Tag Archive: Michael Doherty

Warren County Built a Courtroom Wrong. Freeholders Won’t Admit Fault.

There has been a dispute in Warren County for the past few years, ever since they built a courtroom with a pillar that blocks the defense tables’ view of the jury and witness stand.

How can a defendant be afforded a fair trial if his lawyers are not allowed to see the witness stand, much less a jury?

It was a boner of a move by the county to pay for a courtroom that can’t be used, but these things happen.

There have been too many delays in an already crowded courthouse. It’s a very frustrating thing. Anyone who has made a similar mistake can sympathize, but the all-GOP freeholder board should have known better.

The rules were available to the county and to the architects they hired when they decided to build it anyway. They should admit their mistakes and rebuild. But no, here come the talking points: “It’s about taxpayer money!

The County’s solution?

A state senate bill proposal would give the County the power to decide that denying a defendant’s right to full access to the courts is “suitable” solely because they don’t want to be responsible for raising the money to fix it.  

What’s Happening Today Wed. 10/02/2013

Booker vs. Lonegan and the election schedule that only Christie could concoct:: With exactly two weeks to go, October 16 is the Special Election date for the U. S. Senate race. Gov. Christie made it particularly “special” by holding it on a Wednesday and not on General Election day. How convenient! We continue to miss Sen. Frank Lautenberg. We wont miss current Sen. Jeff Chiesa (R), but don’t be surprised if Christie appoints him to another position.  

Now we have the 13th public poll on the race: The Monnmouth Universiity poll which has Booker at 53% and Lonegan at 40% – a +13 point advantage. Previous recent polls according to Real Clear Politics: Quinnippiac (9/22) Booker +12, Kean University (9/19) Booker +19, Richard Stockton College (9/21) Booker +26 and Rutgers-Eagleton (9/09) Booker +35. The race has tightened up, Booker maintains a healthy lead (no “margin of error” concerns), but in this weird election with low turnout predicted it is important that we all vote and help GOTV or else face something akin to the apocalypse.

Republican candidate Steve Lonegan has been in a persistent and somewhat successful attack mode. There were high spirits at his classic 1938 Bendix Diner event yesterday in Hasbrouck Heights. With some 70 attendees, it opened with a prayer which included a blessing for “marriages between one man and one woman.” Texas Governor Rick Perry, accompanied by plainclothes Texas Rangers, spoke briefly about guns (good) and ACA (bad: “It’s felonious”) and lauded Texas and Lonegan. Steve Lonegan then launched into his stump speech talking concisely, spiritedly, and bluntly about his conservative principles. On the government shutdown he said, “It’s a little inconvenient but not so much so.”

Senior Lonegan Advisor Rick Shaftan spent a few minutes with me enumerating all the perceived bad points about Cory Booker. When I asked Shaftan twice why he thought Lonegan would win, the four-word response each time was “He is a conservative.” Apparently that’s sufficient. One good point about Shaftan: he likes Joey Novick, but then again so do a lot of people.

Two attendees saw a truck in the parking lot painted with “1-800-got-junk,” under which they affixed a sign reading, “YES! Obamacare.” Perhaps an indication of their high spirits, enthusiasm and confidence. Also in attendance were Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-39), Bergen County Exec. Kathleen Donovan and Senator Michael Doherty (R-23).

NJ Court sets up schedule for the State’s application to stay the Summary Judgment order, set to be effective October 21, in the M. E. case: October 1: the State must file its case; October 4: the Plaintiff’s opposition to the stay must be filed; October 7: the State may file its opposition if it chooses. There will be no oral arguments.  

Pubic Schedules (Your opportunity to support or heckle)

Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: No public events.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 4:30pm, Groundbreaking ceremony at Rowan University College of Engineering, Glassboro; 6:15pm, addresses the New Jersey Alliance for Action’s Eagle Awards Dinner, Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick.

U.S. Senate nominee Cory Booker: 6:00pm, Reception at the home of Carol and Andy Golden with Rep. Rush Holt, Princeton, for more information go here; 9:00pm, “Run with Cory,” Palmer Square, Princeton.

U. S. senate candidate Steve Lonegan: 6:30pm, fundraiser, High Point Brewing Company, 22 Park Place, Butler.

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

Michael Doherty Politicizes Boston Patriot’s Day Bombing

Promoted by Rosi, who used to be represented in the NJ Senate by Mike Doherty, and is glad she isn’t anymore.

Here’s Michael Doherty — NJ state Senator, uber-“conservative” and confused libertarian — in today’s PNJ:

“While law enforcement was searching for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown, they had no problem trampling the Fourth Amendment privacy rights of an entire neighborhood of law-abiding citizens as they went door to door pulling innocent families and children out of their homes at gunpoint before conducting warrantless searches of their homes,” said Doherty.

