Tag Archive: featured

Did you get a funny-looking page here earlier?

BLUE JERSEY LOGO TEEThis morning, Blue Jersey and two other sites that use the same platform we do all were cycling between our normal front page and a view that made us look like we were … gone.

We’re not gone, just having technical difficulties.

We’re working on it. Big thanks to Eugene Sonn, a journalist at WHYY in Philly who alerted us.

Today, or any day, if you spot any trouble on our page, please flag us at contact@bluejersey.com.

– Rosi

I get Facebook-unfriended by a top Hillary Clinton staffer.

Hillary ClintonThe Hillary Clinton campaign is “frightened” of Bernie Sanders, so Politico reports. Not that he takes the nomination, but will challenge her on core positions and reveal her as the corporatist she is and doesn’t want to talk about. Clinton had a hard time in 2008 finding her voice. The shoo-in who never made it out of the primary. And this time around, she seems actually risk-averse. Avoiding the press. Talking to hand-picked groups who won’t ask questions she doesn’t want. Compare that to Sanders’ hot-blooded announcement and big crowds. What’s up?

On Facebook, a friend posted Clinton with her political team. Great photo; Clinton’s big smile; young faces around her – including his – conveying excited and ready to work. I think highly of this man, who has a great history of work behind candidates I’ve voted for. But this isn’t about him; it’s about the campaign.

Comments were cheeryattaboy, Team Hillary all the way. I left a different kind of comment. I wish I could post it for you, for feedback whether I crossed some line. But I can’t. Because he removed me from that convo and unfriended me. Ah, Facebook drama. Essentially I was begging him not to let her repeat ’08’s mistakes, because I’m not sure anybody around her even recognizes those were mistakes. I’ll try to reconstruct:  

Governor Christie will seek his party’s nomination for the White House

No. That’s not a declaration of fact. It is one part of a two-part poll. The other part is he will announce he will NOT seek his party’s nomination for the White House. The rumors are increasing that he will make his announcement shortly.

He has a busy planned travel schedule out-of-state for June, and he has invested much time, effort, money and ego in this venture.

However, his chances of winning appear poor, and both Bridgegate and the decline of his popularity in New Jersey are a drag. According to Real Clear Politics in the average of the five most recent polls of Republican candidates he ranks 8th at 4.8%. In the important first primary in New Hampshire where he has had an operative on the ground for over a year he ranks 7th with 5%.

Tell us what you think, and use a comment to explain why:

YES He will seek his party’s nomination for the White House.

NO  He will NOT seek his party’s nomination for the White House.  

Primary Elections: Next Tuesday with contentious races

As the song goes, soon June will be “bustin’ out all over” with more flowers and beach time. By the end of June, if not sooner, we should have a decision from the NJ Supreme Court on Pen/Ben and the US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage. Also the NJ State Budget is supposed to be approved by June 30, but as of now the figures are still written in pencil with a rubber eraser on top.

June 2, next Tuesday, is Primary Election Day for all 80 Assembly seats and one safe Democratic State Senate seat. The General Election is another step ahead and dependent on the primary results, so this diary focuses on interesting primaries. In most legislative district primaries there are two incumbents who are likely winners and only two Republicans and two Democrats so there is little competition. However, in some districts there is only one or no incumbent which may provide more opportunity for challengers. Also in some districts there are intra-party challengers, such that more than two D’s or two R’s are competing for the two assembly seats. In two district races unfortunately there are no Democratic challengers. In total there are 86 Democratic candidates and 84 Republican candidates for 80 seats. Seven incumbents  are not running for re-election.

Go below the fold to read about some of the more contentious primary races and some with zero competition.

To Christie: “When you call me that, smile”

Washington, DC, has its own annual correspondents’ dinner. It is not off the record. In fact it is televised live, with clips and comments that quickly appear in the media. There are plenty of jabs back and forth. Many with considerable bite speak to an element of truth. They garner plenty of laughter. They are not, however, overly malicious, nasty, nor crude. They are not harshly accusatory and they avoid foul language.

Governor Christie last week set a low bar for this type of event. As the Jaffe Communications Morning Briefing reported, “In what will forever be remembered as his ‘I don’t give a shit speech’, Gov. Chris Christie delivered a Bulworth-inspired, expletive-filled tirade against the media during the New Jersey Legislative Correspondent’s Club annual show that would have made many Iowa-based religious conservatives pray for his soul.” Forget the fact that this speech may not play well in Des Moines. That is Christie’s problem and is a result of his big mouth and poor judgment. That speech should not play well anywhere.

Hard to Believe, but Chris Christie is Breaking the Law

Governor Christie has at least two Twitter accounts. One, @GovChristie, is his official State of New Jersey account and is managed and operated by taxpayer-funded social media experts. Even though he uses this account primarily for self-promotion, it’s difficult to make the case that he’s misusing taxpayer funds. It may be unethical, but it’s legal.

His other account, @ChrisChristie, is for his Presidential campaign. On that site, it reads, “This is the official political account for Chris Christie.” Use of government assets to maintain this site is illegal.

Google Maps has a feature that pinpoints the location from where a Twitter operator is entering his or her tweets. If you type in @ChrisChristie (the political account), lo and behold you will find that his political tweets are coming from his Communications Director at the State House. (See map, below the fold.)

