Malinowski passes on 2024 rematch

Malinowski passes on 2024 rematch

Good Wednesday morning!

It looks like there won’t be a third round of Tom vs. Tom in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District in 2024.

Former Democratic Rep. Tom Malinoswki told the New Jersey Globe yesterday that he won’t seek a rematch against incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Kean Jr. next year. In 2020, Malinowski narrowly beat Kean. New Jersey Democrats, however, subsequently drew a map during congressional redistricting that made neighboring districts friendlier to Democrats at the expense of Malinowski. While Malinowski ran a spirited campaign in 2022, he ultimately lost to Kean by around three points.

The district remains competitive. President Joe Biden would have won the district by around three points in 2020. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — the campaign arm of House Democrats — considers the district one of the most competitive nationwide and is already setting up billboards trying to tie Kean to former President Donald Trump. Cook Political Report ranks it as “toss-up” for 2024.

So who from the Democratic side will step up to challenge Kean? New Jersey Working Families Executive Director Sue Altman — a high-profile progressive activist — is viewed as a contender for the Democratic nomination. Former state Sen. Ray Lesniak has also not ruled out a possible run.

Democrats only need a few seats to reclaim the majority in the House in 2024. As we saw in 2022, the 7th District is New Jersey’s marquee race by far (in a year that was supposed to be good for Republicans, Democrats in New Jersey won by double-digits across the New Jersey map). So it’ll still be a race to watch.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: “There isn’t going to be gas stove police going around” — Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso talking about the state’s clean energy initiatives (and referencing concerns that gas stoves could be banned) during a budget hearing yesterday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY — Warren County Surrogate Michael Doherty, Kaufman Zita Group’s Paulina Banasiak, Optimus’ Shane Derris, former Assemblymember Alison Littell McHose

WHERE’S MURPHY? Giving the 2023 commencement address for Stevens Institute of Technology at Prudential Center in Newark.

BUMB: SUNS OUT, GUNS OUT — AG’s office files appeal to enforce gun bans in ‘sensitive places’ by POLITICO’s Daniel Han: The Attorney General’s office has filed an emergency motion seeking to enforce parts of a newly-enacted gun law — specifically barring where guns can be carried — which was recently blocked by a federal judge. The brief filed with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday requests a stay of the decision “pending expedited appeal.” U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb last week granted a preliminary injunction which effectively blocked significant portions of the state’s law from being enforced.

TALK IS CHEAP, UNLESS IT’S FROM THE SPEAKER — “Assembly speaker’s tax relief proposal likely to face tough negotiations,” by The Monitor’s Nikita Biryukov: “A tax relief proposal backed by the state’s two most powerful legislators appears to be heading into tough negotiations amid disagreement over how to fund it, and lingering concerns over the state’s fiscal health. Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) in a Monday editorial announced he would seek to enact new legislation to cut tax bills for New Jersey seniors in half and increase tax rebates for renting seniors, saying that for senior citizens, the lack of affordability in New Jersey ‘is frightening.’ … It’s unclear how Coughlin intends to pay for his plan, which he has dubbed Stay NJ. Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), who said he is working with Coughlin on the proposal, on Monday floated an extension of a 2.5% surtax on business profits above $1 million that is due to expire at the end of 2023. But even if that tax is extended, the resulting revenue would likely not cover the full cost of Coughlin’s plan. The bill’s synopsis — its text is not yet available — sets an initial funding level of up to $400 million, while the surcharge is only expected to bring in $323 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1. That funding gap would expand in future years, when the price tag of the new tax relief program is expected to rise to $1.5 billion, according to a source familiar with Coughlin’s proposal. The surcharge is expected to bring in about $1 billion annually in later fiscal years.”

