VIDEO: Christie Cuts Ribbon at Margaritaville; Repledges Support for Atlantic City Revitalization
For all things A.C., Save Jerseyans, visit our archives.
Folks, as you may’ve picked up by now, I am not of fan of how Steve Sweeney threw Sandy recovery under the bus for political reasons.
And as ticked as I am at Sen. Sweeney for kicking hurricane victims while they are down, I’m getting just as annoyed with the Jersey Shore’s Democratic state senators, two men who’ve had fantastic access to Sweeney’s ear yet haven’t said a word in their constituents’ defense.
Jeff Van Drew and Jim Whelan represent two districts that got hit very hard by Superstorm Sandy. Their districts are still rebuilding. Businesses are still working on opening their doors, hopefully in time for Memorial Day Weekend but in many cases that’s an unrealistic aspiration. Damaged houses are waiting to become homes again once. People are scared that the summer season will be a total bust, and that their livelihoods will go bust, too.
Yet both Whelan and Van Drew haven’t made a single peep, criticism, or call for action. I guess you can compliment Van Drew and Whelan for their party loyalty if you value such a thing since they’ve put the Democratic Party ahead of their constituents trying to rebuild.
And he wielded enormous power.
He was Mayor of Camden, New Jersey when being Mayor of Camden really meant something.
He was a powerful state senator.
He hobnobbed with major business leaders, power-brokers, governors, congressman, senators and at times, even presidential aspirants. In fact, he was responsible for the election of a whole slew of government officials from the governor on down.
And all of this came to him at a relatively young age. He loved the power and the notoriety. He delighted in it — maybe too much.
Still, his future looked bright. He seemed almost omnipotent.
Then, one day it all came tumbling down.
That means Christie Inc. is working overtime to spread the word that yes, indeed, New Jersey’s famous beaches are open and ready to accommodate millions of tourists next week. The Governor even toured Ocean County with Prince Harry on Tuesday (a little cross-promotional work for the Brits and one of their former 13 colonies). Today, it’s his Lt. Governor’s turn to showcase Jersey Shore businesses…
WHO: Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno
WHAT: Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association Annual Scholarship Luncheon
WHEN: 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Tropicana Casino & Resort, Swan Ballroom
Atlantic City, NJ
For this week’s column, I wanted to take you down to South Jersey and introduce to you the 5th District State Assembly Candidate, Dave Ragonese. Mr. Ragonese got his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Rutgers University then he went on to get his Juris Doctorate from Rutgers Camden School of Law and later received his Master of Laws in Trial Advocacy in from Temple University. Mr. Ragonese has experience in politics that dates back to 1990. That experience includes the Lead Counsel in Camden County for Christie for Governor and part of Governor Elect Chris Christie’s transition team on the Transportation Subcommittee. Currently Mr. Ragonese is employed by a prominent South Jersey law firm as a Litigation Associate.
The following is my interview with Candidate Ragonese:
Welcome to May, Save Jerseyans.
Governor Christie will kick off his month by traveling to Camden County and endorsing a controversial police merger plan.
WHO: Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno
WHAT: American Water Ribbon Cutting
WHEN: 11:00 a.m.
Gloucester County recently inked deals with four other county jails to house all of its 270 inmates, Save Jerseyans.
I really like the idea and think it is a great example of how shared services should work and how economies of scale benefit multiple budgets. Gloucester County Republican Freeholder and ardent taxpayer advocate Larry Wallace said, “[t]his will create smaller less government.” And isn’t that the goal? Or at least it should be.
It is interesting to me how some New Jersey counties expand their government and others work hard to reduce. There are plenty of opportunities for informative contrasts at both ends of the Turnpike. Camden County raised their tax levy 3.1% in 2012 while Republican Freeholders in Gloucester County pushed to have the tax levy lowered 3% despite having to grapple with a Democrat majority.
As you’ve already read on Save Jersey, Governor Chris Christie’s proposed tax cut is now an issue in LD1. Republican challenger Susan Adelizzi-Schmidt has endorsed Christie’s plan. On April 16, one day AFTER roughly half of us paid our taxes, State Sen. Jeff Van Drew, who had been backing the party of tax hikes for his entire career, suddenly broke ranks and endorsed the Christie approach.
And Van Drew got himself all in a tizzy when Chris Christie thanked him for supporting the plan while other Democrats rained down criticism.
In my opinion, Chris Christie was wrong to thank Van Drew. Jeff Van Drew doesn’t want tax cuts; he just wants the votes of people in Cape May County who want tax cuts. And I think the Governor is aware of this, and he only thanked Van Drew to needle other Democrats, not out of sincerity.
Want to know why?