N.J. Legislature will fully fund pension in 2016, senate president vows

IMG_9153 (640x391)TRENTON — State Senate President Stephen Sweeney does not leave room for doubt when he says the Democratic-led state Legislature will fully fund New Jersey’s public worker pension system next year. “We’re going to fund it,” he said. Democratic leaders say they’re forging ahead with plans to make a $3.1 billion contribution into a pension system… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 26th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Christie Appoints Codey/Byrne Administrations Veteran to run the Department of Community Affairs

IMG_2800

Governor Chris Christie has consistently thumbed his nose at New Jersey Republicans

Governor Chris Christie continued the transition of the Executive Branch of New Jersey’s State Government back to the Democratic Party today with his announcement that Charles A. Richman will become Acting Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs on Friday when current Commissioner, Richard Constable, leaves government service after 13 years. Christie’s announcement said that Richman will be formally nominated to succeed Constable in the Commissioner’s post.

Richman, a career New Jersey bureaucrat with 40 years experience, served in the cabinets of Governor Brendan Byrne and Governor Richard Codey, on a acting basis.

Throughout his second term as Governor, Christie has appointed high profile Democrats to fill cabinet level and other important goverment positions when vacancies have occurred.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 23rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Amick: Could upcoming Port Authority override vote break Christie’s long veto streak?

assetContent (56)Gov. Chris Christie has a remarkable winning streak going, one unmatched by any other New Jersey governor. He’s vetoed more than 350 bills during his five-plus years in Trenton, according to a Wall Street Journal count. And, in spite of the fact that the Legislature is controlled by the Democrats, a party other than his own,… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 10th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Art Gallagher, Chris Christie, New Jersey, NJ Senate Republicans, NJ State Legislature, Port Authority | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

DiSomma to Sweeney: Stay out of Red Bank

“Red Bank Doesn’t Need Lobbyist Money Swaying Elections”

Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher

Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher

Referring to Senate President Steve Sweeney as a conflicted Trenton lobbyist, and Red Bank Councilmen Michael Dupont and Art Murphy as influence peddling shady dealers, Red Bank Republican Chairman Sean DiSomma, launched a no holds barred attack on New Jersey’s highest ranking Democratic elected official, a presumed contender for the 2017 gubernatorial nomination, and the two councilmen he seeks to unseat next November in a statement to the press this afternoon.

DiSomma’s statement includes a warning that he will treat all lobbyists and politicians who support Red Bank Democrats to similar welcomes.

Sweeney is headlining a fundraiser for Dupont and Murphy tomorrow evening at Buona Sera.   The Monmouth GOP is also holding a fund raiser in the venue at the same time.

DiSomma’s statement can be read in its entirety below the fold.

——————————————————————————————

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: December 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Monmouth County, Red Bank, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , | 15 Comments »

Sweeney coming to Red Bank to raise campaign cash for Murphy and Dupont

DiSomma says Dems fear losing control. Signals hard hitting campaign to come

Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher

Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher

Senate President Steve Sweeney, a contender the 2017 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, is coming to Red Bank on December 17 as the headliner for a $175 per head fundraiser for Red Bank Councilmen Arthur Murphy’s and Michael Dupont’s reelection campaign.

The soiree is being hosted by Mayor Pat Menna and former Mayor Ed McKenna at Buona Sera.

The invitation includes a questionnaire to assure compliance with the borough’s “pay to play” ordinance.  Contractors that do business with the borough, developers and “Alcoholic Licensees” must disclose their attendance and in certain circumstances limit their campaign contributions to $400.

Who would have guessed that Red Bank issues licenses to alcoholics?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: December 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Monmouth County, Red Bank, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Analysis: Partisan and Labor Politics Drive Battle Over Health-Benefits Reform


0014As Gov. Chris Christie’s Pension and Health Benefits Study Commission wrestles with the issue of how much public employees should pay toward their health insurance, New Jersey’s public-employee unions are focused not only on how much they will pay, but also on making sure they win back the right to collective bargaining on healthcare issues. It… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, Pensions | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

Geraldo Rivera to headline Monmouth GOP Fundraiser

Photo courtesy of Geraldo.com. Used with permission

Photo courtesy of Geraldo.com. Used with permission

Had the late Senator Frank Lautenberg lived to complete his term, Geraldo Rivera might have been the Republican nominee to be New Jersey’s junior member of the United States Senate. Cory Booker would still be mayor of Newark and the two celebrities would have been engaged now in an expensive high profile race with national implications.

