Lack of details, and silent responses on and from Cristie are very loud!

Christie has been pulling a Corzine for the entire campaign.

Talk about frustrating – kinda. Christie’s lack of details makes it easy to know who the real contender to Corzine should be in November.

He has plans (or does he? Does he even have a clue? Maybe, but I don’t know – that’s the problem) but doesn’t need to explain tham (doesnt that sound familiar?) ?

Does he have a high level of confidence perhaps, that us grassroots voters are going to press that little red button in the polling b ooth because most of the County Chairmen say He’s the man?

Well I for do not intent on voting for a liberal Republican – EVER.  I say liberal because I have no reason to think otherwise. I can only compare him to the other main candidate who believes the devil is in the details and says it like it is – and NO PANDERING.

As a Voter, I must be honest: Cristie’s lack of details are quite telling.  What’s great is that us voters can just do a little research on issues most important to us so we have the ability to make the right decision on Primary and election day..

People ask me what I think about Cristie. The truth is, i don’t hear from the guy or see him answer real questions (just like the Dems). What I do hear is that he’s ducking forums and/or debates. THE SILENCE IS LOUD

What’s Cristies proposals and outlines on taxes, the economy, the Soprano state and the unions, schools, COAH, and the whole laundry list..

I am a voter, and Hello, Mr. Christie: I have no idea. All I hear is  just general rhetoric about “putting an end to it” or something like that.

Contrast that to Lonegan,  and Mayor Lonegan outlines his proposals for real change one by one.

How will Cristie fix the economy and keep businesses from leaving NJ? Does he have a plan?  He  He’s always ducking the details

Hey wait a minute:  Son of a gun…  he’s pulling a Corzine. He has a plan, but “it’s top secret”?

If you’re a conservative first, and a Republican second, Lonegan is your man.

Speaking of silence – here’s a telling article from Star Ledger’s April 30th articlePosted by Paul Mulshine

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rudy’s not talking either

from the Star-Ledger, Posted by Paul Mulshine April 30, 2009

Shortly after 1 p.m., my phone rang. It was Rudy Giuliani. He was endorsing Chris Christie in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Rudy said, among other things, that Chris Christie is “an economic conservative.”

He is? You sure coulda fooled me. The handpicked candidate of the liberal Republican establishment has spent the past few months ducking questions on economic issues.

For good reason, I suspect. It was the state GOP establishment that gave us such ultra-liberal programs as free preschool for 3- and-4-year-olds under a state constitution that requires schooling only for those between 5 and 18.

“… Christie’s busy blasting opponent Lonegan for the most economically conservative stand in recent memory – a move to a 2.9 percent flat tax as opposed to the expected rate that will exceed 10 percent next year.”

They also gave us that $8.7 billion school-construction program that was squandered on new schools in the cities that cost as much as $175 million per school.

Christie’s opponent, Steve Lonegan, sued his own party to stop that borrowing. I didn’t hear a peep out of Christie at the time – or ever for that matter.

And as I noted in a prior post, Christie’s busy blasting opponent Lonegan for the most economically conservative stand in recent memory – a move to a 2.9 percent flat tax as opposed to the expected rate that will exceed 10 percent next year.

I tried to ask Rudy just what is economically conservative about that.

Rudy didn’t answer. He just hung up.

ALSO: Check this Philadelphia Inquirer piece in which Lonegan proposes standing up to the state Supreme Court and distributing school-funding on a fair basis. Again, Christie’s silence speaks volumes.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan said yesterday that he would cut court-ordered funding to New Jersey’s poorest school districts and equalize state subsidies to all districts.

“It is a noble goal to strive to provide a quality education for every student . . .,” he said, “but I submit that the current [school funding] formula is a complete failure, a miserable failure not only in that it’s failed to provide a quality education, but in the impact it has had on taxpayers.”

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Talk about batting 1000: Jury convicts Bryant on ALL 12 counts of bribery and fraud

Once in a while there really IS justice in the Soprano State!

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Visit courierpostonline.com/Bryant for full coverage of the trial.

Former state Sen. Wayne Bryant was found guilty of all 12 counts of bribery and pension fraud Tuesday, convictions that could send him to prison for years.

