Tag Archive: Barbara Buono

Is Buono qualified even if she’s not rich and won’t call people “jerks”?

Cross-posted at Bob Braun’s Ledger. Promoted by Rosi.

Thank you for joining this seminar on what it means to be “qualified” to be  governor of New Jersey.  As you’re probably aware, former Gov. Tom Kean famously says Barbara Buono is a “nice lady” who is “not qualified” to be governor.  So  we should talk about the men and one woman who served as governor in the last 50 years and see what sort of qualifications they had  and compare those qualifications with Sen. Buono’s.

What’s Happening Today Thu. 10/31/2013

Happy Halloween Cory Booker: He resigned at Midnight as Mayor of Newark and will be sworn in at Noon today in the Capitol as New Jersey’s newest U. S. Senator by Vice President Joe Biden. Booker has an appointment with President Obama at 3:00pm. Booker’s predecessor as Mayor, the discredited and imprisoned Sharpe James, has said, “Booker will be a better Senator than Mayor”, which makes sense as his interests seem to be more in policies than management.

TransOptions Halloween Warnings and Tips: “Costumes, candy and distracted pedestrians walking in the dark are all part of the brew on Halloween night. While enjoying the excitement of trick-or-treating, you’re also four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Here are safety tips for trick or treaters.

“Nearly 1 Million New Jerseyans Will See Cuts to Food Assistance This Week”: NJ Public Policy further explains that the cut in food assistance is the result of the October 31 expiration of a modest boost in benefits to SNAP recipients that policymakers included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The House seeks even more cuts while the Senate resists. Unfortunately NJ does not have a Representative on the House Agriculture Committee – surprising as there is substantial farming in our State. (Even having “Farmer” Jon Runyan on the committee would be better than nothing, although he sees little need for safety nets.) Paul Krugman in the N. Y. Times says: “It has now become dogma on the right that the expansion of the SNAP program represents some kind of explosion of moocherism, not a safety net program… This despite clear evidence that the recent rise in SNAP participation is overwhelmingly a response to the economy.” President Obama recently named the Farm Bill as one of three major priorities for Congress. It is past time for the Senate and House to reach an agreement.

New Jersey Coalition for Affordable Power (NJCAP): which consists of the state chapters of  AARP, the Chemistry Council, Citizen Action, the Large Energy Users Coalition, PIRG, the Sierra Club and the Main Street Alliance will hold a conference call today to urge the Board of Public Utilities to reject PSE&G’s proposed infrastructure projects. NJCAP points out: “PSEG CEO gets a 21.7% pay raise in 2012, meanwhile, New Jerseyans are stuck paying some of the highest energy rates in the country and are being asked to foot PSE&G’s $4 billion bill for Energy Strong without questions.” There is no doubt that significantly more investment in NJ’s electrical infrastructure is needed to improve reliability. Nonetheless it seems the plan will generate millions in revenue for PSE&G and might leave millions of families behind. There should be more discussusion of the plan.

Buono/Silva campaign: Milly Silva: 6:20am, Radio interview with Bob Hennelly, WBAI 99.5 FM;  Barbara Buono: 10:00am, Buono Opportunity Tour: Higher Education, Montclair State University, Kasser Theater, 1 Normal Ave., Montclair;  11:30am Barbara Buono: with Working Families United for NJ leaders, Raise the Wage press conference, Perth Amboy City Hall, 260 High St.;  Barbara Buono: 2:30pm, Radio interview, Around the County Live, WSNJ 1240 AM;  Barbara Buono:  3:00pm, Radio Asia, 103.9 FM;  Barbara Buono: 3:15pm, Raidio iterview, Burns in Your Afternoon, WOND 1400 AM;  Barbara Buono: 5:00pm, Radio interview, WBCB 1490 AM.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 10am, Ponzio’s Diner, Cherry Hill;  11am, Gloucester County campaign headquarters, Washington Township;  12:15pm, Elmer Diner, Elmer; 1:05pm, downtown walk starting at Juvante Formal, Vineland;  2:35pm, Cape May County campaign office, Ocean City.

What’s Happening Today Wed. 10/30/2013

Our over-achiever governor: Dedicated to obtaining a record-breaking win in Tuesday’s election, Gov. Christie has embarked on a week-long bus tour of retail politics throughout New Jersey. LG Kim Guadagno has her own bus. Christie is not expected to provide much coattails assistance to legislators, but he has begun investing time and money to support Republican legislative candidates in LD 38 (against Sen. Bob Gordon), 18 (against Assemblyman Peter Barnes who is running for Sen. Buono’s seat), and 14 (against Sen. Linda Greenstein.) His tour includes stops in these districts. Christie’s main effort has been to help himself.

