News

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says it wasn't only bad weather that caused anemic turnouts on Election Day.  He says his second administration will fight to change election laws in Albany.

“We are one of only thirteen states that doesn’t allow early voting.  Early voting is the greatest preventative measure to make sure people aren’t excluded because of the weather or because work went late, or the subway broke down.  If you don’t have early voting you’re implicitly allowing the disenfranchisement of a huge number of voters.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Wins Re-election

Nov 8, 2017
Bill de Blasio
CNBC.com

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.

Democrat Phil Murphy will be the next governor of New Jersey, after defeating Republican Kim Guadagno in the race to replace Chris Christie.

In his victory speech, Murphy told his supporters says the days of division are over and as New Jersey’s next governor he’ll work to rebuild the state.

“It won’t be easy and it certainly won’t be overnight. But let there be no doubt. Starting here, starting now, and starting with us, New Jersey is coming back.”

Murphy says his first task will be living up to his campaign promise to build a stronger and fairer economy.

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The owner of a New Jersey political consulting firm has pleaded guilty to tax evasion. NJ.com reports 35-year-old Linda Jumah entered her plea Monday.

Jumah faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she's sentenced in February.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Jumah intentionally underreported more than $121,000 in earnings in 2015 when she owned the Newark-based firm Elite Strategies. Prosecutors say that resulted in a tax loss of nearly $40,000.

A political action committee is spending about $400,000 on advertising that ties some New Jersey Republican candidates to unpopular Governor Chris Christie.

That could affect who holds the top position in the state Assembly.

Rider University political science professor Ben Dworkin says most headcounts of majority Democrats in the Assembly show that current Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto does not have enough support to continue in that role. 

Ang Santos / WBGO

For weeks, Democrat Phil Murphy has focused on big name endorsements like former President Barack Obama, New Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi, and even International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James Hoffa, who says Murphy's opponent is another Chris Christie.

“You know, so long with Chris Christie we’ve had so many problems in the state of New Jersey.  This is a great state.  We’ve got to turn it around.  We need a new man, new thinking, someone that is for the average person in this state and that is our man Phil Murphy,” Hoffa said.

A day before New Jersey voters select a new governor, a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll shows they're ready to say goodbye to the current one.

Poll director Krista Jenkins says only 17 percent of voters surveyed approve of Chris Christie's job performance while 73 percent disapprove.

"By comparison Governor Christie's predecessor left office with approval numbers that were also upside down, but Jon Corzine still had a higher approval rating when he left office than Governor Christie does now, with numbers that were more than double those for the current governor."

Terror Attack
Business Insider

Security will certainly be on the minds of the runners and spectators of the New York City Marathon this weekend, following the deadliest terrorist attack in the city since 9-11.

WBGO News Director Doug Doyle has reaction to the terror attack in Lower Manhattan. Click above to hear the report.

Wind turbines
Jon Kalish for WBGO

Recently WBGO's Jon Kalish took you to the eastern tip of Long Island to the village of Montauk. Fishermen there are worried about a massive off-shore wind farm proposed some 30 miles out in the Atlantic that they say will impact their livelihood. 

Click above to hear Jon's story.

Measure for Measure
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews Measure For Measure at the Public Theater.

Click above to hear the review.

Jane Monheit
HacPac for WBGO

Jazz performers Jane Monheit and Tony DeSare share the bill for the opening night of the Pac The House Series at the newly renovated Hackensack Performing Arts Center.

Both Jane and and Tony share their thoughts on the evening with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle.

Click above to hear the entire interview with both artists.

Authorities are trying to determine who sent campaign mailers to homes in Edison, New Jersey, with a red ‘deport’ stamp under the photos of two Asian-American school board candidates.

It's possible the anonymous mailers do not violate election law.

New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission deputy director Joe Donohue says state election law requires political communications distributed by a candidate to have a disclaimer showing the name and address of the person or group that paid for them.

Even before the election of a new governor, a coalition of business groups in New Jersey is mobilizing to oppose any big boost in the state's minimum wage.

A business owner in a 60 second ad from the Protect Jersey Jobs coalition says to stay competitive he can't raise prices.

"If some Trenton politicians have their way and pass these mandates, I'm concerned I would have to cut employees hours or their jobs."

Governor Christie vetoed legislation last year that would have raised New Jersey's minimum wage to $15-an-hour by 2021.

 

With just five days before the election, the GOP candidate for New Jersey governor is on the road, taking her message to the people.

On a bus bound for 50 stops throughout the state, Kim Guadagno says the tour is allowing her to talk directly to voters about lowering taxes and keeping New Jersey from becoming a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants.

Supplies at the Food Bank warehouse in Hillside
Community Food Bank of New Jersey

The holiday season is approaching and food pantries in New Jersey are appealing for donations.

Julienne Cherry with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey says many residents can’t afford to buy the food their families need.

“In the state of New Jersey we still have one million people that are food insecure. And of that almost 300,00 of them are kids, and that’s one in seven kids. So, the need is still there. For every dollar that someone donates we’re able to actually provide three meals.”

Cherry is appealing for donations of turkeys and supplies.

