President Trump

Max Rose race
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On election night, right after the polls closed New York State was called for Vice President Joe Biden, yet down ballot the state Republican Party celebrated a comeback of sorts, picking up seats in Congress and in the state legislature.

Biden garnered 3.7 million votes, some 56 percent of the votes cast, yet he only carried 13 of New York State’s 62 counties, running up his vote total in four of New York City’s four boroughs and upstate cities.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew will hold onto his seat in New Jersey’s southernmost congressional district after beating Democrat Amy Kennedy.

The Associated Press called the race for the now-Republican Van Drew on Friday, after the race remained too close to call for days despite ongoing ballot-counting.

Office of Senator Cory Booker

Former Newark Mayor Cory Booker declared victory  Tuesday night in one of the first races called out of New Jersey. 

Booker easily defeated Rik Mehta, a business executive with a law degree and a doctorate in pharmacy, who staunchly supported President Donald Trump. 

 

 Booker, who won a special election in 2013 after the death of Democrat Frank Lautenberg before winning his first full term in 2014, delivered brief remarks from his home in Newark during a virtual celebration held by the New Jersey State Democratic Committee.  

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and the Republican nominee for this year’s U.S. Senate race in New Jersey are clashing over President Donald Trump’s fundraiser at his golf course in Bedminster last week, turning what was initially a public health matter into a full-blown political spat.

Rik Mehta, a pharmacist and attorney who worked at the Food and Drug Administration, is challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker this year. He said Murphy was fear-mongering by raising the alarm about Trump’s fundraiser and urging anyone at the event to self-quarantine.

New Jersey officials reported another 522 cases of coronavirus on Monday, which means the state has now seen 208,713 confirmed cases since the pandemic began.

Another two people died from complications of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total number of fatalities to 14,351 confirmed deaths and 1,787 probable deaths.

The coronavirus test positivity rate was 2.62% as of last Thursday, and the rate of transmission was 1.27, meaning that for every 100 people who got the disease they passed it to another 127.

The announcement came early Friday morning: President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for coronavirus.

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” the president tweeted. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

The diagnosis posed new questions about this year’s presidential election.

But it also raised fresh public health concerns in New Jersey, where Trump hosted a fundraiser Thursday night at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.

Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey is ready to go to court with the Trump administration over the state’s Immigrant Trust Directive, which limits cooperation between local and state law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

On Monday, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the Murphy administration over the policy, which it says is unconstitutional.

“We will defend our position with great vigor, in particular on behalf of public safety,” Murphy said at a press conference on Tuesday. “The other side of the argument does not have the facts on their side.”

The Trump administration has filed a lawsuit against New Jersey over a state policy that limits law enforcement agencies’ cooperation with federal immigration officials.

In a complaint filed Monday, Justice Department prosecutors said the so-called “Immigrant Trust Directive” violates the U.S. Constitution and should be invalidated.

“Today’s lawsuit, filed by the Department of Justice, seeks to restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments,” said U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

New Jersey will provide $9.5 million to women’s health organizations across the state, including Planned Parenthood, that have seen a reduction in their federal funding.

The new state funding came in response to a rule imposed by the Trump administration that blocked recipients of Title X funding, such as Planned Parenthood, from referring patients to abortion providers.

Rather than complying with the rule, which some critics viewed as a violation of medical best practices, many organizations gave up their Title X federal funding.

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.

New Jersey lawmakers want to provide state money to Planned Parenthood and other health care providers who have abandoned some of their federal funding.

The organizations gave up the federal money after the Trump administration imposed a new rule on recipients of Title X funding that blocked them from referring women to abortion providers.

Health care organizations including Planned Parenthood said they would rather forego federal funding than withhold medical information from their patients.

Newark City Hall
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Some area mayors joined with city officials, state representatives and other on the steps of Newark City Hall Monday, denouncing The Trump Administration’s plans to conduct pre-dawn ICE raids. Those raids were scheduled to happen Sunday but were postponed for a couple of weeks.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says they reject President Trump’s attack on undocumented families across the United States.  He calls the raids outrageous. 

Industry groups say New Jersey could be a major beneficiary if President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats move forward on a planned $2 trillion infrastructure deal.

“Of course, the plan would help our state and the skilled union workers who are employed by our members, union contractors that have built the highways, bridges and buildings of New Jersey,” said Jack Kocsis, CEO of the Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey. “We look forward to having a definite funding plan in place.”

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal praised a Trump administration decision to table its plans for offshore drilling along the East Coast, saying the move could have harmed the environment as well as the state’s significant tourism industry.

“Our residents deserve to enjoy their summers on the Shore without seeing an oil rig, without hearing [seismic] blasting, without disruption of marine life,” Grewal said Friday.

Uma Thurman
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews several shows that don't shed positive light on President Trump, including a new play starring Oscar nominee Uma Thurman.

NJ Dems React To Trump Paris Accord Withdrawal

Jun 2, 2017
Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey US Senator Cory Booker says President Trump’s actions on the environment could jeopardize the future health of America’s urban communities.

NJ Anti-Hunger Coalition Question SNAP Cuts

May 23, 2017
New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition / Center For Food Action

President Trump’s proposed budget would cut $190 billion dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 

“Some of the people in the program now would no longer be eligible and no longer have access.  There won’t be enough money,” said Adele LaTourette, director, New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition.  “Basically we’re talking about gutting the SNAP program.  Which is the frontline of defense against hunger.   I don’t know what the thinking is behind this except there isn’t much thinking.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

Senator Cory Booker wants a commitment from the Trump Administration to support federal funding for improvements to railways between New York and New Jersey.  Funding for the Gateway Tunnel Project could be compromised under President Trump’s proposed federal budget.

Immigration
William Alatriste/NYC CIty Council

In the first several weeks of Donald Trump's presidency one of the hottest controversies has been sparked by the President's use of executive orders to make good on his campaign promises to crack down on illegal immigration here in the United States. How is New York City, a sanctuary city that has historically welcomed immigrant , responding?