Did Sen. Buono miss an opportunity? Gov. Christie yesterday gobbled up all the news attention with his multiple Sandy-related visits throughout the State while Sen. Buono was silent on the topic. Perhaps, she thought any comments she made would be viewed as sour grapes against a governor who claims Sandy super-achievements. Nonetheless, there are plenty of New Jerseyans who are frustrated over Sandy and would have welcomed constructive comments from her.

Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund: with Mary Pat Christie as Board Chair, HSNJRF announced it awarded yesterday another $3.1 million in grants for a total of $19.3 million. It is believed to have raised $38 million in donations, so after a year it has awarded only 50% of its monies. Such is a small per cent for a non-profit which bills itself as a “relief fund.” The most recent award and HSNJRF’s stated plan to issue further grants on October 31 are both taking place conveniently just before Governor Christie’s election.

In both July and October Mrs. Christie said the agency had raised $38 million. It seems odd that this amount did not change at all between July and October. (Possibly some past commitments are delinquent reducing their take while new commitments have been made, but none of this explained.) Neither on its website nor in filings with the IRS nor NJ Charitable Division has HSNJRF indicated how much it has raised, disbursed in grants, or paid out in operating expenses. The lack of transparency and slowness in awarding grants can not be what individual donors expected. It was slow in hiring staff and replete with politically-connected board members and contributors. It has been a disappointment.


Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 7:05am, The Mark Riley Show, WWRL 1600AM;  Barbara Buono: 8:10am, WNYW Fox 5;  Milly Silva: 6:30pm, 34th Annual Installation & Swearing-In Ceremony of the HBA-NJ Incoming President Anna Maria Tejada, Westmount Country Club, 728 Rifle Camp Rd., Woodland Park;  Barbara Buono: 7:00pm, Reception Honoring Newark Councilwoman Mildred Crump, The Newark Club, 1085 Raymond Blvd., Newark.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 10:00am, Ritz Diner, Livingston; 11:10am, Beyond the C Restaurant, Linden;  12:30pm,   Fair Lawn Senior Center, Fair Lawn;  1:30pm, Nevada Diner, Bloomfield;  2:45pm, Chowpatty Restaurant, Iselin; 4:00pm, Hunterdon County Republican headquarters, Flemington;  8:00pm, JoJo’s Tavern and Restaurant, Hamilton.

The Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc.: 11:30am will urge NJ voters not to be “tricked” by opposition deception and to vote “Yes” on Ballot Question #2 to raise NJ’s minimum wage, Liberty Bell City Hall, Circle
260 High Street,
Perth Amboy.

The White House usher and head groundskeeper: 9:00am, visit Wyckoff’s Christmas Tree Farm to select the White House Christmas tree for this season.  

How Should We Pay the People We Entrust Our Kids To?

As the news media fawns over Chris Christie’s self-promotion today, there’s an arguably more important story that won’t make the front pages. In fact, aside from this blogger, the only other media there was a video journalist from one of the Philadelphia television stations.

It’s an established fact that quality care and education early in a child’s life can set the tone for that individual throughout his or her lifetime. So why is it that some of the people we entrust with our youngsters are compensated at effectively below minimum wage?

Today in Trenton, about one hundred child care providers, represented by CWA Local 1037, rallied in front of the Department of Human Services to make their case for adequate wages. These workers, mostly women, earn a median income of less than $25,000 according to a study by the Rutgers Center for Women and Work.

The child care providers are independent contractors, paid through DHS, but do not receive the benefits that state workers do as they care for children of similarly underpaid workers or full-time students. Even with subsidies, some say they will not be able to afford health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

According to Trina Scordo, Executive Director of New Jersey Communities United, there are about 2000 of these workers who provide child care, meals, and activities for pre-school children in the care providers’ home. These workers are not glorified baby-sitters. Far from it. According to the Rutgers study, their average experience in the field is 12½ years, and most have had at least 20 hours of approved education in the past three years. As one of the workers, Shanita Hargrove of Newark explains in the accompanying video, their services range from changing diapers to developing motor skills to emergency room visits when a child is ill.

Upon arrival in Trenton, the group visited some small businesses nearby (on the same street that Barbara Buono campaigned on last week), and then held a brief demonstration in front of the Department of Health. Following that, a small delegation entered the building to deliver a petition to Commissioner Jennifer Velez. Velez’s office refused to accept the petition.

