Author Archive: huntsu

Voter Nullification

What should we do to a man who was caught with drugs 40 years ago, was convicted of possession, did his time, got off drugs, had a good solid career and family, was active in his place of worship, and involved in the community to the point where he runs for school board and wins a seat?

a) Celebrate the ability of someone to recover from terrible times to make a good live and become a positive force in society;

b) Force him off the school board.

Well, New Jersey — based on Plainfield Assemblyman Jerry Green’s bill — decided that b was the proper choice.

The Star-Ledger is reporting that 186 school board members must step down immediately for failure to submit to a background check as required under new legislation championed by Assemblyman Jerry Green. The newspaper also has taken an editorial stand against the ouster.

In Plainfield, board member Rasheed Abdul-Haqq has already been forced out by the legislation due to a long-ago drug offense and the board is seeking an appointee to serve until the April 17 school board election. However, there is some confusion over who must approve the appointment, the board or state officials.

The voters knew very well about Abdul-Haqq’s past brush with the law when he ran for the school board, and they decided to put their trust in him anyway.

But who wants to trust the voters?  Who cares about them and their little “participatory democracy” thing.  

In New Jersey, apparently we do not.  Instead we want to be judgmental and continue to punish good people for decades old mistakes.

Ridiculous.

QOTD & Deep Thought: Pot, Meet Kettle

Chris Christie:

He understands that the American people are angry and they’re scared and they’re worried about the future. So he’s decided, in the most cynical reelection strategy that you could ever think of, that he doesn’t care if you’re angry, he just wants you to be angry at somebody else.

I’m rubber, you’re glue.  Look in the mirror.  Pot, meet kettle.  Self-referential much?

How To Spin a Story, by Tom Moran

In a column titled, “Why did Sen. Robert Menendez block nomination of favored N.J. judge?” Star Ledger’s editorialist Tom Moran doesn’t answer the question until the twenty second (22nd) paragraph.

In between Moran says that ‘On the merits, it was a crazy move.”  He presents, without any direct quotes or sources, a number of “juiciest” rumors that make Menendez look bad.  He also examines the political “backfire” this will cause with the state and federal Democrats, again without any direct quotes or sources.  Then he explores the revenge factor, and states that Menedez might be doing it because he doesn’t like fellow US Senator Frank Lautenberg.

Finally Moran reveals that Menendez has a stated reason for blocking the — and Menendez provided it to Moran before Moran engaged in all the gossiping in the column — appointment:

Menendez said he asks a routine set of questions for nominees to the Court of Appeals, and she blew several of them. He blocked Shwartz’s nomination in secret, using one of the arcane rules of the Senate, because he didn’t want to besmirch her legal reputation, he says.

Once he was accused, however, of blocking her out of revenge on Nobile, Menendez felt he had to go public.

“She misapplied the law and I was taken aback,” Menendez says. “I waited to talk to my chief counsel, who was there, and said, ‘Did I get that wrong or did she misapply the law?’ And he said, ‘No, she misapplied the law.’ ”

Huh.  That could be true, and actual rational reason for denying someone a position that is, as Moran says above, is “just one step below the U.S. Supreme Court.”  

So after gossiping about possible terrible things people could think without using any named sources, and revealing a compelling reason to oppose a nominee, Moran ends with this:

Not a good start to 2012 for the junior senator from New Jersey.

It’s the kind of gossip and innuendo that we loved in the old days of PoliticsNJ, back when Wally Edge ran the show and it was essentially a gossip sheet.  We expected it there, because that was what it was all about.

But the Star-Ledger is not a gossip sheet, and the senior editorial writer is not an anonymous gossip columnist enjoying the inter-personal bickering and fighting among the political class.

This column could have been written in a factual way that presented both sides evenly, that provided the information that people thought Menendez was acting improperly but that Menendez denied it.  Instead Moran’s column is structured to portray Menendez’s use of Senatorial Courtesy in the absolute worst light, going through all the innuendo and supposition before providing the senator’s position. Such a spin is easy to do for any writer of skill and even easier for such a writer with a huge platform.  

It makes you wonder if the pot is calling the kettle black, and this is a column “based on lust for revenge or jealousy.”

Deep Thought: NJ Gov or Romney Gov?

Given Chris Christie’s repeated trips out of state for the GOP Presidential Nomination Race in support of Mitt Romney, one has to wonder if Mr. Christie will spend the next 11 months or so working to elect his choice for president or working for the people of New Jersey.

Happy New Year!

RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Donate to whoever runs against Scott Garrett in the primary;
  2. Donate to whoever runs against Scott Garrett in the general;
  3. Volunteer for my local Congressional candidate;
  4. Donate to my local Congressional candidate;
  5. Write at least one awesome diary each week;
  6. Write some crappy diaries, too.

So, what are your resolutions for 2012?

What, Exactly, Is “Jersey-Style”, Governor?

So the guy who thinks that Jersey Shore is a horror and demeans the goodname of the state of New Jersey is willing to say this in Iowa?

“You people disappoint me on Tuesday, you don’t do what you’re supposed to do for Mitt Romney, I will be back Jersey-style people.”

What, exactly, is “Jersey-style”, Governor?  Is is Sopranos?  Is that the image you are trying to give to the rest of the country?  Or loud-mouthed bullies who will assault voters if they don’t vote his way?  

No Governor should be mocking our state in other states.  It’s like a US Senator speaking ill of the United States to a foreign nation.  He’s an embarrassment.

Sears Closings Not Hitting NJ

Sears/ K-Mart announced the closing of more than 100 stores, an indication more of their poor management than the economy, I think.  The K-Mart and Sears I know in this area are threadbare, cheap and not ready to compete against Target, WalMart, Kohls and the rest.

That said, the PDF on the Sears site doesn’t list any closings in New Jersey.  It’s just the first 79 closings, but a good sign for folks with jobs or other things tied to these stores.

And The Corzine Political Fall is Over

Well, we assumed that Jon Corzine couldn’t fall any further politically, but now it’s just about over.

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign returned campaign contributions from Jon S. Corzine, former chairman and chief executive officer of MF Global Holdings Ltd., according to a Democratic official.

All that’s left is the legal end.

Fortunately, there’s a lot of little green pieces of paper to cushion the final fall.

Breaking! Christie Roots Against Giants

On the Boomer and Carton show on WFAN this morning, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declared he’s rooting against the New York Giants, preferring that they not make the playoffs and bring revenue to the state.

(Full disclosure — this is snark.  I’m a Giants fan, and Christie has always been a Jets fan and is staying loyal to his team.)

He also said he doesn’t expect to be asked to be VP, much less to accept.  During a “role play” with Craig Carton being Mitt Romney Christie turned it down.