Camden County Democrats are warning voters of “phony ‘reform’” candidates in the primary election.
But Camden County Democrats are not warning voters about the four freeholder candidates who on the ballot this June who are literally phony. You know, the “phantom candidates” who are on the ballot but have no intention of actually running a campaign.
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The press release from state Sen. Jim Beach, who is the Camden County Democratic chairman, went out Friday. It listed several candidates’ criminal records — one of whom is no longer running, though the press release doesn’t say that — and accused some of being “Trump Republicans” because they were at one point registered Republicans. (Though as far as I know, none of them are Mar-a-Lago members).
“Luckily, we have a great group of Democratic candidates running for office who will fight to stop the wave of fraud attempting to infiltrate our Party,” the press release says.
Beach is taking shots at the long-shot candidates that, for all the flaws they may have, are actually running some sort of campaign. These are people you can get on the phone to talk about why they’re running. As I outlined here, the actual phony candidates are the ones who were put on the ballot with the apparent help of members of the Camden County Democratic machine.
This brings me to a point I’ve been looking for a chance to make for the past week. I’ve heard a little bit of blowback over the fact that, in my story about the actual fake candidates, I didn’t devote much space to highlighting some questionable bits of history on a couple of the actual non-machine candidates. Please spare me the false equivalence. My story wasn’t about those candidates. It’s was about how a powerful political machine has a pattern of running fake candidates to manipulate the ballot and confuse voters. And not one person has denied that’s what has taken place.
DAYS SINCE MURPHY-ALIGNED GROUP INTENTIONALLY BLEW OFF SELF-IMPOSED DEADLINE TO DISCLOSE ITS DONORS: 112
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I go to these meetings sometimes — I talk a lot about this one, the time where a guy comes up to me in the beginning before I spoke and he says to me, ‘I want you to punch Donald Trump in the face.’ And I looked at him and I go, ‘Sir, that’s a felony …. and black guys like us we don’t get away with that. We don’t get away with that.” — Cory Booker Read more here
WHERE’S MURPHY? — On a family vacation out of state until Monday morning.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY — South River councilman Ryan Jones
THE CONSEQUENCES COULD BE DIRE: COMPANIES MAY HAVE TO ACTUALLY CREATE THE JOBS THEY PROMISED TO — Tax incentives likely to be the next big battle in Trenton, by POLITICO’s Katherine Landergan: Forget Trenton’s annual budget battle and the flailing effort to legalize marijuana. New Jersey’s next big policy fight is likely to be all about tax subsidies. Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders appear to be on on a collision course over the state’s soon-to-expire corporate incentives programs, each side digging in as public scrutiny of the existing credits grows. With two dueling inquiries, at least one criminal referral and an issue potent enough to bring former Gov. Chris Christie’s voice back to Trenton, some are raising the specter of a protracted battle that could drag past July 1, when the programs are set to expire. One lawmaker said she is already considering a stop-gap measure that would temporarily extend the current programs to allow more time for negotiations. “I think there is a lot of room for improvement, there’s a lot of room for tweaks,” Assembly Budget chairwoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Essex) said. “I just don’t know if we are going to be able to have this monstrous conversation before the deadline.” Read more here
— EDA board members resisting Murphy’s resignation demand Read more here
IT’S A 4/20 MIRACLE! — “N.J. medical marijuana patients win huge protections from being fired for flunking a drug test,” by NJ Advance Media’s Susan K. Livio: “New Jersey workers can’t be fired if they flunk a drug test because they are medical marijuana patients, a state appeals court has ruled. The case is likely to reverberate in workplaces for years to come because a state appeals court says medical marijuana patients — as long as they are not using the drug or under the influence at work — are protected by the state Law Against Discrimination. There are 45,000 registered patients in the program with about 2,000 joining every month, according to the state Department of Health. ‘The sweeping effect is you can no longer say, ‘You (tested) positive — you are outta here,’ said Maxine ‘Mickey’ Neuhauser, an employment expert with the Newark office of the Epstein Becker and Green national law firm.” Read more here
NJ BUSINESS INACTION CENTER — “Christie signed this law to help you save for retirement three years ago. We found out it was never implemented,” by NJ Advance Media’s Samantha Marcus: “Three years ago, then-Gov. Chris Christie signed a law he said would help people who work for New Jersey small businesses tuck away a few extra dollars each month toward their retirement. The idea was to create a virtual marketplace for small businesses to comparison shop for private retirement plans pre-vetted by state government. With that information in hand, the business owners could then offer their workers a way to automatically deduct money into a retirement account … But three years later, the promised Small Business Retirement Marketplace doesn’t exist, NJ Advance Media has found. ‘The Christie administration simply never implemented it,’ said Evelyn Liebman, of the New Jersey AARP. ‘None of it.’ … Actually, the Christie administration did take some action, but not until the last minute. Just one week before the Republican governor left office in January 2018, it put out a preliminary request for information. Then Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration declined to act on the responses because it was working on its own law to automatically enroll many private-sector workers into a state-run retirement program, officials said.” Read more here
R.I.P. — “The columnist and the crime boss: An Asbury Park Press legend dies at 92,” by The Asbury Park Press’ Jerry Carino: “When New Jersey mobster Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo bragged about bribing public officials, running gambling rings and generally being invincible, he never expected his words to be splashed across the pages of the Asbury Park Press. But there they were, in black and white, under the byline of reporter Adrian Heffern. So, too, were some playful jabs in between the quotes. ‘A Mafia figure who was never at a loss for names,’ Heffern wrote about DeCarlo’s infamous namedropping … It was the type of reporting-and-prose mix that made Heffern a mainstay for Asbury Park Press readers during his 30-plus years with the newspaper. The 92-year-old Lawrenceville resident, who served as the Press’ statehouse bureau chief and became best known as a must-read columnist covering Trenton politics, died Wednesday of a heart attack.” Read more here
