The NJDSC Week in Review for April 22 2011
Welcome to the latest installment of the NJDSC's week in review. Here's a look back at some of the news from this past week and toward the end, some of the upcoming events around the state next week:
Debunking Christie and Republican Millionaire's myth
- WSJ: "Anti-tax advocates contend that higher taxes on the wealthy lead to millionaire flight. But a new study focusing on New Jersey provides some of the most detailed evidence yet that so-called millionaire taxes have little effect on the movements of millionaires as a whole."
- Star Ledger: "Migration is just not that much of a story in terms of the number of millionaires in the state," said Cristobal Young, a Stanford University sociologist who co-wrote the report with Princeton sociology graduate student Charles Varner. Now, after the recession, "nationwide migration is at the lowest level we’ve seen in 50 or 60 years. It’s really hit the brakes."
- Assemblyman Greenwald: "Republicans who favor tax breaks for the wealthy can shout into the wind all they want about millionaires fleeing our state, but the facts don’t support it,"
- Responding to Treasury Department officials claim the millionaire's tax would do little to increase revenue for the state because, "Once you start taxing people, they start finding ways to get more exemptions," legislative leaders sent a letter to State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff asking for a detailed explanation of the exemption "loopholes" that are being exploited so that the Legislature can craft measures to help end this exploitation.
- Philadelphia Inquirer on the impact of Christie's redistribution of wealth: Property taxes have gone up as Christie's empty-pocketed state government makes cuts that trickle down.
- Think Progress: Despite Myths, New Jersey’s ‘Millionaire’s Tax’ Didn’t Force Mass Migration Of The Rich.
- Charlie Stile of The Record: NJ wealth flight a myth.
State Conference Is Just Around The Corner
- The 2011 New Jersey Democratic State Conference will feature comprehensive and interactive trainings giving you the tools needed to run and win efficient, effective and successful grassroots campaigns. Before, during and after the training sessions, enjoy meals and receptions featuring special guests and leaders from New Jersey and beyond! This year we will offer three innovative tracks for attendees to learn from the best:
- Winning as a Local Candidate – Learn how to fundraise with the best, execute a successful door to door operation and use social media and online communications to get your message out and win.
- New Media & Communications – Build your own Facebook and Twitter campaigns, master the art of earned and “free” media and manage a simulated press conference with your team.
- Field Tactics, Targeting and Technology – Fine tune your ground game and learn the ins and outs of the voter file, microtargeting and some new cutting edge organizing tools and technologies.
There are just 9 days left to register at the discounted rate of $111 for the conference which will be May 12-14. This is going to be a conference to remember, so don’t delay! Please visit www.njdemsconference.org to register today and join us as we Pave the Way to Victory!
Christie is a "bully" and the "biggest hypocrite in the statehouse"
- Philadelphia Inquirer Christie Chronicles: "Bully" Christie sees drop in poll.
- Atlantic City Press Editorial: "While it may not really be news at this point that Chris Christie is fond of nasty, bullying hyperbole, it is noteworthy and now painfully clear that he is also the biggest hypocrite in the Statehouse - and not nearly as funny as Ralph Kramden."
- Reuters: Asked for a word to describe Christie, 140 voters volunteered that he was a "bully."
- Star Ledger on the new Quinnipiac Poll: Governor Christie sees a"significant drop" and there's a "real gender split."
- CNN Political Ticker: “When asked to describe their blunt governor in one word, the survey indicates New Jersey voters overwhelmingly chose ‘bully.’”
- Vineland Daily Journal Editorial: “He's so in love with his own tough-guy image that he saw nothing wrong with suggesting to the media last week that it "take a bat to" 76-year-old state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, because she had the temerity to criticize him.”
- Ed Shultz on MSNBC: “Why in the world do you think that the middle class and the folks in New Jersey would believe that he’s a bully? Maybe it’s because he stands up to people in town hall meetings and disrespects everyone who disagrees with him? The people of New Jersey are very smart.”
Responding to Christie's latest attempt to Blame Someone Else
- Never one to let the facts get in the way of a good attack, Governor Christie attacked the Legislature and tried to blame them for his failures again this week.
- Chairman Wisniewski responded to the Governor lashing out on the Legislature: "Instead of signing bills to provide healthcare for women, property tax relief for seniors and jobs for New Jersey families, the Governor chose to veto them and is simply making his latest You Tube moment at another highly-produced, taxpayer funded town hall.”
