Good Friday morning!
Next year, if you walk into a meeting of New Jersey’s U.S. House delegation and yell “Hey, Junior!” there’s a good chance a third of them will turn around.
I was on a “Reporters Roundtable” panel in Atlantic City yesterday at the NJ Constitutional Officers Association when InsiderNJ’s Max Pizarro brought up that a quarter of the state’s delegation could soon be political scions.
New Jersey already has one: Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Essex). It’s virtually certain to get another: Democrat Robert Menendez Jr. And it’s more likely than not to get a third: Republican Tom Kean Jr. (The latter two don’t typically put the “Jr.” after their names in political materials. And while Rep. Bill Pascrell is a junior, he’s not the son of a politician.)
It wouldn’t be too huge a change from four years ago, since another scion — Rodney Frelinghuysen, whose father Peter served in Congress for 22 years and whose ancestors, like Kean’s, go back in politics further than I can count — served with Payne Jr. for for six years.
But just in case Bill Pascrell III gets any ideas, New Jersey Globe’s Joey Fox mentioned that some places have clearly rejected dynasties. In Michigan, John Conyers III has repeatedly failed to succeed his late father in Congress. And we all know what happened to Jeb Bush’s presidential candidacy.
DAYS SINCE MURPHY REFUSED TO SAY WHETHER HIS WIFE’S NON-PROFIT SHOULD DISCLOSE DONORS: 229
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY — Rep. Tom Malinowski, Monmouth Dem E.D. Samantha Minchello, MSNJ’s Marlene Kalayilparampil, bank exec Ryan Peene, local musician Bruce Springteen. Saturday for former Mount Vernon CEO Curtis G. Viebranz. Sunday for Assemblymember Paul Moriarty, Komjathy & Kean’s Al Komjathy, NJDEP’s Gene Chebra.
WHERE’S MURPHY? All over New Brunswick. A 10:30 a.m. speech at the Hispanic Research Fair, then an 11:30 a.m. speech at a New Jersey Policy Perspective conference, then a 12:30 p.m. infrastructure press conference at the train station.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You sent the message that Columbus Day is out in the Toms River schools. That’s really unfortunate because you’ve given ammunition to the nationwide attack that’s going on right now to Columbus Day, and to our heritage.” — Andrew DiMino, communications director with the Italian American One Voice Coalition, to the Toms River school board.
DEADTPA — Murphy conditionally vetoes bill eliminating controversial edTPA teacher assessment, by POLITICO’s Carly Sitrin: Gov. Phil Murphy issued a conditional veto Thursday of a bill that would eliminate the controversial edTPA teacher certification test in New Jersey. In his veto message, Murphy recommended scrapping the edTPA requirement but left in place language that would allow teacher preparation programs to require other performance-based tests.
WATERFAIL — “State stalls on distributing relief to residents struggling to pay water bills,” by New Jersey Monitor’s Dana DiFilippo: “Nearly seven months after the state launched a $24 million program to help low-income residents pay their water bills, 95% of the money remains unspent, even as more than 100,000 households statewide owe more than $40 million in unpaid water bills. New Jersey was one of the last states to launch its Low Income Household Water Assistance program, funded by more than $1.1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan given to states to help struggling residents pay their bills, avoid shutoffs, and restore terminated service. Since the state program’s March launch, it has paid only $1.2 million to cover overdue water and sewer bills for 1,448 households, according to the state Department of Community Affairs, which administers the program … Department of Community Affairs spokeswoman Lisa Ryan attributed the slow rollout to several ‘hurdles’: Most municipal utilities haven’t agreed to participate and haven’t signed required vendor and nondisclosure agreements. Of nearly 600 water and sewer utilities, only 102 are participating. Utilities have been slow to confirm residents’ outstanding balances, as required before the department can send payment. The program has received applications from residents whose utility bills are in their landlord’s name, instead of theirs, as the program requires.”
WEINBERG TAKES THE BAT OUT ON TURNPIKE EXPANSION — “Widen the Turnpike? That’s not a solution,” by Loretta Weinberg for The Star-Ledger: “Let’s be honest, the Turnpike is not the problem. Bumper-to-bumper traffic at the mouth of the Holland Tunnel is a pain for drivers and it is dangerous for the communities that have to suffer from the fumes, but widening the turnpike is not a solution. The problem is we have too many cars trying to drive into New York City. This plan encourages more cars, not less — it is a $4.7 billion plan to nowhere. I do not blame the developers, construction workers or the unions for this plan because their role is to build our state’s infrastructure, not plan it. In fact, the real solutions to our traffic problems will require their support and efforts just as much as this phony one. Public officials, however, and the Department of Transportation have very different roles from developers and construction crews. Officials are tasked with using public funds for the public good, strategizing beyond a single project and investing in a comprehensive transit system for the future. Right now, we need them to step up.”
