Sweeney in Sea Bright: “Republicans Shaming Themselves” Over Sandy Bill of Rights

Beck: “Hubris and Ego have no place in this recovery process. We have all made some mistakes. Now we need to fix them.”

Thomas P. Largey, 82, and Senate President Steve Sweeney talk in Largey's gutted living room prior to Sweeney's press conference. May 30, 2014. Photo by Art Gallagher

Thomas P. Largey, 82, and Senate President Steve Sweeney talk in Largey’s gutted Sea Bright home prior to Sweeney’s press conference. May 30, 2014. Photo by Art Gallagher

Senate President Steve Sweeney held a politically charged press conference in a partially gutted Sea Bright home this morning, ostensibly to create political pressure on Republicans in the State Legislature to join Democrats in overriding Governor Chris Christie’s conditional veto of the Sandy Bill of Rights.

Sweeney’s comments sounded like a campaign rally against Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, Senator Jennifer Beck and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, JR.

The “Sandy Bill of Rights” passed both houses of the State Legislature unanimously in March.  Christie conditionally vetoed the bill earlier this month, making over 150 changes to it.  Some of the changes were to bring the law into compliance with federal Housing and Urban Development regulations, others removed what Christie called “partisan language.”  One of Christie changes removed the requirement on the State that applicants for RREM grants be able to access the status of their applications online.

Sweeney penned an OpEd published in The Asbury Park Press last week wherein he appealed to Republican legislators who had unanimously voted for his bill “to do something they have yet to do under this (Christie) administration, and that’s to put aside their partisanship and override the governor’s veto.”

O’Scanlon responded with an OpEd of his own, wherein he said, “after further analysis we found a number of critical flaws that the Governor wisely and reasonably addresses in his conditional veto.”

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Posted: May 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Declan O'Scanlon, Dina Long, Hurricane Sandy, LD 13, Legislature, NJ Senate Republicans, NJ State Legislature, Stephen Sweeney, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

O’Scanlon: Reinstate Regional Contribution Agreements To Help Sandy Victims

Assemblyman urges Bayshore residents to ask Senate President Sweeney join the bi-partisan effort

declan-oscanlon-budgetAssemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, issued a statement today welcoming Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik’s support of Regional Contribution Agreements (RCA) for use in getting Sandy victims back into their homes, and called upon residents of his Bayshore district to question Senate President Sweeney the use of Affordable Housing Funds when Sweeney visits the district for his Town Hall meeting in Keansburg on Thursday afternoon.

“Recently, Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik suggested that RCAs could be used by towns to help their neighbors continue to rebuild in the devastating wake of Sandy,” O’Scanlon said, “My Republican colleagues and I have been calling for the use of RCAs for years and I am excited to hear that Mayor Hornik is on board. When the Democrat leadership in Trenton killed the RCA program it was bad, short sighted policy that many of us knew would come back to bite us. Its flaws are now magnified by the plight of Sandy victims as many towns struggle with the economic burdening of rebuilding.

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Posted: March 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Housing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Kyrillos Blasts HUD For Keeping Sandy Victims From Rebuidling

KyrillosState Senator Joe Kyrillos came out swinging this afternoon regarding the news that the Department of Housing and Urban Development denied the Christie Administration’s request to allow victims of Superstorm Sandy to continue to rebuild their homes while they are applying for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) grants.

Kyrillos implored HUD officials and New Jersey’s congressional delegation to do whatever is necessary to allow Sandy devastated residents to rebuild their lives.

“It’s ridiculous, to say the least, that the people of New Jersey are being denied access to grant money because they are trying to rebuild their lives after the worst storm ever,” Kyrillos said. “The people of my district and the surrounding areas were some of the hardest hit and their federal government should not be hindering their recovery. Our home owners should be able to rebuild as they apply for grant money and I urge our congressional delegation to get to work immediately”

Senator Kyrillos added that the people deserve a reasonable return on their federal tax dollars in the form of Sandy grants.

“A lot of good has come out of the $1.83 billion in initial aid to New Jerseyans, but the reality is that more resources are needed for this state to recover from nearly $37 billion in damages,” Kyrillos said. “New York has received about $4 billion more, so the time is now for HUD officials and our congressmen to turn their eyes to our state.”

The Associated Press reported today that HUD denied a Christie Administration request to waive a rule that all reconstruction work must stop when a property owner applies for RREM grants.   The federal government wants be sure that historical structures are protected and that the properties are rebuilt to the new elevation standards.  No work that is completed prior to a HUD approval of the plans will be reimbursed with RREM grants, even if the work complies with the standards.

