W&L: Rejecting Us Vs. Them

It was a sad, terrible week in New Jersey.  The streets of Jersey City were in chaos on Tuesday as two domestic terrorists gunned down a decorated police officer and three innocent civilians. We witnessed hatred, violence, and horror in New Jersey this week. But we also witnessed unbelievable heroism, strength and courage as first responders saved the lives of countless others. Our hearts this week are with Jersey City and the families of the four victims who lost their lives this week to yet another act of senseless, hate-filled gun violence in America, and to our Jewish brothers and sisters around the state and the country.

WINNERS:

Jersey City Police Department: Thank you.

Undocumented People: New Jersey remains on track to follow over a dozen other states that allow allow undocumented people the ability to get a drivers license. Thank you to New Jersey legislators who reject the “us vs them” politics dividing our nation, and oppose xenophobia in New Jersey.

Nancy Solomon and Jeff Pillets: Water(front)-Gate (perfect right?!) now has a fabulous interactive map accompanying a powerful new segment reporting that federal investigators are also looking into real estate deals in Camden that occurred after passage of the Economic Opportunity Act. Hey Pro Publica and WNYC, we came across this link you might find useful… just saying.

Central Jersey: It’s official!  A a Central Jersey girl by origin, I reveled in this gubernatorial declaration, which was even blessed by the Governor’s Chief Counsel. Congratulations! Now go make it truly Jersey: adopt a Central Jersey seal, levy taxes, condemn land and hire some relatives for county jobs!

Bella: Bella (my adorable dog) is in the news! And as you can tell by her look in the picture, DO NOT mess with her (or the people she loves!)

LOSERS:

Jeff Van Drew: We’d love to know what the real story is behind George Norcross and Steve Sweeney writing off Van Drew (it almost makes us want to like him) but we somehow doubt this apparent falling out has anything to do with an impeachment vote. After all, if Trump is removed from office, who else is going to tweet “congratulations” to Steve Sweeney on his budget strategy next year?

Steve Sweeney’s Respect for Assembly Democrats: So on his “Speak to the Speaker” radio segment last month, the Speaker was asked about a tax credit compromise and said, “I think we’re pretty close so that we can have a robust plan looking forward into the new year and our next term.” Lest anyone believe there’s more than one State House spokesman, Sweeney quickly cut the Speaker’s legs out by declaring, “There’s no agreement, it’s not close,” and that “[W]hen I read that ‘we’re close’, I’m sorry… we’re not.” Sweeney also had the nerve to slap an incredible new condition on negotiations: That the EOA (you know, the law under state and federal criminal investigations, and the biggest boondoggle in NJ history) should be extended by TEN years instead of 5. Ha! Fortunately for New Jersey, we hear there are only 2 years left on Steve Sweeney’s extension.

Chris Christie’s EDA: Well, we filed our first lawsuit against the Murphy Administration this week, but it just so happened to be an agency whose board is still dominated by allies of Chris Christie, George Norcross and Steve Sweeney. We know EDA has its hands full, but waiting almost half a year for a straightforward open public records request in not acceptable.

Reefer Madness: Be sure to check out Jay Lassiter’s piece this week reminding us how unnecessary it is to have a ballot question legalizing marijuana: “The primary reason legalized marijuana hasn’t happened in NJ yet is because NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney failed to muster the votes in his own caucus and in his own back yard…Everyone knows Sweeney and Norcross hate Governor Murphy. And, it would appear, they’re willing to sacrifice meaningful drug policy reforms just to prove it.”

Men: Sorry, boys! Just kidding. But we really enjoyed Senator Loretta Weinberg’s 2019 Women’s Power List, some of the fiercest women in politics around!