Tag Archive: Kip Bateman

The 2016 Deci Awards

It’s been a long-standing tradition for the past 3 hours to announce the Deciminyan Awards (“Decis”) to the year’s most deserving New Jersey elected officials and political activists in several categories. So here they are: The Energizer Bunny Hardest Worker…
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Let the 2013 Games Begin

Why Sheldon Adelson Cares About who Builds Burlington County’s Roads

There’s a lot of buzz in the blogosphere about a potential Christie-Booker gubernatorial race next year. Booker has the star power to match the outside money that Christie will be receiving from the unlimited bank accounts of the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson.  The Newark Mayor is also one of the few contenders who would receive the same type of fawning coverage from the mainstream media that the governor enjoys.  But a post-mortem of some local election results indicates that the right wing oil barons and religious extremists may have their eye on another prize as well.

In an article buried on NJ.com, it was revealed that Sheldon Adelson’s comrades pumped $112,000 into misleading and untruthful negative ads supporting the two losing candidates in the recent race for Burlington County Freeholder. Now that amount of money is chump change for Adelson, but the fact that he’s interested in Freeholder races is important. Not that he’d make a ton of money off of the roads and hospitals that the Freeholders control, but because Freeholders are one of the farm teams for potential legislative candidates. The more fellow travellers that Adelson can put on Freeholder boards, the more potential candidates he grooms for legislative positions.

Bateman (85) calls Lautenberg (88) old

Did you catch the many creative ways Raymond Bateman referred to Frank Lautenberg’s age in his op-ed yesterday, State’s North-South divide heating up? Why, it almost seems that the former Senate President (and holder of the LD-16 Senate spot before Kip) has caught on to the fact that Frank Lautenberg is old. Whoa, nothing escapes him.

“Even as the deadline nears for legislative action on this massive set of changes, New Jersey’s aging (88 years old) U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg …”

(snip)

“It was predicted to be a close primary battle between North and South, between youth (Andrews, 50) and age (Lautenberg, 84).”

(snip)

“The bad vibes from Lautenberg’s negative assessment of the New Jersey higher ed changes may well hurt him if he runs (at 90 years old) in 2014.”

(snip)

“Frank Lautenberg is the oldest member of the U.S. Senate. In 2014, if he so chooses, he will be campaigning in his 90th year.”

You know what happens to old people sometimes. They get forgetful and say the same thing over and over? Maybe Bateman keeps forgetting he already told us how old Lautenberg is. Bateman’s op-ed is a GOP hatchet job meant to further wedge Democrats apart by reminding them what they don’t like about each other. And, oh yeah, that Frank Lautenberg is old. Bateman’s 85; I guess he has 3 years before he’s walking into walls, and neglecting personal hygiene. Offensive, right? Right. No less offensive when Bateman indulges in ageist stereotype.

Here’s the thing: I don’t care how old Frank Lautenberg (or anybody else) is, as long as he’s doing his job. Same reason I thought Ronald Reagan’s deft turnaround on age in the Reagan-Mondale debate was bang-on. Same reason why fat isn’t the reason Chris Christie’s a bad governor. These are extraneous issues. Distractions. Shiny objects. Besides, Lautenberg can kick plenty of the asses that make a move on him. When he can’t, he’ll let us know or the voters will. Sweeney isn’t going to tell me. Rob Andrews failed at it. And Bateman is in no position to.

Sen. Bateman, why the hell should I care what you have to say at 85 if you’re telling me that at 88, Frank Lautenberg is too dotty to listen to? Ditto the fat man’s suggestion Lautenberg should retire. Ditto the Leaders Fund PolitickerNJ ad calling Lautenberg “bizzare” (oh, you mean as in dementia?) and signed by a whole list of mostly South Jersey Democrats itchy to convince us only people in the north question the wisdom of allowing Rowan to subsume Rutgers-Camden, and Lautenberg represents only those people. Get serious.

A few days ago, Sweeney told Lautenberg “this Rob Andrews stuff has to end”. As though anybody but the Norcross gang ever brings that up. As  though Lautenberg questioning what everybody else in NJ (including South Jersey) is questioning on the Rut-Ro merger was some kind of leftover vendetta (it was Andrews who chose to base his campaign on little more beyond “Frank is old”, a big loser strategy).

Ray Bateman sounds ridiculous. That’s GOP-flavored silliness, to bang a wedge in further, the idea that the Rutgers-Rowan merger is in trouble because Democrats hate each other (instead of hating really crappy, poorly thought-out plans affecting thousands of people for decades to come). But there’s plenty for Democrats to own up to here, too. Sounding  just as ridiculous is the squalling and shrieking eminating from the South Jersey machine whose mastermind used to be wedged further under a nice protective rock. That may be unkind, probably is, but unelected people manipulating policy while remaining unaccountable and with motive shielded and untransparent while they do it make me cranky.

