Ciattarelli fights election conspiracy theoriesOctober 20, 2021
Presented by AARP New Jersey
Good Wednesday morning!
Is Jack Ciattarelli worried that election conspiracy theories could depress the vote of the Republican faithful?
It was just two lines in his speech Tuesday as he campaigned with RNC Chair Ronna (nee Romney) McDaniel in Burlington County, said just after he called for a New Jersey voter ID law.
"Don’t let anybody stay home because they think we can’t win or because it’s rigged,” Ciattarelli said. “It’s not rigged here in New Jersey. We can win this race."
If Ciattarelli manages to pull a win off he acknowledged, it’s likely to be a squeaker. So even the slightest turnout depression among Republicans who believe the lies about stolen elections from former President Trump, who continues to promulgate them, could be decisive in such a case. And clearly Ciattarelli — who when it looked like he had a more competitive primary spoke at an event he says he didn't know was a "Stop the Steal" rally — doesn't want to take that chance.
Read more about Ciattarelli’s campaign stop with McDaniel here.
WHERE’S MURPHY? In Union City, which is kind of important to his reelection, for a 10:30 a.m. Green Acres grant announcement with Mayor/state Sen. Brian Stack and DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette. Then in Trenton for a 1 p.m. coronavirus press conference.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Negotiations — many different ways that can take place. I'd like to finally see something that tells me what they want to do.” — Sen. Bob Menendez on his opposition to a House provision allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices while still still saying he’s non-committal on the idea.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY — State Sen. Dawn Addiego, former Hoboken Councilmember Beth Mason, Teaneck BOE’s Gerald Reiner
TIPS? FEEDBACK? HATE MAIL? Email me at [email protected]
POINT BREAKING: HELP WE’RE GOING SWAYZE — New Jersey teachers, school leaders say they’re 'at the breaking point,’ by POLITICO’s Carly Sitrin: Two months into the school year, New Jersey teachers and school leaders say they are “at the breaking point” as ongoing staffing shortages, transportation issues, Covid management protocol concerns and irate parent complaints begin to pile up. “The resilience that we have is beginning to wear thin and I’m really very concerned about our members’ well being,” Karen Bingert, executive director of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, told the Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Public Schools virtually on Tuesday. “People who I have known to be the eternal optimists, the cheerleaders, the ones who are always coming up with the bright ideas — I am seeing them breaking down in front of me.” School leaders and advocates said many of the crises that popped up during the summer months when school buildings first began to reopen during the pandemic have ballooned out of control.
SEMI-COLON, HALF STOP — Lawmakers ding Murphy over confusion on reopening of state offices, by POLITICO’s Sam Sutton: Lawmakers are scratching their heads over Gov. Phil Murphy’s decision to delay the reopening of many state offices through the end of next month. Many had anticipated New Jersey’s public workforce returning to their worksites full time on Oct. 18, the same day Murphy had ordered every state worker to be vaccinated or submit to weekly Covid-19 testing. The administration had punted on an earlier Sept. 7 deadline amid Covid’s resurgence in late summer. However, on Monday, the governor’s office announced that state workforces would be returning to the office on a rolling basis through the end of next month. “I can go to physical therapy. I can go to my doctor’s office. Kids can go to school. Restaurants are open. Why the state is last in line, it’s confusing and there should be some clarification around what is the plan and why is it taking so long,” Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said in an interview on Tuesday.
NERVOUS NANCY — “Conservative activists looking to undo Muñoz coalition for minority leader,” by New Jersey Globe’s David Wildstein: “Some conservative leaders are making a play to pull back votes from a coalition to make Nancy Muñoz the new Assembly Minority Leader, applying pressuring individual lawmakers. Several legislators have told the New Jersey Globe that calls are coming from pro-life leaders, Second Amendment advocates, and medical freedom activists in a bid to derail her candidacy. Conservative media has also express concern over Muñoz’s moderate record … some of the legislators who had been included in Muñoz’s tally are not planning to vote for her. ‘I couldn’t support her because she doesn’t support any of the issues that are important to my constituents and to me,’ said Erik Peterson, a Hunterdon Republican who had backed his running mate, DiMaio. ‘I didn’t appreciate receiving a ‘this is your leadership team’ email. … Muñoz has not been able to produce statements from legislators in her coalition the way Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin did last year when they clinched new terms.”
