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Pelosi Gives N.J. Dems ‘Kiss of Death’

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

PelosiAimee Belgard (D, NJ-03) and Bill Hughes, Jr. (D, NJ-02) are having enough trouble gaining traction this cycle in their respective swing districts, Save Jerseyans. The last thing they needed today? A full-throated endorsement from Nancy Pelosi, one of Congress’s most polarizing figures, in a published national interview:

“Let’s go to New Jersey, Amy Belgard. She’s really terrific. She was in before the current incumbent got out of the race. We have [Bill] Hughes in that race up there against [Rep. Frank] LoBiondo. I don’t know how that one is going. But I’ve been to a number of fundraisers with Amy Belgard, because she comes over to our events in Philadelphia, where we have a number of good candidates there.

Pelosi might as well have cut a check to the NRCC for the mailer/web ad/TV spot which will, almost assuredly, feature her quote. She’s that toxic in Toms River, Mt. Laurel, Egg Harbor Township and every other South Jersey point in between.

Republicans were rightly appreciate though not quite in expectation of the formal donation. “Aimee Belgard just received the kiss of death with this latest endorsement from Nancy Pelosi,” opined NRCC Spokesman Ian Prior. “New Jersey families now have confirmation that if Belgard is sent to Congress she will be a reliable vote for Pelosi and her liberal agenda.”

 

 

Menendez the Liability

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Obama and MenendezFending off foreign intriguers and Communist conspirators isn’t cheap, Save Jerseyans.

According to IRS filings for the legal defense fund of Senator Robert “Hudson Bob” Menendez (D-Dominican Republic, Ecuador) released Tuesday, the Cuban conspiracy *cough cough* to undermine the sitting Senate Foreign Relations Chairman is a $700,000 endeavor to date.

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The Most Worthwhile Plan in Trenton History

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

The need for redistricting reform should be self-evident, Save Jerseyans. 

Strip politics out of it for a moment. Why would anyone, in any industry or position, public or private, feel an impetus to serve anyone besides himself or herself when there’s virtually no chance of being fired for poor performance? Yet that’s the system gifted to us by the Supreme Court and the late Alan Rosenthal. Each legislative election cycle, only a small percentage of districts see the successful candidate prevail by less than 10-points and the popular will for change is muted by gerrymandering. Check out your latest property tax bill for evidence of how well that works!

Jon Bramnick’s got a way to fix it; on Monday, he announced plans to introduce a constitutional amendment that would fundamentally transform the way New Jersey redistricts every ten years.

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The Rock Says ‘Support Christie’

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

The jabronis (sp?) is the New Jersey State Legislature better listen up, Save Jerseyans: Governor Chris Christie’s most fearsome supporter is helping the Garden State GOP’er in a new ad campaign, mocked up like a movie trailer teaser, aimed at pushing new pension and benefits reforms over the summer months.

He promised pain at his recent Caldwell town hall; no one saw this coming:

FYI – ‘The Rock’ (a.k.a. actor Dwayne Johnson) is a registered Republican.

57% of all new revenues over the past four (4) years have gone toward paying down pension, health benefit and debt obligations.

This isn’t Christie’s first assist from a Hollywood heavyweight; former NBA great Shaq cut a campaign commercial for him last fall.

 

Breaking Down Bell vs. Booker & Paul

By Charlie Barr | The Save Jersey Blog

Rand PaulCory Booker (D-Twitter), a potential contender for the 2016 Vice Presidential short list, recently teamed up with Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), a potential 2016 Presidential Candidate to introduce (and at the same time make a pretty large political statement) the REDEEM Act (Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment). The Act targets the United States’ criminal justice system in regards to non-violent crimes.

Non-violent crimes, as Paul points out, is about the war on drugs; not the type of non-violent crime where some sort of theft or other crime that physically violates the rights of another individual are at odds.

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Marlboro’s Yard Sign Flap

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

yard signsYard signs are often as controversial as the politicians that they advertise, Save Jerseyans. Yes, they’re one of the clearest physical manifestations of free speech, but many residents also view them as indistinguishable from litter when they’re left to clutter intersections and bypass ramps for months after the voting ceases.

Is one Jersey Shore town going too far in seeking to control yard signs? To the point of limiting the right of opposition groups to oppose the majority party?

That’s the contention of some Marlboro Republicans who oppose an ordinance slated for consideration by town council on July 17th. The comprehensive amendment to the municipal code reportedly backed by oft-mentioned higher office aspirant and occasional Christiecrat Jon Hornik (I’ve re-posted it below for reading at your leisure) heavily regulates the placement of “temporary” yard signs ahead of elections (e.g. Christie/Guadagno 2013), and some detractors say a broad reading could impact free speech in the borough by design. 

