INSIDERNJ’S Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of the League


Sue Altman

Dragged out of a select committee hearing in which Democratic senators treated George Norcross III with kid gloves, the Executive Director of the NJ Working Families Alliance demonstrated showed some guts on Monday.

Britnee Timberlake

The Assemblywoman from East Orange co-hosted a Young Professionals brunch for 300 politicos at the League, where she gave a well-received speech of celebration of both candidates for state party chair: John Currie and Leroy Jones, who were both in attendance. Timberlake countered the notion that the two candidates running for the job are being controlled, and extolled the virtues of two black men who rose to party prominence on merit.

Marta Harrison

In his quest for the chairmanship of the state committee, Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones tapped Ocean party delegate Harrison, a former mayor of Lakewood, who will go up against Currie’s candidate, Somerset County Democratic Committee Chair Peg Schaffer. At this particular moment in time, insiders consider Jones and Harrison the frontrunners.

Aura Dunn

Republican Dunn – one-time aide to former U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11) – Thursday prevailed on the first ballot at a special convention to fill the LD25 vacancy in the Assembly. This was for the seat left behind by Senator Tony Bucco (R-25), which he won on Nov. 5th but abandoned to fill the senate seat left behind by his father, who died this fall. In the end it was no contest.

Elizabeth Warren

The progressive 2020 presidential candidate used New Jersey to make an anti-establishment statement Monday when she tweeted her condemnation of the forced removal from a seate hearing of Working Families Exec. Director Altman (see above).


Bob Smith

The chair of the select committee examining tax credits exhibited too heavy a hand on Monday when he called in state troopers to clear people out of the room in advance of Norcross’ testimony. Based on the apparent police targeting of Altman (who was not standing against the back wall which Smith indicated he wanted cleared) the whole incident prompted Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to launch an investigation.

Craig Coughlin

Aftter police grappled a dissenter to a side door and Democrats asked broad, unchallenging questions of South Jersey Power Broker Norcross – whose business netwok benefited from a tax incentive program now under investigation – the Speaker of the General Assembly released a statement of praise.  “I want to commend Senator Bob Smith and the Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies for its work ensuring a thorough review of economic incentives. The Senate committee took an important step to that end today.” The only thing the hearing accomplished was showing the public how controlled their Democratic Party representatives are on the subject of their party’s most powerful unelected boss.

George Norcross III

The boss’ smug demeanor in Trenton while state troopers forcibly dragged an innocent woman out of the room right in front of him spoke to the divide in this state between that privileged segment of society that installs elected officials to craft legislation for them then speaks at length to those same lawmakers, who offer nothing in return in the way of probing intellectual inquisition.

Phil Murphy

It doesn’t speak well to the political powers of the Governor of New Jersey – or to the state’s political health, frankly – that his candidate for state party chairmanship, John Currie, appears to still be in a dogfight with a candidate backed by that wing of the party affiliated with South Jersey Power Broker Norcross (see above).

Tom Mastrangelo

The colorful Morris County Republican Freeholder ate a loss in court on Friday in his apparently ongoing lega spat with the people he beat in the 2019 Republican Primary.


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