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Author: Art Gallagher

Two Smith Laws Signed Into Law On The Same Day

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings

chris smithIt is rare for most congressmen to get one of there bills signed into law. Frank Pallone, for example, has only had 6 bills, two naming post offices, become law in his entire 26 year career in congress.

Congressman Chris Smith is #4 of all members of the 435 member House of Representatives in getting their bills through both houses and signed by the president.  On Friday, two more of Smith’s bills became the law of the land. Families and children are better off because of Smith’s new laws.

Between ordering airstrikes in Iraq and flying off to vacation in Martha’s Vineyard on Friday, President Obama signed two separate bills sponsored by Smith. One to help prevent international child abduction and return American children now held overseas, and the other targeting $1.3 billion in federal funds to assist families touched by autism.

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Unaccompanied Central American Children Showing Up In Freehold

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

welcome chalk drawing childBetween 5 and 10 Central American children, ages 11-16, who have crossed our borders without adults have found their way to Freehold Borough, according to a statement by Rita Dentino, Director of Casa Freehold, an immigrants rights organization that helps newly arrived immigrants integrate into the community.

Dentino said that more children are arriving everyday, according to a report in the Sentinal.

State Senator Jennifer Beck issued a statement today saying she is working with federal and state officials to secure funding to deal with the situation and to evaluate New Jersey’s legal options and obligations.

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Marlboro Council Passes Political Sign Restrictions

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

Over the objections of citizens who urged them not to restrict their 1st Amendment Rights and to avoid expensive litigation, the Marlboro Township Council unanimously passed an ordinance that prohibits the placement of temporary political signs on public property and rights of way, limits the time before and after an election that signs may appear on private property and rights of way adjacent to private property, and regulates the size of signs and the distance they may appear from each other on private property.

At the request of Councilman Frank LaRocca, the ordinance was amended to eliminate the imposition of a 90 day jail sentence for violating the ordinance.  Candidates, Committee Chairmen, Campaign Treasurers and private property owners now face fines ranging from $100 to $1250 if signs appear more than 45 days before an election, 7 days after an election or if signs promoting the same candidate are posted within 50 feet of each other on the same property.  The total square footage of all political signs on any one tax lot must not exceed 16 square feet.

Matthew Rasmussen, an attorney representing the Marlboro Republican Committee told the council during the public hearing prior to the adoption of the ordinance that it contained numerous “constitutional infirmities, some of them fatal” and urged the governing body to defeat the ordinance in order to avoid expensive litigation that they would certainly lose.

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“Unlike” News12

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings

News12News12 New Jersey has effectively fired reporter Sean Bergin for telling the truth.

In a report about Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Santiago’s murder, Bergin went off script and closed the segment by saying, “The underlying cause of all of this, of course: Young black men growing up without fathers. Unfortunately, no one in the news media has the courage to touch that subject.”

News12 executives responded by proving Bergin’s point about the spineless media. They suspended him and then offered him a one day a week job, for $300 per week, covering fluff like broken fire hydrants or other inane subjects.  They covered their asses by saying the discipline was for breaking company policy.  Bergin turned them down and quit.

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Christie Rips Apart N.J. Mag Bill

Christie vetoes gun control legislation, Re-writes bill as mental health reform measure

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

Calling a bill that would have reduced permitted ammunition magazine sized from 15 rounds to 10 “reform in name only,” Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed A2006   this afternoon.

In his conditional veto message, Christie said the bill follows the well worn path of empty rhetoric, political self-promotion and polarizing intolerance in the face of violent crimes committed with guns:

“Difficult choices are brushed aside
in favor of empty rhetoric. Uncomfortable topics are left
unexplored, while easy soundbites and videoclips are packaged
for consumption. Appropriate empathy for victims, and their
suffering survivors, blurs with politics and elected officials’
self-promotion to create a polarizing intolerance. We ignore
the hard for the expedient, the controversial for the safely
familiar, and the costly for those cheaply recycled answers that
never really address the root causes.”

Christie sent the legislation back to the General Assembly as a bill that he says addresses violence by fixing critical short comings and crack in the mental healthcare system.