“Now, just days later, it’s absolutely shocking to learn that the administration of Governor Patrick is refusing requests to release information related to the public benefits provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the Tsarnaev brothers at taxpayer expense, citing their right to privacy. It’s a sick perversion of our laws that allows for accused terrorists to be afforded greater privacy rights than law-abiding citizens.”

Umm, first of all Mr. Doherty alleges that Patrick wrong to violate people’s rights in searching those homes, then demands that Patrick violate someone else’s rights.  As near as I can tell, that is the same thing — Doherty is saying it’s sometimes OK to violate people’s rights, he just disagrees on which people.  Not very strict Constitutionalist.

Reminds me of this old joke.

But even better, Mr. Doherty completely misses that the reason for the voluntary — I repeat, voluntary — lockdown in Watertown was to protect people’s lives.  It was an emergency situation where the police and FBI were going door to door looking for a particular person who might be hiding in any of those homes, a threat to the lives of these law-abiding citizens.  Protecting the lives of law-abiding citizens has long been seen as a valid reason to search without a warrant, whether it’s because you hear fighting or are chasing a perpetrator.

But there is no public need to learn the history of the bombers’ welfare check history. It’s simply prurient interest and a desire to make political hay, and that is certainly not a public good. It may be a Doherty good so he can scream and yell and get attention, but for the rest of us it doesn’t improve our lives or protect us to know whether or not they got government relief.

Conservative Legislator Calls for the Government to Fund Free Beaches

I love promoting good posts with which I disagree – promoted by Rosi

The Jersey shore was devastated by Sandy.  We all know that.  It was a potential knock-out punch to thousands of homeowners, vacationers and businesses, one they had no means to prepare for other than purchasing insurance and hoping for the best.  It’s simply not their fault, not due to their negligence, that their communities, homes and resources were squashed  into nothingness.

Many people are calling on the state and federal government to provide funds to help them recover.  One of the primary calls is for money to rebuild the beaches so that businesses can have summer traffic, rentiers can have renters, and vacationers can have beaches and boardwalks.

It’s a reasonable, rational use of our collective wealth, our common wealth, as a people.  The folks who live at the shore cannot afford to recover from this disaster on their own, so we help them to do so by pooling our resources from ME to AK, from FL to HI.  It’s what government is for, taking care of the things that we can’t take care of as individuals.

Now uber-conservative Assemblyman Mike Doherty says that if we do use federal and state funds to restore our beaches the beaches should be free to use.

Michael Doherty compares Planned Parenthood to Nazis & apartheid

VOTE TALLY UPDATE 4:36pm: Senator Weinberg’s bill is passed 26-13 to restore state funding. Just before the vote, she remarked on the fact that almost every woman spoke in favor of it, “and some good men”, and that perhaps these women “know something”.

UPDATE: Listen LIVE to discussion about the bill to restore state funding to women’s health care – sorry, the feed is not embeddable.

UPDATE2: Doherty, speaking from the Senate floor, just apologized to Sen. Weinberg for accusing her of lying. Says he was “exuberant” at the Right to Life rally and should have said Weinberg was “misleading”. I’m not hearing an apology for “Nazi” and “apartheid”.

Here is part of what Senator Michael Doherty said today, speaking at a Right to Life rally on the State House steps:

Nobody has any problem trying to have no affiliation with nefarious organizations such as the Nazis or apartheid regimes,” said Doherty. “But somehow, we’re asked to use our tax dollars to support these type of organizations.

I’d like to say the LD-23 senator has gone ’round the bend. But, horrifying as this is, this is consistent with Doherty’s level. This is a guy who fears that kids on school trips to the state house might be freaked out by trans people in the washroom, and who – like Christie – denies global climate change.

Doherty also used today’s occasion to pile on (again, like Christie) Loretta Weinberg, accusing Weinberg of lying about access to critical health services if $7.45M state funding for women’s health services/family planning is not restored to the NJ budget.

Both Christie and Doherty have been saying women can be steered to hospital ERs and to FQHC’s, Federally Qualified Health Centers. But hospital ERs are simply not set up for non-emergent cases clogging their waiting rooms. And 2 weeks ago, Katherine Grant-Davis, president & CEO of NJ Primary Care Association – they represent the FQHCs – said they couldn’t keep up with the 124% increase in patient load that they’ve already had since 2002, and Christie’s cuts are already adding to the burden.

The New Jersey Senate votes today on a bill to restore that $7.45M state funding back into New Jersey’s budget. Like Star-Ledger said, in an editorial posting today, strongly backing the fight to restore that state funding, Weinberg has the facts on her side. But I suppose that doesn’t matter as much to Doherty, who only has to appeal to the right-wing and Christian money that fuels his political engines up in the sticks of Warren and Hunterdon counties.

Nazis. Apartheid. Wow.  

Public Schools Are Not For The Children

Yeah, I mean it.  Public schools are not there for the children, were not created for the children, and are not the sole province of the children.

Public schools are there for the country, society, economy, republic. America created the concept of publicly funded and mandatory schooling to 16 years old in order to have an educated and skilled adult workforce, community and electorate.  Schools are a general public good, benefiting the entire society by ensuring the American people know how to think and communicate.

Children and parents do gain additional benefits from our public education of kids from five to sixteen.  It reduces the cost of child care so parents can work, gives kids socialization and education so they can support their families, provides exercise and food so they can grow healthily, etc.  

But these are ancillary benefits to public education, not the intended result.  more below

The Double Standard

Chris Christie’s double standard never ceases to amaze! But it’s more than past time that we all take on his “double speak” each time he does it!  For instance and I paraphrase slightly: “Why would I put more money into a broke pension system?” Of course, why ask the obvious: “Why is it broke?” Has he contributed to the severe pension problems by skipping state pension payments in this year’s budget? Even Governor Jon Corzine, whom he trashes at every opportunity, managed to pony up a portion of the state’s contribution.  By the way, public employees have continued to pay their own share each and every year.

Now to the budget.

Need $7.5 million for family planning centers? Oh, not a priority, according to the Gov. We can’t possibly find that.

Need $65 million to close a gaping budget hole when it was realized that doing away with the Sunday closing laws in Bergen County would make a very serious political problem for Republicans in Bergen? Oh, that was easy. Just say “We’ll improve tax collections”…..and poof, we found $65 million in anticipated revenue.

Need $5 million to buy Senator Doherty’s vote for the budget? Just change another line item.

Gee, a political problem when the Christie budget increased the co-pay for the prescription program for low income seniors. Oh that was easy too, let’s get dollars from the national democratic health care reform money coming to our state. You know, the same program his party has been bad mouthing.The one Republicans worked hard to defeat.

Maybe removing more than 900 folks from receiving life saving drugs is not such a great idea. Got caught short on that one when Senator Joe Vitale and the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Aids brought it to light. Find the dollars by just saying we’ll get better discounts from the pharmaceutical industry and then criticize the Senator “for playing politics” when he wrote to restore these much needed funds.  That was really a smooth one Governor! Well maybe those same pharmaceutical companies can increase the discount in the employee prescription program for the family planning centers.

Tax credits (or even bail outs …. Xanadu?) for private business are good ideas if we can keep jobs in New Jersey. No big argument here. So let’s do it to keep Honeywell in Morris County. Oh the TV and movie industry? Gee who cares if Law & Order moved from North Bergen to New York to film their series. Who cares if that part of North Jersey lost jobs and all the small business around who serviced such endeavors?  Governor, tell us the difference between the two.

Ok. You all have the idea. We should headline these in Blue Jersey each and every time he does it. Did I miss any? Send them in.

Now back to Family Planning Centers. Every major newspaper in the state has endorsed the restoration of these funds. Organizations like Catholics for Choice, Women’s Political Caucus, Women Advocating for Good Government (WAGG) and The League of Women Voters have already supported this effort and are lining up their membership. I expect to hear soon from the National Council of Jewish Women. The Legislative Black Caucus has also joined the chorus. We cannot let folks get away with claiming this is a budget problem! It is not. The Governor knows it, the Treasurer probably knows it which is why he was afraid to be questioned in public and certainly the Commissioner of Health & Senior Services knows it. And don’t keep repeating that the Federally Qualified Health Centers can take the new patients. They can’t. They’ve said so themselves and their financial reports back them up.  And again, don’t repeat that the CEED program can take all comers for mammograms and pap smears. Maybe they can, but where do these women go to get the doctor prescriptions they need to access these services.  Stop the myth spinning. Women’s health is too important to continue this cynical endeavor to placate the right wing of the Governor’s party!

The women (and many of the good men) in our state will not let any legislator stand up with a straight face and try to claim this is all about the budget, or that poor women will have access to health care without this funding.

Assemblywoman Stender and I have not yet talked to our legislative leadership to work out the timing of a legislative override. It has to originate in the Senate, since that’s where the bill originated. We’ll let you know as soon as we have an agreed upon schedule.  In the meantime, keep letters and emails coming to the legislature. We absolutely need your help on this one. Get your family, neighbors, and friends to join the growing chorus. This is the time for all blue (and even red) New Jerseyans to join together and start with the Senate – your own Senator or any other you know.

Keep your voices heard!


Epic diversity fail for the anti-equality all-stars

Today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

And in a stupid move that ends up revealing more than they want you to know about who they really are, NJ’s most virulent anti-gay leaders chose today to stage a press event 11:30am at the State House opposing marriage equality. Yeah. This narrow little bunch, who claim broad religious support, obviously doesn’t have it or someone might have suggested that Yom Kippur isn’t a great day to attract attention to yourself. So much for their diversity.

