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Pot Legalizaton Passes in Senate and Assembly Committees

After hours of delays for last minute amendments which caused the suspension of testimony and debate  a legislation that legalizes and establishes a regulatory structure of recreation marijuana passed the Assembly Appropriates Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday night, according to reports on Politico, InsiderNJ and NJGlobe.

Legislation to expunge marijuana convictions, including felony convictions for selling over 5 lbs of pot, passed the committees.  The felony expungement provisions prompted a strong reaction from Republican Senators Kip Bateman (Somerset), Michael Doherty (Warren) and Gerald Cardinale (Bergen).  Bateman said the bill contained “evil.”  Doherty said that the bill is a “deal with the devil.”  Cardinale suggested calling the bill, “the Drug Pusher’s Friend Act.” 

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Posted: March 19th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Marijuana, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Gopal: The courts should decide if NJ can keep Trump off the ballot if he doesn’t release tax returns

By Art Gallagher

Senator Vin Gopal

State Senator Vin Gopal said it would be up to the courts to decide if New Jersey has the right to keep a presidential candidate, President Trump or any other candidate, off the ballot in the state if they do not disclose five years of tax returns, as required by legislation he voted in favor of last week, should the bill pass in the Assembly and be signed by Governor Phil. Murphy.

Gopal reached out to object to MMM’s coverage of his vote on the bill, S119,which would also prohibit Electoral College electors from voting for a candidate who did not disclose their tax returns, regardless of how voters cast their ballots.  He objected to the use of the phrase “fellow cronies” in describing his relationships with the other Democrat senators who passed the bill last week.  He said I was inferring that he was corrupt for not wanting the the disclosure requirement to apply to him and other NJ elected officials and that I was implying that his cash purchase of his Tinton Falls office building was nefarious.

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Posted: February 26th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, New Jersey, News, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Long Branch Police Officer Under Investigation For Sexual Assault

Photo credit Will Bahamonde via Long Branch PD’s facebook page

MMM has learned that a Long Branch Police Officer is under investigation for allegedly inappropriately groping a female guest, during a celebration of police promotions on Friday night at Jack’s Goal Line Stand, a popular restaurant on Brighton Ave in the city.

Long Branch Police Chief Jason Roebuck confirmed the incident is being investigated by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

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Posted: February 4th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Long Branch Police Officer Under Investigation For Sexual Assault

Salman believes that Gopal’s leak tanks his chances for NJ Transit job

Bob Salman

Bob Salman, the 79 year old Democrat State Committeeman from Marlboro, believes that Senator Vin Gopal thwarted any chance he had to join the Murphy administration when the young senator distributed an email that Salman meant for Gopal’s eyes only. 

“I don’t need a job. My family doesn’t want me to work and now I probably won’t get the job,” Salman told MMM in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Salman said that the had been angling to return to the Department of Transportation, where he served as Inspector General during the McGreevey/Codey and Corzine administrations, since Governor Phil Murphy was elected last year. He told MMM that he advised the Murphy campaign and the transition on transportation issues.  “I had hoped to get a high level job after Governor Murphy took office,” Salman said. “I didn’t get it.  The legislation that reforms NJ Transit includes a Chief Ethics Officer,  That’s not an Inspector General but it is close. Now I’m probably not going to get that.”

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Posted: December 28th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Recreational Marijuana Legalization Passes NJ Legislative Committees

New Jersey is one step closer to legalizing recreational marijuana use after the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee each approved the New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Act after a four hour joint hearing on the bill.

The Senate Committee passed the bill 7-4, with two abstentions.

Monmouth County’s senators on the committee came down on different sides as Senator Vin Gopal (D-ll) voted in favor of the bill and Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) voted against.

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Posted: November 26th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Marijuana, Monmouth County News, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Will Vin Gopal Withdraw His Support Of Larry Luttrell For Freeholder?

State Senator Vin Gopal last week withdrew his support for Teddy Price, 58, a Democrat candidate for Ocean County Freeholder, ostensibly because of Price’s arrest record for alcohol fueled youthful indiscretions 37 years ago.

