Democratic leaders in Trenton are working on increasing the only tax in New Jersey that is not one of the highest in the nation, the gasoline tax.
In a February meeting with The Star Ledger Editorial Board, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto said he favored increasing the 14.5 cent gas tax and that he favored a tax on water consumption.
Senator Ray Lesniak proposed a 29% increase in the gasoline tax in March.
Former Monmouth Democratic Chairman Victor Scudiery
Former Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Victor V. Scudiery wrote Lesniak to oppose an increase in the gasoline tax on March 25. Not having heard back from Lesinak, Scudiery sent his letter to all members of the legislature yesterday and released it to the press:
March 25, 2014
Senator Raymond J. Lesniak
985 Stuyvesant Avenue
Union, NJ 07083
Dear Senator Lesniak:
I was disappointed to read that you are proposing raising the tax on gasoline here in New Jersey to pay help for repairs to our roadways.
Have you considered taxing the oil companies I believe that the road repairs should be their responsibility; after all, it appears we have no control over the increase at the gas pumps each week. In 2008 gasoline was $1.89 per gallon, look what has happened in just six (6) short years. We continue to see a rise in gasoline prices weekly and the average person just cannot afford the current prices let alone another tax.
If the current taxes collected on gasoline were used solely to repair roads as was the original intent, instead of using it for other items in the state budget, it would not be necessary to add any new taxes. These taxes would be more than enough funds to repairs our roads, bridges and tunnels, which incidentally are one of the highest labor and material costs in the nation.
It is time for all our Elected Officials to look for ways to cut and control spending and keep our residents financial hardships at the forefront.
Former Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is
Victor V. Scudiery, the Monmouth County businessman and former 23 year Chairman of the Monmouth County Democrats, is backing up his endorsement of Newark Mayor Cory Booker in the August 13 Special U.S. Senate Primary with an aggressive negative endorsement of Congressman Frank Pallone.
Scudiery is launching a personally financed campaign this morning designed to weaken Pallone’s support in his 6th Congressional district home base of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties. Scudiery’s efforts are independent of and without the prior knowledge of the Booker for Senate campaign.
The $45,000 campaign includes a mailing to 75,000 likely Democratic primary voters, print ads in local weekly newspapers and a web based ad campaign on local websites.
“I might even spend more by the time the 13th (the August 13th primary) comes around,” Scudiery said this morning.
“He’s all about himself, not for the people,” Scudiery said of the congressman whose tenure coincided with his own marathon as party chairman, “When I brought him to events, non-political events, like for senior citizens, Italian-Americans or small businesses, people would always say, ‘Frank, you never got back to me, I need your help,’ He’s been an embarrassment. He rarely followed through. When he did follow through, it was usually with excuses, not results.”
Former Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vic Scudiery was honored by Democratic leaders from throughout New Jersey last week at the annual Democratic Chairman’s Ball. Scudiery retired as chairman if June after 23 years of service.
The following video was shown at the event which occured at Windows on the Water in Sea Bright on Thursday evening September 27:
Sister Elizabeth Garvey, the Executive Director of the Bayshore Senior Center in Keansburg passed away on Monday. She was 82 years old.
Sr. Elizabeth was a graduate of Red Catholic High School and Georgian Court University where she earned an MA in Education. She entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1950. Following a 28 year ministry in education she devoted the last 31 years to serving the senior citizens of Monmouth County’s bayshore.
Her love, compassion and commitment had a profound and positive impact on the lives she touched. Sr. Elizabeth inspired love, compassion and commitment in others.
Victor Scudiery, Chairman of the Senior Center’s Board, struggled for words to describe his loss. “She was a good friends and I loved her dearly. We worked together through some very tough times.”
John McCarthy, a Hazlet business owner who also serves on the board said Sr. Elizabeth was ” a beautiful beautiful person with a spine of steel. She never gave up. When she walked into a room she commanded the presence of everyone there.”
Senator Joe Kyrillos said, “Susan and I loved and respected Sister Garvey and will miss her very much. She touched many loves in our community and was a speical person, a force for good. May God bless her.”
Visitation is until 7PM this evening at St. Ann Church in Keansburg. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow the visitation.
The Monmouth Democratic Party’s second quarter campaign finance report, due July 15th, has not been posted on the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission’s website as of this afternoon. Dem Chairman Vin Gopal told MMM that the report was filed with ELEC, along with the report designating him as the new chairman, on July 10th. Gopal said he would contact ELEC resolve the problem.
At the end of the first quarter, the Monmouth Dems had $6,305.14 cash on hand and was $78,025 in debt. Over $60K of the debt was owed to then County Chairman Victor Scudiery. Gopal said that the second quarter report “was pretty much the same, less than $10,000 on hand.”
The Democratic county candidates, Kevin Lavan and Bill Shea for Freeholder and Michael Steinhorn for Clerk, have $64.14 between them as of their post-primary reports. Lavan and Steinhorn each told ELEC that they were not raising or spending money for the primary race. Shea raised over $20K, but spent all but $64.14 in the uncontested primary.
The Monmouth GOP appears to be in better shape. The GOP committee reported $34,790.31 in cash as of June 30th. In their post-primary reports, Freeholder Director John Curley reported $22,554.81 in cash; Freeholder Serena DiMaso reported $11,401.19 and County Clerk Claire French reported $14,673.21.
Monmouth County Republican Chairman John O. Bennett III has instructed all county and state elected officials, with the exception of this year’s candidates, to suspend raising money as of August 1 so as to not compete with his fundraising activities for the coming county campaign. Bennett promised Curley, DiMaso and French that he would raise the funds necessary for the fall campaign.
Vin Gopal, a Monmouth County business owner and 11th District Assembly candidate, formally launched his campaign to replace Victor Scudiery as Chairman of the Monmouth County Democrats today. Scudiery sent a letter to his county committee members this week announcing that he is not seeking another term.
In a post on Blue Jersey, Gopal said that he has filled 75 vacant county committee seats in the past few weeks and that Monmouth County Democrats would work to defeat U. S. Senate candidate Joe Kyrillos in his home county.
Together, we will challenge Joe Kyrillos vote by vote in his home county and I will work tirelessly to make sure that happens.
In a press release this morning, Gopal boasted of the support he has received from more than 100 Democratic Leaders and the unanimous endorsement of the Monmouth-Ocean AFL-CIO Central Labor Council.
Marlboro Council President Frank LaRocca is expect to challenge Gopal for the chairmanship. LaRocca was not available for comment.
MMM has learned that the fight will be with Marlboro Councilman Frank LaRocca.
Gopal is a business owner and Scudiery’s partner in Community Publications, the publisher of four monthly newspapers and a magazine serving Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Colts Neck, Fair Haven, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Matawan, Middletown, Red Bank, Rumson, Sea Bright, and Union Beach. He was an Assembly candidate in the 11th legislative district this year.
LaRocca, along with his running mates, Mayor Jon Hornick and Council President Randi Marder were reelected in Marlboro earlier this month. LaRocca, Hornick and Marlboro Deputy Mayor Larry Rosen are law partners.
With the chairman’s election not until June, there is plenty of time for other players to enter the race.
There has not been a contest for the Monmouth County Democratic chairmanship since 2000 when then Red Bank Mayor Ed McKenna unsuccessfully challenged Scudiery for the post.