NJ Politics Digest: A Murphy Super PAC Emerges

Phil Murphy. Kevin B. Sanders for Observer

Phil Murphy may have limited how much he can spend to win the governor’s mansion, but it looks like he’ll get help from a newly-formed super political action committee.

The Committee to Build the Economy has already raised $1 million from three unions to aid Murphy, according to Politico. Unlike Murphy, who is barred from spending more than $13.8 million because his campaign accepted public funds, the new super PAC can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money.

Another Democrat is mulling a run against Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen in New Jersey’s 11th congressional district. Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark announced Tuesday that he had formed an exploratory committee to weigh a congressional bid. Meanwhile, a Democrat who was considering entering he race – Assemblyman John McKeon – announced he’d stay out of it.

And it looks like the Trump Administration is ignoring Gov. Chris Christie’s recommendation to declare a national health emergency to combat the opioid crisis. Not only did Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price throw cold water on Christie’s idea, but the White House held a briefing on the issue while the governor was on vacation.

Quote of the Day: “We welcome him here. I hope he has one of our famous weiner hot dogs and tries to stuff himself with that,” Rep. Bill Pascrell on Trump’s New Jersey vacation.

National Emergency to Fight Drug Addiction Not Necessary, Price Says
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price threw cold water on Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal to declare a national emergency to combat the opioid crisis, telling reporters Tuesday that such action isn’t necessary to address the issue.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

McKeon Will Sit Out Congressional Race Against Frelinghuysen
Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex) has decided not to run for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th congressional district, where Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, a Republican who has held the seat for decades, for the first time in years is facing intense scrutiny and several challengers.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Democrat Kazmark Forms Exploratory Committee to Challenge Frelinghuysen
Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark is the latest Democrat to jump into the fray and attempt to unseat Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11), the 22-year incumbent whose mainly Morris County district has become a priority for Democrats heading into the 2018 midterm election.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Environmental Groups to Appeal $225M Exxon Settlement
Environmental groups trying to block the state’s controversial settlement with ExxonMobil over natural resource damages will get their day in court next month against the Christie administration.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

Newly formed super PAC raises $1M from unions to aid Murphy
A super PAC aimed at helping elect Democrat Phil Murphy governor has quietly started up and raised $1 million from labor unions, according to a filing with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Politico Read more

N.J. Gubernatorial Nominee Phil Murphy’s Wife is a Major Force in His Campaign
The Democratic nominee for New Jersey governor, Phil Murphy, relies on a small inner circle with one member rising above the rest: his wife of 23 years. Tammy Snyder Murphy, who, like her husband, worked at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., is deeply involved in his campaign: Proofreading news releases, joining staff calls, fundraising and attending events as her husband’s surrogate.
Wall Street Journal Read more

New Jersey gives Trump a chilly reception
Outside the confines of his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, President Donald Trump isn’t exactly vacationing in friendly territory.
Politico Read more

N.J. consumer watchdog head steps down
The head of the state Division of Consumer Affairs, a state body that enforces consumer protection laws, is stepping down to take a job in the private sector, his office said Tuesday.
NJ.com Read more

Profile of Fire Districts Being Raised
Fire districts — special geographical areas that have the power to levy local property taxes to support firefighting services — are coming under increased scrutiny due to new legislation and a state Supreme Court decision. The districts have operated well below the radar in many New Jersey communities, but statewide they spent $240 million from local tax levies last year.
NJSpotlight Read more

Editorial: Sheila Oliver’s gambit greases the party machine
If Oliver becomes lieutenant governor, as is likely, her replacement will instead be chosen by party bosses. Voters would have to wait another full year, until 2018, to have a say.
NJ.com Read more