Author Archive: jennypenny

word “divisive” is like “patriotic”

I’m sick of both words.

Regardless of the possible negative effect of challenged (or “divisive”) primaries on the general election, what’s the alternative?  That all party nominees are chosen by county chairs (who may or may not be fair)?  That “our” incumbents get automatic renewals?  

“Divisive” is used to put challengers on the defensive and depict them as disloyal to the party and its ideals.  But challengers just may be be seeking to advance those ideals, perhaps in the face of enormous odds. Or they may not be–  isn’t that a judgment call that should be up to voters?

I support Lautenberg on his record and his merits.  But I think accusations of divisiveness are counterproductive – not to mention boring and predictable.  Same with the accusations about going negative that are sure to come.  The more sanctimony, the more annoying.  My eyes glaze over and my mouse clicks away from all posts complaining about negative campaigning by either side.  

Hands Off Our Roads

Take a look at the ad on the bottom right of this page.  It was probably conceived by telecom lobbyist/ pretend activist Mike McCurry.  (McCurry is a former press secretary for Bill Clinton.)

What if back in the early 20th century, paving and construction companies were given control of the roads instead of the government? The argument was that we had roads because of them and that they won’t be able to develop improvements like traffic lights if we don’t give them “freedom”? They said, “why should trucking and bus companies get to make a profit from our roads?” The trucking and bus companies fought this and the paving and construction companies would say, “this is unfair, why should the shipping industry make money from our roads.”

They would have paid off a formerly respected political operative to form a lobbying firm “Hands Off Our Roads

PS  If you want to help me make an ad for this website defending government preservation of internet freedom email me at jennypenny at crumiller dot com. 

Political Bosses 101– May 21 in Princeton

The Princeton Community Democratic Organization will host Tom Byrne, former Democratic State Chair, who will discuss New Jersey politics and political bosses on May 21. For more details check out the events calendar.  PCDO meetings are free and open to the public. BlueJersey readers are invited! 

The talk is entitled, “NJ Democratic Party Bosses:  What do they do?  How did they get power?  How do their dealings affect our state’s policies and finances?

Podcast download time highlights evil of Verizon bill

I was just IMing with my friend who lives in the “hood” in Princeton (Maclean St.) and he was complaining because the BlueJersey podcast was taking so long to download.  He only has dial-up internet connection. How could this be??  It turns out that Verizon does not offer high-speed internet in his neighborhood.  They only offer high-speed internet where they think they can make a profit. 

Now Verizon wants to get a statewide franchise from our legislators.  They want to take over all of our communications with a legalized monopoly, putting all competition out of business with one easy bill.  They’re putting out press releases like this one claiming customers want this – while the competing cable companies, which on their website  Keep it Local produce another poll showing the opposite.

Verizon is fooling customers by promising them the moon and the stars in service, without mentioning the downsides. 

Wealthy customers and neighborhoods will continue to be favored while others will be neglected — this might be ok when we’re talking about some other market-driven service but not communication. 

Without competition, service will become even worse (as if Verizon service could become worse). 

With a statewide franchise, local public access channels will be dead.

But there are huge amounts of money involved and the legislation is backed by some Democrats. 

New Beginning for Princeton Democratic Club

Last night I was elected president of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization. It was a contested election, with the other candidate being the “establishment” candidate.  But we campaigned hard and won, 156 – 59, on a platform of activism, expansion, inclusiveness and openness. Juan Melli also got elected to the executive board.

UpdateJanuary 23, 2006 at 11:33:39 EST by jmelli Wally Edge:

A new generation offers a leader

There was a changing of the guard among liberals in Princeton last night in a race for President of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization, a group of Democrats from Princeton Borough and Princeton Township. Jenny Crumiller, a fundraiser for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign and a Democracy for America member, defeated Dick Bergman, who got his start in politics working for Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern, by 156-59 margin. Bergman, who worked as a budget analyst for the New Jersey Legislature and spent thre years working in the Carter White House, had been the handpicked candidate of Princeton Township Mayor Phyllis Marchand. With more than 350 members, the PCDO is the largest local Democratic club in Mercer County.

Champion of Gay Rights in NJ

The Princeton Packet reports today about a champion of gay rights who was instrumental in in passing recent rights legislation, Hill Wallack attorney Stephen J. Hyland.

Legislation pertaining to same-sex couples also includes New Jersey Senate Bill 2083, signed by Gov. Richard Codey on Wednesday, to clarify the rights of inheritance for domestic partners. This update to the probate code was introduced in response to the case of Betty Jordan, a Hill Wallack client, who was denied the rights of inheritance when her domestic partner of more than 20 years died without a will. Other bills clarifying the rights of domestic partners in the areas of guardianship, health benefits and mental health directives were also passed this week.

“My interpretation of the Domestic Partnership Act is that the Legislature intended to include far more rights, not the four or five, or 20 or 30, rights that people seem to believe were explicitly put into the act,” Mr. Hyland said.

An expert on the Domestic Partnership Act, Mr. Hyland is the author of “New Jersey Domestic Partners: A Legal Guide,” the second edition of which was published this month by Rivergate Books/Rutgers University Press.

Mr Hyland maintains a website on the law of domestic partnership in New Jersey at

Way to go!

Jenny for President

I’m running for President — of the local Princeton Democratic Club, otherwise known as the PCDO (Princeton Community Democratic Organization). This year, unlike most years, there is an election and it’s going to be hotly contested.

I want to encourage a more active membership with a stronger voice through public debates and forums on important social and political topics, including land use and local policy formation. On a national level, both the 2006 mid-term elections and the February 2008 New Jersey presidential primary will be a critical test for our party. With a strong PCDO, we can make a difference in key races throughout the state and perhaps take a leading role in determining our next nominee.

If you live in Princeton, I hope you will get involved in the PCDO. To vote in the election you have to pay dues by this Sunday, 6/8/06. Non-participants living elsewhere, I encourage you to get involved in your local Democratic Club. So many people feel the Democratic Party is someone else and therefore let "someone else" run the show, sometimes without much help or input. But if our grass roots aren’t strong we’re going to keep losing to Republicans, who have figured out how to organize locally better than we have.

More info about what I’m doing is is on my "vision page." I also have a letter to the editor in the Princeton Packet today.

Trenton crime and public policy

Today in the The Trenton Times :

Corzine announces advisory panels  Gov.-elect Jon Corzine has named six advisory panels to help mull how the state will tackles some of its leading problems.

Corzine announced advisory panels for the budget, property tax reform, economic development, labor and work force development, child welfare and public education. The groups will study problems and recommend to Corzine a plan for implementing his campaign agenda on each issue.

And from another page:  More armed hold-ups reported

TRENTON – As the city grapples with a rising murder count, detectives also are being kept busy with a recent string of armed robberies, several in which groups of armed bandits have held up victims on the street and in homes.

Police made public two more of the crimes yesterday… But police who work the streets say many more armed holdups are occurring nightly, and they include possibly five others that have occurred since last week but that police have yet to officially announce.

It’s no doubt that the escalating crime rate is a difficult problem, if not crisis, with no easy solutions. 

At least it should at least be listed among the state’s leading problems — but it won’t be until it becomes of great concern to the middle class like property tax reform, environment etc.

Hey Assembly Speaker Roberts, we’re mad as hell (aren’t we?)

OK kids, what does a crooked congressman in CA remind you of?

(CNN) — Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham said Monday he is resigning from Congress after pleading guilty to taking more than $2 million in bribes in a criminal conspiracy involving at least three defense contractors.

Hint: look in the mirror

(NJ Times 11/11/05) “Whatever we do [about proposed campaign finance legislation] has to be constitutionally sound, and when you talk about restraining the ability of citizens to make legal political contributions, like it or not, that’s affecting their First Amendment rights, and I think it’s irresponsible for members of the Legislature to advocate a position that is constitutionally unsound,” Roberts said.

Another hint: compare the above with George Bush and Orrin Hatch on McCain Feingold

BUSH [to Hatch]: I believe the McCain Feingold bill will hurt the Republican Party and hurt conservative causes.

HATCH: [The] bill is unconstitutional. [It] leaves all the first amendment rights for the public interest groups to speak and do whatever they want to and raise any kind of moneys they want to and takes away the first amendment rights from the two political parties…