WHO’S UP and WHO’S DOWN: Week of the Wall Street Journal Story


Steve Sweeney

Insiders who socialized with the Senate President on Thursday night at Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo’s McLoone’s Boathouse fundraiser described an upbeat South Jersey player comfortable among North Jersey “family.” His selection of Mike Critchley to serve as counsel to the select committee on investigations went over better than the governor’s choice of Peter Veniero to head a separate probe.

Jon Bramnick

The Assembly Republican Leader this week introduced a no-nonsense, consumer-friendly bill that would ban mandated pre-approval for tests, treatments and prescriptions ordinarily covered by medical insurers. According to this NJTV story, Bramnick said the doctor’s prescription should be all the approval a patient needs. “It’s tough enough to deal with bad diagnoses. Why do you have to deal with middle managers at insurance companies to get the care?” NJTV quoted Bramnick in thee story. “These doctors have gone to medical school. They are the ones who determine what type of care you need, what kind of tests you need, what kind of medicine you need, not the middle manager and insurance company.”

Briana Vannozzi Pecora 

The veteran correspondent picked up where Michael Aron left off, moderating a very substantive NJTV debate on Wednesday night between CD7 combatants U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) and Democratic challenger Tom Malinowski.

Joe DiVincenzo

Heading for a walkover reelection victory and looking to spike turnout in Essex for his friend and ally U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the Essex County Executive held a successful fundraising event on Thursday night at his favorite hotspot – McLoone’s Boathouse  in West Orange.

Chris James

The veteran operative – former executive director for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee and former chief of staff to then-Speaker Sheila Olvier – landed a new gig at MBI, part of a strategic partnership with his own firm, James Strategy Group.


Phil Murphy

The Governor’s appointment of Peter Veniero (who himself might have made this list) as an independent overseer of hiring practices within his administration hardly impressed anyone who remembers the racial profiling era of the 1990s. The Governor’s decision in the middle of a crisis not to suspend a scheduled nine-day trip to Germany and Israel seemed to project somewhat of a De Gaulle-like pall.

Derrick Greene 

He surfaced, and not a good way, as NorthJersey.com reported that the Murphy Administration official – tied to a campaign finance scandal under police investigation in Bermuda – received $2 million from Phil Murphy during the 2017 campaign. That $2 million, sources say, will no doubt cause more intense scrutiny in the days and weeks ahead.

Joe Kelley

A Wall Street Journal article described a Murphy for Governor campaign in which the future senior member of the administration threw a chair in the presence of future Lambertville Mayoral candidate Julia Fahl.

Paul Doughtery

The Haddon Township Commissioner pleaded guilty this week to a criminal charge that he unlawfully accepted a referral fee from a law firm in connection with a lawsuit against the township.

Bob Hugin

The Republican candidate for the U.S.  Senate dredged up an unsubstantiated story about incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) activities in the Dominican Republic and used it in a widely derided ad. In what most insiders see as a close contest, Hugin’s overreach appeared to galvanize the encumbered but always combative incumbent.

Lizaida Camis

The feds indicted the Hoboken woman for promoting a voter bribery scheme through U.S. Mail.

New Jersey

“This is what happens when Democrats run the show,” said a Republican source, devoid of joy or endzone dance euphoria – and apparently suffering from amnesia – but difficult to argue with at the moment. It appears that the state – mired in very bitter and emotionally charged political infighting – is headed for greater ranges of dysfunction.

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One response to “WHO’S UP and WHO’S DOWN: Week of the Wall Street Journal Story”

  1. Our grandchildren’s history iPad apps will likely record October 2018 as the beginning of Jon Bramnick’s assent to the New Jersey General Assembly Speaker position.

    Also, InsiderNJ completely missed JoeDi’s most impressive feat of the week in Livingston, putting actual shoe leather to pavement and taking care of dangerous intersections, showing what responsible and responsive Executive Leadership actually looks like. He won big points with the locals there.

    All politics is local. New Jersey needs to turn off the national Tee Vee for a bit and look internally. How is The Garden State going to grow with a broad sense of Liberty and Prosperity? Governor Christie warned us on his way out that we weren’t going to solve our problems with the same thinking that we used to get into them. How do we best leverage the new Federal delegation? What obligations may we lift from the localities to a sturdy structure at the County level? Is there a better way for us to measure returns on our taxes paid where it does not seem like such a burden? Are we open to smarter approaches to old problems? We can’t let national politics get in the way of State and Local concerns. Welcome visionary leadership.

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