New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced five legislative proposals Wednesday that would drastically overhaul the state’s ethics rules for government officials, in what he called the first comprehensive reform in a decade.

“These proposals will shine light into the dark corners of our politics and re-instill faith, as best we can, that those elected to serve are there to serve the people, all of the people, not the special [interests] or their own interests,” Murphy said.

Katie Brennan, who accused a former campaign staffer for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy of raping her during the Democrat’s 2017 gubernatorial bid, has recommendations for how to improve the system for victims of sexual assault and harassment.

Brennan, who now works in Murphy’s administration, made the proposals last week in a letter her attorney sent to the Workgroup on Harassment, Sexual Assault and Misogyny in New Jersey Politics, which was recently formed by state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has floated legislation that would crack down on sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. He made the proposal as he defended himself over allegations of a toxic atmosphere on his 2017 gubernatorial campaign and after a year-long review of state law on the subject.

The legislation would clarify what counts as a “hostile work environment” in New Jersey law. It would also require all public and private employers to enact policies around harassment and discrimination.

One died while commanding troops during the Civil War. The other helped secure women the right to vote by passing the 19th Amendment. Which should be honored in the halls of the U.S. Capitol?

The historical debate was thrown into stark relief Monday as the New Jersey Senate considered a bill that would replace a statue of Brig. Gen. Philip Kearny with one of suffragette Alice Paul in the National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington, D.C.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has again called on the state Legislature to support a proposed income tax hike on millionaires, an idea he failed to realize last year.

Speaking during the annual State of the State address Tuesday, the Democratic governor said there was broad support for the idea as a way to raise revenue and fund his progressive political agenda.

“Overwhelming majorities of residents of all political stripes support this,” Murphy said. “We should too.”

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) was one of just two Democrats nationwide to oppose a House resolution Thursday that formalized the public impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

“Without bipartisan support I believe this inquiry will further divide the country tearing it apart at the seams and will ultimately fail in the Senate,” Van Drew said in a statement.

The Democrat’s stance did not come as a surprise to many. Van Drew had previously said he opposed impeachment, partially because he did not think the Senate would convict the president.

Legislation floated in New Jersey would allow political candidates and elected officials to use campaign money to pay for child care.

Supporters say too many political hopefuls — most often women — have to decide between hitting the campaign trail or staying at home to look after young kids.

“One of the hurdles to women running for office is having young children at home and being confronted with the multiple demands of caregiving and trying to run for office,” said Kelly Dittmar, a scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

Edie Falco

Theater critic Michael Bourne stays off-Broadway this week to review the new play about the drama that is politics, The True.  Edie Falco stars in the new production.

Click above to hear Michael's review on the WBGO Journal.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Wins Re-election

Nov 8, 2017
Bill de Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio cruised to re-election Tuesday.  The mayor collected about 66 percent of the vote compared to 28 for his main challenger, Republican Nicole Malliotakis, with more than 95 percent of the election precincts reporting.

“We have a lot to be proud of, but we can’t stop now,” de Blasio said in a victory speech at the Brooklyn Museum.

WBGO's Scott Pringle was at the election night headquarters.  Click above to hear his report.

David Garten

Political expression isn’t a new impulse for pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill, who leads the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. But he’s taking his most direct action yet with “Musicians Against Fascism,” a concert he has organized at Symphony Space. Scheduled for this Thursday, the eve of the presidential inauguration, it’s an act of protest involving more than a dozen notable jazz artists.