Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 7/9/2020:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You’re frustrated and so am I and so is Sue Fulton, we’ll do everything to make this a better situation, but it won’t be overnight.” – Governor Murphy on the long lines at MVC agencies
TOP STORY: Masking Up – and Enforcing Masking Up
In the GOP Senate primary, candidate Rik Mehta is leading the other candidates, including rival Hirsh Singh, as the VBM counting is still underway. Mehta on Primary Day addressed hometown supporters in Morris County.
In CD2, Senate President Sweeney issued a statement congratulating Amy Kennedy on her primary victory; Sweeney had been an early backer of defeated candidate Brigid Harrison. Sweeney told NJ.com that the Kennedy name was a big factor: ‘what a shock – a Kennedy won a race‘. Governor Murphy praised Kennedy, who received a late-game endorsement, at his Wednesday briefing, and offered a warning to Van Drew in light of his December party switch: ‘he made that decision and he’s going to have to live with it’.
In CD3, GOP nominee David Richter touted his win as a ‘culmination of months of hard work’ and that its ‘only going to get tougher from here’ as heads to a general election matchup with Rep. Kim. In an acrimonious primary battle, Richter defeated rival Kate Gibbs on Tuesday.
In CD4, former Democratic primary candidate David Applefield died suddenly on Wednesday, according to More Monmouth Musings. Governor Murphy mourned Applefield, saying ‘we need more thinkers like David in our politics’.
In CD5, GOP primary candidate Frank Pallotta declared victory (iLine post); as of yesterday morning, even partial results hadn’t been available. Rep. Gotheimer touted his primary victory over progressive challenger Arati Kreibich, saying he’s ‘honored and humbled’.
In CD7, Rep. Malinowski touted his re-nomination and took a swipe at GOP nominee Senator Kean, saying he spent his career ‘bowing to party bosses’.
Somerset County Democrats touted the Democratic turnout in the county on Tuesday.
NJDSC Chairman Currie congratulated CD2 and CD4 Democratic nominees Amy Kennedy and Stephanie Schmid on their victories on Tuesday.
Green Party Senate candidate Madelyn Hoffman urged Governor Murphy not to reopen schools in the fall (iLine post).
ICYMI: Voters, poll workers wore masks; Hamm’s campaign self-assessment; in CD4, Schmid momentum carries her to victory; in CD8, Sires fended off Oseguera (iLine post) amid late-game intrigue; in CD11, Becchi secured GOP nomination; Morris’ Baranski conceded to Amaro; Levinsky leaving BCT (iLine post); Moench supports Howes’ candidacy; Aron ‘semi-retiring’
The LD10 legislators derided Governor Murphy’s mandatory mask requirement as ‘troubling’. Senator Doherty said the mandate represents a ‘clear and present danger‘ to state residents. Senator Pennacchio called it ‘arbitrary‘ and ‘unsupported by data’.
Senator Bucco pressed Governor Murphy for a plan to address the long lines at MVC agencies. Senator Doherty called on Murphy to take ‘full responsibility’ for the ‘utter nightmare’ of long lines (Doherty and Murphy traded barbs via tweet). Senator O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso called the reopening problems ‘insanity‘.
The NJ Outdoor Alliance slammed Governor Murphy over the closure of wildlife management areas.
The NJ Tax Incentive Task Force will release its third and final report today.
ICYMI: Sadovy appointed BPU COS, succeeding Power; court dismissed Norcross appeal; Singleton’s new gig (iLine post); Persichilli offered to resign; Rice wants inclusive use of parks; Murphy took action on bills; Murphy signed Chapter 78 overhaul legislation; Murphy announced Repollet departure; Weinberg group held hearing on sexual abuse in prisons; Murphy signed budget extension; Murphy vetoed bills; Leg. approved Chapter 78 relief
The line outside the BurlCo BOE building for VBM drop-off (iLine post).
Follow Insider NJ’s iLine feature, a real-time blog that will give you continuous updates from around the state.
In Atlantic City, incumbent Mayor Small declared victory in the Democratic primary against Pamela Thomas-Field, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Newark, the Newark Museum of Art will hold a virtual Community Day on Sunday to commemorate the 1967 Newark riots.
In the Wildwoods, the Delaware quarantine directive could hurt the tourist destination, according to Burlington County Times.
In Ridgewood, a petition seeks election consolidation, according to the Bergen Record.
In Orange, former Assemblyman Willis Edwards faces 28 charges including an attempt to defraud Orange, according to NJ.com.
In Trenton, Mayor Gusciora appointed Mark Lavenberg as the acting director of the Water and Sewer Department.
In Ocean Township, police body cameras show a confrontation with an unarmed black man, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Chatham Township, Hamilton and Felice are leading in the committee primary, according to NJ Hills.
In Somerville, the town is still looking to close Main Street for expanded outdoor dining, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Hardyston, a twenty-year incumbent is in danger of losing the primary, according to NJ Herald.
In Lakewood, a former schools employee is suing the district for wrongful termination, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Hamilton, Mayor Martin is requiring a 14-day quarantine for any municipal employee traveling to a COVID-19 hotspot, according to the Trentonian.
In Princeton, a petition seeks the removal of anti-abolitionist John Witherspoon’s name from a middle school, according to Planet Princeton.
In Beachwood, firefighters were hassled by ‘intoxicated subjects’, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Paterson, Mayor Sayegh released a statement on the July 7th shootings.
ICYMI: n Highland Park, family and friends laid to rest the late Councilwoman Welkovits; in Lambertville, two Fahl allies fall (iLine post); in Trenton, Columbus statute will be taken down; in Paterson, tense swearing-in; in East Hanover, Italian-Americans rallied in support of Columbus statue
Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘NJ Primary Election Day (More) Winners and Losers!‘
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘Amy Kennedy Vanquishes Norcross/Harrison – And Next Will Rout Trump/Van Drew‘
Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘The Twelve 2021 Labors of Doug Steinhardt‘
Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘CD2 Horse Race Ignores the Sorry State of the Voters‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Tom Moran, Star-Ledger
- In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel is riding a wave of popularity after effectively containing the virus by carefully building a national consensus based on the best expert advice. Imagine that. These are humbling days for America. The rest of the developed world is passing this test, and we are failing by every objective measure.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Philadelphia Inquirer
- Amy Kennedy, a South Jersey school teacher who married into a storied American political family, toppled the region’s most powerful political machine Tuesday to claim an unlikely victory in the Democratic primary for New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District.
Brett Johnson, roi-nj.com
- There was lobbying before March 9 … it consisted of chasing down lawmakers outside Trenton’s State House to either promote or hurt the prospects of legislation lobbyists shepherded for clients. Then there’s lobbying after March 9, the date Gov. Phil Murphy declared a public health emergency … it’s a fight for attention in inboxes and voicemails. It’s less physically demanding, but don’t assume it’s any easier. David Pascrell, co-chair of the government affairs department of law firm Gibbons P.C., said there’s a couple of things in the world of lobbying that have made the past few months a “whirlwind” for public affairs professionals.
John Reitmeyer, NJ Spotlight
- High-profile collaborations between influential public-worker unions and some of New Jersey’s top elected officials are projected to save hundreds of millions of dollars just as government budgets are being socked by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Among those in line to see significant savings, the officials said, are K-12 school districts and state government itself.
Bill Spadea, NJ1015
- The governor, in his latest disaster that has made life in the Garden State worse, is actually blaming you. That’s right, the crisis actor Phil Murphy, who continues to use selective numbers in order to push the false narrative of a dangerous “spike” of COVID-19 around the nation, is at it again. Instead of focusing on the very real facts about the percentage of positive tests declining out of the nearly 700,000 tests being conducted daily around the US and focusing on the death rate and numbers dropping precipitously, he’s pointing to numbers related to “positive” cases.
Rebecca Morin, USA Today
- Another primary night has come and gone, with few election surprises and little trouble for voters who cast their ballot. Incumbent Sen. Cory Booker survived against a progressive challenger in New Jersey’s Democratic Senate primary.
Corey McDonald, Hudson County View
- Eminent domain proceedings for CarePoint’s three Hudson County hospitals are underway, intensifying a battle between two competing health care centers that will last, at best, for months.
Colleen O’Dea, NJ Spotlight
- New Jersey’s delayed primary is finally over, and while thousands of votes are still to be counted, many key races already have been decided. The most surprising result is the win by Amy Kennedy, education director of the Kennedy Forum and wife of former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, in the hotly contested 2nd District Democratic primary. Kennedy’s main opponent, Brigid Callahan Harrison, conceded shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday in a race that had been expected to be too close to call on Election Night.
