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Kid Kean’s Moral Twerpitude

This is rich: Dick “Cardinal Fang” Cheney comes to Newark, N.J., to help raise campaign cash for Tom Kean Junior’s Senate bid, and Kid Kean stays  out of sight until the rootin’est, tootin’est,  shootin’est vice president in the Wild Wild West is safely gone.

Normally, I’d feel sympathy for anyone who wanted to stay out of range while Deadeye Dick was in town, but Kid Kean’s main concern was to avoid being photographed with Ol’ Snarly, knowing full well that any such pictures would keep the Democratic Party in material for the rest of the year. He does love those bucks Cheney can still rake in, but can you take dirty money without acquiring any of the oily film from the hand that gives it? How’s this for a GOP campaign motto: “Take the green but avoid the sheen.” That’s moral fiber for you.

From the Bergen Record:

Kean campaign officials denied there was a coordinated effort to keep Kean and Cheney from being photographed together, thus giving Democratic campaign strategists an issue to exploit.

“There was no concerted effort,” said Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman for the Kean campaign,
describing the timing as an example of “ships that pass in the night.”

Two ships that pass in the night, eh? Funny — I thought there was only one Titanic. (Ba-dum, bish!)

Incidentally, Cardinal Fang’s visit to Newark — a city that’s already caught its share of hell and doesn’t need any more — inspired this very amusing press release from Assemblyman Reed Guscoria.

News Roundup for Tuesday, March 21, 2006

News Roundup for Tuesday, March 21, 2006.  (I don’t feel very snarky today, but I’ll do my best):

  • The top story is that Governor Jon Corzine will present his budget at 1:00 PM today.  You can watch it being presented live at njn.net or from a state legislature web site.  It is expected to contain increases in cigarette, alcohol, and luxury car taxes, as well as an increase in taxes on municipal drinking water.  Both your Glenlivet and the splash just got costlier.  Vice President Richard Cheney is not expected to shoot anyone in the face during the budget announcement.
  • John Martini is using his last appeal in state court to avoid the death penalty for kidnapping and murdering Irving Flax in 1989.  Martini has no more appeals left at the federal level, so this is it.  He won’t be executed for the crime, naturally, because the legislature imposed a moratorium on executions until mid-January of 2007, and that may be extended.  So who knows?
  • According to the Law Enforcement News at officer.com:

    New Jersey has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, but shooting deaths in its major cities still surged last year.

    Assemblymember Reed Gusciora (D-15th LD) has proposed more serious gun control laws (A2831, A2666) in the past, but he went for the laughs the other day with his proposed law regarding hunting while under the influence, timed to coincide with Dick Cheney’s visit to New Jersey to raise funds for Junior Kean’s senate bid.  Still, joke or no joke, gun deaths in New Jersey are a problem.

  • Monica Yant-Kinney has the skinny (I couldn’t resist) on Rowan University’s bid to bring major league soccer to South Jersey, provided someone will build the stadium.  Vice President Richard Cheney is expected to appear at the stadium’s opening ceremonies and shoot an attorney in the face.
  • The increases in the Transportation Trust Fund were passed yesterday without the 4% cap on new projects that was being sought by environmental groups and NJPIRG.
  • A proposal to increase the number of votes on the scandal-ridden University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey board of directors from 11 to 23 was delayed in the state Senate yesterday.  Meanwhile, two new members to the existing board were confirmed.  The UMDNJ has become one big headache, or is it a toothache, for the state legislature.
  • The Union County Republicans  shocked the world on Saturday by nominating state Senator Junior Kean to run against US Senator Bob Menendez for Menendez’s Senate seat and Congressman Mike Ferguson (R-7) to run against Democratic challenger Linda Stender in a bid to retain his place in the House of Representatives.  (For the snark-challenged, it wasn’t really a shock to anyone.  I told you my snark wasn’t really firing on all four cylinders today.)  They also made sure to blast Democrats everywhere for all of the evil that has ever occurred throughout recorded history.  In a demonstration of fairness, they did not blast Democrats for anything evil that may have occurred in pre-history.  Vice President Richard Cheney did not attend the event, so nobody was shot in the face.

  • Jon Shure: Here they come

    Cross posted from ChangeNJ.

