Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 9/16/2019

Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing

Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 9/16/2019:


QUOTE OF THE DAY: Doesn’t character count for anything when you want a job with the Murphy team?” – LD40 Senator Corrado calling for the reconvening of the Legislative Select Oversight Committee into the hiring practices of the Murphy Administration


TOP STORY: LD21 Flashpoint: Brindle ‘Disappointed’ by Bramnick And Kean


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Governor Murphy directed the lowering of US and state flags to half-staff today in honor of Navy veteran Harold Costill.


Governor Murphy headed to India on Saturday to begin his economic trade mission; he’s the first sitting Governor to do so, according to


AG Grewal announced that the Division of Consumer Affairs is seeking information from e-cigarette businesses regarding their marketing and sales of vaping products in the state. The Governor last week created the Electronic Smoking Device Task Force while Senate President Sweeney announced plans to propose a phased-in ban on vaping products.


Following last week’s debate, Senator Booker sided with Julian Castro regarding his tussle with former VP Biden, saying ‘I think that Castro had really legitimate concerns about can he be someone in a long grueling campaign… and has every right to call out’. Take a look at Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray’s assessment of Booker.


Senator Booker introduced legislation to protect Gold Star families from deportation and introduced the ‘Transit To Trails Act’.


Rep. Payne applauded Wells Fargo’s NeighborhoodLIFT program in Essex County.


A former corrections officer was sentenced to prison following a conviction for smuggling drugs and tobacco to inmates.


An investment broker was sentenced to prison for stealing over $250k from an elderly couple.


The NJEDA announced that applications for the CDFI Initiative are now bring accepted.


ICYMI: Matey sworin-in to Third Circuit; Insider NJ’s Who’s Up And Who’s Down: Week of the Suez/KKR Debacle; NDNJ released its full list of donors; NJ Dems get up-close look at prez candidates in NH; Malinowski’s packed town hall; Murphy says it’s ‘above my paygrade‘ if Booker should return to Newark


Vote in the Insider NJ Poll: Who Won the Presidential Debate?


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In LD21, Westfield Mayor Brindle says she’s ‘disappointed‘ in both Assemblyman Bramnick and Senator Kean, as she sees a continuation of Democratic success that brought her to victory in 2017 and CD7 Rep. Malinowski last year. Democrats Lisa Mandelblatt and Stacey Gunderman are vying against GOP incumbents Bramnick and Munoz.


LD8 Democratic Assembly candidate Gina LaPlaca called for a 9/11 remembrance law.


LD11 GOP candidates Amoroso and Woolley slammed Democrats for ‘getting down and dirty early’ with a new mailer; they said that while they are running a ‘local grassroots campaign’ the Dem incumbents are ‘backed by the biggest, most infamous political machine in the state’.


LD15 Assemblyman Verrelli was selected by Moms Demand Action as a ‘Gun Sense Candidate’.


CD1 GOP candidate Josh Duvall released a statement criticizing Democratic calls for ‘Medicare-For-All’ at last week’s debate.


Hunterdon County Freeholder Lanza was charged with a DWI, according to MyCentralJersey.


The Hunterdon County Democrats launched their 2019 coordinated campaign.


Somerset Sheriff Provenzano and GOP sheriff candidate Parenti announced an initiative to use medicated assisted treatment to combat the opioid epidemic.


ICYMI: Jani will serve as Biden’s Pacific Islander Director; following Altman-Ayscue Twitter collision, prog groups request NJTV remove him as commentator, NJTV says he’s neither paid nor a network employee; Gibbs formed CD3 exploratory committee; Bucco/Bergen slammed Dems on DLs for undocumented immigrants; Lagana joining Cleary Giaccobe Alfieri and Jacobs; Zwicker rebuked NJLCV, Freiman declines endorsement, Tittel defends Zwicker, LCV says Zwicker ‘flat out wrong‘; Gingrich backs Kean; Spevak heading to MWWPR; Schmid kicks off CD4 campaign; in Somerset, Gaburo v. Schaffer


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Here’s what happened under the Gold Dome on Thursday.


Governor Murphy signed A5463 into law on Friday.


