Christie says the election is over and Trump lost. Many top N.J. Republicans won’t say if they agree.

Posted Nov 24, 2020

Three weeks after Joe Biden was projected to win the presidency, many prominent New Jersey Republicans remain silent as President Donald Trump seeks to overturn the election and makes unproven claims of voter fraud.

While some three dozen lawsuits rejected by state and federal courts and states certifying Biden as the winner of their electoral votes, state GOP leaders and some of the candidates looking at taking on Gov. Phil Murphy in next year’s gubernatorial election aren’t saying much.

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Police required to wear body cameras under new NJ law

COLLEEN O'DEA, SENIOR WRITER | NOVEMBER 25, 2020

NJ Spotlight News

A police body camera

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New Jersey is now one of only a half-dozen states to require police officers to wear body cameras after Gov. Phil Murphy signed two bills mandating the accountability measure but not offering the money to pay for it.

Lawmakers are seeking to spend $58 million through a supplemental budget appropriation, but no floor votes are currently scheduled before next month.

In signing bills mandating that police wear cameras most of the time (S-1163) and spelling out specific regulations to govern the cameras’ use (A-4312), Murphy on Tuesday acknowledged that funding is the missing piece to this new program, which he hailed as important for guaranteeing “transparency and accountability in policing” in communities throughout the state.

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Attention, Sen. Grim Reaper: More will die without another stimulus bill | Editorial

Posted Nov 23, 2020

The coronavirus is about to have its heyday, with the rates for cases and fatalities setting daily records, and it will literally take an Act of Congress to save American lives.

Whether this is a priority for some powerful lawmakers is a good question, however. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done nothing but mock the $2.2 trillion HEROES II Act stimulus measure passed by the House in October, and his counteroffer was a $500 billion bill that emphasized immunity for businesses that failed to protect customers and employees from COVID.

He offered no help for state and local governments. No help for housing or the food insecure. No direct help to families. Its only redeeming component was loans for small businesses, which would allow some to stay closed and contain the spread.

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Cuomo sets off new feud over Gateway tunnel

 11/23/2020

Politico

A conductor drives an Amtrak train.

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NEW YORK — The top elected officials in New Jersey and the head of Amtrak are slamming a new report touted by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that casts doubt on the need for the Gateway tunnel, a $13 billion rail project that would add new tracks under the Hudson River and had long been supported by leaders in both states.

The skirmish comes just as political will appeared to be moving in favor of Gateway, with President-elect Joe Biden explicitly voicing support for the plan after it stalled for years under President Donald Trump.

The new report, written by consulting firm London Bridge Associates and released on Monday afternoon, makes the case that the existing, century-old cross-Hudson tubes can be repaired over nights and weekends, without first building a new crossing. The proposed Gateway tunnel — the centerpiece of a $30 billion capital program to improve the Northeast Corridor — had been sold in part on the idea that such repairs would be impossible without interrupting service.

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Gov. Murphy Addresses Verbal Confrontation During Family Outing in Red Bank

Gov. Phil Murphy was verbally confronted during a family outing in Red Bank on Saturday.
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NEW JERSEY — A video has heavily circulated showing Gov. Phil Murphy being loudly confronted Saturday night at a Red Bank restaurant while he was outdoors dining with his wife and the rest of his family. 

At least two women reportedly approached the governor’s table during the encounter. Murphy was out eating with his wife, three sons and daughter.

One woman in the video, which has garnered 1.6 million views, could be heard saying “Oh my God, Murphy, you are such a d***,” before another chimed in, “You’re having fun with your family, in the meantime you’re having all kind of bulls***t going on?” 

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Vaccines coming, but NJ worries Trump may upset distribution plan

LILO H. STAINTON, HEALTH CARE WRITER | NOVEMBER 24, 2020 

NJ Spotlight News

AstraZeneca is expected to seek approval soon for its COVID-19 vaccine.

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New Jersey is set to receive the first batch of 130,000 COVID-19 vaccines within the next four weeks — assuming it receives emergency approval as expected. But state officials want to ensure their plans for a massive statewide distribution won’t be derailed by President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election.

Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday he and state Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli sent a letter to the head of the federal General Services Administration, urging her to declare president-elect Joe Biden the winner and initiate the formal transition process. It is imperative, Murphy said at a news briefing Monday, that Biden’s team, which will take office Jan. 20, have access to public health information “vital to our national response. The time for politics has passed. The time for coming together to save lives is now.”

Murphy said a smooth transition to the Biden administration is especially critical when it comes to the coronavirus vaccine, the first of which could be approved soon. New Jersey aims to immunize at least 4.7 million residents within six months, and anticipates receiving more than 1 million doses a month by the end of January.

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Christie calls Trump legal team ‘a national embarrassment,’ says the election is over

Posted Nov 22, 2020

Former Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday that the election was over and President Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden.

Christie, a strong supporter of the president, said Trump has yet to provide any evidence of fraud that would put the outcome of the election in doubt.

“As much as I’m a strong Republican and I love my party, it’s the country that has to come first,” Christie said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“If you’ve got the evidence of fraud, present it,” Christie said. “Quite frankly, the conduct of the president’s legal team has been a national embarrassment.”

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No Official Order Issued in Newark’s Local “Lockdown” — For Now

Mayor Ras Baraka's comments stating a lockdown will be reimposed in Newark left residents and business owners scratching their heads. The city can't legally enforce a full lockdown as of yet.

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NEWARK, NJ — Mayor Ras Baraka’s announcement of another lockdown for Newark on Thursday set off a tide of confusion among local businesses and residents, but a person inside City Hall now said the “restrictions” are just an advisory. 

Baraka and Mark Wade, director of Health and Community Wellness, went on WBGO 88.3 FM’s Newark Today last night to advise that residents must stay inside from Nov. 25 to Dec. 4.

“We are going to lock the city down,” Baraka said. “We want people to shelter in place for 10 days, that’s the period that the CDC gives us for people to isolate themselves or quarantine themselves, and we only want folks to come out for essential purposes.”

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‘This is simply not how the Constitution works’: Federal judge eviscerates Trump lawsuit over Pennsylvania results

11/21/2020

Politico

Rudy Giuliani stands next to a map during a press conference about various lawsuits related to the 2020 election on Nov. 19, 2020 in Washington

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WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Pennsylvania eviscerated President Donald Trump’s attempt to throw out millions of votes Saturday, dismissing his campaign’s lawsuit with a withering opinion that described a dearth of proof to justify the drastic demand.

“This Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence,” U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann wrote. “In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.”

The ruling is the latest rejection by federal and state court judges of Trump’s effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. And the judge’s stinging refutation of the campaign’s claims is yet another indication that Trump’s last-ditch effort to cling to power is slipping. Pennsylvania counties are due to certify their votes by Monday, leaving the final statewide certification in the hands of Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat and a defendant in the lawsuit.

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COVID-19 Pummeled Newark in Self-Protection Mode

By Insider NJ | November 20, 2020

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka

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Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced at an Emergency Operations Center press conference Thursday that the Administration is taking additional measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus. COVID-19 is still on the rise in Newark, with the City reporting 13,225 positive cases and 680 deaths as of November 11.

In addition to the measures implemented on October 27, including the closing of non-essential businesses nightly at 8 p.m. (requiring restaurants and eateries to end dining-in at the same time), requiring beauty salons, nail salons, and barbershops to be open by appointment only, and gyms and health clubs to close for half an hour each hour for sanitizing, Mayor Baraka signed an executive order requiring further protocols effective immediately. The City will re-assess the situation after Tuesday, December 1, to determine the next steps.

“Newark’s prescription is not the state’s prescription,” said Mayor Baraka. “Newark’s test positivity rate is at 19 percent, while New Jersey’s is at 7.74 percent – more than double. “Stricter measures are required in the city’s hotspots in order to contain the virus and limit the spread. I know we are all tired, but the virus is not, therefore we must remain vigilant and do what is necessary to get this under control and save lives.”

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