Paul Karr, a spokesman for the union, told me that their plan is to regroup, come back bigger and stronger, and work toward a fair contract for the child care providers.

Tom Kean’s sexism: The “nice lady” responds. With class.

Until he left the Star-Ledger, Bob Braun was, in my opinion, the sharpest and best columnist there. And now he joins the ranks of NJ political bloggers. His Bob Braun’s Ledger is excellent and making waves. He sure as hell has the Star-Ledger’s number. This is the first of his pieces he’s cross-posting at Blue Jersey. Welcome, Bob. – Rosi

Cross-posted with Bob Braun’s Ledger.

Former Gov. Tom Kean has done a “disservice to every single woman who wants to enter politics,” says Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono. Kean had patronizingly dismissed Buono, a state senator who has served 20 years in the Legislature, as a “nice lady” who is “unqualified” to be governor.

Buono was New Jersey’s first woman state Senate majority leader and first head of the powerful state Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Kean, a Republican and strong supporter of Gov. Chris Christie, made the comments in a weekly column in The Star-Ledger in which he and former Gov. Brendan Byrne are paid to respond to questions from an anonymous newspaper questioner.

In answer to a reporter’s question later in the day, Buono answered Kean’s comment:

What’s Happening Today, Tue. 10-/29/2013

Today we celebrate the resiliency of New Jerseyans in the face of a catastrophic event with the realization that recovery is far from complete. Chris Christie today celebrates Chris Christie.  

Under the banner: “Superstorm Sandy – One Year Later: A Stronger New Jersey,” Governor Chris Christie today marks the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s landfall with a series of visits to impacted communities. Those communities do not include the affected areas of Paterson and Hoboken – two Democratic strongholds. According to one report today: “Poor families in Hudson County had the hardest time in the state recovering from Sandy.”

The press can attend the events, but at none of them is the press allowed to address questions to the Governor. (He hasn’t taken questions from them in over a month.) Such does not prevent protesters from airing their grievances over his mishandling of the recovery effort. In contrast, Barbara Buono’s events today encourage questions from the press.

The schedule has undergone numerous revisions in the past week. Originally there was no schedule for L. G. Kim Guadagno, and Christie had invited her to attend only one event. (Seems churlish as she might soon be our Governor if Christie resigns to run for President.) Now there is separate schedule with multiple activities for the LG., but she still is on the podium with the governor only once. (He does not seem to like sharing the spotlight with her.) There is another schedule for events to be attended by Mary Pat Christie. Also there is a schedule for administrative staff, some of whom have been censured for poor performance during and after the storm. You can be there to protest, but it is unlikely that they will take any questions. The lengthy schedules are listed below the fold.


Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 10:30am, East Orange Meet & Greet, Arlington House, 55-57 Munn Ave., East Orange;  Barbara Buono: 12:00pm, Buono Opportunity Tour: Public Education, Nutley High School, 300 Franklin Ave., Nutley;  Milly Silva: 6:15pm, DCBC Chairman’s Roast, II Villagio, 651 New Jersey 17, Carlstadt;  Barbara Buono: 7:15pm, DSC South Asia Caucus, 76 National Rd., Edison;  Milly Silva: 7:30pm, with Chairman Philip Thigpen and Vice-Chair M. Teresa Ruiz, Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman’s Annual Dinner, Mayfair Farms, 481 Eagle Rock Ave., West Orange;  Barbara Buono: 9:30pm, with Senator-elect Cory Booker, Barbara Runs New Jersey, 130 College Ave., New Brunswick.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: See below the fold for the schedules of Gov. Christie, L.G. Kim Guadagno, Mary Pat Christie and administrative staff.

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez: 12:00pm, news conference to discuss bipartisan legislation that would extend the number of years over which flood-insurance bills would gradually increase for homeowners losing federal subsidies, Washington, D.C..  

What’s Happening Today Mon. 10/28/2013

Buono’s “Opportunity Tour”: Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Barbara Buono today kicks off a week-long “Opportunity Tour” to highlight the need to restore the opportunities that made her story possible. The daughter of an immigrant butcher who rose up to become the first woman Majority Leader in state history, the tour will trace sites that enabled Senator Buono and so many others to overcome their circumstances and succeed in New Jersey. The tour begins this afternoon at the deli shop of Senator Buono’s cousin James Buono.

New Jersey’s 2nd disaster-recovery Sandy block grant, expected to amount to over $1 billion, will be announced at 3:00pm by U.S. Housing & Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and Sens. Robert Menendez and Jeffrey Chiesa, joined by Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. and Little Ferry Mayor Mauro Raguseo at the First Aid Building, Little Ferry. Conspicuously absent: Gov. Christie.

