Tag Archive: Patrick Diegnan

Fight to Keep Neighbors From Being Deported Now, Vote for Policy Change in November

Yesterday, local and state legislators, as well as attorneys from the NJ ACLU gathered in Metuchen to celebrate a stay of deportation for three valued members of their community. One of them, Harry Pangamanan, was recently honored by the town…
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Koch Conspirators

There’s an old Middle Eastern saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” I don’t buy into this philosophy, but it does provide a starting point for evaluating that enemy of my enemy.

Today, the Koch Brothers’ organization, Americans for Prosperity, released a 2014 scorecard of New Jersey legislators. AFP has a simplistic philosophy – government and taxes are bad. However, the real world is more nuanced than that, but it’s interesting to see how AFP rated some of our New Jersey legislators.

The Devil is in the Details

As the Assembly and Senate hash out their differences in tenure reform bills, I’ll leave it to some of our more qualified writers to comment on the nuances of the different approaches. Here’s the video of today’s testimony at the Assembly Budget Committee. If you’re looking for the input from a specific advocacy group, you can fast forward to:

05:19 NJ Principals and Supervisor’s Association

22:23 NJ Council on County Vocational Schools

25:42 Garden State Coalition of Schools

29:01 NJ School Boards Association

36:37 NJ Education Association

One observation and one prediction:

Chairman Diegnan went out of his way to present this as a collaborative bipartisan approach. But that didn’t stop the ranking GOP member, David Wolfe, from political posturing, taking credit (45:48) and having his side abstain from approval of the bill.

I’ll predict that if this spirit of cooperation between the stakeholders and the legislators results in real tenure reform, Governor Christie will be out at his taxpayer-funded town hall political rallies taking credit for the bill.



Kids Count! – A Challenge To Our Governor And Legislature

“Now more than ever, the well-being of children lies in the hands of state policymakers. Children now receive relatively little federal government support and what support they do get is highly influenced by the state and local districts in which they live.” – January 18, 2012 –  State  Child and Youth Well-Being Index (CWI): Investing in Public Programs Matters

This just-released annual report from the Foundation for Child Development indicates, “A child’s well-being is strongly related to the state where he or she lives.” The good news is that this year’s report ranked New Jersey number one among all states in the State Child and Youth Well-Being Index (CWI). The bad news is that this study presents results for 2007 (the most recent year for which data are available from the National Survey of Children’s Health), and in recent years Governor Christie has reduced State expenditures and sought less federal matching funds. As the legislature and Governor Christie grapple with next year’s budget, the message is clear: state investment in children matters.  

Bill to Decriminalize small amounts of Marijuana garners 18 co-sponsors.

22,439 people were arrested in New Jersey for possessing less than 50 grams* of cannabis in 2009.

FreedomIsGreen.Com, a local blog devoted to advancing more enlightened cannabis policy in New Jersey is reporting an an intriguing new bill on the Assembly docket that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in the Garden State.

The bill, which already has 18 co-sponsors (5 from the GOP) was introduced by Assemblymen Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) and Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris), the same bi-partisan duo that introduced the state’s nascent medical marijuana law.

We lose NJN in an increasingly fishy-looking deal

While we were running a frontpage post entitled, Cheer Up. Things Could Be Worse, things got worse.

Last week, the Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution blocking the handover of NJN to WNET. Tonight, the Senate resolution, sponsored by Loretta Weinberg, failed by one vote. NJN is dead. The new network run by NYC’s WNET, called NJTV, goes up Friday.

Chris Christie and North Jersey political boss “Big Steve” Adubato tag-teamed to lean on senators to vote No. Adubato’s family makes out great in this deal payback. Where will WNET get most of its public affairs programs about NJ? From Caucus Educational Corp.. That’s “Big Steve’s” broadcaster son. David Koch, who with bro Charles is the money muscle behind Americans for Prosperity and the Tea Party, is on WNET’s board. Will political coverage remain fair?

Cunningham, Ruiz, Stack, Gill … WTF?

Nobody who watched last Thursday’s intense Senate Budget questioning of Christie dealmaker Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff could come away without questioning if there was something fishy in Christie’s deal. Why did the Christie administration reject what looked like a viable alternative that would have kept control in Jersey? Montclair State. University President Susan Cole testified their plan would do better for less. Compelling enough, that there should have been more time devoted to finding out if that was true.

And just to put the cherry on top, your tax dollars will be subsidizing the deal, to a tune of $4 million. This is not the best we could do.  

Assembly Democrats Rally Mashup

As thousands of New Jersey’s first-responders – firefighters, police, corrections officers emergency medical services members & many of the people they protect every day – rallied outside the State House, many of their signs expressed their disgust with Senate President Steve Sweeney, members of NJ’s other legislative body were out in force at yesterday’s massive rally.

Below, in video shot by the Assembly majority office, Democratic legislators look out at a sea of blue:

Assembly Democrats Voice Their Support for Workers’ Right to Collectively Bargain from NJ Assembly Democratic Office on Vimeo.