Tag Archive: Jay Webber

Happy Birthday Mr. Chairman – But Beware…….

…….This News Could Make You Sick!

Let’s start with the recent Supreme’s ruling on “honest services”. I’m not a lawyer and can’t pass any legal judgment on what this ruling actually means for many of the NJ pols caught in the web created by this federal law. But apparently, this past Friday was Joe Ferriero’s birthday and some Bergen County “worker bees” thought the court ruling was a great gift for their Chairman. Hence Mr. Ferriero’s “Wall” on his facebook page which is available for anyone to see – even if you’re not a “friend” to the former Democratic Chair. A few Ferriero minions, and current employees took time to wish “their Chairman” a happy birthday and to celebrate their joy and implicit hope that he will soon be back! They were almost giddy in their excitement.  Folks like a former Freeholder, a relative of a County Prosecutor, a young employee slated for future promotion, etc.  How disappointing. The legality of Mr. Ferriero’s situation will soon be sorted by the judicial system. But why do so many think that the kind of behavior evidenced by Mr. Ferriero should be celebrated? He and Dennis Oury hid their ownership of a grant consulting company hired by several Bergen communities over which they had an undue influence. Actions which caused embarrassment (and legal expenses) to some of the elected officials in those towns and certainly to our party. A cause for celebration? Certainly for him on a personal basis, but for government and for our party….certainly not!

More News To Make You Feel Sick. Family planning funds! I assume that by now most of you know that the Governor removed every penny of the $7.5 million dollars used to provide health services to uninsured and underinsured women in our state. Outrageous! Along with several of my democratic women colleagues in both the Assembly and the Senate, we’ve been fighting to get these dollars restored. Look back to Thursday’s Assembly Budget Committee hearing on our supplemental bill. Assemblywoman Linda Stender and I appeared along with several advocates and professionals from the family planning centers. There sat Assemblyman and Republican State Chair, Jay Webber! In response to testimony on how many unintended pregnancies are avoided through services provided by these agencies, (yep, that means birth control) Republican State Chair Jay Webber went on to say how offended he was about reducing the cost of children who could have been been born had these families not avoided pregnancy. Children important to our future. This is the second decade of the 21st Century and I was sitting there in my “mature” years arguing about uninsured women’s right to practice birth control! An issue that was fought and won early in the last century. Outrageous indeed!! In watching the clip of my “exchange” with the Republican State Chair, my anger is evident, but not nearly as evident as what I felt.  Where are the good Republican women (and some of the great guys who sit alongside them)? They must speak out against moving  women back to a time when they had so little control over their reproductive lives. This is not about abortion. It is about access to birth control.

And then there was the clip of the Governor on 101.5 being questioned by Eric Scott about women’s health services as he protested several times “this has nothing to do with mammograms” or with women’s health. HIV testing, breast exams, birth control, pap smears, pre-natal exams, and pregnancy counseling has nothing to do with women’s health? How insulting. He went on to argue that he supposed these funds were “not important” or they would have been reinstated. What crass treatment of the women of New Jersey. We will be fighting this today during our Senate and Assembly sessions. I am confident we will have the necessary votes to move the bill. However, without the help of Republican women, we will not have the votes to override a possible veto by the Governor. The bill makes it clear that the money cannot and will not be used for abortion services, and it provides a clear funding source without addition to the bottom line of the budget. Maybe the Governor will hear from enough women across the state so he will join us in recognizing that these programs are not Democrat or Republican, Conservative or Liberal programs. They are about Women’s Health!

And so today is the time when we stand up for our core ideals and vote on a Republican constructed budget which cuts taxes for millionaires and increases taxes for low income workers in New Jersey. A budget which makes New Jersey one of only 5 or 6 states that does not fund family planning centers. A budget which cuts school and municipal aide by hundreds of millions of dollars, increases the cost of commuting on our buses and rails, does away with senior property tax rebates, and increases a myriad of fees. Enough to make all of us sick.

One bright spot of the week was Saturday night’s elegant Garden State Equality Dinner.  Great to watch Senators Nia Gill, Ray Lesniak and former Senator Bill Baroni being inducted into the Garden State Hall of Fame. Even sweeter joining Senator Frank Lautenberg on stage as he received the “Loretta Weinberg Lifetime Achievement Award” (that was a shameless commercial) and announced to the 600 folks in the audience that the Docs said his cancer was in remission. Hooray, and may he continue his outstanding service for many more years to come!

Quote of the Day: Did Jay Webber really say that? Edition

NJ-GOP chair Jay Webber, on his party’s fresh hopes in SJ, where Chris Christie so recently kicked ass:

There were fractured parties down in South Jersey this year that resulted in less than our best candidates winning primaries. In the future, we will certainly encourage participation in the party but try to put our best candidates forward.