    “We cannot tax our way to prosperity.” This is the new vogue sound bite from the right, already being employed against the budget proposal Gov. Corzine puts out today. The budget needs to be thoroughly vetted and we look forward to doing that. But in the meantime, progressive-minded folk need to be out front countering the taxes-are-evil mantra. Taxes aren’t good and they aren’t bad. They are part of a government’s financial plan and what’s important is who’s taxed, how much and how the money is used.

    We can’t borrow our way to prosperity. We can’t spend our way to propserity. We can’t budget-cut our way to prosperity. Each of these statements is as ridiculous as the other. And we can’t lie our way to prosperity either. It’s a little more complicated than that. Who–and what message– controls the terms of the debate is crucial. We need to keep that in mind.

    Toxic debris from Ford plant being spread around state

    Clean one site up, contaminate at least 8 others.

    The 8th construction site receiving toxic debris was found last week, a hotel being built in Edison.  From the Star Ledger:

    The debris, tainted with low levels of PCBs, is at the center of a civil and criminal investigation being conducted by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General’s Office, as authorities try to determine how it was allowed off-site without state approvals. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also are investigating.

    The coverage began on March 7 with a mention of developer Jack Morris, whose Edgewood Properties owns the other 7 sites that received the debris:

    Middlesex demands Ford offer plan for toxic debris at Edison site

    Ford Motor Co. must devise a cleanup plan for the thousands of tons of PCB-tainted concrete debris remaining at its old assembly plant in Edison, a Middlesex County health official said yesterday.

    For three hours yesterday, Ford representatives, county health staffers and officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection met in Trenton to discuss the handling of the contaminated concrete, officials said.

    David Papi, the director of the county health department, assigned six staffers from his department to investigate the tainted debris, which is also the subject of a criminal investigation.

    Last week the state Attorney General’s Office announced it was launching a probe to determine how PCB-tainted concrete from the Ford site ended up in five residential and commercial sites in Middlesex and Mercer counties owned by Piscataway developer Jack Morris.

    Morris, who owns Edgewood Properties, claims he was not aware the debris it received was contaminated, while Ford has said it informed the developer that the debris had low levels of PCBs — polychlorinated biphenyls — which are classified as a probable cause of cancer.

    Papi said his department was “skipped over” when Ford began disposing of the concrete left when the old assembly plant was leveled. Last Friday, the county won a restraining order in court against Ford, stopping the automaker from moving any of the 93,000 tons of debris left on its property.

    It looks like a big challenge for Edison’s new mayor, Jun Choi:

    Edison Mayor Jun Choi said he learned yesterday the hotel site received more than 8,000 tons of concrete contaminated with polychlo rinated biphenyls, which are classified as a probable cause of cancer.

    “Obviously it is a concern,” Choi said. “Every day we learn something new as we investigate.”

    Although the state is responsible for the oversight:

    To partly avoid the expense of disposing of concrete debris from the site, the automaker made the material — some of it contaminated with low levels of cancer- causing PCBs — available for free.

    Piscataway-based developer Edgewood Properties carted away thousands of tons of the debris, depositing it in at least six of its sites in Middlesex, Mercer and Ocean counties.

    The contaminated debris is now at the center of a civil and criminal probe being conducted by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General’s office. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are also investigating.

    The probe puts a spotlight on the business practices and relatively lax oversight of the concrete recycling industry in New Jersey, which produces 4 million tons of concrete, asphalt brick, cinder block each year.



    As many of you know, Dick Cheney is helping Tom Kean Jr. shoot people in the face raise money today.

    This prompted Assemblyman Reed Guscoria to call for stronger drunk hunting laws. The hilarious press release complete with Elmer Fudd comparisons follows the break in full glory.

