Tuesday
Apr242018

Disappointed in the guys running the Freeholder Board

In 2015, the New Jersey Herald supported the election of two local mayors -- Jonathan Rose and Carl Lazzaro -- to the Freeholder Board.  They beat an incumbent Freeholder and his running mate.

On election night, the defeated incumbent said:  "(My running mate) and I didn't only have two individual opponents, we also had the New Jersey Herald as an opponent." 

That's true, along with many regular Republicans who looked at the solar project as a scam and a taxpayer rip-off.  For these reasons, Watchdog also supported Rose and Lazzaro. 

The Herald called the failed solar project "far and away the biggest issue of the campaign."  Rose and Lazzaro were elected on the promise of either making the solar project run efficiently or getting our money back.  

But after getting elected, they formed a Freeholder Board majority with incumbent George Graham that left millions worth of valuable solar panels and equipment unused and rotting away in a warehouse.  

Instead of taking legal advice to go after the bond attorney whose responsibility it was to protect Sussex County taxpayers -- they re-hired him and accepted a large campaign contribution from him. 

They spent more than $500,000 to "study" the problem -- by giving a no-bid contract to the same lawyer whose office had approved the solar project in the first place.  That's right, his office was the taxpayers' last line of defense -- but said "do it" anyway.  Why was hehanded the contract to figure out what had gone wrong? 

Rose and Lazarro praised that report -- which never once mentioned the failure by the bond attorney or the lawyer who wrote the report -- but cost taxpayers $8,064 per page and is all but useless in pursuing a case to claw back some of the millions lost by Sussex County property taxpayers. 

The solar fiasco happened because there were no taxpayer controls over borrowing.  So when a Republican candidate for Freeholder named Herb Yardley suggested that Sussex County adopt the same ordinance that Warren County uses to curb debt -- that no new borrowing occur without the approval of the voters -- you would've expected the majority on the Freeholder Board to support him. 

But that's not what happened.  Freeholders Graham and Lazarro came out in opposition to taxpayer control over borrowing -- leaving the door wide open to future solar-type scams.  To make matters worse, these Freeholders refused to support fellow Republican Yardley because he was in favor of this conservative, common sense proposal.  

Warren County is cutting property taxes because of this reform, while in Sussex County property taxes continue to go up.  But these Sussex Freeholders actually opposed giving property taxpayers controls over debt so much that they would have rather seen a liberal Democrat win than elect a conservative Republican who supports such a reform measure.

Then there's the Freeholders' recent vote to borrow to spend millions more on new buildings for the county community college at a time when community college enrollment is shrinking by 8,000 hours a year and county population is in decline.  It makes no sense -- and the voters had no voice to stop it. 

Why?  It all comes back to transparency and open government.  Rose and Lazarro campaigned on being transparent but have been anything but.  No-bid contracts negotiated and handed out without the knowledge of the Board.  And backroom dealing is so commonplace that county insiders knew Jonathan Rose was the next Freeholder director before he did.  Before the vote was taken, it had been published in the Freeholder agenda.  

If Rose and Lazarro want to be re-elected, they are going to need to explain how the next three years will be different from the last three.  They will need to own up to past mistakes and set out an agenda to correct them.

Stay tuned...

Monday
Apr232018

NJ Herald wrong on motor-voter, as some say prison voting is next.

The New Jersey Herald ran a seriously limp editorial yesterday. 

Here's what they had to say: 

What's the harm in making voting easier? 

New Jersey this week became the 12th state -- the third so far this year -- to approve automatic voter registration when persons get or renew their driver's licenses.

Though voter registration had previously been possible at MVC offices in New Jersey, persons had to opt in. The law passed by the Legislature along party lines and signed by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday automatically would register eligible persons to vote unless they opt out. Eligible, by the way, means that among the criteria, they would have to be legal citizens. 

What the Herald doesn't explain is that at the request of several Democrat-leaning organizations, the majority Democrats amended this bill (A-2014) in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  The committee added language to expand "required automatic voter registration" to other state agencies as well, including welfare and parole offices.  One Democrat claimed that this bill would "help convicts get onto the voter rolls once they have completed their sentences." 

As many who are paying attention to the New Jersey Democrats' agenda already know, the Democrats are very keen on extending voter registration to prison inmates convicted of crimes of all kinds.  Essentially, they want to turn prisons into massive get-out-the-vote operations in order to swing an election or two.  Is A-2014 a first step down that road? 

What is even more curious is what's left out of the bill.  Why isn't a potential voter automatically signed-up when he or she pays property taxes or the state income tax?  How about when someone applies for a hunting or fishing license -- or a firearms permit?  What about automatic registration when you apply for any one of the licenses required to operate a small business or a professional license or a license for self-employment? 

If the goal is to "increase voter turnout" -- then why not cast a wider net?  

