ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Accepting public financing for your gubernatorial run certainly has its perks. But, as Politico reports, there’s also some tough strings attached. And no one knows that better than Jack Ciattarelli, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, who now has to participate in two primary debates because of his two-for-one matching funds from the state. And that means Ciattarelli has to deal with a pro-Trumper, Hirsh Singh, able to raise $490,000 to earn a place on the debate stage. Singh, who has run for office unsuccessfully four times in the last four years, has not yet responded to Politico about his big plans as governor. A gem from Singh: “The New Jersey swamp creatures who have been pretending to be pro-America have shown their true colors and have attacked President Trump when he needs our support the most as he takes on the perpetrators of electoral fraud.” Wow. In any case, these mandatory debates certainly can’t be welcomed by the Ciattarelli camp, as they will dig up a bunch of red meat for the governor to use during the real debates this fall.

PATERSON – At one time, the promise was a chicken in every pot. But, in the Twitter era of billionaire social media entrepreneurs, this new deal has morphed into a $400-a-month payment, guaranteed, for a year. The Paterson Press tells the story of a city man who is one of more than 2,000 people who submitted online applications this week in a national program funded through a $15 million donation by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Without his own online device, the 60-year-old man used the computers that Passaic County Community College is making available to people who want to sign up for the program. There will be 110 people selected from Paterson via a lottery based on income requirements. They have until April 30, at PatersonNJ.gov/guaranteedincome

NEW BRUNSWICK – Last week, during Holocaust Remembrance Day, some indescribable people decided to egg the Sicard Street house of a Jewish fraternity, while members stood outside for 24 hours to read the names of people the Nazis systematically murdered. Alpha Epsilon Pi was able to continue the memorial, reading the names of 20,000 lost souls and raise $2,000 for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Many at Rutgers were rightfully appalled by the senseless egg throwing, and the fraternity has decided to turn an awful negative into a positive. To that end, the members have launched a GoFundMe page, to raise even more money for the museum, underscoring the obvious need for education and enlightenment among fringe groups in New Brunswick.

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BRIEFING BREATHER

The average adult spends more time on the toilet than exercising.

STATEWIDE – Politics and science. They seem the polar opposite, yet many political scientists will be forever studying the fact that life-saving COVID vaccine remains so political in the year of 2021. Monmouth University is out with a poll that shows a stark difference: 43% of Republicans say they won’t take the shot, compared with just 5% of Democrats. Political ideology aside, and the need for America to return to normalcy and health, what gives? Fortunately, only one in five Americans say they won’t be vaccinated, which still leads to herd immunity, hopefully.

STATEWIDE – There are endless rankings that show which state is the “best” and which state is the “worst.” And here is yet another one, brought to you by YouGov. This time around, unscientific “researchers” posed head-to-head matchups, and recorded responses from random people who we assume have never been on an airplane. For example, questions were like: “Do you like Tennessee more than Iowa?” The results? Hawaii ranked at the very top, likely because it is absolutely gorgeous. And where was New Jersey? Ranked third to the bottom, just in front of the awful states of Alabama and Mississippi, and mixed in with a whole bunch of other Southern states with low per-capita income. Why? The “researchers” explain: “While panelists did not provide context for their choices, New Jersey is often the butt of jokes, including for its occasional odor or for being the birthplace of The Jersey Shore franchise.” To summarize, those polled for this “research” have never been here.

RUMSON – The ripple effect of COVID will last for years, and you’ll see plenty of it play out in the courts. That includes the lawsuit from a sous-chef who has sued a local restaurant with claims he was forced to work in a mask-less kitchen, was infected with COVID by the head chef and then fired in retaliation for complaining about the dangerous work environment, NJ.com reports. The former employee claims the restaurant was in a rush to open for Thanksgiving, ignored a whole bunch of safety standards and was royally ticked when he tested positive. The response from the business owner: “First of all, it’s a joke. I would never fire anyone for that. Second of all, I have no other comment.”

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

PLACERVILLE, Calif. – Back in the 1800s, folks called it “Old Hangtown.” It was a Gold Rush speck of a town where angry mobs of miners would hang their own for perceived justice. Fast forward to now. Much has changed. No more lynching, no more hootin’, tootin’ spittin’ mad miners and this town on the western foothills of Sierra Nevada has since been renamed as Placerville. Yet, as a tip of the cowboy hat to an awful time in 19th century history, the town’s logo has prominently featured a noose for generations. Finally, CBS 13 Sacramento reports, this is gonna change – with the City Council voting this week to remove the noose, following emotional comments from city folk, arguing pro and con.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 2014 that Google first offers “Google Glass” to the public for $1,500 a piece. Hey, you can’t hit a homer every day.

WORD OF THE DAY

Discomfit – [diss-KUM-fit] – verb

Definition: To put into a state of perplexity and embarrassment

Example: I was a bit discomfited by my lack of Abraham Lincoln quotes this morning.

WIT OF THE DAY

“I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.”

-Abraham Lincoln

BIDEN BLURB

“Folks, I can tell you I've known eight presidents, three of them intimately.”

-Joe Biden

WEATHER IN A WORD

Dreary