Tag Archive: LD12

Jen Beck: Trenton’s Fair-weather Friend to the Gays

One look at 12th district Senator Jen Beck and it's perfectly obvious why she's got “Gay Man's BFF” written all over her.  

She's fabulous, gorgeous and has a big long pony tail that I secretly want to French braid.  She's also a bit of a diva.  Basically what we gays affectionately call a  “fag hag.”  Straight out of central casting.   For better or worse, she just gives off that vibe.

But here's the deal, she's not a true friend to NJ's LGBT community as proved by her NO vote on Marriage Equality.  To make it worse, as a member of the Judiciary Committee Sen. Beck shares a rather unfortunate distinction of being one of only 4 NJ Senators to vote against marriage equality TWICE.  For those of y'all keeping score, YES it does make it twice as bad.

Frankly i was surprised and hurt when she voted NO (for reasons described in paragraph 1) but in retrospect it makes sense: Governor Chris Christie was on the lookout for a LtGovernor at the time and Beck was widely considered to be on the shortlist.  Voting for Gay rights was not gonna score any points with Christie who's admittedly “not a fan” of equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians.

So it was newsy when Jane Roh reported Senator Beck's evolving position on equality.  In her own words:  

“There are lots of reasons why I ultimately voted no. My position has evolved. I spent a lot of time on this issue, and at the end of the day, I would support it if it came before me.”

Naturally we welcome her change of heart.  Change is good.  

You know what else has changed?  Beck's district.  

more below… 

NJ 12 District Race for Assembly

I received this from my friend Mayor Michelle Roth. She and Joh Amberg are in a tough race against Republicans Dreclan O’Scanlon and Caroline Cassagrande in the 12th District:

My name is Michelle Roth. I am running for Assemblywoman in District 12.

Like many women in Monmouth County I wear various hats.  I am a working mother (of three daughters), wife and public servant.  I have dedicated my time since my children were young to creating solutions that improve the future for all our children.  I understand the challenges modern families face. I also understand that government needs to do a better job providing essential services and a lower tax bill so that our children and our parents can afford to stay in New Jersey. I worry about the future our children will inherit.

Because the challenges that face us are both great and grave, we need to make sure that we have the right people in office making the tough decisions. As the Mayor of Manalapan, I made local government more transparent by televising all meetings and improving access to public records online. I prevented urban sprawl by purchasing open space and supporting farmland preservation programs. I also reduced the size of government while making it more efficient. I will work to do the same in Trenton.

I am not the usual candidate for public office.  I earned an MBA in Finance from Fordham University and own a small consulting firm that does no business within the State of New Jersey.  There is nothing I want from the Trenton machine.  Instead, I would like to change the way business is done in Trenton so we can get our spending under control and shift the funding of education away from property taxes and over to the State income tax system, where it belongs.  

The Women’s Political Caucus of NJ recently endorsed me. They said that women elected to public office make a difference in our quality of life and change the political environment for the better by helping to restore the public’s trust in government.  Women elected to public office waste no time in rolling up their sleeves to get the job done.  I have also been endorsed by Planned Parenthood as I stand in defense of women’s rights.  

Along with my running mate John Amberg, I have run a grassroots campaign, walking door to door and trying to speak with as many of the 141,000 voters in our district as possible.  If we missed your door, I do apologize. You’ll notice that we had no fancy literature and did not bombard you with mailing after mailing.  Nor have we said anything negative about our opponents.  We’ve run a clean campaign based upon our ideas that we would enact when elected.  

I know I can begin to fix the problems in Trenton but I need your help. On November 3rd, when you go out to vote, please vote for Michelle Roth and John Amberg.  Let our voice be your voice in Trenton.  Let us put your family first.  

With warm regards,

Michelle  Roth

Maybe they’re hoping we won’t notice: Declan O’Scanlon

First, we have 12th District Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon as a candidate seeking office in 2007 saying this about property tax rebates:

“This is essentially a bribe, for our votes, with money taken out of our pockets!” continued O’Scanlon.  “You can’t honestly say you’re cutting taxes if you’re raising one tax to get credit for reducing another.  The taxpayers of New Jersey are sick of maneuvers like this – and we’re not buying it anymore.  Not one penny of this so-called relief was funded with budget cuts – it all came from other tax increases.  We need leaders willing to stand up and fight for real tax relief, not ones who make excuses for election year gimmicks like this.”

Now we have O’Scanlon just this week issue a release entitled, cutting or eliminating property tax rebates not the way to go:

“We face a great challenge in balancing the current and upcoming budget,” commented O’Scanlon.  “However, the last thing we need to do is ask for more sacrifices by the taxpayers.  First and foremost, Governor Corzine must recognize that what really needs to be curtailed is the runaway spending in Trenton.”