Should Assembly Minority Leader Bramnick lose his re-election bid in November, several names are in the mix with the best chance of succeeding him as leader of the Assembly GOP caucus.


Senator Corrado is calling for the Select Legislative Oversight Committee to reconvene in the aftermath of the firing of Jeffrey Dye.


Senator O’Scanlon released a statement saying that the recent $54M subsidy for child care is due to rising labor costs that are the result of the increased minimum wage.


Assemblyman Conaway released a statement calling for ‘necessary steps’ to be taken to combat vaping.


Senate President Sweeney spoke at the duel groundbreaking of Rowan University’s Economic Department Center and Medical Center.


NJ Cares and the NJSIAA released an opioid educational video for students featuring advice from former pro athletes.


ICYMI: Quinn says only 2% of tax break jobs went to Camden residents (see the NJEDA memo, Murphy reacted ‘these numbers speak to what we’ve said all along’; Pennacchio condemned Dems’ ‘selective outrage’; Murphy reacted tax incentive hearing; Sweeney says Coughlin pension-benefits bill is a nonstarter; Smith says incentive programs can be improved


Vote in Insider NJ Poll: Which President’s Political Skills Most Closely Resemble Senate President Sweeney’s?


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Getting to know the kitchen cabinet members of new Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano.


A GOP source breaks down the shape of the NJGOP gubernatorial race ahead of 2021.


The 20 best legislative elections from the past 20 years.


Insider NJ’s legislative election guide and Insider NJ’s 50 most powerful elected officials (right now).


Insider NJ’s 25 Municipal Chairs To Watch this November and beyond.


Visit the Insider 100 Publications page, the Events Calendar, the Press Release page, and check out the Insider NJ Video Gallery and Insider NJ Podcast page.


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In Prospect Park, Mayor Khairullah held a press conference detailing how he was stopped and questioned at JFK Airport with his family after returning from a trip to Turkey. Rep. Pascrell questioned the mayor’s treatment, saying it describes ‘profiling against Muslims’.


In Woodbridge, Judge Brady is suing the police, claiming retaliation and racism, according to MyCentralJersey. The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide officially launched its second year of the Woodbridge Youth Council.


In Jersey City, the council approved the first reading of the rent-control ordinance put forth by the administration, according to Hudson County View. 92-year old Opal Lee will continue her annual Juneteeth Walk on Sept. 23rd.


In Trenton, Council President McBride is facing calls to resign after making an anti-Semitic remark, according to the Trentonian; Mayor Gusciora demanded an apology. Read Councilwoman Vaughn’s letter to the mayor and council and read Councilman Blakeley’s letter to Council President McBride.


In Old Bridge, mayoral candidate David Merwin’s campaign says he saved a woman’s life while going door-to-door.


In Pleasantville, the ex-superintendent is planning to sue the town, citing retaliation, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Hoboken, Mayor Bhalla released a statement in support of Councilmembers Doyle’s and Jabbour’s resolution directing the clerk and corp. counsel to enforce the city’s pay-to-play laws.


In Red Bank, activists protested against fossil fuels on Saturday, according to TAPinto.


In Montague, a BOE member is facing residency questions, according to NJ Herald.


In Bordentown, jury selection begins today in the trial of former Police Chief Nucera, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.


In Cliffside Park, a longtime councilwoman resigned, according to the Bergen Record.


In Chatham Borough, Council President Collander opted against a 5th term, while Paul Kelly joined the GOP ticket, according to TAPinto.


In Bayonne, John Cupo got the top ballot position for the Ward 1 special council election, according to TAPinto.


In Lopatcong, the ambulance squad says it is shutting down, according to Lehigh Valley Live.


In Camden, censure was proposed for Municipal Judge Tucker, according to the Courier Post.


In Hamilton, Mayor Yaede called on the council to make a final decision on the Senior Citizen Advisory Commission.


In Hawthorne, Ward 3 Green Party candidate Cayetano will hold a voter registration drive on Sept 27th.


In Glen Rock, Rep. Gottheimer commemorated the town’s 125th anniversary.


In New Milford, Rep. Gottheimer honored the memory at Darren Drake at the Annual Walk.


