Tag Archive: whip Wilson

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.

“I Am My Own Man”

“Don’t assume anything because I have a similar last name”.

That’s how Senator Donald Norcross opened his remarks to a group of about 30 Camden citizens at a town hall meeting Saturday afternoon, sponsored by the Friends of Lanning Square School Coalition and the Camden City Education Reform Committee.

Of course, without explicitly saying so, Norcross was referring to the positions held by his brother, South Jersey power broker and education privatization advocate, George Norcross III.

Saturday’s meeting brought together citizens and real reform advocates to discuss the seemingly elusive goal of improving Camden’s public schools at a time when the Governor and his administration seem more interested in lining the pockets of private school entrepreneurs and giving tax breaks to the wealthy.

Senator Norcross tried to put distance between his position and that of his more powerful brother in discussing the path forward. The Senator was promoting the recently signed Urban Hope Act as a way to get a new school built in the Lanning Square area of Camden.

Blue Jersey Focus – José Delgado

Camden is a city in trouble and many politicians from Governor Christie to Mayor Redd to Senator Norcross and Assemblymen Wilson and Fuentes are getting a lot of press coverage. No doubt, there are a lot of bad people who are taking advantage of the city’s inbred poverty and the Governor’s cutbacks in public safety and education to the detriment of the law-abiding and struggling residents of that city. But the silver lining is that there are also residents who are quietly working below the radar to incrementally improve the situation there.

One such citizen is José Delgado, a retired investigator for the public defender and former long-time member of the Camden Board of Education. I spoke with Delgado this afternoon about crime, education, and the hopes for Camden’s future.

Norcross and Wilson get support for Senate and Assembly

With the swearing in of Dana Redd as the Mayor of Camden, the political changes continue. Her departure created the need for a new Senator and that choice has opened the door for another new member of the Assembly. South Jersey leaders put out a release this afternoon announcing support for Don Norcross to move up to the Senate, instead of the Assembly seat he was recently elected to and Camden City Councilman Gilbert “Whip” Wilson to be the next Assemblyman:

Among the supporters are U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews, Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts, Camden Mayor Dana Redd and State Sen. President Stephen Sweeney. Also rallying behind Norcross and Wilson are Lloyd Henderson Esq., a prominent African-American leader; the Rev. Reginald Jackson, executive-director of the Black Ministers Council of New Jersey; Bishop David Evans of Bethany Baptist Church; Logan Township Mayor Frank Minor, chairman of the South Jersey Political Black Caucus; Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison; and Jeannine LaRue, vice-president of Rutgers University and former deputy chief-of-staff to Gov. Jon Corzine.

Wilson is a former police lieutenant who currently serves on the Camden Council. The list of supporters included elected officials, labor leaders, county chairs, municipal chairmen and religious leaders. Norcross was elected to the Assembly in November along with Angel Fuentes. PNJ says that Norcross will be sworn into the Assembly, but won’t be there very long:

Norcross will serve in the state assembly for four days before Democratic committee members from the district hold a special election on Jan. 16 that will almost certainly send him on to the state senate.

I’ll put the full list of supporters from the release below the fold. While it all appears to be a done deal, there is no doubt questions will continue to be asked about the process of selecting those new leaders. You will have a completely new slate of elected officials in the Legislature from the 5th as what was Redd, Roberts and Cruz-Perez, will now apparently be Norcross, Fuentes and Wilson.