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Category: State Senate

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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Van Drew Owes Fiocchi an Apology

By Irwin Fletcher | The Save Jersey Blog

State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1)

State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1)

So I’m back from summer vacation, Save Jerseyans, and I ain’t happy.

In fact, I’m angry.

I read about Senator Jeff Van Drew’s appointing 25 people to the 1st District Economic task force. About how Van Drew made himself chair. About how he made Assemblyman Fluff Andrzejczak vice-chair.

And how he snubbed Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi by not only excluding Fiocchi’s 30 plus years of private sector from the task force for purely political reasons, but with these wildly inaccurate statements regarding Fiocchi‘s shock at being excluded:

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Christie, GOP Leaders Share 9/11 Reflections

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Governor Chris Christie signed Executive Order No.162 this week, Save Jerseyans, directing that all New Jersey state buildings to fly flags at half-staff on Thursday, September 11, 2014, the 13th anniversary (yeah, it’s been THAT long) of the 9/11 terror attacks that claimed the lives of 746 New Jersey residents. He also declared it a “Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance” throughout the entirety of New Jersey.

He are his remarks on the subject offered yesterday during a school visit in Camden:

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Shore GOP Pushes Back Against Dems Over North Jersey Casinos

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

casino protestThe Jersey Shore GOP is waging a 3-cycle war at the moment, Save Jerseyans, precipitated by the distressed Atlantic City casino industry.

Our friend Michael Donohue, chairman of the Cape May GOP, took direct aim at one of Election 2017 likely top political targets, state Senator Jim Whelan (D-2) who, back in the summer months, publicly shared his belief that North Jersey casinos were inevitable (Why an incumbent in a swing district populated by casino workers thought THAT was a good idea is beyond me, but whether it’s foolishness or hubris at play here, Whelan seems predisposed to go along with the state Democrat consensus

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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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Senators Take State House Steps Ice Bath

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

The ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” has been the thing to do this summer, Save Jerseyans, as friends, family members and co-workers guilt each other into participating in what might be the first ever truly viral charity gimmick which, to day, is grossing better than $13 million.

Several high profile New Jersey politicians have already taken the plunge and shared their icy experience via Facebook and Twitter; on Monday, Senator Kevin O’Toole was joined by Senate President Steve Sweeney and a gaggle of other legislators to celebrate the 30,000 they’ve raised thus far.

Man, what I wouldn’t give to throw ice water on some of Trenton’s IDEA. One step at a time, I suppose…

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LD1 Jobs Report Card

How Have My Legislators Been Doing on the Jobs Front?

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

LD1From some of my previous posts, Save Jerseyans, you might have picked up that I live in the 1st Legislative District. And in the 1st District, jobs was the number 2013 campaign issue, as it still is today. As a result, I have closely been following what my three legislators have been doing to bring jobs to the region.

Why am I doing this? Because I love where I live, and it pains me whenever I hear that people are planning on moving away because they feel the area does not offer them a future. I want my home’s future to be bright. Unemployment in “deep” South Jersey remains at the highest levels of anyone in New Jersey.

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Still Waiting to See What Makes Jeff “Independent”

By Irwin M. Fletcher | The Save Jersey Blog

rubberstampAs you know, Save Jerseyans, Democrat Bill Hughes, Jr is looking to unseat Republican Congressman Frank LoBiondo in District 2 so Hughes can rubber stamp Obama’s agenda and help make Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House again (because it worked out so well the first time).

And State Senator Jeff Van Drew just endorsed the wanna-be Obama rubber stamp Bill Hughes, Jr. this week.

This should come as no shock to you, loyal Save Jersey readers, because Van Drew, while pretending to be an across the aisle moderate, is a proud Democrat who sticks with his party at the end of the day. And Van Drew just demonstrated in this instance how he is willing to ignore all the good LoBiondo has done for the district and his efforts to bring jobs to the area, endorsing Hughes… why? 

Because Hughes is a Democrat.

LoBiondo is going to beat Hughes. Bank on it. Which means in 2015, when Van Drew is on the campaign trail, trying to convince voters to re-elect his mouthpiece, Assemblyman Fluff Bob Andrzejczak, Mr. Middle of the Aisle Van Drew is going to have explain to people why he tried to send an Obama rubber stamp to Washington.

 

Reid Coming to South Jersey for Whom?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Harry ReidYou’d think the Senate Majority Leader would focus exclusively on Senate races, particularly in a cycle when his party is widely believed to be in serious danger of losing the upper chamber.

Caveat to this understandable presumption: George Norcross III “invites” you to help his brother.

Then all bets are off, Save Jerseyans.