- More Wisniewski: “Christie is more interested in chest-pounding and sabre-rattling than he is in enacting progressive legislation designed to put New Jersey back to work."
- Senate President Sweeney also responded: “The Governor's shtick is getting old. His comments are disingenuous and meant to kill time between him brow-beating a constituent for YouTube purposes and ignoring questions about why property taxes saw their largest increase in four years under his watch."
- More Sweeney: “The one-way governor cut $1.1 billion in education funding, $448 million in state aid, and eliminated rebates to the tune of $848 million. That is over $2.3 billion in cuts he made to New Jersey towns. But he wants us to believe that saving $140,000 by changing public employee discipline guidelines is going to solve your property tax problems. I said it before and I will say it again: What a bunch of garbage."
Seeking answers on privatization
- The Assembly State Government Committee convened a hearing on Thursday to discuss the New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s plans to privatize toll collections along the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, a move that could impact nearly 700 workers between the two major highways.
- Assemblywoman Stender: "When it comes to privatization deals, 60 percent of governments that eventually brought the service back in-house reported that the quality of service provided by the private operator was the main motivator."
- Assemblyman Conaway on the Christie wage proposal: "Wages are driven down and people end up in public welfare programs,"
- Assemblyman Schaer upon learning that the Administration hasn't talked to workers in months: "If one statement needs to go out, it's: "My God, let's sit down like adults and talk.' I appreciate the high emotion. I don't understand why people are not talking to the union. This is not the way to proceed."
Calling to Halt Closure of the Vineland Developmental Center until impact can be determined
- Assembly Speaker Oliver announced the appointment of Assembly members Vainieri Huttle, Tucker and Greenwald to the Legislative Review Panel on State Psychiatric Hospitals and Developmental Centers, a bipartisan body that was recently created by legislation to study issues relating to the care and costs of providing services to clients in these facilities.
- Speaker Oliver: “This is an issue of utmost importance that impacts some of our most vulnerable residents. Any decisions as to the future of these facilities should not be made lightly. I have every confidence that the members I appointed today will undertake their responsibilities in earnest,”
- Star Ledger: In a letter to Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez who oversees state institutions, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) questioned the administration's recent transfer of 59 Vineland residents.
- Senator Van Drew: "It the state is moving to transition residents from developmental centers, the responsible way to do so is to put forward a comprehensive plan and to create guidelines by which the state will make its decisions regarding all seven of New Jersey's developmental centers. But singling out Vineland is unfair to the residents as well as the employees."
- Senators Lautenberg and Menendez were joined by Congressmen Rothman, Pallone, Pascrell, Sires, Holt and Andrews in writing a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in support of federal funding for high-speed rail along the Northeast Corridor.
- Senator Lautenberg and Congressman Pascrell both called on the Christie Administration to appeal the decision by FEMA to deny federal disaster aid. In a letter to local officials, Pascrell wrote that he was “extremely disappointed” by the denial, adding that Passaic County towns spent more than $4.5 million on recovery and response to the floods.
- Senator Menendez on eliminating the cap on oil spill liability: "The best way to prevent future spills is to make sure oil companies bear the full cost for their mistakes."
- Senator Lautenberg on TSA Changes at Newark Liberty Airport: “There are serious security concerns at Newark Liberty Airport that must be better addressed. I look forward to meeting with the new leadership team to express my concerns and urge them to immediately get to work fixing security problems at Newark Airport and regaining the confidence of the flying public.”
- Senator Menendez applauded the TSA appointment of a new Regional Administrator at Newark: Following last year’s breach, the TSA took initial steps to guarantee travelers’ safety, but much more remains to be done. I am encouraged by the TSA’s commitment to improve its performance at the airport and by its decision to appoint Mr. Drummer, someone whose extensive experience and leadership skills in improving security operations is sorely needed at the Newark airport.
- Video of Congressman Holt discussing the Federal Budget and the impact of the Republican plan for gutting Medicare.
- Congressmen Holt and Pallone highlighted the need for government aid at the annual Tent State University
- Congressman Rothman took the Medicare fight to the people letting them know what would happen under Republican proposals to end Medicare as we know it.