Other than the fact that he’s now an incumbent facing re-election, what has happened to O’Scanlon that he now believes what he once called bribery is a necessary function of government?  

Karcher Banks On Massive GOTV Operation

Recent polling suggests Senator Karcher may be trailing Assemblywoman Beck by a few points in the 12th district, but in low turnout off-year elections like this, a strong ground game can swing an election.

That’s where Karcher seems to have a huge advantage. NJN reported tonight that Beck’s campaign expects about 100 campaign workers on election day, but the Karcher campaign says they’re expecting over 1,000 people on the ground. And to get voters to the polls, they’ll have 3 buses, 20 vans, countless cars, 7 staging locations and a phone bank with 45 phone lines at their disposal.

If you’re one of those 1,000 or so people in the field, drop us a line and let us know what you’re seeing.

The “ethics” of a hypocrite

Lawmakers who aspire to a merely average ethical standard must maintain a strict firewall between legislative and campaign activities.  Jennifer Beck has shown no regard for this necessary separation, which is based on “the basic principle that government funds should not be spent to help incumbents gain reelection“.

All of the evidence so far indicates that the “No Civilians At Earle” campaign was the coordinated effort of Jennifer Beck’s legislative and campaign offices.  The letter from the legislative office directs constituents to a campaign website.  The Beck, O’Scanlon and Casagrande campaign registered the domain on July 13, 2007; the letter from the legislative office was likewise dated July.  Furthermore, the text of the letter is essentially identical to the text on the website.  Beck asks constituents either to sign an online petition at the campaign website, or to sign a paper petition and send it to the legislative office.

There is already enough evidence against Beck to sustain a serious ethics complaint.  At this point, she can’t get away with dismissing Karcher’s complaint as “frivolous”.  She needs to address the evidence and the substance of Karcher’s complaint.  She owes the voters of the 12th district answers to a long list questions, some of which Karcher raised in her press releases.

But the most important question this incident raises is this: Does Assemblywoman Beck understand why it is unethical to use official resources for campaign purposes?  Either Jennifer Beck doesn’t understand why political and legislative activities must remain separate, or she is a hypocrite who will campaign on ethics while campaigning unethically.

Either way, she’s certainly not fit to legislate.

News Roundup and Open Thread for Monday, April 9, 2007

The calendar may say April, but it feels like winter.  Here’s a picture I took yesterday to remind you that the trees are in blossom:

Woodstown Main Street

  • The Inquirer asks why wealthy and powerful men like State Senator Wayne Bryant feel the need to break the law.
  • The New York Times has a very interesting profile of Washington Township and how its Smart Growth plan worked too well.
  • Herb Jackson and John McAlpin explain the state’s pension problems (again.)
  • Don Imus continues to apologize for his comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.  Rev. Sharpton, Rev. Jackson, and the NAACP all called for his resignation:

    James E. Harris, president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, demanded Sunday that Imus “resign or be terminated immediately.”

  • Wayne DeAngelo will run for Assembly in LD14.  Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein is running for reelection, and  Seema Singh is running for State Senate.
  • Republicans in LD12 want it chosen for the Clean Elections Program.
  • A dailyrecord.com headline says “Property-tax refunds mean more paperwork,” but the article says “the process for receiving the rebates will be the same as in past years.”  In future years there may be a direct credit.  On the other hand, David Rebovich at politicsnj.com says we still don’t have meaningful reform
  • Okay, it’s not politics, but I listened to the Devils-Islanders game on the radio yesterday, and will never forget it.  The game was meaningless for the Devils and essential for the Islanders to make the playoffs:

    Protecting a 2-1 lead late in regulation time, the Islanders saw it slip away when the Devils pulled goalie Scott Clemmensen for an extra skater and John Madden tied the game with nine-tenths of a second remaining.

    Fortunately the Islanders won the overtime shootout, so both teams make the playoffs.

    This is an open thread, so let us know what you think!

  • News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Your Turn: What’s on your minds today, Blue Jersey?

    Better know a district- The Fightin’ Twelfth

    The 12th Legislative District is cut across Central New Jersey, including a little of Mercer County but much more of Monmouth. Towns in the 12th are: Colts Neck Township, East Windsor Township, Englishtown, Fair Haven, Freehold Borough & Freehold Township, Hightstown, Little Silver, Manalapan Township, Marlboro Township, Millstone Township, Oceanport, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough & Township, and Tinton Falls.