Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 9/28/2023


Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:


QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You’d think he would be doing everything possible to protect Democratic control just as Governor Murphy and his excellent chief of staff George Helmy are doing to help elect our strong candidates. He will have to answer to his caucus why he isn’t helping in any meaningful way.” – George Norcross on Senate President Scutari


TOP STORY: Source: The Case for an Hispanic to Replace Menendez



Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


A Monmouth University poll finds a vast majority of the public want a compromise to avert a government shutdown.


Senator Menendez arrived in federal court in Manhattan yesterday morning, with he and his wife pleading not guilty to the charges against them. The FBI has opened a counterintelligence probe into the Senator’s ties with Egyptian officials. The feds say Menendez’s wife left a trail of texts and emails, according to


With the state a hotbed for corruption, Senator Menendez fits into a long tradition, according to Politico.


As Senator Menendez rose, fears of corruption cast a persistent shadow, according to the NY Times.


NJ hospitals are confronting a surge in teen mental health cases, according to the Bergen Record.


The state Supreme Court will rule on pandemic-related insurance exclusions, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


A lawsuit challenging the state’s bear hunt is set to be heard next week, according to NJ herald.


Camden County will distribute naloxone kits to school bus drivers, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.


A special election is being held on merging three Monmouth County school districts, according to NJ Spotlight.


Rep. Pascrell mourned the passing of United Steelworkers President Conway. Pascrell slammed the impeachment inquiry into President Biden.


Reps. Menendez and Watson Coleman urged the DHS to terminate efforts to continue the Elizabeth ICE detention center contract.


Rep. Watson Coleman reintroduced the ‘Guaranteed Income Pilot Program Act’.


ICYMI: Booker says ‘stepping down is best for Menendez; Gottheimer side-stepping a question on Senate run; Menendez: ‘court of public opinion is no substitute for our justice system‘, prepares for ‘biggest fight yet‘, stopped short of saying he’ll run again; US Attorney announced indictments, Menendez coming out swinging, while stepping down as Foreign Relations chair; Dems condemn amid behind-the-scenes messaging pushing and shoving; Murphy called for immediate resignation, Menendez: ‘not going anywhere‘; Gottheimer railed against Light Rail delay


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


A source makes the case for a Hispanic to replace Senator Menendez


As Senator Menendez writhes, the NJGOP confirmed with some consternation the June primary for next year.


George Norcross criticized Senate President Scutari for not doing enough to assist South Jersey Democratic legislative candidates, according to Politico NJ.


In CD8, Hudson County executive candidate Craig Guy voiced his support for Rep. Menendez ahead of a possible primary next year, according to Hudson County View.


In LD16, the GOP candidates slammed Senator Zwicker and Assemblyman Freiman as ‘political opportunists’ over Senator Menendez, saying they stood by the Senator during his 2018 trial but are now ‘changing their mind when it shows their re-election is in danger’.


Atlantic County GOP sheriff candidate O’Donoghue slammed Sheriff Scheffler for a ‘continued absence of leadership’.


The NJLCV and LCV Action Fund called for the resignation of Senator Menendez.


ICYMI: NJCA released endorsements; Dems fear Menendez repercussions; Malinowski circulating for Senate; Van Drew is looking at Senate; in CD3, all eyes on Murphy as Kim revvs up Senate run; amid leadership moves on Senate seat w/ accelerated timeline, Kim announced candidacy, Hamm announced candidacy, Menendez troubles shapes futures of others; questions arise for 2024, 2023 battleground implications; in CD8, Rep. Menendez could be imperiled


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Governor Murphy announced Tim Hillmann as Principal Deputy Chief of Staff.


Governor Murphy’s incoming Chief of Staff has builders’ support, but environmental baggage, according to Politico NJ.


Governor Murphy and the First lady announced the creation of the Office of Climate Change Education within the NJDOE.


Senator Testa introduced legislation to address developer bribes.


Assembly Minority Leader DiMaio is proposing a constitutional amendment that would force indicted officials from office until conviction or acquittal.


Governor Murphy touted his record on pension payments and higher education funding, according to ROI-NJ.


Former Senate President Sweeney praised the increase in the minimum wage above $15/hour.


Assemblywoman Dunn is championing a bill package for child care providers and working mothers.


The ACLU-NJ is hosting a discussion on the harms of book banning.


ICYMI: Sweeney applauded Murphy’s selection of Gutierrez-Scaccetti as COS; Helmy will depart; environmentalists demanding bear hunt end; Fiordaliso passed away


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


Download and read Insider NJ’s Gaming, Sports, and Entertainment special edition publication.


Senator Menendez’s stepping down as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a highly-influential position, shows a crack in New Jersey’s foreign policy apparatus.


A Senator Menendez’s political career stands on a ledge, its instructive to go back to his self-described humble beginnings in Union City, where he was first elected to office on the BOE in the 1970s.


Compliance Corner: Here’s an initial assessment on how the Elections Transparency Act is changing the state’s political landscape.


Download and read Insider NJ’s 2023 Labor publication, Insider NJ’s 2023 Insider 100: Policymakers publication, Insider NJ’s FY2024 Budget special edition publication, and Insider NJ’s Out 100: LGBT Power List, compiled by Jay Lassiter.


Take a look at Insider NJ’s 2023 All-Inclusive Power Packages for our publications and specials editions this year.


Insider NJ's Morning Intelligence Briefing


In Bayonne, the local Democrats’ executive director called on Senator Menendez to resign.


In Branchburg, several routes may be prime for redevelopment, according to MyCentralJersey.


In Egg Harbor, the city won a $1M grant for tree maintenance and planting, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


In Haledon, the town suspended its borough administrator pending council discussion, according to


In Hillsborough, the Education Association endorsed Marini and Nurse for BOE, according to TAPinto.


In Holmdel, the BOE will vote on dropping the transgender student policy, according to the Asbury Park Press.


In Lakewood, the schools have a monumental fiscal crisis, according to the Asbury Park Press.


In Morristown, the Medical Center is considering a huge expansion, according to the Daily Record.


In North Caldwell, voters rejected the bond referendum, according to TAPinto.


In Paterson, the Torres indictment stunned the city’s political world, according to Paterson Press.


In Plainfield, the city lost a contract with the Humane Society for animal control, according to MyCentralJersey.


In Princeton, high school students rallied for detained journalist Evan Gershkovich, according to the Trentonian.


In Red Bank, the council voted on salaries, according to TAPinto.


In Sea Isle City, a beach tag fee increase is being considered, according to TAPinto.


In Spotswood, voters approved school projects, according to MyCentralJersey.


In Stone Harbor, Cape May County will replace a bridge, according to the Press of Atlantic City.


ICYMI: In Paterson, Torres indicted again; in New Brunswick, judge ruled against Kratovil; in Prospect Park, Khairullah joined federal lawsuit; in White, no vote or public comment on warehouse; in New Brunswick, AG Platkin avoided taking side in press case; in Hanover, court blocked notification policy






‘Astounding’ milestone: We cannot forget FDNY’s 9/11 sacrifice — then and now | Kelly

Mike Kelly,


  • The numbers tell us everything. On Sept. 11, 2001, 343 New York City firefighters perished when the twin towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan collapsed into a massive rubble pile and clouds of smoke. It was the worst terrorist attack in American history. Indeed, the 343 deaths — murders actually — were the highest death toll in a single day by any fire department in the history of the world.


Yogi Berra Stadium is undergoing construction in Little Falls

Tariq Zehawi and Danielle Parhizkaran,


  • Video on the on-going work to build the Yogi Berra Stadium.


Sanders wants Menendez to resign, calls for Senate Ethics Committee probe if he doesn’t

John Heinis, Hudson County View


  • U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) is joining several of his colleagues in asking U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to resign over his federal bribery indictment, calling for a Senate Ethics Committee probe if he doesn’t.


Are you in the middle class in New Jersey? Here’s the minimum income for a family in NJ.

Dorian Alerte,Asbury Park Press


  • What is the minimum annual income to be in the middle class in the United States? Well, ConsumerAffairs did some figuring, using a a calculator from the Pew Research Center and an inflation calculator from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to come up with the list.


Sen. Menendez: From smalltime NJ politics to bigtime political controversy

NJ Spotlight


  • The son of Cuban immigrants, Menendez lived most of his life in Hudson County. A lawyer who is in his 18th year in the Senate, the 69-year-old Menendez cut his teeth in politics almost a half-century ago when he won a board of education seat at age 20. But it was also there where Menendez first got embroiled in a New Jersey corruption probe — as a witness for the prosecution. Here’s a look at his life in politics, including allegations and investigations that have dogged him.


