Tag Archive: Joe DiVincenzo

News Roundup & Open Thread for Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Double-dipping government employees: NJ Watchdog reports, the biggest double-dipper is Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo who is paid $230,476 of which nearly $69,000 is from a state pension.

Three fourths of NJ sheriffs double dip: Essex County’s Armando Fontoura draws $207,289, including $62,393 from his pension.

Newark and Camden School districts in line to receive hefty private donations. NJ Spotlight says these school districts plan press conferences this morning to announce large donations.

Legislators press Christie on need for more psychiatric beds. NJSpotlight reports Democrats want answers on reversal of state call for services after hearing from hospitals.

Iran deal: using TV and online ads, J Street is trying to convince the undecided lawmakers to side with President Obama. NJ Sen. Cory Booker and Reps. Frank Pallone and Bill Pascrell have not yet annouced their position. PolitickerNJ reports, “Pallone says, “He’s honestly undecided.”

Chris Christie used the State Police helicopter four times for campaign travel, as he vies for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, according to records obtained by NJ Advance Media.  A spokesperson confirmed the state was reimbursed for the expense.

Republican Presidential nomination polls: According to the Real Clear Politics average of the most recent polls, Christie is 10th (3.0%) nationally, 11th (2.0%) in Iowa, 8th (3.0%) in New Hampshire and 11th (2.0%) in South Carolina.

DEP: No drought concerns yet for NJ, despite warnings from United Water about low reservoir levels. Nonetheless, with its three reservoirs along the Hackensack River now down to a combined 45 percent of capacity, United Water is asking North Jersey residents to voluntarily conserve water.

As school returns, The Record asks: “Will the state change standards that outline what kids should learn in each grade after a review ordered by the governor? Will New Jersey officials agree on a way to pay for the public employees’ pension fund, which has been underfunded for years? Will there be changes to the state tests that caused so much controversy last year?”

Appearing on Fox’s Hannity show, Christie says Springsteen is no longer a friend. No surprise there.  

News Roundup & Open Thread for Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Double-dipping government employees: NJ Watchdog reports, the biggest dipper is Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo who is paid $230,476 of which nearly $69,000 is from a state pension.

Three fourths of NJ sheriffs doubler dip: Essex County’s Armando Fontoura draws $207,289, including $62,393 from his pension.

Newark and Camden School districts in line to receive hefty private donations. NJ Spotlight says school districts plan press conferences this morning to announce large donations.

Legislators press Christie on need for more psychiatric beds. NJSpotlight reports Democrats want answers on reversal of state call for services after hearing from hospitals.

Iran deal: using TV and online ads, J Street is trying to convince the undecided lawmakers to side with President Obama. NJ Sen. Cory Booker and Reps. Frank Pallone and Bill Pascrell have not yet annouced their position. PolitickerNJ reports, “Pallone says, “He’s honestly undecided.”

Chris Christie used the State Police helicopter four times for campaign travel, as he vies for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, according to records obtained by NJ Advance Media.  A spokesperson confirmed the state was reimbursed for the expense.

Republican Presidential nomination polls: According to the Real Clear Politics average of the most recent polls, Christie is 10th (3.0%) nationally, 11th (2.0%) in Iowa, 8th (3.0%) in New Hampshire and 11th (2.0%) in South Carolina.

DEP: No drought concerns yet for NJ, despite warnings from United Water about low reservoir levels. Nonetheless, with its three reservoirs along the Hackensack River now down to a combined 45 percent of capacity, United Water is asking North Jersey residents to voluntarily conserve water.

As school returns, The Record asks: “Will the state change standards that outline what kids should learn in each grade after a review ordered by the governor? Will New Jersey officials agree on a way to pay for the public employees’ pension fund, which has been underfunded for years? Will there be changes to the state tests that caused so much controversy last year?”

Christie pays a visit to New Jersey

Governor Christie this week spent time in Missouri, Washington DC, and New York. This morning he visited Cedar Grove before leaving this afternoon to Boston. Nonetheless, that did not stop him from saying at the “Town Hall,” “I prioritize my day job.”

Christie today was visiting a Republican town which is not representative of the county as  a whole. Cory Booker won re-election to his U. S. Senate seat in Essex County by 106,472 to 29,527 votes, but lost in Cedar Grove to Republican Jeff Bell 1,339 to 1,671. Likewise in the congressional race Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen won 1,883 to Mark Dunec at 996. The event was held at the Essex County Police Academy, a place which might be intimidating to some. (Given Christie’s NJ polling data he might be planning a future forum at the Trenton State Police headquarters.)

Upon entering the academy campus attendees were greeted by members of NJ Working Families holding posters protesting fare hikes and route eliminations. Carl from East Orange explained the bus hikes “affect the littlest people who can least afford them and can’t do much to prevent them.” Craig from Princeton was concerned that there was a proposal to end the 655 bus which takes staff and low income patients to the hospital.

Inside the facility set up for 200 people, I sat next to a woman on the left side who explained to me that “Democrats don’t follow the ten commandments,” and “Republicans are denying Jesus’ teachings to feed and care for the poor.” She is a retired teacher who voted for Christie the first time but decided not to vote for either candidate in the last election. The person on my right overheard the conversation and said I was a “proselytizing leftie.” The person in front was a friend of Blue Jersey who raised a small poster in protest  – against Christie’s pen/ben plan.