The Democrats appear to know exactly which voters they want this law to reach and those they don't much care about.  We hope that A-2014 wasn't the product of mere cynicism and that some good will come from it. 

As for "increasing voter turnout", one suggestion does come to our mind and that is providing voters with more choices.  We'd love to see more parties but in much of New Jersey there are not even two.  In this year's Freeholder races in Sussex County, for instance, the Sussex County Democrats didn't even turn in petitions to run.  That means that only Republicans will be on the ballot in November.

Sussex County isn't alone.  In many other places the Republicans failed to turn in petitions.  Nobody needs a new law to address this.  Just candidates.  One party elections are a good way to kill turnout.

Friday
Apr202018

Will investigation derail Eustace's appointment?

Word comes to us that the Doyen of the LGBT caucus -- Tim Eustace (AKA Brother Eustace, Major Eustace, the Kingfish, Great White...) -- shouldn't get too comfy in that new six-figure job of his.  Eustace's new job puts him in charge of water supplies in northern New Jersey.   

Eustace -- an ally of Sussex Democrats Kate Matteson and Gina Trish, and friend to Bergen politicos like Josh Gottheimer and John McCann -- was appointed by Governor Murphy as the deputy director of North Jersey District Water Supply Commission.  The appointment was considered by many as a "consolation prize" for his being blocked for the State Senate, after a vacancy opened. Just why he was blocked is still unclear.

Sources confirm that multiple ethics violations are being prepared -- and perhaps a New Jersey Election Law Enforcement (NJELEC) violation as well.   Some of this appears to involve the former Assemblyman's use of money raised for his re-election campaign to send a staffer to Nepal with a stop-over in Dubai. It appears that Eustace accompanied the staffer on the far-east excursion.  

Dinner in Dubai?
 
What's up with these Democrats?
 
Now take a look at this...

So let's get this straight.  Democrat Assemblyman Tim Eustace collects money from special interests, so that he and his legislative aide can fly around the world to do what?  You are a state legislator, not a congressman.  New Jersey doesn't have a foreign policy. 

It looks like the former Democrat Assemblyman has some explaining to do.   

Are these Democrats aware that Nepal is one of the worst centers for human trafficking and modern slavery in the world?  While dining with some bigwigs there did they know that, according to the U.S. State Department, "the government of Nepal does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking"?  Here is more, from Wikipedia: 

"Human trafficking in Nepal is a growing criminal industry affecting multiple other countries beyond Nepal, primarily across Asia and the Middle East.   Nepal is mainly a source country for men, women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking... Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, second to drug dealing and tied with arms dealing." 

"Trafficking victims often are taken to locations within Nepal, often from rural areas to the urban centers. Mainly young girls and women are trafficked for sexual exploitation in places such as cabin/dance restaurants, massage parlors, and other places within tourism sector... Within Nepal, labor trafficking is also common: victims often end up in carpet and garment factories, embroidering sweatshops, brick-kilns, and others."  

"The trafficking of girls from Nepal into India for forced prostitution is perhaps one of the busiest slave trafficking routes anywhere in the world, with estimated 5,000-10,000 Nepali women and girls trafficked to India each year.   An estimated 100,000-200,000 Nepali trafficked persons are in India.   Nepali girls are especially desirable as prostitutes in India because they are considered more attractive due to their lighter skin color, and because Nepali virgins are believed to be able to cure AIDS.   Victims are also trafficked for labor in circuses, agriculture, and other manufacturing sectors.   The 1850 kilometers of open, porous border between Nepal and India make trafficking simple and difficult to catch.   In addition, there is no immigration control for Nepalese migrating to India or Indians coming in Nepal under the 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty between India and Nepal.   In addition to being a destination, India is also a transit country for Nepalese and Bangladeshi women trafficked to Pakistan, Western Asia, and the Middle East and for women trafficked from the Russian Federation to Thailand."   

"Victims, especially girls and women, are trafficked to Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Russia, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf states.   Experts believe China is also becoming an emerging hub for Nepali victims.   Many victims who end up overseas are passed through India first before their final destinations... Girls are sold to brothels at prices ranging from 50,000 to 70,000 Indian rupees.   The younger the girl, the higher the price she will be sold for.   Once sold, the girls are property of the brothel owner until they can pay back the amount that was paid for them... One study reported that girls were forced to serve an average of 14 clients per day, with a minimum of three and a maximum of 40 men."

It is a very sad thing to see members of New Jersey's political class -- rich, liberal, and fortunate-to-have-been-born-in-America -- turn a blind eye to their impoverished sisters overseas.  Very sad indeed.

Thursday
Apr192018

This week with Kate & Gina: Why support a stalker?

This is the first in a weekly installment on the comings and doings of that humorless team of Mrs. Grundy and the New Age Church Lady... our own Kate Matteson and Gina Trish. 

