One of the General Assembly’s most conservative members, Alison McHose, has announced that she will be leaving the legislature to assume the role of Administrator in Franklin Borough, NJ. McHose comes from a political family – her father was a long-term state legislator and her mother was a chairwoman of the Republican State Committee.
Despite her right-wing voting record, on at least one issue she got it right. She joined with Assemblywoman Valerie Vanieri Huttle to work to combat human trafficking in New Jersey. Here is McHose at a human trafficking rally on the State House steps two years ago.
This week’s announcement by the Joe Kyrillos for Senate campaign that he was forming a “women’s coalition” was a head-scratcher. We wondered in advance, Who would show up to that? The Senator has a god-awful record on women’s issues, as Sen. Loretta Weinberg noted here at Blue Jersey, and I suspect she should know. Against us on pay equity, women’s right to choose (which is absolutely an economic issue), women’s health (he stood behind Christie as the Gov cut funding to family planning health centers), whose “pro-life” positions go toward children born to women and families unable to care well for them (ditto, economic issue). The reality is that Kyrillos has been a vote to let women down in this state over and over.
Kyrillos clearly has a women problem (scroll to the gender breakdown Kyrillos/Menendez as per 7/18 poll) and even though Kyrillos might wish to pull a Christie and narrow that gap, I really don’t see Kyrillos being able to pull that off. Christie didn’t have much of a voting history for women to compare. Kyrillos does.
No matter where you are on yesterday’s sentencing of Dharun Ravi, one fact is clear: Bullying creates unpredictable outcomes. You don’t know when you watch a kid getting punched on the bus every day, or humiliated in the locker room, or spied on with a webcam, who won’t be able to take it.
Bully follows 5 kids facing abuse from their peers every day, and their parents, and tracks two boys who took their own lives. It’s a labor of love, and some heartbreak, to the film’s director Lee Hirsch, who was bullied as a kid.
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, prime sponsor of NJ’s anti-bullying bill, and her husband Englewood mayor Frank Huttle, arranged for the film to be shown, free. Garden State Equality is getting out the word. The film, rated R for language, was the subject of a widely-circulated change.org petition to change that rating, which would have restricted most kids from seeing it and kept it out of schools. When the MPAA refused to change it, the producers released it unrated. Because so many chain theaters won’t screen unrated films, only art houses and some independents showed it. And I think it’s worth seeing:
“Bully” screening & RSVP details below the trailer. You can skip past the ad by clicking the link in the video’s right side.
Wednesday, May 30 – 6pm
Discussion follows film
Bergen Performing Arts Center,30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood
Tickets/RSVP’s aren’t necessary to attend, but priority seating is through the RSVP, so it’s recommended, given that turnout may me large for this free film. Email your name(s) and phone number(s) to AswHuttle@njleg.org.
Since New Jersey was redistricted late last month, leaving the state with one less congressional district and a volatile, unsettled Democratic Party beginning what looks to be an ugly primary contest between Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman, focus has been on the 9th, the district Rothman declined to run in.
That leaves the 5th an open question; who will challenge Tea Party darling Scott Garrett?
I don’t know much about Gussen, except that 3 years when he was a councilman ago he filed to primary Valerie Huttle and Gordon Johnson, who serve LD-37 with Sen. Loretta Weinberg, and then dropped out.
Bergen folks, I’d be interested to know your impressions of Gussen and how strong he might be against Garrett.
22,439 people were arrested in New Jersey for possessing less than 50 grams* of cannabis in 2009.
FreedomIsGreen.Com, a local blog devoted to advancing more enlightened cannabis policy in New Jersey is reporting an an intriguing new bill on the Assembly docket that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in the Garden State.
The bill, which already has 18 co-sponsors (5 from the GOP) was introduced by Assemblymen Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) and Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris), the same bi-partisan duo that introduced the state’s nascent medical marijuana law.
Yesterday, Blue Jersey’s own Senator Loretta Weinberg, one of the women legislators he has openly insulted, asked some of the same questions in an Open Letter to Gov. Chris Christie.
Today, in case you didn’t catch it, this is how Star-Ledger’s editorial board illustrates – perfectly – the hostility Gov. Chris Christie has shown to New Jersey women legislators who dare to disagree with him. And, at the same time, an depiction of the gender gap between how men view the way Christie’s doing his job, and the way women do. Star-Ledger’s graphic is titled: Hey, Christie, what is it about women?
As thousands of New Jersey’s first-responders – firefighters, police, corrections officers emergency medical services members & many of the people they protect every day – rallied outside the State House, many of their signs expressed their disgust with Senate President Steve Sweeney, members of NJ’s other legislative body were out in force at yesterday’s massive rally.
Below, in video shot by the Assembly majority office, Democratic legislators look out at a sea of blue:
On Monday, the Legislature passed the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, a bipartisan initiative that will make New Jersey’s schools safer for all of our children. As the author of one of the nation’s first anti-bullying laws passed in 2002, I realized how prevalent this problem was when people began approaching up to me on the street, in the bank, and at public events thanking me for sponsoring the bill. I have since amended the law in 2007 to adapt to changing technology and the prevalence of Facebook by including cyber-bullying.
The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, the most recent update to New Jersey’s bullying statute, has been in the works for nearly ten months, and protects all students who are harassed, bullied or intimidated for any reason. The tragic death of Rutgers’ student Tyler Clementi altered the trajectory of this issue, propelling it to national significance, and now we need to take the necessary steps to make sure it never happens again.
The need for this bill was again underscored by yet another horrific bullying incident announced by the State Attorney General’s office yesterday. According to the announcement, the AG’s investigation of the Emerson school district concluded that its Board of Education violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by not addressing the continued harassment and assault of a student that lasted six years. That is simply unacceptable.