Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 7/19/2024

Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing

Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:


QUOTE OF THE DAY: I just believe that just because I would vote for Donald Trump in this election doesn’t mean that I am Donald Trump or agree with everything that Donald Trump says. I think he’s been vindicated on a lot of policies.” – GOP Senate candidate Curtis Bashaw on former President and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump


TOP STORY: The Menendez Saga


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


The saga is still unfolding following Senator Menendez’s conviction and the ensuing calls for his resignation or removal from the Senate. Menendez faces a October 29th sentencing, as he plans to appeal, according to the Bergen Record. Menendez was a ‘white whale for federal prosecutors‘ for decades, according to NJ Monitor. The Senate Ethics Commission could be key in the push to expel him, according to NJ Spotlight. On Wednesday, NBC News reported that Menendez was telling allies he would resign, but the Senator refuted the claim, telling CBS that he ‘has not resigned’ nor spoken to ‘so-called allies’, and that there ‘seems to be an effort to force me into a statement‘. If he resigns or is expelled, Governor Murphy will be in a position to appoint a temporary successor. Senator Booker said on Wednesday that he would lead the effort to catapult Menendez from the Senate.


The NJDOL reported that the state’s labor market remained stable in June.


The NJDEP approved a controversial power plant, according to the Bergen Record.


Gateway Development Commission CEO Kolluri is stepping down, according to NJ Biz.


The state is making a serious push to lure the Sixers to Camden, according to ROI-NJ.


NJ residents want to travel after pent-up COVID demand, according to the Bergen Record.


Thousands are still without power in Central Jersey following the severe storm, according to MyCentralJersey.


Some NJ Transit trains are shut down today due to extreme heat, according to the Asbury Park Press.


New Jersey has more lottery winners than 90% of the nation, according to NJ101.5.


MetLife Stadium is working through crowd control challenges ahead of the 2026 World Cup, according to ROI-NJ.


Passaic County claimed fraud in a $13M security equipment purchase, according to


The Raritan Mall redevelopment plan failed again, according to MyCentralJersey.


Two long-time Asbury Park Press editors passed away, according to the Asbury Park Press.


The Stockton board approved a $294M operating budget, according to Downbeach.


ICYMI: Menendez found guilty and faces a reckoning; Trump injured in assassination attempt; Norcross pleaded not guilty; Sherrill doesn’t want President Biden to run; Menendez verdict will come soon; Murphy signed budget; courts shaping political developments; Critchley, Marino statement on Norcross


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Rep. Kim tapped Laura Bustamante as his Senate campaign’s statewide political director.


GOP Senate candidate Curtis Bashaw recommended a list of temporary Democratic replacements to Governor Murphy in the event of a Senate vacancy, including Jon Stewart.


As calls increase for Senator Menendez to resign, there are questions as to who could replace him, according to NJ Spotlight.


In LD31, the Jersey City BOE President is eying a run for Assemblyman Sampson’s seat, according to the Jersey Journal.


ICYMI: McIver victorious in CD10 primary, eleven were vying; crazy rhetoric very bipartisan; Bramnick visited GW Bush; Jones says ‘coalesce‘ around Biden; HCDO tapped Wyche as ED; Ciattarelli unperturbed by Spadea; Wisniewski says Democrats should rally around Biden; Jones tells Dems ‘work harder’, ‘worry less’ as Dems fret over optics while considering options amid serious doubts; Davis elected Monmouth Dems chair; Bashaw poll shows close race; Spadea’s early win; Durr participated in a FDU forum


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Advocates urged lawmakers to move quickly on heat protections for workers, according to NJ Spotlight.


The state may not be heeding the pandemic’s lesson on the need for strong budget reserves, according to NJ Spotlight.


The NJBPU appointed Giuseppe Grillo as their new ombudsman.


The NJ Council for the Humanities awarded 18 grants.


ICYMI: Way appointed Wolkenberg NJDOS COS; Murphy announced departure of Gutierrez-Scacetti; Murphy says he doesn’t think about his legacy; Murphy announced promotions


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2024 Insider 100: Legal publication.


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2024 Insider 100: Lobbyist publication.


Former Senator Bob Gordon discusses his career and insights on current events.


