Capital Impact Group is one of the
“Big Shots on State Street”

 -The Star Ledger

Movers and Shakers
This afternoon, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin withdrew from the LD13 Senate race to replace retiring Senator Joe Kyrillos, clearing a pathway for Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon to secure the Republican party’s endorsement on March 18th. It is expected that the Assemblywoman will run for reelection, and be joined on the ticket by Monmouth County Freeholder Serena DiMaso.


Her time…Carol Murphy is off and running for an expected open Assembly seat in the 7th legislative district.  Well known and highly-regarded already, she is Director of Policy and Communication for Assemblywoman Gabriela M. Mosquera and was previously Chief of Staff for Senator Linda Greenstein.


Jennifer Nelson is expected to be named Monmouth County’s new Director of Communications. Jennifer was previously the spokeswoman for NJ Transit.


Senate Majority Staffer Thomas Scotton was promoted to serve as an aide to the Senate Transportation Committee.  He recently returned to the Senate Majority Office after working on the Hillary for America campaign.

Earlier this week, Governor Chris Christie nominated the widely-respected Lou Goetting, his former senior advisor, to the board of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.  His nomination is subject to the advice and consent of the State Senate.


Great News!  GOP gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli announced this week that he is now cancer-free.  The Somerset Republican scaled back his campaign in January to undergo aggressive treatments in his battle with throat cancer.  Congrats on your recovery, Jack!


Missy Balmir, former aide to Senate President Sweeney, recently joined the office of Senator Robert Menendez as Senior Outreach Advisor.


Two veterans of the Governor’s legal team have been nominated for promotions. Senior deputy chief counsel Scott Coffina has been selected to serve as the new Burlington County prosecutor. Susana Guerrero, a former attorney in the Governor’s Counsel’s office, an Assistant Commissioner at the Department of Education, and most recently the executive director of the State Ethics Commission, has been nominated to the bench as an Administrative Law Judge.


Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s former Chief of Staff Sonia Das recently left the Senate Majority office in pursuit of her own public affairs company.
Kellie Ledet joined East Orange Mayor Lester Taylor‘s administration as his new Chief of Staff to work on completing his policy initiatives.  The Mayor is not seeking reelection.  A well-known and regarded New Jersey public official, Ledet most recently served as Small Business Regional Administrator for former President Obama.


Congrats to Braxton Plummer, Political Director for the Phil Murphy for Governor campaign, Tom Little, Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Assembly members Houghtaling and Downey, and our many friends who were named this week to InsiderNJ’s African American Political Power List.

Last week the New Jersey Business and Industry Association promoted Andrew Musick to Vice President. Andrew’s policy issues include taxation, economic development, and education.

Robert Zuckerman recently joined Assemblyman Joe Danielsen’s staff as the Director of Communications and Special Projects. Previously Robert did campaign work in Middlesex County.

After over two decades in state government, Deputy Treasurer Thomas Neff announced his resignation this week. He had previously served in two prior administrations and was deputy executive director of the Senate Republican Office.

Charles Barker is the newest edition to Senator Cory Booker’s state staff, serving as Constituent Advocate handling banking and IRS casework.
Last month, Claire Wolfe became Legislative Aide to Assemblyman Raj Mukherji. Claire recently received her Master’s in International Political Economy at the University of York, in England.
Coriell Institute for Medical Research recently named Courtney Mengel Dirks as their new Director of Communications and Government Relations. An attorney, Courtney previously worked for University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Medicine and former Congressman Joe Sestak (PA).  Congratulations, Courtney!

Theo Siggelakis, former aide to Assemblyman Dan Benson recently launched Broad Street Strategy, a political fundraising company.

Kimberlee S. Williams, co-owner and marketing director of the Newark-based marketing firm Femworks, has joined the Rutgers-Newark Office of Communications, as Director of Communications.


State House Happenings

Happening Now…Governor Christie delivers his final Budget Address for FY 2018.

At his last budget address, Governor Christie outlined his successes over the past eight years, and his spending plan which proposes a $35.5 billion state budget.



Due to the increased amount of insured under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the administration proposes to cut charity care by $50 million. However with the uncertain fate of the ACA under the Trump Administration, many fear that the plan to “repeal and replace” the ACA may leave many New Jersey residents uninsured.


Governor Christie indicated that an increase of $30 million towards Graduate Medical Education programs will help address the shortage of doctors and nurses in NJ and that he wants Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey surplus revenue to annually fund the state’s most vulnerable populations, who access Charity Care and Medicaid.


The ongoing campaign against substance addiction was also highlighted, allocating funds to the Department of Children and Families to expand residential services for 18 and 19 year olds, and the Department of Health to increase the number of hospital beds used for recovering residents.



Another highly anticipated issue was addressed by the governor – how the state’s broken school funding formula should be fixed. The most recent iteration of the education formula, the School Funding Reform Act (SFRA), was fast-tracked through the legislature in 2008, and promised to deliver help to some of the state’s poorest districts. What resulted, however, was inequity across the state and severe underfunding in many school districts.


Now the governor has called on the legislature for serious reform, with 39% of the state’s entire FY 2018 budget to be dedicated to education spending. Within 100 days, the Governor has directed leaders in both parties to agree on a way to amend the funding formula, stressing the importance that this issue should be resolved by summer. Though the governor proposed his own draconian “Fairness Formula,” which would have severely impacted state aid to some of the poorest school districts in the state, he is now seeking to find a solution through the legislature, and promises to work with them in finding a successful agreement.


In Memoriam

Jamie Fox, an adored and respected New Jersey public servant for the last 40 years, died late last month at the age of 62.  Jamie was

the state’s commissioner of transportation under Governors Christie and McGreevey.  He was also chief of staff for Governor McGreevey and former U.S. Senator Bob Torricelli and served as an advisor to Governors Codey and Corzine.


Jamie had an affable demeanor, infectious laugh and self-deprecating sense of humor that was downright disarming.  But when it came to politics, he was a shrewd strategist who was usually three steps ahead of his opponents and unafraid to make tough decisions.  He was a mentor to so many, helping countless former aides and candidates to succeed.  He was a longtime friend to the principals at CIG and will be dearly missed. Eric Shuffler and the Fox Family are hosting a service in celebration of Jamie’s life on Monday, March 6 at 3:00 at the Grounds for Sculpture, 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, NJ.


Former Economic Development Authority CEO Caren Franzini recently died after a courageous battle with breast cancer.   She was 57.  Caren served as chief executive of the EDA from 1994 to 2012, under seven New Jersey governors of both parties. CIG Principal Gerry Gibbs knew Caren personally and professionally, having both served as a members of the EDA Board and the Camden Recovery Board during Governor McGreevy’s administration.  A friend of CIG’s, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Caren’s children and husband.


John White, a longtime education and budget analyst for the Office of Legislative Services, and later a school business administrator and advocate for teens dealing with drug addiction, passed away on February 4, 2017. The father of Assembly Majority senior staffer Keith White, John was a friend and colleague to many in Trenton and will be dearly missed.



CIG Client Spotlight 

Best Friends Animal Society, is a national, non-profit organization, that advocates for animal welfare. Best Friends focuses on ending the killing of dogs and cats throughout the country’s shelters, and runs the largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals in the country.  Their goal is to advance no-kill legislation throughout the U.S.


Proximity to Power…
CIG Live on State Street!

As reported in NJBIZ, Capital Impact Group recently launched CIG Live on State Street, a real-time video stream of press conferences, political events, rallies and more. Now you’ll be able to view political developments in Trenton anytime from anywhere, as they happen!
Check it out here:


In Our Thoughts 
Former legislative staffer and insurance lobbyist John Leyman recently suffered a catastrophic fall while on vacation in St. Lucia. To help support John and his family during his recovery, please visit his Go Fund Me page. 


Out & About

Team CIG in the halls of the State House awaiting Governor Christie’s last Budget Address.


Murphy & Mulroys — CIG Principal Gene Mulroy and his brother Kyle, shared some laughs with former Ambassador to Germany and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy on the NJ Chamber’s Walk to Washington last month.
CIG’s PaulCrupi with Lieutenant Governor  Kim Guadagno, at Bayada’s groundbreaking ceremony for its new global headquarters located in Pennsauken.
Last month, Tammy Murphy visited Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore’s Program Center and met with CEO Sue McClure, who is also president of the New Jersey Girl Scouts Council.
Earlier this week the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) hosted their annual “Women of Power” reception at Marsilio’s Kitchen.  The popular event was packed and bursting at the seams this year as CAWP and women lawmakers paid tribute to retiring Senator Diane Allen.  She will be missed!
CIG’s Shantè Palmer is pictured with Ambassador Murphy, Lolita Cruz and Assemblyman Giblin between takes of The Giblin Report.
 Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz, a licensed nurse, delivered an inspired keynote address at the Annual Awards Meeting of ONL NJ – Organization of Nurse Leaders, New Jersey.


Shantè Palmer at NJBIC’s reception in DC with Congressman Payne, Congresswoman Watson-Coleman and Senator Booker for the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference.


Sabeen Kalyan-Masih traveled to California’s Wine Country to participate in the national lobbyist conference for the Wine Institute.



Tuesday, April 18th at 1pm

Capital Impact Group will be hosting a luncheon reception at their Trenton office in honor of former Ambassador and gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy.

More details to follow….


ODM Client Spotlight

ODM has been working closely with Home Towne Rx, a Lawrence Township based pharmacy services company, over the last several months to expand their base of operations, improve their social media footprint and create new strategic partnerships Statewide.


In anticipation of their soon to be expansion into the City of Newark, ODM helped facilitate the inclusion of a full page article about Home Towne RX in the last issue of Newark Bound Magazine.  ODM and Home Towne Rx will have much more exciting news to share in the weeks ahead.


 Who We Are

Capital Impact Group is a bipartisan,

full-service public affairs and business development firm based in Trenton, NJ, 37 steps from the front door of the State House. We offer a wide range of services to help our clients manage the realities of today’s political, economic and regulatory environment and the ever-changing dynamics in the State of New Jersey and Washington, D.C.


Open Door Media is a fast-growing public affairs and communications firm focused on delivering results for our corporate, government and non-profit clients.