That’s why Harry Reid will reportedly visit Cherry Hill on August 4th (h/t Matt Friedman) not to stump for Cory Booker, but to attend a fundraiser for Donald Norcross, the Democrat power broker’s brother and a sitting state senator seeking to claim Rob Andrews’s vacated House seat for himself by fending off a challenge from former Eagle Garry Cobb.

The Reid-Norcross connection goes deep; for example, Super PACs staffed by Reid staffers were instrumental in helping N.J. Democrats hold on to their state legislative majority in 2013.

 

Van Drew Aids Booker, Looks to 2016

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

State Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1)

State Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1)

State Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1) took a pass on a CD2 run against Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ2) this year, Save Jerseyans, leaving his party’s chances for a New Jersey Democrat House pick-up in the less-than-capable hands of Bill Hughes, Jr., scion of a political family led by his father, former Congressman Bill Hughes.

I say less-than-capable because Hughes has $342,199 on hand, hardly an inspiring amount of cash for a Democrat challenger in a PVI D+1 district where the multi-term incumbent boasts a better than one million dollar advantage. Hughes will likely post a less-than-inspiring finish in November barring a major Lobiondo slip-up or a dramatic reversal of the national climate trajectory (we just found out that President Obama is solidly upside down statewide at the moment, so he’s likely even less popular in the redder reaches of South Jersey).

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Lesniak Asks Obama to Turn a Blind Eye

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Ray Lesniak

Ray Lesniak

“Aren’t they selling marijuana in Colorado and Washington?” he asked. “Isn’t that against federal law?”

Ray Lesniak’s got a point, Save Jerseyans, and you won’t hear those five words escape this blogger’s mouth very often.

He’s an ardent supporter of legalizing sports betting in New Jersey but, following Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to NOT hear a Christie Administration challenge to a federal law permitting sports betting in four states (but not here), state Senator Lesniak told NJ 101.5 that he plans to forge ahead with legislation legalizing the practice in New Jersey.

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The Arbitrary and Capricious Tax

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

yoloLet’s stop referring to it as a “Millionaire’s Tax,” Save Jerseyans.

That’s not honest. It isn’t what’s actually on the table in Trenton this morning. A better term would be the “Arbitrary and Capricious Tax.”

This is Senate President Steve Sweeney’s plan to save New Jersey’s budget, as articulated by his office to the media:

(1) 10.75% tax on “millionaires” generating $565 million
(2) 10.25% tax on the $500k – $1 million group generating $155 million

There’s plenty of way to come up with these funds by cutting rather than taxing, but as I reminded you earlier this week, folks, el Presidente doesn’t care whether it adds up. This is a political maneuver, not a product of good faith nor good math. Never forget that; otherwise, you’ll destroy your scalp as you scratch it from now until the end of days.

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Trenton’s Broken Record

By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog

Edison_and_phonograph_edit1“This plan is not only a matter of fairness and responsibility with pension payments, it is really about the full range of government services and opportunities, including such things as property tax relief, college affordability, public schools, law enforcement, transportation and many more priority needs,” NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney said on Wednesday as he rolled out his counter-proposal to Governor Chris Christie’s budget. “We have to maintain the state’s commitment to all New Jersey residents by meeting all of our commitments. This is a fair and responsible plan that will help meet those needs as it restores balance to the budget in a fiscally responsible way.”

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Sweeney vs. Reality

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Here we go again, Save Jerseyans.

Sweeney and Prieto

Sweeney and Prieto

The boorishly unimaginative Trenton Democrat caucus wants to “balance” New Jersey’s FY 2015 budget – without compromising promised pension payments – by raising taxes on the people who pay the bills. Senate President Sweeney’s competing budget proposal includes a millionaire’s tax (again); whether it’ll work isn’t up for debate since EVERY bit of objective evidence verifies that high taxes catalyze out-of-state migration.

You can’t tax ghosts, Mr. President. You can destroy jobs AND your tax base by convincing ghosts to haunt another lower-tax state. It’s never worked before and there’s no reason to think this time is different. “We have seen the suffocating impact of high taxes on the middle class families who have suffered as jobs moved away,” Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) very correctly declared on Wednesday afternoon. “The state’s economy cannot sustain additional pressures on employers who have other options. Many of them can and will decide to create jobs in other, more welcoming  states if these irresponsible, short-sighted proposals are actually enacted.”

And you know what? I think Steve Sweeney knows it’s true….

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The Second Yalta Conference

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

It’s New Jersey politics crica 2014 in a nutshell, Save Jerseyans.

In honor of the Governor and the Senate President gathering for yet another higher education “stimulus” groundbreaking on Wednesday….

Photo Credit (top): Tim Larsen/Governor’s Office

Photo Credit (top): Tim Larsen/Governor’s Office