Tag Archive: Fred Madden

Contrast of Two Politicians: Work Ethic & Responsibility to New Jersey

Reporter Jane Roh picks up on an interesting contrast between Governor Christie and Gloucester Senator Fred Madden, in each man’s decisions regarding a Florida vacation. When presented with an obvious work requirement in the form of a snow emergency, Gov. Christie chose to go on vacation, while Sen. Madden, presented with a work requirement in the form of a vote on Christie’s tool box, chose to stay in New Jersey (which apparently cost him some $$ bucks) and do what we hired him for.

Add to this contrast in sense of responsibility …

… Madden is one of 40 Senators. Christie is NJ’s CEO.

… Had Christie changed his plans to handle work, some or all of his costs might have been paid for by us, the taxpayers. Sen. Madden likely paid out of pocket for his missed vacation.

Quoting now, from Jane’s piece today in the Courier-Post:

No one begrudges Christie, his wife and four children a winter getaway, but Madden was among a number of critics who wondered why the governor did not hang back for a day or two to keep an eye on storm cleanup across the state.

[snip]

“It makes no sense that they’re both out of the state at the same time,” Madden said.

“I was supposed to be in Florida for four days with my wife for a family wedding this month. Then I was called for Senate votes on the tool kit bills. I ate the tickets, ate the trip and my wife went by herself.”

“When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again”

After WW II Johnny’s return was greeted with “Hurrah Hurrah.” After Vietnam his return was not so happy. Yesterday the last combat troops left Iraq, and gradually Johnny and Jane will return to New Jersey. They leave behind a country with significant unresolved issues and a war for which the results are yet to be determined. Of the 50,000 (plus contractors) who are staying in Iraq, many will not be immune to combat. Of those who are leaving, many will be reassigned to Afghanistan or other theaters. Other New Jerseyans will continue to be assigned there to join the “non-combatants.”

Most returning to New Jersey are excited to be reunited with loved ones and friends and feel a huge sense of relief. However, they face an unemployment rate about double our 9.7%. (Nationally for veterans the rate is 21%.) Many have physical wounds and ailments requiring treatment from our overburdened VA hospitals. Most will experience some level of post-traumatic stress disorder, in some cases severe enough to lead to suicide. Earlier this month, Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) hosted a forum for hundreds of Central New Jersey veterans  addressing concerns about health care, the GI Bill, veterans employment, and other issues.

Medical needs for vets are substantial and will be long-lasting. The VA offers 5 years of free health care and a 180 day dental benefit. However for those who need in-patient care there is no VA hospital in southern NJ. Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, hopes to change that. Also there are long waits for appointments throughout the system.

A NJ Senate committee released this week a non-partisan bill that would provide an income tax credit up to $10,000 to veterans who require psychological counseling and treatment. Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) said she will also introduce a separate measure calling on Congress to pass a bill requiring that returnees receive a telephone call from properly trained personnel to determine their emotional, psychological, medical, and career needs and concerns at least once every 90 days.

“Vet-2-Vet,” a toll-free confidential help line, created five years ago by the NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and UMDNJ responds to over 3,000 calls a year, but operates on year-to-year funding. Sen. Fred Madden (D-Turnersville) introduced legislation that would require the state to permanently fund the program.

Caldwell College held a Jobs Fair last week for vets, and more such fairs are needed. The VA provides some help with its website Vet Success which connects vets and employers. The NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs provides small individual and business grants. For others who  want to continue their education there is the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

What can we do? Welcome vets home with open arms. Support legislation for better medical care, counseling and job services. Encourage employers to hire vets. Urge our government to withdraw even more troops from Iraq and start the process immediately to bring an end to our fruitless war in Afghanistan.  