Wow. Just wow.

You schmucks who won primaries in SJ – and you know who you are – your Chair thinks you’re a loser … and he wants much better people than you to run next time around. Word.  

Christie Not Running As a Republican?

Promoted from the diaries – – by Rosi

The Chairman of the Republican Party – the Grand Ol’ Party – is reported to have said that Chris Christie is not running as a member of the party.

Richard LaRossa in PNJ reported that he has multi-sourced a comment by a frustrated Jay Webber (the bold is from the original):

According to multiple sources familiar with the meeting, an exasperated Webber blurted out: “This doesn’t help Chris Christie because Chris Christie isn’t out there running as the Republican candidate.”

Jay Webber is the hand-picked Republican state chair of Chris Christie, and also is someone who ran against an incumbent Republican to get his Assembly seat.  And he says that Christie is not running as the Republican candidate.

Now, from a strategic perspective that’s probably the right move.  Republicans are a significant minority in the state, and haven’t won in a long time.  The positions of the Republican platform are unpopular in the state, so running an honest campaign and telling the voters of New Jersey what he actually intends to do would be a loser.

Christie cannot — and Webber admits this — win a campaign by telling the truth about what he wants to do as Governor.  He has to stick to platitudes like “end corruption” and “cut taxes” without telling anything about his real plans.

Which is why he won’t tell us his real plans.  It’s why he won’t say what parts of the budget he will cut, how many employees he plans to lay off, what departments he intends to gut, what policies he wants to pursue.  

All he will do is stand there and say, “I put people in jail!  Cut taxes!”

Because telling the truth, for Christie, is a loser.

Christie contradicts himself … again … having Pawlenty campaign for him

Oh, the conservatives aren’t going to like this one very much; Chris Christie …. again! …. is bringing another GOP demi-star ahead of their poster girl, Sarah.

As potential presidential candidates stream in and out of the state to boost the Christie campaign and the GOP, let’s remember first who is notcoming to New Jersey and why, particularly Sarah Palin. Christie:

“This is about New Jersey issues and New Jersey, and I don’t think having Governor Palin here would do me, or frankly the state, a whole lot of good in the sense that we need to talk and focus on what the New Jersey issues are,” Christie said during a radio interview on New Jersey 101.5 FM. “I hope Mayor Giuliani will continue to be supportive and be here and work with me, but other than that, I think the people of New Jersey have to hear from me and that’s the person they’ll be electing.”

Ah. So it’s about New Jersey issues, unless he thinks someone from outside of New Jersey can help him, which obviously he doesn’t think Palin can. But apparently, he does think the Governor from Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty’s got game because Christie’s got the welcome mat rolled out:

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he will head to New Jersey next week to campaign for that state’s Republican candidate for governor.

[snip]

Pawlenty made his comment to reporters after his weekly radio show at the Minnesota State Fair. He didn’t give any details.

Maybe Tim Pawlenty has a unique knowledge of New Jersey all the way from Minnesota. After all, Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house in Alaska, and Pawlenty can only see Wisconsin.

Our offer still stands for Blue Jersey to pick Sarah Palin up at the airport whenever Christie’s super-duper right wing base can convince him to let her come. Now Newt, Pawlenty, Rudy, Santorum, and Romney will have all come to town for Christie, while Sarah Palin continues to have to talk to the hand, and not the NJ GOP.  Maybe Palin needs Diane Allen and Kim Guadagno to fight for her to be allowed in the Garden State too.

Ladies?  

Webber and Hughes discuss the Christie revelations on NJN

On NJN news last night, host Jim Hooker had a discussion with GOP state Chairman Jay Webber and Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes.

Webber said the latest revelations do no damage to Christie and that they’re a side show cooked up by the Corzine campaign (although NJN discovered the story which Hooker challenged Webber on). Webber continued to do his best spin job deflecting things back to Corzine and said that “an ethics champion like Chris Christie does the right thing when he makes a mistake.”

Then Hooker turned to Hughes, who said this raises questions about his claim that he pays attention to detail if he can’t even fill out these forms correctly, as they’re not difficult things to do. Webber again tried to turn it around on Corzine when asked about the connections between Brown and Christie and whether he had a pipeline to the office. He said that the Democrats have no facts to back up their allegations, to which Hughes said it was connecting the dots and he laid out the dots. Webber said the issue is a minor bump in the road and that there is no chance he won’t be on the ballot.