Posted: February 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Chris Christie, Joe Kyrillos, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Storms and Fires Aren’t the Only Disasters Our Governor Has Led Us Through

declan-oscanlon-budgetBy Assembly Declan O’Scanlon

While storms and fires can’t be ignored or missed as we go through the motions of our daily lives, one of the biggest threats to the well-being of our state was silently ignored – or even enhanced – by the folks supposedly in charge for the 8 years preceding Governor Christie’s election.  When Governor Christie took office our state was on the precipice of insolvency.  Governor Corzine and the folks leading the legislature – Barbara Buono amongst them – continued, either blindly or incompetently, to steer us toward utter disaster.  Some of you public workers still upset over the pension and benefits reforms that helped to dramatically turn our outlook around?  Get real.  The only alternative would have been huge, economy-strangling tax increases, or insolvency.  You don’t want to imagine the negative impact on your pensions – or our state’s economy – had that outcome become reality.

Yet that is exactly the outcome Governor Corzine and the Democrat legislative leadership were opting for.  Barbara Buono herself voted against the unquestionably necessary Christie administration reforms that have helped save our state.  She was also the Senate Budget Chairperson that authored resoundingly irresponsible budget after budget during the Corzine era – digging the hole deeper every step of the way.

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Posted: October 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, Declan O'Scanlon, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Kyrillos: Economic Opportunity Act Should Lead To More Tax Reform

kyrillos-09-18-2013-smWith bi-partisan fanfare, Governor Chris Christie signed the Economic Opportunity Act yesterday afternoon. The new law,which Christie reshaped with his conditional veto, is far-reaching legislation designed to make New Jersey more competitive in economic development and job creation.

Economic incentives for business and development will now be more generous and easier to obtain.

State Senator Joe Kyrillos, a primary sponsor of the bill, celebrated the enactment of the legislation and called for more comprehensive tax reform.

“We got this done to boost New Jersey’s private-sector economy, because many Republicans and Democrats realize that this legislature desperately needs to do more to attract and retain job creators,” said Kyrillos (R-Monmouth). “We came together; we compromised to create more opportunities for New Jersey families. This should be the bridge to comprehensive tax reform that New Jerseyans have been waiting on for far too long.”

“It is encouraging that Democratic prime sponsor Senator Lesniak acknowledged the following during Thursday’s session: ‘We know that New Jersey cannot compete not only with our surrounding states but we can’t compete internationally because of the cost of doing business here we know is high,’” Kyrillos added. “This is a problem that Senate Republicans have tried to permanently address for years. With more Democrats now realizing the issue, the chances that this legislature will finally fix this state’s non-competitive tax structure are much better. When we get this done, residents won’t have fear that our sons and daughters will be forced to flee this costly state to start their families elsewhere, or that they won’t be able to find solid jobs because employers can’t afford to operate here.”

 

 

Posted: September 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Chris Christie, Economy, Joe Kyrillos | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

O’Scanlon is rallying public support to kill red light cameras

NJ101.5 photo

NJ101.5 photo

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, New Jersey’s most vocal advocate for the elimination of red light cameras, has taken to social media to rally public support for his quest to remove the devices that he has proven increase traffic accidents and are designed to rip off motorists from New Jersey intersections.

O’Scanlon has created an online petition at change.org that demands the New Jersey Department of Transportation end the red-light camera program in the State.  The petition can be found by clicking here.

red light camerasOn August 19, O’Scanlon provided video evidence to the press that red light camera operators shorten the required yellow light times at the intersections where the devices are installed in order to entrap motorists into running red lights and incurring fines that boost municipal revenue by upwards of $50 million dollars per year and put millions of dollars in the pockets of the companies that sell and service the red light cameras.

Backed up by Barnet Fagel, a traffic expert with the National Motorists Association and Attorney Joseph Santoli who discovered in a New York case that RLC companies were shaving yellow light times in order to entrap drivers into being caught on camera running a red, O’Scanlon said that shortened yellow lights cause more accidents and that “safety is being sacrificed” for municipal and RCL companies’ revenue.

Yellow lights are required to have either 3 or 4 second intervals, depending on the level of traffic and speed at the intersections.  Fagel conducted a study this weekend of 12 of the approximately 80 New Jersey RLC intersections.  All but “one or two” were found to have yellow lights that were between 1/10 and almost 3/10 of a second too short. Fagel presented the video evidence of his finding.

The most egregious of Fagel’s findings was in Jersey City at the intersection of Rt.1-9 and Sip Ave, a 4 second yellow light location.  Fagel’s video showed that the yellow light lasted only 3.753 seconds.

New Jersey’s Red Light Camera Program is a five year experiment that will expire in December of 2014 unless the legislature extends it.  O’Scanlon says there is already more than enough evidence to demonstrate that the program is a failure. RCL’s do not increase public safety.  On the contrary, they put lives at risk and serve no purpose other than to raise ill-gotten revenue for municipal governments and their unscrupulous vendors.

O’Scanlon has forwarded his findings to NJ DOT and hopes to enlist the support of at least 10,000 petition signers to pressure the DOT bureaucrats to end the program immediately.

