Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 9/28/2020:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “People know his name. But he’s obviously not his father and he’s proving that every day” – CD7 Rep. Malinowski on GOP challenger Senator Kean
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 203,548 cases and 14,315 fatalities (and 1,791 probable fatalities) as of Sunday; the viral transmission rate is 1.11.
Governor Murphy signed an executive order extending the public health state of emergency another 30 days.
Governor Murphy appeared on NJTV’s Chat Box with David Cruz.
Atlantic County announced VBM ballot drop-box locations, according to Downbeach.
Hunterdon County Freeholder Director Van Doren blasted PennEast for potential for eminent domain across the county, according to TAPinto.
Of 40 Morris County police departments, only 6 use body cameras, according to the Daily Record.
Ocean County accounted for 32% of all new COVID-19 cases in the state on Saturday, according to the Asbury Park Press.
The Sussex County Freeholder Board adopted a resolution opposing State BOE standards on sex education in schools.
Warren County honored 21 war era veterans.
Senator Booker, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a statement on President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, saying ‘there is so much at stake in this moment’. Booker demanded answers from the Trump Administration on the banning of anti-bias training for federal agencies and contractors.
Rep. Pascrell reacted to the NY Times report on President Trump’s tax returns, saying it ‘confirms some of our worst fears’ and ‘should stun to the core our nation at Trump’s unfitness and criminality ‘.
Rep. Watson Coleman introduced the ‘Improving Diaper Affordability Act;.
Rep. Sherrill announced extended remote office hours.
Rep. Kim highlighted Burlington County small businesses in calling for PPP improvements.
ICYMI: New unemployment claims jumped 25%; Murphy ‘proud’ of budget; quarantine advisory updated; Pascrell named chairman of House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight; NJ surpasses 200k COVID cases (iLine post); Murphy zeros in on GOP ‘rank hypocrisy’
Read Insider NJ’s key-must read pieces from the past week.
The Somerset County GOP launched an aggressive new technological program to flag and challenge ‘phantom’ VBMs and track the status of ballots to ensure all legal votes are counted.
In CD2, Democratic candidate Amy Kennedy’ Atlantic County ground game will be critical in her bid to unseat GOP Rep. Van Drew in November, as sources note varying factors of concern for each candidate in the state’s marquee 2020 congressional battleground.
In CD7, Rep. Malinowski addressed GOP challenger Tom Kean’s attacks on him – including an ad linking the incumbent to protecting sex predators – saying Kean’s ‘got a good name, why would he tarnish it?‘ and adding that he expects a ‘close race’ in which he expects to prevail. 32BJ endorsed Malinowski.
LUPE PAC announced candidate endorsements.
AFSCME NJ endorsed candidates in Middlesex County.
Several third party Senate candidates jointly called to be allowed to participate in debates between Senator Booker and GOP candidate Dr. Rik Mehta.
The NJ Institute of Social Justice and its partners released a post-election assessment of the 2020 primary.
ICYMI: CD2, CD5 intriguing backdrops; NJFOP issued endorsements; Trump’s long shadow in CD7; in CD2, poll shows Kennedy leading by 5-points, Testa makes the case for Van Drew; Unite Here Local 54 endorsed candidates; many young NNJ voters finding it difficult to confidently vote; Howes assesses the landscape; pandemic not stopping many Republicans from campaigning; the potential Hanlon LG pick (iLine post); GSE endorsements; NOW-NJ endorsements; in LD25, GOP doubling-back on Draeger’s farm
Senate President Sweeney wants to cap the number of sick leave days for state employees at $7,500, among other reform proposals.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Scutari and Senator Rice literally went nose-to-nose over marijuana decriminalization legislation, exchanging words at close range; Rice, who favors decriminalization, has called for Scutari, who favors legalization, to be removed as SJU chair.
Republican legislators lambasted the FY2021 revised budget passed by the Senate and Assembly on Thursday, questioning ‘Christmas tree’ spending items and pet projects and condemning tax increases included in the budget.
Senator Testa slammed Governor Murphy’s use of an executive order to again re-extend the public health state of emergency, saying its time for the Legislature to ‘stop hiding meekly in the shadows‘ to Murphy’s perpetual emergency and power grab’. Testa introduced legislation to allow salons and barber shops to provide services in mobile facilities.
