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Ørsted cuts the electricity

I had just finally figured out how to type “Ø” when I saw this press release late last night.

Ørsted ceases development of its US offshore wind projects Ocean Wind 1 and 2…”

Øh boy. Here we go.

Offshore wind was a big enough issue in the state legislative elections already. Now, a week before, the most well-known project in New Jersey announces it’s over in a huge blow to the Murphy administration’s clean energy plans. And after the Legislature passed a huge package of incentives for the projects.

A Reuters article late yesterday seemed to telegraph this. The company is posting its quarterly earnings this afternoon.

This has been a rough campaign season for Democrats. And it just got a little worse. I can already see the Republican mailers going after “Vin Gøpal.” Sorry, are you tired of this joke yet? Anyway ,the company put $100 million in escrow in exchange for the tax incentives.

Read more from Ry Rivard here.

TIPS? FEEDBACK? Email me at [email protected].

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We’ll see if she gets in. She’ll have to deal with a lot of baggage.” Sen. Bob Menendez on Tammy Murphy. He did not elaborate.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Michael Torrissi, Amanda Davila, Kevin McArdle, Samantha DeAlmeida, Brendan Sciarra

WHERE’S MURPHY? Making an announcement with the National Hockey League at 10 a.m. at MetLife Stadium.

THE PHANTOM MENACE — New Jersey Republicans to file lawsuit to stop shadowy group promoting ‘phantom candidates’, by POLITICO’s Matt Friedman: New Jersey Republicans say they are going to court in a last-minute effort to stop a shadowy political organization with ties to South Jersey Democrats from promoting alleged “phantom candidates.” “What’s happening in South Jersey with regard to this entity that calls itself Jersey Freedom is a complete embarrassment to the state and is illegal. We want a full investigation by all law enforcement and regulatory agencies having jurisdiction over this entity,” Jason Sena, general counsel for the Republican State Committee, told reporters in a conference call Tuesday. … “How did this mail go out without having any funds in the account? Somebody had to pay for the postage,” state Senate Minority Leader Anthony Bucco said.

BLIND JUSTICE — “Blind voters say they’re still disenfranchised in NJ. But a new bill has given them hope,” by The Record’s Gene Myers: “Despite years of activism, blind and partially sighted voters in New Jersey still can’t exercise their right to cast ballots privately and independently, the community says. That may finally change thanks to a push in the state Legislature … For years, those with vision loss have had two options, both flawed: They can fill out a ballot at home — but only by printing and signing forms. Or they can head to the polls, where transportation, balky assistive devices and unprepared election workers all pose problems. There’s been some progress, with many counties installing voting machines with new assistive features last year. But the technology is still imperfect, requiring blind voters to get help and violating the promise of a secret ballot. A bill to allow fully electronic voting for the community passed the New Jersey Assembly earlier this year by a wide margin, but it still hasn’t received even a hearing in the state Senate. Advocates are hopeful it may pass in the Legislature’s end-of-year session, but that will be too late to fully enfranchise them for the Nov. 7 election.”

BEHIND THE POLITICAL SOUND BITE — — “Transgender students: How controversy over NJ school policy is taking a toll,” by NJ Spotlight News’ Hannah Gross: “When the nurse picked up the phone to call Cooper’s home, Cooper says she misread the school paperwork and referred to Cooper as Jay’la, the name she was using at school but not at home. Cooper, who is transgender, was out at school but not to her family. After that phone call, things started to change for Cooper, 18. She said she suffered emotional and physical abuse before moving between psychiatric hospitals and homeless shelters. Now, she lives with her mother. ‘I would go home, and I would get cursed out.’ … Neptune Township School District, like many others across the state, has what’s known as “Policy 5756: Transgender Students,” which enumerates protections for transgender students in the district. Under the policy, the principal or another designated staff member should have a confidential discussion with transgender students to ascertain their preference on parental communications, name and pronouns. … At least nine New Jersey school districts have repealed Policy 5756, which LGBTQ+ students and advocates say will have a detrimental impact on LGBTQ+ youth, especially trans students.”

#1: THE INEXCUSABLE LACK OF A WAWA IN MAHWAH — “These are the issues NJ legislative candidates aren’t really talking about this fall,” by The Record’s Katie Sobko: “While much attention is often paid to what politicians are talking about, the topics that they aren’t addressing can often be more interesting. … When the Department of Justice issued a scathing report in September about the pandemic response at New Jersey’s veterans’ homes, Republicans called for an investigation. State senators including Joe Pennacchio and Kristin Corrado sent a letter saying as much to Senate President Nick Scutari, but attention has since faded. … Something that may not be on anyone’s mind, until it has to be, is just what havoc the judicial vacancy crisis is wreaking on the state’s court system. Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren haven’t had a civil or marital trial since February, and Passaic County was put on hiatus in July. That means no trials for things like divorce or custody.”

HANOIVER JANE — “Jane Fonda leaps into New Jersey’s LD-25,” by InsiderNJ’s Fred Snowflack: “Jane Fonda – yes, Jane Fonda – is getting involved in the state Senate race in LD-25. The acclaimed, but politically controversial, actress is endorsing Democrat Christine Clarke through her Climate PAC. Here’s what she said in a release: ‘My team at the Jane Fonda Climate PAC and I are so excited to be supporting Christine Clarke for State Senate in New Jersey. I know she has what it takes to be a leader in the State Senate on climate, and boy, do we need more climate leaders at the state level like Christine.’ That’s not all. Fonda is scheduled to host a virtual rally for Clarke on Thursday evening. … By any objective analysis, an endorsement by Fonda carries some risk, especially in Morris County, which while more politically competitive of late, will never be confused with Greenwich Village.”

ANOTHER 48 HOURS — “Bucco would restore 48-hour campaign finance notices if he’s Senate president,” by New Jersey Globe’s David Wildstein: “Senate Minority Leader Anthony Bucco would support a reinstatement of 48-hour notifications of campaign expenditures and contributions, and expanded identification of the specific individuals behind independent expenditure groups if Republicans take control of the upper house in next week’s midterm elections. ‘It’s the only way to guarantee election integrity,’ Bucco told the New Jersey Globe. The 48-hour notices were eliminated when the legislature approved the Election Transparency Act earlier this year. As a result, it’s possible that some campaign donors and expenditures won’t become public until more than three weeks after Election Day.”

BUSTIN CAPS — “N.J. law allowing larger political donations boosts giving in competitive districts,” by New Jersey Monitor’s Nikita Biryukov: “Higher campaign contribution maximums that were enacted earlier this year allowed candidates in five of the state’s most competitive legislative districts to collect more than $1 million from donations that would have been barred under previous caps, a New Jersey Monitor analysis found. Signed in July, the Elections Transparency Act doubled limits on donations to candidates from individuals or businesses to $5,200 and made similar increases to caps on contributions from political action committees and other candidates, raising them from $8,200 to $16,400.”

Vin Gopal’s reelection race is one of the most expensive in New Jersey history

OH LORD WON’T YOU BRIBE ME A MERCEDES BENZ — “Never Enough: Nadine and Bob Menendez’s grand New Jersey romance came at a price,” by New York Magazine’s Nina Burleigh: “Thirteen years younger than the senator, Arslanian was a fun-loving fixture on the Hudson County singles scene. Menendez, who had a reputation for being something of a ladies’ man, had been divorced since 2005, but friends seemed to think he finally had found his match. Their lives quickly became intertwined. At her urging, he repeatedly, and in the end successfully, pushed through a Senate resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide (her family is from Armenia). She influenced him in other ways, too, introducing him to an old friend, the Egyptian businessman and halal-meat mogul Wael “Will” Hana, who, according to a federal indictment handed down last month against the couple, allegedly did the bidding of the Egyptian military government. According to that indictment, Hana sought and received favors from his high-powered new friend, who happened to be the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and gave the couple gifts — money, gold bars, and a Mercedes-Benz — in return ….

“It’s virtually impossible to disentangle the love story of New Jersey’s showman senator and his wife from the charges against them. According to one of his friends, he had nicknamed her ‘Bubbles,’ a reference to her cleavage, and she would swoon to a podcaster in 2020 that ‘he is such a perfect gentleman.’ Texts cited in the indictment reveal an exceptionally affectionate relationship. But also one that seemed to thrill in a flashy lifestyle that likely attracted the Department of Justice’s attention and might just bring down his career.”

—“The stars are aligned for Tammy Murphy, county chairs to follow

MACHIAVELLIAN — Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, who resigned in scandal, seeks a comeback as mayor, by POLITICO’s Dustin Racioppi: Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey took a formal step Tuesday toward mounting a political comeback two decades after he resigned from the state’s highest office in a sex scandal that captivated the nation. McGreevey, a Democrat, filed a form with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission indicating he is running for mayor of Jersey City in 2025. It names a treasurer and creates a candidate committee, “Jim McGreevey for mayor.” … It is highly unusual for a former governor to seek lower office after they’ve left the statehouse. For McGreevey, it would be a return to his roots on two fronts. He served as mayor of Woodbridge from 1991 to 2002 while simultaneously holding office in the state Assembly and Senate. He is also a native of Jersey City and in recent years reestablished himself in the state’s second-largest municipality running a statewide prison reentry program.

