Insider NJ Key Must-Read Pieces: Week of Bloomberg’s Debate Collapse

The room in the Teamsters Hall.

From the Statehouse to the Highlands, from CD2 to CD7, from Atlantic City to Jersey City, here are the Insider NJ key must-read pieces from the past week:

Murphy has Tumor on Kidney

Gov. Phil Murphy disclosed Saturday he has a tumor on his kidney that is 90 percent likely to be cancerous and will soon undergo surgery, according to a report on

Murphy on Prez Politics: ‘May the Best Person Win’

From a political perspective, Murphy finds himself in a difficult position as far as the presidential candidates are concerned. With the loss of Cory Booker, there is no potential New Jersey conduit to the White House and Murphy, as a self-styled progressive champion, risks considerable political capital within his own fractured party by aligning himself with current front-runner Bernie Sanders.

Senator Sweeney Proposes NJ Transit Funding Solution

“The absence of consistent funding for NJ Transit operations has undermined its ability to provide safe and reliable service,” said Senator Sweeney. “Dedicated funding will help prevent the diversion of resources needed to improve basic services so the agency can bring an end to the breakdowns, delays and service failures that have plagued the system far too long.

All Eyes on Atlantic County in the 2nd Congressional District

No one came close to fulfilling the role of billionaire Mike Bloomberg darkening the doorway of the Teamsters Hall in this little scrub pine South Jersey congressional contest. So a night after the Democratic presidential candidates eviscerated one another in Las Vegas, the competitors here seemed sedate – even lovey dovey and without even a hint of Jersey Devilishness – by comparison.

Atlantic City Volatility: Craig Callaway – the InsiderNJ Interview

At the edge of the ocean there’s a city, where the steel girders of casinos ride above the squashed, squat forms of residential housing, and down in that gray area between both worlds stands a donut shop and inside sits Craig Callaway.

Murphy Conducts Informal Presidential Straw Poll At North Brunswick Town Hall

Governor Murphy kicked off his town hall in New Brunswick tonight with an informal straw poll of the audience as to who they support for President this year. He asked for a show of hands, but the audience applauded and clapped in response.

Weinberg: Bloomberg Can’t Recover on the Issue of Confidentiality Agreements

“I don’t understand the rush to endorse Mike Bloomberg,” Weinberg told InsiderNJ. “This is his first test on the ‘big stage’ and it wasn’t a stellar performance for him.”

Putting our Money where his Mouth is

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop threw down the proverbial gauntlet last week, telling the Board of Education to stop whining about cuts in state aid and to start doing something about it – such as finally raising taxes.

The William Henry Harrison Candidacy of Bob Auth

Auth said Monday he has “suspended” his campaign for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 5th District. He said he was interested in running after attending Donald Trump’s Jan. 28 rally in Wildwood.

A New Jersey Mayor Emeritus’ Case for Buttigieg

Birkner’s endorsement comes as New Jersey’s political establishment struggles to find its way given the collapse of Cory Booker’s presidential campaign, and subsequent shift to senatorial re-election.

Kean Complains about Pelosi in a Genteel Atmosphere

As he hops around the 7th District officially kicking off his re-election campaign county-by-county, Tom Malinowski says he knows what Republicans are going to say about him. They’re going to call me a “Socialist Democrat” who supports “open borders,” the congressman said the other night in Chester, mimicking the alarmist tone of a political ad voiceover.

CD7: The Overlap Factor – and the Fear Factor

To Tom Malinowski of CD7, what is admittedly a tough fight for reelection is really kind of simple.

Up North, Sweeney Pitches ‘Rural Enterprise Zones’

Protecting the Highlands region of northwest New Jersey was the last consequential act of Gov. James McGreevey. He signed it into law in the summer of 2004, just a day or so before announcing plans to resign.

Sources: Luciano Teetering on the Essex Freeholder Board

The Essex County Democratic establishment gave a hard, ongoing look at incumbent Freeholder Leonard Luciano this week as it mulls over whether to back him again.

Murphy v. Christie Glimpsed at Rutgers v. Michigan Game

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights v. Michigan Wolverines was not the only rivalry on display tonight, as Governor Phil Murphy encountered former Governor Chris Christie at the Rutgers home basketball game.

Plainfield Mayor Mapp Urges Fellow Union Dems to Back Bloomberg

Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp on an email chain last week urged his fellow Union County Democrats to back former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg for President.

Mayor Mike Did Not Disclose His Taxes.  I Have The Tape.

Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg lied last night when he said during the Democratic debate that he “put out” his “tax return every year for 12 years in City Hall.”

Murphy Announces Legislation to Overhaul New Jersey’s Anti-Workplace Harassment Laws

Governor Phil Murphy today announced legislation to overhaul the state’s anti-workplace harassment laws for both public and private employers.

DayTop and the Law of Unintended Consequences

James P. Curtin, the president and CEO, says the facility may be forced to close this spring unless the state comes to the rescue.

Bucco Wants to Fix the Daytop Problem

The senator said Wednesday that he is working to find a solution to the potential closing of Daytop, a treatment center for adolescents that once had a waiting list.

FDU Poll: Trump Tanks in New Jersey

Despite low unemployment in the Garden State (3.2%), and perceptions by many that the economy is strong, Donald Trump remains deeply unpopular in New Jersey, with a sizable number unable or unwilling to credit him with any significant accomplishments as president.

FDU Poll: Bloomberg Tied with Sanders in New Jersey

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lead New Jersey Democrats in the nomination contest for the presidency.

CD5 Flashpoint: Kreibich Scolds Gottheimer for Backing Bloomberg

Kreibich said Bloomberg’s past is “plagued with sexism, racism and a commitment to corporate donors over the American people.” She said Gottheimer’s endorsement shows a “lack of commitment to the people of NJ-5.”

CD4 Challenger Schmid Backs Bloomberg for President

Stephanie Schmid, Democratic candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 4th District, is endorsing Mayor Michael Bloomberg for President.

Get Well, Governor Phil. You’re in the Political Catbird Seat for 2020 – and 2021

Last night, I was in the process of writing a column describing how Phil Murphy’s political prospects have never been brighter, both in terms of his influence on the Democratic presidential nomination process in 2020 and the likelihood of his reelection for governor in 2021. Then, I got news that hit me like a sickening thud.

The Las Vegas Night of The Glass Jaw of Michael Bloomberg, the Political Floyd Patterson

On July 22, 1963, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston knocked out the former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson in their rematch at two minutes, ten seconds of the first round.

Sixteen Years Later, the McCain Feingold Law of 2002 Appears More Boomerang than Reform

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), often referred to as McCain/Feingold, was enacted in 2002. Though well meaning, McCain/Feingold sparked the rise in dark money spending and a spate of legal action.

Tuesday Political Potpourri: ‘Insulin is too Expensive’ Edition

Insulin makers should be embarrassed and NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney should apologize better.

A View from the Middle: The Mouse and Trade-offs

I often here from people that, “Government ought to be run like a business.” Recently a very cool, very smart Republican friend of mine offered up an observation he thought proved this point. Walt Disney World, he argued is in fact just like a city.


Thanks to the Democratic primary calendar, and former Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s late entry strategy, Democrats have just a couple of weeks before March 3rd and Super Tuesday to vet him.

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