So here I am, running for the United States Senate, to be a member of the body that approves Justices to the Supreme Court and treaties with foreign powers, only to find that the vetting process resembles those ad hoc committees formed to screen prospective tenants in a down market high rise.
Vetting process, what vetting process, my academic friends ask? They remind me that 100 years ago, the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution established the direct election of Senators by popular vote.
Not so fast, this is New Jersey, and New Jersey isn’t like the rest of America.
You see, New Jersey has never quite warmed up to the idea of holding an unimpeded popular vote on anything. First, there is the filter of the party primary, but as this is New Jersey, the party bosses go one step further, they have something they call “the line”.
The party bosses get to assemble the actual government ballot in a way that benefits the candidates they select. Then they go another step further, by actually labeling their candidate as the “approved” Republican candidate. Try doing this to an official ballot in the rest of America and you will end up in jail. But New Jersey really isn’t America, it is somewhere else.
The “line” is a thumb on the scale that gives an advantage to one candidate over others and what is worse is that it uses a government ballot and a government polling place to deliver that advantage on behalf of a political boss. And all this electoral corruption is paid for by the taxpayers!
This year I entered the so-called “selection” process with open eyes. My supporters include some very experienced people who told me up front that Governor Christie’s people would never allow someone who supported Ron Paul to be the nominee. They told me that the Governor still wants to run for President and that he fears a challenge from Senator Rand Paul.
Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul endorsed Ramapo College Finance Professor Murray Sabrin for the New Jersey GOP U.S. Senate nomination, Sabrin’s campaign announced today.
In a letter to Sabrin expressing his endorsement, Paul said that the professor recognizes the dramatic overreach of ObamaCare will impact all Americans for decades to come. Paul cited Sabrin’s opposition to NSA spying on American citizens.
“I have known Murray for 30 years, and he is a
true champion of liberty. I am proud to endorse
his campaign for U.S. Senate in New Jersey.”
“I’m honored and humbled to have the support of my friend, Ron Paul,” said Murray, “and I know his endorsement sends a strong message throughout New Jersey that I’m in this race all the way and in it to win.”
“America and New Jersey cannot afford Cory Booker in the Senate for a full, six-year term given his support of job-killing taxes, environmental regulations that will cost almost 8,500 New Jerseyans their jobs over the next 10 years and, of course the increasingly problematic Obamacare. We can’t afford to let Cory Booker pay attention to the nation’s business in the same way The New York Times recently exposed he failed to pay attention to the city of Newark’s business when he was mayor. The hard working people of New Jersey deserve better, and I will give that to them when I’m elected to the United States Senate.”
The Sabrin campaign said they are proud of Paul’s endorsement not only because of their shared principles, but because of the access to Paul’s grassroots fundraising apparatus that raised millions of dollars during the former congressman’s presidential campaigns.
Murray Sabrin, PhD raised questions about Senate President Steve Sweeney’s potentially conflicting roles as a labor leader and state legislator months before he considered running for U.S. Senate. If his ethics complaint is politically motivated, the complaint itself was not made to boost his Senate candidacy. But the fact that he is shedding a public light on it now, over three months after he first raised the issue, is an effort to raise his public profile to support his candidacy.
But if Sabrin thought his efforts against Sweeney would help him garner support with the GOP establishment for the Senate nomination, he is mistaken. Former Acting Govenor/Senate President Don DiFrancesco, still a power player in the establishment, defended Sweeney in the Chasing New Jersey report (video below) that brought Sabrin’s complaint to public light.
Sabrin says that Sweeney’s employment as General Vice President of the International Association of Iron Workers, where he earns over $200,000 per year, is a conflict with his role as Senate President because he lobbies senators that he overseas.
DiFrancesco told Chasing New Jersey’s Sibile Marcellus that Sweeney is “not lobbying the legislature, he’s in government relations.”
