Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Murphy has a pretty strong job rating going into his reelection bid. However, New Jersey voters are a fickle lot and a good number will sit on the fence until we get closer to the fall campaign in case things go south for the state.” – Monmouth University Polling Director Patrick Murray
TOP STORY: Barberio Reanimates in Parsippany
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 877,814 cases and 23,067 fatalities (and 126,711 probable cases and 2,640 probable fatalities) as of Wednesday (an increase of 1,309 cases and 34 fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is .34. There have been 7,282,531 COVID-19 vaccinations administered (with 3,368,129 people fully vaccinated). Follow Insider NJ’s County COVID-19 Data Center.
Governor Murphy’s job approval rating is 57% according to the latest Monmouth University poll, though only 48% of respondents say he should be re-elected, while 43% say someone else should be in office.
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge will travel to the state today.
A study shows that New Jersey would be the state hardest-hit by President Biden’s proposed tax plan, according to NJ.com.
A COVID-19 outbreak is growing at the Bergen County Jail, according to the Bergen Record.
Camden County received a $1M NJDOT award for a pedestrian bridge over Cooper River.
Hudson County will hold a walk-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic today.
Mercer County celebrated National Corrections Officer Week.
Morris County maintained its AAA financial rating from Moody’s.
Somerset County is seeking community project ideas for its Leadership Somerset program.
The Sussex County Bar Association honored attorney Alan Strelzik.
Advocates urged the DOJ to investigate the Union County Jail closure, according to TAPinto.
Kean University admitted its first students into the Kean Scholar Academy.
Stockton University will require COVID-19 vaccinations for students in the fall.
ICYMI: Murphy announced significant easing of COVID-19 restrictions; breweries will give free beer to vaccinated people; Sherrill optimistic about SALT; Murphy signed an executive order permitting summer camps; Murphy announced increase in indoor capacity; Menendez says SALT non-negotiable; Booker heralded Biden’s 100 days; Menendez eviscerated Hudson critics
In LD16, Our Revolution will hold a forum for Democratic Assembly primary candidates.
The Somerset County Democrats hired Louis Danowsky as its new executive director.
Former NJOHSP Director Jared Maples will join the NHL as Executive Vice President, Chief of Security.
Morris County Democratic commissioner candidates formed a join candidate committee.
ICYMI: Mild irritation over Singh candidacy; Suleiman expects Polistina v. Mazzeo Senate race; Morris GOP launching ‘Insiders Club’; ELEC approved Ciattarelli funds (iLine post); Murphy campaign announced Rosenstein as adviser; LUPE announced endorsements; Pallotta plans to run again; Lassiter interviews Guardian; Grossman-Polistina debate cancelled; LD16’s Pappas kicked off campaign; Bridget Kelly found a role for Christie; Huttle took a stand on CCRBs; Brotschol ready to run against Sherrill; Bacon urging support for GOP; in LD31, Chiaravalloti ended off-the-line bid, Murphy had a ‘heart-to-heart’ with him; Essex Sheriff primary candidate Arnold discusses his candidacy; in LD24, Cruz believes he can bring new perspective
Governor Murphy took action on legislation.
Senate committees will meet in-person today.
Greg Tufaro was named Senator Diegnan’s Chief of Staff, according to TAPinto.
Senate Minority Leader Kean and Senator Gopal introduced legislation to examine state funding for higher education.
Senator Singer requested clarification from the Murphy Administration on COVID-19 restrictions for community swimming pools.
Senator Oroho slammed Governor Murphy’s veto of legislation establishing the ‘Government Efficiency and Regulatory Review Commission’.
ABC-NJ welcomed two new members to its leadership team.
Celestina Quintana was elected Chair of the NJBIA Board of Trustees.
Dozens of NJ clergy members filed a brief with the state Supreme Court in support of the ACLU-NJ’s lawsuit to end racial profiling.
The NJ Alliance For Immigrant Justice urged the Legislature to pass legislation banning new and renewed ICE contracts.
ICYMI: Murphy nominated Col. Dr. Hou as Adjutant General and NJDMVA Commissioner; Coughlin declined to say whether he’ll post CCRB bill; Burzichelli, Hicks clashed over NJDOC overtime; Murphy took action on legislation; Oroho, Gottheimer joined together; Murphy took action on legislation; Turner pressed for posting of the CCRB bill; Thompson, Oliver clashed; Rice says state should ‘get its act together’
Listen to Politically Direct Episode 133 with host Fernando Uribe and guest Angela Fam, LD18 GOP Assembly candidate.
