Tag Archive: Frank Argote-Freyre

What’s Happening Today Mon. 12/23/2013

How do you read a Christie press release which consists of short quotes from other sources? The answer: with skepticism. The Governor’s office on December 20 issued a release with quotes from Hispanic leaders and others. It led off with: Frank Argote-Freyre, President of the Latino Action Network: “This is a wonderful day for DREAMers in New Jersey and we are proud to be part of this historic moment.” What was omitted was Mr. Argote-Freyre also “expressing disappointment in Governor Chris Christie’s decision to remove tuition aid from the bill.” Just one more of several examples: Christie’s press release quotes a Star-Ledger editorial: “This is a big step forward.” However, the editorial goes on to say, “These students will still pay more. This is a broken promise, plain and simple.” Does this remind you of movie ads that provide a favorable blurb even if it is the only one in a negative review?

Healthcare Insurance: Today is the last day to acquire insurance effective January 1. March 31 is the last day to get insurance without being fined. Enrollment in NJ lags other neighboring states largely because Gov. Christie has been grossly negligent in not spending the $7 million in federal funds for education purposes. People who want free assistance from a navigator go here. To view insurance company options and check for subsidies go here.

On the Portfront: Governor Christie last week continued to claim, “It’s not that big a deal.” In the meantime the Assembly Transportation Committee is reviewing lane closure documents obtained under subpoena. Committee Chair Assemblyman John Winiewski says, “Questions still remain about how a decision that threatened public safety was made.” John Currie, Chair of the NJ State Democratic Committee says, “It’s been a bad couple of weeks for Governor Chris Christie, a politician who is unaccustomed to being held accountable and visually uncomfortable when it happens.”

Join a live politics chat today at 11:00am with the Star Ledger staff here.

Bills on Christie’s Desk: As a result of last week’s legislative voting session 25 bills are now awaiting action from the governor. To see the complete list go here. Below are some them:

  • A321 AcaAcsAs (AS) Dancer,R/Singleton,T+6 Lisa’s Law-monitor violent offender

  • A1523 AcaSca (2R) Burzichelli,J/Quijano,A Telecommunications co.-info. via website

  • A1545 AcaAaAaSca (4R) Burzichelli,J/Rumana,S+9 Prof./occupational lic., cert-revise law

  • A2887 Aa (1R) Chivukula,U/McKeon,J+11 Energy Master Plan-incl capacity plans

  • A3445 Aca (1R) Quijano,A/Wagner,C+3 Animals-bd pub trans in emerg evacuation

  • A3586 AcaSca (2R) Conaway,H/Jimenez,A+2 Neurological criteria-death upon basis

  • A3625 Eustace,T/Benson,D+7 Sr. occupied bldgs-emerg operation plans

  • A3972 AaSca (2R) Wagner,C/Jasey,M+20 Full-day kindergarten-estab. task force

  • A3997 Casagrande,C/Singleton,T+5 Sch. superintendents-concerns contracts

  • A4097 Vainieri Huttle,V/Gusciora,R+5 Sex change-revise birth cert. procedure

  • A4339 Aca (1R) Riley,C/Mosquera,G+8 Mom2Mom Peer Support Prog.-estab.

  • S450 Turner,S/Greenstein,L+5 Prop. tax bills-contain tax relief info

  • S1219 Sca w/GR (2R) Codey,R/Lesniak,R+4 Wrongful imprisonment-incr. comp.

  • S1264 Sca (1R) Vitale,J/Coughlin,C Mail-in ballots-clarify request deadline

  • [S2479 ScaSca w/GR (3R) Ruiz,M/Pou,N+19 In-St. tuition-concerns qual. criteria (conditionally vetoed;  tuition rate equality but not eligibilty for state financial aid signed into law.)]  

  • S2965 Scs (SCS) Sweeney,S/Gill,N+10 Coll. Affordability Study Comm.

    For more information on the bills go here, and enter the bill number.

    Open thread: Add an event taking place today of interest to our readers, or email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com

  • What Happened The Week of 10/21/2013

    October 21 12:01am: Proud moment for equality in New Jersey!

    Despite obstacles, Tom Kean Jr. says GOP will claim the senate on November 5. Dream on Senator Kean.

    10 days until General Election: If you haven’t already, it’s time to help the GOTV effort.

    WATCH: Pallone blasts Obamacare hearing as a ‘Monkey Court”: So true Rep. Pallone.

    Poll: Should N.J. keep fighting to bring sports betting to Atlantic City, horse racing tracks? Poll says Yes. Is it really that important?  