- At Rutgers, Congressman Holt vowed to fight cuts to Pell Grants.
- Congressman Pallone met with Bayshore seniors to discuss the threat to Medicare and Medicaid from a Republican budget that ends Medicare as we know it by privatizing it and converting it into a voucher program. The plan would also slash Medicaid, which could make nursing homes unaffordable for many seniors. The Republican budget plan would terminate the retirement guarantee of Medicare coverage for all Americans.
- Video: Congressman Pascrell helped clean up the Falls.
- Congressman Holt offered his thoughts on Earth Day and the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy:
- Courier Post: A conservative group is running radio ads thanking Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., for saving Medicare. One problem: Runyan recently voted for a bill that would end Medicare as it currently exists.
- Asbury Park Press: Congressman Pallone and area environmental leaders held a press conference on the shoreline to fight back against new bills by House Republicans they say could open the Atlantic coast to offshore drilling.
- Congressman Andrews spoke to the nearly 1,000 guests who turned out to the Virtua Voorhees premier celebration and opening which included a tour of the hospital’s brand new 680,000 square-foot facility.
- Congressman Pallone: Every day... Not just Earth Day.
Under the Dome
- Assembly members Wagner and Benson discussed their legislation to create tax credits for electric car purchases. (VIDEO)
- Legislation to help New Jersey’s counties and municipalities immediately mitigate public safety hazards along state highways has been signed into law.
- Assemblywoman Voss marked autism awareness month and said "With the highest rate of autism in the country, we need to be doing all we can to increase awareness, research and education,"
- NJ 101.5: Greenstein, Benson and DeAngelo bill seeks to make local agencies more transparent.
- Assemblyman Burzichelli went back to high school Tuesday morning, not to learn, but to help teach students at Penns Grove High School.
- Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee Chairman Sarlo welcomed words from former Gov. Thomas Kean calling for the installation of a new Secretary of Higher Education to serve as the administration’s cabinet-level bridge to the state’s colleges and universities.
- Assemblywoman Quijano is urging her Assembly colleagues to unite in opposition to the Governor's proposed dismantling of the Urban Enterprise Zone program in the FY 2012 budget.
- Assemblyman Milam is sponsoring legislation that calls for state Comptroller Matt Boxer to review all purchasing agreements made on the local and state level - including public colleges and universities, and boards of education.
- Senate President Sweeney was honored with the National Peace Medal for Aiding Children with Disabilities by the National Stop the Violence Alliance as part of the of the Alliance’s Celebration of Hope Black and White Benefit Gala.
- Senator Scutari on Christie's latest Medical Marijuana delay: “If the Governor has no intention of moving forward with our medical marijuana program, for the sake of the patients awaiting relief, he should just come clean.”
- A 3 part series called Cerf's Up took a look at Christie's attempts to privatize public education under the guise of reform, along with examining the ties between Governor Christie, Chris Cerf, News Corp. and more.
- April 28:
Burlington County Jefferson Jackson Dinner
Merion Caterers, Cinnaminson, NJ
6-10 PM $50/person
Chairman Wisniewski is the guest speaker at this great event www.burlcodems.com
- April 29:
Beer & Wine Tasting Hosted by the Somerset County Young Democrats
Friday, April 29th 7 - 9 PM
Mannions Pub Address: 150 West Main St. Somerville, NJ Cost: $20, includes tastings of beer and wine, cheese and crackers
- May 1:
11am to 2pm
Please join Freeholder Amy Mallet and Freeholder Candidate William Shea for Brunch
204 Conover Road, Morganville, New Jersey 07751
Hosted by Ed Gibson
$20/per person. For more information please call 732-739-8888.
- May 3:
Monmouth County Dems ELEC Treasurer Training
Staff members from the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission will be conducting a training session which will include proper procedures for account setup, committee naming, bank account setup, ELEC reporting, all relevant finance and compliance laws and more. Everyone who participates in the training will receive a ELEC Treasurer Training Program Certificate which is mandatory for Treasurers of State Senate and General Assembly Candidate and Committee accounts. RSVP is required. To RSVP please call 732-739-8888.
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We will continue to have updates about news from our elected officials and the many campaigns across the state. There will certainly be more to come next week. Have a great weekend.
John Wisniewski, Chairman
New Jersey Democratic State Committee