Tag Archive: John Kelly

John B. Kelly testimony against New Jersey assisted suicide

Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizen Committee  

In Opposition to S382, December 8, 2014

On behalf of Not Dead Yet and Second Thoughts Massachusetts


Chairman Vitale, Members of the Committee:

My name is John Kelly, and I grew up in Middletown. Now I am the New England Regional Director for Not Dead Yet, the national disability rights group that has long opposed euthanasia and assisted suicide.  In June and October, I published op-eds against the identical Assembly bill in PolitickerNJ and the Star-Ledger, respectively.  

I am also the director of Second Thoughts Massachusetts: People with Disabilities Opposing the Legalization of Assisted Suicide. We were the progressive voice in Massachusetts that defeated the assisted suicide ballot question in 2012.  Our opposition is based in universal principles of social justice that apply to everyone, whether disabled or not.  

We chose our name Second Thoughts because we find that many people, once they delve below the surface appeal of assisted suicide, have “second thoughts” and oppose it.  In Massachusetts a month before the election, 68% of voters supported the ballot question.  But just as closer looks in Massachusetts – and more recently in New Hampshire and New Jersey – led to a considered rejection of assisted suicide, we urge you to reject S382 because of the real-world threats it poses.  

S382, like all assisted suicide laws, draws on shoddy science to create dangerous public health policy.  The bill would establish a government recommendation that doctor-prescribed suicide is sometimes the best treatment.  Innocent people who are not terminal and are not making a voluntary and informed choice will lose their lives as a result.

Because as we all know, doctors are not good at predicting when people will die.  In Massachusetts we had the example of longtime proponent of universal healthcare, Senator Ted Kennedy, diagnosed in 2008 with an aggressive brain cancer similar to Brittany Maynard’s.  His widow Victoria described his story in a powerful opinion piece that helped seal defeat for the Massachusetts referendum.  She wrote:

When my husband was first diagnosed with cancer, he was told that he had only two to four months to live, that he’d never go back to the U.S. Senate, that he should get his affairs in order, kiss his wife, love his family and get ready to die. But that prognosis was wrong. Teddy lived 15 more productive months.  

Not Dead Yet Applauds Activists for Stopping Assisted Suicide Bill A2270

Not Dead Yet issued the following press release, dated June 30, 2014.

Not Dead Yet Applauds Disability Rights Advocates for Key Role in Stalling New Jersey Assisted Suicide Bill

In a stunning defeat today for proponents of assisted suicide, the New Jersey assisted suicide bill A2270 was pulled from the floor and tabled until September for lack of votes. Not Dead Yet applauded New Jersey disability advocates as press reports credited disability rights opposition for the defeat.


Not the change the Burlco Bridge Commission Needed

The Burlington County Bridge Commission has, to put it nicely, a checkered history.  Past members appointed by the all Republican freeholder board turned a blind eye as no bid contracts and no show jobs which produced no work were doled out leading to one guilty plea and the suspicion that more activity went unpunished.

One has to wonder if the county leaders will once again turn a blind eye over this latest black eye which has the new Chairman, who was brought in to fix the previous problems being arrested for DWI, leaving the scene of an accident, refusing a blood test and more…

Will GOP Congressional Challengers campaign with Mr. 20%?

bushOh, I can’t wait for the President to come to town…

Despite his low approval ratings, President Bush will still be welcome on the campaign trail for Republican congressmen in 2008, said Rep. Tom Cole, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

So here’s the question, will he be welcome and invited to campaign for the challengers in NJ-3 and NJ-7?  Let’s see how NJ voters currently feel about their fearless leader…

Only a fifth (20%) say they approve of the job President Bush is doing, a seven point drop from October.  And stark partisan differences are evident, with just 4 percent of Democrats approving of President Bush but about half of Republicans approving of him (48%).

Do you think Chris Myers, John Kelly, Kate Whitman and Leonard Lance want the President to come join them on the trail and “give them a boost”?  Maybe someone should ask them.

Ocean County goes with Kelly: Let the battle of the bosses begin

Tonight, the Ocean County GOP had its say…

Ocean County Republicans today picked Freeholder John Kelly as their candidate for Congress.  Kelly, who was backed by the party screening committee on Saturday, won unanimously after Freeholder Joseph Vicari dropped out.

This sets up a battle of the bosses with Gilmore backed Kelly facing off against Paulsen backed Myers.  State Chair Tom Wilson for his part has decided that issues don’t really matter and it’s all about the Benjamin’s…

Campaign donations could help settle the contest between Burlington and Ocean counties, according to Republican state chairman Tom Wilson.

“Fundraising is a huge part of it,” Wilson has said.

With his corporate ties, many expect Myers could raise big money before the primary election.

Paulsen and Gilmore are “very pragmatic people,” Wilson said. If one candidate has raised “a prohibitive amount” of money by April, Wilson said he expected party leaders to avoid an inter-party fight.

So let them “fight it out on the issues” for now, but Wilson has signaled that if Kelly and Gilmore don’t get going fast, they may be outbid for a shot at a Congressional seat.

We’ll see how much the GOP primary voters and his running mates for the US Senate like his money when they see what he’s doing with it…

So with news that Lockheed Martin executive Christopher Myers is mulling a bid for Congress in the third district (where is close friend, Jim Saxton, is retiring) came the obligatory check of his previous campaign contributions.  They are mostly to Republicans like Saxton (and to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign), but earlier this year he did write a $500 personal check to Frank Lautenberg’s campaign for re-election to the U.S. Senate.  Does it matter?

That’s a good question, does it matter?  Enjoy the show.