Let the Rutgers-Rowan merger be decided on facts, after study, careful cost analysis, and input from the old ones and the young ones, the fat and the thin, and with the proper consideration such a tremendous move requires. That’s it.  

Senator Bateman: Will he ever vote for marriage equality?

Marsha and Louise are two of the best known faces of New Jersey’s marriage equality movement, and they are my friends and fellow board members at Garden State Equality, as are Jon & Michael Galluccio and their 15-year-old daughter Madison, all mentioned below. – promoted by Rosi

Our senator Kip Bateman has presented as an enigma to those of us fighting for marriage equality. Where does he really stand? We met with him on the Friday before the Senate vote to try and gain a better understanding. The morning started out cordial enough, with Sen. Bateman taking us out for breakfast in a local diner he frequents. The senator freely shared that he supported marriage equality, but thought that the legislature was not the correct venue since Gov. Christie would veto it anyway. He talked about his surprise that so many people in Princeton and South Brunswick (the towns he now represents since legislative redistricting) supported marriage equality, and also made reference to his “more conservative” constituents in Somerset and Hunterdon.  He mentioned the Pastor of his church, who opposes marriage equality.

We’re hurt and disappointed that our own Senator was opting out of his responsibility by suggesting a public referendum on our rights. And we told him so. We asked him what he pictured when he thought about this vote. He described voters entering the booth to vote the way they vote on other referendums, like bond issues or preservations, proudly stating that the question of marriage equality would be worded in an affirmative manner. He seemed astonished when we advised him that a referendum would result in a costly battle, both financially and emotionally. We provided him with facts:  

  • California Prop 8 referendum fight cost $83 million dollars (prior to court battle).

  • Neighbors were pitted against neighbors with

    children no longer allowed to play with their friends or told their gay dads would die from AIDS. (Jon Holden Galluccio talks about some of this in a post about his family’s life in California).

  • Prop 8 advertisements frightened otherwise reasonable voters who would have supported marriage equality by purporting that children would be harmed and/or religious institutions would be threatened.

    More of Sen. Bateman’s response & a video, below the fold.

  • Senate Judiciary Committee Vote

    Here is today’s vote on marriage equality along with the statements from each of the senators. It’s worth watching – from the eloquence of Senators Gill and Weinberg to the cowardice of Senator Bateman to the political posturing of Senator Kyrillos. Congratulations to Senators Lesniak, Weinberg, and Sweeney, and to Steven Goldstein for this momentous step.





    My Day in Trenton

    I went to Trenton this morning to observe a couple of Senate committee hearings and to tweet what was going on. First was the Senate Education Committee which addressed a number of issues, none of which were the front-page items like tenure, vouchers, and charter schools. Senator Ruiz chaired the short meeting which addressed things like including cheerleaders in school injury safety programs, school disaster preparedness plans, and pension contributions for instructors in institutions of higher learning. All important, and there was not much contention in the meeting. The highlight was hearing the chants of the Catholic school students outside expressing their support for taxpayer-funded vouchers.

    A Critical Moment in the Fight For Fair Housing in New Jersey

    Promoted from the diaries by Rosi

    We thank Jason Springer for inviting us to post an update on the current attempts to legalize exclusionary zoning, the practice banned under the New Jersey Constitution in which municipalities use their land use laws to allow only expensive homes and office parks, while banning starter homes and apartments. We are regular readers of Blue Jersey, and appreciate the invitation to contribute.

    First, we look at Ray Lesniak’s effort to kill New Jersey’s fair housing laws. These laws banning exclusionary zoning have allowed 100,000 New Jerseyans over the past few decades the opportunity to live in towns that wanted to keep them out (LINK). His replacement legislation, S-1 (LINK), would not replace this system so much as destroy it: under the bill, scheduled for a full Senate vote on Monday, any town in New Jersey could impose restrictions that would exclude creation of all homes affordable to working- and middle-class families.

    The bill has gone through four very different, and progressively worse, drafts in four weeks, with the latest draft only becoming publically available more than a day after the committee voted. As the details of the bill have become apparent, civil rights groups, clergy, environmentalists, non-profit and for-profit housing developers, organizations working with people with special needs, and housing advocates have all strongly opposed S-1. Sen. Lesniak has not allowed many of these groups to testify at the three hearings on the bill. (LINK)

    Why is Sen. Lesniak, a supposed progressive, becoming the main accomplice in Gov. Christie’s drive to “gut” the state’s fair housing laws? Follow us below the fold for our suggestions.