Winners and Losers: Yawn! Slow News Week in Trenton.

I was mistreated for 30 seconds. Camden residents have been mistreated for 30-plus years under the Norcross regime. Enough is enough. I’m only one of thousands strong women (and men) out there who are disgusted by what is going on in New Jersey. We are not backing down! #TakeBackNJ

WINNERS:

Charlie Stile: Charlie nailed exactly how many of us felt: that Monday was emblematic of something much larger in New Jersey.  And the TakeBackNJ movement is not just growing in Camden — shout out to the Unbought and Unbossed (Joe D-less) parts of Essex County, which also continue to grow.

New Jersey Policy Perspective: While a party boss lectured fawning senators about how he saved Camden and how his critics are misunderstood, NJPP on Monday held a webinar with ACTUAL national economic development experts who reminded us, on the merits, why New Jersey’s corporate subsidies are out-of-control, corrupt and ineffective.

Mark Funkhouser, who served as mayor of Kansas City and almost 20 years as the city’s auditor said, “Using tax incentives to ‘buy’ jobs doesn’t work.  It didn’t work in Kansas City and it hasn’t worked in New Jersey.“

United States Attorney’s Office:  Politico reported this week that a federal grand jury has issued a new round of subpoenas to key Norcross ally the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Matt Friedman wrote in Wednesday’s Playbook that UBC is “one of the biggest funders of New Jersey elections, dropping $1 million into General Majority just days before the 2019 election. Legislators, county chairs and influential political operatives are employed by it.”

And the Philadelphia Inquirer noted, “Though the subpoenas target the international union and several companies that it operates, much of the attention over the last year has been on the New Jersey local, whose leaders are allied with the state’s powerful political leader George Norcross and which has been plagued with allegations of corruption.”

2019 Insider NJ’s Power 100: Editor Max Pizarro compiled a fun, finger-on-the pulse ranking of New Jersey’s current cast of political characters. The snapshots really captured the current battle between the progressive reform community vs. Mar-a-Lago Democrats who are dutifully making Chris Christie’s third term a reality.

Congrats in particular to all of the progressive advocates, union leaders, and civil rights and faith based leaders who made the list – with special shout out to former NJWF Executive Director Analilia Mejia! We see you!

Elizabeth Warren:  Nevertheless, we persist… even in Trenton!  Thank you, Senator.

LOSERS:

Montclair State University: President Susan Cole and Dr. Brigid Harrison: Not a good look for MSU. You claimed your Salon series was there for the benefit of first-generation college students. But you invite a guy who has criticized pro-immigration polices? Who is generally viewed as a cut-throat political boss (have you listened to the Palmyra tapes)? You invite the face of a corporate welfare scandal that has led to active federal and state criminal investigations to speak about his rise to greatness and as a role model for students?

Let’s face it, George played you. He needs forums like yours to try to legitimize his controversial standing in New Jersey politics, to show that it’s “normal” for an multi-millionaire unelected insurance broker to basically be asked “why can’t Phil Murphy figure out how to make you happy?” (As if the burden should be on the guy elected by 1.2 million voters). I hope after the students left the Montclair State “Salon” on Tuesday, they grabbed some soap and took a real long shower. Stop glamorizing this man.

Inquiring Minds:  After an hour-and-a-half of misleading testimony, and with no shortage of recommended questions from former federal prosecutors and community activists, all Norcross allies on the Senate panel could muster were nine friendly, open-ended questions. And good for Jim Keady for having the guts to call them out on it.

Ocean County “Democratic” Leadership Quid Pro Quo:  It was brought to our attention this week that only three years ago there was a lawsuit filed in federal court by anti-corruption Democrats against their own party leaders (where Democrats have an abysmal track record). The lawsuit alleged that Party Leadership was in bed with Republican Chairman George Gilmore — who is now a convicted federal criminal, was formerly Leroy Jones’ business partner, and was a George Norcross ally.

Essentially, Dems like Wyatt Earp and Marta Harrison were accused of taking a dive on elections in exchange for a few patronage jobs. Sound familiar?

Camden County Democratic Chair Jim Beach: Two days after Progressive leader Kate Delany attended Monday’s hearing, Beach sent a letter to Delany’s Collingswood Committee asking for her resignation on the grounds of needing unity in Trump’s America. Delany’s team responded swiftly… uh no, you first. It’s unclear what Mr. Beach thought was going to happen with that letter?! Come on guys! #UnforcedErrors

The Courier-Post@CRIndivisible said it best:  “We have heard folks from the Courier Post lecture Camden residents to buy subscriptions to their paper, if they want better coverage of their city. And yet, today, they miss the most important story in NJ that just so happens to involve a prominent Camden resident. @cpsj.”

Maybe Phillyvoice and the Courier-Post should end all the tension and just merge already!!!

Smirking is the New Beach Chair:
 Chris Christie will be forever known for his beach chair photo.  And thanks to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s @davidmaialetti, we’re pretty sure we know which image has defined a certain party boss.