    Monday, March 20, 2006 News Roundup

    3/30/06 News Roundup

  • New Jersey’s Supreme Court is in session today. Click here to check out the live proceedings.
  • Treasurer Bradley Abelow is under heavy pressure by Governor Corzine to deliver a budget that helps close the multibillion dollar gap without raising taxes to a debilitating level. Good luck.
  • Community activists in Hoboken are alleging that redevelopers are being rewarded for making  campaign contributions. In NJ? Never.
  • The GOP feud in Bergen County may be more of an obstacle for Tom Kean jr. than previously thought.
  • Vice President Cheney is in Newark today to help raise money for Tom Kean jr.’s senate bid.
  • Governor Corzine is expected to deliver his budget tomorrow. Higher sales tax, a raised cigarette tax and higher public college tuition are just some of what is expected to be in the budget, in an attempt to close NJ’s budget deficit.
  • The latest Quinnipac University poll has Senator Menendez slightly leading Tom Kean jr.

    Happy Spring!!

  • Pushing for consolidations

    The editorial in the Trenton Times today is titled High Taxes v. Home Rule:

    Now it’s reported that State House leaders are preparing to push more aggressively for shared services or consolidation. Under proposals in the works, incentive grants will be increased, but towns or schools that don’t combine their policing, garbage pickup or other functions when they obviously should may be punished by cuts in state aid. “It clearly needs some more carrots, but it may also take a stick,” says Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts, D-Brooklawn, who is drafting a package of bills on the subject. Property taxpayers are carrying a heavy burden for “the immense redundancy we have” in local government, Speaker Roberts said. Gov. Jon Corzine suggests that he’ll support some judicious use of the stick, as well. “I’ve actually been told, `Don’t touch . It’s life or death for you,”‘ the governor said at a shared-services seminar in Teaneck. “After looking at the budget, I might as well touch it.”

    Bergen County: Where yesterday’s uncontested race is today’s primary battle.

    As Tom Kean Jr. nervously awaits his punishment for not choosing sides in the Bergen County Republican Smackdown, democrats in Bergen County can look forward to a kindler, gentler contested primary.

    Paul Aronsohn, who looked to have a clear path in the race to challenge 5th District Rep. E. Scott Garrett, now faces not one, but two primary challengers – Camille Abate and Zack Sheinberg.

    Though the democratic primary race lacks the vitriol of the BCRO meltdown, it does have an ideological undertone: Aronsohn, a former pharmaceutical public affairs executive is running as a “pro-defense, pro-business democrat;” while Abate, a civil rights attorney, is running as an unapologetic fighting progressive. Sheinberg, 26, is courting the youth vote.

    The three candidates faced each other at a public forum earlier this month – something we can only hope the eventual nominee will get to do with Garrett during the general election.

    Sunday, March 19, 2006 News Roundup

    News Roundup for 3/19/06

  • Vice President Dick Chaney is going to be at a fundraiser for GOP senatorial candidate Tom Kean jr. They must really be scared if they’re bringing in the big guns this early in the race.
  • Congrats to Union County for paying out a whopping $13.2 million in overtime. Way to stay late and work weekends Union County.
  • Animal rights activists are suing for $1 Million alleging that the state violated their constitutional rights by arresting them for protesting the bear hunt.
  • Somerville is asking residents for ideas on how to develop 112 acres located off Route 206.
  • West Essex democrats demand change in their communities and are forming a group to help energize local democrats.
  • Governor Corzine wants a hike on the cigarette and liquor taxes to help balance the budget.
  • The Westfield Planning Board approved a proposal that will help revitalize Central Avenue.
  • Meet my next Congresswoman, Linda Stender (NJ-07)

    (Crossposted at DailyKos)

    Those of you who know about me may recall that I had the misfortune of living with a Republican Congressman. Mike Ferguson might be considered your typical rubberstamp Congressman, but he also has several other “accolades” to his credit as a Congressional disgrace. Since his first election in 2000, “Fergie” has received over $45,000 from Tom DeLay’s personal PAC – that’s more than any other Republican Congressman. When combined with various DeLay, Inc. associates (such as Mark Valente and indicted ally Jim Ellis), Ferguson has received nearly $200,000 from the DeLay underworld. In return, “Fergie” has sent $27,000 of his PAC money to Texas, which DeLay used to knock off five Democratic Congressmen in 2004. In between all this, Fergie has had time to build up his golf game; he currently ranks behind only Chris Chocola of Indiana for “best Congressional golfer” in a recent magazine article. You can read more about his foibles and follies at http://www.dumpmike.com , currently run by Nathan Rudy.