Archive for the ‘Pay-to-Play’ Category

Seeing the Light – At a Steep Cost (To Taxpayers)

Back in 2010 when the DeCotiis law firm suckered the Union County freeholder board into bonding to put up solar panels at what was supposed to be no cost then-freeholder Daniel Sullivan was more than eager to reward his political patrons by signing taxpayers up for this boondoggle:
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Today he admitted as much to Bloomberg:
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Why are employer-sponsored health insurance premiums higher in the public sector than in the private sector?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) seeks to answer that question with a lengthy article that makes liberal use of differential equations.

For New Jersey, anyway, I have a two-word answer:
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NJ Pension – National Enquirer – Trump – and Christie Too.

It was recently announced that the New Jersey Retirement System is divesting from a private prison contractor that runs family detention centers and a gun company that makes semi-automatic rifles. Today’s target is Chatham Asset Management which owns the company that owns the National Enquirer which apparently has some information on hush money payments to two women who claim to have had affairs with Trump. But what the nj.com story did not go into was the Christie connection so we will do it here.

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Hectoring Works

Occasionally I start a blog intending to impart a specific piece of information but then wind up stumbling upon a larger truth which, in the case of a countywatchers blog I just put up, turned out to be how the machine always wears you down. Nothing to do with New Jersey pensions or multiemployer benefit cuts so feel free not to click in.

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R.I.P. Bill Schluter

Soft Corruption by William E. Schluter has become a bible for one of my other lives as it reflects closely my experience with legalized graft in New Jersey politics.

Bill Schluter died yesterday. Here are his teachings from past blogs.

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Public Pensions, Secret Investments

A new book by Chris Tobe, CFA examines ‘alternative’ investments primarily in the retirement system of Kentucky with chapters on Rhode Island and North Carolina and reports that fees are much higher then they let on though a lot remains intentionally hidden.

Excerpts follow:

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What NJEA Bought

On Thursday I witnessed seven of eight Union County politicians, against the will of the majority and common sense, repaying their campaign donors.

Today nj.com focused on the cautionary tale of New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney who crossed the teachers’ union and has wound up fighting against their money. In his defense (and including an astounding admission):

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