Property tax relief bill passes N.J. Assembly committee

Assemblyman Jay Webber sponsored property tax relief legislation

Assemblyman Jay Webber sponsored property tax relief legislation

TRENTON — A bill to restore hundreds of millions of dollars paid by utilities to local governments for property tax relief advanced through a state committee on Monday. The legislation, ( A302), would restore $331 million in cuts to energy tax receipts and Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid over five years. But there’s a catch:… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 9th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Jay Webber, New Jersey, News | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

What if Menendez resigns?

Senator Bob Menendez, left, and Congressman Frank Pallone, making like chimpmunks at the 2012 Belmar St. Patrick's parade. Photo credit Charles Measley

Senator Bob Menendez, left, and Congressman Frank Pallone, making like chimpmunks at the 2012 Belmar St. Patrick’s parade. Photo credit Charles Measley

First of all, Senator Bob Menendez might not even be indicted.  Leaks out of the Justice Department have been notoriously unreliable since Chris Christie resigned as U.S. Attorney in 2008.

If Menendez is indicted, he probably will not resign. In his press conference this evening, the Senator defiantly insisted on the “appropriateness and lawfulness” of his relationship with Dr. Salomon Melgen, the Florida ophthalmologist who is Menendez’s friend and benefactor. He declared that he is not going anywhere.

If, as CNN speculates, Menendez is charged with corruption this month, it could be Halloween before he goes to trial. Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was indicted in January of 2014.  His trial didn’t start until late July and didn’t end to early September.   Unless Menendez makes a deal to avoid prosecution that includes his resignation, there is not likely to be a Special Election to fill the Senate seat until next year….2016, the year of the next presidential election.

If Chris Christie is still Governor in 2016 and Menendez’s seat becomes vacant, he will get to choose the next Senator and set the date a special election.   There could be a mid-year Special Election or the Special Election could be on the same day as the presidential election.  There’s no way to know now what is likely to happen.

Still, the prospect of a Senatorial vacancy stirs speculation and the phone lines among both Democrats and Republicans have been burning this afternoon since the news of the possible prosecution broke.

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Posted: March 6th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Bob Menendez | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

N.J. lawmakers warn of ‘draconian’ budget cuts after judge’s pension decision

assetContent (32)TRENTON — New Jersey lawmakers warned of potential “draconian” budget cuts to come up with $1.57 billion if the state is forced to make a full pension payment this year. A state Superior Court judge ruled today that unions are entitled to that payment as part of a 2011 pension overhaul law passed by the Democratic-led… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 24th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ Judiciary, NJ State Legislature, Pensions | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on N.J. lawmakers warn of ‘draconian’ budget cuts after judge’s pension decision

Cheney coming to N.J. for Reagan celebration, which includes jellybeans

assetContent (40)Former Vice President Dick Cheney will be making a rare appearance in New Jersey next month. The two-term vice president will join Garden State conservatives in Woodland Park as part of NJ Reagan Day, a commemoration of the country’s 40 th president, Ronald Reagan. The event will be held March 31 at the Westmount Country Club… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 6th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: NJ GOP | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Cheney coming to N.J. for Reagan celebration, which includes jellybeans

FDU Poll: 36% of NJ voters approve of Obama, 42% will vote for Booker

photo via facebook

photo via facebook

The political landscape in New Jersey is ripe for a historic shift this November. But a shift in New Jersey’s representation in Washington is not likely to happen because the New Jersey Republican Party is wholly unprepared for the opportunity.  The nincompoops who lead the NJGOP gave up on the U.S. Senate race in January.  They gave up on picking up seats in the Congressional Delegation in 2012 when the new congressional map was drawn.

According to a Fairleigh Dickinson Univeristy Public Mind Poll released this morning, President Barack Obama’s approval rating among New Jersey registered voters is a dismal 36%.  49%, including 21% of Democrats and 45% of Independents, disapprove of the President’s job performance.  Senator Cory Booker is 8 points below the magic number of 50% that an incumbent needs to be comfortable in a reelection race.  Those are the kind of numbers any opposition party/candidate would pray for 8 weeks before an election.

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Posted: September 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Cory Booker, Jeff Bell | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Forget trying to beat Booker, the NJ GOP should plan for the next gubernatorial election

photo via facebook

photo via facebook

U.S. Senator Cory Booker is going to be elected to his own full term next November.

None of the Republicans said to be considering a challenge to Booker can beat him.

It’s not that Booker is invincible, as was widely thought prior to the Special Senate Election last October.  He is beatable.  Steve Lonegan exposed the fallacies of the Booker myth and Patrick Murray documented that Booker’s support is shallow.   Had Washington Republicans not followed Senator Ted Cruz’s lead to shut down the government in October and had State Comptroller Matt Boxer released his audit of Newark’s City Government which exposed millions of wasted taxpayer money and management practices that encourage fraud in September instead of this week, Lonegan might have pulled off the upset that Booker deserved.