NJ GOP Chair Says Christie Doesn’t Need Specifics

These days, the open secret among Trenton Republicans is that Chris Christie is long on sound bites and short on substance.  Despite being criticized by rivals throughout the primary campaign for his lack of specific proposals, Christie has coupled his message of “I’m not Corzine” with vague promises to cut taxes and spending while offering no real plan to achieve those goals.  As excitement grows among GOP insiders over their first serious chance to retake Drumthwacket since 1993, it makes sense why they would keep mum on their candidate’s inability to articulate a fact-based, comprehensive vision for where he wants to take New Jersey.  From a purely tactical perspective, the strategy seems to be working.  Working, that is, so long as they can keep their secret from the rest of us.  That’s not an easy effort to sustain with an educated electorate, and Assemblyman Jay Webber revealed yesterday what many already know: Christie’s platitudes are shadows on the wall.

Ed Mazlish is a blogger who shares many New Jersey conservatives uncertainty over whether Christie is the real deal or a country club type cut in the mold of Tom Kean and Christie Whitman. Folks like Mazlish watched during the primary as Christie trotted out Bret Schundler and Rudy Guliani (one could devote an entire diary to this man’s bona fides within the movement) to assure voters that he was a true conservative. Since June, they have also seen Christie dance the post-primary shuffle back to the political center. Whether or not the Republican standard bearer can hold together the disparate elements of his party may explain why he has been purposefully evasive in his policy pronouncements.  Judging by recent polls that may make sense in the short term, but as Mazlish’s account of his encounter with Webber makes clear, not even the most loyal of Republicans are fooled.

Webber is one of Christie’s biggest boosters.  Recently named by the campaign as GOP State Chairman, he was enjoying lunch yesterday when Mazlish approached him with a few questions. The transcript of their conversation is available on the blog Conservatives with Attitude, but here are the highlights:

Mazlish:  Can you tell me why I should support Chris Christie in November?

Webber:  Because he will cut spending and cut taxes.

Mazlish:  Can you tell me specifically what spending he will cut and what taxes he will cut?

Webber:  Go to his website… I think he has 63 specific proposals for reducing the size and scope of government in NJ.

Mazlish:  I have been there, and I was just there this morning. I blogged a comment about the 10 specific points he has on the page for how he will cut spending. There are no specifics there.

Webber:  I don’t think he needs to tell you specifically how he is going to cut spending and taxes until he gets to Trenton.

Mazlish: You don’t think that I have a right as a voter to know before an election specifically what his plan is, what his goals are and how he will accomplish them?

Webber:  It sounds like his message isn’t resonating with you, and that’s fine.

As Webber’s words reveal, New Jersey Republicans are bereft of ideas to solve the significant challenges we face and move our state forward. This is not a new phenomenon. They are borrowing a page from the 1993 playbook. Like the Christie Whitman GOP of yesteryear, they will say anything to regain power, the long term consequences be damned. It’s now no secret that Republicans do not want to talk specifics.  It’s our responsibility as progressives to make sure New Jerseyans do.  

NJ GOP Chair Says Christie Doesn’t Need Specifics

These days, the open secret among Trenton Republicans is that Chris Christie is long on sound bites and short on substance.  Despite being criticized by rivals throughout the primary campaign for his lack of specific proposals, Christie has coupled his message of “I’m not Corzine” with vague promises to cut taxes and spending while offering no real plan to achieve those goals.  As excitement grows among GOP insiders over their first serious chance to retake Drumthwacket since 1993, it makes sense why they would keep mum on their candidate’s inability to articulate a fact-based, comprehensive vision for where he wants to take New Jersey.  From a purely tactical perspective, the strategy seems to be working.  Working, that is, so long as they can keep their secret from the rest of us.  That’s not an easy effort to sustain with an educated electorate, and Assemblyman Jay Webber revealed yesterday what many already know: Christie’s platitudes are shadows on the wall.

Ed Mazlish is a blogger who shares many New Jersey conservatives uncertainty over whether Christie is the real deal or a country club type cut in the mold of Tom Kean and Christie Whitman.  Folks like Mazlish watched during the primary as Christie trotted out Bret Schundler and Rudy Guliani (one could devote an entire diary to this man’s bona fides within the movement) to assure voters that he was a true conservative.  Since June, they have also seen Christie dance the post-primary shuffle back to the political center.  Whether or not the Republican standard bearer can hold together the disparate elements of his party may explain why he has been purposefully evasive in his policy pronouncements.  Judging by recent polls that may make sense in the short term, but as Mazlish’s account of his encounter with Webber makes clear, not even the most loyal of Republicans are fooled.

Webber is one of Christie’s biggest boosters.  Recently named by the campaign as GOP State Chairman, he was enjoying lunch yesterday when Mazlish approached him with a few questions.  The transcript of their conversation is available on the blog Conservatives with Attitude, but here are the highlights:

Mazlish:  Can you tell me why I should support Chris Christie in November?

