By Michael Laffey
I will put my Conservative credentials up against just about anyone. The first President I voted for was Ronald Reagan. I was a founder of the Conservative Student Union on my College Campus. As a lawyer I have given countless pro-bono hours to conservative legal causes and worked on the campaigns of some of the most conservative politicians this state has seen. As a result I tend to get a little testy when somebody tells me I am not conservative enough because I am pro- immigration and support immigration reform. The truth of the matter is that pro- immigration is the conservative stance. Whether a position is conservative or not depends not on what Rush Limbaugh says but on whether it adheres to bedrock conservative principles.
For instance, we believe in a government of limited powers enumerated in the Constitution. Nowhere does the constitution explicitly give Congress the right to regulate immigration. You can find the power to regulate immigration only if you infer it from other enumerated powers in the Constitution such as the Naturalization clause or the Commerce clause. Of course we have all seen what happens when liberals “infer” powers from the Constitution.
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Posted: November 26th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Immigration, Michael Laffey, Opinion | Tags: Conservatism, conservative, Immigration, Michael Laffey, Rush Limbaugh | 20 Comments »
New Jersey American Water Company and Monmouth County OEM are distributing water at three locations
New Jersey American Water and the Monmouth County OEM have established three water distribution locations where customers may go to receive bottled water. Those locations are:
Middletown High School North
63 Tindall Road, Middletown Township
Middletown High School South
900 Nut Swamp Road Middletown
Oceanport Fire House
Mertyl Ave and Monmouth Ave, Oceanport
The bottled water will be distributed until 11PM or until they run out.
UPDATE 8PM: MMM reader Tom Stokes just called in to report that 1 gallon of water per household is being distrubted at Middletown High School North, regardless of the size of the household. Proof of residency is required to get bottled water.
UPDATE 9:20: Tom Stokes reports the there is no more bottled water to be distributed at Middletown North. NJAWC is waiting for more bottled water to be delivered. They will be at North throughout the night and all day tomorrow, according to Stokes.
Click on the map for a full view of the area affected by the NJAWC water shutdown.
The bridge that collasped this afternoon as part of the “major infrastructure failure” at New Jersey American Water Company’s Swimming River water treatment plant sustained damage during Tropical Storm Irene last August.
Nearby residents are claiming that repairs were not done after Irene and that the bridge was bound to collapse.
Former Tinton Falls GOP Chairman Michael Laffey, an attorney who practices in Holmdel said, “NO work has been done to repair the bridge in the last year. This mess was completely avoidable and someone should be held accountable.”
Richard Barnes, NJAWC’s External Affairs Manager, told MMM that he had no information on the cause of the infrastructure failure. “Right now we’re concentrating on restoring service to our customers. We’ll have more information at a later time.” Peter Eschbach, Director of Communications and External Affairs for NJAWC told a MMM reader who prefers not to be named that “small repairs to the wood” were performed on the bridge after Irene.
Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore told MMM that “this doesn’t look like a quick fix,” after he inspected the site of the infrastructure failure this afternoon. “Irene appears to be the gift that keeps on giving. We don’t know for sure that the storm caused today’s incident, but we remember pointing out the damage to NJAWC last summer and don’t recall repairs being made since.”
Posted: June 29th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Monmouth County | Tags: infrastructure failure, Michael Laffey, New Jersey American Water, NJAWC, Tony Fiore, Water shut off | 5 Comments »
Asbury Park Press pay site is reporting that there is another water main break in Neptune that has left 1600 residences without water.
By Michael Laffey
As an attorney I am often exposed, through my clients, to examples of government ineptitude. Truly there is no scarier phrase then “I am from the government and I’m here to help”.
I recently came across a most glaring example of this. Twenty years ago this person purchased a “low income housing unit” These are typically units that that are built by developers so that towns can meet their COAH obligations. In return the developer gets increased density for its market rate housing. More about that later. These units have deed restrictions that limit the amount the value of the house can appreciate.
This person is now ready to move out of their low income housing. Here is the problem. There are no buyers who qualify as low income. In an effort to assist this person I contacted some experts in this area and found out that even when there are low income buyers available they can not qualify for a mortgage. Apparently there are numerous vacant low income housing units just sitting there. It seems thanks to an activist Supreme Court and an inept government we have housing units that no-one can buy.
