPinto.


In Princeton, Rep. Kim was endorsed by the Democratic Club for Senate, according to Planet Princeton.


In Somers Point, the former OEM director pleaded guilty to distributing child porn, according to Downbeach.


In Spring Lake, the town is focusing on affordable housing, according to the Asbury Park Press.


In Ventnor, the ‘Imagine Ventnor’ team will run unopposed for the second time, according to Downbeach.


ICYMI: In Paterson, Cotton in gear for re-election; in Parsippany, Musella held fundraiser; in Perth Amboy, Vas announced candidacy, Gonzalez announced candidacy, Pabon endorsed Gonzalez; in Edison, Joshi raised $200k; in AC, Callaway arrested; in Annandale, the continued battle over books; in Annandale, librarian at center of controversy



Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘Tammy Murphy Dismisses Concern of her GOP Backstory: “I have a lot of friends in the LGBTQIA+ community”‘ and ‘Diving into Andy Kim’s BurlCo Drubbing of Tammy Murphy


Insider NJ columnist Andrew Leven writes ‘Being Wrong


Insider NJ reporter John Van Vliet writes ‘The Murder of Navalny


Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘Remembering Eddie with the Ready Smile


Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘For Tammy Murphy, It’s Stay Calm and Carry On






Andy Kim is battling Tammy Murphy and the machine in the race to replace Sen. Bob Menendez. There’s Jersey drama every weekend.

Amy S. Rosenberg, Philadelphia Inquirer


  • Andy Kim looked stunned. Tammy Murphy barely blinked. It was the second county convention of the weekend, and Kim, a three-term Democratic congressman from Burlington County, was looking to go two for two against Murphy, New Jersey’s first lady, in the bruising primary race for the U.S. Senate seat held by indicted Sen. Bob Menendez.


Murphy delivers a big win for NJ schools | Editorial

Star-Ledger Editorial Board


  • Gov. Phil Murphy’s historic boost in funding for New Jersey’s public schools, proposed last week, is great news – a tremendous achievement more than a decade in the making. It’s the first time that we’ll be fully funding our schools, with a record $908 million increase in state aid, for a total of $11.7 billion. That’s huge.


Sen. Gopal: Google is hurting small N.J. businesses. It’s time for accountability | Opinion

Vin Gopal


  • Hey Google, why are reviews from real customers being removed from my business page? Google Reviews allows customers to provide honest reviews on local businesses. However, a small business based in Freehold, Mirrored Memories NJ, has found itself in a year-long battle with Google Reviews. Over fifty positive reviews from real customers have been taken down from Mirrored Memories’ business page, and despite numerous efforts from owner John Toutounchi to reinstate the reviews and address the root of the issue, there has been no progress.


Are N.J.’s Black businesses thriving or just surviving?

Jelani Gibson, NJ Advance Media for


  • Faye Coleman, a board member for the New Jersey African American Chamber of Commerce, had a clear description for how she viewed the state of Black business. “Putting my oxygen mask on and hoping it doesn’t run out,” she said.


Steep salary of Rutgers medical school chair stirs fresh fears of Newark, New Brunswick inequities

Dana DiFilippo, NJ Monitor


  • In the realm of university finances, the eye-popping pay of football coaches often grabs all the public attention and ire. But the lucrative compensation package Rutgers University recently offered a doctor to helm the neurosurgery departments at its two medical schools has fueled long-simmering resentments over the controversial, ongoing merger of those two campuses.


Top questions for Governor Murphy’s nominee for transportation commissioner

Talya Schwartz, Jimmy Lee, Emmanuelle Morgen, Hudson County Complete Streets


  • New Jersey faces a trio of transportation crises around an epidemic of preventable traffic violence, climate change and funding NJ Transit, and outdated, large-scale highway expansions. In the midst of these challenges, Gov. Phil Murphy has nominated Francis O’Connor to be the next commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation. This role comes with broad responsibilities, and with the additional duties of chair of the NJ Transit and Turnpike Authority boards.


Marijuana legalization law at center of legal fight waged by anti-cannabis group

Sophie Nieto-Munoz, NJ Monitor


  • A group of New Jersey residents is waging a legal battle against a Middlesex County borough over the town’s approval of cannabis sales, a fight the state Attorney General’s Office says could improperly nullify the state’s marijuana legalization law. The anti-cannabis group — seven Highland Park residents and a group called Cannabis Industry Victims Educating Litigators — say the town’s leaders are violating federal law by green-lighting the sale of marijuana within its borders and are ignoring the “insidious and minimized” hazards of cannabis.


Despite some tensions boiling, NJ DEP confident in Liberty State Park revitalization

Daniel Ulloa, Hudson County View


  • The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) held a Liberty State Park Task Force meeting in the old central railroad terminal yesterday, and despite tensions boiling, the state agency remains confident in their plans for revitalization.


Andy Kim gets a court date in NJ ballot lawsuit

Brenda Flanagan, NJ Spotlight


  • U.S. Senate candidate and Rep. Andy Kim (D-3rd) filed a federal lawsuit this week against 19 county clerks demanding changes to New Jersey’s ballot design in time for the June 4 primary. Kim’s suit calls the current county line ballot “fundamentally unjust and undemocratic.” A judge will hear the case March 18.