There’s nothing wrong with 4 of the 5 Republicans reported to be looking to challenge Booker.  Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, Senator Minority Leader Tom Kean JR, Senator Mike Doherty or Assemblyman Jay Webber would all serve New Jersey well in the U.S. Senate.

That Darryl Isherwood included Assemblyman Chris Brown is his list of 5 Republican of potential candidates to challenge Booker is more of a reflection of Isherwood’s sense of humor than it is of Brown’s viability as a candidate for any office in the future.  After blaming his Assembly running mate John Amodeo’s 39 vote loss on Governor Christie, Brown will be lottery winner lucky if he is even re-nominated for his Assembly seat in 2015.  “What will Brown do after politics?” MMM asked a senior Republican strategist after the gaffe.  “We’ll find out soon,” the strategist said with a laugh.

(Correction:  As a commenter pointed out, Isherwood was referring to a different Assemblyman Chris Brown (the LD 8 Brown) than the one who blamed Christie for his running mate’s loss.  My mistake makes my overall point.  MMM readers are more informed than the average voter.  How many knew there was even one Chris Brown in the Assembly prior to the LD 2 Brown’s gaffe?  There isn’t a member of the legislature with the statewide name ID to compete with Booker~ Art)

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Posted: December 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race, 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, NJ GOP, Republican Party | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

5 Republicans who could challenge Cory Booker for his Senate seat

5 Republicans who could challenge Cory Booker for his Senate seat (via NJ.com)

With Election Day behind us and the end of the year approaching, there is still one political question that has yet to be answered: Who will challenge Sen. Cory Booker in next year’s Senate contest? So far, no challenger has emerged, though several…

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Posted: December 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Assembly Urges USDA To Curb Stink Bugs

The New Jersey State Assembly passed a resolution yesterday, 76-3, urging the United States Department of Agriculture and any other relevant federal agencies to fund efforts to reduce or eliminate the brown marmoated stink bug population.

Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce, Assemblyman Jay Webber, the former NJ GOP chairman, and newly sworn in Assemblyman Jack Ciatrelli, all Republicans, were the three legislators voting no.

Tom Weisert, Webber’s spokesman, said that the Assemblyman usually votes against these non-binding resolutions that tell other jurisdictions how they should spend taxpayers’ money.  “It’s not that Jay favors stink bugs,” said Weisert, “besides, there are a lot more important issues that the Assembly should be addressing.”

Posted: December 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Webber Resigns As NJGOP Chairman

Assemblyman Jay Webber. MMM file photo

By Art Gallagher

Citing the demands of the of  NJ Apportionment Commission which is responsible for drawing a new legislative districts map based on the results of the 2010 Census, and his service on the NJ Assembly Budget  and Labor Committees, Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris) announced that he is stepping down as chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee effective immediately.

 The State  GOP Committee was informed of Webber’s decision on a conference call this evening.  Governor Chris Christie recommended that Saddle River Mayor Sam Raia be elected to replace Webber.  Vice Chairwoman Lynda Pagliughi steps up to Acting Chair until the committee formerly meets.  A meeting is expected within the next week.

Webber issued the following statement:

“It is with an overriding sense of satisfaction that I make this bittersweet announcement,” said Chairman Webber.  “Although I enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to lead our Party during such an important time in our State’s history, the reality is that only about five months remain in the only term I planned on serving.  Much of that time in early 2011 will be dedicated to the once-a-decade reapportionment process, a watershed moment in the State’s governmental and political life requiring and deserving my full attention.  Shortly after the completion of that process, I will be focused on my service on the Assembly Budget Committee, as we close another budget deficit for Fiscal Year 2012.  My stepping aside now will allow the next NJGOP Chairman to get started right away and give our Party’s vital operations the attention they deserve heading into the 2011 elections.


“I am grateful to Governor Christie and the members of the Republican State Committee for entrusting me with the responsibility of leading the Republican Party,” said Chairman Webber.  “I also thank our elected officials and candidates, the dedicated members of the NJGOP staff, and the thousands of supporters who through their tireless efforts and tremendous generosity have been the true engine of our Party’s revival.  I have been, and remain, humbled to have earned your support for our common cause. 


“Together we have made a strong and successful Republican Party by rebuilding from the grassroots up, restoring the integrity of the Republican brand, and electing winning candidates committed to governing the right way when entrusted with the mantle of leadership.  I am proud of all that we have accomplished, and have every confidence that together we will continue to serve our State, and our Party, well in the future,” said Chairman Webber.