Now this is not the first time I have come across flaws in the COAH system. I have also seen examples where someone right out of college had income low enough to purchase low or moderate income housing and a relative willing to help them purchase it. Five years later their income is increased substantially, they have a fat bank account and a BMW in the driveway while living in housing that costs them a pittance. Not really the people who needed government intervention to get a leg up.
Another problem, abuse really, are the people who have illegally rented out their COAH units and made a nice sum of cash. This is more common then you would think.
The real problem however is that COAH housing has done more to increase the cost to live in New Jersey then anything else including overpaid government employees and public employee benefit packages. Here is why. For the last 30 years developers have been able to force communities to allow them to build developments in excess of what the municipality has zoned for by agreeing to also build a small number of low and moderate income housing. This is due to the ill conceived judicial legislation coming out of the Mount Laurel line of cases.
How has this driven up the cost to live in New Jersey? For every residential unit that is built a municipality generally spends $1.50 in services for every $1.00 it gets in tax revenue. This is the reason that taxes are generally higher the more populated a community is.
So thanks to government we have a program to provide affordable housing that really does not work AND has actually made it more expensive to live in New Jersey. In my opinion it has also degraded our quality of life by overdeveloping our communities. For these reasons affordable housing is a perfect example of an area that should not be the responsibility of government.
How do we fix the problem? Unfortunately since the Supreme Court decision that started the whole mess is based on rights the court has found in our state constitution there is only one way to fix the problem. We need an amendment to the State Constitution which in effect overrules the Mount Laurel cases and does away with the Council On Affordable Housing. This will get the government out of the affordable housing business and return zoning control to local municipalities. Since our Legislature in thirty years has not had the courage to do this that will not likely happen until we get initiative and referendum in the State of New Jersey. This will do more to control property taxes going forward then anything else being done.
Posted: March 15th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: COAH | Tags: COAH, Michael Laffey | 15 Comments »
By Michael Laffey
On Tuesday February 8 it was reported in the Asbury Park Press, http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011110208042 , that the Governor vetoed a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas port facility 17 miles off the coast of Asbury Park. This decision is bad for New Jersey business and consumers and the Governor should be urged to reconsider this decision.
Natural gas in its liquid form is not stored under pressure and is not flammable or explosive. When exposed to the environment it quickly evaporates. It therefore cannot result in a slick if it is spilled. The vapors when mixed with air are not explosive in an unconfined area.
- creates less carbon dioxide per BTU than any other carbon based fuel
- is easily transportable
- burns without soot or sulfur dioxide
- is the very plentiful and therefore very inexpensive compared to other fuels
- does not pollute soil or groundwater if released
These facilities operate all over the world. This is not a new or unproven concept. Massachusetts already has two of these facilities. The building of this facility would have created no environmental or safety risk to New Jersey and does not constitute a risk to our tourism industry.
Building of this facility would create good paying jobs for New Jersey residents. It would lower energy costs for consumers and businesses. The Governor wants to attract business to New Jersey and create jobs and this project would do both
This reason this proposal was opposed by environmental groups was because it involves fossil fuels. The unrealistic goal of those opposing the facility is to put fossil fuels out of business. They do not want anything built that would provide low cost fuel to consumers because then expensive inefficient alternative energy sources can not compete.
No matter what your position is on global warming and fossil fuels the fact is that fossil fuels are not going to be replaced by solar and wind power anytime soon. A proper weighing of the economic benefit versus risk of this project leaves no doubt that it should be allowed to move forward.
As a counter to these misguided environmental lobbyists the Governor needs to hear from the people who would get jobs from this project and the businesses and consumers who would benefit from lower energy costs. We need to urge the Governor to reverse his position. He needs to hear from the people who would benefit from this project rather then the misguided special interest groups who currently have his ear.
Posted: February 11th, 2011 | Author: admin | Filed under: Chris Christie | Tags: Chris Christie, LNG, Michael Laffey, Natual Gas | 1 Comment »