Posted: September 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Declan O'Scanlon, NJ DOT, NJ State Legislature, Red Light Cameras | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

O’Scanlon: Red Light Cameras Sacrifice Safety For Revenue

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon and Attorney Joseph Santoli presenting Red Light Camera findings in Tinton Falls this morning.

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Attorney Joseph Santoli presenting Red Light Camera findings in Tinton Falls this morning.

In a scathing indictment of Red Light Camera (RLC) operators and the New Jersey municipalities that deploy the devices, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon today revealed what he described as “irrefutable evidence” that  yellow light times at many New Jersey intersections do not meet the standards required by law, causing thousands of motorist to be hit with millions of dollars in unlawful fines.

Backed up by Barnet Fagel, a traffic expert with the National Motorists Association and Attorney Joseph Santoli who discovered in a New York case that RLC companies were shaving yellow light times in order to entrap drivers into being caught on camera running a red, O’Scanlon said that shortened yellow lights cause more accidents and that “safety is being sacrificed” for municipal and RCL company’s revenue.

Yellow lights are required to have either 3 or 4 second intervals, depending on the level of traffic and speed at the intersections.  Fagel conducted a study this weekend of 12 of the approximately 80 New Jersey RLC intersections.  All but “one or two” were found to have yellow lights that were between 1/10 and almost 3/10 of a second too short. Fagel presented the video evidence of his finding.

The most egregious of Fagel’s findings was in Jersey City at the intersection of Rt.1-9 and Sip Ave, a 4 second yellow light location.  Fagel’s video showed that the yellow light lasted only 3.753 seconds.

 

JERSEY CITY-SIP – 1-9 from Barnet Fagel on Vimeo.

O’Scanlon said that 80% of all RLC infractions occur during the first second of the red light. By shaving 1/10-3/10 of a second off the yellow lights, roughly 30% of the RLC generated tickets are unlawful.

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Posted: August 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Declan O'Scanlon, NJ State Legislature, Red Light Cameras | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Lonegan: Bayshore Tea Party Doesn’t Support Me Because I Didn’t Support LD 13 Primary

Steven Lonegan and Bayshore Tea Party Group Founders Barbara Gonzalez and Bob Gordan, 2010. facebook photo.

Steven Lonegan and Bayshore Tea Party Group Founders Barbara Gonzalez and Bob Gordan, 2010. facebook photo.

Prior to the start of yesterday’s press conference in Kinnelon, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan told MMM that the Bayshore Tea Party Group is not supporting his U.S. Senate candidacy because he did not support their effort to remove State Senator Joe Kyrillos, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon from office in the 13th Legislative District primary last June.

When told that BTPG said he encouraged them to mount a primary challenge, Lonegan said, “I encourage everybody to run, but you have to have good candidates. Not like them.”

Posted: August 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, 2013 Election, Barbara Gonzalez, Bayshore Tea Party Group, Senate Special Election, Steve Lonegan | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Prosecutor: Subpoenas to be issued over fraudulent 4am robocall

wake up callIt’s been two months since 13th district Republicans were awakened by a fraudulent 4am robocall urging them to get out to vote for Senator Joe Kyrillos, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon in the Republican primary, but the perpetrators are not off the hook.

Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni told MMM that the incident remains under active investigation and that subpoenas will be issued. “Stay tuned,” Gramiccioni said.

Kyrillos, who was awakened by the call, which he publicly blamed on the campaign of his opponent in the June 4th primary, Leigh-Ann Bellew, said he has been interviewed by investigators from the Prosecutor’s Office.

The voice on the 4 am call, which can be heard here, sounds very much like the voice on the recorded message on the Bellew campaign’s voice mail. Listen to the Bellew for Senate voice mail greeting here.

The New Jersey Democratic Party was fined $42,000 for making fraudulent robocalls in the 2009 gubernatorial election.  Among Republicans, Kevin Collins plead guilty, paid a $1000 fine and received a year on probation for violating the Fair Campaign Practices Act with a fraudulent robo call in a 2009 legislative primary. More serious charges against Collins were dropped in plea negotiations.

Posted: August 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

United Arab Emirates Donates $4.5 million to Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund

photo by Art Gallagher

photo by Art Gallagher. Click on image for larger view.

Governor Chris Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie visited Highlands Elementary School this morning to accept a $4.5 million dollar gift to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba made the presentation and, along with the Christies, met with students of the school’s Summer Camp Program.

The UAE Embassy gift, made on behalf of the people of the UAE, will help address critical technology needs, such as infrastructure construction to increase internet bandwidth capacity, wiring and hardware for instructional areas, acquisition of mobile computing devices for faculty and students, and additional training for teachers and administrators.

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Posted: July 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: #STTS, 13th Legislative District, Education, Highlands, Huricane Sandy Relief Fund | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »