Volume 6/Issue 18

  • Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop Announces That He Won't Run for Governor
  • Senate President Sweeney Highlights State Audit on School Funding as Need to Act on Legislation
  • North Jersey Casino Proponents Suspend Media Campaign

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop Announces That He Won’t Run for Governor

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop announced yesterday that he would not be a candidate for Governor in 2017 and that he was endorsing former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy.  

Speaking at an afternoon press conference, he briefly listed accomplishments of his tenure as Mayor and “unequivocally” announced that he will be running for re-election in 2017. 

Laying out the reasons for his decisions, the Mayor explained that had done “a lot of thinking” about what’s best for Jersey City and for the State.  He cited the need for strong leadership in Trenton and for a governor who will change the dialogue.

Mayor Fulop’s gubernatorial endorsement was also “unequivocal,” as he highlighted Mr. Murphy’s “great instincts” and his business acumen.  The Mayor expressed his hope that others would unite and get behind one candidate, as he doesn’t see any winners in a situation where there is a “bloody primary.”

The Mayor said that theories that have been brought up that point to other reasons for his decision not run, including ones related to the ongoing Bridgegate trial, were simply not true.  He stated that the court proceedings have shown that he and his administration were mistreated during the 2013-time period and that he feels comfortable enough to release to the press every email and communication related to the trial when it concludes.

Senate President Sweeney Highlights State Audit on School Funding as Need to Act on Legislation

Senate President Steve Sweeney highlighted a report recently issued by the State Auditor as another reason to pass legislation he is sponsoring with Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Teresa Ruiz to fully fund the formula created by the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 (SFRA).  

According to the Senate President, the Auditor’s report documents the underfunding of the SFRA formula, the shortchanging of special education programs and a failure to compensate for changes in student population and demographics.

Senator Sweeney noted that the “failure to provide the legally-required state aid to school districts,” has resulted in “shortchanging the ability of community schools to provide a quality education and putting upward pressure on local property taxes." 

The Senate legislation, SCR 119, awaits passage by the Assembly Education Committee.

North Jersey Casino Proponents Suspend Media Campaign

“Our Turn NJ,” the group advocating the development of casinos in Jersey City and at the Meadowlands racetrack, suspended its media campaign last week.  The group is led by Reebok sneaker executive Paul Fireman and Jeff Gural who owns the Meadowlands Racetrack.

A difficult political environment and strong voter concern about the lack of details on the two facilities were cited as “overwhelming” factors for their decision.  Recent polls found increasing opposition to the two new casinos, including a September 20 poll conducted by Rutgers Eagleton that noted 40 percent were in favor of the expansion (down 4 points) and 50 percent opposed (a one point increase).

Groups opposed to the development of North Jersey casinos continue their paid media campaigns, as this issue is still on the ballot for voters to decide on Election Day.