Where To From Here?

What do you think the next step is, Blue Jersey? – promoted by Rosi Efthim

OK.  So we had a rally in Trenton with record turnout.  It makes us feel good.  And it will be ignored by Christie and his Tea Bagger friends.

There’s recall.  That’s a bad idea – not only because it will be unsuccessful, but will invigorate the Tea Baggers and cause Christie to dig in his heels even further.  The most promising approach is to keep the pressure on the Legislature – both Republicans and Democrats.  A well-crafted campaign to override Christie’s veto of the millionaire’s tax could take the wind out of his sails.

We also need to revector the message from supporting teachers and kids to a more general audience.  There’s a large unenlightened constituency out there who simply look at school costs as a burden on their overstreteched income.  We need to show them the severity of the other harm Christie’s policies are causing.  And we need the teachers’ union to realize that by matching Christie’s intransigence, they are only hurting themselves.

Christie basks in publicity, so it is counterproductive to attack him personally.  The right thing to do is to mount a PR campaign to alert the voters on the short-term and long-term harm he is bringing to New Jersey, and concurrently suggest realistic progressive alternatives.  And we gotta find a credible loyal opposition focal point.

Comments (21)

  1. Bill Orr

    is to help in the effort to override the veto – no easy feat.  Senate President Sweeney says he plans an override vote as soon as June 10. Individuals should call and write, e-mail, twitter, etc. their local Republican legislators indicating the large number of senior and disabled voters in their districts who will be hurt if this veto is not overriden.  

    Reply
  2. firstamend07

    If the Union movement is now “energized’ as some claim it has become then use that energy to begin putting pressure on first the republican state senators and then the assembly republicans to override the veto.

    I have no faith in the state worker union leadership and believe they have all gone back to their offices, slapping each other on the back, while nothing of real substance has been accomplished.

    Maybe they will surprise me this time.  

    Reply
  3. William Weber (WjcW)

    overriding the veto have to do with teachers? The millionaire money is already spent on seniors.

    If you want to restore cuts to education, please let us know where that dough is to be found.

    Otherwise, I would hope you would join the call to freeze teaching wages so we can afford as many as possible, no?

    Reply
  4. Nick Lento

    ….the establishment of the NJ Democratic party.      

    If the “Real Bergen Democrats” movement in Bergen had run its own slate instead of negotiating at truce with the machine…..they/we would have won and it would have sparked a revolution in our state’s politics.    

    That didn’t happen…..but something like that still needs to happen.  

    Overriding the veto will be impossible without some Republican support….and what that will require is the prospect of Republicans losing their jobs if they stick with Christie.    That means a strong AGGRESSIVELY PROGRESSIVE POPULIST/REFORMIST Democratic party that is prepared to fight tooth and nail….and to hold every Republican in the state accountable for Christie’s actions.   HE may have nearly four years left in his term  to screw us over…but THEY don’t!!!   Christie’s agenda has to be cut off at the knees…..and that mean fighting for a super-majority of progressives in the legislature.

    The crony-ism and the sweetheart deals and the old boys networks have all got to go.    

    It’s understandable why people wanted a change….any change.    Tragically we’ve gone from the frying pan into the fire……and Christie’s line of pure bullshit is convincing on a superficial level.   It works on folks who haven’t followed this stuff closely over years.

    Frankly folks, I have no problem with cops, firefighters, teachers, bureaucrats all taking reasonable pay/pension/benefits cuts….but ONLY if that pain is shared with the wealthiest folks and ONLY if it was done in the context of REALLY rooting out ALL of the pay to play contracts that STILL infest local, county and state contracts/purchasing and bonding actions.

    I don’t see how anything less than a broad/wholistic approach will turn things around.    

    Christie is on track for blaming all of the negative fallout from him policies on Corzine………so he’ll get to screw regular working people and then have them blame democrats for their pain……that’s the Republican game plan….and they’ve been able to get away with it for way too long.  That’s how Bush got re-elected (that and some fraud in Ohio)

    Allowing Christie to cut Pre K ….just that one action is so over the top that it amounts to sheer outrageous and malicious policy.  That one issue alone should be enough to get every legislator on board to override at least THAT provision.

    Ideally, the existing Democratic establishment would radically reform itself…….but even I’m not that much of a dreamer……so that leaves it to the rank and file and he activists to reach out to that 95% of the population that really has no idea wtf is going on.

    All easier said than done, I know.

     

    Reply
  5. Nick Lento

    ….the establishment of the NJ Democratic party.      

    If the “Real Bergen Democrats” movement in Bergen had run its own slate instead of negotiating at truce with the machine…..they/we would have won and it would have sparked a revolution in our state’s politics.    

    That didn’t happen…..but something like that still needs to happen.  

    Overriding the veto will be impossible without some Republican support….and what that will require is the prospect of Republicans losing their jobs if they stick with Christie.    That means a strong AGGRESSIVELY PROGRESSIVE POPULIST/REFORMIST Democratic party that is prepared to fight tooth and nail….and to hold every Republican in the state accountable for Christie’s actions.   HE may have nearly four years left in his term  to screw us over…but THEY don’t!!!   Christie’s agenda has to be cut off at the knees…..and that mean fighting for a super-majority of progressives in the legislature.

    The crony-ism and the sweetheart deals and the old boys networks have all got to go.    

    It’s understandable why people wanted a change….any change.    Tragically we’ve gone from the frying pan into the fire……and Christie’s line of pure bullshit is convincing on a superficial level.   It works on folks who haven’t followed this stuff closely over years.

