Archive for the ‘Union County’ Category

Real Scandals of Pension Spiking – 2

It’s not that a connected politician will get an extra $1 million in pension benefits for working five years in his new job as county counsel for Union County but that Union County will only have to pay $122,500 to ‘fund’ that extra benefit.  Here are the details:

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Bubble Boy Town Hall (4): Petty Thieves

Even with one-party control in Union County and the belief among those politicians that “there’s enough for everybody” we still get conflict – sometimes petty.

One such conflict played out last Monday when two combatants were seated near each other at Bubble Boy Murphy’s Town Hall meeting in Union – until Senator Nick Scutari remembered he had to go campaign:
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Yesterday, according to David Wildstein:

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Tax Incentives for Campaign Contributions

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy will be holding a Town Hall meeting a couple of hours from now a few blocks from where I am writing this and I hope to attend. If allowed I would ask about what plans, if any, he has for when the Judicial Retirement System here runs out of money (on paper) in 2021 but I suspect the planted questions will focus instead on tax incentives, as announced today in an op-ed on nj.com by one of the authors:

To fill the void left when our tax incentives ended and to announce to the world that New Jersey is open for business, Senate President Steve Sweeney tasked Senator Kyrollis, a Republican, and me, a Democrat, to produce what Governor Murphy has asked for — “robust tax incentives for New Jersey.”

Our draft legislation will produce the most robust tax incentives in America.

Not really but it should produce more robust campaign donations from those seeking these tax incentives despite the claim that the bill would “add strict oversight and compliance requirements to catch any business attempting to game the system for tax incentives.”

Here are the mentions of oversight in the draft bill:

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No Debating Corrupt System

It is billed as a debate tomorrow among Democrat freeholder candidates in the primary next week but the rules make it a ‘must-miss’ for anyone but the plants and political operatives who will be stuffing the question box. Among their rules:

  • The forum will be video recorded and the media are invited to attend. Only credentialed media are allowed to record the event.
  • Each candidate will have 2 minutes for opening remarks to introduce themselves. The moderator will then ask a question from the audience. So that we can address as many questions as possible in the time available, each candidate will have 1 minute to answer each question. If time permits, candidates will also have 2 minutes for a closing statement.
  • All questions are screened by a neutral committee to ensure that questions are applicable to all candidates, are not personal in nature, and are addressed to subjects relevant to this forum.

There will be a Plainfield debate immediately after and if all 9 freeholder candidates show up a best case scenario is that there will be six questions. Almost certainly nothing on the theft of Open Space tax money or the Solar Panel fiasco but, if Armstead can sneak it in, maybe something on this.

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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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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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We Are the Ones Paying for Union Endorsements

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO announced their 2018 endorsements for political office this week and the headline news was that there was a Republican among them. But for me it was one of 19 Democrats endorsed who sparked an interest. Linda Carter in District 22 was a Union County freeholder back on December 17, 2015 when she listened to this pitch:

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Dildos at Work

Perhaps you have seen this video which our media here terms shocking:
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This and other hijinks alleged do not bother me as much as something that I can directly relate to. Months before this story broke:

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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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Local Double-Dippers

Filtering data on participants in the New Jersey retirement for only those linked to Union County (including municipalities and authorities) yields 39,350 entries with total annual salaries of $1,353,357,535 and pensions of $612,010,813. Of those, 178 participants are double-dippers with annual salaries of $7,816,950 and pensions of $6,281,373 who fall into four categories (with examples): Continue reading