Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You can draw a straight line from actions that Republicans like Assemblyman Ciattarelli took in spreading Donald Trump’s lies to the disgusting riot that took place at the Capitol that shook our nation to its core and resulted in the death of one officer and numerous other injuries, both physical and mental.” – NJDSC Chairman Jones calling on Republicans who ‘helped incite’ the January 6th riot to apologize
The statewide cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 905,428 cases and 23,871 confirmed fatalities (and 131,624 probable cases and 2,719 probable fatalities) as of Thursday (an increase of 1,017 confirmed cases, 391 probable cases, and 3 lab-confirmed fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is 1.5. There have been 10,808,309 COVID-19 vaccinations administered (with 5,276,579 people fully vaccinated).
Governor Murphy signed legislation to improve the state’s maternal and infant health outcomes.
Burlington County celebrated its first Fire Academy graduation since the state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Booker and Rep. Pascrell introduced legislation to reauthorize the Alternatives to Opioids program.
Rep. Pascrell highlighted appropriations victories for North Jersey.
NJ TRANSIT hasn’t missed a beat to improve the travel experience even though the coronavirus pandemic has impacted transit ridership across the globe (sponsored content from NJ TRANSIT)
ICYMI: Murphy, Persichilli ‘reserve the right to take more drastic action, including a statewide mask mandate’; Parkway rest areas renamed for NJ icons; Murphy took shot at anti-vaxx ‘talking heads’; Murphy signed ‘Laura Wooten’s Law’; Murphy struck at Ciattarelli: ‘enough already‘; Bruck announced leadership team; Menendez, Booker hailed the Child Tax Credit; judiciary moved towards weed cases expungement; Gottheimer expresses confidence on infrastructure bill
NJ Republicans are struggling to find cohesion on vaccines as COVID-19 cases mount, according to Politico NJ.
In LD2, GOP Assembly candidate Claire Swift took a hard line on crime during a police forum.
In LD39, the GOP incumbents are united after a year marked by infighting, according to Politico NJ.
Jack Ciattarelli’s choice of running mate is close, and closely held, according to NJ Spotlight.
ICYMI: Jones zeroing in on Morris County; Malinowski addresses trading controversy; Murphy says election ‘as stark as any‘, referencing Ciattarelli’s comments on LGBT curriculum; LD2’s Brown will depart for DCA role, will create LD2 opening; Morris’ McCourt bewailed the GOP’s response to COVID; CD10’s Oakley aims to make ‘ballot design education’ campaign cornerstone
Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on redistricting procedure, let alone a tiebreaker, according to Politico NJ.
Assemblyman Zwicker says more charging stations would spark electric vehicle sales, according to MyCentralJersey.
ICYMI: Lampitt expressed support for masks in schools; ABC-NJ welcomed DeLuca as Gov’t Affairs Director; Oroho radiates statewide vibe; chariot race begins to succeed Kean as GOP Leader; Supreme Court to decide on redistricting tiebreaker (iLine post)
Read and download Insider NJ’s 2021 Insider 100: Cannabis Power List publication, written by Jay Lassiter.
In Chatham Township, the GOP introduced a new candidate for the November committee race.
In Bernardsville, a settlement was reached in a tree-cutting suit, according to NJ Hills.
In Branchburg, a public safety director was appointed, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Carteret, a former mayoral candidate accused of voter fraud will get probation, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Clifton, a unity mural will come down following controversy, according to NorthJersey.com.
In Eatontown, the town could approve 3 marijuana businesses, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Fair Lawn, parents asked to expand busing, even if it means paying more, according to the Bergen Record.
In Fairfield, the budget was approved with no local tax increase, according to NJ Hills.
In Glassboro, the council rejected allowing marijuana businesses, according to the Courier Post.
In Hillside, Councilwoman Hyatt announced her candidacy for mayor, according to TAPinto.
In Long Branch, a beach high-rise was approved, but neighbors want to kill it, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Montclair, a police officer is under investigation for a ‘China 19’ comment, according to NorthJersey.com.
In Paramus, a family is suing the school district over allegations of racist bullying and harassment, according to the Bergen Record.