Environmental groups: 4 pm news conference to oppose South Jersey Gas’ sponsorship of the Sustainable Jersey South Jersey Leadership Forum. The company advocaties a new pipeline built partially in the Pinelands, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Galloway.

Board of State Canvassers: meets at 10:00am to certify Cory Booker’s election as our next U. S. Senator in room 7 at the  Statehouse Annex, Trenton.


Buono/Silva Gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 10:30am, with South Brunswick Mayor Frank Gambatese, Press Conference with the New Jersey Superior Officers Association, South Brunswick Municipal Hall, 540 Ridge Rd., Monmouth Junction;  Barbara Buono: 12:30pm, AFT Retiree Luncheon, Forsgate Country Club, 375 Forsgate Dr., Monroe Township;  Barbara Buono, 2:00pm, with Deli owner James Buono, “Opportunity Tour”: Small Business, Buono’s Prime Meats & Deli, 470 Main St., Little Falls.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign:  Chris Christie: 10:00am, unveiling of  a statue of Steve Adubato Sr., North Ward Center, Newark;  Chris Christie: 11:45am, ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Route 206 Hillsborough Bypass.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. and Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long: 9:45am, tour of Ocean Avenue to view buildings and businesses damaged by Superstorm Sandy, starts at Borough Hall, ends at the firehouse, Sea Bright.

Rep. Bill Pascrell: 11:00am, joined by Moonachie Mayor Dennis Vaccaro and Little Ferry Mayor Mauro Raguseo, news conference marking Sandy’s anniversary, Moonachie Borough Hall.

Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald: 10:30am, joined by Jack Purvis, president of the American Institute of Architects state chapter, and Robert Thiel, president of the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers, news conference, regarding ‘Good Samaritan’ legislation designed to better prepare New Jersey to respond to the next major storm or natural disaster, Statehouse, Room 109, Trenton.

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

Saturday: Booker, Weinberg, Buono – Rally to Support the Minimum Wage Increase Ballot Initiative

Just four days before Cory Booker – mayor of a city where so many residents are working at minimum wage – is sworn in as a United States Senator, he will join Sen. Barbara Buono in his city to call NJ voters to the polls to vote in an increase in our minimum wage. He’ll be joined by NJ progressive, labor and local organizing leaders, some of the very best in the state.  

New Jersey voters overwhelmingly support raising the state’s minimum wage, as two polls last month show. Monmouth University/APP poll found 65% of sampled registered voters backed raising the minimum wage to $8.25, and tying future increases to the Consumer Price Index. Only 12% were opposed. Rutgers-Eagleton poll found voters support the ballot question by 76% to 22%. But poll support isn’t the same as solid votes for the ballot question in November. And the vote is the purpose of the rally.

Booker and Buono will be joined SEIU Executive Director and state Democratic party Vice Chair Lizette Delgado, Larry Hamm, leader of People’s Organization for Progress P.O.P., Blue Jersey’s own Loretta Weinberg, the Senate Majority Leader.

What:Pre-election Rally in Newark this Saturday

Support the Minimum Wage Increase Ballot Initiative


When: Saturday, October 26th,  3-5 PM

Where:Washington Park in Newark

547 Broad Street, at intersection of Broad & Washington Streets,near the Public Library and Newark Museum

More info? bluewavenj2012@gmail.com or 201-306-4016.

Register here

At the rally, musical entertainment, elected officials supporting hard-working people, and info for voters. A host of good groups are sponsoring, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund, People’s Organization for Progress, Blue Wave, NJ Council of SEIU, NJ Citizen Action, Montclair NAACP, Local 194 IFPTE AFL-CIO, NJ State Industrial Union Council, HPAE, New Jersey Time to Care Coalition,

What’s Happening Today Fri. 10/25/2013

Immigration Reform: President Obama calls on the House to act now to pass bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform. The Senate has already passed a bill which the House could vote on (with or without amendments), but the House seems more interested in either passing its own measure or doing nothing. Following the federal government shutdown Roll Call reports optimists say that Republicans, “wanting to win back some of the popular support they lost over the past month,” will press for some type of package. The pessimists say, “Action may be stymied by continued infighting over government spending and lawmakers who have little interest in helping the party resuscitate its damaged reputation.”

Here is what some New Jerseyans say:

U. S. Senator Robert Menendez: “Our current  immigration laws have failed us.”

Rep. Frank Pallone: “Now more then ever, we need a fair immigration plan for the 21st century that provides opportunities to the workers that are here and contributing to the success of the nation.”