ICYMI: In Paterson, following Jackson anti-Semitic remark, Currie called for a censure; in Edison, Shah will run for mayor , Lankey suffers resounding defeat on water proposal; in Lambertville, Fahl and Turner celebrate completion of Rt 29 safety project; in Jersey City, FairerNJ PAC released first ad


Vote in Insider NJ Poll: Who will Win the 2021 Contest for Mayor of Edison?


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Insider NJ columnist Robert Hennelly writes ‘Notre Dame and Gov. Whitman’s Lingering 9/11 Legacy


Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘Remember When Howard Cosell Made East Rutherford, New Jersey Famous?‘ and ‘Post-Debate: What Will the Democratic Message Be: Return to Normalcy (Biden) or Social Revolution (Warren and Sanders)?‘ and ‘The Latest Presidential Impeachment Focus: Trump as Grifter-in-Chief


In a guest column on Insider NJ, former Senator Bernie Kenny writes ‘The Curious Story of the Captured Confederate Battle Flags


Insider NJ columnist Al Sullivan writes ‘Stretching the Rules on Campaign Finance Reform


Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘Vaping Black Market Cannabis Cartridges Made Me Sick


Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘Untangling the Appearance of a Sweeney-Coughlin Rift




A doctor calls on his fellow physicians to serve – as politicians

Brad J. Cohen


  • While a long time ago, I recall the sleepless nights on-call during my OB GYN residency. It was such a happy place filled with flowers, candy, gifts… Attending a birth is a true miracle. Afterwards I would often make my way to the infant nursery, pick up one of the little angels I delivered and sit in the corner rocking chair.


Outlawing vape sales will just lead to more risks with black-market products | Mulshine

Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger


  • When I take my dog for walks in the park I sometimes find beer cans on the ground. But the other day I came upon a piece of litter of a type I’d never encountered before. It was a device about the size of a thumb drive for a computer. But it didn’t have a USB connection. What was it?


An environmental group loses its way | Moran

Tom Moran, Star-Ledger


  • On this much, all sides agree: Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker is an ardent environmentalist and a leader in the fight against climate change. A nuclear physicist at Princeton by day, his chief motive for enduring the trials of politics is to protect the environment.


Two mysteries of the vape phenom

JD Mullane, Burlington County Times


  • Medical marijuana and fun weed enthusiasts aren’t going to like what has emerged as the prime suspect in vaping illnesses, their old pal THC.


Teague defends Paterson councilman Jackson

Corey Teague


  • It is true, we don’t need racially motivated slurs or speeches in this city. But let’s dig deeper into this issue. Ask yourselves this question, would councilman Michael Jackson be so fiercely targeted if he had been backing a certain agenda? I wish that the amount of energy being used to attack councilman Jackson was used to seek justice for Jameek Lowery and to address the elevated level of violence, poverty, hunger, unemployment, mental health issues, drug abuse within our city.


Nothing anti-Semitic about Lakewood school board editorial

Asbury Park Press


  • Instead of addressing the issues raised in the Sept. 10 editorial “Who will take the lead on tackling Lakewood’s school issues?” the writer of the Sept. 11 letter “Lakewood schools: Call for changes to board representation anti-Semitic” chose to play a gratuitous anti-Semitic card.


At 125, N.J. women’s club celebrates — and recalibrates

Kevin Riordan, Philadelphia Inquirer


  • A women’s club founded decades before women could vote, the Haddon Fortnightly is having a birthday party and everyone is welcome. Club leaders want the public to know the 125-year-old South Jersey institution is alive, well, and eager for new members.


New Jersey’s big idea to impose gun control: Follow the money | Kelly

Mike Kelly, North Jersey Record


  • Could New Jersey actually lead the way toward nationwide gun control? The question seems strange perhaps. New Jersey, as a leader? Fugetaboutit!  But when Gov. Phil Murphy traveled to Morristown earlier this week and signed an executive order about how the State Police buys its guns and bullets, he threw a political spotlight on an innovative strategy of monitoring who can buy guns in America and why.