DIFFERENT STROKES — ”Here’s how some NJ schools will teach sex education. Will they avoid state discipline?” by The Record’s Mary Ann Koruth: “A May presentation at a Clifton school board meeting indicated the district would implement the standards while emphasizing abstinence (also required by law) and age-appropriate content … Some districts plan a safer route that involves parents while also complying with the law. The Hoboken school district said in April that it was considering hosting a “family” night to teach some of its health classes, by hosting a discussion on social and sexual health for students in the fifth to seventh grades at an event open to parents and children … Garwood school district’s K-8 health curriculum, approved on Aug. 16, does not address many of the changes to the 2020 health standards. For example, it mentions fertilization and pregnancy , but does not demonstrate the connection between sexual intercourse and human reproduction which the new standards require for fifth graders. The eighth-grade curriculum omits any mention of vaginal or other types of sex, but discusses gender identity and sexual orientation.”
TROUBLE BREWING — “NJ craft brewery sues state over event limits, other restrictions,” by NJ 101.5’ Patrick Lavery: “A brewery and coffee roastery that has welcomed visitors to the Clarksboro section of this Gloucester County township for the last five years is bringing a lawsuit against the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The action against the ABC was filed Wednesday by Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of Death of the Fox Brewing Company. At issue is a new set of rules for limited craft breweries in the Garden State that took effect July 1, particularly the stipulation that such establishments cannot promote more than 25 on-site events per year.”
—”DOBI says Horizon’s application to reorganize is complete; 3 public hearings scheduled“
—”New Jersey sending troopers, doctors to Puerto Rico to help with Hurricane Fiona recovery“
—“Murphy and public sector unions: Imperfect together?”
—“NJ would prohibit transgender health care for youth”
—Port of New York and New Jersey was the busiest in the country in August
NOT PALLOTTA MONEY — “Can a congressional candidate with $64K beat one with $14M? North Jersey will find out,” by The Record’s Ashley Balzerzak: “Republicans held North Jersey’s 5th Congressional District for more than eight decades before Josh Gottheimer overthrew the seven-term incumbent in 2016. It hasn’t been much of a competition since. Now, the GOP — hoping for a red wave — has placed Gottheimer on its target list of “vulnerable incumbents” whose seats could be flipped. But the race tipped more to the left’s favor after redistricting and the three-term congressman is armed with a $14 million warchest — 218 times greater than the $64,000 in the bank of his opponent, financier and mortgage broker Frank Pallotta … “When you see this [fundraising] disparity, it’s not just an indication Pallotta won’t get out his message, but that Republican contributors aren’t buying into his chances,” [Micah] Rasmussen said. “If they believed he had a chance, presumably there would be more money in the bank.”
CAPITOL PUNISHMENT — “Nazi sympathizer and Army reservist who stormed the Capitol sentenced to 4 years in Jan. 6 case,” by NBC News’ Ryan J. Reilly: “ A Jan. 6 rioter who has dressed up as Adolf Hitler and held a security clearance was sentenced to four years in federal prison during a hearing on Thursday. Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, 32, of New Jersey, who was an Army reservist when he stormed the U.S. Capitol in January 2021, was convicted in May after he failed to convince jurors that he didn’t know that Congress met at the Capitol, a claim he made on the stand to avoid a conviction for obstruction of Congress. ‘I know this sounds idiotic, but I’m from New Jersey,’ Hale-Cusanelli told jurors when he said he didn’t know Congress met at the Capitol. ‘I feel like an idiot, it sounds idiotic, and it is.’”
—Stile: “We’re still watching NJ campaign ads. Will attacking Pelosi, Biden work for GOP?”
—“In 6th District, Pallone’s Republican challenger emphasizes inflation”
R.I.P. — “Pat Colavita, longtime Mercer County commissioner, dies at 77,’ by New Jersey Globe’s David Wildstein: “Pasquale A. Colavita, Jr., a former Lawrence mayor who spent 18 years as a Mercer County Commissioner, died today. He was 77. “Pat Colavita was a great friend to so many and one of the hardest working public servants I’ve had the honor to know and to serve with,” said County Executive Brian Hughes in a statement announcement Colavita’s death. “Pat was admired among his colleagues and will not only be remembered for his thoughtful leadership and commitment to strengthening our community, but for his wit and grace. He began a five decade stint in public office in 1984 when he won a seat on the Lawrence Board of Education.”
