WNJ NEWS ROUNDUP – (3/28–4/4)

The following is the WeekenderNJ (WNJ) weekly news roundup, highlighting some vital stories from around the state and nation.





Good Morning!!



SOME BREAKING NEWS VIA WEEKENDERNJ – The 2022 New Jersey gubernatorial race is heating up.


This week Green Party candidate Madelyn Hoffman announced she was seeking the Green Party’s nomination for governor with a formal announcement coming in later this month.


The longtime environmental and social justice activist announced she's seeking the Green Party nomination to run for Governor in 2022. She is beginning to gather signatures to qualify to be placed on the ballot in November.


The other declared candidates running against Gov. Phil Murphy, are former Assemblyman Jack Ciaterelli, Brian Levine, a former Somerset County freeholder, Hudson County pastor Phil Rizzo, Hirsh Singh, and Roger Bacon and Lisa McCormick who are running for the Democratic nod.



(For Media: Please credit us accordingly.)



What is going on with the GOP in New Jersey?


OATH KEEPER:

  • New Jersey GOP focal point of the removal of Democratic Governor Phil Murphy, is raising eyebrows in Bergen County’s 37th Legislative District, where they are backing Northvale resident Ed Durfee, a member of the far-right milia group Oath keepers, for the Assembly seat. Durfee is the current Republican Municipal Chair and County Committee person in Northvale. Having an Oath Keeper on the Assembly ticket reminding residents of the darkest moments in our history may represent a problem for an already troubled party.


REPUBLICAN BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT CANDIDATE WITH PENDING CRIMINAL CHARGES:

  • Bergen GOP stays on brand by endorsing Kugler for Sheriff despite pending criminal charges.

  • The Bergen County sheriff candidate is not the first New Jersey Policeman to campaign while facing charges.


URBAN DEMOCRATIC MAYORS & REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE JACK CIATTARELLI:


Several Urban Democratic Mayors — attacked Rebublican Gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli this week over his election reform platform claiming Ciattarelli’s proposal was a plan to disenfranchise their residents.


The large group of Mayors are ––– Steve Fulop of Jersey City, Michael Wildes of Englewood, Christian Bollwage of Elizabeth, Brian Stack of Union City, Ras Baraka of Newark, Andre Sayegh of Paterson, Marty Small of Atlantic City, Reed Gusciora of Trenton, Mayors Ravi Bhalla or Hoboken, Hector Lora of Passaic, Tiffani Worthy of Willingboro, Gabriel Rodriguez of West New York, Jimmy Davis of Bayonne, Michael Santiago of Millville, Raymond Giacobe of Rahway, Derek Armstead of Linden, Donald Shaw of Roselle, Adrian Mapp of Plainfield, Albert Kelly of Bridgeton, Tony Vauss of Irvington, Phil Kramer of Franklin Township, John Labrosse of Hackensack, Dwayne Warren of Orange and Ted Green of East Orange.


“As elected leaders representing diverse communities across New Jersey, we strongly reject the shameful proposals that have been championed by Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and members of the Legislature to impose discriminatory voter ID requirements and to purge New Jerseyans from voter rolls,” the 24 mayors said in a joint statement.

In August 2020, Ciattarelli called for a photographic voter ID to be made available to all residents at no cost, and for voters to be required to certify their identities to election officials before receiving a mail-in ballot.



NEW JERSEY COVID19 UPDATE


As of April 4:

  • 3,525 new positive PCR tests

  • 811,726 total positive PCR tests

  • 908 new positive antigen tests

  • 111,670 total positive antigen tests

  • 24 new confirmed deaths

  • 22,064 total confirmed deaths

  • 2,568 probable deaths

For more information you can click here.



NJ VACCINE UPDATE


–– 4,587,122 vaccine doses have been administered as of yesterday mid-morning.

  • 2,842,733 first doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer Vaccine.

  • 1,741,026 fully vaccinated New Jerseyans.

Learn more here.



–– Union County will begin vaccinating teachers, school staffers.



OTHER COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATES


–– ACLU Voices Concerns about “Immunity Passports”



LABOR DEPARTMENT


N.J. unemployment new claims see huge spike, Labor Department reports:


"For the week ending March 27, NJDOL received 16,716 new unemployment claims. The increase was broad-based across industry sectors and included a bump in claims from the self-employed. Claims now approach 2.1 million since March 2020."