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In Atlantic City, Mayor Small says an agreement was reached with the state and CRDA on the ‘road diet’, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Brick, the recreation director was charged with stealing cash and forging permits, according to the Asbury Park Press.


In Camden, a milestone is ahead in the push to upgrade Walter Rand Transportation Center, according to Burlington County Times.


In East Hanover, Mayor Pannullo spoke out at a coalition meeting to address flooding, according to TAPinto.


In Hackensack, a Anderson Street mixed-use project was voted down, according to the Bergen Record.


In Hoboken, the mayor vetoed a measure eliminating non-profit permit fees, according to Hudson County View.


In Jackson, the schools budget was rejected, according to the Asbury Park Press.


In Jersey City, Assemblywoman Stamato will have an office in City Hall, according to TAPinto.


In Lakewood, a lawyer in the catering hall zoning fight made an unusual request, according to the Asbury Park Press.


In Longport, officials say a quest to quell the rat infestation is helping, according to Downbeach.


In Metuchen, a Main Street site redevelopment is eyed, according to MyCentralJersey.


In Millburn, residents spoke out against Paper Mill Playhouse’s financial request, according to TAPinto.


In Millville, activists stirred up ‘good trouble’ at an event honoring the late Rep. Lewis, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Newton, the council may ease parking restrictions, according to NJ Herald.


In Paterson, Passaic River flooding is a chronic issue for the city, according to NJ Hills.


In Roxbury, a water company may have harmed some wells, according to TAPinto.


In Sparta, the council narrowly passed the first reading of the funding for the master plan review, according to TAPinto.


In South Orange, Mayor Collum blamed NJ Transit for commuter delays, according to


In Wayne, a multi-million dollar preschool project is back on track after a legal dispute, according to


ICYMI: In Union City, residents reacted to Menendez conviction; in Newark, Speight announced candidacy for Central Ward; in Wayne, debate popped up; in Parsippany, Musella kicked off mayoral campaign; in Dover, bumpy transition



Insider NJ columnist Tom Barrett writes ‘Mikie Sherrill is Right


Insider NJ columnist Andrew Leven writes ‘The Wrong Questions Are Providing the Wrong Answers


In a guest column on Insider NJ, Senator Timberlake writes ‘A Call for Democratic Unity


In a guest column on Insider NJ, Newark Councilman Quintana writes ‘The Court has Transformed a President into a King


Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘The Best Democratic Alternative: A Kamala Harris – Josh Shapiro ticket


Insider NJ editor Max Pizarro writes ‘Trying to Get Inspired by Speaker Johnson’s ‘Turning down the Heat’




Menendez verdict should serve as warning to New Jersey politicians

Terrence T. McDonald, NJ Monitor


  • When Sen. Bob Menendez skated on corruption charges eight years ago, he had the audacity to threaten his political foes while standing outside a federal courthouse in Newark. The jury in that case did not acquit Menendez of the charges he faced. They deadlocked on whether he was guilty or not, causing a mistrial. Still, Menendez acted like he had been cleared, and in a now-infamous line, he issued a warning to the politicians who thought they might try to succeed him in the U.S. Senate if he had been convicted and jailed.


Morristown employee facing “disciplinary action” for comment posted after Trump shooting

Kevin Coughlin, Morristown Green


  • Morristown has taken an unspecified “disciplinary action” against a town employee for a “reckless and needlessly divisive” comment posted on her Facebook page after the weekend assassination attempt on Donald Trump. The employee, Tia Ellzey, had posted: “The shooter had ONE job,” with an eye-rolling emoji.


Who is Alina Habba? She says ‘a feisty Jersey girl’ at RNC 2024

John Connolly,


  • New Jersey’s Alina Habba took the stage at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on Thursday night, delivering an impassioned speech about former President Donald Trump.


Trenton’s Cadwalader Park gets constant attention, while Hetzel field gets none

LA Parker, The Trentonian


  • A pitched tent with an overnight couple inside added to the need for security at Hetzel Field adjacent to George Page Park. The grey shelter with green canopy set behind a concession stand next to a trash can that overflowed beer cans, boxes and bottles in a park that prohibits alcohol.