In early 2013, Rivera was very publicly exploring the possibility of running for Launtenberg’s seat.  Booker had just declined to challenge Governor Chris Christie’s reelection bid and announced that he would run for Lautenberg’s seat.  Booker’s announcement came before the ailing Lautenberg’s announcement that he would not seek another term.

Lautenberg’s June 2013 death and Christie’s call for an October Special Election to fill the seat scuttled the plans of the television and radio personality/journalist to enter politics on a national level.  He was not able to rearrange his life or gain support of his family in the short time required to compete in an August GOP primary.

What might have been a high profile exciting battle between Rivera and Booker this fall is now reduced to bragging rights as to which man will raise more money for his respective Party in Monmouth County.   Monmouth County Republican Chairman Shaun Golden will announce this afternoon that Rivera is the keynote speaker at the GOP Fundraising Gala on October 15 at the Navesink Country Club.  Rivera’s office and Golden both confirmed that Geraldo is coming.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: September 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Cory Booker, Frank Pallone, Geraldo Rivera, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Shaun Golden | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Opinion: Christie and Sweeney Have More in Common Than Ambition

photo via Gov Christie's website

photo via Gov Christie’s website


Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: September 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, Opinion, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Handlin Wants SCI To Investigate Allegations That Fulop Planned Traffic Jams At Holland Tunnel and Port Jersey

Jersey City Police Chief Robert Cowan has responded to his announced demotion by Mayor Steve Fulop by alleging that the mayor order traffic jams at Port Jersey and the Holland Tunnel.   That Cowan objected and interfered is the reason he is being demoted, he says, according to reports in the Jersey Journal.

Fulop announced plans to sue the Port Authority of NY/NJ for $400 million. Cowan’s attorney said Fulop’s plan was “designed solely to create havoc for the Port Authority.”

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Middletown) wants the joint legislative committee that is investigating the September 2013 George Washington Bridge lane closures to investigate the allegations against Fulop as well.

In a letter dated today to Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Co-Chairs of the New Jersey Select Committee on Investigation,of which Handlin is a member, the assemblywoman asked that the committee immediately issue subpoenas to Fulop and Cowan

As you know, the mission of the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation is to “investigate all aspects of the finances, operations, and management of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and any other matter raising concerns about abuse of government power or an attempt to conceal an abuse of government power including, but not limited to, the reassignment of access lanes in Fort Lee, New Jersey to the George Washington Bridge.”

Because the allegations against Mayor Fulop raise significant concerns about the repeated abuse of government power directly related to the Port Authority, I respectfully ask the committee to investigate this matter including the immediate issuance of subpoenas to Mayor Fulop and Chief Cowan.

Handlin’s letter can be found here.

Fulop is widely considered to be a contender for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2017, or sooner if Governor Chris Christie does not complete his term.

Posted: July 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Amy Handlin, Chris Christie, Jersey City, New Jersey, News, NJ State Legislature, Port Authority, Steve Fulop | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Kyrillos: “Millionaires Tax” hurts the poor and middle class

By Senator Joe Kyrillos

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Nobody ever felt sorry for a millionaire. At least that’s the principle some Democrats in Trenton are banking on as they resurrect former Gov. Jon Corzine’s “millionaires tax” to close the expected budget gap for fiscal 2015. Proponents of this tax increase promise it will hit only the wealthy, but in fact, poor and middle-class families will ultimately shoulder the burden.

Of course, the term “millionaires tax” is a misnomer. New Jersey already taxes the income of millionaires at one of the highest rates in the nation — higher than 44 other states do. The so-called millionaires tax is just an expired tax increase that raises New Jersey’s top tax rate to about 11 percent, the third-highest in the United States.

Proponents of the millionaires tax imagine that the only reason people could oppose this tax hike is that they’re worried New Jersey’s well-to-do will run low on caviar if it’s passed.

Actually, what we’re worried about is the impact on New Jersey’s working families.

As it turns out, millionaires don’t like paying high taxes any more than the rest of us do. But unlike most of us, they can easily move out of New Jersey to avoid new tax hikes. For many, changing their tax residence is as simple as spending a few more weeks a year at their vacation home in Florida. They can keep a house in New Jersey to spend time with the grandkids, live for six months and one day in the Florida home, and voilà, they are Florida residents who no longer owe a dime in New Jersey taxes. As a bonus, their children will escape paying New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation estate tax.

It’s little wonder that in 2010, the last year we had the old Corzine millionaires tax on the books, 88,000 individuals left New Jersey, taking with them a total annual income of $5.5 billion.

The millionaires tax could be more aptly named the “Goodbye New Jersey Tax.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Joe Kyrillos, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: , , | 9 Comments »