As Governor Murphy unveils a gun violence prevention package, several officials suggest different approaches for different reasons.
In Monroe, Middlesex County GOP Chairwoman Panos demanded the resignation of Council President Cohen over an open mike incident.
In Parsippany, a reanimated former Mayor Barberio held a fundraiser on Tuesday night, saying that ‘whoever wins’ the GOP primary will ‘come together‘ to defeat Democratic incumbent Soriano in November. A $5M emergency loan to balance the town budget was tabled, according to the Daily Record.
In Newark, Newark Symphony Hall unveiled a new facade and streetscape design.
In Barnegat, the marijuana shops ban applies only to recreational week, according to TAPinto.
In Byram, the mayor and council are split over the ban on marijuana sales, according to NJ Herald.
In Clifton, the city is ready to reopen its skateboard park, according to NorthJersey.com.
In East Brunswick, the school district accused a therapist of false billing, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Flemington, the town is looking to upgrade parks, wells, and the library, according to TAPinto.
In Hopewell, an anti-BLM post got an officer fired and an other demoted for ‘liking’ it, according to NJ101.5.
In Jackson, the dorm ban was struck down by a judge, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Keansburg, an audit found excessive payouts for police and employees, according to NJ.com.
In Montclair, the council heard heated commentary on the 2021 budget, according to TAPinto.
In Mount Olive, marijuana-related businesses were banned, according to the Daily Record.
In North Bergen, the police department has the lowest use-of-force rate in Hudson County, according to Hudson County View.
In North Caldwell, the council approved a study for a recreation complex, according to NJ Hills.
In Nutley, commissioners voted to ban marijuana sales temporarily, according to TAPinto.
In Paterson, there’s a history of police brutality accusations, and calls for reform, according to Paterson Press.
In Phillipsburg, the council approved a riverside site for industrial use, according to Lehigh Valley Live.
In River Edge, the town is mourning the death of a police officer, according to the Bergen Record.
In Somerville, the town wants public input on marijuana sales, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Washington Township, Superintendent Mohre will retire, according to NJ Hills.
In Westfield, the BOE appointed a new superintendent, according to TAPinto.
ICYMI: In Camden, Murphy hasn’t ruled out weighing in on mayoral race; in Woodbridge, hard-edged encounter inflames primary battle; in Edison, overdevelopment takes center stage; in Paterson, McKoy, Mendez may be headed towards another battle; in Hillside, Mondella poised to take on Vertreese in mayoral election; in Camden, candidates participated in forum last night, Kahn slammed ballot design; in Morristown, mayoral primary battle heats up Porras-Fields deals with ‘stacking summons’ issue; in Paterson, the city is stepping up Muslin vacc efforts; in Camden, Reyes-Morton says county Dems disrespected process; in Plainfield, Wyatt hit with ethics complaint
Insider NJ reporter Fred Snowflack writes ‘Ciattarelli Irritated by Murphy’s Impersonation of Marshal Zhukov‘
Insider NJ columnist and ELEC Executive Director Jeffrey Brindle writes ‘Could Looming US Supreme Court Ruling Upend Campaign Finance Law?‘
Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘Trump Dominated GOP Primary Gives Murphy the Race He Wants and Needs‘
Insider NJ reporter Fred Snowflack writes ‘Singh’s Choice Threatens the Viability of the Republican Party‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, GOP gubernatorial primary candidate Hirsh Singh writes ‘New Jersey Republican Gubernatorial Primary Marks First Battle In Republican Party Civil War‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Steve Trevelise, NJ1015
- NJ gubernatorial candidate Philip Rizzo called into my show on New Jersey 101.5 last night, Tuesday, May 4, to explain why he did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016 after I questioned it based on an article by Dan Alexander on New Jersey 101.5.
Chris Halleron, TAPinto.net
- What’s the more glaring issue for a political figure in the Year 2021—blocking people on their Twitter account, or having no Twitter account at all? On Tuesday, Hoboken City Councilmembers Phil Cohen, Michael Russo, and Emily Jabbour introduced an ordinance prohibiting elected officials in Hoboken from blocking individuals from engaging with them on social media platforms, claiming that the platforms are, “used to communicate with the community about official City business.”
Jayed Rahman, Paterson Times
- A consultant outlined several options to the City Council on Tuesday night to revamp the controversial sewer utility. Andy Kricun of Moonshot Missions, consulting firm hired by Paterson to conduct an analysis of the sewer changes, suggested three options.
Daniel Ulloa, Hudson County View
- The second joint meeting of the Jersey City Board of Education and the city council saw Board President Mussab Ali and Mayor Steven Fulop take center stage to vocalize their concerns regarding school funding within the district.
Briana Vannozzi, NJ Spotlight
- The state Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which is tasked with drafting the regulations and guidelines for the future industry in New Jersey, met Tuesday for the third time. Even as it proceeds with its work, lawmakers continue tweaking the legislation that made adult recreational use legal, like addressing current laws on home-grow.
Ahmad Austin, Molly Shelly, Press of Atlantic City
- Rebuilding the Boardwalk, wiring the city for internet, and beautifying and rebuilding Atlantic and Pacific avenues are some of the keys to Atlantic City’s long-term success, according to a state-issued report outlining the resort’s path to post COVID-19 pandemic recovery.
Jim Walsh, Cherry Hill Courier-Post
- A South Jersey mall operator has reported a big deficit for its latest quarter, a period that saw the firm sue over unpaid rent at cinemas in Moorestown and Vineland shopping centers. PREIT posted a net loss of $49.6 million, or 64 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31.
Star-Ledger Editorial Board
- Two weeks ago, Gov. Murphy affirmed that “there should not be any reason in our society for folks to be on a hunger strike, and I want to repeat that unquestionably.”
Shaylah Brown, NorthJersey.com
- A lacrosse game became the catalyst for a historic moment for Hillsdale police last week. An all-female shift happened for the first time after a sergeant requested a schedule change to watch an afternoon game April 25, That night, Sgt. Liz Zimmerman, Officer Amanda Turrin and Civil Dispatcher Amna Hijab served together.
Amanda Hoover, NJ Advance Media For NJ.com
- With just over three months left to establish its rules and regulations, New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission listened to dozens of recommendations on ensuring racial and social equity become key to the new legal weed industry.
Nanette LoBiondo Galloway, Down Beach
- The public is invited to vote on the final nominations for the New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2021. The public can cast their ballots now through May 31 for nominees in five categories: Arts and Letters, Enterprise, Performing Arts, Public Service.
Tom Bergeron, roi-nj.com
- Meryl Gonchar admits it: Not having a daily commute to Newark — something that could take an hour or more one way on a good day from her house in East Brunswick — is nice. And Gonchar acknowledges that she and her fellow lawyers at Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. have learned what so many others have discovered during the pandemic: You can be productive working from home.
Daniel J. Munoz, njbiz.com
- More than 1,200 of the airline’s catering staff are in danger of losing their jobs, despite the airline having received billions of dollars in COVID-related federal bail-out funds.
Leah Mishkin, NJ Spotlight
- ndia is now the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. An estimated 3,000 people are dying there daily, many of them in hospital beds, unable to get access to life-saving oxygen. Less than 2% of India’s population has been vaccinated.
Ken Serrano, Asbury Park Press
- Racked with heroin addiction more than a decade ago, Morgan Thompson loosened the unrelenting grip of opioids with the help of programs like a sober-living student housing arrangement at Rutgers.
Phaedra Trethan, Cherry Hill Courier-Post
- Lucy Zohn usually knows just what she’s looking for when she visits the Camden County Library’s Allan Vogelson Branch in Voorhees. She loves mystery and suspense novels, and the library always has the latest from her favorite authors: James Patterson, Lisa Scottoline, David Baldacci.
Dan Radel, Mike Davis, Michael L. Diamond, Asbury Park Press
- When the wind blows into the Sea Winds condominium complex from the south, the smell of dead, rotting fish from nearby Branchport Creek permeates just about every facet of everyday life, Newport Court resident Scott Dille said. Swarms of flies attach themselves to windows and lights, and residents close all their doors and windows — even on beautiful sunny days — just to keep the stench out as much as possible.