A jury of six men and six women deliberated for over parts of three days before finding the veteran legislator guilty of selling his office for personal gain and inflating his state pension with work he did not perform.

Bryant’s co-defendant, Dr. Michael Gallagher, was found guilty of all but one count of carrying out the bribery scheme with Bryant and also faces prison time.

Attorneys for both men, who contended before the trial began that the prosecution overstepped its bounds in bringing criminal charges in this case.

The case emanated from a part-time job that Bryant obtained at the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, where Gallagher was dean, in 2003.

The government alleged that the ”community outreach” job was phony, mere camouflage for the real reason the school was paying the senator $35,000 a year: To buy his influence in Trenton.

Through testimony and documentation, the office of the U.S Attorney laid out its case that in the years before Bryant joined the payroll at the School of Osteopathic Medicine he secured no money for the school, but in the three years following his hire he steered more than $10 million the school’s way.

His job at the medical school consisted of little more than showing up on Tuesday morning and ”reading the newspapers,” several employees at the school testified.

But as chairman of the powerful Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, the government demonstrated to the jury’s satisfaction, Bryant managed to add $2.3 million to the school’s budget almost immediately and to follow that up with an extra $800,000 for a child support program run by the school and another $200,000 for a program for the elderly.

Read the rest here

Other headlines:

After verdict, Christie calls Bryant ‘disgrace’

Ex-peers say Bryant case shows need for ethics reforms

MORE

VOTE NO – NJ Ballot Question #1: Deception at its best courtesy of Lance & Lesniak