VACCINES — “Nearly 80% of New Jerseyans eligible for Pfizer COVID booster shots have not gotten one,” by The Record’s Scott Fallon: “It's been nearly a month since Pfizer's COVID-19 booster shot became available, but nearly 80% of those eligible in New Jersey have not gotten one, according to state data. The low rate appears to have raised concerns among state officials, who on Monday publicly encouraged the 1.1 million eligible New Jerseyans to schedule a booster shot via a state website, even though many providers offer walk-in shots.”
IT COULD STILL BE A CONTENDER — “Justice Dept. lawyers don’t see a case for a mob watchdog on the waterfront,” by NJ Advance Media’s Ted Sherman: “The continuing legal battle over the fate of the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor — a bi-state agency created more than 65 years ago to police the region’s ports — is not a case for the nation’s highest court, the U.S. Solicitor General argued on Tuesday. In a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Office of the Solicitor General concluded the commission may not have had the authority to file a petition seeking to overturn efforts by the New Jersey Legislature to unilaterally withdraw from its interstate agreement with New York to establish the agency, which would effectively kill it. That might not end the matter, however, even if the court refuses to hear the case. The state of New York, the other party to the compact, could still opt to take action.”
— New Jersey seeing the most state-level political spending in years
—Snowflack: “Ciattarelli Actually has to Hope New Jersey isn’t California”
—“The O’Toole Chronicles: Negative Neds & Nellies”
—“Guns and N.J.’s governor race: Where Murphy, Ciattarelli stand”
THE FIRST LADY AND THE FIRST SECOND GENTLEMAN — “Doug Emhoff (the vice president’s husband) returns to home state of N.J. to tout vaccines, climate change fight,” by NJ Advance Media’s Brent Johnson: “Doug Emhoff has visited more than two dozen states in the last  months. But Tuesday, he noted, was special — his first trip back to his former home of New Jersey since becoming America’s first-ever ‘second gentleman' in January. Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris and a resident of Old Bridge for more than a decade of his childhood years, joined New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy at a pair of appearances in the Garden State. The first was to tout COVID-19 vaccinations at a Newark high school and the second a tour of a river walk in Elizabeth to promote efforts to protect the environment and fight climate change in the new federal spending plan being debated in Washington. ‘I’ve been really looking forward to this trip — especially to do something this important,’ Emhoff said as he stopped at East Side High School, where students can get shots during their lunch breaks at a coronavirus vaccine clinic in the auditorium."
GOTT-UNWANTED-GUESTS-HEIMER — “12 protesters arrested for refusing to leave N.J. congressman’s driveway,” by NJ Advance Media’s Anthony G. Attrino: “Twelve people were arrested Monday after demonstrating outside a Northern New Jersey congressman’s home and refusing to leave his private driveway, according to police. U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who serves the state’s 5th congressional district, was not at home during the incident, which played out near his home in Bergen County, according to a spokesperson for Gottheimer.”
—Gottheimer statement from last night: “Today, I met with President Biden at the White House to discuss the importance of passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill this month, and continuing to work on a smartly-targeted, commonsense reconciliation package that’s good for New Jersey — and can get 51 votes in the Senate. It was a very productive session. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is critical to building the Gateway Tunnel, fixing our crumbling roads and bridges, and investing in NJ Transit, broadband, clean water, and climate resiliency. It will help create two million labor jobs a year for the next decade. To support families in my District, I also reiterated the importance of restoring the State and Local Tax deduction, investing in child care, and including robust provisions to combat climate change, among other key priorities. I remain optimistic.”
