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Category: Big Government

O’Scanlon: Wisniewski Lacks “Testicular Fortitude”

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Declan O'Scanlon

Declan O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) has been a one-man battle tank in the war to ride New Jersey of red light cameras, Save Jerseyans, and he’s made substantial progress.

Who’s been less-than cooperative? John Wisniewski, the SCI chairman who also happens to serve as chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee. The Wiz is an advocate for EXPANDING their use. Asm. O’Scanlon thinks he knows why, and he didn’t mince words in a press release aimed directly at the senior Democrat.

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Death Tax Repeal Supporters Rally at State House

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

death tax rallyYou don’t need me to remind you that New Jersey is one of the most heavily taxed states in the country, Save Jerseyans. It’s the primary reason why you’re a fan of this site.

And while it’s generally difficult for both sides of the aisle to come to an agreement on the all-important tax issue, at least in terms of getting anything constructive accomplished, a legislative effort was formally launched on the State House steps this Monday that’s got bipartisan sponsorship.

The cause capable of making this possible? Repealing the “death tax.”

The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by state senator Steve Oroho, (R-Sussex) and Paul Sarlo (D-Wood Ridge), would repeal the estate tax over a 5-year time span.

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Ways to Reform (and Tame) Trenton

The only way to save New Jersey is to take matters into your own hands

By Scott St. Clair | The Save Jersey Blog

1-2-1982-25-ExplorePAHistory-a0m1g2-a_349Looking to address New Jersey’s political and fiscal situation requires an analysis of two things: the problem and the process. What exactly is wrong with the state’s politics that allows it to be in such a continuous hand-to-mouth situation, and how can it be fixed, if at all?

I see the problem as almost zero control or influence by the ordinary citizen and taxpayer compounded by a political ruling class in both parties that sees state government as a font of their many blessings. The process to end that requires breaking the backs of both parties and giving the people the ability to check the power of government through popular democracy, both in terms of having more public offices be elective and, most importantly, a vigorous use of the initiative and referendum.

Of course, much, if not all, of the changes would require amending the state’s 1947 constitution, but we have to start somewhere because right now we’re going nowhere.

The state belongs to the people, so the people should control the state, but they don’t.

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No One Under the Dome is Going to Save Us

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

trenton domeSkip the black coffee today, Save Jerseyans.

All you should need to wake up this morning is the fine print of Fitch’s latest New Jersey credit downgrade, this time from A+ to A:

The downgrade to ‘A’ of New Jersey’s GO bonds incorporates the absence of long-term, fiscally sustainable solutions to close identified budget gaps in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Following significant revenue underperformance, the state relied upon the repudiation of its statutory contribution requirements to the pension systems to return to budgetary balance, exacerbating a key credit weakness. The resurgence of sizable one-time measures to balance its operating budgets at a time of economic recovery, driven by past overly optimistic revenue forecasts and maintenance of extremely narrow financial reserves, illustrates the fiscal pressure the state faces. New Jersey’s economic performance continues to lag that of the nation and a multitude of long-term spending demands are expected to prolong the achievement of sound financial operations.

How’s that for a kick in the chops?

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Sick Pay? Sick in the Head!

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

SneezeTrenton’s mistakes aren’t what make it remarkable, Save Jerseyans.

It’s Trenton’s penchant for doubling-down on clearly perceptible, unambiguously disastrous decisions which produce the jaw-drop effect in those of us with a brain!

The example on mind: sick leave pay.

Sick leave pay is another cost-driver in our state’s fiscally-unstable public sector. You may’ve seen a new report concerning the approximately $85,000 payout to a former Asbury Park police chief down at the Shore and, a little further up the Garden State Parkway, an equally mind-blowing $188,000 payout for a former Union City school superintendent. There are examples like this up and down the state. Untold millions of dollars are wasted, annually, to pay public workers extra for time that they were doing what they were already paid to do… work. For us.

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Dr. Eck’s Undervalued Alternative to Obamacare

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Dr. Alieta Eck remains one of the NJ GOP’s most undervalued assets, Save Jerseyans. She’s running for Congress in a tough district, it’s true, but her work in the health care industry through the groundbreaking Zarephath Health Center is truly inspiring. It’s also a tangible path forward for a Republican Party that’s often unfairly accused of being the “Party of No” where one of our era’s major political issues is concerned.

Our friends from Chasing New Jersey recently took a deeper look…

Obama – and the Presidency – Hit Rock Bottom

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Angry ObamaPresident James Buchanan didn’t just failed to stop the Civil War, Save Jerseyans, for which I won’t condemn him because it was likely inevitable. He didn’t even try. In his State of the Union message to Congress, Buchanan gave a verbal shrug.