The LD10 legislators chastised Governor Murphy and Trenton Democrats for the ‘partisan budget’ passed on Thursday, calling it ‘irresponsible, indefensible, and blatantly unfair’ to New Jersey taxpayers.
Senator Greenstein applauded the Senate passage of legislation to provide $500 tax rebates to middle-class families.
Assemblyman Scharfenberger urged Governor Murphy to allow the state to reopen.
The NJBIA congratulated Board of Directors member Marjorie Perry for receiving the 2020 Women Business Enterprise Award of Excellence.
Horses, Dogs, and Dolls: A New Jersey jaunt into battleground Pennsylvania.
Read and download Insider NJ’s 2020 Insider 100: Millennials publication.
Governor Murphy will need to scrutinize his political blueprints if he wishes to transcend Trenton for DC at some point in the future.
Can former Governor Christie make a political comeback in the age of Trump?
In Perth Amboy, the mayoral candidates hit the streets yesterday in pursuit of votes ahead of the November election (Insider NJ Poll: Who Will Win the Perth Amboy Mayor’s Race?)
In New Brunswick, anti-police brutality activist Tormel Pittman says he’s unmotivated by the presidential election, acknowledging his discomfort with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
In Atlantic City, the firefighters’ union filed a lawsuit against the city and state over their handling of COVID-19, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Jersey City, the MUA approved a $133M budget with a 9% sewer and water rate hike, according to Hudson County View.
In Paterson, the city is preparing for a possible second wave of COVID-19.
In Manville, a recount confirmed the GOP primary victories of Lukac and Szabo, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Hillsborough, Our Revolution Hillsborough endorsed the Johnson-Brooks campaign for council.
In Bridgewater, over 100 vehicles were removed from the Center of Excellence property, according to MyCentralJersey.
In Lawrence, BOE candidates will participate in a forum on Wednesday.
In Howell, officials are mum on a six-figure salaried employee’s extended absence prior to his resignation, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Fair Lawn, a council meeting exposed tensions following the 9/11 ceremony, according to the Bergen Record.
In Newton, religious leaders held a pro-police rally, according to NJ Herald.
In East Brunswick, a municipal ballot question concerns renewable energy, according to TAPinto.
In Gloucester Township, a fleeing car struck a police officer, according to the Courier Post.
In Morristown, the high school reported a COVID-19 case, according to MorristownGreen.
In Newark, the Housing Authority Scholarship Foundation held its 12th annual golf fundraiser.
In Peapack-Gladstone, VBMs and in-person voting was debated, according to NJ Hills.
In Vineland, a mosque reached a settlement for $500k in a discrimination case, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
In Dunellen, the town will hold its ‘Virtual Miracle Mile Concert’ in October.
In Linden, Councilman Roman accused Mayor Armstead of illegally campaigning by using his government office.
In Paramus, Trump supporters and protesters rallied along Route 17, according to the Bergen Record.
In Warren, a volunteer is sought to fill a two-month BOE vacancy, according to NJ Hills.
In Milford, the mayor says the town has been ‘successfully building‘ for years, according to MyCentralJersey.
ICYMI: In Atlantic City, Insider NJ sits down with Mayor Small and sits down operative Callaway; in Smithville, protesters civilly clashed; in New Brunswick, Floyd’s brother marched with Black Lives Matter movement members; in Somerville, BLM rally; in Parsippany, Trump supporters held two rallies
Insider NJ columnist Steven Goldstein writes ‘When Trump Goes Low in the Debate, Biden Must Go Jersey‘
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘The Senate must Refuse to Consider Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee – Otherwise, Democracy in America is Threatened‘
Insider NJ columnist Carl Golden writes ‘Dem Leadership Short-Circuits a Serious Miscalculation‘ writes ‘Even a Bumbling Murphy is a Powerful Murphy‘
Insider NJ columnist Dr. Matthew Hale writes ‘Faith and Insecurity‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, Jen Ehrentraut writes ‘Remembering Tyler‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, Maggee Miggins writes ‘Let the Voters, then the President, Choose Justice Ginsberg’s Successor‘
In a guest column on Insider NJ, Andrew Leven writes ‘How to Beat Trump in the Upcoming Debates‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Tom Moran, Star-Ledger
- California cut $11 billion from its budget, hitting colleges and affordable housing programs. Georgia cut spending by 10 percent, pulling back spending on preschools and programs for the disabled. Tennessee lawmakers cut $1 billion, including transit programs.
