Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “New Jerseyans acknowledge there have been missteps over the past eighteen months, some of them very serious, but that has not noticeably weakened their overall view of his Covid performance.” – Monmouth polling director Patrick Murray on Governor Murphy’s handling of COVID-19
TOP STORY: Casha Jumps into the CD-11 GOP Primary Ring
The statewide cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 992,586 cases and 24,515 confirmed fatalities (and 149,033 probable cases and 2,773 probable fatalities) as of Thursday (an increase of 2,040 confirmed cases, 462 probable cases, and 24 lab-confirmed fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is 1.05. There have been 11,961,373 COVID-19 vaccinations administered (with 5,804,009 people fully vaccinated).
A Monmouth University poll finds Governor Murphy continues to get generally positive reviews for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by a majority of voters, though a majority also feels his administration bears some responsibility for the pain of small businesses and nursing home fatalities.
The Cumberland County Jail warden’s resignation adds a legal twist to the fate of the jail and inmates, according to Burlington County Times.
Rep. Pascrell spoke out in favor of Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.
ICYMI: Murphy says child care center mask mandates ‘brings us no joy‘; Gottheimer: ‘hectic few days ahead‘; NJDOL paid out over $35B; Murphy signed an executive order requiring masks in child care settings; Watson Colemans’ in-depth interview; protesters rallied Gottheimer’s office; Pascrell on SALT: ‘we’re taking the gloves off, I’m telling you‘; Murphy announced Pre-K commitment;Murphy established the ‘Wealth Disparity Task Force’; Payne confident on infrastructure bill; Murphy thinks post-mortem warranted on Ida; feds sign off on disaster relief; Malinowski says ‘make or break moment‘ for climate; Kim discusses Capitol riot; Biden lands in NJ in hard-hit Manville, as some welcomed him, others rallied against
The SEIU NJ State Council endorsed Governor Murphy and LG Oliver for re-election.
In CD11, attorney Larry Casha jumped into the GOP primary next year to challenge Rep. Sherrill.
IN LD34, GOP Senate candidate Scott Pollack accused Senator Gill of being ‘absent’ in the wake of Hurricane Ida.
ICYMI: Murphy still leading Ciattarelli; Robinson takes the fight to Ciattarelli’s backyard; NFIB endorsed Ciattarelli; Ciattarelli touts polls showing neck-and-neck race; Murphy’s case for re-election to Latinos; NEW JOBS PAC endorsed candidates; Ciattarelli: ‘we’re dying a slow and painful death‘; NJFMBA released endorsements; NJFOP released endorsements; Ciattarelli did an end-zone dance over FOP non-endorsement; NFIB endorsements; Oliver vociferously defended handling of Ida; Dems promote gun safety measures; in CD7, Mehta eager to face Kean in primary; Ciattarelli ‘not the sacrificial lamb‘; Ciattarelli recounted storm experience; Morris and Somerset GOPS planning united front
Senator Singleton called for the reopening of MVC locations for all transactions.
Senator Bateman commended PennEast’s decision not to seek the condemnation of state lands to build a pipeline.
The NJ Society of CPAs released a survey of CPAs on issues they think the gubernatorial winner should focus on if elected.
ICYMI: Bergen makes his case for caucus leadership; Murphy took action on legislation; DeCroce’s proposed constitutional amendments are a timely discussion; Insider NJ’s 2021 Insider 100: Policymakers; Schepisi spoke out on the divide between climate change and land use; Pocino resigned boards; redistricting scenario bar notes
Listen to Politically Direct Episode 148 with host Fernando Uribe and guest Richard Garcia, LD38 GOP Senate candidate.
Download and read Insider NJ’s ‘Let’s Get To Work!’: The State Of New Jersey Labor’ power list and publication.
Will there be a ‘Biden factor‘ for the 2021 election cycle in New Jersey?
President Biden has a political history with New Jersey.
In Jersey City, Mayor Fulop expanded the city’s COVID-19 rental relief program.
