Welcome to the latest installment of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee's week in review.
Now, here's a look back at some of the news from this past week and some of the upcoming events around the state next week and beyond. Please share stories that interest you with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!
President Obama Returns To The Jersey Shore
- Seven months after visiting New Jersey to witness the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, President Obama returned to the Garden State on a rainy Tuesday to declare that the Jersey Shore is back open for business after tireless rebuilding efforts. "You are stronger than the storm after all you've dealt with, after all you've been through," Obama told a crowd of damp spectators gathered in Asbury Park. "The Jersey Shore is back and it is open for business."
- As Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications on the House Committee on Homeland Security, Congressman Payne joined the President in Asbury Park.
Honoring Those Who Have Fallen For Memorial Day
Star Ledger: Gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono marched in the Bayonne Memorial Day Parade. "Today we remember the heroes who gave their lives so that we may live ours in a land of strength, freedom, and opportunity."
Congressman Pallone: “Congress must remain committed to supporting our veterans, troops and the families of those who have fallen. More than 440 thousand veterans call New Jersey home, and more than 1,300 troops from our state are currently deployed. The best way to honor them is to make sure that service members and their families have the tools they need when they come back home.
Senate President Sweeney joined hundreds of civilians and veterans gathered at the Gloucester County Veterans Memorial Cemetery to honor the county’s fallen servicemen and women.
Chairman Wisniewski marched in the Sayreville Memorial Day Parade and spoke at the conclusion, reminding those in attendance we need to say thank you every day for the sacrifices made for us. In addition, he participated in the Keasbey Fire Co. Memorial Day service and participated in activities in Carteret.
Congressman Payne: This Memorial Day, we remember the brave members of our Armed Forces and their families who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the rights and freedoms all Americans hold dear. We owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to the fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers who put themselves in harms’ way to ensure we could continue to enjoy our freedoms here at home.
Barbara Buono Gains Support And Endorsements
- The Sierra Club endorsed Barbara Buono in her race against Christie: “Barbara Buono has shown leadership and a real commitment to protecting our environment,” Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club’s New Jersey chapter, said in a statement. “In this election the contract between the records of Senator Barbara Buono and the current governor couldn’t be clearer.”
- You can see video of the Sierra Club Endorsement here.
- The Republican mayor of Spotswood, Nicholas Poliseno, endorsed Barbara Buono at the Spotswood Diner. Poliseno said he backed Christie in 2009 but that he no longer supports him because of cuts in property tax relief and high unemployment.
Rutgers And Christie Leadership In Question Over New AD Hiring
USA Today: Rutgers paid $70,000 for the background check that failed to uncover the accusations of verbal and emotional abuse from former volleyball players against Hermann, an Asbury Park Press investigation found.
Senator Buono criticized the Governor's failed leadership regarding the latest Rutgers situation: "As the situation at Rutgers University continues to unfold, the lack of leadership on the part of Governor Christie is simply astounding. He has failed time and time again to address the clear problems present in President Barchi's office. Shirking responsibility will not be an acceptable position for me when I am governor, but if Chris Christie says he has no place to weigh in on what is going on at Rutgers, then it is time for the Legislature to hold Committee hearings and call people like President Barchi down to Trenton. New Jersey taxpayers deserve answers."
The controversy over the appointment of Julie Hermann as Rutgers athletic director continued as e-mails emerged showing infighting within the university over whether the new hire was properly vetted.
Analysis: Questions at Rutgers, but few answers.
Senators Call For Leadership From Christie on Rutgers.
Assemblyman McKeon called for hearings into the matter: "All New Jersey taxpayers, including the students and families who are paying tuition, demand accountability from the university’s leadership and from elected leaders charged with the oversight of state-funded higher education.
Opinion: Rutgers president needs reality check.
Chritie's Magic Tricks WIth School Funding Just An Illusion
Opinion: "Magicians trick us by working both hands at the same time. A bouquet of flowers pops up in one hand to distract our attention, while the illusionist hides a rotten egg with the other. That’s kind of what Gov. Chris Christie has done with state aid to public school districts in his proposed budget."
- Hawthorne residents to governor: $1 is not enough.
- Calling out Gov. Christie, $1 dollar at a time.
Recognizing The Impact Of Climate Change
Chris Hayes rips Gov. Chris Christie for dismissing climate change: “Since taking office, he has de-funded the Office of Climate Change and Energy within the Department of Environmental Protection, taken $210 million out of the state’s clean energy fund to balance the budget, withdrawn the state from the northeast cap and trade plan, and perhaps most relevant, so woefully underprepared his state transportation agency for the effects of climate change that the state sustained over $120 million of damages to their system after Sandy.”
Congressman Holt: “As climate change causes more and more floods, storms, and hurricanes, we’re going to have to find ways to rise above politics to prevent disasters when we can and to repair damages when we must."
Huffington Post - Christie to Climate: Drop Dead.
Under the Dome
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats that would allow nonresident military spouses to seek temporary licensure from certain professional and occupations licensing boards upon moving to New Jersey was released by a Senate Panel.
A new bill that passed unanimously in both chambers of the Legislature last week creates a taskforce to look at school safety. The eight-member committee will focus on specific architectural and technological measures, exploring a host of mandates and programs for current schools and new ones.
Assemblyman Wilson discussed his legislation to create a task force charged with making recommendations to improve school security.
Assemblywoman Huttle hosted the 2nd annual District 37 Young Women's Leadership Forum at Bergen Community College, attended by some of Bergen County's leading high school students and featuring a keynote address by Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver.