My own (shoot me now) Sen. Mike Doherty leads today’s anti-equality squad, which also includes Alison Litell McHose, Steve Lonegan, Richard Merkt, Gerald Cardinale, Steve Oroho, Gary Chiusano, and Carolee Adams of the Eagle Forum of NJ. They must be feeling the tide turning on them.

New Jersey Family Policy Council, led by Len Deo, is there too, with their mission to restore public opinion, attitudes, and behaviors to reflect a Judeo-Christian worldview.

And yet, today’s news conference is being held on a holiday unsurpassed in its solemnity for the Jewish people.

That, from our own Jeff Gardner, who is also GSE’s Vice-Chair. Chair Steven Goldstein is unavailable, observing Yom Kippur.

Among the 50 states, NJ has the second-highest percentage of Jewish citizens, behind only New York. Two-thirds of NJ’s 21 counties rank in the top 100 counties in the size of their Jewish population. GSE stresses they don’t expect all public figures refrain from public events today. But there’s an obvious inconsistency in claiming religious support while not recognizing a major holy day.

Goldstein said yesterday: It is appropriate for me, in these hours before Yom Kippur, to wish everyone well. But that’s too generous for me. I say New Jersey’s anti-equality gang has more than enough sins to atone for, and they ought to head home, STFU, and give that some thought.


An added bonus to drilling off the coast: Chemical weapons

What do you think it would do for the tourism industry if people went to the beach and as a bonus got to play in the chemical weapons:

If New Jersey allows drilling for oil and natural gas off its coast, it may dredge up an ugly and dangerous past.

The U.S. Army has admitted to dumping 64 million pounds of chemical weapons into U.S. waters from World War I until the early 1970s.


Chemical agents such as mustard gas, sarin gas, arsenic, cyanide and VX nerve gas were all dumped off the Atlantic Coast, raising questions about safety and the volatility of weapons in those dump sites.

Maybe we could make the dump sites a tourist attraction.  Follow me below the fold to find out what other surprises drilling might bring and who has been leading the push in NJ.

Meet Michael Doherty: Right Wing Extremist, Republican Senate Candidate

After losing election after election, the New Jersey GOP might be excused for finding alternative candidates for statewide elections, but the positions of their latest candidate du jour, Mike Doherty (R-Warren County), may completely surprise you.  First, let’s be clear about what’s been happening with the less-than-impressive state Republican Party, which has been in disarray and lacking competitive funding for the November assembly and senate elections. The state GOP is now in a push-and-pull between the radical conservative branches of its electorate and that of the moderate side. After Forrester and Kean Jr. lost elections as moderates, the radical branch, with the same ideological thrust of fundamentalist conservatives who have taken over the national party, are now foaming at the mouth for a radical right-wing Republican to go against Sen. Frank Lautenberg in the 2008 senate election. They found their willing participant in far right conservative Assemblyman Mike Doherty, who has received 100% ratings from anti-abortion group New Jersey Right to Life and from the NRA.

Friends, as a Southerner, I have encountered some radical rightwingers in my life, but Doherty is on the level of Rick Santorum and Jim Inhofe in terms of his anti-minority and destructive policy agendas.  To give you a sense of how Ass. Doherty is out-of-touch with our tolerant state, consider that he was recently protesting the Roe v. Wade abortion decision at the statehouse and attended a recent state talk.  by pro-Bush, anti-science presidential candidate Sam Brownback. Like Brownback, Doherty is also vehemently anti-science, preferring a fundamentalist ideology that emphasizes anti-regulation: Doherty is against the Kyoto Treaty in combating global warming, and with life-saving research, states that

The stem cell legislation signed into law today by the governor is yet another assault on the unborn in New Jersey at stem cell funding is immoral

. Regarding the Supreme Court ruling that gave gays and lesbians further civil rights in the state, Doherty immediately went into reactionary, discriminatory mode, stating

“I believe in the sanctity of the institution of marriage and I believe today’s ruling undermines that institution.

And just this past week, Doherty proudly produced  a press release from the anti-gay, anti-women, pro-abstinence-only sex ed organization New Jersey Family Policy Council for his “award” of legislator of the year from them. Further, Doherty, as did all Assembly Republicans, refused to hold the president accountable for his failures in Iraq and had a no-vote on the anti-surge amendment, too.

Of course, should Doherty get the nomination, and he seems to be the Republican frontrunner at this point, we already know what the 2008 party line will be: Doherty will champion himself as being committed to smaller government (of course, as a Corzine obstructionist, he hasn’t passed substantial legislation to limit spending and only opposed plans) and as a moderate on hot-button issues.  This will backfire, especially with such a principled, respected politician as Lautenberg running against him, and I imagine that the GOP will find themselves further in the wilderness in statewide politics if they nominate this radical fundamentalist.