—“NJ flags lowered to honor Rockaway native Gen. Ray Ordierno”
—“Statement from Governor Murphy on the confirmation of Christine O’Hearn”
PORT-AU-TOM — “Toms River councilman rips GOP opponent over 'sanctuary city' mailer,” by The Asbury Park Press’ Jean Mikle: “Councilman Terrance Turnbach, a Democrat seeking re-election in Toms River's Ward 4, and his opponent, Republican David Ciccozzi, pledged publicly in June to run an issue-focused campaign. Now Turnbach has accused Ciccozzi of breaking that promise, pointing to a campaign flier sent earlier this month that says Turnbach is a ‘radical Democrat’ who voted to make Toms River a ‘sanctuary city.’ The flier includes a photo of what appear to be Haitian refugees at the U.S. southern border, a location over which Toms River's council members have no jurisdiction … Ciccozzi said that he does not like the mailer featuring the refugee photo, but added that he has ‘no control’ over pieces that are not sent out by his campaign … In 2019, the township council voted, by a 4 to 2 margin, to express support for an Ocean County lawsuit that challenged the New Jersey attorney general's ‘sanctuary state’ policy. Turnbach and a fellow Democrat, Councilwoman Laurie Huryk, voted against the resolution supporting the county; four council Republicans voted in favor of it … The mailer mentioned by Turnbach, which features the southern border photo, was which was paid for by the ‘Stay the Course’ PAC, a political action committee with a Beachwood mailing address.”
ABOLISH THE HOMECOMING MONARCHY — “Students rally for inclusivity amid homecoming controversy in New Jersey,” by ABC 7: “A high school in New Jersey voted for two females for this year's homecoming king and queen. However, school administrators decided to add two additional male winners which led to a demonstration Monday at Passaic County Technical Institute. There was a big and unexpected show of support online and in person for the seniors who were looking to break barriers and say their school failed to support them. Students cheered for the young woman who had been voted homecoming king — not once but three times. ‘I had been going through a lot of, like, online bullying and harassment,’ Homecoming King Zoe Nelson said. ‘So it was really hard for me. But when I won, I kind of felt like it all went away, it was all worth it.’ Nelson said she wanted to break down gender norms and show that a king could be powerful — regardless of sexual orientation or gender.”
RESCUE 911 — “N.J. city officials arguing over whether funding new 911 system is an emergency,” by NJ Advance Media’s Brianna Kudisch: “Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, members of the police department, and fire department officials publicly implored city council members to restore a $4 million proposal to replace the city’s emergency radio and phone systems to the agenda at [Tuesday’s] council meeting. City officials made their plea at the Trenton Police Headquarters Tuesday afternoon, saying the city’s current emergency radio and phone systems are outdated and don’t meet current safety standards. According to the mayor, the city’s emergency radio system will be shut off on Oct. 31 by its vendor, since the council has indefinitely tabled a prior resolution to pay the city’s police and fire radio-system vendor, MPS Communications, an outstanding bill of $218,418. Gusciora’s administration has proposed allocating $4 million in ARP funds to restore the service under a new vendor and replace the equipment so it’s compatible with Mercer County’s airwaves. As of Tuesday afternoon, the council has tabled the resolution until after the Oct. 31 deadline.”
—“Trenton pastor urges McBride, council to ‘do right’ on radio system”
NEWARK — “Newark police cease release of mug shots of persons arrested for minor offenses in effort to curb abuse against marginalized communities,” by TAPIntoNewark’s Tom Wiedemann: “The Newark Police will no longer post mug shots or other photos of individuals arrested for minor offenses in a move to safeguard individuals from marginalized communities from abuse, authorities announced. The action from the department comes after Newark Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara reported that police have seen a recent uptick in negative social media comments to a post from 2017 that announced the arrest of six individuals for prostitution. Upon learning that many of the comments were deemed offensive, O’Hara ordered the posting to be removed. Citing the potential for the photos to be used to ridicule or to create disparaging memes of the women, the public safety director said he felt that the release of such photos is ‘tantamount to a public shaming, perpetuates stereotypes and reinforces implicit biases.’”