Just days before the election of a new Governor, a Monmouth University poll finds Democrat Phil Murphy holds a 14-point lead over Republican Kim Guadagno among likely voters in New Jersey.

Poll director Patrick Murray says that margin is the same as it was in early October.

A New Jersey Congressman is introducing legislation to combat price gouging after natural disasters.
 
Democrat Frank Pallone says his proposed Stand Up Act would empower the Federal Trade Commission to issue regulations to prohibit excessive pricing of consumer goods or services within 180 days of the declaration of a major disaster and determine the fines for violators.
 
He says no one should have to pay abusive prices for essentials such as food, water, and gasoline when they’re a victim of a natural disaster.

A New Jersey lawmaker is proposing legislation to prevent convicted sex offenders from living near their victims.

Assemblyman Ron Dancer hopes lawmakers will act on his bill in the lame duck session.

“I think this should have priority for the protection of any of these victims so they do not have to think about their molester, their convicted offender, living either next door or within 1,000 feet.”

Republican Kim Guadagno is hoping to be the second woman elected Governor of New Jersey, but female voters are showing more support for Democrat Phil Murphy.

Only 29 percent of likely women voters surveyed by Quinnipiac University favor Guadagno while 65 percent support Murphy.

Debbie Walsh, the director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, says that fits with the gender gap observed since 1980. 

Irish Rep
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne talks about some works with Irish connections. 

The Irish Repertory Theatre presents the Brian Friel play The Home Place, meanwhile New York cabby John McDonaugh talks about 35 years of “driving New York crazy”.

For almost 30 years, The Irish Repertory Theatre has been presenting classic and new Irish plays. They renovated the theatre on 22nd Street last year, and WBGO theater critic Michael Bourne reviews these two shows opening the new season.

Click above to hear Michael's complete review.

Alexandra Hill / News

As the debate around Immigration continues to dominate headlines around the country and as the Trump administration continues to roll out stricter policies around the issue, Ellis Island, known as the gateway to America, is celebrating immigrants and their families at the annual Family Heritage awards where this years honorees include an NBA basketball legend, a prominent philanthropic family, and a television news anchor. 

The Square
Harlan Jacobson for WBGO

There’s plenty to see in this run up to the Oscar qualifying season. Both good and bad.  Here's how to zig and zag through it all.

You’ve lived a good life. Made a few bucks. Are on a few boards, because you gave some of those bucks to the opera, maybe a cancer fund, the art museum. You look good in a tux. Woman you came with fills out a dress, and it costs some money for hair like that. Not to mention the ear rings.

Damon Rich
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Hector partner Damon Rich is one of the 24 people to be awarded a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, a "no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential."

Hector is a Newark-based urban design, planning, and civic arts studio.  Damon Rich sat down recently with WBGO's Doug Doyle to talk about the award, his outlook on urban design, his experiences working with three different Newark Mayors and his future opportunities. 

Holyrood Church
Brandy Wood for WBGO

Amanda Morales Guerra has spent the last two months inside the Holyrood Church in Washington Heights. Community members ferry her children back and forth to school. Volunteers come in several times each week to teach her English. Earlier this month, Amanda came out to the steps of the church to greet a group from a local synagogue. She could not venture further, for fear of deportation and separation from her family.

Many of the 11,000 voting machines in New Jersey are old and will soon have to be replaced. Amid concerns about hacking, state lawmakers are examining how to make sure new machines will be more secure.

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker says while there’s no evidence of hacking, the machines are hackable.

Princeton computer science professor Andrew Appel say he could quickly break the security seals on a voting machine, replace the chip that records the results, and reseal it so the tampering would be undetectable.

Free Press Action Fund / newsvoices.org

The Civic Information Consortium would allocate $100 million from New Jersey’s sale of two public broadcasting licenses over a five-year span to promote local journalism.

“Right now, New Jersey is suffering from a local news crisis,” said James Thompson with the Free Press Action Fund, a journalism advocacy organization.  “There’s been cutbacks in journalism staffs around the state.  We see this as a way to transform the way people get their news and information.”

Many New Jersey survivors of Superstorm Sandy are still suffering psychological distress.

Dr. Christine Hatchard is director of the Clinical Psychology Research Center at Monmouth University. She says five years after the storm 15 percent of Sandy victims they’ve been tracking have serious emotional distress. And of those still not back in their homes, 40 percent say they’re stressed out.

Advocates are launching a statewide effort to protect a program that provides food assistance for about 800,000 thousand New Jersey residents.

Adelle LaTourette is the director of the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition.  She says the budget Congress is considering could cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that helps low income workers and senior citizens buy the food their families need.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says his administration learned a lot during Superstorm Sandy and the five years of rebuilding.  The recollections of his senior staff and cabinet members have been put in a recovery playbook for the state.

Christie says the book will bring back some tough memories for victims and first responders but it also highlights what’s been accomplished.

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey says debates in several legislative districts aren’t being held this year because candidates aren’t willing to participate.

Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray says avoiding debates is a political strategy for some candidates.

“If you are running ahead, the status quo is your best friend. So you don’t want to upset that by engaging in a debate where something is out of your control.”  

Murray says incumbents might prefer to skip debates.

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