Legal experts compare Menendez indictments past and present

Brenda Flanagan, NJ Spotlight


  • Supporters cheered Sen. Bob Menendez after he was indicted in 2015. And fellow Democrats expressed solidarity with the senior New Jersey senator, who faced corruption charges for helping his longtime friend Dr. Salomon Melgen in exchange for trips and gifts. Back then, he asked New Jerseyans to “…remember — prosecutors get it wrong. Sadly, I know that.”


Sen. Menendez flips New Jersey the bird

Terrence T. McDonald, NJ Monitor


  • Six years ago, New Jersey Democrats rallied behind Sen. Bob Menendez’s reelection bid even though Menendez had just skated on federal corruption charges. Menendez has returned the favor by giving Democrats the middle finger.


What are NJ politicians doing with campaign cash they received from Menendez, Daibes?

Ashley Balcerzak,


  • A handful of New Jersey politicians say they will return campaign checks given to them by Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and one of the men indicted alongside him Friday on federal bribery and corruption charges.


New Jersey has not always been kind to native sons running for the presidency

David M. Zimmer,


  • Former Gov. Chris Christie is expected to take to the debate stage again Wednesday in his ongoing effort to become one of just a handful of major-party United States presidential candidates to hail from the Garden State.


Will NJ Latinos rally around Sen. Menendez? Why some leaders are staying on the sidelines

Ricardo Kaulessar,


  • When U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez lashed out at the criminal charges filed against him during a news conference on Monday, he did it in English and Spanish. It was a reminder that the Cuban American Democrat holds a historic place among Latinos in New Jersey, as the first Hispanic representative from New Jersey ever to serve in Congress. Menendez, during a news conference in his hometown of Union City, suggested his ethnicity may have something to do with the forces arrayed against him.


Sen. Menendez gets trolled — a lot — by fellow Democrat Fetterman. ‘Like Tony Soprano.’

Brent Johnson, NJ Advance Media for


  • Days before calls for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez to resign came pouring in from his Democratic colleagues in the Senate, it was a blunt-talking, hoodie-wearing maverick from New Jersey’s next-door neighbor who broke the seal in Congress’ upper chamber.


More NJ residents are using NJ law to end their own life

Dino Flammia, NJ1015


  • Each year, a growing number of New Jersey residents are utilizing a state law that lets them use medication to take their own life when their prognosis is extremely bleak. According to new data from the New Jersey Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner, 91 terminally ill patients took advantage of the Medical Aid in Dying program in 2022.


Leading with love, leaving with respect: Morristown’s first Hispanic cop hangs up his badge

Kevin Coughlin, Morristown Green


  • It’s called a walkout, a retirement ceremony where cops turn in their badges. The Morristown Police Bureau is having lots of walkouts. They always get applause, and sometimes tears, often set to bagpipes, with a few speeches thrown in and cake at the end.


NJBIZ panel explores health care technology

Kimberly Redmond, NJBIZ


  • As part of NJBIZ’s latest virtual discussion, experts from New Jersey-based organizations weighed in on how technology can be used to make health care delivery more efficient, inclusive and sustainable. Moderated by NJBIZ Editor Jeffrey Kanige, the Sept. 26 panel featured.


ROI-NJ presents its Top 30 Champions of the C-Suite honorees

ROI-NJ Staff


  • There are developers, builders and engineers — and a few folks to provide power. Transportation and the Port? We’ve got that covered, too. You can be sure there are a number of health care heroes (for pets, too) and academic leaders. And, of course, there is a banker, a fintech leader, a financier and an accountant to make sure the ledger is straight.


Build a strong education system for mother of all successes

LA Parker, The Trentonian


  • A press release that celebrated Saturday’s Trenton Family Festival offered these particulars. First Lady Tammy Murphy successfully hosted her 18th Nurture NJ Family Festival at the Hedgepeth-Williams Intermediate School in Trenton.


Somerset Hills Regional School District sued for alleged teachers union retaliation

Mike Deak,


  • A veteran art teacher at Bedwell Elementary School in Bernardsville who is the head negotiator of the district’s teachers union has filed a lawsuit against the Somerset Hills Regional School District, alleging he is the victim of retaliation for his union activities.

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