Funding for mental-health crisis response program could double

Bobby Brier, NJ Spotlight


  • Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed budget includes nearly double the amount of funding for a state program that pairs police officers with clinicians to respond to mental health crises throughout the state.
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29 responses to “Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 3/4/2024”

  1. 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.

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

  2. 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.”

    • lmao imagine supporting lockdowns after the largest mass death event in american history and calling that a feeling driven conclusion? maga chuds never fail to disappoint

  3. 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.

  4. Neurosurgery is a complex and demanding medical specialty that requires an exceptional level of skill and experience. Dr. Shiau is undoubtedly one of the best neurosurgeons in New Jersey, and patients in Jersey City, Maplewood, Holmdel, Paramus, and Bergen County can rest assured that they are receiving the best possible care under his expertise. Neurosurgeon nj

  5. Meet Dr. John Shiau, the leading neurosurgeon in NJ, at Complete Medical Wellness. Discover his expertise and how he can help you with your neurological conditions. Check out this article for more information. neurosurgeon NJ

  6. lETS NOT FORGET that during the pandemic Donald Trump sent the MERCY, a fully equipped, COVID prepared Hospital ship to save lives of victims and healthcare workers . But Murphy in his wisdom would rather send Patients back to nursing homes that were ill-equipped to treat these patients so they could die , rather than utilize a life-saving gift and be like NY governor Cuomo, another anti-Trump

  7. Gun owners don’t have to talk about guns because they know that they have to come out and vote to protect their constitutional right to bear arms. The Supreme court decision has affirmed that right and somehow our “leaders” haven’t learned how to read.

  8. NJ is one of the most corrupt and racist places to live. There’s “0” accountability for the criminal acts, corruption, and unfair treatment of the people of this state. It starts with our governor who cares less for truth and honesty. Continue to ruin the lives of the citizens of this state.

  9. How about those unintended consequences.
    New Jersey mandating that all cars being sold by 2035 be electric is telling us what we can or cannot buy with our own money. There will always be gasoline powered vehicles because of the power produced by internal combustion compared to the power produced by batteries; which is to say the more power the bigger the battery to the point of rediculousness. My thought is that if the state wants fewer gas powered vehicles on the road it should create a mass transit electric powered system that would emphasize convenience for commuters and everyday shoppers. Of course that would mean vehicles weighing tons more because of the size of batteries and that creates a whole other question of where to dispose of them (also for elelectric car batteries), since they are composed of highly toxic materials that can’t be burnt or buried. These are unintended consequences no- one is willing to grapple with until its too late. I think by 2035 th he electric car fantasy will go the same way the offshore wind farm has gone.

    Stephen Brickman
    206 Stonehenge Dr
    Phillipsburg,NJ 08865

    Sent from my iPhone

  10. The military serving in the Middle East represents every state in the Union. Those are our sons and daughters, Moms and Dads and yet we are very little to protect them, or REALLY retaliate when they’re attacked. Governor Murphy is the Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, and past chair of the National Governors Association and yet you never hear him mention about any requests either organization makes to Biden to be more aggressive about protecting our kids in harms way. It’s as though it doesn’t seem to matter to them. No wonder we look so weak to the rest of the world.

  11. Teaneck property taxes pays for the school budget. Teaneck High School students walk out. Is a Hamas military shuffle march property tax bill included?

  12. I’m a conservative and I do believe life begins at conception but the problem is that each mother is responsible for that life and it is in the realm of her mental and physical health that she will either bring it to term or abort it. This should not be a political decision and should not be be dictated by thousand of strangers. The Supreme Court turned it over to the states but it still remains personal for the mother and her family.
    I don’t think it should be an “agenda item” for any political party. A state medical society may want to impose a time frame within which an abortion can occur but even that may be subject to the mother’s doctor’s discretion.
    I say just quit discussing it and leave it up to the mother a father.

  13. Voting should be based on understanding what’s actually happening and knowing who would make life safer and more livable. The only way to do that is to get both sides of the information remembering there are always two sides to a story. Mainstream media in my area includes the Star Ledger and the Easton Express. If you look at the bylines of the opinions you will find writers from the Washington Post and Bloomberg, both notoriously on the left. Even the political cartoons are a dead giveaway. CNN and CNBC are also left leaning. So what are the options for getting opinions and news from the right? Fortunately cable news has Fox, which is near center, and Newsmax, and NewsNation which are full right. Watching these even just occasionally will show a much broader picture and give the reader more information with which to make an informed voting decision. And remember you DONT have to vote party if you feel there’s a wiser choice.

  14. The governor signed off on having Narcan available in all schools grades 9 through 12. But what about the idea
    of having Narcan available in ALL SCHOOLS in New Jersey?

  15. How’s his for an idea? Uncover the identities of the un-elected advisors to Pres. Biden, and publish their names. That way there is actually someone to blame when we lose valuable lives from unanswered attacks by terrorist organizations. We know Biden isn’t making these decisions on his own. My guess is that these advisors will quit the team rather than take the heat for poor decisions, revealing a big weakness in this administration. It might lead to improvements to the decision-making process.

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