STATEWIDE – It seems every politician – living or dead – is taking credit these days for the very low unemployment rate, around 3.5% in New Jersey. But there is another edge to this sword: trying to find available people to serve as poll workers on primary day on June 2. Even though the election is five months from now, Middlesex County dashed out a press release yesterday with a big, fat, “Help Wanted.” You can earn $200, the county notes, as well as the pride of “performing a valuable civic service.” High school kids as young as 16 are being recruited for the one-day gig, just as long as they are citizens, speak English and mom or pop gives sign-off. No experience needed and – hey – if you happen to speak Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Urdu, Mandarin, Cantonese or Korean, boy, that would be great! Apply today, as space may (or may not) be filling up fast.
TRENTON – If the idea that college athletes should compete for the love of the game, and not money, seems quaint, that’s because it is. It’s sure hard to keep young athletes on that pedestal when colleges and universities — as well as the holier-than-thou National Collegiate Athletic Association — are raking in millions on school sports programs. State lawmakers are now proposing “The Fair Play Act” to give amateur athletes direct control of their personal brands — names, images and likenesses, NJ Spotlight reports. That opens the door to lucrative endorsement deals, ranging from sports gear to sponsored sports camps. First, though, the bill has to make it through both houses of the Legislature (the state Senate has already passed it). Then there’s a five-year timeout so states across the country can craft similar legislation. If you’ve got kids who’ll be heading off to college in a few years, invest in a football.
CAMDEN – The 76ers are paying Tobias Harris $32.7 million this year to play basketball, so there should really be no issue for the team to fork over $400,000 in refunds to New Jersey for allegedly undeserved tax breaks. NJ.com reports the state is trying to wrangle the money from the Sixers, after it built a 125,000-square-foot complex in Camden. At issue: the 76ers were required to pay fees, which the team considered as capital costs, as part of a generous $82 million tax break. That meant that state fees were paid for with public funds, which doesn’t make any sense, state officials rightfully argue. Does New Jersey have a shot for a refund? Probably from half-court, say the Sixers.
BRIEFING BREATHER: Every U.S. President has worn glasses.
NEWTON – Hear the one about the tampon and the turkey? Probably not, but that’s the reason why some are calling for the Democratic party chair to resign. Politicoreports that party chairwoman Katie Rotondi is a filmmaker who apparently forgot to tell party leadership that she made a 2015 comedy video using a cooked turkey to demonstrate how to apply a tampon. (It’s pretty gross.) The video has prompted a “poisonous” environment within the party. A letter from party faithful reads: “The toxicity in New Jersey's political environment is not exclusively men abusing their power. In this instance, it was a woman who made the conditions unbearable.”
MADISON – So much for bringing in national leaders to share their unique insights. Theology students at Drew University have a big problem with former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, scheduled to talk at a Drew Forum tomorrow night in Morristown, NJ 101.5 reports. The students claim the alleged abhorrent actions of Kelly rise to the level of crimes against humanity, and Drew University should not be a pawn to whitewash his legacy. They say he supported policies that separated children from their parents in immigration detention centers and efforts to ban Muslims from entering the country. OK. But who deemed that university speakers shouldn’t be controversial? Isn’t the whole point of college to learn other perspectives? These students have the rest of their lives to blindly listen to those who they agree with (See Fox News and MSNBC). Keep quiet, listen and learn.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
CONWAY, NH – Presidential hopefuls swinging through the Granite State for today’s primary election better be ready to discuss a major issue with one local newsman: UFOs. Conway Daily Sun reporter Daymond Steer is demanding to know what our government really knows about little green alien visitors. And he wants our next president to promise he or she will go public with the real facts. Steer tells Vice.com: “UFOs could be one of the greatest news stories of our time. I want a piece of it.” Since 2015, Steer has gathered a bunch of wishy-washy answers from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang and others. Steer has yet to quiz our current ‘Space Force’ president. But we all know if Trump had any top secret info about UFOs we’d probably see it first on Twitter. In any case, curious to see the primary poll numbers in Area 51.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was on this day in 2013 that Pope Benedict XVI left the 9-5 grind, announcing he was quitting. It sent shockwaves through the Vatican’s HR Department; he was the first Pope to hang up the white robe since 1415.
WORD OF THE DAY
Obloquy – [AH-blə-kwee] – noun
Definition: Abusive language
Example: Obloquy rained down from the stands. Can’t this guy hit one free throw?
WIT OF THE DAY
“Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear - kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor - with the cry of grave national emergency.”
― Gen. Douglas MacArthur
"I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me...”
- Donald J. Trump
WEATHER IN A WORD: Dreary
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun