James M. Coleman, Jr. 1924-2014. photo courtesy Asbury Park High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame
James M. Coleman, Jr, 90, a native of Asbury Park and life long public servant to the people of Monmouth County and New Jersey, passed away on Saturday, April 12, in Rockville Centre, NY.
Born in Long Branch on February 17, 1924, “Chippy” was a student-athlete at Asbury Park High School, Class of 1942, and at Dartmouth College where in played in the NCAA basketball tournament as a freshman in 1943. He interrupted his college career to serve in the U.S. Army Air Forces with the 461st Bombardment Group in Italy.
Chippy returned to Dartmouth in 1945 and played basketball for three more years. He was named All League in 1945-46 and Team Captain from 1945-1948.
Upon graduation he enrolled in Cornell Law School and received his law degree in 1951. He returned to Asbury Park and joined the law firm Patterson, Cooper & Coleman.
Elected to the Asbury Park City Council in 1957, Chippy served in that position until 1965. He served in the Assembly for three terms, serving as Chairman of the Joint Budget and Appropriations Committee. While in the Assembly he worked with his college Thomas Kean, who later became governor, on creating the framework of the New Jersey State Lottery.
Coleman served as Monmouth County Prosecutor from 1972-1977. While prosecutor, President Richard M. Nixon appointed him to a term year term on the Commission on Review of the National Policy on Gambling. From 1977-1980 he served in the office of NJ Legislative Reviser of Statutes.
Governor Brendan Byrne appointed Coleman to the Superior Court bench in 1980. He served as a Judge on Monmouth County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court until his retirement in 1987.
He remained active in public service in following years, serving from 1998 to 2007 on the Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards. He was elected to the Shore Athletic Club Hall of Fame and the Jersey Shore Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and to the Asbury Park High School Hall of Fame in 2003.
Chippy’s friends remember him for his story telling, his sense of humor, his wise council and for being a down to earth gentleman.
Senate President Steve Sweeney has been waging a little noticed campaign over the last few weeks to get Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr to commit not to accept campaign contributions from Ashbritt and other contractors who cleaned up New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy.
This morning, Sweeney ramped up the campaign with a video parody of the viral Harlem Shake.
Harlem Shake is owned by songwriter Harry Bauer Rodrigues, who records under the name “Baauer”and the record label Mad Decent.
The song’s viral popularity in recents weeks has spurred claims of copyright infringement on the part of artists whose voices are in the song who have not been credited or compensated by Baauer or Mad Decent, according to the New York Times On the flip side, Mad Decent and Baauer stand to collect millions of dollars from people, like Sweeney, who “steal” their song, according to Hollywood Reporter. YouTube and a company called INDMusic have created a program, ContentID, to track copyright piracy and collect from the offenders.
MMM wondered if Sweeney’s video was funded by New Jersey taxpayers and if the Senate President had obtained a license from Mad Decent for the use of the song. The YouTube channel that hosts the song is called NJSenDemsMajority, a similar name to the state funded website, njsendems.com.
MMM called Sweeney’s West Deptford and Trenton offices to find out. Within a half hour, a well known political hired gun who asked not to be named in this story called back.
To hear the Governor’s critics tell it, New Jersey’s high income tax rates have no effect on our economic health. To them, the income tax can be raised without consequence to our economy, while reducing rates yields little or no benefit.
New Jersey’s business leaders- the entities responsible for employing the vast majority of the state’s workforce- disagree, however.
The New Jersey Business and Industry Association, representing 21, 500 businesses of all types in the Garden State, lauds the Governor’s proposed 10% reduction in the income tax as “the best thing you can do for taxes”. Noting that the majority of businesses file under the personal income tax rather than the corporate income tax, NJBIA says the proposal will give savings to “80% of the business community”.
More telling, however, is what individual small business owners and operators are saying upon learning of the Governor’s proposal.
“It signals your government is working with you, and that you’ve got government at your side at a tough time,” says a proprietor of a Hoboken print shop.
“I believe it to be a proposal that, in fact, could significantly alter New Jersey’s favorability rating, in terms of being a destination of choice,” said the president of a Linden-based manufacturing outfit.
Republican legislators join the Governor’s call for an income tax reduction because we trust the real world experience of job creators. Who better to help guide New Jersey on a path toward sustainable, good paying jobs than the people who do the hiring?
Democratic critics are putting their faith in higher taxes, more spending and bigger government as the solution to the problem. If history is any indication their trust is misplaced, given that the exponential increase in state spending, taxes, and debt we saw from 2002 through 2009 coincided with the loss of 150, 000 jobs.
Coincidentally, these are the same Democrats who raised taxes on middle class families repeatedly during those years, taxing everything from utility bills and car tires to gym memberships and home ownership. Their credibility on helping the middle class is suspect at best.
Smart income tax policy is good jobs policy, and New Jersey is currently at a severe disadvantage in a competition for jobs with neighboring states.
Pennsylvania’s 3.07% income tax rate is far more attractive than the 6.37% rate many middle income families and small business owners pay in New Jersey, and certainly preferable for businesses that file at the state’s 8.97% top rate.
New Jersey lost more residents to Pennsylvania- over 20, 000- than any other state in 2010. That figure is roughly one-third of the total population loss New Jersey experienced that year. The economic and cultural impacts of these moves are real.
The engines of job creation and population growth in America, states like Texas, Florida, and the Carolinas, have tax rates that either are far lower than New Jersey’s or no income tax altogether.
It cannot be sheer coincidence that the states experiencing economic success are ones that have favorable tax climates as compared with the rest of the nation. Income tax levies are a substantial factor in a state’s overall business climate and economic growth.