This is not the first time that Christie has acted illegally at the taxpayer’s expense. Nor is it the most egregious. But the pattern is clear.

Is our governor wealthy? You betcha! Is he delusional? Seems that way.

Of course, wealth is not everything. Bob Marley said, “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” We can safely say our governor is wealthy. We can let history determine whether he has integrity and has affected people positively, although recent polls do not augur well. As to whether he is delusional, read on.

At an April New Hampshire event Gov. Chris Christie said, “I don’t consider myself a wealthy man.” Really? His just released Public Employee Financial Disclosure Statement indicates he and his wife Mary Pat Christie earned last year at least $693,000. Income over $385,000 places them in the top 1% of national tax payers. In addition, they reported accumulated wealth in various assets worth at least $1,235,000, not including their blind trusts for which they do not have to state the current value. In 2009, Christie estimated his net worth to be $3.8 million dollars. His Mendham Township house at the time was assessed at $2.26 million. Another more recent independent estimate of their net worth is $5 million.

In the statement they report no gifts, and he affirms he has completed ethics training in-person provided by the State Ethics Commission. Christie’s Acting Attorney General has said he need not disclose the lavish gifts he receives while in office.  

Go figure. For more information from his just published financial disclosure, dive below the fold.

Welcome to Camden, President Obama. Here are some things I think you need to know – about education

Barack ObamaKeith E. Benson is Education Chair at Camden County NAACP, a teacher at Camden High School, and a Doctoral student at Rutgers University GSE. This is the 2nd post today addressed to President Obama – the first was from James Harris, immediate past president of NJ NAACP. Read that here. Promoted by Rosi

On November 4th, 2008 I, as well as many other Camden residents celebrated your victory in the Presidential election against John McCain. Indeed I remember residents of Greenwood Avenue in the Parkside section of Camden, literally celebrating in the streets with the election of the nation’s first black president – something many of us believed we would never see in America with its deplorable history regarding its treatment of black and brown people. A new optimism was apparent and visible on November 5th, 2008 and lasted for some time, until the reality of what an Obama presidency meant for urban America became apparent. By many metrics, things have gotten worse for the most vulnerable urban Americans under your administration, due in part to the intransigence of our US Congress, hostile policies put forth at the state and local levels, but also because of some your very own policies. In Camden, NJ there is no clearer embodiment of the harm some of your policies have wrought upon the urban poor, than in education.

Welcome to Camden, President Obama. Here are some things I think you need to know.

UPDATE: Watch POTUS Live.

James Harris is the Immediate Past President of New Jersey NAACP (2005-2013). He opposed the abolition of the Camden Police Department as President of the NAACP New Jersey State Conference on grounds it was a racially motivated effort to destroy the Police Union and replace African American and Latino police officers with Whites. He also contended various practices were anti urban, anti- African American/Latino and anti-poor. Further, it was believed the Chief of Police had contributed to poor policing practices in Camden. Harris also chairs the Education Task Force of the New Jersey Black Issues Convention. – Promoted by Rosi

Barack ObamaWelcome to Camden, New Jersey Mr. President. I am happy to see you visit Camden New Jersey, one of the poorest and most dangerous cities in the United States of America.

Mr. President, I sincerely hope that you will talk to some residents other than the elected officials who are completely controlled by the political bosses who have created the conditions that allowed Camden to become and remain poor and dangerous for so long.

I hope you do not endorse the process that has led up to the propaganda of dramatic improvements in Camden public safety. You should not endorse the fact that Mayor Dana Redd fired more than 267 Camden police officers, who represented the most racially and ethnically diverse police department in New Jersey (over 75% African American and Latino). I hope you do not endorse the fact the “new” Camden Metro Police Department was created by the political bosses in Camden County to destroy the Police Union that was led by African Americans and who were operating under a Union contract that had been negotiated and signed while Camden was under state supervision.

Mr. President, I hope you will understand that the firing of this racially diverse police department was implemented with a agreement by the all-White New Jersey Civil Service Commission, which voted to eliminate the rules that allowed public employees to legally challenge unfair and unjust treatment.

I hope you will not encourage the continuation of policies and procedures that are racially discriminatory and violate all the most important values supported by the NAACP and other civil and human rights organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

I’m a teacher, not a priest.

Pulling this up top again for the evening. GOP Sen. Joe Kyrillos’ criticism that course material in Advance Placement U.S. History lacks the kind of unthinking, surface-patriotic American exceptionalism that conservatives feel most comfortable with (my description) gets a solid answer here from Helios, who actually teaches AP U.S. History. – Rosi

NJ State Senator Joe Kyrillos has introduced SR 128 – a non-binding resolution that urges the College Board to revise its framework for the Advanced Placement United States History course. Kyrillos criticizes the framework, claiming that

“…there is an inordinate emphasis on political correctness and so-called balance…”

and

“the AP test doesn’t properly portray our history, the beginnings of our country, its values and its unique role in the world, past and present.”

As an educator for over 25 years  (an AP US History teacher for 8 of them), I am concerned that Kyrillos’ actions and those of his ilk represent an attack on critical thinking and true learning for our nation’s young people. What has become clear to me is that the people attacking the AP curriculum do not really understand it, but even more troubling, they don’t understand what teaching is and what happens in an effective history classroom.