—“N.J. city says it’s fixed errors in the way some cops reported using force,” by NJ Advance Media’s Rebecca Panico: “Newark cops in 2019 correctly reported uses of force in only 75% of the 84 incidents reviewed by a federal monitoring team, an issue Newark’s public safety director said has already been addressed. The results of the audit came Friday in the 18th quarterly report from the police division’s federal monitor, former New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey. The reports are a regular part of Newark’s consent decree, a series of reforms the city agreed to in 2016 after the U.S. Department of Justice found a pattern of unconstitutional practices.”
—“Public bids sought for Fort Monmouth Mega Parcel. Will Netflix bite?”
—"Fort Monmouth selling off another 289 acres for redevelopment"
—“Edison rejects plan for gas-fired power plant in neighboring Woodbridge”
—“Middletown, police chief, cop sued over charge after car wash 'freak accident'”
—“Red Bank rejects one-word change that could have given apartment builder tax break”
—“Englewood Cliffs official who quit due to 'immense stress' is rehired, and gets a raise”
—“Pinelands Regional proposal would create new pre-K through 12th grade district”
THE BRENDAN BYRNE/AIRLINE FORMERLY KNOWN AS CONTINENTAL/IZOD CONVENTION CENTER — “Plan calls for new convention center to be built at Meadowlands near American Dream mall,” by NJ Advance Media’s Allison Pries: “Now business leaders in the region want to add another revenue stream to the property. They want to replace the retired arena with a 460,000-square-foot convention center that would host trade shows, kids and amateur sporting events, conferences, graduations and other events. ‘The power of this facility is compelling,’ said Jim Kirkos, president of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce. ‘My gut tells me from studying this and seeing it in other markets, that we know the economic impact is very real. We need to get out of our own way. And we need to find a way to implement this.’ … Phase one of a market analysis study was done by Hunden Strategy Partners, a Chicago-based real estate development advisory company, and was funded by the Meadowlands 2040 Foundation. A phase two study would be the next step and would explore the economics of the project … The initial study found that American Dream’s shopping, dining and entertainment offerings and the accessibility to and cost value compared to Manhattan would serve to make the convention center an attractive event destination. But it found there to be a lack of quality hotel rooms in the area.”
NJ + CHEMICALS 4EVA — “‘Forever chemicals’ may be present at some 2,500 NJ sites, data shows,” by NJ Spotlight News’ Jon Hurdle: “Newly released federal data shows some 2,500 industrial sites in New Jersey could be potential sources of contamination with so-called forever chemicals that have serious health effects and don’t break down in the environment. The sites are among more than 120,000 nationwide identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as ‘facilities that may be handling’ the PFAS chemicals, formally known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, according to a report released Monday. The EPA data was obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a nonprofit that obtained the files through a Freedom of Information Act request. It said the companies identified may be making, importing, handling or storing the chemicals.”
BLOOMFIELD WILTING — “Without financial help, Bloomfield College risks closure,” by Inside Higher Ed’s Emma Whitford: “The small private college in New Jersey is seeking philanthropic support and institutional partners to help keep its doors open. Absent some kind of intervention, the college may close before the end of the 2022-23 academic year. It’s unusual for a college to be so upfront about its financial issues, experts say. Typically, such discussions occur behind the scenes with other institutional leaders who are interested in exploring a partnership.”
—“New clues on cause of retaining wall collapse in South Jersey highway construction”
—“Inside the Monarch butterfly’s remarkable 2,500-mile migrations, and what Cape May has to do with it”
—“Former N.J. cannabis company employee says he was demoted because he’s Black”