Watch Assemblyman DiCicco Lie to Seniors

Maybe Assemblyman DiCicco as a new legislator isn’t familiar with how the idea of video works. See if you say something that they record on video and then do the opposite, that video will make its way out to the public for further questions. Check out this exchange from a May 5th town hall with Seniors in Gloucester Township and pay attention to how the Assemblyman answers the question he gets:

So he says he disagrees with the Governor, attacks the proposals and says that’s not how he was raised. But then Democrats gave DiCicco the opportunity to restore the property tax rebates for seniors by extending the millionaires tax. Instead of living up to his word by restoring the rebates, he turned around and voted against it with his felllow Republicans. District members Senator Madden and Assemblyman Moriarty didn’t let DiCiccio’s tall tale to seniors pass without offering this comment:

Said Moriarty, “He sold out to the governor and the super-wealthy and stuck everyone else with the bill.”

Madden continued: “I am well aware that facts at times can come forth that would change a legislator’s position. I firmly believe that based on the Assemblyman’s sudden reversal on this major legislation, 12,000 plus seniors and disabled residents of the 4th District deserve to know why he withdrew his support for their most needed cause – the restoration of the rebates.”

The most amazing part of the video is just how far apart DiCicco’s statements and actions are. He attacks the proposed cuts as “going after Seniors” and expresses personal outrage by claiming he “wasn’t raised that way” only to later on vote in support of the cuts he just finished slamming.  

Finding Common Ground to Save Unemployment

Thanks for coming here to post your opinion, Senator. Let’s see if we can’t continue this dialogue that Thurman, firstamend & rachael’sdad have started, Blue Jersey. – – Promoted by Rosi

When Governor Chris Christie recently proposed cutting unemployment benefits by up to $50 per week and delaying an increase in the amount businesses contribute to the system, it would be easy to think yet another issue would break down simply along the lines of Democrat versus Republican.

Frankly, as a Democrat, my first instinct was to oppose the Governor’s plan. The jobless and their families need every penny to stay above water – and as one of only three states where employees pay into the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund, workers who lose their jobs deserve every cent they put into the system while they were working. And preventing money from flowing into the UI fund is every bit as dangerous to its long-term health as the past raids that left it on life support.

Yet simply opposing the Governor’s proposal would be counter-productive. The UI Fund would still be woefully unprepared to cover the needs of the unemployed, and New Jersey’s economic recovery would be threatened by a business tax increase. What is clearly needed is a compromise to protect both the jobless from a benefits cut and businesses from a potentially destructive tax increase.

The proposed cut in benefits is simply unworkable – and not just for the reason that the jobless need this money to survive. Follow me below the fold for why.

June 2011

Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis)

Shirley Turner (D-Trenton)

Nicholas Sacco (D-North Bergen)

Ronald Rice (D-Newark)

John Girgenti (D-Hawthorne)

Fred Madden (D-Washinton Twp)

James Beach (D-Cherry Hill)

Stephen Sweeney (D-West Deptford)

Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-ridge)

Senator Van Drew is honestly the only person on this list who deserves a pass, his district is just overwhelmingly Republican.  

I’ve never been more disgusted and embarrassed than I was today to be a Democrat.  

Can we make this the official primary candidate suggestion list?  

Kiddie Kollege ready to be demolished

I remember working in the 4th District Legislative office when mercury contamination was discovered at Kiddie Kollege, a former thermometer factory that was then housing a daycare facility. The horror those family members experienced was staggering to watch. Now years later, demolition is ready to begin on the site:

Cleanup and demolition are expected to begin soon for the former site of Kiddie Kollege, a day care center found to be contaminated with mercury in 2006, state legislators said Tuesday.

A crew is scheduled to being preliminary work on the project today

“I’ve been advised that the last bit of paperwork has been approved and that work crews should soon begin working full speed to demolish this facility and to begin cleaning the site,” said Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, D-Gloucester.

The facility was shut down in 2006 when the state discovered it had been operating in a bankrupt thermometer factory for two years, even though the building was previously classified as a toxic site. There are still plenty of questions as to how that mixup was able to occur. How do you ensure this hasn’t happened in other parts of the state at other facilities? Roughly 60 children tested positive for mercury exposure, and the building registered a level of mercury 27 times above acceptable limits. There have already been lawsuits over who is responsible and bills are still moving through the Legislature in response to this situation.

