Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of the State Supreme Court Decision

Former EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg attributes former Vice President Joe Biden's widening lead for both the Democratic presidential nomination and the 2020 presidential election to his electability, as this has become the major criterion for candidate selection among Democratic grassroots nationally.

WHO’S UP

Glenn Osborne

A man. Testifying in a Joint Health and Human Services Committee hearing, the Marine Corps veteran, president of the Menlo Park Veterans Home, said he lost more friends to the coronavirus this year than he did to combat. “I have lost more than half the residents in this facility alone,” Osborne told lawmakers. “In mid-March, there were 309 residents [at the veterans home]. Now there are only 167 residents left. Officially there are a recorded 62 COVID deaths. The numbers do not add up. There were simply too many residents who died too fast. Many residents were written off as having died of pneumonia without having been tested. Many of these deaths were absolutely avoidable, in my humble opinion. In March, I asked the CEO whether there was any stratgey to combat COVID.” He received word that there was no need to be concerned, even as staff members did not wear PPE (personal protective equipment). “I saw such hypocrisy at many levels,” Osborne said. “We feel we are neglected here by the administration. I will never waver in my duty to my residents.”

Samantha DeAlmeida

The Associated Builders and Contractors, New Jersey Chapter (ABC-NJ) this week announced the addition of the former New Jersey government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to the ABC-NJ team. Samantha will serve as Second Vice President and Governmental Affairs Liaison.

Kamala Harris

The junior California U.S. senator sprang from the pack this week when former Vice President Joe Biden chose her as his running mate in the 2020 presidential election.

Phil Murphy

The state Supreme Court awarded the New Jersey governor a victory this week when they decided a suit brought by Republicans in objection to his $9.9 billion borrowing plan in favor of Murphy. The governor had a very activie week, rendering judgments of his own in the case of schools and a coming mostly vote-by-mail election. See the VBM details here.

Amy Kennedy

A DCCC poll this week showed the democratic nominee in CD2 leading incumbent U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (51-46), with Vice President Biden and President Trump statistically tied (46-47). From the DCCC: “It is notable that the poll shows Kennedy above 50% in a district President Trump won by 5 points in 2016. The live caller survey, conducted August 4-6, polled 400 likely November general election voters with a margin of error of ±4.9 percentage points.” The Cook Report moved the race from “leans Republican” to “toss up.”

From Cook: “Democratic teacher Amy Kennedy (who is married to former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy) is building a head of steam in South Jersey. In the July primary, Kennedy crushed her party machine-backed opponent 62 percent to 23 percent, and she’s raised $1 million, including a $500,000 self-loan. Now, a new poll by Global Strategy Group for House Majority PAC shows Kennedy leading the party-switching Van Drew 46 percent to 45 percent. This blue-collar seat voted for Trump 51 percent to 46 percent in 2016, and Trump embraced Van Drew after he voted against impeachment and switched parties. But now Biden is running neck and neck here and Van Drew may be paying a price.”

WHO’S DOWN

Elizabeth Schiff-Heedle

The president of the organization representing the residents of the Memorial Park Veterans Home in Edison laid the blame for COVID-19 deaths in the facility on the long-term care facility’s CEO.

The NJGOP

Deciding the lawsuit brought by Republicans against Governor Phil Murphy regarding the constitutionality of his $9.9 billion borrowing plan to combat the impact of COVID-19, the New Jersey Supreme Court sided with Murphy, unanimously ruled “that the Bond Act is constitutional, subject to certain limiting principles.”  NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt decried the decision. “This decision confirms that all three branches of the New Jersey state government are firmly in the grasp of the Democrat Party,” said the chairman.

Rik Mehta

There’s trouble in the campaign of the Republican U.S. Senate nominee, according to Shore News Network. From Phil Stilton: “Today, Mehta’s campaign treasurer Ron Gravino penned a parting letter to political insiders explaining why he’s the latest of Mehta’s senior staff to leave the former D.C. Democrat’s campaign, just days after he won the Republican primary, which was unofficially officially certified by the State Election Division.”

Donald Trump

Just as he did when Barack Obama was president, Trump yesterday floated a false birther narrative from the White House briefing room, which his campaign adviser doubled down on here. InsiderNJ columnist Alan Steinberg addresses the sitting president’s latest display of hateful idiocy here.

Five New Defendants in Alleged Straw Donor Scheme

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced charges against five new defendants in the investigation of an alleged straw donor scheme that previously resulted in charges against an attorney, Elizabeth Valandingham.  The charges stem from a corruption investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) that led in December 2019 to five former public officials and political candidates being charged with taking bribes: Vanessa Brown, 40, of West Caldwell, Christopher Brown, 37, of West Caldwell, Ricardo Balanzateguimaldo, 40, of Bogota, Erin O’Reilly, aka Erin DeMauro, 41, of Lincoln Park, and Suzanne P. Gayet, 63, of Boonton.

 

 

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