Inside the Beltway: Brace for the climate change mega-storm

photo via algore.com

photo via algore.com

One thing is for sure about Al Gore: It never rains on his global warming parade

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Posted: September 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Al Gore, Chris Christie, Climate Change, Global Warming, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

The hardest thing about being in politics is the politics

By Freeholder Deputy Director Gary Rich

Gary Rich, Deputy Director, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freehoders

Gary Rich, Deputy Director, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders

The hardest thing about being in politics is the politics. Truthfully, it’s not something I have much of a tolerance for. I’m an ideas man. I see a problem and I want to fix it. I like logic and honesty, which may sound like an odd thing to have to say, but you’d be surprised how many people these days seem to lack both completely or just don’t have the time for them. What I don’t have time for is games—they serve no one and they have no place in serving the public.

People today are looking for real leadership—maybe in part because it seems to be so sorely lacking from so many politicians or would-be politicians at all levels of our government. The people we serve need substance. Not empty accusations. Not grandstanding for the sake of show. Not whining about problems without offering solutions. And not making up facts when the mood strikes.

The truth is, in Monmouth County we’re providing that leadership. We’re making the tough decisions. We’re partnering with our municipalities to fix problems. And we’re getting things done.

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Posted: September 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Gary Rich, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Opinion | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »

Atlantic County Justice

Ray Rice — ELEVATOR KNOCKOUT … Fiancee Takes Crushing Punch [Video]
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Shaneen Allen and her sons Niare and Sincere. Photo via facebook

Shaneen Allen and her sons Niare and Sincere. Photo via facebook

The mainstream media will be making a big deal today about the leniency Baltimore Raven Ray Rice received from the NFL after knocking out his then finance in Atlantic City in February. TMZ obtained an released a video of the incident this morning. Sources are quoted as saying that NFL officials saw the video before suspending Rice for the first two games of this season and docking his pay for a third game.

But the NFL would not be subject to the public outrage they are experiencing had the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office not been lenient with Rice first.  Rice was first charged with simple assault.  The charges were upgraded to aggravated assault by an Atlantic County Grand Jury.  Rice faced a possible five years in State Prison.   But the Prosecutor accepted Rice’s application into the Pre-trial Intervention Program for First Offenders and his Not Guilty plea which leaves him off the hook if he stays out of trouble for a year.

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Posted: September 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Atlantic City, Atlantic County, Chris Christie, Crime, Crime and Punishment, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Opinion: Christie and Sweeney Have More in Common Than Ambition

photo via Gov Christie's website

photo via Gov Christie’s website


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

Attention Monmouth Democratic Campaign Workers: No Jobs For You!

Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate Larry Luttrell partying with a model in Atlantic City in February, 2013. facebook photo

Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate Larry Luttrell partying with a model and squinting like Frank Pallone in Atlantic City in February, 2013. facebook photo

If you’re a Monmouth County Democrat thinking about a career in government, working on Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo’s freeholder campaign could be hazardous to your ambitions.

Luttrell and Grillo told the Asbury Park Press that the fact that Freeholder Director Lillian Burry’s 2011 campaign treasurer, Bill Bucco, was given a raise and a promotion after three years in a county administrative job where he streamlined operations and found $200,000 in revenue due the county that was never collected is “politics at its worst.”

I wonder how Luttrell and Grillo feel about the job Congressman Frank Pallone got for his wife at the EPA.  Where were they when the Democrats had control of the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders in 2009 and put their losing freeholder candidate, Glenn Mason, into the job has Director of the Office of Emergency Management?

I must have missed their press release condemning Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s new job as a “consultant” with ties to South Jersey Democratic Boss George Norcross, which Preito somehow manages to do while collecting six figures from his three government jobs.

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Posted: August 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

Proceed with caution

By Ernesto Cullari

Ernesto_Cullari_GDA1I’m not an expert on suicide and chances are neither are you –that’s okay. But if you read the news, or if you’ve logged onto Facebook, Instagram or Twitter recently, nearly everyone has something to say about suicide and actor Robin Williams’s death.