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2nd Anonymously Sourced Report Says Christie Targeted For Prosecution

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

George_Washington_Bridge,_HAER_NY-129-8For the second consecutive week an anonymously sourced national media report has suggested that Governor Chris Christie could be prosecuted for conduct involving the Port Authority of NY/NJ.

New York Times report published on the Gray Lady’s website last evening and in the print edition this morning suggests that Christie could be prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Security Exchange Commission for pushing the Port Authority to fund $1.8 billion in repairs to the Pulaski Skyway.  The NYTimes report relies heavily on dozens of memos and emails that investigators reviewed and the NYTimes obtained.  Most of the documents mentioned in the story involve Bill Baroni, the former State Senator and Christie’s point man at the Port Authority until his resignation last December.

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Obama diverts $1 billion in Sandy funds away from New Jersey

Kyrillos and Holzapfel cry foul

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

kyrillos talkingPresident Barack Obama announced that he is diverting nearly $1 billion in Hurricane Sandy recovery funds away from New Jersey and New York to fund a nationwide resiliency competition that will ostensibly help the winning communities build infrastructure to deal with the impacts of climate change.

Obama announced the competition last weekend at the University of California Irvine’s commencement, according to The Star Ledger:

“In some parts of the country, weather-related disasters like droughts and fires and storms and floods are going to get … harsher and they’re going to get costlier,” Obama said during the speech. “That’s why today I’m announcing a new one billion dollar competitive fund to help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change and build more resilient infrastructure across the country.”

State Senators Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth)and Jim Holzapfel (R-Ocean)l condemned the diversion of recovery funds away from their constituents.

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Bennett, Golden Spar Over Ethics

Bennett: McEnery-Graziano Letter Raises Legitimate Issue. Says Golden Went Negative

Golden: “I’m not going into the weeds with with John… Let’s talk about the future of our Party”

John O. Bennett

John O. Bennett

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

Monmouth County Republican Chairman John Bennett said that the letter released to MMM by the municipal party chairmen of Manalapan and Freehold Township raising ethical concerns about Shaun Golden serving as both County Sheriff and the GOP County Chairman was not a negative attack on Golden.  Rather, Bennett said, “They raised an legitimate issue that could very well impact that Party and the Freeholders. We may be giving the Democrats an issue that we don’t need to give them.”

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Wall Elected Officials Back Golden

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

Shaun Golden

Shaun Golden

Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden has picked up the endorsements of the elected officials from a third large municipality in his quest to replace John O. Bennett III as the Chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Organization.

Mayor Clint Hoffman, Deputy Mayor George Newberry and Township Committee Members Ann Marie Conte, Jeff Foster and Todd Luttman, the entire governing body of Wall Township, signed a letter on Wall Township Republican Organization letterhead and addressed to Monmouth County Republicans today, strongly endorsing Golden for Chairman.  Their letter can be found here.

The Wall governing body joins the elected officials of Middletown and Howell in supporting Golden.

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Bennett and Golden Pledge Positive Campaign

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

John O. Bennett

John O. Bennett

John Bennett and Shaun Golden kicked off their respective campaigns for the Monmouth GOP Chairmanship last week on a positive note and each man said he wants a positive campaign.

Golden, the Monmouth County Sheriff, is challenging the incumbent Bennett for the opportunity to lead the Monmouth County Republican Committee for the next two years.  The election will take place on June 10 at iPlayAmerica in Freehold.

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Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long Leaves the Democratic Party

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

When Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal promised retribution and accused Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long of abandoning her principals by endorsing Governor Chris Christie for reelection, Long said, “Whether Vin likes it or not, I’m still a Democrat.”

Now she’s not a Democrat.  Long quietly changed her registration to Unaffiliated in February.  The Asbury Park Press was the first to report Long’s new status.

“I did this quietly and without fanfare,” Long told MMM, “to talk about why I did it would defeat the purpose.”  Prodded, Long said, “its a long story, no pun intended.”

Political insiders in Sea Bright have been aware of Long’s new status for a few weeks.  One insider said that something happened in the county Democratic Party that Long considered  personally hurtful.

