News Roundup & Open Thread for Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018

Sen. Nick Scutari Elected Next Union County Dem Chair

First, media is ejected from a vote for Union County Democratic chair, then the vote – complete with high drama, ballots that go missing, and ballots with names. Max Pizarro documented it all in a breathless live blog. In the end, state Senator Nick Scutari won the election over Colleen Mahr. If you needed a reminder of why most people hate politics, reading this would do the trick. Also, remind me … why do we allow seated Legislators to hold party office? Quite a lot of power concentrated in one person, eh?

Gun Massacres

NJ students say #neveragain, walk out in solidarity with survivors of Florida shooting: “Now that I see that people my age are leading the discussion and it’s not just older people, I feel like my opinion is valued more.” – Aneissa Gallo, 16. Aneissa has video

Sen. Marco Rubio faced surviving students of the Parkland, FL school shooting in a town hall last night. Watch it here when you can; it was extraordinary. The students were prepared, very sure of what they wanted to say to him, and asked questions media can’t or won’t. In the middle of it, when Rubio said he’d consider magazine size – first time he’s said that – Bob Menendez tweeted at him the link to a bill that would do just that. Both Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott, Rubio’s fellow Republicans, declined to participate. Trump instead had a meeting of his own in the White House:

Trump holding a cheat sheet talking to victims of gun violence. What are the takeaways here?

This photo of Trump’s notes captures his empathy problem better than anything (Washington Post).

Solidarity with Florida students: About 200 people, including students helping lead, gathered outside Rep. Tom MacArthur’s office yesterday. T-Mac is an NRA supporter, who takes donations from the gun lobby. Deciminyan has video, which we’ll repost this morning as it went up late last night.

Can an 18-year-old purchase a semi-automatic rifle in NJ?

Charlie Stile: Phil Murphy cautious after Parkland shooting

Screw the NRA and those who defend it! Ban assault weapons (Trenton Times editorial)

Top 50 high schools in NJaccording to the state’s new rating

Around New Jersey

It’s more than a decade since state policymakers last revised what is subject to the general sales tax in NJ. New Jersey Policy Perspective suggests it’s time to expand the list of taxable services, to grow revenues, while also adding more equity to the sales-tax structure as the service sector of the state economy continues to expand

“Phil and I have always been a team – literally, in everything we do.”The Record talked to Tammy Murphy (video)

An end run around TrumpMurphy breaks with Trump, and buys into the Paris Climate Accord

Loretta Weinberg hold up a pen Murphy signed her bill into law with. Photo: Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Phil Murphy cheered as he signs his first bill into lawquite an occasion – and one we waited 8 years for

The ‘Westfield Six,’ four clergy and two lay protesters plead not guilty to charges of defiant trespassing, after refusing to leave Rep. Leonard Lance’s district office in a sit-in there in support of ‘Dreamer’ immigrants

Admits to slapping a female employee on the rearReport details inappropriate touching by Passaic County Sewerage vice chair

Healthcare in New Jersey heading toward a zombie apocalypseBill Orr’s newest Blue Jersey series begins

The short tenure of Paula White – confirmed as assistant commissioner at the Department of Education, then lost the job (a Tom Moran rant against NJEA)

Do you live in one? 20 fastest-shrinking towns in NJ the last 10 years

Midterms

CD2 & CD3: Jeff Van Drew, without hardly trying, is elevated to DCCC’s ‘Red to Blue’ list in his Norcross-fueled walk to Frank LoBiondo’s vacant CD2 seat, as is Andy Kim, who is running against Tom MacArthur in CD3.

CD11: Jay Webber, pro-Trump Republican who hopes to replace Frelinghuysen, gets an endorsement from Asm Anthony Bucco, who decides not to run

CD11: This guy sounds interesting. But sorry, not another Republican in CD11. Nope.

 

 

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