NJ ATTORNEY GENERAL GURBIR SINGH GREWAL STEPPING IN TO HELP RENTERS AFTER A YEAR OF RENTERS & ADVOCATES ASKING FOR HELP

  • Announces new measures for renters protection from illegal evictions.

Still unknown:

- How many landlords the NJ Attorney General's office held accountable for illegal evictions since April 2020.

- How many renters the Police Department across NJ helped remain housed during this moratorium.



NEW JERSEY TRANSIT

  • The ‘Roadmap to Electrifying New Jersey’s Public Bus Fleet’ is behind other agencies.

  • The already troubled NJ Transit leadership, and the deterioration of the public transportation system with inefficient management and waste of resources, is terrifyingly chaotic and possibly a portal into other worlds.

  • For more NJ Transit updates you can keep up with Senator Loretta Weinberg, NJ Transit Advocates, and a former NJ Transit Whistleblower on Twitter.



FEDERAL AND NEW JERSEY TAX FILING DEADLINES MOVED BACK


ENGLEWOOD


OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP


Old Bridge Police Chief William Volkert retires after 42 years with the department. Volkert is known for the school security plan he put together after the Sandy Hook, Connecticut shooting copied across New Jersey and the country.



PASSAIC


Applications for ‘The Greenest Place in Passaic County" Garden Contest’ are now open for Passaic County Residents. You can apply here.



WHAT IS GOING ON WITH MURPHY'S ADMINISTRATION


From the NJ Labor Department’s website, to people waiting for a year now for unemployment, to no information, miss information, and zero care and accountability, we move to a COVID-19 vaccination appointment website….in BETA function!!

  • Murphy unveiled a new tool this week to help find an available COVID-19 vaccination appointment. The beta version can be found here.

  • Outdoor gathering increased to 200 people effective Friday, April 2, 2021.

The following activities remain uncapped:

  • Religious Services

  • Political activities

  • Weddings

  • Funerals

  • Memorial Services


–– Murphy signs legislation (S3203) establishing in-person early voting in New Jersey. The governor was joined by legislators and advocates including national voting rights leader Stacey Abrams.


–– The Governor along with a few fellow Governor’s is calling for the elimination of the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction cap.


BETWEEN THE LINES:


–– President Biden is signaling that lawmakers who want the SALT deduction, will have to add it to the legislation themselves during negotiations in Congress.


–– House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is 'hopeful' Democrats can reform the tax code to help high-income states as part of Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure package.



NATION


  • DC – U.S. Capitol Officer killed, another injured in Capitol incident.


  • Illinois – The utilities shut off moratorium ends Wednesday, April 7. Click here to learn how to apply for assistance.


  • VACCINATION – Johnson & Johnson had a really bad month

What the mix up means for New Yorkers and New Jerseyans, according to Commissioner Dave A. Chokshi, MD


  • Did Hawaii give up on the pandemic?

–– Rental car prices skyrocket as high as $1,000 per day as Hawaii sees spike in tourists.


  • Florida GOP House Passes Anti-Protest Bill

–– ACLU of FL had this to say:


“This anti-American legislation is an assault on our rights, not sound lawmaking, and should be opposed by all who cherish our sacred First Amendment rights.” #HB1

  • Virgina: Extremism is on the ballot for the Gubernatorial primary in the post-Trump era. Sen. Amanda Chase, a far-right Republican is considered a legitimate threat to win the Republican nomination, although the GOP’s decision to use ranked-choice voting in choosing a nominee on May 8, may cut her chances significantly.


  • 55 Corporations Paid $0 in Federal Taxes on 2020 Profits –– Report finds.

According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, many of the largest companies in the United States exploited loopholes to pay $0 in federal corporate income taxes. These companies include the likes of Nike, FedEx, Dish Network, Salesforce, and many more.



WEST WING

  • Biden Announces Federal Actions to Address Anti - Asian Hate.

  • Acting County Administrator for Bergen County, New Jersey, Julien Neals has been nominated by President Biden for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. He is one of 11 Judicial candidates.



WEEKLY QUOTE


“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (assassinated 53 years ago on April 4, 1968.)


This article has been amended on April 6, to add a note for corporate media, along with an updated list of candidates running for governor of New Jersey.




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