    Frankly folks, I have no problem with cops, firefighters, teachers, bureaucrats all taking reasonable pay/pension/benefits cuts….but ONLY if that pain is shared with the wealthiest folks and ONLY if it was done in the context of REALLY rooting out ALL of the pay to play contracts that STILL infest local, county and state contracts/purchasing and bonding actions.

    I don’t see how anything less than a broad/wholistic approach will turn things around.    

    Christie is on track for blaming all of the negative fallout from him policies on Corzine………so he’ll get to screw regular working people and then have them blame democrats for their pain……that’s the Republican game plan….and they’ve been able to get away with it for way too long.  That’s how Bush got re-elected (that and some fraud in Ohio)

    Allowing Christie to cut Pre K ….just that one action is so over the top that it amounts to sheer outrageous and malicious policy.  That one issue alone should be enough to get every legislator on board to override at least THAT provision.

    Ideally, the existing Democratic establishment would radically reform itself…….but even I’m not that much of a dreamer……so that leaves it to the rank and file and he activists to reach out to that 95% of the population that really has no idea wtf is going on.

    All easier said than done, I know.

     

    Reply
  6. sandy23

    but they have taken over the dialogue.  I don’t think the public workers and teachers can win the battle with a war cry of “we won’t pay 1.5 percent for health care” when so many others, including my staff and I pay so much more.  At my agency we pay 20% of the cost of our health care and I am told that that is in the lower range.

    We need to pressure the legislature to override the veto.  Most middle class people will respond to the idea that millionaires can pay a little extra.  By the way, how much is the proposed tax?  

    My particular concern is the new policy on affordable (ha,ha) housing.  As one who works with homeless families, I can tell you this new “hands off” policy is a disaster.  It is difficult enough to develop housing that is truly affordable to very low income families.  With out the State demanding that municipalities meet certain quotas, there will be no affordable housing development.  The irony of this is that many municipalities are demanding that police and fireman live in the community but don’t pay these employees enough to afford housing in more affluent areas.

    If it comes to developing subsidized housing or market rate housing who would choose subsidized, which negatively impacts on the tax base?

    Another no brainer is fighting against cuts to the school lunch and child nutrition programs.

    I believe the Governor is very short sighted and looking to make a name for himself with the Tea Party crowd but I think many of his decisions will come back to bite him.  Including the decision to cut off the General Assistance Program which provides $140/month to single individuals who do not work.  This money is hardly liveable but keeps many individuals from falling off a cliff.  Take this away, and desperate people do desperate things.  I think we will see an increase in crime both urban and suburban.  (while this is not a popular issue the impact will be felt by many).

    What about the decrease in the number of adults eligible for Family Care.

    The list goes on and I think it is counter productive to make this all about teachers etc.

    Reply
  7. speedkillsu

    Where were the seniors ? My own feeling is that seniors don’t want anymore gimmicks or  rebates they want property taxes cuts .any one i talk to likes the 2 1/2 cap …to start, but wants taxes cut ! As for Politicians  they can see the winds have shifted ,they look at the school budget defeats and see angry taxpayers ,the last thing they want is to look like Jon on the steps of Trenton hands held high . Forget about veto override ,I really don’t believe you understand how popular Christie is  with the avg taxpayer .

    Reply
  8. Winston Smith

    The school walkout was very effective, from many perspectives.

    Build on that – develop a series of direct actions and expanded civil disobedience.

    Do so from a principled and fact based analysis.

    For the latter, the preacher that spoke at the rally was really effective.

    Reply
  9. firstamend07

    Where is the public sector union leadership today?

    Why are they not organizing targeted rallies against the republican legisaltors in an effort to override the millionaires tax veto? That will at least get some of the money back.

    That big rally was nothing more than a feel good event with no purpose.

    This is 2010 ,not the 60’s.

    Tomorow is Tuesday. Can someone ask the public sector union leadership what Plan B is?    

    Reply
  10. brendanod

    For the following reasons:

    -it demonstrated that they are extremely organized and motivated

    -It puts pressure on democrats who have been bullied into following big boy on notice.  I suspect the checkbooks of the union PAC’s have been closed, this combined with Saturday’s turnout is going to force some democrats to make a decision.  Follow big boy to your demise or face a contested election with no money or support.

    -It puts pressure on vulnerable republicans to be cautious.  There will be no coat tail to ride in 2011.  You either go along with big boy and the 101.5er’s and hope the movement lasts for the next 17 months,  or be independent and face expulsion by big boy.  Not easy choices.

    -this power needs to be balanced to stop  prop 2.5 and the “tool kit” from going forward

    -big boy knows all of this and it will be interesting to see if he changes his game or continues to be a douche.

    Reply
  11. Bertin Lefkovic

    Instead of gimmicks like the millionaire’s tax, the Democrats in Trenton should be advocating for a reform of the tax code, creating different tax brackets for people earning $250K+, $500K+, $750K+, $1MM+, $5MM+, and $10MM+.  The tax rates for these brackets could be increased and decreased depending on the needs of the state during any given budget year.

    The real costs of home rule must finally be addressed and voters must be given the choice of maintaining the status quo and paying those costs in full and through the nose in the form of even higher property taxes OR allowing for the establishment of county school districts and more robust county governments that would be fully funded by state income taxes.

    I think that an annual referendum to this effect is something that a sufficient number of both Democratic and Republican elected officials could get behind as it would enable them to pass the buck to the voters, something that they are all very good at, and let them (the voters) determine the relative size and scope of state government, leaving our electeds with the responsibility of managing the state based on the results of the referendum.

    Reply

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