Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Christie the Blabbermouth

At a breakfast hosted by the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey:
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This from someone who spent 40% of his time as governor of New Jersey running for election either to this office or a higher one. Which brings to mind…

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Sweeney Running In Place

Two things are becoming clear from State Senate President Steve Sweeney’s travels:

  1. He is going the Christie-town-hall route to campaign for higher office, and
  2. pension reform is his principal MacGuffin of choice.

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Full video from the NJTV report:

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Sweeney Running NJ Blind

Senate President Steve Sweeney held a town hall meeting yesterday and what I got out of it was that he:

  1. believes he is running the state, and
  2. is not getting the proper information to fix it.

Some video examples:

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Enjoying Benefit Cuts in New Jersey

NJTV reported that Senate President Steve Sweeney on Friday “proposed switching teachers from their current health care plans to lower cost coverage now enjoyed by state government workers.”
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So if everyone is saving so much money why not go for ‘Edsel;’ coverage? Continue reading

County Manager’s Political Second Job

I have been a little lax in covering Union County government lately as nobody seems to care how much they steal but something came to light last week that might be over the line even in New Jersey.

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Self Preservation Through Distraction

Tom Byrne is a former chairman of the state Democratic Party, a former chairman of the NJ State Investment Council, and the son of a former governor who in a Star Ledger guest column took some swipes at Murphy’s Land of Illusion.

Are we really that less attractive than most states? Yes. Both our income taxes and property taxes are punishing. Those who argue that we get good value for our tax dollars are mistaken in many places.

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We need to come up with about $150 billion more to pay pensions that we have promised to public employees.

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Politicians are not doing the hard-working middle-class families that they claim to be helping any favors by not dealing with New Jersey’s structural mess, including benefits reform. The temptation is to continue shuffling the deck three card monte style in the hopes of making it through another day. They talk about selling or leveraging state assets in order to solve the $150 billion pension mess. That is akin to burning the furniture to heat the house. Plus there is not enough furniture. Better to cut the nonsense and play it straight.

I, and probably most of you, need no convincing of the fiscal crisis that New Jersey stumbled into. There is some comfort in seeing it spelled out accurately but that is tempered by a lack of focus on the obvious solutions which the vehicles we have for change ignore for their own benefit. For example, would:

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Protecting Your Producers

In his campaign to have public employees pay more for their health insurance Senate President Stephen Sweeney decries the ridiculously high cost of coverage for teachers:
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Yet last Thursday Sweeney pushed through a law that will make those costs (whatever they may be) as well as profits for his own producers (whoever they may be) that much higher.

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