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The Wiz Redefines Hypocrisy

By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog

Wiz on NBCIsn’t it amazing how the Democrats are trying their hardest leaving no stone un-turned, Save Jerseyans, all in order to implicate Governor Chris Christie in the George Washington Bridge lane closures?

They talked awfully tough. Democratic New Jersey Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski had said the integrity of the governor’s office was in question and that Christie had a lot of explaining to do. Now, ironically, it’s Wisniewski whose credibility is seriously being called into question…

“I do not believe the governor called the Port Authority and said, ‘Close some lanes.’ But I did say I hold him responsible for the atmosphere. Now finding that that atmosphere existed in his own office is what I find really troubling,” Wisniewski declared in Bridgegate’s early days.

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Christie Will Review PARCC Tests

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

christie smiling town hallAs promised, Governor Chris Christie is addressing controversial Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) testing, Save Jerseyans; the bad news is that he’s doing it to “ensure the effectiveness of the Core Curriculum Content Standards, including the Common Core State Standards.”

“This Administration is committed to the educational success of every child, no matter the zip code,” said Governor Christie in a Monday evening statement. “Since 2010 we’ve enacted a series of measures that implement rigorous standards, develop excellent educators, and use high quality student assessments to gauge the progress of student learning and the effectiveness of classroom instruction. Establishing this commission is just another step in ensuring we’re providing the best quality education possible to our students .”

You can read Governor Christie’s executive order here.

Don’t expect a solution any time in the near future. The 9-member commission will present a report to the Governor no later than December 31, 2014; a final report will be made public no later than July 31, 2015.

 

Handlin: Subpoena Fulop Now

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Amy Handlin

Amy Handlin

One of the legislators investigating Bridgegate is formally demanding that her committee looking into another traffic jam allegedly engendered by political motivations.

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, a Republican from Monmouth County, wants to subpoena Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop following allegations lodged by Jersey City’s police chief that he was demoted after the young Democrat ordered police to create a traffic jam leading up to the Holland Tunnel. The super suspicious part? That same month, Fulop initiated a law suit against the Port Authority seeking $400 million.

You can click here to read her letter to New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation (SCI) Co-chairs Assemblyman John Wisniewski and Sen. Loretta Weinberg.

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Governor Christie was right to veto gun magazine bill

By Scott St. Clair | The Save Jersey Blog

chris christie press conferenceGov. Christie was absolutely correct in vetoing the Legislature’s magazine-limit bill, despite Sandy Hook-parent Hugo Rojas’ protestations to the contrary. The bill was not only trivial, but it was cynical to boot since it did nothing but regurgitate the long-standing agenda of gun control advocates in New Jersey without addressing what really was at the heart of the Newtown, CT tragedy: defenseless children and teachers left at the mercy of a deranged individual who should have been locked up.

If you want to solve problems, the first key is correctly identifying them, not trotting out tired, politically correct memes that pander to sentimentality. It’s obvious that a big problem at Sandy Hook – a problem lawmakers in New Jersey ignore and perpetuate today – is defenseless schools.

Another problem is the hands-off attitude taken by local and state officials and law enforcement against mentally ill people who, like Adam Lanza, have a long, documented and scary track record of violent behavior yet are allowed to walk the streets.

Ignoring the real problems in favor of political pandering is what the Legislature did with the magazine-limit bill. Gov. Christie was right to veto it, and Mr. Rojas’ is mistaken in his criticism. 

Christie’s Only Crime: Party Registration?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Jersey CityI was on vacation for the past ten days, Save Jerseyans, so you’ll have to bear with me as we sort through the stack of stuff that’s accumulated. One story nevertheless sticks out like a sore thumb and I’ve been looking forward to a healthy rant on it.

In fact, I’m willing to bet that most of you who weren’t tanning, grilling and playing beach bocce (sorry to rub it in) still missed this little gem: soon-to-be-demoted Jersey City Police Chief Robert Cowan has issued a letter alleging that Mayor Steven Fulop, a leading contender for the 2017 Democrat gubernatorial nomination, devised a plan “to snarl traffic outside of the Holland Tunnel the same month he announced plans to sue the Port Authority for $400 million.”

Chief Cowan says his disagreement with the plan is the reason why he’s getting the boot.

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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.