—“ELEC: O’Dea has $450k cash on hand ahead of expected run for Jersey City mayor

OLD MCDONALD SOLD HIS FARM — “The race to save New Jersey farmland from millions of feet of warehousing,” by The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Frank Kummer: “Development is pressuring much of rural South Jersey. These days, that means warehousing. In the past five years, New Jersey municipalities have approved building permits for more than 121 million square feet of storage space, according to an Inquirer analysis of Department of Community Affairs data. Storage includes warehousing, parking garages, and other types of facilities. A lot of that is being built in the communities that gave the Garden State its nickname. More than 25 million square feet of storage has been approved in Burlington County, known for its cranberry farming and Pinelands, making it the top county for such space from 2018 through 2022. More than 10 million square feet has been approved in Gloucester County and nearly 5 million in Salem County. All the counties have key farming communities that grow everything from peaches to tomatoes.”

TEANECK SOLVES CENTURY-OLD ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT — “Teaneck council passes unity resolution. Will it be enough to heal divide?” by The Record’s Hannan Adely: “Amid rising tensions in Teaneck over the Israel-Hamas war, the township council took a step to try to heal community divisions by adopting a resolution that acknowledges all loss of all innocent life in the conflict. The ‘Resolution on Peace and Unity,’ approved unanimously on Monday, states that Teaneck ‘values the lives of innocent Israeli and Palestinian citizens,’ decries hate, violence and terror, and pledges to work toward bringing the entire Teaneck community together. The measure passed amid controversy. Two weeks ago, hundreds of people on both sides of the conflict held demonstrations after the council adopted a resolution that expressed solidarity with Israel and condemned killing of Israelis, but omitted any mention of Palestinian casualties.”

—“Tenafly Council president’s name to remain on ballot following child pornography charges

— “Eunice Dwumfour murder hearing offers first look at defense strategy

—“A piece of Central Jersey’s rich Revolutionary War history will be preserved

—“NJ appeals court rules that there’s no emergency in lawsuit over Paterson PD takeover

—“Dunellen school district settles retaliation lawsuit with speech pathologist

—“Wildwoods Boardwalk work paused amid lawsuit from competitor

THEY’RE ACTUALLY EVEN CLOSER, SINCE THAT’S HOW YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO KEEP YOUR ENEMIES — Despite war of words, numbers show New Jersey and New York remain close, by POLITICO’s Ry Rivard: Despite tensions among the region’s political leaders over cross-state transportation issues and taxes, the connection between New York City and its suburbs, including in New Jersey, are as strong if not stronger than ever, a new report finds. The Regional Plan Association, a nonprofit focused on the tri-state region, found that even the pandemic and all its associated changes have not upended the fundamentals that bind the region together. … It found that remote and hybrid work are masking this interdependence. Some one million people who live outside New York City work for jobs based in the city and a quarter-million people in the city work outside of it. In particular, some 447,000 people living in North Jersey but with jobs based in New York City — including hybrid and remote workers — earned a total of $61.7 billion, which support some 300,000 other jobs back in New Jersey.

IT TOOK UNITED VAN LINES — “Rogue N.J. alligator that sparked big search gets a forever home in Florida,” by NJ Advance Media’s Rob Jennings: “An abandoned alligator who was on the loose in New Jersey for at least two weeks before police captured the reptile in Piscataway last month has been relocated to a sanctuary in Florida. The 4-foot long alligator arrived last Thursday at Croc Encounters, along with two other wayward gators, via a transport van from the Cape May Zoo, officials said. It had been housed at the zoo since being captured Sept. 7 in Piscataway, following an extensive search of a park in neighboring Middlesex Borough that drew widespread attention. Tampa-based Croc Encounters has been accepting abandoned alligators that were temporarily housed at the Cape May Zoo via a program since the mid-2000.”

—“Adult day care centers billed N.J. $1M even though their buildings were closed, report says

—“Pieces from HBO’s ‘The Sopranos’ available at N.J. funeral home estate sale?

—“Medford genealogist featured on ‘Bloodline Detectives’ for cracked cold case

—“Colts Neck murders: Will the Caneiro murder case extend to New Zealand? Judge to decide

—“After seven years and $211M, the construction on Route 46/3 is (mercifully) almost done


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