LA Parker, The Trentonian
- Wish Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora owned a forked tongue or had verbal skills that allowed speaking from both sides of his mouth. Worthy politicians should list verbal ambidexterity and mental multitasking as keys to success. Double-mindedness does not necessarily reflect ambiguity.
Sam Sutton and Samantha Maldonado, Politico
- New outbreaks of Covid-19 have begun cropping up in several New Jersey counties, including within Orthodox Jewish communities, raising concerns that the state could be primed for a surge after Yom Kippur events on Monday. “Ocean County, and especially Lakewood, [are] clearly our hotspots right now,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday during his regular briefing in Trenton. “I’m sure there’s some amount of relationship to worship for Rosh Hashanah. We have Yom Kippur coming up.”
Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger
- On Thursday in Trenton a group called “Open New Jersey Now” attracted about 500 people to an area just outside the Statehouse. This is a traditional spot for people to protest, and traditionally they get quite a bit of coverage in the mainstream media.
- There’s a U.S. Senate race in New Jersey this year, but it might be hard to tell if you’re watching for campaign ads on TV or looking for national media coverage. That’s because there really isn’t much to speak of.
Mike Davis, Asbury Park Press
- “Let’s talk about it.” That’s how the first advertisement of the campaign to legalize marijuana in New Jersey begins — ahead of the ballot question being put to voters in the general election. Advocates published the video on YouTube early Friday morning, the end of a week in which many New Jersey voters began receiving mail-in ballots for the 2020 election.
Art Gallagher, More Monmouth Musings
- The reelection campaign of Howell Mayor Theresa Berger was kicked off last week with a fake newspaper filled with fake news and paid for and mailed to Howell voters by a Fake Democrat political action committee.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
- While New Jersey isn’t among the battleground states this fall, President Donald Trump’s campaign isn’t totally ignoring the Garden State.
William Westhoven, Morristown Daily Record
- Walking the silent halls of a nearly empty high school, new district Superintendent Michael Fetherman bemoaned the lack of students to greet, support and listen to.
Bill Spadea, NJ1015
- Should you stay or should you go? That’s been a question on the minds of many New Jerseyans since the mid 1990s when Governor Whitman started moving money around to “pay for” her tax cuts. Since then the debt burden has exploded, revenue doesn’t come close to keep up with spending and as a result, taxes increase constantly. We are one of the worst states to retire in, open a business and start a career.
John Best, lehighvalleylive.com
- Warren County freeholders this week voted to support Knowlton Township’s request to the New Jersey Department of Transportation for an s-curve safety, mobility and congestion transportation problem statement for a section of Interstate 80 that winds through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Michael Aron, NJTV
- In a somber and intimate ceremony, a small group of family and lawmakers paid their respects to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday. Even in her death, she continues breaking barriers as the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.
John Heinis, Hudson County View
- Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-33) helped serve meals on #FeedingFriday, a day organized by the group FeedNJ dedicated to feeding those less fortunate, with over 2,000 people benefitting across seven counties in New Jersey.
John Heinis, Hudson County View
- The Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders voted in favor of expenditures for the Hudson County Regional SWAT Team, which is overseen by the prosecutor’s office, and the sheriff’s office – including tear gas.
Eric Obernauer, NJ Herald
- High Point Regional High School is reverting to all-remote classes for the next two weeks following another case of COVID-19, the latest to do so as more cases trickle in among students in a school year that isn’t yet three weeks old.
Stacey Barchenger, Trenton Bureau
- That schools across New Jersey have begun reporting coronavirus cases is a “reality” state leaders anticipated as the move to in-person instruction picks up steam in the weeks ahead, Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday. The scattered cases in schools have forced small-scale quarantines and brief shutdowns, but so far no calls for widespread closures.
Alex N. Gecan, Asbury Park Press
- Redistricting remains on the table as the township’s public schools grapple with the cuts in state aid that come along with declining enrollment.Consultants Rebecca Augur and Mike Zuba, from planning firm Milone & MacBroom, presented a school enrollment and demographic study to the Board of Education Wednesday.