“A Leader, Not a Tweeter”

Booker Hates that Lonegan Puts Taxpayers First

Lonegan Rally
Lonegan addresses a Tea Party Rally in Washington, D.C.

It was Cory Booker’s constant sneering attack in the first debate — Steve Lonegan is a “tea party leader.” What does that mean?

It’s true, Steve Lonegan has long been one of the Garden State’s strongest leaders for limited government, lower taxes, and constitutional government – the core values of the tea party. That Booker considers “tea party leader” an insult shows that he opposes these fundamental principles and that reflects negatively not on Lonegan but on Booker.

Steve Lonegan’s fiscal policy leadership has had major concrete benefits for New Jersey taxpayers.

Lonegan galvanized opposition to corrupt Governor Jon Corzine’s toll hike scam, which involved a long-term lease to a foreign corporation that would have been authorized to raise tolls 800% on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.  Lonegan was even arrested on a public sidewalk peaceably protesting a Corzine toll-hike event; the police later apologized. You can thank Lonegan every time you you pay a toll that could be much, much higher. Booker supported the scheme.

Lonegan led the fight against a $450 million bond issue for stem cell research that didn’t have enough promise to attract private sector financing. The measure had a backdoor tax increase hidden inside that Lonegan exposed: it said the state must tax “real and personal property” if it lacked funds to pay principal and interest on the bonds.  So Steve kept New Jersey from going deeper into debt and raising taxes, defeating a ballot question for the first time in nearly two decades. Booker has never seen a bond issue or tax hike he didn’t like.

Lonegan led the fight against cap-and-trade energy taxes, successfully stopping them from being adopted nationally as well as convincing Governor Christie to withdraw New Jersey from the state version.  Booker enthusiastically supports these energy taxes, which a recent analysis found would increase natural gas bills 40 percent, raises the price at the pump 20 cents a gallon, increase electric bills 9.2 percent, and destroy over 30,000 New Jersey jobs.

And Lonegan as much as any activist nationally fought for the voice of the American people to be heard in Washington on health care, repeatedly organizing dozens of buses for rallies in Washington throughout the 2009 and 2010 debate. That debate should have ended with Scott Brown’s decisive special election win in Massachusetts, a seat that hadn’t gone Republican in 40 years.  But Democrats thwarted public opinion and circumvented that election by passing an unfinished mess of a discussion draft that had passed the Senate as an intermediate work product. Now we’re suffering the consequences, with 106,000 people in New Jersey losing their Basic & Essential plans and forced into an exchange website that doesn’t even work. Lonegan is now fighting for at least a one-year delay, so nobody is forced into a mess of a system that isn’t ready. Booker called Obamacare “great” and touted the pre-existing condition ban, which he seems unaware has been New Jersey law since 1992.

Those are some of the major “tea party” issues Steve Lonegan has led on, and it is an impressive record of accomplishment for New Jersey taxpayers that stands in stark contrast to Cory Booker’s record of failure.

Cory Booker hates that Steve Lonegan puts taxpayers first, but New Jersey can’t afford not to.

Phil Kerpen
About Phil Kerpen 14 Articles
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment, and a former vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity as well as a past researcher for the Free Enterprise Fund, the Club for Growth, and the Cato Institute.

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