Tag Archive: Rick Scott

Buying Elections

I received an email today from Ballotpedia (an organization that provides election information) that contained some interesting statistics about election self-funders. Do you know who has the record for the largest self-funding campaign? It’s our former Governor and Goldman Sachs…
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This Was the Week That Was

Governor Christie this week tore asunder a pension bargain, decided to delay the Homestead Rebate, remained mum on the latest gun bill sitting on his desk, and reiterated his pledge (like Bush Senior) “Read my lips. No new taxes,” (although fees of course will be increased.) He raised “the white flag of surrender” and disappointed his right flank by renominating Chief Justice Rabner, but pleased the rest of us. In spite of his failure to create a New Jersey health exchange and to promote enrollment, there is good news. Then as if there was little that merited his attention in New Jersey he went to Florida yesterday to campaign for Gov. Rick Scott.  

Gov. Christie: Going Strong?

He will spend the start of the Memorial Day holiday weekend on the boardwalk promoting the summer tourism season with stops today at the Belmar boardwalk at  9:30 a.m., an Asbury Park ribbon cutting at 1:30 p.m. and a Seaside Heights boardwalk stroll at 3:30 p.m. He ceased using his Sandy recovery “Stronger than the Storm” slogan and is now saying “Going Strong.” This is an opportunity to let him know what you think about his failing and flailing administration.

NJ Democrats push millionaires tax Christie has vetoed

At a rally outside the Statehouse with more than 100 union members and supporters, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto again called on the Republican governor to raise taxes on the state’s wealthiest earners. In spite of Christie’s opposition, this plan is a must. It reduces income inequality, makes a Homestead Rebate more secure, and brings more cash to our treasury which Christie has mismanaged and plundered.

Our current and now future head of the NJ Judiciary

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner gives the keynote address at the grand reopening ceremony for the Passaic County Historic Court House, 10:30 a.m. in Paterson. The independence of our judiciary is now more secure.

What’s Happening Today Fri. 01/17/2014

Chris Christie makes his first out-of-state political trip of the year to Florida to hold fundraisers in Naples this evening and Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach on Saturday to benefit the RGA and Gov. Rick Scott. He will spend Sunday in Palm Beach with wealthy donors at Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone’s home. Capitol Soup (“Florida news straight from the Source”) reported yesterday: “The Christie and Scott teams aren’t exactly forthcoming these days. What we do know is there are a series of closed-press fundraisers and no public events, which means either Chris Christie doesn’t want to answer questions about his scandal or Rick Scott just doesn’t want to be seen in public with Christie. We don’t blame either of them.” Not an auspicious start for our governor who is also Chairman this year of the Republican Governors Association.

The Democratic National Committee says, “Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (a U. S. Representative for FL 23) and Florida Democratic Party Officials will hold press events in Orlando on Saturday morning and in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday afternoon to respond to Governor Christie’s Florida trip and to discuss Rick Scott’s failed record.”

Subpoenas raining down on current and former Executive Office officials: Among those individuals now (or soon to be) learning they must supply documents to Assembly or Senate Committees are the Chief of Staff (Kevin O’Dowd), Chief Counsel (Charles McKenna), Director of Authorities Unit (Regina Egea), Deputy chief of Staff (Maria Comella), a recently fired Deputy Chief of Staff (Bridget Anne Kelly), and a prior Deputy Chief of Staff (Bill Stepien who left to become Christie’s Campaign Manager and is now jobless). Further down the chain is the Governor’s spokesperson Michael Drewniak, and off the chain are the Port Authority Chairman (David Samson) and a P. A. board member (Pat Schuber).

There are even more subpoenas to be issued that we don’t know about yet. Subpoenas are not synonymous with guilt but they sure are ominous. Here is Christie’s current list of Senior Staff members which seems to undergo continuous revision. Not in my memory has there been a scandal reaching so many members of a Governor’s inner circle, with four key Christie associates already jobless. Two of them are requesting the P. A. to bear their legal expenses.

The newest member of Team Christie is lawyer Randy Mastro, likened to a “legal alligator.” The Asbury Park Press adds more detail to his profile: “Mastro as Deputy Mayor of New York wielded a baseball bat during meetings to emphasize his points. Referring to his “we-hit-them-they-hit-us” approach, the Daily News called Mastro “the only trigger man in town who can make Giuliani look like Mr. Nice Guy.” Mastro will play a key role in deciding which inquiries are “appropopriate” and try to ignore or redact what is “inappropriate.” He and his law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutch will use crisis management techniques of damage control and containment. Not an easy job.

Port Authority answers Rockefeller committee questions but breaks no new ground. The P. A. met its deadline to respond to U. S. Sen. Rockefeller’s questions regarding Bridgegate but it relied largely on information from public testimony. It re-explained what its normal procedures are and stated the procedures were not followed. It refused to speculate “on the motivations taken behind actions at GWB” and said the issue is still under investigation. Sen Rockefeller concluded, “The Port Authority’s response provides zero evidence that the purpose of these closures was to conduct a legitimate traffic study.”  

A Tale of Two Governors

Today’s New York Times profiles a Tea Party governor, and mentions his approach to the environment:

“Environmentalists, who once pilloried him for slashing state regulatory agencies, now have a seat at the table. In fact, they are consulted regularly”

By contrast, Governor Christie not only ignores environmentalists (as evidenced by his unilateral withdrawal from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, for example), but takes money earmarked for environmental protection and uses it as a one-shot gimmick to balance the budget.

Who is the governor that the Times is referring to? It’s Florida’s Rick Scott – elected in the Tea Party onslaught in 2010, and widely regarded as an extreme right-winger on most issues.

But when it comes to protecting our natural resources, who is the real extremist?

Medicaid Expansion: What’s Not To Like About It?

 NJ Spotlight points out today that “New Jersey would save more than $6 billion in healthcare spending over the next nine years, if Gov. Chris Christie opts to expand Medicaid eligibility, according to a report released yesterday by NJ Policy Perspective (NJPP). “If the governor opts for expanded eligibility, the feds will cover 100 percent of the costs of both General Assistance and FamilyCare from 2014 to 2016, with the state’s share gradually rising to 10 percent by 2020,” explains NJPP.

What’s not to like about it? Oh… It’s a Democratic plan … an Obama plan … it’s a “spend more money” plan… an “increase the size of government” plan … It only helps the “takers” …  national Republican base hates it … we already provide enough Medicaid coverage … after 2020 NJ would have to actually pay 10%  …  we can’t trust government not to increase our share later … it does nothing to help Christie’s gubernatorial warchest.

For the record, Gov. Chris Christie in an interview on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” in July said, “Medicaid is pretty well expanded in our state already because of the legacy of previous Democratic governors” and noted that he is leaning toward not raising the program’s eligibility limit any further.”

So why has Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott decided to implement it? According to the Advisory Board Company, “23 states have decided to participate and 3 states are leaning toward participation.” Among the 13 states not participating, 8 are southern states that would benefit the most.