There will be a new legislator in the 4th district

4thdistrictAssemblywoman Sandi Love announced yesterday that she would not seek another term in office because of health reasons.

I am very grateful for the opportunity the voters gave me to represent them in Trenton,” said Love. “It has been a wonderful and challenging experience, and there is still a great deal I want to accomplish in the year remaining in my term.”

Love, 63, said she did not want to get into specifics about her condition, but assured it’s “nothing that’s life-threatening.”

“There are other people who I’m sure would like to have a chance to serve,” she said. “Whoever is chosen, I am willing to work with them and share my ideas to help them in any way that I can.”

Love took the seat in 2007, when then Assemblyman Dave Mayer decided not to run for re-election. The move certainly makes things more interesting in the fourth legislative district.  The district is split between Gloucester and Camden counties, with one seat typically representing each.  With Paul Moriarty from Washington Township in Gloucester County, PolitickerNJ speculated about potential candidates from Camden County:

A long list of possible candidates to succeed Love include: Camden County Freeholder Rodney Greco (D-Gloucester Township); former Gloucester Township mayoral candidate Bill Collins; former Acting Camden County Sheriff William Fontanez; Lindenwold Mayor Frank DeLucca; and Gloucester Township Councilmembers Glen Bianchini, Orlando Mercado, Crystal Evans and Ken Garbowski.  Sources say that the four local officials are not likely contenders for the Assembly.

If Democrats pick Greco, it would open up a seat on the Board of Freeholders.  Greco is up for re-election this year.

Basically, this is just a list of all the potential Democrats. Depending on who the Democrats go with, the domino’s could continue to fall.  Let’s not forget that they are already seeking a new Clerk in Camden County,  with the departure of now Senator Jim Beach taking the former Adler seat in the sixth district. Choosing Greco would mean a new Freeholder and Clerk would be running with current Freeholders Nash and Ripa in November.  

The fourth district has been one of the more competitive districts in the past with Senator Fred Madden winning his election in 2003 by just 63 votes. The Senate however isn’t on the ballot again this year leaving the Assembly seats and the Governor at the top of the ticket in an off year election.  Another factor in the race, with a potential candidate joining the ticket from Gloucester Township will be the local election for mayor, where will be that former Assemblyman Dave Mayer is running for the office. A competitive local election could help to drive turnout in Gloucester Township and Mayer is very well known in town.  He will take on the current Mayor, Republican Cindy Rau Hatton.  This will be a district that gets more attention now than it would have gotten yesterday for sure.

Madden to head Labor Committee

Since Gannet will not have anyone around to report it, I figured I should let everyone know that State Senator Fred Madden has been named to chair the Senate Labor Committee.  From the press release:

“Senator Madden is a natural fit to helm the Senate Labor Committee,” said Sen. Codey.  “Clearly he has the experience, having already served as Vice Chair.  He also has a demonstrated commitment to laws that protect workers’ rights and foster job growth, the bedrock of a healthy workforce.”

“I’d like to thank Senator Codey for selecting me to Chair the Senate Labor Committee,” said Senator Madden, who has served in the Senate since 2004. “The continued growth and expansion of business and labor here in New Jersey are of great importance, especially in these tough fiscal times. I am eager to continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to craft policies aimed at strengthening our workforce and allowing other states to look to us as an example of positive partnerships between the state and its business and labor communities.”

Republicans playing musical candidates in the 4th Legislative District

The full story will be in the Gloucester County Times tomorrow but…

The names on the Republican ticket for the 4th District are changing. The executive committee is set to vote tonight to endorse the new slate.

I’m hearing Shelley Lovett will move up from the Assembly candidate to seek the Senate Seat against sitting Senator Fred Madden.  The move became necessary after Senate Candidate John Jankowski decided to drop out of the race a few weeks ago.  Agnes Gardiner, Vice Chair of the Washington Township Republican Organization and former councilwoman who lost re-election in 2004 will apparently replace Lovett and run with Patricia Fratticiolli against Assemblyman Paul Moriarty and Former Gloucester Township Mayor Sandi Love for the Assembly Seats.  More on this tomorrow.