Desmond Boyle, For lehighvalleylive.com
- There’s been great national debate weighing the need for people to attend church services versus the risk of mass gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.
Kasra Zarei, Philadelphia Inquirer
- Ask Cheryl Garfield how racism damages the health of Philadelphians, and she tells the story of a Black man who recently turned up at a city hospital. Unemployed, uninsured, and homeless, he relied on a walker because he has gout, in addition to heart failure and high blood pressure.
William Westhoven, Morristown Daily Record
- American Legion Post 391 is at the epicenter of a conflict between township authorities and state Assemblyman Brian Bergen, who is pushing back on a plan to collect on an estimated $16,000 tax appeal on its shuttered property at the end of Maple Avenue.
Matt Friedman, Politico
- George Norcross, a wealthy insurance executive, has for decades run New Jersey’s most vaunted Democratic political machine, a seemingly unstoppable behemoth that carries huge influence over who leads the state Legislature and what bills become law. But after a series of political and legal setbacks over the past year, culminating in Amy Kennedy’s landslide primary victory Tuesday over a Norcross-backed candidate in southern New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, some Democrats see signs that the machine’s grip on power is starting to slip.
Charles Stile, NorthJersey.com
- When squaring off against an entrenched political machine, it certainly helps to have the glamour and muscle of the Kennedy dynasty on your side. That was a key takeaway from Tuesday when Amy Kennedy, a fourth-generation South Jersey native who married one of President John F. Kennedy’s nephews, scored a stunning victory in the Democratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District.
Michael Hill, NJTV
- Amy Kennedy, the daughter-in-law of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, stunned some of the state’s top Democrats in the 2nd Congressional District race. But not Gov. Phil Murphy, who endorsed Kennedy and introduced her on election night. Kennedy upset the South Jersey political machine of George Norcross. Minutes after the polls closed Tuesday night, Norcross was the first to project Kennedy’s victory and to congratulate her. He had supported her opponent, college political science professor Brigid Callahan Harrison.
Peter D’Auria, The Jersey Journal
- Last month, a wave of progressive candidates surged in New York state’s primary, ousting longtime Democratic incumbents in the House of Representatives, the state legislature, and local offices. Tuesday, the opposite happened on the other side of the Hudson River.
Teri West, The Jersey Journal
- On the day that Gov. Phil Murphy announced increased mask regulations in New Jersey, Kelvin Rodriguez sat outside on a park bench, a typical way that he passes the time while on furlough because of the coronavirus, he said.
Dan Alexander, NJ1015
- Police officers who arrested an Asbury Park Press reporter following an anti-racism demonstration last month have been cleared of wrongdoing after investigators determined that officers innocently mistook the journalist for a protester after curfew. Gustavo Martínez was live-streaming the chaotic events on the night of June 1 after an 8 p.m. curfew, which the city expressly did not apply to essential workers or members of the media. Hours earlier, thousands had participated in a demonstration and several hundred lingered following the curfew, police said.
- Yesterday, thousands of New Jersey residents across the state stood in line for hours as Motor Vehicle Commissions re-opened – seemingly without a plan for the very mess their closing had created. Let’s be clear, this date did not sneak up on the Governor or his staff. They picked it, knew what was coming, and had months to prepare for it. And yet, as we saw yesterday, the result was an abject failure.
John Heinis, Hudson County View
- In a letter to the editor, New Jersey State Republican Committeeman Joshua Sotomayor-Einstein says Hudson County Democratic officials need to take a stance on toppling statues of historical figures.
Stacey Barchenger, Trenton Bureau
- A New Jersey appeals court Wednesday halted Attorney General Gurbir Grewal from releasing the names of state police troopers disciplined for misconduct while the judges consider a lawsuit from powerful police unions that don’t want the names to become public. The court’s ruling stops Grewal’s recent directives — including the mandate that police departments across the state must name disciplined officers — from going into effect, and says the court will hear oral arguments in mid-October.
Phaedra Trethan, Cherry Hill Courier-Post
- A statue of Christopher Columbus has been removed from Cooper River Park, a spokesman for Camden County confirmed. The statue was removed by a contractor for its owner, the Order Sons of Italy’s New Jersey chapter, county spokesman Kyle Sullender said Wednesday. Sullender said the Sons of Italy opted to remove the statue from its North Park Drive pedestal on Tuesday night.