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

Lipski Follows Conflict of Interest with Vote for Friend/Backer

This was originally posted at Tammany on the Hudson.

The Lipski-Hyman link is really starting to become a stinking sticking point.

Lipski “admits” to receiving $5000 in contributions here.  However, official records displayed by Steve Kush show that that number is only a shadow of the real figure – which is undisputedly at least $20,000 and could reach (if all the math is done) well over $40,000.

This represents a major flip-flop on the issue for Mr. Lipski – not on the embankment, but on how far he is willing to go to use his position to benefit his friend.  As can be seen here,

The one abstention was Ward C Councilman Steve Lipski, who said he was a friend of Hyman.

Mr. Lipski and Mr. Hyman were once such good friends that Mr. Lipski considered it a conflict of interest to vote on matters – actually this very same matter – that was of great import to Mr. Hyman.  Such back-pedaling is what Mr. Lipski has built a career on, though – as can be seen here:

Councilman Steve Lipski was the only vote against granting historical landmark status to the Sixth Street Enbankments. Lipski said that Conrail should be given a chance to review developers’ bids and come to a compromise with the community. Councilperson Mary Donnelly was unable to attend the Wednesday night council meeting.

A Thank You to Jon Corzine and a Wake-up Call for Progressives

After several weeks of legal manuevering and controversial special elections, the 37th District has a new State Senator in Loretta Weinberg and a new State Assemblywoman in Valerie Vainieri Huttle.  This was a huge victory for progressives in the 37th District and throughout the state because it gives us all hope that when “Big-D” Democrats in blue counties stop running the party and the government in a “small-d” democratic manner, progressives can challenge and defeat them.

However, this hope would not exist if we did not have a U.S. Senator and gubernatorial candidate like Jon Corzine who had the guts to stand up to Joe Ferriero, one of the toughest party bosses in the state, stand up for Loretta Weinberg, the most progressive elected official in the state, and make a commitment to take the Democratic Party in New Jersey out of the 19th Century with regards to the opportunities that it affords women to run for elected office and serve in leadership positions in government.

So what are progressives still waiting for?

Forrester Politicizing Intelligence

I stated in the last post that Forrester hasn’t explained where he will find the money in the budget to cover his “30 in 3” tax plan. As it turns out, he has. Well, if you’re willing to ignore the fact that he’s wrong.

You see, when you do any kind of analysis, if you want to get an accurate answer, you’ve got to make sure that your model is right. That requires making accurate assumptions about that model.

“You would have to dig up Houdini to do it and I do not know where Houdini is buried.”

Governor Codey said yesterday that even if Forrester were to get elected, his “30 in 3” tax plan won’t stand a chance in the Democratic-controlled legislature:

“Once again, with all due respect to Doug Forrester, how in God’s name is he going to pay for it? It is totally unrealistic. You cannot even call it pie in the sky,” Codey said during an impromptu visit to the Statehouse press wing. “He has never explained how he would pay for it. There is nothing in black and white.

“If it is not realistic, it will not get through the Legislature,” Codey continued. “You would have to dig up Houdini to do it and I do not know where Houdini is buried.”

Forrester claims that by cutting out wasteful spending, corruption, pay-to-play and no bid contracts there is room in the budget to pay for his plan. His spokeswoman Sherry Sylvester said:

“Look at the waste. All you have to do is look at the $200 million to provide road support for the Newark Arena. Look at the $9 million wasted on school construction projects. That is a good example of what corruption actually costs.”

Structuring Corruption

The first condition that Wikipedia lists for being favorable for political corruption is “Concentration of power in decision makers who are not practically accountable to the people.”  Well, let’s look at the New Jersey state government for an example of how that can be pulled off.

First of all, New Jersey has one of the most powerful Governor positions in the United States.  Unlike most states, there is no other state-wide election for such positions as Secretary of State, Attorney General, or State Treasurer and there isn’t even a position of Lieutenant Governor.  In cases where the Governor isn’t able to fulfil his (or her) duties, the State Senate President becomes “acting Governor”.  But wait, there’s more – to “act” as the Governor, the State Senate President doesn’t even have to leave his post in the State Senate.  So, you have the head of the state legislature who is also the chief executive of the state – in other words, it’s very much like having a state Parliament.

But this is supposed to be the exception to the rule.  Power is generally not given to the Senate President.  The Governor’s powers are thus limited by his time in office and the powers granted by the New Jersey State Constitution.  Well, in Jersey, like most states, the Governor serves a four year term.  This gives him (or her) carte blanche to hand out jobs to political favorites (see Golan Cipel).  The list of people the Governor of New Jersey appoints is staggering – the Constitution of the State of New Jersey limits the executive to twenty direct-report appointees, including the Secretary of State and the Attorney General.  Beyond that, every single “board, commission, or other body” has every member appointed by the Governor, as well as any openings in the judicial system.  In fact, just about the only thing the Governor of New Jersey can’t do is to investigate a member of the State Legislature.