Sabrin’s announcement is an indication that he received sufficient encouragement from Republican county chairmen and other party leaders over the last two weeks since he announced his interest in challenging Booker that believes he has enough support to win the majority of establishment party lines in the primary. Sabrin told WHDT 9 News, that he would only enter the primary if he had sufficient establishment support to avoid a competitive primary.
As a three time statewide candidate, once for governor as a Libertarian and twice as a Republican primary candidate for U.S. Senate, Sabrin is the favorite to win the GOP nomination by virtue of the name recognition and relationships built during those earlier races.
Murray Sabrin, right, with Jay Lassiter, Jeff Gardner, then BlueJersey bloggers, Michael Aron, then of NJN, and MMM publisher Art Gallagher at a November 2010 shooting of Reporters Roundtable.
Murray Sabrin, PhD, the Ramapo College finance professor who challenged Governor Christine Whitman’s 1997 reelection as a Libertarian candidate and sought the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in 2000 and 2008, wants another shot at the seat now occupied by Senator Cory Booker.
The professor has started the process of reaching out to party leaders, previous Republican Senate candidates and county chairmen to gauge and seek their support for the nomination that no mainstream Republican seems to want. Thus far, only little known small businessmen have taken steps to secure the nomination.
The other day I received a blast e-mail from Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) signed by its president Grover Norquist. Mr. Norquist has become a lighting rod for President Obama and congressional Democrats because of his opposition to higher taxes to address the fiscal crisis in Washington D.C. President Obama and Democratic leaders have asserted that a “balanced” approach to deficit reduction is needed including raising tax rates on upper income Americans. In addition, the Obama administration wants to end so-called loopholes for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations so they can pay their ‘fair share” of taxes to avoid cuts to domestic spending. Norquist and other anti-tax groups oppose Obama’s desire to hike taxes in any form.
Although ATR has been successful in getting hundreds of first-time candidates and legislators to sign its pledge not to vote for higher taxes if they are elected or reelected to Congress or their state legislature, it and other DC anti-tax groups have failed miserably in reining in the real issue facing the country-government spending.
In Norquist’s recent email, he writes, “The D.C. mentality of spending money that they don’t have must end.” This is the first time I can recall receiving a message from ATR about spending. In the past, its mantra has been no new taxes, which I agree with 100%. However, the debt crisis we face today has its roots in the “conservative” Reagan and Bush I administrations.
During Reagan/Bush’s twelve-year rein, federal spending doubled and the national debt rose from $1 trillion to $4 trillion.
Eight years of Bill Clinton could be considered the golden age of fiscal restraint. Federal spending rose by only $450 billion, or about 32%, while the federal debt rose by slightly less than $1.5 trillion. Moreover, in the last four years of the Clinton administration, the federal government ran a nearly $600 billion budget surplus. At the end of the Clinton administration budget surpluses were projected to be $6.5 trillion for the first ten years of the 21st century. It did not happen.
Thanks to eight years of Bush/Cheney, who gave us the welfare-warfare state in spades, federal spending nearly doubled to $3.5 trillion and the national debt nearly doubled to $12 trillion. President Obama is making all previous presidents look like fiscal conservatives with three consecutive $1 trillion budget deficits, mind numbing spending and more of the same for the next several years. In short, federal spending is now at the proverbial crossroads as the federal budget reaches nearly $4 trillion.
Although ATR’s goal of stopping tax hikes has been relatively successful, the real burden of the federal government is how much it spends, because the American people have to pay for spending eventually in the form of higher taxes or devalued money. In other words, ATR’s anti-tax pledge has been meaningless in the end because signers of The Pledge ignored spending as Reagan, Bush I and Bush II increased federal expenditures and the national debt to unconscionable levels. George W. Bush’s manic spending paved the way for the election of Obama and the fiscal crisis we face today.
ATR needs a pledge on spending. The pledge would state: “I promise to vote for a budget only if it is lower by at least 10% than the current one.” This would cause the federal budget to decline every year until spending and revenue are balanced at much lower levels. Eventually, the federal government would only spend the American people’s money on programs authorized by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.