Democrat or Republican – it just doesn’t matter. This is classic deception at its best.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • By voting YES, you’re actually allowing the NJ Constitution to be changed to conform to the Trenton Cosa Nostra to pledge the full faith and credit of the State.
  • It means billions could be borrowed without voter approval to build dozens of $150 million high schools, complete with state-of-the-art theaters,stadiums, and day-care centers.
  • A “Yes” vote on Ballot Question #1 means Governor Corzine and the
    State Legislature could pass a simple law to refinance every dollar of the $37 billion
    borrowed by state authorities without voter approval.
  • Once the full faith and credit of New Jersey is pledged, all state
    sales tax money is earmarked to pay that debt before it is spent on anything else
    .
  • When its full faith and credit is pledged, the State is legally obligated to impose a new
    statewide property tax to pay its debts
    , whenever sales tax revenues are not sufficient.
  • State Legislature could pass a simple law to refinance every dollar of the $37 billion borrowed by state authorities without voter approval. If they do that, the state will give up its legal right to refuse to spend taxpayer dollars on such “unconstitutional” debt.

~~~~~~~~~

State Senators Leonard Lance (Republican) and Raymond Lesniak (Democrat)  claim a
“Yes” vote for their proposed “bipartisan” Constitutional Amendment (State Ballot
Question #1 for this November’s election) would stop independent authorities like the
EDA (Economic Development Authority) from borrowing billions of dollars without voter
approval. But the opposite is true.

Earlier this year, Governor Corzine tried to hock our toll roads to pay off $40 billion in
state debt. But the governor never said the state was legally on the hook for only $3
billion. The other $37 billion was created by independent authorities without voter
approval. As a result, the state legislature does not legally have to pay roughly $3
billion each year on that debt, and can stop payment at any time.
Every bond sold by these authorities clearly state that this was speculative junk debt
and not guaranteed by New Jersey taxpayers.

Under our present Constitution, only the voters can provide that security.

But a “yes” vote on Ballot Question #1 would change all that. It would
change the Constitution and allow state politicians to pledge the full faith and
credit of the state without voter approval for the first time since 1844. You won’t know
that if you just read the Ballot Question, and Interpretive Statement. The details are
buried in Senate Concurrent Resolution #39 which created them.


Senate Concurrent Resolution #39 states that voter approval will not
be needed to guarantee the bonds of any “autonomous public corporate entity” if there is “an
independent non-State source of revenue paid by third persons” or “a
source of revenue otherwise required to be appropriated
pursuant to another provision of
this Constitution”.

This means billions could be borrowed without voter approval.

It means billions could be borrowed without voter approval to build
dozens of $150 million high schools, complete with state-of-the-art theaters,
stadiums, and day-care centers. Any political “educator” can certify that they are needed to
provide a “thorough and efficient education” as required by our State Constitution – or
qualify under the “Property Tax Relief Fund”. But the most dangerous provision of Ballot
Question #1 is this:

“No voter approval shall be required for any such law. . . authorizing
the creation of a debt or debts. . . for the refinancing of all or a portion of any
outstanding debts or liabilities of. . .
an autonomous public corporate entity,”

A “Yes” vote on Ballot Question #1 means Governor Corzine and the
State Legislature could pass a simple law to refinance every dollar of the $37 billion
borrowed by state authorities without voter approval.
If they do that, the state will
give up its legal right to refuse to spend taxpayer dollars on such “unconstitutional” debt.

Once the full faith and credit of New Jersey is pledged, all state
sales tax money is earmarked to pay that debt before it is spent on anything else
. When
its full faith and credit is pledged, the State is legally obligated to impose a new
statewide property tax to pay its debts
, whenever sales tax revenues are not sufficient. If
you don’t believe it,
look at the fine print of last year’s Open Space bond legislation.

A “Yes” Vote on Ballot Question #1 will guarantee that this borrowing,
and the waste and corruption that goes with it, continues.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For more information, visit http://www.libertyandprosperity.org or contact
Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman at seth@dandy.net or 609-927-7333. Seth Grossman hosts a
two way talk radio program on 1020AM Mondays-Fridays from 3PM to 5PM,
and breakfast discussion groups Saturday at 9AM at the Athena Diner, on New Road
between Tilton and New Roads in Northfield.

Alternative Budget Plan Presented By Republicans Goes Ignored By Trenton Majority

A note from Senator Beck, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

As you may be aware, the New Jersey Legislature passed the State
budget last Monday.

An alternative budget plan presented by Republicans contained over $1
billion in spending cuts, funded transportation and contained none of
the backdoor tax increases in the Governors budget. Unfortunately,
that plan was once again ignored by the majority in Trenton. The
Governor’s budget might look good at first glance- after years of
Republicans calling for lower spending, the budget is about $600
million less than last year. But a closer review of the budget shows
that some of the “spending cuts” are actually tax increases in
disguise, and an opportunity to fund the state’s transportation needs
for the foreseeable future was missed.

Because of those backdoor tax increases and the failure to fund