Now Kate & Gina are still sore that they lost the last election.  So sore that they haven't shut up about.  Even after those fool Democrats gave Kate the consolation prize of being executive director of the Sussex Democrat Committee, she still whined.  Never mind that she didn't care enough to vote most years.  

Kate & Gina's latest attack is on county Republicans for their support of conservative Republican Steve Lonegan for Congress.  Kate & Gina hate a guy like Lonegan because he believes in traditional -- as opposed to Wiccan -- values.  And he supports the Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment (which Kate & Gina said they did too -- when they were running in 2017 --but have since flip-flopped). 

Apparently Kate & Gina want to repeal the Second Amendment and, if you read what they believe are grounds for barring someone from elective office, the First Amendment as well.  Talk about making a fashion statement!

In their latest hypocrisy, Kate & Gina questioned the "unethical situations" of a certain Republican candidate -- forgetting that they have supported some pretty scurrilous people through their silence and willing accommodation.  Remember this guy...

Kate & Gina want to serve with Raj Mukherji.  They want to join the Democrat Assembly Caucus and support his work.  Why?  Because Kate & Gina put party loyalty before human decency. 

Kate & Gina have accused the Sussex GOP of having "no standard for the candidates they back" -- but what does it say for their "standards" when they refuse to call out a guy like Raj Mukherji?  Whatever you do, don’t call them feminists.

Thursday
Apr192018

Dem Vice Chair Delgado-Polanco is a poor excuse for a labor leader

You have to wonder how some people become labor union leaders.  Most still work their way up through the ranks.  They serve as apprentices, learn their trade, spend years in the trenches, before their fellow brothers and sisters elevate them into leadership.  

But then there's this political appointee fast track.  The military has something like it too.  If you have a qualification they need, you spend two weeks learning how to salute, and then get a bar pinned on you.  No trenches required.  Labor unions have this too.  Just ask Troy Singleton.  He went from Joe Robert's bagman to a union rep in one easy fix... but can he swing a hammer? 

We don't know how Democrat Vice Chair Lizette Delgado-Polanco achieved her position in the hollowed Carpenters & Joiners Union.  We note that she was promoted up through the political side, where it is more important to recite the tired old lines of identity politics, than it is knowing a screw from a nail.  

Delgado-Polanco worked for Charles Kushner (Jared's dad, Ivanka's father-in-law) on Jim McGreevey's 2001 gubernatorial campaign.  She was rewarded for her efforts and given a job in management -- on the wrong side of the negotiating table -- in 2002.  

So how working class is she... really? 

What people like Delgado-Polanco forget is that identity politics is bullshit and what really determines your place in the world is economic class.  Rich one-percenters -- whether they be black, white, or galvanized -- they will have their asses fanned in all the world's garden spots.  And management -- no matter its color or gender or identity -- will always serve the corporation to squeeze the most out of its workers for the least.  Solidarity based on identity is a farce.  

On Tuesday, Delgado-Polanco put out a statement on behalf of the Democrat Party that is plainly out of step with the interests of the blue-collar workers who make up her union.  She put the crony capitalist policies of the Democrat Party of Governor Goldman-Sachs II ahead of the interests of her union brothers and sisters.

The Sanctuary movement doesn't help anybody except the crony capitalist establishment who want a steady stream of unorganized labor at near-slave wages.  It consigns those good people who come here to near-slave status and entraps them in whatever conditions the crony capitalist chooses to keep them in.

The creation of a permanent gray economy undermines any advances made by increasing the minimum wage or mandating benefits, because there will always be the lucrative alternative of going gray.  And the more this "gray" work force is supported by government programs -- the more jobs it will be able to perform at less cost to the crony capitalists who write these "sanctuary" laws (or pay lobbyists to do so).

How does creating a government-supported workforce to drive down wages and drive up competition for jobs benefit the brothers and sisters who make up trade unions like the Carpenters & Joiners Union? 

America's immigration laws are a mess for a reason.  They are purposefully designed to make it very difficult to get into the country and stay legally and very easy to stay illegally.  The system is purposefully designed to create a large pool of near-slave labor. 

Why grow that pool?  Why add to the gray economy of people being used to drive down labor costs?  It is unfair to the immigrant here illegally and most unfair to the skilled worker who must compete with low wage-earners or go without.  It is unfair to the consumers and taxpayers who are paying a high price for the product of unskilled workers.  It only benefits the crony capitalist in bed with the politician.  One gets more money, the other more votes (and some dough for the campaign, no doubt).

The way forward is to create a legal immigration process that takes into account the existing labor pool to protect their jobs and wages.  The great labor union movement once served to raise the working class up from poverty.  Don't allow a few misguided "leaders" to conspire with the political class and their crony capitalist paymasters to drive down wages and destroy the hopes and dreams of working people.

Lizette Delgado-Polanco... meditate on this...