“All for which the slave States have ever contended, is to be let alone and permitted to manage their domestic institutions in their own way, Buchanan said. “As sovereign States, they, and they alone, are responsible before God and the world for the slavery existing among them. For this the people of the North are not more responsible and have no more right to interfere than with similar institutions in Russia or in Brazil.”

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Preventing Ferguson From Happening Here

By Charlie Barr | The Save Jersey Blog

An increasingly-common armored police vehicle (Photo: Dakota County Sheriff's Office)

An increasingly-common armored police vehicle (Photo: Dakota County Sheriff’s Office)

“Weapons of war have no place on our streets.”

President Obama said it in early February 2013 attending an anti-gun rally. While Obama and I have some staunch differences about the definition of “weapons of war,” I would sum it up by looking at recent pictures out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and even Vietnam.

Military vehicles roaming the streets supplied by the President’s Pentagon.

Tear gas being thrown in the middle of the night.

Explosives being thrown at citizens and police all the same.

They have no place on our streets.

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Doherty Wants Probe Into Alleged Bribes

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Red Light CameraThe red light camera fad continues to unravel in the Garden State, Save Jerseyans.

State Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) wants an investigation in the wake of seismic allegations that New Jersey local officials received bribes from Redflex Traffic Systems, a leading company installing and operating red light camera systems in New Jersey which exist pursuant to a pilot program due to expire at the end of this year.

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Christie Vetoes Jobless Job-seeker Bill

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Christie Voorhees town hallClick here to read Governor Chris Christie ‘s S-1440 veto message.

Background: the Governor signed a watered-down bill on Monday that prevents an employer from inquiring into a job applicant’s criminal history prior to a first interview. This vetoed legislation would make it illegal for an employer to refuse employment on the grounds that the applicant is unemployed.

He was wrong on Monday but right today, Save Jerseyans.

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Christie Responds to Showboat Employees

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

governor christie speaks in ocean cityGovernor Christie brought his “No Pain, No Gain” tour to Ocean City on Thursday, Save Jerseyans. So I biked on up to the Music Pier to see him speak.

Now, if you’re reading this blog, you’re obviously familiar with our pension and benefits situation. So I am not going to focus on that.

Because if you read this blog, you’re also aware that I am a staunch supporter of forward-thinking strategies geared towards turning Atlantic City around and saving/creating as many jobs as possible.

The Governor was met with a handful of protesters. Some oppose his pension plan and there were a few granola types protesting the BL England Pipeline. There was also a group of Showboat employees (the casino slated to close on August 31st unless a buyer is found) demanding that Gov. Christie save their jobs by forcing Showboat to remain open.

Before delving into his pension-related remarks, the Governor took the time to address these employees. Below is video of what he said (sorry, my phone is not a TV studio). I’m not going to include any commentary; watch and arrive at your own conclusions…

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Obamacare Will Burst N.J. Benefits Bubble

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

CadillacGovernor Christie is on the Ocean City Music Pier today pushing for another sweeping round of public employee benefit reforms, Save Jerseyans.

It’s timely.

You know what the pension numbers look like because you’re a regular reader. That being said, our obnoxiously gigantic $40 billion in unfunded pension liabilities is eclipsed only by a public employee health benefit program that’s $47 billion in the red. What else could you expect from a state with roughly 81 government employees per square mile?

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‘Open Space’ Travesty Says It All

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

fieldEverything that drives me crazy about Trenton played out in last week’s passage of a new “Open Space” measure, Save Jerseyans, setting up a ballot question for the November election and another expenditure which we can ill-afford.

Bad logic. Reckless spending. And a little good old fashioned horse trading?

In case you’re not aware of the background information, SCR-84 results in a proposed constitutional amendment on New Jersey’s next general election ballot which, if approved by the voters, dedicates $150 million per year for open space conservation over 30 years.  That’s a roughly $4 billion investment at a time when our government just declined to make an additional, pre-planned $2.4 billion payment towards our chronically underfunded pension system.

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Christie Vetoes Fracking Waste Bill

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Christie at desk signing budgetThe Governor took action on a number of legislative items on Friday, Save Jerseyans, including the appointment of a pension and benefits reform review commission.

Names/bios of the members, and a full listing of legislative items acted upon (including veto messages), are below the fold…

The members of the New Jersey Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission are (with more in-depth bios below):

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