— “N.J. homeowners need $4 billion in property tax relief, Republicans say as budget talks begin,” by NJ Advance Media’s Derek Hall: “State Senate Republicans entered the fray with a $4.3 billion property tax relief plan announced on Tuesday. The proposal would tap debt reduction funds and immediately send $3 billion to New Jersey towns and $1.3 billion to counties on a per capita basis. ‘The Murphy administration is sitting on billions of dollars of unallocated debt relief funds while towns and counties with substantial needs are being ignored,’ said state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, the chamber’s Republican budget officer. … The plan would amount to an average of more than $100 million per legislative district and is the equivalent of about $1,250 per New Jersey family, lawmakers said. The Republican announcement came one day after Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex, and Senate President Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, said they were working on a property tax relief plan for seniors.”

SHROOMS — Legislative hearing on psilocybin planned, Scutari says, by Daniel Han: The Legislature is planning a hearing on the medical efficacy of psilocybin — which could come before lawmakers leave for their summer break, according to Senate President Nick Scutari. Scutari is the main sponsor of legislation, NJ S2934 (22R), that would set up a legal framework for a psilocybin market to be used for mental health purposes. … “I haven’t decided [when] but hopefully soon we’re gonna have a hearing on its efficacy and its medical uses and certainly some good stuff there that we want to ferret out,” Scutari told reporters. “But it’s an important thing that people are utilizing for addiction purposes and for mental health. And some people want to testify and see what kind of program we could put together. The bill itself needs work. But the topic needs to be discussed.”

— “Fantasia says GOP consultant runs anonymous blogs, says he’s attacking her because she wouldn’t hire him,” by The New Jersey Globe’s David Wildstein: “It’s been widely suspected for several years that the author of two anonymous political blogs, Jersey Conservative and Sussex Watchdog, is political consultant Bill Winkler, but now one of his former clients is exposing him after becoming the victim of his sizzling attacks — including one involving her former husband, a convicted sex offender. Dawn Fantasia, a Sussex County Commissioner seeking the Republican nomination for State Assembly in the 24th District, alleges that Winkler is hurling ‘false and vile attacks’ after she didn’t hire him for this year’s campaign.”

— POLITICO: College students to get free mental health support under new state partnership

— POLITICO: Caride gets key support from Bergen senators for judgeship

— NJ Advance Media: N.J. ends daily COVID case count reporting

— NJ Spotlight: “Help planned for small businesses

— NJ Monitor: As prison population grays, calls grow for ‘geriatric parole’

— Insider NJ: “Spadea ‘Loves Primaries’

01/06/2021 — Jersey Shore man pleads guilty to assaulting police officer during Jan. 6 riot,” by NJ Advance Media’s Kevin Shea: “A Toms River man pleaded guilty recently to shoving a police officer during the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, court papers show. Salvatore Vassallo pleaded guilty on May 11 to assaulting, resisting or impeding a police officer. He’d been charged with seven crimes for his actions at the riot when federal authorities arrested him this past September. He was 59 at the time. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in August, in federal court in Washington, D.C. The plea agreement he signed in April estimates his sentence at 24 to 30 months.”

GOTTHEIMER: FOOD MANUFACTURERS MOOCHING OFF CUSTOMERS — “Americans waste $218B in food each year; officials hope to change that with new food date labels,” by ABC7: “Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., held a press briefing Monday at a New Jersey supermarket to push for changes in this expiration date system, as the U.S. has no federal standard for ‘sell-by,’ ‘use-by’ or ‘best by’ dates. He said most date labels indicate when the manufacturer believes the product is fresh, which is not necessarily based on scientific food-safety considerations.”

— Op-Ed: “N.J. taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay millions to cleanup after corporations

— Mulshine: “A presidential run won’t be a day at the beach for Chris Christie

— NJ Globe: Gottheimer will raise money for State Senate Democrats next month

— Hurley: “N.J. Congressman Pallone To Hold Hearing On AM Radios In Cars

— NJ Globe: “Sherrill endorses Codey for Senate

PUTTING OUT FIRES — “ I’m not trying to privatize Liberty State Park,” an op-ed by former Reebok CEO and billionaire Paul Fireman: “Let me set the record straight once and for all. There is no plan, nor has there ever been a plan to ‘privatize’ [Liberty State] park. I have no interest now or ever in privatizing or commercializing Liberty State Park. I’m getting nothing out of this except the pleasure of knowing that the people of New Jersey will be able to enjoy Liberty State Park for generations to come.”

— The Jersey Journal: “DEP to host public forum on plans for Liberty State Park Wednesday

BRICK CITY NAMED AFTER ITS TRANSPARENCY — “Newark School District Mum on Price Paid for Dilapidated Building,” by TapInto Newark’s Therese Jacob: “The Newark Board of Education recently bought back a dilapidated school building in the city that the district previously sold for $650,000. How much the district paid to get it back, however, remains a closely guarded secret. The board refused to provide a settlement agreement it reached this year with the Hanini Group stemming from the 2019 sale of State Street School to the Newark-based developer. … TAPinto Newark has filed Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests three times for the information and has been met with denials that range from ‘attorney client privilege” to “if disclosed, would give an advantage to competitors.’”

THE GREAT PURGE — “[Montclair] school district cutting 65 jobs as students protest,” by NJ Advance Media’s Rob Jennings: “ [The Montclair] school district is facing pushback from students and educators after dozens of employees, including 22 teachers, learned they will be losing their jobs amid a decline in enrollment. Students walked out of Montclair High School last week to protest staffing and program reductions, two days after the school board approved a $148 million spending plan for the 2023-24 school year. Student enrollment in the school district began a steep decline during the 2018-19 school year. The job cuts include 65 positions, a district spokesperson said.”

— “Party of 5! Jersey City mayor and wife announce third child is on the way,” by The Jersey Journal’s Ron Zeitlinger: “Jersey City Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Steve Fulop’s voter base is getting bigger. Fulop and his wife Jaclyn announced on social media platforms Tuesday morning that they are expecting their third child, a girl in November.”

— Save Jersey: “Toms River mayor accuses Phil Murphy of political retaliation

— “$732M development in downtown New Brunswick enters second phase. Here’s what’s coming

— NJ Globe: “Gilmore condemns Hill, Rodrick for ‘antisemitic’ campaign rhetoric

— New Jersey Herald: “Welcome sign at Morristown church damaged hours after Pride Month flags are displayed

— Hudson County View: “Hoboken mayor claims soccer club owes city $76k, club pres. says politics at play

THE BIG TACO LOBBY — “The Long Fight Over ‘Taco Tuesday’” by The Wall Street Journal’s Joseph De Avila: “There is fresh beef over ‘Taco Tuesday.’ … Taco Bell, owned by Yum Brands, filed petitions last week with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office seeking to cancel Taco Tuesday trademarks held by a chain called Taco John’s and a New Jersey restaurant. The term is generic and any restaurant that makes tacos should be able to use it, Taco Bell said. … Since the 1980s, Taco Tuesday has been trademarked by Taco John’s, a fast-food chain mostly in the Midwest, and Gregory’s Restaurant & Bar, a restaurant in the Jersey Shore city of Somers Point. Taco John’s owns the trademark in every state but New Jersey. The Garden State remains Gregory’s trademark territory.”

IS OFFSHORE WIND TO BLAME? — “15-year-old surfer injured by an apparent shark bite in New Jersey ahead of the busy Memorial Day weekend,”by CNN’s Tina Burnside: “Beachgoers in New Jersey are being urged to use caution ahead of the busy Memorial Day weekend after a 15-year-old girl was injured by an apparent shark bite. Emergency personnel responded to Stone Harbor’s 109th Street Beach on Sunday afternoon after receiving reports of someone injured in a possible shark attack while surfing, according to a news release from Stone Harbor officials. Maggie Drozdowski, the injured teen, told CNN affiliate WPVI she was dangling from her surfboard with her body in the water when she felt something on her leg.”

— The Asbury Park Press: “MTV VMAs returning to the Prudential Center in Newark: ‘All eyes focused on New Jersey’

— The Record: “Who’s testing the latest autonomous vehicle tech? The Port Authority. Here’s how

— OP-ED: “NJ must work to improve mental health care for cancer patients and families

— The Record: A vaccine for Lyme disease? Rutgers begins next stage of clinical trials on children

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