NJ climate crisis activists lobby Congress
Ananya Singh is 16.
The climate crisis is a very real threat to my generation.
Soak the Rich graphic in yellow
NJ ranks 12th-highest in income inequality.
And NJ has a budget crisis.
Babs Siperstein at 2016 Democratic Convention
Honoring the late Equality Rights Heroine BABS SIPERSTEIN
Gov. Murphy’s eulogy
The Political Power of Women’s Anger
WATCH. Before pink pussy hats, Hillary, the Midterms.
History of ignoring women’s anger to keep organizing down. Boom, like that. WATCH.
Covington Catholic HS boy
That white boy smugness.
Do you know it as well as Jim Keady does?
Green New Deal House protest
Green New Deal is PRIORITY.
Where does our new House delegation stand?

Latest Posts

Princeton Township Dems Seeking Candidates

Juan suggested that I post this (below the fold – what we’re doing in Princeton Township to recruit local candidates) … I suppose because we’re trying our best to open up the process. How candidates emerge does remain a mystery up and down the ticket. My belief is that opening the doors, turning the lights on  and inviting the folks in is a good way to strengthen the Party and democracy generally.

How’s it done in other towns? Something even more open? Or a few insiders behind closed doors? Would love to hear.

Morris County: 10th to Extend Domestic Partner Benefits

Nearly half of New Jersey’s 21 counties now offer domestic partner benefits. Tonight, Morris County – the most populous traditionally Republican county in the state – became the 10th county to grant domestic partner benefits. Morris County will now offer both health and pension benefits to domestic partners of county employees. The other counties offering domestic partner benefits are Bergen, Hudson, Mercer, Union, Monmouth, Camden, Passaic, Ocean and Essex. The ten counties are in the top 12 of the most populous counties and together they constitute over 2/3rds (67.8%) of the state’s population.

In an email to supporters, Steve Goldstein of Garden State Equality commented:

Most impressively, the Morris County freeholders took this step with minimal pressure from the LGBTI community, truly doing the right thing on their own. Morris’ action will no doubt accelerate the pace of the rest of New Jersey’s 21 counties to do the same. We’re seeing an unbelievable phenomenon in New Jersey now where counties in New Jersey, including Republican counties, are jumping all over each other to expand the rights of the LGBTI community.

Congratulations to the Morris County freeholders for doing the right thing. Which county will be next?

Ron Rice – Gaming the System

Seems like Newark’s Senator Ron Rice is at it again. This time, he is serving his fellow Real Estate brokers with a mechanism to get more money. A real estate broker himself, Ron Rice is pushing a bill that would remove Property Tax Record cards from the list of government records. This essentially makes it harder for regular folks to view and review tax records for houses in a particular area and puts the access solely in the hands of Real Estate agents and brokers. Can you see agents charging even more fees than they already do?

Senator Rice’s justification is that tax assessors are apparently overwhelmed with requests for these records since they are the keepers of the cards.

We should be moving towards more open government not a more secretive one. If tax assessors are overwhelmed then put these records on the internet and be done with it.

It is extremely rare that I agree with things that appear on the Asbury Park Press editorial page but in this case they hit a bullseye. Go read the whole thing.

Then call Ron Rice’s Office at (973) 371-5665 and tell him he is supposed to be serving his constituents in Newark, not himself and his buddies in the Real Estate business.

Oh… While you have him on the horn, ask him why he keeps letting NJ be in the dark ages when it comes to our AIDS policy, which happens to affect his district disproportionately.

NJ Citizen Action Awards

From ChangeNJ.com

If you want to bring about progressive changes in New Jersey , get involved with NJ Citizen Action. A good way to get involved is to go to it’s Annunal Awards dinner.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW ! !

THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 2006 NJCA’s 23rd Annual Awards Dinner.

Location:

Marriott Trenton at Lafayette Yard
One West Lafayette St.
Trenton, NJ

For more information 24 Commerce St., Suite 504
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: (973)643-8800
Fax: (973)643-8100
www.njcitizenaction.org
see you there.

The Sanded Gentry of LBI: It’s Their Ocean, We Just Pay So They Can Live By It

The oceanfront property owners of Long Beach Island have a reasonable proposition: You, the taxpayer shall help front the $71 million tab for pumping more sand onto their beaches and protecting the value of their summer homes. In exchange, they will give you . . . well, not a whole lot besides the satisfaction of knowing they’re there.

What, that doesn’t sound like such a hot deal to you?

But, horror of horrors, look what the state and the Army Corps of Engineers want in return for this beach replenishment: some public restrooms and easements giving New Jersey’s hoi polloi a chance to enjoy the beaches they paid for. It’s an outrage! The sanded gentry are even banding together to fight for their right to force other people to invest in their property.

These babies with big wallets can afford everything except a clue. Whenever they open their mouths, people start wishing the sea level would rise a little faster. This past weekend, the Star-Ledger literally told them to go  pound sand, which is a nice elegant way of putting it.

Keep going, sand-wingers. At this rate, people will be lining up to cheer and wave pompoms every time a nor’easter comes to chew away a few more yards of beachfront.

*****

Read more at The Opinion Mill.

