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
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.
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 NJ.com.
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
Here are the 10 biggest winners and losers in the Governor’s school funding plan, according to NJ.com.
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)
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.
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 NorthJersey.com.
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‘
AROUND THE WEB:
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.
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.
- 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.
Jelani Gibson, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.