By guest columnist James Hogan
Without Art to corral you donkeys, I thought I’d send the friendly admin my latest Random Thoughts, and try to incite a riot, as I’ve been discussing this very topic with neighbors in my town.
It’s no secret at this point, Jen Beck and Mary Pat Angelini have both come out in favor of gay marriage, a position that is off of the usual Republican line. Earlier this year, Jen Beck voted against a Christie line item veto for “women’s health funding”, which is also off of the line. Likewise, Mary Pat Angelini sponsored and pushed, what I would consider to be nanny state, anti bullying legislation and then pushed the student survey bill that would have asked students for personal information about their households like salary, religious beliefs, political affiliations among other items, again seemingly an off of the line bill. For me personally, both have been on the wrong side of Second Amendment legislation over and over again, supporting One Gun a Month legislation and doing nothing to get NJ’s laws in line with the nation’s firearms laws in light of recent Supreme Court decisions. I’m sure I’m missing a few places where they weren’t toeing the line, but these example should suffice.
But while Jen Beck and Mary Pat Angelini seem to stray from the party line on these few, relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, issues, they also can be accused of just toeing the line on many others. Both can be counted on to toe the line when it comes to pension and benefit reforms, both can be counted on to toe the line when it comes to the 2% property tax cap and other tax reforms. Both seem to toe the line on school choice, teacher tenure reforms and other school funding issues. In fact, one can certainly make the case that both Beck and Angelini always just toe the party line… usually.
So what do you want your elected representatives to do? Do you want them to just be consistent and toe the line, every time? Or do you want them to be free thinkers who sometimes stray from the party line, but try to represent local interests? Is there another option that allows free thinking and local representation without having the appearance of just toeing the line, or crossing the line at the wrong times? If no one on either side was willing to budge from their party line, would anything get done? Does anything, good, get done now with the current system? Where do you draw the line on toeing the line? As a county committeeman, would you accuse me of toeing the line for supporting candidates who don’t always toe the line, or am I getting out of line to support candidates who are sometimes out of line? Again, is there another option?
Feel free to discuss. In the meantime, don’t mind me – I’ll be out “toeing the party line”, or not, and asking everyone in district 11 to vote Beck, Angelini and Casagrande on November 8th because they have done a great job toeing the line or have proving their ability and will to get off the line and have a voice of their own. Either way you look at it, I’m happy with the general direction that the Great State of New Jersey is moving, and.I’m convinced that, in general, Beck, Angelini and Casagrande will continue toeing the line, or not, to keep our state moving in the right direction.
Average No One