Borgata casino lockdown linked to threat of gunman; no weapons found

John O’Connor, Press of Atlantic City


  • There was a heavy police presence at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on Thursday afternoon after a call was made claiming a man was in possession of firearms and an explosive device, police said.


129-year-old hazardous dam finally removed. Why hundreds of aging dams remain in N.J.

Steven Rodas, Advance Media for


  • On a muggy July morning, hikers saunter over East Crisman Road Bridge, a blue heron stops to glare at the tree line and schools of fish amble in the tributary.


The truth about Project 2025, Trump’s plan for America | Editorial

Star-Ledger Editorial Board


  • In the wake of the attempted assassination of Donald Trump, some on the right are claiming it’s off-limits to even suggest that his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and his extreme visions for a second term, are a threat to our democracy.


Jeff Van Drew on Spadea’s Show: Can Trump win New Jersey?

Bill Spadea, NJ1015


  • Congressman Jeff Van Drew, a former New Jersey Democratic legislator turned congressman who switched parties in 2020 over his battle with Democrats with the impeachment of President Donald Trump, gave a strong, smart and passionate speech to the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. Congressman Van Drew has been an ardent supporter of President Trump and his policies over the years.


New Jersey School Districts Debate Banning Cell Phones Over Academic Concerns

Eric Scott, NJ1015


  • The latest issue befuddling many New Jersey school districts as they prepare for the new academic year is what to do about cell phones. A growing number if districts are debating policies that would severely restrict cell phone use or ban their possession outright in classrooms.


These are the 6 most expensive Mercer County towns to live in

Ethan Mannello,


  • Most residents already know that it’s expensive to live in Mercer County. But doxo, an app designed to help households manage their living expenses, has developed a Cost of Bills Index which compares the monthly cost of paying the 10 most common household bills – mortgage, rent, auto loan, utilities, home insurance, health insurance, life insurance, mobile phone, cable and alarm systems – with other communities.


Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill and State Senator Joe Pennacchio Join Local Mayors to Discuss Whippany River Watershed

TAPinto Staff


  • Local Mayors from East Hanover, Morris Township, Florham Park and Parsippany joined Hanover Township Mayor Thomas ‘Ace’ Gallagher at a working lunch meeting on July 17th to further strategize their efforts to stop the repeated flooding that occurs in the Whippany River watershed every time there is a heavy rain.


Meet the Leaders: Neptune City Councilman Brian Thomas

Lauren Albrecht, TAPinto Neptune


  • TAPinto Neptune City caught up with Councilman Brian Thomas for our latest edition of “Meet the Leaders.” A lifelong resident of Neptune Township, Brian moved to Neptune City in 2017 and has been a member of Neptune City Council since 2020, with two terms served as Council President.


Lucy the Elephant to announce she is running for president at age 143

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway, Down Beach


  • The old gal looks good for being 143 years old, thanks to a facelift two years ago, and she’s hoping people will look past her age and vote for her in the upcoming election. According to Lucy the Elephant officials, people should not assume party affiliation for Margate’s iconic roadside attraction. Although Lucy the Elephant will announce Saturday that she is running for president in November, her benefactors advise voters to not assume that because she is an elephant, she is a Republican.


Wildwood’s first Black motel, remembered | Down the Shore

Amy S. Rosenberg, Philadelphia Inquirer


  • Even into the 1970s, Bruce Harris remembers working at the front desk of Wildwood’s Elfra Court Motel in the early hours, waiting for the inevitable appearance of Black travelers who had been turned away at other places in the Jersey Shore resort.
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40 responses to “Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 7/19/2024”

  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.

  16. Note to Concealed Carry permit holders: make sure you subscribe to one of the insurance companies that specialize in CCP, ie: US LAW SHIELD. If you ever have to fire your weapon , that has to be the first phone call you make. The second is 911, the third is your family. With so many new permit holders there will probably be an increase in discharges until word gets out that it’s actually unsafe for criminals to be in New Jersey and crime will take a nosedive.
    Now unless you have a conviction in your background you can get that CCP and really defend yourself and your family. And more women are applying which is great for family defense. The stats that record gun violence will have to be re-organized into guns used for crime and guns used to prevent crime. A lot of get-always here because sometimes just brandishing a firearm is enough to stop a crime. But it should be reported anyway..