Mayor Sam Raia awards Governor Christie the key to Saddle River. Source: NorthJersey.com who says they got the photo from Raia

Mayor Sam Raia awards Governor Christie the key to Saddle River. Source: NorthJersey.com who say they got the photo from Raia

Raia is a significant GOP fundraiser and supporter of the party.  He is a Principle of RAIA Properties Corporation, a real estate investment management and development firm headquartered in Ramsey.  He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Seton Hall and an MBA in Management from Fairleigh Dickinson.  In addition to his service as Mayor of Saddle River, Raia serves on the boards of the Hackensack University Medical Center and the New Jersey Commerce and Industry Association.

Posted: January 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NJ GOP | Tags: , , | 6 Comments »

Conservative Conundrum

By Art Gallagher

Paul Mulshine wrote a blog post last week wherein he wittingly or not shed light on the puzzle of New Jersey’s conservative ideologues.

Mulshine was tauting a post by the blogger formerly known as Manly Rash that suggested that NJ GOP Chairman Jay Webber should be replaced because he canceled a meeting of the State GOP Committee.  Conservatives have been upset that the NJGOP has not adopted the GOP’s 2008 National Platform, particularly its pro-life planks. 

The various NJ Tea Parties and Steve Lonegan’s Americans for Prosperity had planned to demonstrate at the scheduled meeting in order to gain support for various proposed resolutions before the committee,” Support for the Governor’s reforms at the DRPA, Joining the lawsuit against Obamacare, Stopping the implementation legislation for Obamacare in New Jersey, Support for New Jersey Citizens’ right to privacy when flying (TSA pat-downs), and Repealing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) which is New Jersey’s own version of the Obama administration’s “Cap and Trade” energy tax,” according to Rash.

Webber said he canceled the meeting because he and other members were busy in Trenton with the legislature in session.  The ideologue conservatives adopted a conspiracy theory that Webber cancelled the meeting to silence them.

This conservative blogger supports each of the initiatives that Rash wrote of and supports the pro-life plank of the National GOP platform.  This conservative blogger also supports Jay Webber and Governor Chris Christie.  The latter has earned me the RINO label from some.  I’ve even been nicknamed Arlen.

Mulshine says, conservatives are supposed to stand on principle.  He says Webber violated principle when threw his support to Chris Christie in the 2009 GOP Gubernatorial primary over Steve Lonegan.   The principle of “Lonegan was perhaps the cheapest skinflint ever to run for office in this great state. He really meant to cut state government.” 

The principle that Webber, Christie, and even Senator Mike Doherty who has earned the Loneganites scorn, are guilty of violating  is the principle of irrelevancy. The cutting your nose off dispite yourself principle.

Yet Mulshine surprised me in his blog post.  Despite his nearly constant criticism of Christie for not fulfilling all of his campaign promises in 11 months, Mulshine wrote this line that demonstrates that he can occassionally see beyond his blinders:

“Webber, despite his conversion, is a huge improvement on Tom Wilson, the prior chairman, who agitated for driver’s licenses for illegal aliens. And Christie, despite his flaws, is a huge improvement over Jon Corzine.

But this is just another reminder that the New Jersey Republican Party has a long way to go.”

My apologies to Tom Wilson.

The New Jersey Republican Party does have a long way to go.  However, it has come further in the last year under the leadership of Christie and Webbler than any observer could have predicted.   Had Lonegan been the GOP nominee in 2009, a battle that Mulshine and many other ideological conservatives keep fighting 18 months after they lost it, Jon Corzine would still be governor.  Much of the progress the GOP made this year, in New Jersey and nationally, would not have happened.  More importantly, much of the progress New Jersey made this year would not have happened.

The conundrum of conservative ideologues is that they are more likely to be right, “standing on principle” and lose as they watch life get worse than they are to work with those they agree with on most issues and win.

It’s easier to be right and be a wind bag than it is to win and do the hard work of correcting decades of damage while in the minority.  Rash says leadership is standing on principle.  Yet, thanks in large measure Christie’s work this year, Democrats in Trenton are adopting smaller government principles.  Which is more effective leadership?  Going down in defeat while being right  and then wind bagging or having your political adversaries shift their agenda?  I’ll take the latter.

As we head into 2011 with the entire State Legislature up for reelection, ideologues have a critical choice to make.  Based upon history one might expect them to undermine the progress by targeting otherwise “safe” Republican legislators in primaries with more ideologically pure opponents.  All that would accomplish is to put safe seats at risk.

The smarter and more difficult choice would be to work with, rather than against, those they agree with most of the time to pick up Democratic seats in the legislature.  The ideologues would serve New Jersey better by focusing their criticism on potentially vulnerable Democrats and shifting their focus, even if only temporarily, away from RINOs.  

If the “hard right” can move public opinion in New Jersey to the right, as was done nationally this year, RINOs and Democrats will follow.

Posted: December 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: NJ GOP | Tags: , , , , , | 16 Comments »