transportation, we voted against the budget.

One of the “spending cuts” was a decrease in aid to municipalities. In
most cases, if your town gets less money from the state, then they’ll
have to raise your property taxes to make up the difference.

Another of the “spending cuts” was a reduction in the Homestead Rebate
for some and the elimination of it for others. Given that last year we
were told the program was sustainable for the foreseeable future, this
was particularly disappointing, and again, a tax increase for some.

The budget also included the extension of a $62 million energy tax
which was scheduled to expire. At a time when energy costs are
skyrocketing, allowing this tax to expire would have been welcome
relief for many, but it was extended.

When Republicans offered an alternative budget plan in May, a central
part of the plan was to dedicate over $500 million a year to fund the
Transportation Trust Fund, which pays for the major repairs to our
roadways and bridges. This would have eliminated the need for a gas
tax increase, a toll increase or any of the other costly and
controversial plans suggested by the Governor. Unfortunately, this
budget does nothing to address those needs, leaving an opening for the
Governor to bring his toll road scheme back from the dead.

The debate in Trenton has now changed from ‘Can we cut?’ to ‘Where can
we cut?’. That is a victory for all New Jersey taxpayers. There is
still much work to be done, however. The pension reforms we passed on
Monday were a step in the right direction, but not as strong as we
would have preferred. We still need to fund our transportation needs
without a massive toll or tax hike. We still need to monitor the
waste, fraud and abuse of tax dollars that sadly continues to this
day.

We will continue to be your voice in Trenton and fight for the reforms
which will stop the exodus of people from New Jersey.

Sincerely,

Senator Jennifer Beck

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

12th Legislative District

Tom Fitzsimmons
Communications Director
Legislative District 12

Senator Jennifer Beck
Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Corzine Orders School Chief Contract Review (yeah right)

From our friends at NJ101.5

The state has begun reviewing superintendent contracts in the state’s poorest school districts.

Gov. Jon S. Corzine says he has asked the state education commissioner to ensure the contracts comply with state law and efficiently spend taxpayer money.

The state’s 31 poorest districts receive heavy state funding (like 80% – shouldn’t that come with state oversight?)

Corzine’s move on Wednesday comes after outcry surrounding a $740,000 severance package for the Keansburg superintendent. Corzine has asked the state attorney general to seek an injunction preventing the money from being paid.

But the administration says it began reviewing some contracts in April as a result of new state fiscal regulations, even rejecting a new Plainfield superintendent contract for provisions that provided payments for travel, meals, lodging, life insurance and sick leave reimbursement.

More than 25 cents out of every $1. …

That’s how much spending auditors said was “unnecessary, excessive or lacking documentation” by Abbott school districts.

From our friends at inthelobby.net

Actually, that’s more than 25 cents out of every tax dollar.

Now, under normal circumstances, learning that the Plainfield school district tried to justify spending $504 on the private rental of a skating park for 144 students by saying students are learning math because they “will have to judge speed, radius of the ring,” would make us laugh out loud.

But these are not normal circumstances.

These are circumstances where Trenton is all but urging the Turnpike Authority to go ahead and raise the tolls.

These are circumstances where as soon as the governor gets done with the state budget, he’s going to unveil “Son of Toll Hike” and try to ram it through the Legislature.

And these are circumstances that despite almost daily pleading for lawmakers to do something to attack the waste in the state budget, to ferret out abuse, and to reform the pension system, there’s more talk about how they have to raises tolls or the gas tax, then there is to recoup tax dollars.

So reading in the Star Ledger that auditors uncovered $83 million in questionable expenditures in the Abbott school districts was nothing to laugh about.

Not when school districts can be so cavalier with our tax dollars that:
  • The Orange Board of Education spent $3,100 in tax dollars for a Christmas party for teachers and support staff;
  • Irvington spent  $6,421 for a school board retreat in Atlantic City; while another 250 purchase orders in Irvington totaling more than $15.5 million were not supported with invoices;
  • In East Orange, the district spent $10,836 for a superintendent’s convocation; $23,834 for 14 Dell laptop computers for board members, and $753 to cover the cost of 34 cakes — with no explanation as to why the cakes were purchased; and
  • Gloucester City spent $6,000 for meals for teachers and administrators.
Now, individually, these might not be large expenditures.

But taken together, what they add up to is the New Jersey taxpayer’s lament. They add up to the fact that our state suffers from a careless disregard of tax dollars.  New Jersey’s government, on all levels, has either forgotten who is paying the bills – or, worse yet, they simply don’t care.

Not every taxpayer or the company they work for can afford Christmas parties.  Not every taxpayer can afford laptop computers.  Not every taxpayer can afford a retreat in Atlantic City.

And one of the reasons they can’t is because the residents of New Jersey are paying too much in taxes.

And we are paying too much because some school districts and municipalities and counties and state agencies and departments forget that every dollar they spend, is a dollar that comes from a family – they forget that every dollar they spend is a dollar less that their neighbor can spend on themselves.

