Nikki Haley has endorsed Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli for governor.
The former Trump official and South Carolina governor sent out her endorsement on Friday. The Record’s Dustin Racciopi, who first reported the news, said Haley was scheduled to appear Sunday afternoon at a private fundraiser with Ciattarelli.
“The people of New Jersey deserve better. They’re sick of sky high taxes, reckless spending, closed businesses and rising crime. I’m proud to endorse Jack to fix what Phil Murphy has broken,” Haley said in a statement. “A Main Street business owner, Jack understands the importance of lowering taxes, getting New Jersey working again and standing with law enforcement officers to keep communities safe.”
As Dustin points out, Haley could help attract more right-leaning Republicans as Ciattarelli works to also attract “more mainstream Republicans and unaffiliated voters he will need to defeat Murphy.”
No word yet on how the event went, and the campaign wouldn’t disclose the location as it was private.
PICS OF THE DAY: “newly daylit Assunpink Creek next to Mill Hill Park in Trenton” — @Brandon_McKoy
WHERE’S MURPHY: In Trenton for a 1 p.m. coronavirus press conference.
THE CALIFORNIA OF THE EAST COAST — California truck rules facing a test — in New Jersey, by POLITICO’s Ry Rivard: A major test of California’s plan to reshape the U.S. truck market is under way — in New Jersey. For decades, California officials have used the state’s unique legal powers to push automakers to clean up their act. Their mandates have forced manufacturers to add catalytic converts, install check engine lights, use less gas and speed up the rollout of electric cars. California regulators have now set their sights on trucks and the diesel engines that power them. Last summer, the state approved new rules to require makers of big trucks to sell more diesel-free buses, delivery vans and semi-trucks. The rule aims to force about a third of new trucks to be electric by 2030, with even tougher goals in subsequent years.
SOLAR POWER — Murphy signs package of clean energy bills, by Ry: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a quartet of bills Friday that make it easier to install electric vehicle charging stations and continue building solar energy throughout the state. At a signing ceremony in Seaside Heights, Murphy, standing in front of an EV charging station, said he knows no single bill will get the state to his goal of using only clean energy by 2050, but each bill he signed would help the state get closer. …The most significant of the four bills is arguably an overhaul of the state’s incentive program for solar energy development, NJ A4554 (20R). The program has gone through several iterations and revisions, some based on complaints that state ratepayers were overpaying for solar energy. The new law is supposed to help control those costs while spurring the development of 3.75 gigawatts of new solar power generation by 2026.
MARIJUANA — “Weed crimes are eligible for expungement in N.J. But clearing a record is still hard,” by NJ Advance Media’s Amanda Hoover: “Hundreds of thousands of people charged with or convicted of marijuana offenses in New Jersey can have them cleared from their records — but getting that relief will likely still take time. A state Supreme Court order last week laid out a process for vacating, expunging and dismissing certain marijuana offenses from people’s records. These include selling less than one ounce of marijuana and possession, as well as related crimes like possession of drug paraphernalia, being under the influence, failing to turn over marijuana or being or possessing marijuana while in vehicle. It’s progress in theory, but challenging in practice. As NJ Advance Media previously reported, expungements are complicated and often take more than a year to finalize.”
GOVERNOR’S RACE — “Republican mayor endorses Murphy,” by The New Jersey Globe’s David Wildstein, “A Republican mayor from Ocean County has endorsed Democratic Governor Phil Murphy for re-election, the first GOP endorsement in his bid for a second term. ‘I admire his leadership. He is sincere. I believe he is someone of high integrity,’ said Seaside Heights Mayor Anthony E. Vaz. ‘Governor Murphy has been very good for our community.’ The endorsement occurred on Friday at a fundraiser for Murphy in Seaside Heights organized by businessmen from the amusement industry. Edward McGlynn, who served as chief of staff to Republican Gov. Thomas Kean from 1985 to 1990, was also at the event. McGlynn is a lobbyist for the New Jersey Amusement Association and general counsel to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk.”
— Save Jersey: “Op-Ed: Transparency sorely needed in NJ budget process | Stanfield.”
REDISTRICTING — “Will Democrats continue to dominate N.J.? This once-in-a-decade fight could determine that.,” by NJ Advance Media’s Jonathan D. Salant: “While not quite as rare as the appearance of those cicadas we just saw, New Jersey is about to embark on a once-in-a-decade fight that will have a big impact on state and national politics for a very long time. It’s mapmaking time in the Garden State, when each of the 12 congressional districts will be redrawn to reflect how the population has shifted in the latest census. Sounds dull, but don’t be fooled. Republicans and Democrats have waged fierce behind-the-scenes map wars because moving a district’s boundaries just a little bit here and a little bit there can cost a party a House seat for at least 10 years.”
CASH MONEY — “Payne bill would require stores to accept cash payments,” by the New Jersey Globe’s Nikita Biryukov: “Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark) introduced a bill that would make it illegal for retail stores to refuse to take in-person payments made in cash. ‘There are too many stores and businesses that want to reject American cash in favor of digital payments,’ Payne said. ‘But cash is the only option available for millions of Americans to pay for food, housing and other essentials. In addition, I have serious concerns about the safety and privacy of the data that companies are collecting from consumers during routine purchases.’ As many as 55 million Americans do not have a bank account or credit card, Payne said. Such electronic systems are also reliant on infrastructure. Put another way, credit cards don’t work when the power’s out.”
— Amtrak chairman: “Don’t let this moment pass. It’s time to build Gateway.”