 

MacArthur Learns from Romney’s Mistakes

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

One of the major complaints cited by Republican observers of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign? He wasn’t very comfortable discussing his impressive track record of public philanthropy and private charity. That made it all-too-easy for Democrats to smear the successful businessman as a cold, robotic millionaire unconcerned with the plight of hard working Americans.

NJ-03′s Tom MacArthur, himself a well-heeled former executive who’s considered to have an early advantage in what is arguably New Jersey’s only seriously competitive 2014 House race, is determined to avoid that pitfall as evidenced by his first general election TV spot, “Integrity,” released on Friday:

Garrett: Israel Battling Hamas and White House

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Israeli FlagRep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05) usually tells it like it is, Save Jerseyans, and he’s presently demanding that Philip Gordon, Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region, apologize for questioning “[h]ow can Israel have peace if it’s unwilling to delineate a border [and] end the occupation?” in a recent speech.

“As Israel defends itself against countless rocket attacks from Hamas, it shouldn’t also have to defend itself against those in the White House,” Garrett declared in a statement released Thursday. “While the Obama administration says it supports Israel, these comments obviously stand in stark contrast to that commitment and must be retracted. My heart goes out to those who have been the victims of these attacks. I wholeheartedly support our greatest friend and ally in the Middle East as they seek to eliminate those who are perpetrating this violence.”

This latest instance of Obama Administration idiocy comes as events in the Middle East continue to spiral out of control and Israel is under attack from a punishing round of Hamas rocket assaults and threats of escalated violence. Garrett’s colleague Leonard Lance is sponsoring H.R. 4411, the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act, designed to disrupt the terror organization’s financial channels. 

 

Rothenberg Moves NJ-03 to ‘Tilt GOP’

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

MacArthur (center back) and supporters walk in Riverton 4th of July Parade

MacArthur (center back) and supporters walk in Riverton 4th of July Parade

Another major institution of political prognostication is recognizing a decidedly pro-GOP trend in NJ-03, Save Jerseyans; this time, it’s “Pure Toss-Up” to
Toss-Up/Tilt Republican.”

“Barack Obama won the district twice, so this is the type of district Democrats have to win in order to creep closer to the majority,” opined Nathan L. Gonzales, Deputy Editor of The Rothenberg Political Report, in a report released Thursday, “[b]ut their challenge is indicative of how difficult this cycle has been so far.”

Few serious observers think Democrat Freeholder Aimee Belgard’s comically lame “click and paste” campaign is gaining traction against Republican Tom MacArthur in a district that’s only gone Democrat once since Reconstruction despite recent demographic shifts in Burlington County that should, in theory, benefit Dems.

Gonzales’s opinion is more measured than those of his peers. Immediately following the June Primary, The Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato, respectively, moved NJ-03 from “toss up” to “lean Republican.”

 

Understanding the ISIS Crisis

By Joshua Sotomayor-Einstein | The Save Jersey Blog

“Yet today, with Sunni jihadists pushing towards Baghdad, Iraq looks less like a Middle Eastern “City on a Hill” than a sectarian thugocracy, rapidly degenerating into a dystopian hellscape.”

- Gene Healy, Washington Examiner

“…there’s little reason that America should get involved in Iraq’s ongoing sectarian war yet again.” 

- Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

Sunni protests in Iraq

Sunni protests in Iraq

Isolationist on the Right and Left are rallying to the ISIS banner celebrating the disintegration of Iraq as vindication of their foreign non-policy of “disengagement.” Engaging in a campaign of brazen historical revision, they seek to erase the last two plus years of our hands-off relationship with Iraq, the relative calm and stability of the troop surge, and the Anbar Awakening from the public record.

Yet the truth remains that the sectarian blood bath Iraq has become is a direct result of the very “disengagement,” i.e. retreat, for which isolationists on the Right and Left advocated.

The Mashrek (Arab world east of the Nile) is in the throes of a war in which Sunni fundamentalists control not only a huge swath of territory but the very WMD stockpiles that our de rigueur intellectual class claimed never existed (Saddam had WMD’s – we subsidized his WMD program during the Iran-Iraq war; only one dictator [Qaddafi] has ever voluntarily given up his WMD’s, and that was a result of and after our toppling of Saddam). Complicating the situation is the involvement of Shia fundamentalist and an expansionist power – Iran.

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GOP Solutions? They’ve Been There All Along…

By Dan Cirucci | Dan Cirucci’s Blogspot

Republican ElephantObamatons want you to believe that Republicans have no solutions to the problems America faces.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, the GOP solutions have been there all along for anyone who wishes to open his/her mind and at least consider them. 

Here’s is some of what the Republican Party stands for:

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