Opponents of the Governor’s tax cut plan in the Legislature are trying to confuse the issue by changing the subject to property taxes. I agree that New Jersey’s highest in the nation property taxes are the shame of our state and must not only be contained, but lowered. Unfortunately, the Democrats’ plan to use state tax revenues to offset local levies is unlikely to reduce a single county, municipal, or school tax rate.
Their plan is a state incentive for property tax increases, not a solution for reducing them. Permanently lowering property taxes requires us to help local governments control labor costs, share services, and live within their means so that fewer tax dollars are needed to operate.
The effort to reduce property tax bills need not, and should not, come at the expense of job creation and economic growth in New Jersey.
Income taxes do matter to our economic health and jobs climate. Businesses, and the experiences of states that have successfully attracted job growth, show this to be the case. It is time that New Jersey start listening to them in order to strengthen our economic future.
State Sen. Tom Kean, Jr., R- Union, serves as the Senate’s Republican leader.
Giving credit where it is do, The Asbury Park Press Editorial Board got one right in their recent editorial lamenting the closure of Fort Monmouth’s commissary. They give a quick summary of the disaster the closure of Fort Monmouth is and how the entire BRAC decision to close the fort was based on faulting economic and home security data.
Fort Monmouth’s closure and the move of its operations to Aberdeen Maryland was a huge waste of money that compromised national security. An investigative series by Asbury Park Press reporters Bill Bowman and Keith Brown (which is no longer linkable) documented the waste and fraudulent numbers that BRAC gave Congress to justify the closure.
In their editorial, The Asbury Park Press accurately lays the blame:
The closing of the base was based on faulty economic and security research in the first place, and yet even with the facts on their side, Reps Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, along with Sens. Lautenberg and Menendez could not carry the day.
That is largely due to the fact that the faulty economic and security data was uncovered by Bowman and Brown after Congress had already voted to close the fort. Pallone, Holt, Lautenberg and Menendez didn’t have the juice to uncover that data before or during the BRAC hearings when it might have made a difference. Worse, the didn’t have the juice needed with their congressional colleagues to keep the fort in New Jersey. Maryland’s delegation had the juice.
This latest insulting failure is just one in a decades, maybe centuries, long example of ineffective congressional representation from New Jersey. Not just Pallone, Holt, Lautenberg and Menendez, but most of the delegation. Every two years during congressional elections challengers complain that New Jersey only gets a fraction of the money we send to Washington sent back, but it never changes. Has there ever been a House Speaker from New Jersey? Name on U.S. Senator from New Jersey who could be considered a historic figure.
As Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray indicated during his interview on the LaRossa and Gallagher Radio Showtwo weeks ago, New Jersey Congressmen have little incentive to represent the interests or philosophies of their constituents. They vote how ever they want and work on, or don’t work on, whatever they want without regard for the good of their constituents because no matter what they do, their jobs are safe. Historically, gerrymandering as assured that an incumbent member of congress will be reelected time after time except in the rarest or circumstances.
A competitive congressional district map could go a long way to improving the quality of representation New Jersey gets from the people we send to Washington. Currently, Congressmen face no consequences for failures like the BRACing of Fort Monmouth. Despite the rants of congressional challengers every two years about the about of money that New Jersey sends to Washington vs the amount of money that comes back, that situation never changes and our representitives have little incentive to work to change it.
If competitive congressional elections were the norm, rather than a rare exception, New Jersey would get better representation and better results.
New Jersey’s Redistricting Commission has a huge opportunity to create an environment that could lead to an major improvement in the quality of our representation in Washington over the next decade. If past is prelude, the Democrats and Republicans on the commission will spend the process jockeying for influence with the “13th tie breaking” member. The commission will predictably produce a winning map for one party which will be a losing map for the other party.
For New Jersey to have a “winning map” would require at least one party to propose a competitive map based upon population and geography only without regard for the residency of incumbents or the historical voting trends of residents, and for the “13th member,” former Attorney General and Acting Governor for ninety minutes, John Farmer Jr, to do the right thing.
Otherwise, it won’t really matter much which party “wins” the redistricting battle. New Jersey’s representation in Washington will not likely improve if the people will send there have little incentive to work for it.
By the way, Lautenberg and Pallone are scheduled to make a “surprise announcement” in Belmar tomorrow.
Pray for rain.
Maybe Lautenberg is announcing his retirement and endorsing Pallone to replace him. Not likely, but one can hope.
More likely they will announce some legislation they are sponsoring that will probably never become law or some appropriation they are proposing or maybe even secured that will not have nearly postive impact on New Jersey that the negative impact that the closure of Fort Monmouth will have.
“Anna Little understands that medical decisions are the most personal decisions in our lives, and should be kept between doctors and patients,” said Dr. Alieta Eck, President-elect of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), who announced the endorsement on behalf of the AAPS. “Anna understands that the government takeover of health care will be damaging to our citizens’ abilities to choose their own doctors, make their own medical decisions, and receive the quality care of their choice.
“Government bureaucrats simply don’t know what’s best for patients,” continued Eck. “They cannot. Only patients and their doctors should make those decisions. Ann Little understands that, and Frank Pallone clearly does not. That’s why endorsing Anna Little was an easy decision.”
“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons,” said Little. “They’re battling on the front lines of health care every day, and they know better than most just how destructive ‘PalloneCare’ is going to be.
“We need to repeal this bill as soon as possible – that’s why I’ve signed the Independent Women’s Voice ObamaCare Repeal Pledge, and that’s why I’m committed to fighting with everything I’ve got to get this law overturned once I get to Washington.
“If you think we’re headed in the right direction, then Frank Pallone is your man,” said Little. “But if you think we’re moving in the wrong direction, then I need your vote – because you cannot change Washington without changing the people we send to Washington!”
New Jersey Senator Tom Kean, Jr was on hand to introduce Little.