Tag Archive: Rodney Frelinghuysen

Christie pays a visit to New Jersey

Governor Christie this week spent time in Missouri, Washington DC, and New York. This morning he visited Cedar Grove before leaving this afternoon to Boston. Nonetheless, that did not stop him from saying at the “Town Hall,” “I prioritize my day job.”

Christie today was visiting a Republican town which is not representative of the county as  a whole. Cory Booker won re-election to his U. S. Senate seat in Essex County by 106,472 to 29,527 votes, but lost in Cedar Grove to Republican Jeff Bell 1,339 to 1,671. Likewise in the congressional race Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen won 1,883 to Mark Dunec at 996. The event was held at the Essex County Police Academy, a place which might be intimidating to some. (Given Christie’s NJ polling data he might be planning a future forum at the Trenton State Police headquarters.)

Upon entering the academy campus attendees were greeted by members of NJ Working Families holding posters protesting fare hikes and route eliminations. Carl from East Orange explained the bus hikes “affect the littlest people who can least afford them and can’t do much to prevent them.” Craig from Princeton was concerned that there was a proposal to end the 655 bus which takes staff and low income patients to the hospital.

Inside the facility set up for 200 people, I sat next to a woman on the left side who explained to me that “Democrats don’t follow the ten commandments,” and “Republicans are denying Jesus’ teachings to feed and care for the poor.” She is a retired teacher who voted for Christie the first time but decided not to vote for either candidate in the last election. The person on my right overheard the conversation and said I was a “proselytizing leftie.” The person in front was a friend of Blue Jersey who raised a small poster in protest  – against Christie’s pen/ben plan.

Shortly before the event began local dignitaries went behind the rear curtain to greet the governor. After a couple of minutes they came back to their seats except for Democrat County Executive Joe DiVincenzo. He spent more time with Christie and then came out to introduce the governor calling him “my good friend.”


Another “hold your nose” vote to avert a government shutdown

Update Sun. 8:30 am: The Omnibus 2015 federal spending bill passed the Senate Saturday night 56 to 40 averting a government shutdown. Both Senators Menendez and Booker joined progressives and others and voted against the bill. Sen. Booker said the bill would roll back regulations in the Dodd-Frank Act, compromise truck safety, and interfere with the rights of Washington, D.C. residents to change their marijuana laws. Sen. Menendez said, “The rollback of critical Wall Street reform provisions puts taxpayers on the hook to bail Wall Street out again. Moreover, this last-minute add-on – a poison pill written by large financial institutions – sets the table for more attacks on the protections I fought to put in place following the financial collapse.”

Not so long ago the NJ legislature used to have an annual Christmas tree bill which was sprung upon the membership and laden with all sorts of holiday goodies inserted by individual legislators. This week in the House of Representatives with little more than two days to review the bill, leadership sprung their $1.1 trillion Christmas tree bill to fund the government next year and avert a federal shutdown.

The bill narrowly passed 219 votes to 206. Many Republicans did not like the bill for the generic reason that it calls for “too much government spending,” and because the act does not explicitly block President Barack Obama from implementing his Executive Order on immigration. Republicans voted 162 in favor and 67 against.  Many Democrats did not like the bill because it weakens Dodd-Frank consumer legislation and because it increases substantially the amount donors can contribute to political parties. Democrats voted 57 in favor and 139 against.

The House Speaker Republican John Boehner never had enough Republican votes to pass the bill, so he relied on support from Democrats. The White House vigorously lobbied Democrats for passage as did Steny Hoyer, Democratic Whip. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke out and voted against it. Five of our NJ Democrats refused to “hold their nose” and vote for it and instead voted against it.