Webber:  Because he will cut spending and cut taxes.

Mazlish:  Can you tell me specifically what spending he will cut and what taxes he will cut?

Webber:  Go to his website…I think he has 63 specific proposals for reducing the size and scope of government in NJ.

Mazlish:  I have been there, and I was just there this morning. I blogged a comment about the 10 specific points he has on the page for how he will cut spending. There are no specifics there.

Webber:  I don’t think he needs to tell you specifically how he is going to cut spending and taxes until he gets to Trenton.

Mazlish: You don’t think that I have a right as a voter to know before an election specifically what his plan is, what his goals are and how he will accomplish them?

Webber:  It sounds like his message isn’t resonating with you, and that’s fine.

As Webber’s words reveal, New Jersey Republicans are bereft of ideas to solve the significant challenges we face and move our state forward. This is not a new phenomenon. They are borrowing a page from the 1993 playbook. Like the Christie Whitman GOP of yesteryear, they will say anything to regain power, the long term consequences be damned. It’s now no secret that Republicans do not want to talk specifics.  It’s our responsibility as progressives to make sure New Jerseyans do.  

State GOP fighting over their values too

It appears Chris Christie isn’t the only one having a problem with his values.

A spat among two new GOP state committee members, Donna Ward and Rob Eichmann, and new state chairman Jay Webber over whether to accept last year’s national Republican platform has escalated.

Actually, according to the Auditor, it appears Christie could be the cause of this values struggle too:

At issue is a motion made at the GOP’s organizational session June 17, where two new Republican committee members, Donna Ward and Rob Eichmann, wanted the party to accept the national Republican platform from last year’s presidential race. Among other things, the platform says, “We assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life, which cannot be infringed.” Such language could add potency to Gov. Jon Corzine’s ongoing attack on Christie’s anti-abortion stance in moderate New Jersey.

Here’s what they had to say:

“Why does the Republican State Committee not want to call ourselves Republican and support the platform of the Republican National Committee?” Ward and Eichmann wrote in the missive, which they also sent to the national Republican chairman, Michael Steele. Steele is expected to appear with Christie in South Jersey tomorrow. “We want Republicans, first and foremost the New Jersey Republican State Committee, to proudly and loudly proclaim that we are Republicans!”

And they also said this:

“We hope that the committee is open to all points of view in the Republican family . . . but we came away from (the session) with some concerns,” according to the letter. “Failing to adopt this resolution is tantamount to saying that the New Jersey GOP really isn’t Republican at all.”

Maybe they should reach out to Chris Christie’s web designer and tell them to stop hiding his values behind technical difficulties. But the GOP State chair wants you to think it’s all a misunderstanding due to not following the right process:

“It’s inaccurate,” Webber, a Morris County assemblyman, told The Auditor. “We’ve got two new members of the state committee, who are obviously enthusiastic but misguided. The committee would have no problems supporting the positions but they didn’t follow the process.”

Possibly while Michael Steele is in town with Chris Christie today pitching the virtues of Sarah Palin coming for a visit, he may also check and see whether Christie and the state party support the platform he helped the National Party put in place. If Christie does, maybe he can include that on the values page when they finally are able to resolve those “technical difficulties.”

Vitale and Webber to testify on Healthcare before Congress

From a State Committee Release:

The health care reform hearings conducted by congressional committees and subcommittees will include an ad-hoc debate between two New Jersey political leaders, Senator Joseph Vitale, a leading health care advocate in the Garden State, and Assemblyman Jay Webber, who was selected as the next chairman of the New Jersey Republican Party by Chris Christie, the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee.

Senator Vitale and Assemblyman Webber will join with others before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health as part of a panel “discussion with differing opinions” on State, Local & Tribal Views of health care reform.

This will be the 2nd of three days of hearings before Congressman Pallone’s committee, which he talked about on Blue Jersey Radio last night. There will be 3 panels testifying at the hearing, which begins at 1pm. Here is the list of people joining them:

  • The Honorable Michael O. Leavitt, Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • The Honorable Joseph Vitale, Chairman, Committee on Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens, New Jersey State Senate

  • W. Ron Allen, Chairman, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe

  • The Honorable Jay Webber, State Assembly, State of New Jersey

  • Raymond C. Scheppach, Ph.D., Executive Director, National Governors Association

  • Robert S. Freeman, Deputy Executive Director, CenCal Health, California Association of Health Insuring Organizations

  • Ron Pollack, Executive Director, Families USA

  • The release says that the hearing will be webcast at energycommerce.house.gov, in case you want to follow along.