FLYING DUCK LAKE TO BE KNOWN COLLOQUIALLY AS FLYING [CENSORED] LAKE — “Derogatory word cut from the name of NJ brook. Mayor says new moniker is ‘stupid’,” by The Record’s PhilipDeVcencentis: “Hundreds of geographic features across the country, including mountains, rivers and a local creek, were officially stripped of their pejorative names and given new ones by the federal government. All of the old names had the word “squaw” in them. The term, feds say, is an ethnic and sexist slur for Indigenous women. Squaw Brook, flowing south from the township of Wyckoff in Bergen County to the larger Molly Ann Brook, is now called First Brook, according to a list of the new names on the website of the Geological Survey. The former Squaw Lake, a reservoir in the township of Medford in Burlington County, will be known as Flying Duck Lake … ‘The name they picked was stupid,’ Mayor Randy George said of the brook’s new moniker. ‘First Brook? First Brook – that’s their name, huh?’”
PLUMBING THE DEPTHSFORD —“The Deptford school bus crisis is ‘the worst,’ leaving kids late, missing school, or even stranded, parents say,” by The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Melanie Burney: “Like school districts around the country, Deptford has struggled to cope with a bus driver shortage that has left some kids missing school or stranded. Frustrated parents have called the police looking for their children. Shaw bought tracking devices to be carried by her children in order to locate them if their bus is late bringing them home … Deptford parents say the transportation crisis has been worse this year. Students have been waiting for hours for a bus to pick them up in the morning or bring them home in the afternoon. Some older students, tired of waiting at the end of the day, have been getting Lyft or Uber rides. ‘My child is spending more time waiting in the hallway or sitting on a bus,’ said Paul DeCraene. The bus has been consistently late 30 to 60 minutes, he said, and one day his 4-year-old daughter was dropped off at 5:30 p.m. ‘They could be lost or unaccounted for.’”
CZAR MCKINLEY THE 420TH —“Five things to know about Atlantic City’s new cannabis ‘Green Zone’” by The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Amy S. Rosenberg: “City leaders are bullish on marijuana. Mayor Marty Small Sr. appointed a key adviser, Kash McKinley, as the city’s cannabis czar. McKinley has been saying for months that Atlantic City was poised to be the East Coast’s top cannabis destination. That boast was put to the test in April, when the city was left out of the initial opening of recreational marijuana facilities, which drew long lines elsewhere in the state. With the green zone, that vision seems possible. At Wednesday’s City Council meeting, an owner of properties in the Orange Loop predicted that recreational sales would ‘bring people from all over.’ The zone passed 7-1, with only Councilman Aaron Randolph voting no, and takes effect immediately.”
—“District says Newark high school of architecture, design will open next fall, despite state stop-work order”
—“These Bergen County local non-partisan elections have contested races. Here are the details”
—“”Somerset County unveils ‘nation’s first’ preservation plan of its kind”
—“In Flemington mayor’s race, ex-GOP senator challenges Democratic incumbent”
—“Questions raised about fairness of Atlantic City real estate auction”
—“Montclair parents voice support for the district’s new sex education curriculum”
—“Jersey City Council approves resolutions supporting SPEAK OUT Act, 2 cannabis dispensaries”
—“Murphy and HCDO back Craig Guy for county exec as Amy DeGise protesters assemble”
—“Jersey City leads East Coast downtowns for multifamily construction”
—“What’s wrong with Jersey City’s public schools and how to fix it | Opinion”
R.I.P. — “Linden High School football player dies weeks after game injury, district announces,” by MyCentralJersey’s Suzanne Russell: “Xavier McClain, a Linden High School football player, who was critically injured in a game earlier this month, has died, school district officials announced. ‘Xavier was critically injured during a varsity football game on Sept. 9, 2022. He has been hospitalized since and tragically passed away last evening. We are extremely saddened by his untimely death,’ Acting Superintendent of Schools Denise Cleary said in an email Thursday to district staff. McClain, a sophomore, was injured in a Friday night victory over Woodbridge. The nature of his injury is not yet clear.”
—“N.J.’s toughest coaches have to soften their approach. But is it a good thing?”
—“Despite upgrades, Newark airport still ranked worst in survey”
—“A staffing shortage is hurting patient care, N.J. nurses say. Most have considered leaving bedside work”
—“Kids are pouring into N.J. hospitals. A spate of respiratory illness cases is filling pediatric beds”