Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Pension Byrne

I submitted a letter to the Star Ledger which is what led me to pick up today’s paper (since letters are no longer online at nj.com). I did not find my letter* but there was a letter from Thomas J. Healey, co-chair with Tom Byrne of the  Pension and Health Benefits Commission that objected to an op-ed written by Charles Wowkanech blaming the chairman of the State Investment Council (also Tom Byrne) for the public  pension funding crisis.

There were conflicting numbers about how New Jersey fared with their investment returns as compared to other unidentified plans over varying periods but what struck me was an accusation of Wowkanech’s that I disagree with:

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Buying NJ Governorship

I just received the following wire from my generous Daddy; Dear Jack, Don’t buy a single vote more than is necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.

John F. Kennedy

Next Tuesday in New Jersey we will have a primary election for governor and based on information on the updated New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission website here is how much each candidate (and two from prior years) spent personally on all elections in total (buying support) and this primary election to date.
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Pension Question in NJ Gubernatorial Debates

About all we found out from tonight’s two debates was that none of these six people understands the scope of the problem.
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Drain the Swamp

In this age of Amazon where you can order any book ever written there is still a place for library visits and browsing selected Dewey Decimal classes (in this case 320.973) for books that some library director  (in this case Scotch Plains) thought worthwhile. I found this one on Sunday and just finished reading it. Excerpts follow:

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Soft Corruption: 1997 POB Traitors

  1. John Scott
  2. Dick LaRossa$48,376
  3. Joe Bubba$48,243

Soft Corruption by William E. Schluter ($14,663) has become a bible for one of my other lives as it reflects closely my experience with legalized graft in New Jersey politics. One example from the book tells of the story of the 1997 Pension Obligation Bond sale to which then-Senator Schluter had a front-row seat.  From pages 12-13:

Soft corruption entered into this major policy initiative when three recalcitrant senators were pressured on the floor of the senate to vote for the proposal, despite their very strong reservations. They finally relented and voted to approve the measure. They subsequently received substantial campaign contributions from the senate campaign fund – only to lose the ensuing election. But all was not in vain, as they were awarded lucrative patronage appointments following their electoral losses.

Here is the story (pages 65-7):

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EA1- Monday Morning – No Republicans

Also no entertainment at lunch so I get this time to recap events – including for the first time in my memory a disruption (not counting snoring) and ejection.

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Another Issue-Free Campaign

Phil Murphy is in the process of paying off media outlets up front and politicians prospectively in order to become the next governor of New Jersey without committing to any substantial plan of action on any issue of importance which is why this comment from an also-ran-to-be sparked my interest:

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So I dashed off a facebook message asking about his positions on pension reform and cleaning up the swamp that is New Jersey local government. The response came a few minutes ago with links.

Issues 1. Public Employees 2. Cutting Government Waste

The plan on cutting government waste is to have a state office with no power make up a report. The pension reform plan is even dumber.

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