TAX BREAKS — “New Jersey Exposed One of Corporate America’s Favorite Schemes,” by The Nation’s Pat Garofalo: “”Jersey is doing the nation a favor by pulling back the curtain on a problem with which nearly every city and state in America deals: being blackmailed by corporations into coughing up public money … In many ways, New Jersey barely deserves the negative headlines arising from its probe, since at least it’s trying to examine the problem. Many localities don’t bother to even head fake in the direction of transparency. A 2017 survey by Good Jobs First found that half of the nation’s 50 biggest cities and counties didn’t disclose which companies received incentives. And cities all over the country are zealously guarding what they offered Amazon for HQ2, refusing to tell the public what they told Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. If more states did what Jersey is doing, we’d know far more about how corporations lie, cheat, and steal from the public coffers. And we’d all be better off in the long run.” Read more here
—“NJ jobs: This is how we stack up against other states” Read more here
—“New Jersey conversion therapy ban stands, for now, but LGBT groups expect more challenges” Read more here
—“Burlington County GOP questions candidate’s party loyalty, sparking nasty primary race for Assembly seat” Read more here
—L.A. Parker: “Period. Full stop. Time for former Gov. Christie to end criticism of successor Murphy” Read more here
MEDIA MOVES — The Record’s Nicholas Pulgiese is moving on, but we’re not losing him. He’ll be covering New Jersey for WHYY. He announced it on Twitter here.
LOVE IS NOT ALL YOU NEED — ’The Democratic base is angry as hell’: Cory Booker’s message of love falls flat, by POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki: “Sen. Cory Booker launched a bid for the White House in February on a message of love and unity, painting himself as an inspirational leader who would help a polarized America find common ground. Just 10 weeks later, Booker is discovering that so far love just isn’t enough. Polling in the single digits and lagging top-tier competitors in fundraising, Booker this week sought to reboot his campaign, launching a “Justice For All” two-week, national tour heavy on economic policy proposals and social justice messaging. In Iowa, he rolled out an expansive proposal for a new income tax credit and talked about the need for rural infrastructure investment. In Georgia, he unveiled a voting rights plan, vowing to make Election Day a national holiday and talked about restoring voting rights to ex-felons. The recent steps aim to invigorate a presidential bid that has underwhelmed some Democrats who are questioning whether Booker’s message is one that resonates in the Trump era. Read more here
—“Florida man left profane, racist, sexist, threatening voicemail for Booker, Rashida Tlaib, feds say” Read more here
—“Warren calls for impeachment but booker not so sure” Read more here
BUT CAN HE SPAR WITH TOM KEAN JR? — Meet the Democrats’ new voice on foreign policy, by POLITICO’s Andrew Desiderio: SOMERVILLE, N.J. — It was a Friday in March at 5:00 p.m. on the dot. Rep. Tom Malinowski and I had just sat down in his largely empty temporary congressional office here when special counsel Robert Mueller informed Attorney General William Barr that his 22-month investigation was complete … Malinowski, a Democrat, took his iPhone out of his pocket to quickly glance at the update but appeared largely disinterested — and disappointed. He put his phone on his desk and immediately changed the subject to something that had happened a mere three hours ago and was clearly at the top of his mind. President Donald Trump had just reversed — via tweet, no less — his own Treasury Department’s decision to impose new sanctions on North Korea … Trump’s stunning reversal of North Korea sanctions would soon be forgotten, a fact that clearly irked Malinowski, who was enraged by the president’s decision. ‘We’re inured to this. The president ‘likes’ the leader of an adversary state and therefore will not take action against him? … Malinowski, 53, is . quickly becoming one of the Democrats’ most influential voices on foreign policy, educating his fellow members about key issues and aggressively pushing the Trump administration to prioritize global human rights issues and re-orient its often chaotic foreign policy.” Read more here
NO ONE EVER ACCUSED CHRISTIE OF BEING DUMB — “As Mueller report closed in, Chris Christie advised Trump while protecting himself,” by The Record’s Charles Stile: “Christie’s cameo moments in the sprawling report showcase his skills as a danger-avoiding political strategist, his instincts and savvy honed from training in the Republican political and legal establishment. Christie, a political chess player despite his own explosive, bombastic behavior, was now in the role of tempering the impulses of a limited-attention-span president with no experience in government. Christie was one of the few ‘adults in the room’ — one of his stock phrases — in a chaotic, combative government filled with neophytes and led by a crank-In-chief who is described in the Mueller report as frantically trying to thwart the investigation. And Christie, ‘the One Constituent,’ who staggered out of Trenton, battered by the Bridgegate scandal, took care to keep his own neck out of trouble.” Read more here
—“Andy Kim focuses first 100 days on transparency, outreach and compromise” Read more here
UNHAPPY GILMORE — “Gilmore likely to resign as county chairman,” by New Jersey Globe’s David Wildstein: “Ocean County Republican chairman George Gilmore is expected to resign his post on Tuesday, setting up a contested special election to replace him. Gilmore has told several Republican leaders of his intention to step down following his conviction on three federal tax charges, according to several sources familiar with the pending change in leadership who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Two Republicans have emerged as potential candidates: Frank B. Holman, III, the head of a politically active accounting firm and the son of a former Republican state chairman; and Frank Sadeghi, the head of a Toms River engineering firm and an active GOP fundraiser.” Read more here.