Shortly before the event began local dignitaries went behind the rear curtain to greet the governor. After a couple of minutes they came back to their seats except for Democrat County Executive Joe DiVincenzo. He spent more time with Christie and then came out to introduce the governor calling him “my good friend.”

 

A Modest Proposal

The Slippery Slope

Most things in life are not black and white, but rather somewhere on a spectrum between these two extremes. This is exemplified by ethics in politics – a phrase that many would consider oxymoronic.

Our system of campaign financing and political influence inherently presents ethical challenges even to the most morally straight candidate or official. It’s a slippery slope for an official from accepting an award to ending up in jail.

Most politicians try to act ethically. They don’t accept gifts or favors at all. But for far too many, the lure of travel, meals, and football box seats is too tempting to refuse. While most stay precariously at the top of that slippery slope, our governor has slid down it into the bowels of self-enrichment. But how do other elected officials handle this?

When I say Shavar, you say Christie! Cami! Norcross! Joe D! Sweeney!

I asked for a list of endorsements from the Shavar Jeffries campaign to post here xxxxxxx. I did hear back from xxxxx quickly, but only that they ‘never got around to’ putting together a list on their site. () I don’t fault her for not getting back; the last couple weeks of a campaign are killer.

For the record, you can find endorsements for Shavar Jeffries, here on their website, but each one stretched into an article-length XXXX. By all means, go look.

But the defining piece of Shavar Jeffries’ campaign isn’t about endorsements, it’s about alliances, and whose friends made sure Jeffries got the cash to run a campaign that his own track record wouldn’t have.  

Live in Essex County? Share this.

To be clear, this tweet is not from Joe Vincenzo, Sr. the Essex County Executive. It’s from his son, same name – @JGDiVincenzo. It came to us via anonymous tip (thank you). I don’t think the son’s in the politics business, which is one reason I hesitated before posting this.

Here are the reasons I decided to post it: (1) Check out his Twitter profile (screen cap below the fold), in which he includes the fact he’s the “son to the Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo. Fair game, then. (2) The account is also followed by numerous legislators and reporters. (3)  DiVincenzo’s tweet is directed to Anderson Cooper last night in the 8pm hour, when Dawn Zimmer was giving this interview.

I shouldn’t be amazed. But I am. So, this question is especially for Essex Democrats:  Is this family’s Christie-enabling contempt for Democrats OK with you?

What’s Happening Today Thu. 10/24/2013

Our Deteriorating Infrastructure: Two bridges less than a mile from me which I use many times each week are in serious disrepair. Gov. Christie’s concern for and funding of State infrastructure projects is a big problem today and growing more dire as time progresses. “The 113-year-old Midtown Bridge, a heavily traveled link across the Hackensack River between Bogota and Hackensack, has been shut down because of structural issues, authorities said Tuesday.” Last year a state review found “The 41-year-old Anderson bridge between Teaneck and Hackensack required significant repairs, prompting Bergen County officials to lower the allowed weight limit and forcing eleven bus routes serving about 2,000 riders to be detoured indefinitely off the bridge.” Needed repair has not been started.

Barbara Buono on her website emphasizes she “has  been a strong supporter of the ARC project and understands the value of investing in our infrastructure to make our workers and our businesses more competitive.” Below is what Tri-State Transportation Campaign in an October report says about Christie’s new budget:

“The analysis  shows that NJDOT is moving further away from a “fix-it-first” approach despite the deteriorating conditions of its existing road and bridge infrastructure … 10 percent of its bridges and 41 percent of its highway pavements are not in acceptable condition…The State plans on investing 25 percent of the Capital Program’s dollars on projects that repair or preserve the State’s existing roads and bridges, down from nearly 30 percent in the 2013 Capital Program.”

Environmental groups at 12:00 noon will hold a news conference to release a Superstorm Sandy recovery scorecard, grading recovery efforts at the federal and state levels, and identifying what needs to be done, at the Statehouse’s Room 109, Trenton. In the meantime the Senate and Assembly joint environmental committees have held four Sandy hearings across the state. Gov. Christie has done a masterful job of portraying his super-human actions related to the storm, but when it comes to answering hard questions he stonewalls. Assemblywoman Grace Spencer (D-29), co-chair of the hearings, on NJTV last night said that Richard Constable, DCA Commissioner, and Mark Ferzan, tasked by the Governor to oversee and coordinate Sandy recovery efforts, were asked to testify at the hearings but refused to attend any of them.

What’s Happening in your District? NJ Spotlight provides a brief overview of the legislative races in each district. Go here.

PUBLIC SCHEDULES

Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 11:45am, Middlesex County Retired Educators Association Luncheon, East Brunswick Chateau, 678 Cranbury Rd., East Brunswick.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 10:00am, campaign stop with Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. and Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, Caldwell Fire Department, Caldwell;  11:30am, announcement about business tax savings, Vac-U-Max headquarters, Belleville.

NJPIRG Law & Policy : 10am, with Sens. Sandra Cunningham and Robert Singer, conference call to release a report about which private student-loan lenders generated the most complaints from borrowers to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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