Weekend News Roundup & Open Thread for Bon Jovi Day & April 15, 2018

If you only have time to read one thing today, here it is: 

 I had breakfast with George Norcross and here’s what he told me, by Kevin Riordan.Riordan tells us he was “invited-slash-summoned” by Norcross, who regularly emails reporters faltering coverage about the city. Norcross wanted to talk Camden, and he breezed right by some of the commonly held views of him, like the impact of the disruption of the city’s schools, that none of this mega-building will result in jobs for locals and opportunities for small business, and that he wants current residents to move away to make room for wealthier new residents, that he’s an outsider, a political boss trying to burnish a bare-knuckled past? Nope, that’s “fake news.” No photography or recording was allowed during this audience with Norcross, who dangled a ‘progress report’ of Camden plans, but refused to let Riordan see it. Great piece of writing by Philadelphia Inquirer’s Kevin Riordan.

Around New Jersey

Did you miss it? Yesterday was Bon Jovi Day, so declared by his friend Gov. Phil Murphy – in honor of induction into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

TIME’s coverboy


Numbers. Pesky numbers, Mister Trump:  We only took in 11 Syrian refugees this year. In 2016, during Obama: 15,479 Syrian refugees. In 2017, it was 3,024.If you’re really concerned for Syrians needing help, there’s much more you can do. And if you’re alarmed about kids getting poisoned? You can replace Flint’s lead pipes that are poisoning kids here at home – and for a lot less money.


Menendez and Booker seek more intel from the Trump administration on use of military force

Menendez sent a letter last week Special Counsel Robert Mueller asking if Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo was told not to speak about his interview with Mueller.

Campaigns & Elections

CD11:Rodney Frelinghuysen, exiting after 12 terms, has refunded $237,301 in campaign contributions and now has $740,049 cash-on-hand. Presumably to spend on Republicans trying to hang onto their seats as a blue wave washes over them.

Newark elections: This is interesting. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. is backing Ras Baraka for re-election, but not his whole slate


Legislative leaders Steve Sweeney and Craig Coughlin file amicus brief agreeing that former Sen. Ray Lesniak does have standing to appeal Chris Christie’s (ridiculous) (giveaway) (3 cents on the dollar) settlement with ExxonMobil for environmental damage done to this state

If Florida teenagers can stand cup to the NRA, so can New Jersey grandmothers: Sen. Loretta Weinberg has legislation that would ban state-sponsored travel to any states that don’t require their residents to obtain a permits before they purchase a firearm.The goal is to send a message to the National Rifle Association, said Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, the bill’s sponsor.


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