In Atlantic City, AC Pride’s new initiatives aim to celebrate AC’s gay history, according to the Press of Atlantic City. The council passed a 2% tax on recreational cannabis sales, according to the Press of Atlantic City. The city received a $50k planning grant to aid in the redevelopment of the former Trump Plaza site.
In Bloomingdale, a park was renamed in honor of the late former Mayor Dunleavy, according to NorthJersey.com.
In Essex Fells, the town shut three water wells due to contamination, according to NJ Hills.
In Lakewood, the police chief blamed a Twitter hack for pro-Trump anti-Biden posts, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Montclair, the council amended parking rules for the Montclair Center, according to TAPinto.
In Palisades Park, the schools will launch universal Pre-K, according to the Bergen Record.
In Tinton Falls, the town is preparing a pilot program to allow backyard chickens, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Toms River, downtown traffic could be fixed with a roundabout solution, according to the Asbury Park Press.
ICYMI: In Newark, city unveiled a statue of history-making former Mayor Kenneth Gibson; in Newark, no clear alternative to Baraka, sources say Amador won’t seek re-election; in Newark, James considers the impact of the extraction of troops; in North Arlington, former Mayor Kaiser passed away; in Paterson, officials toured Ida shelter; in Penns Grove, former councilman charged w/ underreporting income; in Newark, DOJ reached settlement with schools; in Hoboken, workers rallied for benefits; in Chatham, key issue revolves around Nazis and Elie Wiesel.
Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘Murphy V. Ciattarelli: A Dramatic Sea Change Unlikely‘
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘In Virginia gubernatorial election, Republican Glenn Youngkin may succeed where Jack Ciattarelli is failing in New Jersey‘
Insider NJ columnist and ELEC Executive Director Jeffrey Brindle writes ‘Steps to Strengthen Political Parties Remain Necessary Despite Deep-seated Distrust‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Laura Olson, New Jersey Monitor
- The coronavirus pandemic has brought heartbreaking consequences for millions of U.S. children, even as most avoided serious illness themselves, pediatric experts told Congress on Wednesday. Take, for instance, a young girl from Tennessee named Sophia, whose story was relayed by Dr. Margaret Rush, president of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University.
Carl J. Asszony, Special to the USA TODAY Network
- Thanks to the dedicated and persevering effort of the investigative reporters Jean Timbach and Abbot Koloff of NorthJersey.com and the USA TODAY Network, the hidden financial transactions at Rutgers University would not have been made public.
Dennis Malloy, NJ1015
- Mask mandates, limits on commerce, and social interaction will all make a huge comeback if Murphy is reelected in November in New Jersey. Odds are pretty good that he will be reelected with polls showing him with a healthy lead over Republican challenge a Jack Ciattarelli.
- The NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business Awards program recognizes women who are shattering stereotypes, and the glass ceiling, with the significant impacts they’re making on New Jersey business and the community at large. Already one of our most popular events, for 2021 NJBIZ received an unprecedented number of nominations from quality candidates doing big things in the Garden State.
Leah Mishkin, NJ Spotlight
- The fate of Passaic County’s jail is hanging in the balance. A formal committee, put together last month, is assessing whether to shut down the 60-year-old prison with a troubled past. Its closure would join the list of several other county correctional facilities that now send their inmates to nearby jails. And it will potentially enable those county officials to end controversial contracts with ICE to house immigrant detainees.
Wayne Parry, The Associated Press
- New Jersey plans to restore vast tracts of a coastal tree species threatened by climate change, and will pay for it with money from polluters of groundwater. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said Thursday its plan to restore 10,000 acres of Atlantic white cedar would be the largest restoration effort involving the species in U.S. history.
Brad Wadlow, MyCentralJersey.com
- Somerset County recently announced it will merge the Planning Division and Office of Economic Development to create a new Office of Planning, Policy and Economic Development. The new office will be the central hub working with the Board of County Commissioners, county divisions and departments, local governments, nonprofits and the business community.