In Randolph, embattled BOE incumbents are being challenged in the November election, according to the Daily Record.
In Raritan, the township tweaked fire permit fees, according to TAPinto.
In Rockaway, the council ratified actions after public accessibility questions, according to NJ Hills.
In Roseland, the council prohibited cannabis sales, according to TAPinto.
In Trenton, Mayor Gusciora’s handyman was killed in a ‘domestic dispute’, the city’s 13th murder this year, according to the Trentonian.
In Washington Township, the school district expects a new superintendent by mid-August, according to NJ Hills.
ICYMI: In Camden, Reyes-Morton wants salary suspension for mayor until budget is signed; Randolph Columbus Day decision sparked implications that will linger; in Paterson, Murphy endorsed Sayegh for re-election; in Parsippany, Musella says Dems ‘don’t have Trump to hide behind‘; in AC, council voted to end needle exchange program; in Trenton, Gusciora gearing up to run for re-election; in Newark, city welcomed home Army Lt. Colonel Erica Clark-Muhammad; in Belleville, Melham endorsed Ciattarelli, expressed disappointment with Murphy
Insider NJ reporter Fred Snowflack writes ‘A Little Something on Masks and Politics‘
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘The New Jersey Republican Political Stockholm Syndrome – and Jack Ciattarelli‘
Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘COVID Dashboard Blinking Red as Murphy Advises Indoor Masking‘ and ‘Delta Surge Prompts Calls to Reinstate Mask Mandates‘
Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘Ciattarelli Sinks into Ideological Quicksand – Again‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Nikita Biryukov, New Jersey Monitor
- Despite New Jersey’s stature as a Democratic stronghold, governors belonging to the party haven’t won re-election since Gov. Brendan Byrne secured a second term in 1977. That fact has taken a central role in Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli’s messaging on the campaign trail, where he frequently urges voters to make Gov. Phil Murphy “one and done in ’21.”
David Cruz, NJ Spotlight
- The Republican Party’s candidate for governor, Jack Ciattarelli, is a former state assemblyman who developed a reputation as a moderate. But he has recently veered to the right. How will that affect his choice of his second-in-command?
Ashley Balcerzak, NorthJersey.com
- While hundreds of thousands of New Jersey families are behind on rent and some of their landlords face financial jeopardy, the state, county and municipalities have distributed only about 25% of rent relief they have been awarded from the federal government.
Claire Lowe, Press of Atlantic City
- With coronavirus-related restrictions eased, colleges across the nation are eager to welcome students back to campus in the fall and are hopeful they can make up for lost enrollment from the previous year.
Charles Stile, NorthJersey.com
- Gov. Phil Murphy announced last week that the state’s Turnpike Authority plans to rename the Garden State Parkway rest stops after a series of New Jersey-bred celebrities. But the Murphy announcement prompted this thought: why stop with Parkway rest stops? There are dozens of public facilities — some existing, some that could be built through the creative use of state budget pork — that should be linked with some the state’s colorful, complicated and corrupt figures.
Noah Cohen, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
- An NJ Transit conductor and board member, his wife and her nephew, who also works for the agency, were charged in a nearly $900,000 insurance fraud scheme, prosecutors said Thursday.
Madison Russell, Pennsbury High School
- Pride month is over. With COVID hesitation still present, some traditions could not be held as many wished they could be. Yet that did not keep some events from happening, such as the Doylestown pride festival, as well as information sessions and drag brunches.
Kevin Riordan, Philadelphia Inquirer
- A word common to Arabic, Persian and Urdu — three of the languages Muqqadas Ejaz speaks in addition to English — aptly describes her mission. The word is muhsen, and it means “doing good.”
Lindy Washburn, NorthJersey.com
- A growing number of New Jersey health care systems and long-term care companies have told their employees — more than 100,000 so far this week — to get COVID vaccines or risk losing their jobs. But labor unions that represent thousands of their workers oppose the mandates.
Amanda Oglesby, Asbury Park Press
- The defunct Oyster Creek nuclear power plant had “apparent violations” during a recent security inspection and employed an armorer who falsified weapons records, according to two new reports from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.