Be careful what you say and what you write, because it is likely that the person sleeping next to you; the guy that delivers your mail or the person sitting near you on the train has thought about suicide at least once before.

Nearly 1 in 20 people have thought about suicide. Suicidal thoughts are more common than we realize. What we say to our friends, family and colleagues and what we write about suicide on social media will certainly have an impact on those around us. Many are more vulnerable to past and current suicidal thoughts, because Robin William’s death has made their feelings of suicide very raw.

Being able to talk to someone about suicidal thoughts is very important. There are people specially trained to help those in need of someone to listen. Share this number on your social media, it is operational 24 hours a day, from everywhere in the country: 1-800-273-TALK

There is a stigma surrounding mental health issues that should not exist. That stigma is an impediment to people who should be seeking help but are reluctant to do so for fear of being judged by others. What you say about Robin Williams, you’re really saying about them. I’ve thought about suicide on more than one occasion, depression runs in my family and it is something that I wont be ashamed of.

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Posted: August 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Ernesto Cullari, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Sunset Provisions: Keeping Laws Relevant

rich20photoBy Gary Rich, Sr, Monmouth County Freeholder Deputy Director

Late last month, Governor Christie signed into law Assembly bill 3424, which extended the two percent cap on binding interest arbitration awards. I was present when Governor Christie inked his name to this bill, extending the cap through December 31, 2017.

The law which originally set the two percent cap was enacted back in 2010 when the Governor joined with legislative leaders to implement these important reforms to a segment of the government system that desperately needed revamping. Historically, it was a system that had often run amok, awarding benefits to the public unions in question without regard for the town or county’s ability to pay for such benefits.

The 2010 law was historic and vital—and temporary. The original law included a Sunset clause, which allowed the law and its terms to expire as of April 1, 2014 if no action was taken by the legislature to extend it.

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Posted: July 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Gary Rich, Monmouth County, Opinion | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

Opinion: Governor Christie was right to veto gun magazine bill

By Scott St. Clair

Scott St. Clair1Gov. Christie was absolutely correct in vetoing the Legislature’s magazine-limit bill, despite Sandy Hook-parent Hugo Rojas’ protestations to the contrary. The bill was not only trivial, but it was cynical to boot since it did nothing but regurgitate the long-standing agenda of gun control advocates in New Jersey without addressing what really was at the heart of the Newtown, CT tragedy: defenseless children and teachers left at the mercy of a deranged individual who should have been locked up.

If you want to solve problems, the first key is correctly identifying them, not trotting out tired, politically correct memes that pander to sentimentality. It’s obvious that a big problem at Sandy Hook – a problem lawmakers in New Jersey ignore and perpetuate today – is defenseless schools.

Another problem is the hands-off attitude taken by local and state officials and law enforcement against mentally ill people who, like Adam Lanza, have a long, documented and scary track record of violent behavior yet are allowed to walk the streets.

Ignoring the real problems in favor of political pandering is what the Legislature did with the magazine-limit bill. Gov. Christie was right to veto it, and Mr. Rojas’ is mistaken in his criticism.

 

Posted: July 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Gun Control, Gun Rights, Guns, Opinion, Sandy Hook Elementary School | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

More Regulations for NJ Businesses

By Joe Schilp

Joe Schilp

Joe Schilp

This past week, the New Jersey state Senate and Assembly both passed the “Opportunity to Compete Act,” which prohibits businesses with more than 14 employees from asking applicants to check a box to indicate whether they have been convicted of a crime.  Additionally, businesses would be prohibited from asking first-time interviewees if they’ve been convicted of a crime.

It has been reported that NJ Governor Chris Christie’s office worked with the legislators on the language of the bill; thus, Christie is expected to sign the bill into law.

New Jersey is already one of the least business-friendly states in the United States.  According to the Tax Foundation’s 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index, NJ was the 2nd least business-friendly state – based on over 100 criteria – and ranked at the bottom in income taxes, corporate taxes, sales tax and property tax.  And this ranking does not account for the Democrat-controlled legislature’s zeal to increase the “millionaire’s tax” that affects far more people making less than a million dollars a year than people making more than that.

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Posted: June 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: , , , , | 6 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.”

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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 »