REST IN PEACE — “Former Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison, the first woman to hold that office, dies at 96,” by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Diane Mastrull: “Gwendolyn Faison, 96, a woman who recorded a lot of firsts, including as Camden’s mayor, and led the city through a ‘tumultuous’ period of state control, has died, officials announced Saturday. ‘It is with an extremely heavy heart that we express our sincerest condolences to Gwen’s family and loved ones,’ County Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said in a statement. ‘As a former county commissioner and mayor of Camden City, Gwen had an extraordinary impact on our community, and was a mentor and friend to many who still hold elected office in Camden City and Camden County today.’ Faison served as Camden’s mayor from December 2000 to January 2010, including eight years in which the city — struggling financially and with high crime rates — was placed under state control, a period Cappelli described as ‘unprecedented and tumultuous.’”
ATLANTIC COUNTY — “Atlantic County commissioners race recount will focus on undervotes, overvotes,” by the Press of Atlantic City Michelle Brunetti: “The recount of the 2020 Atlantic County at-large commissioner race between incumbent Republican John Risley and Democrat Celeste Fernandez will focus on all undervotes and overvotes identified by a scanning machine, attorneys agreed at a hearing Friday before Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez. Undervotes happen when the scanner says a ballot contains no vote in a particular race, and can be mistakenly caused by a voter not pressing hard enough when filling out a ballot. Overvotes happen when the scanner reads that votes were cast for too many candidates in a race, and can be mistakenly caused by a fold or mark on the paper not made by the voter. In both cases, no vote is recorded. Risley is the declared winner in the race, but his 0.03% margin of victory was so slight that Fernandez contested the election and Mendez ordered a partial recount that did not change the results.”
NEWARK — “Newark schools face threat of lower enrollment as applications plunge,” by Chalkbeat’s Patrick Wall: “The number of applicants to Newark schools plummeted by nearly 34% this year, according to district data, raising the possibility of a steep enrollment decline this fall. About 4,000 fewer students applied for seats in the most recent admissions cycle than in the previous year, according to the district’s count, which includes applications to traditional schools and most charter schools. In total, roughly 7,800 students submitted applications through a system called Newark Enrolls this winter, down from nearly 11,800 applicants the previous year. Schools still have time to recruit students before next school year, so the application slump does not necessarily mean enrollment will be down. District officials predicted that students who didn’t apply will still show up to school this fall.”
PATERSON — “Could Paterson become the Amsterdam of Passaic County? City officials debate legal weed,” by the Paterson Press’ Joe Malinconico: “City officials are weighing a preliminary plan that would permit the opening of six retail stores for legalized marijuana sales in Paterson and generate as much as $1.5 million per year in cannabis license fees. Besides the retail establishments, the plan would allow as many as 30 other cannabis-related businesses in Paterson, operations that would grow, manufacture, distribute and deliver legalized marijuana. The city would be able to impose 2% sales taxes on most of those operations, officials said. About a dozen city officials held a private meeting Tuesday to talk about the plan. The City Council is scheduled to hold a public discussion on the issue at its meeting next week. Mayor Andre Sayegh, a self-described ‘teetotaler,’ said he supports allowing the legalized marijuana businesses in Paterson. Sayegh said he believed the cannabis businesses would generate revenue for the city and create jobs.”
THE BLINK-182 OF VIRUSES — “Common colds make a comeback in NJ as COVID precautions loosen,” by The Record’s Lindy Washburn: “Colds and other common viruses are rebounding in New Jersey as people relax the precautions that helped limit the spread of COVID-19 — and incidentally kept a host of more garden-variety illnesses at bay. Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) dipped to record lows during the pandemic. Few missed the usual coughs and sniffles last winter. Their return — however unwelcome — is another sign of the return to normalcy. The state Health Department says the level of RSV and other respiratory viruses has been ‘higher than would typically be expected for this time of year.’”
NURSING HOMES — “More nursing homes and senior living facilities are closing their doors because of COVID’s impact,” by NJ Advance Media’s Ted Sherman: “Since March 2020, three nursing facilities in the state have shut down, state data shows, underscoring not only changes that COVID brought to standards of care, say experts, but also a growing financial instability in the industry nationwide. In each of the two previous years before the deadly virus struck, there was only one nursing home closure in New Jersey, according to the state Department of Health. …Nationwide, industry officials predict long-term care providers could lose $94 billion over the course of the pandemic, and warn that more than 1,800 facilities could ultimately close their doors.”
CRIMINAL JUSTICE — “Citing new evidence, AG drops murder charges for N.J. man. He spent 16 years locked up.,” by NJ Advance Media’s S.P. Sullivan and Blake Nelson: “A New Jersey man who spent 16 years in prison for the murder of two women will be set free after new evidence raised doubts about his guilt, officials announced Friday. It’s the first time a new team within the state attorney general’s office has successfully fought to have a conviction thrown out. ‘This is an important milestone for the Conviction Review Unit,’ state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement. ‘We are committed to ensuring that our criminal justice system operates fairly and justly for all people.’”
INCOME INEQUALITY — “Study says more than 3 million live in ‘true poverty’ in NJ. Most go uncounted,” by The Asbury Park Press’ Kayla Canne: “By federal standards, a single working parent with two children in New Jersey could survive on just under $21,000 in 2019. Researchers from Legal Services of New Jersey’s Poverty Research Institute suggest in a new report that’s way off the mark — such that the government undercounts the number of poor in the state by more than 2 million. How much would the theoretical parent-and-two-children household need to make it in New Jersey? More than three times the $20,600 benchmark set by the federal government, according to the ‘A Real Cost of Living’ Report Series.”