NJ Politics Digest: Murphy Plays the Biden Card

Phil Murphy. Kevin B. Sanders for Observer

A former Goldman Sachs banker is America’s best chance to reject the politics of President Trump. That was the message former Vice President Joe Biden delivered at a rally for Phil Murphy in Lyndhurst over the weekend.

Biden mentioned he tried to recruit Murphy around five years ago to run in another race. But neither he nor the Murphy campaign would say which race exactly. The safe assumption is that Biden tried to get Murphy to challenge Gov. Chris Christie when he was up for re-election in 2013 — and that Murphy passed.

And in the battle for the state Assembly, Speaker Vincent Prieto went into hardball mode on Friday, demoting a committee chairman who endorsed Assemblyman Craig Coughlin for speaker and sidelining a longtime party strategist whose wife, an Assembly candidate, also endorsed Coughlin.

Quote of the Day: “I will be that governor with a steel backbone who will say, ‘Mr. Trump, not in New Jersey you will not do that,'” – Phil Murphy.

Biden’s Argument: Vote for Murphy and Reject Trumpism
Former Vice President Joe Biden urged voters to support Phil Murphy in the New Jersey governor’s race this year, saying Americans need to send a message rejecting the “crass and mean-spirited, negative and uncomfortable rhetoric” fostered by President Trump.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Judge: lawsuit over taxpayer-funded union jobs may proceed
A lawsuit between a conservative group and the Jersey City teachers union will proceed after a judge denied the union’s bid to dismiss the suit on Friday.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

Lawsuit seeks to block Atlantic City casino PILOT law
Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez will hear arguments in July over whether a state law that lets casinos make fixed payments in lieu of property taxes is constitutional.
Christian Hetrick, Press of Atlantic City Read more

Prieto’s Revenge: NJ Speaker Asserts Power After Coughlin Endorsements
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto is closing ranks and consolidating his power in the fight for control of the lower house of the Legislature.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Progressive PAC That Backed Bernie Sanders Announces NJ Endorsements
Democracy for America, a national PAC that backed U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential race, on Friday released a series of endorsements of New Jersey Democrats, some of them in competitive races.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Air guards practice defense of NJ, Trump airspace
While local, county and state law-enforcement protects President Donald Trump on the ground during his weekend visits to Bedminster, a well-organized coalition of military pilots guard the skies above him.
William Westhoven, Daily Record Read more

Push for Emergency Responders To Report Data
In an effort to improve patient care and better monitor public health — including the ongoing opiate epidemic — New Jersey could implement a new statewide system to collect, track, and analyze patient data collected from hundreds of thousands of local ambulance runs.
Lilo H. Stainton, NJSpotlight Read more

Republican Candidate’s Positions on the Issues
With the campaigns for New Jersey’s June 6 primaries entering their final phase, the candidates with the money to spend on TV time will be hitting you over the head with their simple messages about why they, and not their opponent(s), are worthy of your vote. To help you get beyond the sound bites, we have prepared thumbnail summaries of the main candidates’ positions on several key issues, culled from their websites, Project Vote Smart, our Facebook Live interviews with them and other sources. We hope it will help you make a more informed vote.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Democratic gubernatorial candidates’ stances
With the campaigns for New Jersey’s June 6 primaries entering their final phase, the candidates with the money to spend on TV time will be hitting you over the head with their simple messages about why they, and not their opponent(s), are worthy of your vote.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Your N.J. driver’s license may soon expire on your birthday
Happy birthday! Did you remember to renew your driver’s license?
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

N.J. 8th graders reportedly snub Paul Ryan at D.C. photo opp
Are kids refusing a photo with a prominent politician exercising their free speech, or being disrespectful?
NJ.com Read more

Your neighbors lean red or blue? How many Republicans and Democrats are in all 21 counties
New Jersey is a Democratic-leaning state, but Republicans are far from obsolete in the Garden State.
The GOP is outnumbered by registered Democrats by nearly 840,000 people, according to the latest statistics from the state’s Division of Elections. As of the end of April, New Jersey had 2,048,311 registered Democrats and 1,209,127 Republicans.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

How bail reform is playing out in N.J.’s largest city
Sweeping reforms that rolled out in January and changed the way suspects are arrested and jailed in New Jersey have been changed again, due in large part to complaints from law enforcements agencies throughout the state.
NJ.com Read more

Some Unexpected Drama for State Board of Ed
Usually an uneventful process, the appointment of members to the state Board of Education has taken on some political drama under Gov. Chris Christie, who has named a majority of the panel in his seven years.
John Mooney, NJSpotlight Read more

Morris freeholder candidate Nic Platt out-raises trio of rivals for $25K seat
Morris County freeholder candidate Nicolas Platt has loaned his campaign $101,000 in seeking the Republican nomination in the June 6 primary election – more than double the $38,652 that his three rivals have collectively loaned their campaign chests for the three-year term that pays $25,000 annually.
Peggy Wright, Daily Record Read more

Worth more than Revel: Atlantic City plots to keep water from Christie
The 300 block of North South Carolina Avenue, a straight shot uptown from Resorts, comes as a bit of a shock to the two organizers, one from Philly and the other up from Washington, as they turn the corner, clipboards in hand.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

Did your town get more road money from Christie?
More than 50 towns in Monmouth and Ocean counties received millions in state transportation grants to pay for road resurfacing and preservation projects.
Mike Davis, Asbury Park Press Read more

Free Speech Not Always Pleasant
Bob Woodward had several clandestine meetings with a source called “Deep Throat” while he and his partner at The Washington Post, Carl Bernstein, investigated the cover-up of the break-in at Democratic headquarters in the Watergate office complex. In 1972 and 1973, women and even some men used a lot of Aqua Net, but there was no internet, no Skype, no texts. If you wanted to talk to someone, you called them on the phone.
Alfred P. Doblin, The Record Read more

3 reasons Lakewood schools are broke
When Lakewood students protested in the capital earlier this month, they asked state officials to help plug a nearly $15 million hole in the school district budget. Their advocacy helped save more than 100 teaching positions.
Payton Guion, Asbury Park Press Read more

Carving out an artists’ haven in Camden: free studios, residences
Wanted: Artists looking for a place to live, a studio in which to labor, and a gallery for showing work to a fledgling community of other creative types.
Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Read more

A congressman’s letter, a desire to lead, then 30 years as a Marine
Eric M. Mellinger was a Marine colonel directing humanitarian relief in the Philippines in 2013 when a delegation from Congress showed up that included Rep. Chris Smith, a 36-year veteran and dean of the New Jersey delegation.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Murphy Plays the Biden Card