  17. The liability limits for taxi cabs are extreme starting July 1. It was a plan in place through the insurance banking committee and it was abruptly changed with an amendment. The guys are barely making a living today and you’ve increased their insurance. What’s fair is fair and this is not it was an incremental increase, which was fair, and was removed by the governor please refer back to the original plan

  18. Iowa gets it right. What better school security is there than trained, armed teachers with concealed carry permits. You wonder what parents and local government officials when they oppose this idea. Apparently they would rather wait for some demented individual, either a student or maybe an ex student pulls out a handgun of his backpack , or a long gun out of a duffel and starts firing do they can call it in and wait for help to show up. This move would save many lives and I would heartily endorse this idea nationwide. Of course I’m just an average gun owner who believes that our kids are our most valuable asset and need real protection.

  19. The problem with the Line is that there is no vetting process. Whoever pays the most and/or is specifically unqualified and therefore relegated to the status of puppet is who the county bosses support and threaten the committee members to support. My opponent said on-air that he will do whatever they tell him. What kind of leadership is that. I have 8-10 organizations endorsing me to his zero. I have served many statewide for almost 4 years while he has never helped anyone but himself. No-brainer who is qualified, and they know it. That’s why they are getting nasty and vile while I continue to take the high road.

  20. With the mainstream media touting the current president and suddenly discovers he’s been lying to us all about how supportive he is of Israel when it is reported he is receiving BIG donations from Soros and Rockefellers , both proven anti-American donors, to become pro Palestinian and Pro Hamas and Anti Israel by holding up ammunition shipments to Israel. And solidly answering the question of why he never goes directly against Iran. Is the MSM party to this also. How can the general public now know who and what to trust. They warn us how terrible a trump administration will be as if they have totally forgotten how good we had it under Trump. All I can say is put on your big boy pants and tell us how it really is.

  21. Studies show that recreational cannabis is responsible a 10% increase in motor vehicle accident deaths. These studies show that cannabis impairs driving ability and driving while high is common among regular users. Since cannabis is still an illegal drug, insurance companies are within their rights to deny coverage in for an accident ruled a DUI due to cannabis. However a state that approved its recreational use should be held accountable for any and all the consequences of that DUI. States are more interested in the money they make but they should accept the responsibility for having approved the use of recreational cannabis.

  22. Could you please fix your “bay blood spots “ typo. It sounds like a horror movie. Although “baby blood spots” isn’t much better. Maybe there’s a clearer and less distressing turn of phrase for all of our sensitive readers, lol. Please and thank you.

  23. Reclassifying marihuana from CI to any other category will involve Pharmacy because by law only a Pharmacist with a DEA license can purchase or sell any drug with a CII to CV
    Classification. (CI is exempt because it’s heroine or any other drug with no medical purpose). This is a National problem because it is all under the DEA. And since marihuana is a hallucinogen among other things it requires control. The whole weed issue has put the cart before the horse and really requires reining in to have it conform
    to the legal requirements. (Sorry Mr. Weedman). And recreational use will get the biggest hit because it will require a prescription
    for medicinal use, but that cuts out the recreational aspect. Maybe in the future Pharmacists may be able to prescribe it but not yet. And how many physicians and Nurse Practitioners will want to be involved in the weed industry, I wonder? Lots of questions and few answers so far.

  24. Changing the regulations to allow Optometrists to perform surgery is foolhardy and dangerous. Their training is doing vision tests and prescribing the correct glasses to improve vision. Only an MD in ophthalmology should be the one to do eye surgery.
    That’s like asking the fellow filling your gas tank to fix a ball joint suspension.
    This is not the answer to a shortage of ophthalmologists

  25. Can’t seem to access the Steinberg column on Sam Alito, Sr. on your website. Suggestions?

  26. Stop complaining about taxes ,our schools , our crime, ,after all folks we keep voting in the same Democrat party politicians each time .

    For instance who would think that every Democrat who represents us in congress would vote for men playing in woman sports ,but they did , ask yourself are you the kind of a person who would kill ( sorry to use that word kill but hard not to since the law is that is a human being and if the mother is murdered it’s a double homicide ) a baby up to the moment of birth sorry to tell you that is the law in New Jersey.

    So stop complaining your part of the problem.

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