Legislation that would allow taxpayers to make voluntary contributions on their gross income tax returns to help fund leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma research, and to provide support to patients and their families was unanimously approved by the full Senate.
Assemblyman Singleton was honored as Assemblyman of the Year by AMVETS-New Jersey at its annual Commander Reception in Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County.
The Senate approved major portions of a comprehensive package of gun safety bills that will overhaul the state’s firearms permitting process by creating a modern, electronic system for universal background checks that will include mental health records and cover private transactions and ammunition sales, among other actions to prevent gun violence. You can see the Senate President discuss the package of legislation.
Star Ledger: Track New Jersey's gun control legislation.
Legislation that would allow residential and commercial development – including hotels, motels, and mixed use properties – on existing piers over large rivers located in urban municipalities was approved by the full Senate.
A bill to help boost New Jersey’s tourism industry by making it easier for people to obtain a license to sell timeshares received final legislative approval.
- Legislation to amend the state’s medical marijuana law in order to promote access to children with severe illnesses was introduced in the Senate.
Misclassifying employees in the trucking industry as independent contractors would be rectified by legislation approved by the Senate giving the drivers the protections and rights afforded most employees. Chairman Wisniewski said of the bill: "When an employer games the system by misclassifying an employee it deprives the employee of benefits to which they are entitled like unemployment and disability. It's not fair to workers and it's not fair to businesses that play by the rules. Now it's up to Governor Christie to protect the rights of New Jersey's workers and the businesses that play it straight."
Senator Lautenberg was honored at the annual gala for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. The group cited the Senator's contributions to the Jewish community and Israel.
Senators Menendez and Lautenberg along with Congressman Pallone announced that Middletown, Sayreville, Newark, Rumson, and Readington will receive more than $14 million in federal Sandy aid to reimburse the municipalities for the costs of debris cleanup and removal in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
Senator Menendez was honored by the Humane Society and Humane Society Legislative Fund for Animal Welfare Leadership
- Congressman Holt visited a city childcare center to highlight President Obama's call for greater access to high-quality, affordable preschool programs nationwide.
- Congressman Andrews announced that the Washington Township Fire Department will receive a total of $463,169 from the federal government to purchase new life-saving equipment. The borough will use the grant to purchase and replace 88 self-contained breathing apparatuses, a device worn by first responders to provide breathable air in life-threatening conditions.
- MSNBC looked at Congressman Sires Homeowners Taxpayers and Protection Act.
Congressman Pallone joined EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck, and Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry to announce the finalization of a Cleanup Plan to Remove Lead at the Raritan Bay Superfund Site in Old Bridge and Sayreville. The $79 Million Cleanup Will Remove Lead from Popular Beach and Public Park. On his facebook page, the Congressman said: I’ve reintroduced my Superfund Polluters Pay Act for the 113th Congress. This bill reinstates the Superfund taxes and holds polluters responsible for cleaning up contaminated sites, not the taxpayers.
- June 1
Breakfast Fundraiser in support of 40th District Candidates Anthony Galietti and Leo Arcuri
Breakfast in Honor of Assemblyman Thomas Giblin, 34th District
Mayfair Farms (West Orange) $100pp
For information call 973-808-0022
Atlantic County Democrats Charity Softball Game To benefit American Legion Post 28 (Absecon)
Harry Bowen Field, Port Republic
11:00am to 3:00pm
Suggested donation: $10.00
Bring a side dish for more info firstname.lastname@example.org
Monmouth Dems Primary Pasta Night
Special Guest Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald
5:30 PM to 7:30pm
VFW (1515 Corlies Avenue/Route 33 West, Neptune Township)
Full Pasta Buffet, Dessert, Soft Drinks, Wine & Beer Served!
Admission: $25 per person Chairman's Club Members: FREE ADMISSION* *
To join the Chairman's Club, please Click Here
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE
Questions? Call Joe Grillo at 732-739-8888 or email email@example.com
Morris County Democratic Committee’s Annual Spring Gala Fundraiser
Honored Guest Speaker Senator Barbara Buono
7:00 PM- 9:00 PM
The Hyatt (3 Speedwell Ave., Morristown)
Dinner Ticket $100.00, Couples $175.00, Seniors/Students $75.00
Please add $10.00 per person at the door for NON reserved seating.
Please RSVP or send questions by June 3 to: Dave Cochran at DaveCochran@hotmail.com or (973) 540-9042
Fundraiser for Assemblyman Craig Coughlin
8:00 AM -10:00 AM
Mastori's Diner (144 Route 130, Bordentown)
New Jersey Democratic State Committee Reorganization Meeting
Save the Date! Rep. Rush Holt is hosting a Cocktail Party with some of Trenton's best and brightest New Jersey's Young Politicos
Settimo Cielo (17 East Front St, Trenton)
5:00 - 7:00 PM GUEST: $40 | HOST: $200 | CHAIR: $400 To RSVP or for more info, CLICK HERE
Or contact Annie O’Toole at (609) 799-0800 or Annie@RushHolt.com
Chairman/Assemblyman John Wisniewski's Beach Blanket Birthday Bash
Breakers (1507 Ocean Avenue, Spring Lake)
Contact Doug Dodson at 732.525.1400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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We will continue to have updates about news and events from our elected officials and the many campaigns across the state. There will certainly be more to come next week. Have a great weekend.
John Wisniewski, Chairman
New Jersey Democratic State Committee