    Poll: Should N.J. voters approve the ballot question to raise the minimum wage? Poll says Yes. Right on!

    Environmental groups’ report card on Sandy recovery: gives Christie and his Office of Recovery and Rebuilding a D, the state Legislature a C-, the state departments of Community Affairs and Environmental Protection an F, and President Obama and three of his federal agencies most heavily involved in Sandy recovery a C+. Seems about right.

    Frank Argote-Freyre, president of Latino Action Network: “Chris Christie during the final gubernatorial debate seemed to come out in favor of tuition equality for all students, including those who were brought over as undocumented immigrants at a young age … Its time for our plain-speaking governor to provide greater clarity on the subject. A few passing phrases simply won’t do.” Get on with it Governor.

    ACA website vs. ACA: Former stinks but latter does not. Give it time.

    Executive Director of the League of American Families John Tomicki: “Allowance of same-sex marriage will cause polygamy in NJ.” A sore loser.

    Sheila Oliver appears to be out and Vince Prieto in as Assembly Speaker in next session starting in January. Que sera sera. The bosses and leaders have spoken.

    The Making of Sausages And Gun Laws

    Bismark said “Laws are like sausages. It is better not to see them being made.” Someone else might have said, “Too many cooks spoil the sausage.” In the case of New Jersey gun law reform the process has started off messy with over 30 bills introduced in the legislature – some moving forward, some being altered, and others unlikely to see the light of day. Then we have the cooks: the Governor, Sen. Barbara Buono, the Assembly, the Senate, NRA, NJ 2nd Amendment Society, Heeding God’s Call, and others. Part of making the sausages we can’t see as behind closed doors legislators, lobbyists and advocates across the spectrum have their own recipes. What we can see is often confusing and changes from day to day.

    The governor’s violence task force recommended weak measures, such as limiting the sale of violent video games and changing rules on treating the mentally ill. The Governor’s personal response was tepid and failed to address key issues such as magazine size. Like others, he accepts contributions from the NRA and its advocates.

    Sen. Buono called the governor’s plan “a shallow one that does nothing.”  Her proposals are more robust, and include smaller magazine capacity and face-to-face sale of ammunition.

    Unlike the federal government and many other states, it does appear that our legislature will pass gun bills shortly. Our governor may even sign off on some of them. A few of the more innocuous bills are actually supported by the NRA, and some have received bipartisan support.

    It appears that the rift between the Assembly and Senate is healing now that Senate President Sweeney has acquiesced to advocates who in recent weeks said the package was too weak. So far the Senate has passed 10 bills and the Assembly 22 bills. Further bill reconcilation between the two houses will be needed.

    The final outputput remains unclear. The sausage recipes are undergoing development in this sloppy, sometimes secretive process. I happen to like robust sausages, but I suspect only a very few will be robust, some watered down, and many will never exit the factory. We will, however, have made progress and be able to continue the fight another day for saner gun policies.

    Latinos and Latinas for Barbara Buono

    At a restaurant in Newark’s Ironboud the Latino Action Network bestowed a fullsome endorsement upon Senator Barbara Buono for governor. It was an appropriate city as Newark’s population is 30% Hispanic and an appropriately named restaurant, Sabor Latino (Latin Flavor), bringing out the Latina in the candidate whose brother-in-law was Hispanic.

    In making the endorsement, LAN Chair Frank Argote-Freyre noted Sen. Buono’s support of in-state higher education tuition for children of immigrants brought illegally into the country, her oppostion to school vouchers, and her opposition to severe cuts in social services championed by the governor. He went on to add, “The governor has never met a rich man he can’t support.”

    During her brief speech she stuck to the main themes of her campaign: support for the working and middle class, an increase in the minimum wage, reversing the governor’s cut in EITC, reduction in gun violence, and increased funding for education. Such general issues are of concern to Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike.

    When she was asked to address issues more specific to the Hispanic community, such as restoring legal aid funding, more oversight of the ICE detention centers in New Jersey, and Community I.D. cards for immigrants, she demurred. She said, “It would take hours to  discuss such matters.”  

    Sen. Buono can count on support from Hispanics but she does not have a lock on this segment of the population. The Latino Leadership Alliance in February endorsed the Governor saying, “His accomplishments on education reform and small business growth made him worthy of a second term.” A strong ground game run by Hispanic Democrats is essential to assure turnout, and further  articulation of her Hispanic/immigration platform might be helpful. For more information on the press conference go here or here.