Rush Holt visits Princeton’s Drinking Liberally

(Cross-posted at Princeton’s Drinking Liberally blog)

Over 50 people turned out and packed the bar area at the Annex in Princeton last night. Congressman Rush Holt came to mingle and have a beer with Princeton’s Drinking Liberally crowd. It was good to see many new people in addition to the regulars that come out every Thursday.

While the Congressman spent most of the time chatting one on one with the crowd, he also took a few minutes to address the group about why he’s supporting Corzine and why it’s critical to get involved in the campaign. He stressed that even though Jon Corzine has the resources to run a normal top-down campaign with focus groups, polling and ads, he’s insisted on using surrogates to talk to the grassroots and learn about what really matters to New Jerseyans. Rush pointed out that in politics, nobody runs a grassroots campaign by choice, but that a win in November would just be an “empty victory” otherwise, and Jon Corzine understands that.

More + photos in the extended text…

New Survey USA Poll

Survey USA has Corzine 49, Forrester 41

So this month we have the following:

10/3: Zogby: Corzine leading by 9 points
10/6: Rasmussen: Corzine leading by 7 points
10/9: Eagleton: Corzine leading by 7 points
10/10: Marist: Corzine leading by 2 points
10/11: FDU: Corzine leading by 8 points
10/11; Strategic Vision: Corzine leading by 6 points
10/14: SurveyUSA: Corzine leading by 8 points

I think that the “candidate in free fall” meme should pretty much be dead at this point.  Especially since back in July and August FDU had Corzine with a 7 point lead and Rasmussen had him at 8.  This is actually a remarkably consistent race with just a few outliers: the 2 of Marist, the 4 of Quinippiac, and the 18 of Eagleton.

Election Protection workers needed for November

From the NJ for Democracy blog:

NJ Election Protection 2005 Seeks Volunteer Poll Monitors November 8

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

Election Protection 2004 found numerous voting problems in NJ, particularly in urban areas and areas with high student populations:

  • Polls in Middlesex County were improperly denying students the right to vote provisionally
  • Many students who had registered on campus drives were not on the voter rolls.
  • Flyers with misinformation were circulated in an attempt to intimidate voters who may have had judgments against them or were late paying rent, utilities or child support obligations.

See the extended entry for more information…

Medicare’s Nero and Bush’s Fiddle

This is the third part in a series on Medicare B.  It was previously posted at Old Town Review Chronicles.  You can read more from Xpatriated Texan at his personal blog or check in on the corruption in Hudson County.

While President Bush zooms around on Air Force One, talking to pre-screened crowds about his plans for Social Security, blithely ignoring the reality that Americans hate his ideas, he is totally ignoring the real emergency in America’s Social Safety Net.

Take a look at the latest report from the Medicare Trustees (http://www.ssa.gov/history/pdf/tr00summary.pdf) (sorry, I can’t get it to work as a link).  I’ll summarize for you: Medicare is in deep doo-doo.  Let me hype some hysteria before I save the universe.

The DI (Disability Income) portion of the fund will begin paying out more than it takes in no later than the year – wait for it – 2007.  The HI (Hospital Insurance) portion will last a full three years later and begin losing money in 2010.  The worst case scenario is that both will be flat broke by 2012.  However, they are supposed to last until 2023 and 2025 respectively.  

To me, burning very expensive jet fuel in Air Force One to run around playing Chicken Little about Social Security while totally ignoring Medicare is tantamount to auditioning for the role of Nero.  All we need is a fire and a fiddle.

James Carville What Do You Know?

Cross Posted on Media In Trouble

When did you know it, and more importantly, why aren’t you telling any of your Democratic friends?  We are left on the sidelines, gleaning from press reports when one of our very own political operatives’ wife Mary Matalin was involved in the now implicated White House Iraq Group (a.k.a. WHIG).

Remember 2 years ago when HBO had that ill fated series K Street?  Where the luxurious and lustrous life of lobbyists was intermingled with actors playing out sub-plots?  I thought for sure George Clooney had a winner here.

Then around the 5th week or so, the leak investigation hit Carville and Matlin’s lobby firm.  Matlin was probed, then Carville, and the series took a turn towards less of the reality of politics, and more towards the lives of the fictional characters.

Either way the show got cancelled and little was ever portrayed regarding the Leak Case.  However, as of this week, it seems that the WHIG has come back into play here.  So the scrambled camera shots in the HBO series we know were totally real, and we know that their is information that perhaps James Carville can help us figure out from his very own involvement.

So Mr. Carville, I am sure you have discussed the issue with your wife, what is it that she knows from being on the inside?

Why aren’t you helping those of us here in Left Bloglandia uncover such things?  

If Matt Cooper can come clean I am sure you can do the same?