Businesses high on the future of medical marijuana at A.C. convention

Claire Lowe, Press of Atlantic City


  • If you didn’t know what was happening inside the Atlantic City Convention Center this weekend, you might guess right by the smell of it. It would be easy to make jokes about Atlantic City hosting the first state cannabis convention if the attendees weren’t so serious about what they do.


The Surge


  • Soooooooo let’s say you’re a mainstream Democrat who’s been loosely supportive of Biden because you remember Barack Obama fondly and want to nominate someone normal to beat Trump. Maybe you watch the latter half of the Democratic debate, in which Biden’s never-great ability to string together coherent sentences devolves into this, and you start to panic about his durability in a lengthy campaign against Trump and, potentially, four to eight years as president.


On 9/11, furor over Sussex County GOP chair’s retweets about Islam flares again

Eric Obernauer, NJ Herald


  • The Sussex County freeholder board received an earful Wednesday night regarding the ongoing furor over a county college trustee’s retweets criticizing Islam and lampooning Democrats, with some likening calls for his removal to a politically motivated witch hunt and others saying anything less than removal would amount to an admission that Sussex County is a racist county.


Mercer County Prosecutor charges one contractor in illegal dumping case

Krystal Knapp, Planet Princeton


  • The owner of an Edison-based construction company has been charged with bribing a supervisor for the municipality of Princeton in exchange for dumping dirt at the River Road sewer department site.


PSE&G’s Scaled-Back Proposal for Upgrading Gas and Power Grids OK’d

Tom Johnson, NJ Spotlight


  • The state yesterday approved a scaled-back proposal by Public Service Electric & Gas to upgrade its gas and power grids, accepting a $842 million, four-year program that is considerably less than the $2.5 billion originally sought by the Newark utility.


Trying to Reduce ‘Costly Public Health Crisis’ of Senior Falls

Lilo H. Stainton, NJ Spotlight


  • Every seven minutes, another New Jersey resident over 60 falls, according to state figures, resulting in more than 200 emergency room visits each day and at least 400 deaths a year in the Garden State. The falls “constitute a costly public health crisis for New Jersey,” note two state lawmakers who are involved in an effort to reduce them.


American Dream job seekers concerned over transportation, pay

Brenda Flanagan, NJTV


  • With its scheduled soft opening just six weeks away, American Dream Meadowlands held another in a series of job fairs Friday designed to enroll the army of workers the complex will need. Recruiters used megaphones to entice jobseekers as applicants circulated amongst decorated booths at Bergen Community College in Paramus, hoping to snag one of some 1,200 openings at retailers like Eddie Bauer, UGG, and Love Pop — an origami greeting-card company — that will be based at the sprawling complex in the Meadowland Sports Complex in East Rutherford.


Democrats Point to Sound Borough Finances

David B. Luber, TAPinto Madison


  • In a joint prepared statement, Madison Mayor Bob Conley, Councilwoman Maureen Byrne and Madison Planning Board member Rachel Ehrlich point to a solid 2019 municipal budget and the borough’s record of sound fiscal management under Mayor Conley’s leadership. Bob Conley and Maureen Byrne are running for reelection in 2019; Rachel Ehrlich is running for her first term on the borough council.


Activists rally in NJ demanding budget cuts to ICE, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Monsy Alvarado, North Jersey Record


  • While lawmakers in the nation’s capital negotiate a spending bill for the upcoming fiscal year, activists in Bergen and Hudson counties on Friday joined others across the country in demanding that Congress cut funds to federal immigration enforcement agencies.


Teaneck council set to vote to raise Pride flag, but not before guarding against lawsuits

Megan Burrow, North Jersey Record


  • The Township Council plans to vote this month on whether to raise the rainbow Pride flag, but already, one resident has threatened to sue if the town does not fly an anti-abortion flag. Hector Ferrer has asked the township to form a “pro-life” advisory board and raise an anti-abortion flag on the municipal green in October, which the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has marked as Respect Life Month.


Vice president’s nephew, Conway’s cousin marry in Atlantic City

Ahmad Austin, Press of Atlantic City


  • The resort played host to a wedding of political royalty Saturday, as Vice President Mike Pence’s nephew and Kellyanne Conway’s cousin married at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church.
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