In a conveniently leaked letter to Ocean County Democrat Chairman Wyatt Earp, Senator Gopal  asked that the $10,000 donation he made to the Ocean Dem coffers not be used for Price’s freeholder campaign because Price was arrested twice in 1981.  The way Gopal tells the story, the charges against Price were pretty serious. “Mr. Price’s criminal history is deeply disturbing,” Gopal wrote. Assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, interfering with and fighting with police were the charges Gopal mentioned in his letter to Earp.

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Posted: September 10th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: 2018 Elections, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, Monmouth County Politics, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments »

O’Scanlon slams Murphy for holding up Monmouth Park sport betting.

Senator Declan O’Scanlon

Senator Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, blasted Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Racing Commission for standing in the way of Monmouth Park from taking sports bets this weekend.

“There are two aspects to the administration’s actions. The first is that they are taking their time to sign the legislation, and the second is that they are standing in the way of Monmouth Park opening while taking that time,” said O’Scanlon said in a press release this afternoon. “The Governor claims he needs to review this legislation before signing it, but there is no practical reason why Monmouth Park cannot start accepting wagers while that’s happening–the sky won’t fall, lions won’t roam the streets, locusts won’t ravage our fields. There is absolutely zero likelihood of any negative impact of Monmouth Park opening today. That being the case, one has to wonder about the motivation here. It’s disturbing.”

“The legislature came together in a bipartisan manner to get this done correctly and quickly. All of that bipartisan effort has been brought to a screeching and frankly irrational halt by the actions of the administration.”

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Posted: June 8th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County News, Monmouth Park, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Murphy puts the brakes on sports betting at NJ racetracks despite legislature’s green light

Don’t count on placing a bet on the NBA Finals or the Yankees/Mets subway series games this weekend at Monmouth Park.  Governor Phil Murphy has not signed the bill regulating sports betting that passed the legislature unanimously yesterday and the New Jersey Racing Commission, which Murphy controls, warned the state’s three tracks not to take bets before he does, according to a NJ.com report.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the nationwide sports betting ban, except for Nevada, Dennis Drazin of Monmouth Park announced he was prepared to start taking bets at the William Hill Race and Sports Bar on Memorial Day. New Jersey already had a law on the books, and a state constitutional amendment, that allows sports betting, so with the federal ban overturned by SCOTUS, there was no legal barrier to accepting bets.

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Posted: June 8th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Welle Underperforms Against Keady, Smith Overperforms Unopposed

By Art Gallagher

While much of the media is reporting how poorly U.S. Senator Bob Menendez performed in the  Democrat primary yesterday, I couldn’t miss how poorly Josh Welle, address none of your business, performed against former Asbury Park Councilman Jim Keady, Spring Lake, in the 4th congressional district primary.

With all three county party lines, more money and the endorsement of his former landlord, State Senator and honorary volunteer firefighter Vin Gopal, Welle only got 57% of the vote against Keady’s 43%.

Congressman Chris Smith, Hamilton, overperformed expectations, especially given that he was unopposed in the CD-4 Republican primary.

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Posted: June 6th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: 2018 Elections, Chris Smith, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Murphy could hold sports betting bill as a chip to play in budget negotiations

The William Hill Sports Race & Sports Book at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey. Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO.

Dennis Drazin and his partners at Monmouth Park were ready to accept sports bets on Memorial Day weekend.  They wisely didn’t after Senate President Steve Sweeney announced he was inserting a provision in the state legislation regulating sports betting that would prohibit anyone who took bets before the regulations were passed from getting a license.

Sweeney was looking out for the Atlantic City Casinos who weren’t ready to take bets yet.   In the meantime, Delaware passed their spots betting regulations and bets will start being taken there today.  New Jersey loses out again.

What was considered a two or three week delay while legislation was passed now threatens to deprive New Jersey’s racetracks and casinos of sports betting revenue, and the related jobs, for a third or more of their summer season.  According to a report on Politico, Governor Murphy is prepared to hold the sports betting bill as a chip to play as he negotiates his first state budget with the more moderate Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.

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Posted: June 5th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Atlantic City, Horse Racing Industry, Monmouth County News, Monmouth Park, New Jersey, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »