NJ Politics Digest: Big Brother Ready to Hit The Roads in Ocean County

Scott Garrett Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Easter Weekend was slow, unless you count reports that Ocean County officials are planning on turning over reams of information about who drives in the county and their habits to the federal government. County officials, some of whom admit to not being familiar with the program, contend it’s needed to combat the ongoing opioid problem in the blue-collar county, which is being hard hit by drug deaths. But privacy advocates point out that the information gives federal investigators carte blanche to probe the whereabouts of anyone driving in the county.

Voters might have ousted Rep. Scott Garrett, but President Donald Trump is picking the former congressman to head the U.S. Export-Import Bank. And NJ.com looks at U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur – the only state congressman to support the repeal of Obamacare – and his efforts to help the Republicans shepherd a new health care plan through congress.

Quote of the Day: “We’re not supposed to talk about it,” Ocean County Freeholder Freeholder Jack Kelly, of a plan to share data from the Sheriff Departments automated license plate readers with the federal government. Readers mounted on a single vehicle can capture and process 1,800 plates per minute and alert authorities if the driver is sought by law enforcement.

Feds, Ocean County to share mass surveillance data
Ocean County is conducting mass surveillance on the movements of motorists within its boundaries and plans this week to begin sharing its live and recorded data with the federal government.
Erik Larsen, Asbury Park Press Read more

Ex-NJ congressman Scott Garrett tapped for Export-Import Bank
President Donald Trump on Friday picked former Republican Congressman Scott Garrett of Wantage to lead the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an institution Garrett has spoken out against.
Keldy Ortiz, The Record Read more

Christie’s defunct presidential campaign still has expenses
Almost a year after Gov. Chris Christie ended his presidential campaign following a dismal showing in New Hampshire, his committee continued to operate, spending $21,323 during the first three months of 2017.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Can this N.J. lawmaker save Trump’s Obamacare repeal effort?
An insurance executive-turned-New Jersey congressman has become a pivotal figure in the latest effort to salvage the Republican health care plan.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Christie spares Marine vet prison time in Fort Lee case
Gov. Chris Christie on Friday commuted the sentence of a Marine Corps veteran, sparing the man prison time days before he was set to begin serving for a gun conviction stemming from his arrest in Fort Lee.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Candidates for governor spent week of Passover and Easter slinging insults
The two front-runners for their party’s nomination took diverging, but still disparaging, tactics during holy week. While Democrat Phil Murphy trained his focus on Gov. Chris Christie and President Donald Trump, Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno aimed to take out her biggest threat — but missed the mark.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Heroin scourge in focus for Morris Sheriff Gannon in first 100 days
Long before James Michael Gannon was elected in November 2016 to the prestigious political position of Morris County sheriff, he was a person who would be spotted on the fifth floor of the county Administration and Records building, guiding an elderly neighbor to the Surrogate’s Office to probate a will for a deceased relative.
Peggy Wright, Daily Record Read more

Head of ICE in N.J.: Rules of engagement have changed
As the Trump administration expands its aggressive enforcement efforts against those who may have entered this country illegally, John Tsoukaris is responsible for implementing the president’s new policies in New Jersey.
Ted Sherman, NJ.com Read more

At Teaneck church, an Easter message of inclusion
Community. Love. Family. Support. These are words that congregants used to describe their parish, Christ Episcopal Church, on Sunday after the Easter service.
Sarah Nolan, The Record Read more

Clergy: Easter has relevance in politically polarized era
As Christians in North Jersey gather to celebrate Easter, church leaders are talking about how the lessons of the season can provide guidance during this politically polarized time, offering insight on everything from policies on refugees to why politicians should seek common ground instead of revenge.
James M. O’Neill, The Record Read more

Unused sick days are costing us billions, as Democrats dawdle
Sick pay is for those who get sick. If you don’t get sick, you shouldn’t get sick pay. Period.
NJ.com Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Big Brother Ready to Hit The Roads in Ocean County