Rep. Rush Holt: “Reform will significantly boost New Jersey’s economy: providing a path to citizenship for some half-million immigrants living illegally in New Jersey – grow their wages, spur small business job creation and thus increase tax revenue and overall economic activity in the state.”

Paul Boudreau, President of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce: “Many law-abiding businesses find it difficult to find workers with the right skill sets to fill positions, and, as result, they’re “missing a huge economic opportunity” by not hiring workers who lack a legal employment status.”

Gov. Chris Christie: While he has declined to take a position on the Senate bill, he recently said, “We’re going to have to come up with a solution. You need to provide people with confidence that the system’s going to be fair and that means everybody.”


Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 11:30am, Radio Interview, Barbara Altman’s Front Porch, WOND 1400 AM;  Barbara Buono: 8:00pm, Newark NAACP 99th Annual Freedom Fund Awards Dinner, Robert Treat Hotel, 50 Park Pl., Newark.

Christie/Guadagnio gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 10:45am, with Motor Vehicle Commission chairman Raymond Martinez, greets patrons at Sabor Latino Bistro and announces an expansion of New Jersey’s American driver license transfer privileges to include the U.S. territories and commonwealths of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, North Bergen.

The Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc.: 5:00pm, “Raise the Wage” campaign will join with local elected officials including Rep. Frank Pallone (D CD 6), community supporters and union leaders to hold a press conference and to educate the community about the importance of voting “Yes” on Ballot Question #2 to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage, Asbury Park Train Station.

U. S. Sen. Jeff Chiesa: 12:15pm, speech at a New Jersey Human Trafficking Task Force summit focused on ways people can help anti-trafficking strategies at events such as the Super Bowl, Trenton War Memorial, Trenton. He remains our Senator until Halloween when Cory Booker is sworn into office by Vice President Biden.

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’s Happening Today Thu. 10/24/2013

Our Deteriorating Infrastructure: Two bridges less than a mile from me which I use many times each week are in serious disrepair. Gov. Christie’s concern for and funding of State infrastructure projects is a big problem today and growing more dire as time progresses. “The 113-year-old Midtown Bridge, a heavily traveled link across the Hackensack River between Bogota and Hackensack, has been shut down because of structural issues, authorities said Tuesday.” Last year a state review found “The 41-year-old Anderson bridge between Teaneck and Hackensack required significant repairs, prompting Bergen County officials to lower the allowed weight limit and forcing eleven bus routes serving about 2,000 riders to be detoured indefinitely off the bridge.” Needed repair has not been started.

Barbara Buono on her website emphasizes she “has  been a strong supporter of the ARC project and understands the value of investing in our infrastructure to make our workers and our businesses more competitive.” Below is what Tri-State Transportation Campaign in an October report says about Christie’s new budget:

“The analysis  shows that NJDOT is moving further away from a “fix-it-first” approach despite the deteriorating conditions of its existing road and bridge infrastructure … 10 percent of its bridges and 41 percent of its highway pavements are not in acceptable condition…The State plans on investing 25 percent of the Capital Program’s dollars on projects that repair or preserve the State’s existing roads and bridges, down from nearly 30 percent in the 2013 Capital Program.”

Environmental groups at 12:00 noon will hold a news conference to release a Superstorm Sandy recovery scorecard, grading recovery efforts at the federal and state levels, and identifying what needs to be done, at the Statehouse’s Room 109, Trenton. In the meantime the Senate and Assembly joint environmental committees have held four Sandy hearings across the state. Gov. Christie has done a masterful job of portraying his super-human actions related to the storm, but when it comes to answering hard questions he stonewalls. Assemblywoman Grace Spencer (D-29), co-chair of the hearings, on NJTV last night said that Richard Constable, DCA Commissioner, and Mark Ferzan, tasked by the Governor to oversee and coordinate Sandy recovery efforts, were asked to testify at the hearings but refused to attend any of them.

What’s Happening in your District? NJ Spotlight provides a brief overview of the legislative races in each district. Go here.


Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 11:45am, Middlesex County Retired Educators Association Luncheon, East Brunswick Chateau, 678 Cranbury Rd., East Brunswick.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 10:00am, campaign stop with Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. and Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, Caldwell Fire Department, Caldwell;  11:30am, announcement about business tax savings, Vac-U-Max headquarters, Belleville.

NJPIRG Law & Policy : 10am, with Sens. Sandra Cunningham and Robert Singer, conference call to release a report about which private student-loan lenders generated the most complaints from borrowers to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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