Instead, we hear how the Pleasantville School District is under investigation by the federal government. The Asbury Park School District is under investigation by the state.

And we learn that more than 25 cents out of every dollar that we send to Abbott school districts were  “unnecessary, excessive or lacking documentation.” That $83 million that the auditors cited could keep the state parks open.  It could keep the Department of Agriculture open.  It could go to bridge or road repair.
And when you add that $83 million to the all the other documented waste out there – like the $1.2 billion in MVC surcharges that the state hasn’t collected or the millions it spends unnecessarily in Medicaid or the millions it has spent on school construction – it is appalling that Trenton has the audacity to tell us they need more of our money, without lifting a finger to recoup all the other money that has been taken from us, that hasn’t been spent wisely or well.

We are not naïve. We know that we have to repair the roads and bridges.  We know that we have to pay down the debt, and pay for schools and hospitals and those who need our help. But we are also not fools.  Until they try to recoup what has been wasted, until they show more concern for the taxpayers who pay the bills than their political pals or the special interests they cater to, it makes no sense to give Trenton more of our money, because they don’t respect or honor what they already have.

Here’s our Brilliant Gov: NJ struggling- $33B debt, can’t pay transport. projects, struggling to keep state parks open, cut municipal aid, BUT… lets give $589K to Stemcyte to hire 7 more employees. Can we please just fire him NOW??

Also… did you know that New Jersey lawmakers and Corzine approved $270 million to build five stem cell research facilities in the state – money that they were somehow able to borrow without voter permission.

Very enlightening article by our friends at inthelobby.net

May 2, 2008

Our governor is a man who is committed to his causes.

He gave Democrats some $652,000 last year –nearly $563,000 to state Democrats and $89,000 to Democratic congressional candidates. In 2006, Corzine gave $869,000 to Democrats and party organizations. Since entering politics in 2000, he has donated more than $8 million to state and federal candidates.

He is a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton. (Except when he’s describing the scenarios by which he thinks she should drop out of the race.)

He gave $500,000 to Save Our State NJ, which is his public relations front group that was created to help him sell his 800 percent toll hike plan.

He sent $200,000 to a group that was promoting last year’s ill-fated bond issue to borrow $450 million to hire staff and fund research at the five stem cell research centers the governor hopes to build around the state.

All of these were done with his own money, which is fine. He can spend his money however he wishes, on whatever causes he wishes.

What’s not so fine is when state money somehow winds up funding his pet causes.

So there Corzine was Thursday, hailing the decision by StemCyte Inc., a California-based stem cell research firm to open a New Jersey office with five people, which they say may someday grow to 12 employees.

To help spur this job growth, the governor touted the fact that this firm would receive some $589,000 in state grants, through the Business Employment Incentive Program, which basically is a program that rewards companies that create jobs.

In other words, we’ll be paying this company about $80,000 a person every time they hire one of the seven new employees.

Probably a good chunk of the salaries the company will be paying these folks.

“It does seem questionable to be writing checks to companies that are going to hire 12 people when you’re cutting higher education and can’t pay for transportation,” said Jon Shure, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective.

Seriously.

Listen, this company may be a great investment. But when the state is struggling to find money to keep parks open, and is cutting homestead rebates, that $589,000 sure seems like an awful lot of money to be sending to one firm that is creating just 7 new jobs.

Especially when the state has lost about 10,000 jobs so far this year.

But we have another question.

We all know that our governor can be a bit, well, shall we say tone-deaf politically about causes and people he believes in. (Read Javier Inclan and 800 percent toll hikes.) That if he says something is on the up and up, then he thinks no one should doubt otherwise. That he doesn’t see conflicts of interest involving himself, because, in his mind, he apparently thinks he has no conflicts.

So, is it too cynical to ask whether the governor’s enthusiasm for stem cell research was one of the deciding factors in giving this company a grant?

Voters resoundingly rejected the stem cell research bond issue. From all accounts, the governor was severely disappointed in the defeat. And, apparently, in this case, he counting on the fact that he doesn’t think “No” really means “No.”
“I intend to revisit this issue,” Corzine said at Thursday’s press conference.
“We haven’t crossed that bridge yet. It is in an overall context that we have to look at where we are with regard to revenue growth and the comfort with which we can address additional debt. I don’t think that’s going to be so long.”
Hello?

Did we read that right?

Here he is, trying to soak us all for an 800 percent toll hike over 14 years because he said our debt is strangling us.

And yet, he can’t wait to go out and bond for another $450 million for stem cell research?

“…We have to look at where we are with regard to revenue growth and the comfort with which we can address additional debt. I don’t think that’s going to be so long.”

He doesn’t think that will be that long? But aren’t we supposedly more than $30 billion in debt? And isn’t the only debt reduction plan out there his 800 percent toll hike plan, which is supposed to be politically dead?

Read the rest RIGHT HERE