News Roundup & Open Thread for Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Normally, after a disaster, FEMA pays only 75% of the recovery costs. But Governor Christie contends that due to the extent of the damage, the Federal government should pick up 100%. Not an unreasonable request, given precedents from other storms and the fact that New Jersey has always put more into the Federal coffers than it has taken out.

Maximum Rhetoric on the Minimum Wage

The Assembly passed the version of the Minimum Wage bill that the Senate voted on last week. Governor Christie will more than likely veto the bill because it is not looked upon favorably by his presidential campaign benefactors. Once again, the governor puts his ambitions ahead of the people of New Jersey. Will the Democrats get the last laugh by putting it on the November 2013 ballot when all 120 legislators and the Governor are up for election?

George Norcross’ Philadelphia Inquirer says the governor should approve the minimum wage legislation.

We Need More Women in Top Government Positions

Two of my favorite female politicians are Marie Corfield and Barbara Buono. One just ended a tough campaign (and I hope she’s not done with politics), and the other appears to be starting a difficult campaign. Can a candidate outside the party’s politburo make a viable run?

Paulsboro Derailment

Sandy is not the only disaster keeping people out of their homes. Albeit on a much smaller scale, many Paulsboro residents will not be able to return to their homes until Saturday. The bridge that collapsed was privately owned and not subject to Federal inspection. The regularly scheduled quarterly inspection was waived. Yet Federal and State taxpayers are paying a big part of the response expenses. Is this right?

What Happened One Year Ago?

It’s been a year since the people of the two Princetons agreed to merge the town and the borough. How is it going? Better than expected. One big piece of the consolidation goes into effect today. But going from 566 municipalities to 565 is just a dent. Why won’t other jurisdictions become more proactive instead of waiting for Senator Sweeney’s bill to force them to consolidate?

Cory Booker on Food Stamps

Responding to a challenge from a Twitter follower, Newark Mayor Cory Booker has started his food stamp challenge. The interesting thing here is that he’s not talking to the media, preferring to frame the message through his Twitter stream.

Legislature Tries to Reign In Port Authority

The Assembly passed a bill giving the legislatures of New York and New Jersey veto power over the Port Authority minutes, as new toll increases go into effect. Our own Senator Loretta Weinberg has been an outspoken critic of these increases. The bill still needs to pass in the Senate and in New York’s legislature, and be signed by both governors (who have that authority today). Snowball. Hell.

What the Unannounced Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates are Saying:

Richard Codey (on the minimum wage bill):

You know how many people work two jobs out there to support their families at these rates without their benefits? Come on. Help these people. Be compassionate. Show that we care about them. That we need them.

Barbara Buono (on the war on the middle class in her vote on the minimum wage):

This afternoon, I join my colleagues in launching a new war – a war on the false hope of trickle-down economics, a war on the notion that paying a subsistence wage to the people of New Jersey is in any way, shape or form, defensible. A war rejecting the proposition that hard work should not pay. Today I am proud to vote in favor of this legislation and urge the Governor to sign it intact.

Cory Booker on Twitter:

With world as it is, we’re not called to fit in but stand out. Authenticity not conformity: We’re born originals & must not live as copies

John Wisniewski (on the bill to give the legislature veto authority over Port Authority minutes:

Good policy always makes good politics

Steve Sweeney (himself an ironworker) on the Paulsboro bridge collapse:

We have a lot of questions to be answered. Was it a temporary repair? Was it done properly? Were they going to come back and do more later?”

Lou Greenwald (via Facebook) on the minimum wage:

…hard working New Jerseyans raising their families deserve to earn greater financial security.

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