While New Jersey debates the so-called DREAM Act, Save Jerseyans, it’s worth considering whether we’re even debating the right thing.
Put another way: should we worry about subsidizing more over-priced degrees for more kids? Or should we start tackling the price gouging itself?
You can tell where I’m going with this post. We’re being robbed! Many of America’s top college and university have built endowments in excess of $1 billion. Rutgers University is actually at the “low” end of the major institution scale with only $684.6 million as of August 31st.
They spend plenty of cash, too; Rutgers University budgeted $3.6 billion for 2013–2014 academic year, or if you need a comparison for perspective’s sake, an amount equivalent to approximately 11% of our entire New Jersey FY2014 state budget. But some of it IS your money after all: $756 million in direct state aid and other fringe benefits.
One of the state’s most controversial polling outfits issued a surprising mea culpa this week, Save Jerseyans, acknowledging that it very much missed the mark in this year’s two big New Jersey elections. You don’t see that every day!
Newark Mayor Cory Booker has an “almost insurmountable” lead over former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan in their race to replace the late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg in the October 16 special election, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released this morning.
64% support Booker, 29% Lonegan and 6% are undecided.
56% of likely voters, including 44% of Republicans, don’t know enough about Lonegan to form an opinion. Voters who are familiar with the Republican are split 22%-22% in their favorable/unfavorable impressions of him.
The recent passing of esteemed Rutgers Professor Alan Rosenthal has brought with it accolades for and fond remembrances of an individual who without a doubt left an indelible mark in the areas of academia and politics. I for one was never a student of Professor Rosenthal’s however I am keenly aware of influence he wielded in the realm of NJ politics, Save Jerseyans.
Most recently, Dr. Rosenthal served as the tie-breaking vote on the NJ Legislative Redistricting Commission in 2011 which was responsible for drawing the map creating the forty legislative districts in the state. This map will stay in place for a decade. While I hesitate in writing ill of the recently departed, I feel it is warranted to aver that in his capacity as the Tiebreaker for the 2011 Legislative Redistricting Commission, Professor Rosenthal hardly merits praise but rather ignominy.
In making his map selection Dr. Rosenthal set forth that one of the criterion, he employed was the principle of “Continuity of Representation” – better known to the rest of us as incumbency protection. In fact, it did not take long to see the fruits of his disturbing, and might I add nowhere to be found in the NJ Constitution, philosophy play out as later in 2011 all 120 seats of the NJ Legislature were at stake.
But the real quick in the teeth for the Buono campaign?
“While her name recognition has climbed to 46 percent of voters from only 30 percent in April, nearly all of that increase has come from voters who now have an unfavorable impression of her,” Rutgers-Eagleton Poll Director David Redlawsk. “The onslaught of attack ads by Gov. Christie’s campaign appears to be having its desired effect.”
While Republicans (87 percent), Democrats (85 percent), and independents (88 percent) all overwhelmingly approve Christie’s post-Sandy recovery efforts, partisans show double-digit differences in their support for Christie on virtually every other issue. Division is particularly strong on what most voters continue to say are the two most important problems in New Jersey – the economy (including jobs) and taxes. Just 41 percent of all voters approve Christie’s handling of these issues, with support among Democrats at just over one-quarter, while more than 60 percent of Republicans approve.
The effects of Sandy continue to buoy Christie’s overall ratings: 70 percent approve of his job performance, 64 percent have a favorable impression, and 58 percent award Christie an A or B for his work. Overall ratings show little change from the last Rutgers-Eagleton Poll in April 2013.”
So yes, the Sandy aftermath continues to significantly enhance Governor Christie’s job approval rating. I’m not trying to be a pain in the rear, folks, but “buoy” may not be the most accurate word choice…