INSIDERNJ’S Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of the Murphy-Marx Brothers Phone Scramble

Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise
DeGise and the gang.


Tom DeGise

The Hudson County Executive raised $100,000 last night at his 2019 reelection bash, attended by over 500 people, including Governor Phil Murphy and Democratic state Committee Chairman John Currie. This was the guy they were going to get rid of, remember? Stronger than ever, with his daughter, Hudson County Democratic Organization Chair Amy DeGise, by his side (top).

Tom Kean, Sr.

The venerable former governor could ride into town this week at Phil Murphy’s High Noon and play the role he plays best: laconic Gary Cooper cowboy.

Gina LaPlaca and Mark Natale 

The pair of BurlCo attorneys won the backing of the countywide Democratic Committee for a run in arguably the battleground legislative contest of the year: LD8.

Darrin Russo and Melonie Marano

Russo, a retired Franklin Twp. Police Officer received the support of the Somerset County Democratic Committee toward his run for Somerset Sheriff, while Marano, a former Green Brook Mayor, got the committee’s nod for freeholder.

Barbara Feinman

The uncredited ghostwriter of Hillary Clinton’s 1996 book of the same name had to feel good about Governor Phil Murphy repeatedly referencing stepped up actions to legalize marijuana that will “Take a Village.

Katie Cericola

The chair of the Bergen County Young Republicans stands poised to become one of the Bergen County Republican Organization’s (BCRO) choices to run this year for freeholder.


Huck Finn

Ernest Hemingway said it was the most foundational book in the history of American literature, but Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds Jackson (D-15) disagrees. She wants the Mark Twain classic – which contains numerous references to the N word – banned.

Passaic County Democrats

The county’s resident alpha males appear still to be in the throes of a spat stemming from the freeholder board’s ejection of the son of U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell from the county counsel spot. Pascrell was apparently unhappy that Passaic County Democratic Committee Chairman (and state party chair) John Currie couldn’t prevent his son’s dismissal from the position. Of course, it won’t impact their countywide dominance.

The Hoboken Council

Councilman Mike Russo and Councilwoman Jen Giattano went toe-to-toe in a reanimation of those storied days of local governing body gut-fighting. The rhetoric went something like this: “You’re a bully.” “No, you’re a bully.” “No, you’re a bully!” Hey, it’s Hoboken, what were you expecting, the Lincoln Douglas debates?

The Schools Development Authority

Another week, another object of uncomfortable scrutiny for the Murphy Administration. Brennan and Alvarez… No, actually, not them. Not this time. There’s that, but there’s also this: Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40) and Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) this week sent a letter to the Co-Chairs of the New Jersey Legislative Select Oversight Committee calling for an investigation into the employment practices of the SDA, calling it the “logical next step for the Committee.”


The national marijuana consumer packaged goods company received a hard push back from Paterson residents – including a respected imam – when former CEO tried to make the case for locating a grow facility (and licensed dispensary) in their neighborhood.

Scott Pearlman 

The police chief from Palmyra got out-dueled by Anthony Basantis for the backing of the Burlington County Democratic Committee in his pursuit for a countywide run at the sheriff’s office.

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