Murphy to Nominate Gurbir Grewal for Attorney General

By Christian Hetrick • 12/12/17

Observer

Gurbir Grewal.

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Governor-elect Phil Murphy announced Tuesday that he will nominate Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal as the state’s next attorney general.

Grewal would be the first Sikh attorney general in the United States and the first South Asian attorney general of New Jersey if his nomination is confirmed by the state Senate, as is expected. New Jersey is one of seven states that does not elect an attorney general.

“A proud son of New Jersey and of immigrants, Gurbir has committed his life to giving back to the state and nation that have given his family so much. His story is the American story,” Murphy said during a news conference in Trenton. “Gurbir has excelled at every stage and he is ready to help us lead.”

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ICE Arrests in NJ Courthouses Surging, Lawyers Say

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Essex Co. Exec Joe DiVincenzo launches 2018 re-election campaign with show of force

December 11, 2017

TAPintoNEWARK

 

Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo announced he is seeking a fifth term. Joining Joe D to show support is Newark Mayor Ras Baraka (first from right) and Gov.-Elect Phil Murphy (far right.)

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In a show of force intended to dissuade potential primary challengers, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo announced his re-election campaign amid a sea of supporters from Washington, D.C. to Trenton, from Newark City Hall to the outer reaches of West Essex.

"Essex County has never been this strong, not only here, but throughout the state of New Jersey," said DiVincenzo as he stood in front of a human wall of Democratic politicians from up and down the state. "Good government is good politics. And that's what I've done my entire career." 

DiVincenzo, a Newark native who now lives in Roseland, is seeking his fifth term. He was first elected county executive in 2002.

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Fed Tax Reform Focuses New Attention on NJ’s Property-Tax Deduction

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If the G.O.P. Tax Plan Hurts You, Congressmen Say It’s Your State’s Fault

ALBANY — The five House Republicans have heard the calls for their heads, the references to them being traitors, hypocrites and worse for supporting a tax plan backed by their party, but harmful to the states they represent.

Not content to merely defend their votes, the five representatives from New York and New Jersey have begun a counteroffensive, seeking to turn the tables and blame state leaders for helping create high-tax environments.

“The problem is not the federal tax policy,” said Representative Tom Reed, a Republican who represents the struggling Southern Tier of New York, and voted yes on the House version of the bill in November. “The root cause of the entire issue is the tax-and-spend culture out of Albany that has created that burden on New Yorkers.”

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In its Last Gasp, Christie Panel Gives Dire Appraisal of NJ’s Public Pension System

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DiVincenzo Settles Campaign Finance Case for $20,000

By Christian Hetrick • 12/06/17

Observer

Joe DiVincenzo.

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After fighting the Election Law Enforcement Commission for years, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo has agreed to settle charges that he misused thousands of dollars in campaign funds on personal expenses.

DiVincenzo admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement, but he will pay ELEC a fine of more than $20,000. DiVincenzo, a Democrat, is perhaps the most powerful New Jersey politician that ELEC has accused of wrongdoing, and the case stalled and dragged on for years before the settlement announced Wednesday.

ELEC, the state’s campaign finance watchdog agency, found that DiVincenzo misused campaign contributions for 43 expenditures totaling roughly $14,000, and was late in reporting 602 credit card transactions worth more than $71,000.

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Tax Bill Could Derail Promises Made by New Jersey’s Next Governor

Throughout his 17-month campaign, Philip D. Murphy, the governor-elect of New Jersey and a Democrat, made promise after promise to voters: to fully fund the state’s floundering transportation network, fully fund its underfunded schools and to fully fund the underfunded public pension system, all part of a far-reaching progressive agenda that led to a 14-point victory in last month’s election.

Essential to Mr. Murphy’s agenda was a so-called “millionaire’s tax’’ to be levied on the state’s wealthiest residents. After the election, Mr. Murphy and his allies in the Democratic-controlled State Legislature made passing the tax their top priority when he takes office in January.

But now the federal tax bill passed by the Senate, which takes aim at high-tax and Democratic-leaning states like New Jersey, is threatening both House Republicans from New Jersey, who will be pressed to vote on a measure that will harm their constituents, as well as the state’s Democratic agenda.

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Murphy: New Jersey Could Sue to Stop GOP Tax Overhaul

By Christian Hetrick

Phil Murphy.

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Governor-elect Phil Murphy said Thursday that New Jersey and other states could sue the federal government if a proposed Republican tax overhaul becomes law.

Murphy, a Democrat, said he has spoken with leadership in New York and California and with legal scholars about doing “whatever it takes” to stop a GOP attempt to rewrite the federal tax code. Asked if that included a joint lawsuit with other states, Murphy said “emphatically, yes.”

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A Senate tax bill would eliminate the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction, something that would particularly hurt high tax states such as New Jersey, New York and California. A House bill that passed this month would remove the deduction only for state and local income and sales taxes, but cap it at $10,000 for property taxes.

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$79 Million Gubernatorial Election Was Second Most Costly in State History

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