Tag Archive: Brendan Byrne

What’s Happening Today Thu. 12/19/2013

  Four former governors say “No” to a gas pipeline through the Pinelands: Two Democrats, Brendan Byrne and Jim Florio, and two Republicans, Thomas Kean and Christie Whitman, sent a letter this month to the chairman of the state Pinelands Commission saying the proposal would compromise the integrity of Pinelands. The administration, however, supports building the gas line, but has had no assurance the commission would approve it. In a surprising turn of events last week Philly.com reported, Pinelands Commission member Edward Lloyd, who had raised concerns about the approval process, announced that the state Attorney General’s Office had instructed him to recuse himself from further deliberations because of a possible conflict of interest. Lloyd, a professor of environmental law at Columbia University, responded, “I don’t  think I have a conflict.” Sierra Club Executive Director Jeff Tittle says, “This feels shady. It just looks like bullying and strong-arm tactics from the governor.” The mission of the commission is straightforward: “Protect the Pine Lands.” Like the four Governors, the Commission should just say “No.”

Help for the Uninsured: The enrollment deadline under the Affordable Care Act is Monday, December 23, for people to obtain insurance coverage effective January 1, 2014. To get health insurance marketplace enrollment assistance in New Jersey go here.  NJ for Health Care reminds us that the last opportunity to enroll in coverage on the New Jersey Marketplace will be March 31st, but consumers eligible for the NJ Family care expansion can enroll anytime.

The State Senate and Assembly will hold voting sessions this afternoon starting around 1:00pm. They have a lot on their plate. The Senate bills are listed here. The Assembly bills are listed here.

The “Dream Act” (S2479) which allows both in-state tuition rates and financial aid to students who grew up in New Jersey but whose parents brought them to the country illegally will likely pass the Assembly today and be sent to the Governor who will likely conditionally or even absolutely veto it. Chris Christie some time ago signaled his support for tuition equality knowing the Senate bill included State financial aid. Our equivocating governor more recently explained he is opposed to the State financial aid component. Chris “Have It Both Ways” Christie (appealing to moderates and the base simultaneously) agrees that Dreamers are worthy of tuition equality rates but not the financial aid which they need and which others receive.

What’s Happening Today Thu. 10/03/2013

What was Steve Sweeney thinking? We all would agree that Republicans and Democrats working together in a bipartisan manner can be helpful. We might also agree that beset by internal Democratic strife and a popular governor, Sen. Buono’s campaign has not been as effective as it should be. However there is a limit to the degree by which Democratic Senate President Sweeney should kowtow to Gov. Christie. There is a battle now over who will be our next governor, and Democratic hands should be on deck to support Barbara Buono. In this video at Rowan University Sweeney goes much too far in thanking Christie and even seems to assume that the election is over and Christie and he together will change “the face of the State of New Jersey.” With a friend like that who needs an enemy?

Senate President Sweeney: The governor and I, I can tell you disagree on many issues, but there’s many we agree on and higher education in our minds is the key to a strong economy. So I want to thank the governor because we worked together … Together we’re going to change the face of the state of New Jersey in such a positive way … And again, I want to thank the governor for working with us because we would never have the type of jobs that we want without a trained workforce … And again, I want to thank the governor for working with me and the legislature – Democrats, Republicans in a very bipartisan way to put the people first… So governor I want to thank you for your willingness to work with a Democrat legislature to put the people first and actually do something which was to invest in higher education … Thank you governor.

For the transcript and full two-minute video of Sweeney’s cringing performance, go here. It was conveniently made available by the governor’s office.

Public Schedules (Your opportunity to jeer or cheer)

Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 3:00pm, Trenton Central High School, 400 Chambers St; 7:00pm, Barbara Buono: with Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley, Second Annual Mayor’s Gala, L’Affaire, 1099 US Highway 22 East, Mountainside.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: Noon, unveiling of a statue of Brendan Byrne (Democratic Governor from 1974 to 1982 and still active), Essex County Veterans Courthouse, Newark. 11:30am, Environmental groups hold a news conference at the Byrne statue calling on Christie to oppose a South Jersey Gas proposed pipeline in the Pinelands, which were preserved during Byrne’s tenure.

Environment New Jersey: 11:30am, releases a report with Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-14), “Fracking by the Numbers” about environmental and health risks in New Jersey and nationally, Statehouse, Trenton.

Coalition to Preserve Jobs and Our Constitution: 11:00am, with New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Business, news conference to oppose the referendum on the November ballot that would raise the minimum wage, Seaside Heights boardwalk. Thanks, but no thanks.

Open thread: Add an event taking place today of interest to our readers, or email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com

Remembering a Progressive hero: Frank Herbert’s story

promoted by Rosi

Yesterday I had the pleasure of catching up with one of the best public servants New Jersey has ever produced.

He is not well-known even in Democratic circles, let alone the state of New Jersey, and he last served in public office when Leonid Brezhnev was Premier of the USSR.

Frank Herbert, however is definitely not someone to forget, particularly if you’re a New Jersey Democrat or – even more so – a progressive.

You see, Frank Herbert did 2 things that New Jerseyans and progressives should forever be grateful for:

1) He pushed for and got the Legislature to pass the law that created New Jersey Transit, a system that provides business and social lifelines for hundreds of thousands of our residents.

2) He is the only candidate in New Jersey history to win a Federal election as a write-in candidate. In doing so, he saved the Democratic Party from nominating a Holocaust-denying, KKK-loving extremist.

His story is in the extended section below.  

Quote of the Day: Funniest Man in New Jersey Edition

Some days I’m just happy Star-Ledger exists if only to transcribe conversations between governors emeritus Tom Kean & Brendan Byrne. As very often happens, Gov. Byrne makes the slapshot:

Q: Gov. Christie and Lt. Gov. Guadagno were both out of state when the blizzard hit this week. Should an effort be made to have at least one of our executives in-state at all times?

BYRNE: I never thought we needed a lieutenant governor, but we’ve got one, so we have to live with it. And maybe living with it means we need to anticipate what’s coming up. Still, (then-Acting Gov. Stephen) Sweeney has done a masterful job.

KEAN: Luckily, we had no big problems as a result of the storm. But, like any corporation, either our No. 1 or No. 2 person should always be on duty.

BYRNE: I think 30 inches of snow is a big problem.

KEAN: I meant we didn’t have any major problems beyond the snow. … nothing that would have required the presence of the governor.

BYRNE: Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?