Insider NJ Key Must-Read Pieces: Week of the CD2 Flip, AG Charges, Chair Fight Culmination

Jones, right and Currie, two emblems of political parties.

From the Statehouse to Bayonne, from Cape May to Morris County, here are Insider NJ’s key must-read pieces from the past week:

Insider NJ’s 2019 Retrospective Publication

You don’t ever get to the end of the year in New Jersey without one last political bombshell going off, and as we dutifully labor to finish the InsiderNJ 2019 Retrospective we pause to ponder the latest.

InsiderNJ’s Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Quijano Breaks Out

See where the players stand over the past week in Jersey politics.

A 2020 InsiderNJ Political Primer

The new InsiderNJ year beckons and with it, a slew of tantalizing political stories. It’s common for some to make predictions, but rather than do that, let’s just identify some of the more intriguing questions for 2020 and let readers ruminate on them.

A ‘Common Hoodlum’s’ Coming of Age: the U.S. Senate Candidacy of Larry Hamm

The tug of war for the soul of Lawrence “Larry” Hamm between government and activism, pragmatism and radicalism played out in his hometown of Newark, the cultural and political connecting point, where for years activism alone appeared to have the decided upperhand; that is until now, as he undertakes a street-level statewide run for elected office, 45 years after his power-defying bid for an at-large city council seat.

McKoy v. Mendez: The Dimensions of Paterson’s 2020 3rd Ward Race

The ongoing rivalry of Paterson 3rd Ward Councilman Bill McKoy and former At-Large Councilman Alex Mendez has less to do with divergent styles than it does with the substance of citywide power, their opposing personalities and now their acrimonious history simply making their next collision convenient, even if it was already inevitable.

Van Drew and the Portents of Power in CD-2

Names surfaced, but with them came caution and gloomy acknowledgement of the dimensions of the district, which favor a Republican, which is why U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew was who he was and is who he is.

Where are the Big Fish in New Corruption Scandal?

For anyone who lived through the famous Bid Rig III busts of a decade ago, the latest batch of criminal charges is like Déjà vu all over again.

Diving Deeper into The Attorney General’s Office Charges

Thursday’s explosive announcement from the state Attorney General charging three Morris County politicians and two Hudson County pols with taking bribes cited the work of a “cooperating witness,” which is pretty standard.

Two Hudson County Officials Busted in Corruption Sweep

A former Bayonne Assemblyman and the outgoing Jersey City School board president were two Hudson names among five public figures charged with taking bribes.

Jersey City’s Dirty Little Secret?

Remarks by a Jersey City Board of Education Trustee in response to a column published on InsiderNJ has raised alarm and outrage from some city officials.

Faith and Hope to Fight Hate

No matter where you went or what you did you could not escape the reality that played Jersey City this week.

Norcross and Christie Meet at NFL Game

Old pals South Jersey Power Broker George Norcross III and former Governor Chris Christie this afternoon found each other amid tailgate goings-on at the Eagles-Cowboys game in Philadelphia.

Murphy Signs into Law Historic Driver’s Licenses Bill

At the side of Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20), Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29) and other champions of their cause and amid shouts of “si, se puede,” Governor Phil Murphy today with the stroke of a pen in Elizabeth officially enabled non-legal residents of New Jersey to obtain driver’s licenses.

NJ Legislature Approves Driver’s Licenses Bill

Trenton lawmakers today voted in favor of enabling undocumented residents of New Jersey to obtain driver’s licenses.

A Brief Recent History of NJ Party Switching

In a time of bitterly partisan politics, the impacts of party changes are often framed, but never so elegantly couched, in cataclysmic terms, where battle lines are drawn and the political armies are waging a real war for the direction as well as the very soul of America.

Van Drew Opposes as Congress Impeaches Trump

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-2) stood with Republicans in the minority as Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives voted this evening in favor of impeaching President Donald J. Trump.

Does Jeff Van Drew Really Know what he’s Doing?

As news reverberated Saturday about Van Drew’s planned jump to the Republican Party, it was impossible to ignore certain facts. For the last month or so, his impeachment views notwithstanding, Van Drew has publicly said that he considers himself a Democrat and that he is not a fan of Donald Trump.

Van Drew Taps Ron Filan to Manage Campaign

Jeff Van Drew for Congress announced the hiring of seasoned political operative and South Jersey native Ron Filan as campaign manager.

Malinowski Dismissive of Van Drew: ‘not an Influential Member’

So with Jeff Van Drew about to become a Republican, what precisely does it mean to congressional Democrats in Washington?

Murphy Takes to CNN to Bash Van Drew

Governor Phil Murphy praised those battleground Democrats who voted in favor of an impeachment inquiry and argued his view that they will have put themselves on more advantageous 2020 footing as a consequence.