News Roundup for 2/28/06

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 News Roundup (now with extra snark):

  • Dockworkers protested the sale of Port Newark terminals to Dubai Ports World yesterday.  The Star-Ledger got the money quote:  “Sounds to me like they’re letting the fox guard the chicken house.  My life is on the line every time I unload a ship or open a container. I would be the first to get hurt if there’s something bad in there.”
  • Senators Schumer, Menendez, and Clinton aren’t the only ones who found the sale of east coast ports to Dubai Ports World disturbing.  According to this Associated Press report, the Coast Guard said weeks ago “it could not determine whether a United Arab Emirates-based company seeking a stake in some U.S. port operations might support terrorist operations.”
  • Also from the Associated Press, the State Assembly allowed the stem cell research facility bill to expire, so State Senate President Richard Codey introduced a new bill that would create a $150 million facility in New Brunswick and a $50 million facility in Camden.  The article did not say why the Assembly allowed the original bill to expire.

    Anyone else smell bacon?

  • Monica Yant Kinney writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer about Governor Corzine failing to do the tough thing and raise taxes.  Instead, he’s borrowing to cover the budget shortfall.  Her assessment of this move by the new governor is harsh, but to be fair, does anyone else remember Jim Florio?  See this article to find out what happens to New Jersey governors who do the right thing with the state budget.
  • See John Curran’s story in the Philadelphia Inquirer regarding the 71 year old retired sales executive who just completed her sex reassignment operation and is ready to go back to work as a substitute teacher in Ocean County.  Parents are protesting her return to teaching.
  • Wally Edge writes about the two women whom the Bergen County Democrats have picked to run for freeholder.
  • Arizona Senator John McCain was in Short Hills on Sunday to raise money for Junior’s Senate campaign.  McCain has been running for president since Hanoi, so he’s used to the campaign trail.  The Star-Ledger says that Junior’s campaign is one of eight Senate races the GOP has targeted and refers to McCain as a “big gun”.  We’ll see if McCain plays Cheney to Junior’s Whittington with that “big gun”.  Look for photos of McCain kissing George Bush next to photos of McCain kissing Junior this summer.
  • Ocean County Bigots: 0 for 2

    About 100 people turned out tonight at the Eagleswood School board meeting. Earlier this month, Lily McBeth, a 71-year old teacher, applied to the school board to return to teaching. They approved her application by 4-1.

    She had taken a break from teaching to undergo a sex change operation. Upon hearing that a transgendered person would be teaching at his kids’ school, Mark Schnepp took out a full page ad in the Tuckerton Beacon paper urging parents to come out to the school board meeting, where the school officials planned to discuss the issue in private. Mr Schnepp, a Methodist who apparently has never read the United Methodist Book of Discipline and enjoys making up rules about his religion, said that “it violates my religious beliefs.” He and a few other crazies called on the school board to stop Lily from returning to teaching.

    GOP parade, Cheney in Newark March 20

    Elizabeth Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Giuliani, Bloomberg, Mitch McConnell and no less than Dick Cheney will be fundraising for Junior.  Does anyone want to check into whether Cheney has a valid NJ hunting license?

    From the New York Times:

    G.O.P. Stalwarts Line Up Behind a New Jersey Name

    Although Election Day is still nine months away, some of the top figures in the national Republican Party are already stepping forward to help state Senator Thomas H. Kean Jr. in his effort to change the “state” in his job title to “United States.”

    In December, Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, the chairwoman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, flew to New Jersey to signal her support for his candidacy for the United States Senate. Now, the Kean campaign is eagerly awaiting the arrival of at least half a dozen big-name Republicans over the next month to headline fund-raisers, at a time when many campaigns are still gearing up.

    They include three Republicans who may seek their party’s presidential nomination in 2008: Senator John McCain of Arizona, who is expected to campaign with Mr. Kean in Short Hills on Sunday; Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts; and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

    Mr. Giuliani’s successor, Michael R. Bloomberg, has agreed to cross the Hudson River on behalf of Mr. Kean, a fellow moderate. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are also expected. And capping it off, with a March 20 fund-raiser in Newark, is Vice President Dick Cheney.

    “We’re confident that we’ll have the resources we need to win in November,” said Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman for the Kean campaign.

    The fund-raisers are scheduled at an unusually early juncture in the race. But for Mr. Kean, a 37-year-old legislator from Union County, the big-name help underscores the party’s determination to win a Senate seat in New Jersey for the first time since Clifford P. Case was elected to a fourth term in 1972…

    Wal-Mart And New Jersey: Not Perfect Together

    With Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott gaining media traction from his speech before the National Governor’s Association, it’s worth reminding the public that taxpayers continue to foot Wal-Mart’s healthcare in New Jersey. The Philadelphia Inquirer has the story:

    State Sen. Joe Vitale fought for years to expand FamilyCare, New Jersey’s health-insurance program for families just above the poverty line.

    “FamilyCare was never meant to be a dumping ground for the country’s most successful businesses,” said Vitale, the Senate Health Committee chairman. “Taxpayers shouldn’t be picking up their bills.”

    The bill, sponsored by Vitale and Senate Labor Committee Chairman Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester), requires businesses with more than 1,000 employees to provide benefits worth $4.17 an hour – or pay that amount, per worker, into a state fund that will reimburse the nearly $400 million that the state spends on FamilyCare and other health-insurance programs each year.

    New Jersey Policy Perspective, a liberal think tank, conducted an unofficial study of FamilyCare recipients last fall, finding that Wal-Mart employees and their children led the state’s insurance rolls. After Wal-Mart’s 589 in FamilyCare, Home Depot had 335, Pathmark grocery stores had 329, and Target had 302. ShopRite, Macy’s, Kmart, McDonald’s and CVS weren’t far behind.

    Learn more about the Wal-Mart Tax:

    http://walmartwatch.com/home/pages/healthcare

    Brian Kline

    http://walmartwatch.com/