SO HOW DID GILMORE GET THAT SJTA CONTRACT ANYWAY? — “SJTA may reconsider contract with George Gilmore law firm,” by The Press of Atlantic City’s Michelle Brunetti Post: “The South Jersey Transportation Authority board voted against ending its contract with the law firm Gilmore & Monahan this week but will probably revisit the decision after one of the firm’s partners was found guilty of financial crimes … [Board member Sonny] McCullough said only board Chairman Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, who is the commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, and Vice Chairman Jeffery A. April voted in favor of cutting ties with the firm. ‘Knowing her position, I believe she is going to call a special meeting (to vote again),’ said McCullough, who said he needs more information about whether Gilmore will continue in his role in the law firm, and about the appeal of Gilmore’s case, before committing to how he would vote.” Read more here
AC — “Is it fair to compare Atlantic City, Las Vegas crime data?” by The Press of Atlantic City’s Molly Bilinksi: “Las Vegas and Atlantic City have been compared for decades as the nation’s two premier casino destinations, including when it comes to public safety. According to FBI data, Atlantic City had almost double the violent crime rate of Las Vegas in 2017. However, while there’s historical context for comparing the two cities, residents and pundits aren’t taking into account geography, tourism and income levels — all things that make it an apples-to-oranges comparison, experts say.” Read more here
— “A week after sting, prostitution problem persists on Paterson stroll,” by The Paterson Press’ Ed Rumley: “The prostitution sting made news headlines, but it’s not clear whether the operation made much substantive impact on a quality-of-life problem that residents say has plagued Van Houten Street for decades. Within days of the arrests, the women were back on the street, selling themselves for money that police say they use to buy drugs.” Read more here
PATERSON POLICE PUT OUT APB FOR KNOWN MALE GIGOLO — “Actor Rob Schneider spotted in Millville, Vineland,” by The Press of Atlantic City’s Ahmad Austin: “Actor and comedian Rob Schneider visited several Cumberland County businesses Friday before his show at Millville’s Levoy Theatre.” Read more here
—Barry Carter: “No new jails in my city, despite what you think you heard, N.J. mayor says” Read more here
—“Mayor Reed Gusciora says judgeship rumor ‘has no basis in reality’” Read more here
—“7,500 gallons of raw sewage spilled into N.J. town’s street. State is looking into it” Read more here
—“Records: Paterson court aide making sex claims is judge’s sister” Read more here
SCIENTISTS SAY IT MAY BE CAUSED BY THE TEMPERATURE OF THE HOT TAKES ABOUT MEGHAN MARKLE ON CHASING NEWS — “N.J. is warming at an alarming rate and it’s making our air harder to breathe,” by NJ Advance Media’s Michael Sol Warren: “Since 1970, New Jersey has experienced a 3°F increase in annual average temperatures, making it one of the fastest-warming states in the nation, Climate Central analysts found when examining temperature records. The last 20 years have seen 11 of the state’s 15 hottest summers, according to state climate records that date back to 1895. The state’s warming is largely the result of greenhouse gas-driven climate change and urban development. While New Jersey’s escalating temperatures magnify the risks of damaging storms and flooding — both well-documented consequences of climate change — the hazards of declining air quality are less widely discussed. This warming trend, combined with pollution from cars, power plants and chemical plants, is expected to increase the number of days each year that Garden State residents inhale unsafe levels of ozone pollution, also called smog.” Read more here
SNAKE WOULD PREFER TO BE CALLED ‘PLISSKEN’ — “Snake goes in, power goes out at Mahwah hotel,” by The Record’s Ricardo Kaulessar: “Yes, a snake was the cause of a power outage Monday at the Sheraton Mahwah Hotel on International Boulevard that lasted more than four hours.” Read more here
—“Tackling pay inequity, new Rutgers faculty contract could become a national template” Read more here
—“Marc Lamparello: What we know about the man arrested in St. Patrick’s Cathedral case” Read more here