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Obama Administration Looking To Divert Billions in Sandy Funds Away From New Jersey and New York

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

repost-us-10549927The Obama Administration is considering holding a contest for areas impacted by disasters other than Superstorm Sandy.  The “winners” would get between $1 billion and $2 billion of the remaining $3.6 billion is Sandy relief dollars being doled out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), according to a story first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The Record reports that New Jersey Congressmen Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson; Albio Sires, D-West New York; and Frank Pallone, D-Long Branch, and Sen. Bob Menendez are urging HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan not to federal aid to projects in other parts of the country.  Members of the New York Congressional Delegation are making similar pleas.

Where’s Senator Cory Booker?  He’s proselytizing on twitter. 

Sires told The Record that the entire New Jersey delegation could join together in opposition to a nationwide contest for the money.  That would be great!  Sires should lead the Democrats in the delegation in ending the partisanship that has been dominating the discourse over Sandy recovery and sign the letter to Donovan and Michael Boots, the Acting Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality that Congressman Chris Smith invited him, and all members of the delegation to sign requesting a meeting to hash out the multitude of issues New Jersey residents are having with the HUD relief process.

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Pallone has less than $1 million in campaign cash

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

Pallone town hallCongressman Frank Pallone’s (NJ-6, Monmouth and Middlesex) once formidable campaign war chest of roughly $4 million is down to less than $1 million according his latest report to the Federal Election Commission.

New Jersey’s senior Democratic congressman, Pallone spent $3,778,155 in the Special U.S. Senate Primary last summer in his bid to replace the late Senator Frank Lautenberg. He lost that primary to then Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

Pallone reported $938,472 cash on hand in his congressional campaign account as of March 31, 2014.  He raised $200,449.64 in the first quarter of this year and disbursed #338,450.67.  $60, 645 remains in his senate campaign account.

The $938,472 that Pallone reports on hand may be inflated by illegal contributions. A cursory examination of his most recent quarterly report reveals $14,200 in contributions from individuals during the current election cycle that exceed the legal limit of $2600 per election.

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The Politics Of Disaster Relief

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

Photo Caption - Sandy Inspection TourWhen disaster hits, natural or man made, Americans put aside their differences and come together to handle the emergency.

We saw it with 9-11. Most recently in New Jersey we saw it with Superstorm Sandy.

Once the emergency is over and the federal money is flowing, the politics…partisanship and patronage starts.  We saw it with 9-11. We’re living it with Sandy.

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Moran: NJ’s Full of Greedy Jerks!

Are New Jersey voters (that would be you) greedy jerks or just stupid and impressionable?

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

Hundreds of middle-aged people looking for work at Brookdale this morning. April 4, 2014

Hundreds of middle-aged people looking for work at Brookdale this morning. April 4, 2014

New Jersey voters are either greedy jerks or stupid and impressionable buffoons if you buy The Star Ledger Editorial Board’s (Tom Moran’s) reading of the QuinnipiacPoll released on Thursday.  The poll reported that New Jerseyans favor wage freezes for state workers, by a 53-42 margin, and oppose an increase in the gasoline tax by a 65-33 percent margin:

New Jersey voters are jerks. The new state motto: “Screw you, not me.”

That is how Moran starts off his rant. He finishes by cutting the poll respondents a break. Maybe we aren’t greedy jerks, maybe we’ve been led to think the way we do:

We’ll cut the folks responding to the Quinnipiac poll a break – they’ve been goaded in this direction. Despite widespread reforms to state workers’ pay and benefits during the past four years, not to mention budget cuts that led to historic layoffs of police, teachers and firefighters, Gov. Chris Christie used his annual budget address to continue to blame state worker compensation for our fiscal aches and pains.

Hmmm.  Moran’s frustration is showing.  As the editorial page editor of the state’s largest media outlet, Moran should be the most powerful opinion maker in New Jersey. How could his readers be so stupid?!

Insulting your customers (readers) is a interesting strategy to stop the bleeding of a company (media outlet) that is contracting rapidly and recently announced 167 layoffs which followed millions in concessions from the outlet’s unionized workers and a smaller round of layoffs.

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