By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
New Jersey Democrats are getting rowdy and making moves with over a year-and-a-half to go until their gubernatorial primary, Save Jerseyans. We might end up having some fun with this after all…
In any event, here’s the latest: in a stinging rebuke to his arch-rival down in South Jersey, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop penned an editorial that ran in today’s Bergen Record opposing Senate President Steve Sweeney‘s North Jersey gaming expansion proposal. For those who haven’t been following the blow-by-blow, Sweeney (who hails from Gloucester County) is fighting with North Jersey Democrats – including Fulop – over what percentage of hypothetical North Jersey casino revenue will be recouped by Atlantic City. There are other differences but that’s the 800-pound guerrilla. And now that fight is out in the open.
Something else in Fulop’s proposal jumped out at me beyond the realms of process and casinos:
If two casinos are erected in North Jersey, it is obvious that many of the civic burdens that we address on a daily basis will be exacerbated by the crowds that the two casinos will attract. This concept seems fairly obvious and should be remembered as we examine legislation. Sweeney’s proposal would take 50 percent of the revenue from North Jersey casinos and give it to only one city in South Jersey, while the other 564 municipalities in New Jersey would share the remaining 50 percent of revenue. I think any New Jersey resident would agree that this doesn’t seem like a fair formula.”
Wow. I wonder if he thought about that before he wrote it? Or the staffer wrote it and he proofed it? Or however the sausage was made?
There are two layers to this political onion.
Layer #1: on the one hand, Fulop is acknowledging that this entire casino battle boils down to one thing…. cash. Big political interests are fighting for big money and influence ahead of 2017, a cycle which they’re sure will produce a Democrat governor and, perhaps, a realignment of state-wide political power. If this was really about “fairness,” North Jersey proponents would be talking about deregulating gambling altogether and letting the market dictate how, or if, gambling plays a part in our state’s economic and fiscal futures. They’re not ’cause this has nothing to do with the future, at least not beyond 2017.
The second layer: Hypocrisy! More than perhaps any other prominent N.J. Democrat, Steven Fulop’s city benefits from a wildly unfair school funding formula and an urban property tax PILOT scam. The recent reassessment scandal says it all. Let me illustrate our point by playing ‘mad libs’ with Fulop’s pull quote above:
[The school funding formula takes most] of the revenue from [suburban school districts’ taxpayers] and give it to only [31 mostly urban districts], while the other
564municipalities in New Jersey would share the remaining 50 percent ofrevenue. I think any New Jersey resident would agree that this doesn’t seem like a fair formula.“
Am I getting my point across?
Democrats LIVE to rob Peter to pay Paul. It’s their primary governing principle, and the primary reason why taxpayers are tripping over themselves to move. Fulop’s “record” of accomplishment is built on the backs of a super-majority of taxpayers who don’t live inside his city limits, and when you consider how poorly the school funding formula has worked out for the kids it’s supposed to help, I find myself wondering if any of these Dems – in a private, honest moment – question it all and realize that applying these same failed ideas to casinos, or anything else, is no more likely to bear fruit for New Jersey?
No self-awareness with this crowd…
Bookmark this post and be ready to reference it in 2017 when you’re debating the big gubernatorial race, Save Jerseyans. Fulop admitted more than he realized. Take note and prepare to share with voters who know SOMETHING is wrong but haven’t yet put the pieces together like us.