Ocean County GOP to Nominate Flaming Homophobe to Replace Saxton

Freeholder John KellyPolitickerNJ reports that the Ocean County Republican party will nominate Ocean County freeholder John P. Kelly as their candidate for the seat being vacated by Rep James Saxton.

In 2005 when Lieutenant Laurel Hester was dying of lung cancer and asked the county to allow her to pass her pension on to her domestic partner, Mr. Kelly was the freeholder who said it would “violate the sanctity of marriage” and that the estimated 45 cent tax increase on county residents was a tremendous cost. The Asbury Park Press rightfully slammed him on both counts.

After months of lobbying and enormous political pressure, the five-member board of freeholders relented, and voted 4-0 to grant county employees domestic partner benefits. Laurel Hester won, just weeks before she died. The only freeholder to conveniently miss the vote: John Kelly. Some reports said he was out of the state at the time. But the freeholder board has this strange fixation with always appearing “unified”, and it’s widely understood that Kelly was at home hiding – too cowardly or ashamed to face a frail but triumphant Lt Hester.

In a state that provides civil unions and is considering moving forward with real marriage equality, John Kelly is a relic of an intolerant past. It’s really sad if that’s the best the Ocean County GOP has to offer.

Get ready to have a GOP Rumble for the 3rd Congressional District Nomination

nj03_109.gifThe sudden decision by Congressman Jim Saxton to retire after this term opens the door for an ideological, geographical and egotistical fight within Republican party the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long time.

The 3rd Congressional District contains parts of Camden, Burlington and Ocean Counties.  The Camden County GOP is relatively weak compared to the Boss factor of Burlington County power boss Glenn Paulsen and Ocean County power broker George Gilmore.  Both Paulsen and Gilmore will surely want a say in the candidate, but first Paulsen will have to do battle within his county party that is currently raging over just who’s calling the shots.

Burlington County

In Burlington County, likely candidates appear to represent the factions developing within the county party.  You have the “moderate” Republican State Senator Diane Allen who has run before, been contacted by the national party and has expressed interest in the seat.  She has had a rather public spat over money and power with GOP boss Glenn Paulsen who is trying to have his next door neighbor serve as chair of the party so he can pull the strings in the background and maintain his power to dole out taxpayer dollars.  He seems to have made his choice…

Paulsen said yesterday he considered BurlCo Freeholder Aubrey Fenton of Willingboro the best choice for the Republican candidate.

“If the national party cares about inclusion and African Americans, Aubrey Fenton should be someone they should get behind,” Paulsen said.

County Sherriff Jean Stanfield said she won’t seek the seat.  Freeholder Bill Haines would also be a possible consideration.

Ocean County

But it doesn’t look like Ocean County is very anxious to see another candidate from Burlington…

It’s high time (we) got a congressman from Ocean County, said Mayor Leonard Connors

County GOP Chairman George Gilmore said Ocean County has more Republican voters than either the parts of Burlington or Camden counties in the 3rd District.

According to the Ocean County Observer…

Among those he said who he expects are interested in the nomination from Ocean County are Freeholders John P. Kelly, Joseph H. Vicari and Gerry P. Little, County Clerk Carl W. Block, State GOP Committeewoman Virginia Haines, and Connors and Rumpf.

Kelly has all but said he will run for the seat and would probably be the lead candidate from the county. Little said it was to early to think about it, but he was flattered to be considered.  This’ll probably move fast so he better start thinking.  Haines wants to clear it with Boss Paulsen before deciding.  Block will keep his eye on the local scene for now and Vicari wasn’t available for comment in the story.

Ultimately, the question will probably be who can raise the money to mount a credible challenge to Senator John Adler who has already declared his candidacy and has raised over $200,000.

The national Republican Party is pretty much broke and Saxton could retire with his money meaning the potential GOP candidate will have to bring something to the table and get busy to raise the necessary funds for the Republicans to maintain their hold on the seat?

How will the intra-party squabble between Paulsen & Allen affect her ability to fund what is shaping up to be a difficult primary.  Will Paulsen be able to call in enough favors to finance an effective campaign with a candidate of his liking that will appeal to the voters of the district?  It’s unlikely that Paulsen would let Ocean County have the candidate and clear that Ocean County is ready to have their say.  The question of who is the more powerful GOP boss will certainly be tested in a matchup of Gilmore and Paulsen and while primaries are a good thing, this would appear to be shaping up as a bruising contest for power.

With Allen being Pro-Choice, you would figure groups will be helping fund a candidate against her.  The Club for Growth may look for a candidate they could back.  Those fun “marriage protection” folks will be looking to save society as well.  Who knows what other fun activists may want to have their voices heard.  You have gender, race, ideology, money and all the makings for a hotly contested primary campaign on the Republican side of the aisle.

You can visit Senator Adler’s Congressional Website  while you watch the show.

Ocean County grants domestic partner benefits

“A gleeful yet heartbreaking afternoon” is how one attendee described the day.

As expected, the Ocean County freeholders today unanimously voted to grant pension benefits to Laurel Hester. The vote was 4-0, with freeholder Kelly absent.

Against the recommendations of her doctor, Laurel showed up with her partner Stacie to thank the freeholders. Due to her deteriorating health, she had to arrive in her wheelchair, with an oxygen tether, surgical gloves and mask.

When she arrived, the 80 supporters in the room greeted her with cheers. After the vote, Laurel thanked the freeholders and said that it “was democracy at its best.”

Email the freeholders at CountyConnection@co.ocean.nj.us to thank them for doing the right thing.