Democrat Harrison Formally Enters CD-2 Contest

Political science professor Brigid Callahan Harrison announced today that she is a Democratic candidate for New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District.

Richter Digs in on CD-2 Candidacy Amid Van Drew Drama

Republican David Richter, a declared candidate for Congress in CD2, doubled down on his candidacy this morning amid ongoing headlines about U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew changing parties with the backing of Republican President Donald J. Trump.

Van Drew in Reverse Turkavage Hits the Phones in CD-2

The victor of the 2018 contest in CD-2, Jeff Van Drew is evidently going to switch parties from Democrat to Republican.

Democrat Amy Kennedy to Open CD-2 Exploratory Committee

Amy Kennedy, an educator and mental health advocate from Brigantine, is expected to open an exploratory committee today as she undertakes a period of examination during the holidays about a possible run for Congress in the 2nd District.

Kennedy on Harrison Endorsements: ‘This is How we got Van Drew’

“I’m disappointed they didn’t give me an opportunity,” said Kennedy. “This is how they got Van Drew in the first place,” she added. “It’s certainly disappointing they have moved in this direction.”

The Van Drew Party Switch Gives the South Jersey Progressive Democrats a Sword Against Norcross/Sweeney

The switch of South Jersey Congressional Representative Jeff Van Drew from the Democrats to the Republicans provides a sword for Sue Altman, Kate Delany, and the South Jersey Progressive Democrats in their guerrilla war against the George Norcross III/ State Senate President Steve Sweeney – led South Jersey Democratic establishment.

End of the Year Review: Latino Grassroots Take Hold

Latino political leadership in New Jersey feels the same way; always evolving to the times yet forever neglected by the political world around us where pundits choose to repeat one familiar story of power that describes influence in one simple way— in the quid-pro-quo of transactional politics.

State Democratic Chairman’s Fight Over

Days after reports surfaced of U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew crumbling away from the Democratic Party and revealing fracture in South Jersey, New Jersey Democrats put aside the crude toys of party ego and tomfoolery and reached a tentative agreement that “would end a yearlong fight over the state party chairmanship,” according to POLITICO.

Sweeney On Jones: ‘Really Disappointed’

Following the news of a deal to end the war for the chairmanship of the State Democratic Party, Senate President Sweeney lashed out at Essex County Democratic Chairman Jones, according to a report.

Chairman John Currie and Chairman LeRoy Jones Announce Agreement on NJDSC Leadership, Jones Endorses Currie for Chair

New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie and Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones, Jr., are announcing an agreement that has been reached regarding the future leadership of the state party.

Murphy Names His New Picks for the EDA Board

Governor Phil Murphy today announced his four new appointments to the Economic Development Authority Board of Directors.

The Holiday Assaults of SALT

Is there anything better for Christmas than a bucket full of salt? Or as we call it when it comes to New Jersey, SALT?

Protesters Preach to the Choir Outside Gottheimer’s Office

The air was quite cold – even a bit icy – but slightly more than a hundred people gathered Tuesday afternoon to support removing Donald Trump as president.

Monmouth Dems CD4 Vetting Committee Backs Schmid

The Monmouth County Democratic CD4 Vetting Committee concluded its report and recommends former State Department Official Stephanie Schmid as the party’s best candidate to go up against incumbent U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4).

My Democratic and Republican Politicians of the Year: Schaffer and Bramnick

In baseball, the Batting Triple Crown is a seasonal distinction very few hitters attain: League leadership in home runs, runs batted in, and batting average. Yet in New Jersey politics in 2019, Peg Schaffer achieved the political equivalent of a Triple Crown.

Property Tax Gimmicks – like the Bill the Legislature Just Passed

Amid the flurry of action Monday in Trenton, it was very easy to overlook a bill that would increase property taxes.

Paige brings out Ugly Side of Community

Joan Terrell Paige, a trustee on the Jersey City Board of Education, did the world a favor with comments she posted on Facebook as reaction to a column published by InsiderNJ.

2020 – Sixty Years After Jack, An Historic Year for the Kennedys – In Massachusetts, and New Jersey!

No, I will never forget the election of 1960. And 2020 will be the 60th anniversary of that unforgettable event!

Lassiter: Trump and Norcross. 2 Peas, 1 Pod

We already know that birds of a feather flock together. And it sure looks like President Donald Trump and NJ political boss George Norcross really have a lot in common!

NJ’s Yuletide-scented Political Potpourri

Another day, another hodgepodge of political vignettes from the Garden State. I call it Political Potpourri because it makes the point with some alliterative flare.

NJ Political Potpourri, Van Drew Edition

Lame Duck’s anything but lame this year. Let’s spend the next 800 words proving it!

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