Entries in Congressional District 5 (4)

Monday
Feb262018

Lonegan: GOPers who push "moderation" while cutting deals with Dems are an existential threat to our party.

An important and timely message from the father of New Jersey's conservative movement:

Fellow Republicans,

You all know me.

No matter what you think of me, you all know where I stand on the issues. Some of you might accuse me of being too unwavering, unwilling to compromise, but nobody has ever doubted where I'm coming from.

As we watch the Christie era in the rear-view mirror, we need to decide on what kind of party we intend to be. We need to chart a course for the road ahead.

That's very easy for someone like me. The course is free market conservatism, defending freedom at home, and our interests abroad. It is the message of our Republican Party Platform. Simple enough. If you call yourself a Republican, you should value Republican principles.

Unfortunately, that is not who is leading the Republican Party in Bergen County these days. There are too many who look to cut deals with the Democrats -- and not for idealistic policy aims -- but for their personal benefit. Their vision of the Republican Party is a defeatist one, where they seek to benefit from the crumbs swept from the Democrat table. The policies they advocate consist of slavishly mimicking a watered down version of the Democrats' own post-Western, post-Christian, anti-Freedom agenda.

You've probably heard it around the county, and around the state, that a conservative cannot win -- anything. The fact is that the only Republican to win statewide office in over twenty years was both Pro-Life and Pro-Second Amendment. The fact is that those Republicans who get the most votes in New Jersey are consistently the most conservative. The liberal wannabe Republicans can't turnout their base and those they want to convince have someone better to vote for -- a Democrat.

This "moderate" nonsense is like a religion with some of our so-called "leaders" -- those who practice the Janus-faced religion of being all things to all voters. Even though every study and every poll shows that they will not convince a Democrat to vote Republican in this starkly divisive climate, they hold true to the faith that turning-off a dozen conservatives is worth every liberal vote they pick-up.

The way forward is clear for 2018: Maximum Republican and conservative turnout. A full effort.

Of course, there are some within our party who are working against this. Some who are personally enmeshed with the Democrats. It's happening in other parts of the state as well. Democrats are playing in our primary. In every congressional battleground in the state, there is a former Democrat running as a Republican or a liberal Republican with Democrat-ties claiming to be a conservative. Every one.

They are there for one reason: To make us spend money so we won't have it to hit the Democrats in the General Election. Here in Bergen County, I am facing an opponent who was described by the Bergen Record as the "right hand man" to Democrat Sheriff Michael Saudino. Let's not forget that it was Saudino's feud with the Republican County Executive that lost us control of our county. Saudino, followed that up by joining Hillary Clinton and Josh Gottheimer on a ticket that crushed the BCRO. Through it all, my opponent remained employed by Sheriff Saudino, as his trusted consigliore, and actually started his campaign while still on the Democrat's payroll.

Now we all know where Sheriff Saudino stands on this election. He's backing fellow Democrat Josh Gottheimer for re-election this year. So are Mayors Harry Shortway of Vernon and Harry Shortway of Midland Park. They held an event for my opponent at their family bar in Passaic County. Did you follow that? They are endorsing Democrat Josh Gottheimer in the General Election but held an event to help my opponent in the Republican primary. Meanwhile, in a neighboring district, the insider-backed "Republican" candidate wouldn't tell a room full of Republicans how he voted for President in 2008 (Obama vs. McCain), 2012 (Obama vs. Romney), or 2016 (Clinton vs. Trump). And like my opponent, this fellow seems to be allergic to voting in a Republican primary.

Our party faces an existential threat from those who cut deals with Democrats and then preach the religion of "moderation" while pushing fake Republican candidates on us. We must resist them, whether they are well-meaning and stupid or slick and treacherous. It is time to use the Republican Party Platform and our conservative principles as the measure by which we judge our candidates. If some of our so-called "leaders" don't like that platform or our principles, they are free to leave the party and start their own. I, for one, am sick and tired of being dictated to by a small group of professional political "leaders" who are totally out of touch with the thoughts and views of most Republicans. It is time for them to go.

A party that knows what it is about, is a party that can convince people to get involved, contribute, and win. This holds true up and down our ticket. The message of lower taxes, less government, and individual freedom is a winning one. The Democrats' warmed-over socialism, leavened with coarse identity politics has, in the end, always lost.

Thank you for your time and I hope I will have your support to secure our primary in June and defeat the Democrats in November. If you have any insights you would like to share with me, please feel free to send me an email at steve@lonegan.com.

Thank you,
Steve Lonegan

Wednesday
Feb212018

John McCann hurt police officers. Read their stories.

A federal lawsuit filed last year contains the personal testimony of dozens of veteran law enforcement officers who fell victim to a power play by the Democrat Sheriff of Bergen County.  According to the Bergen Record, John McCann was the Democrat Sheriff's "right-hand man" and a major cause of what went down.  Many police officers had their lives changed.  Here are a few of their stories:

"In 2014 my wife and I decided to have our 2nd child even though there were talks of merging the Bergen County Police with the Sheriff's Department.  We both agreed that we could afford to make this life changing decision based on the fact that the merger specifically stated there would be no layoffs, and no decrease in pay.

We had purchased a smaller home, which needed improvements... We are not going to be able to make these improvements or expand our home due to the impending layoff or pay decrease.  In fact we may lose our home if these changes take place.

My wife and I were discussing the possibility of having a third child as recently as February of this year.  However this will not happen now because of these layoffs."

***

"In 2015, I got engaged.  In 2016, I got married and purchased a home.  In 2017, I welcomed another child into my family... I have a wife and two children, ages 6 and 3 months.  Now with the threat of a potential layoff, not only will my life be affected, but my family will be negatively affected as well."

***

"I have been employed by Bergen County as a Police Officer since July, 2004.  I have recently re-financed my 30 year mortgage to a 15 year mortgage due to the promise that the Sheriff, County Executive, and Freeholder Board made that my job was safe when they merged us.  I am also the caregiver to my elderly parents... If I am demoted, I will not be able to afford the extra payments that a 15 year mortgage brings as well as care for my parents in a way that they deserve."

***

"I can personally say the moral and pride I had as a County Police Officer has been stripped away and this entire process has affected me personally.  I never knew what it was like to go to work and be unhappy.  I've always loved my career and the organization I worked for.  There are often times I get sick to my stomach thinking of how the politicians have destroyed this place and everything it represented.  My mind is consumed with thoughts of whether or not I will be able to retire..."

*** 

"I am a single father of two children.  I have full custody of my children... I had financial plans in place to send my oldest daughter who is currently in high school to attend specific colleges she had picked out.  With this demotion I will no longer be able to pay for my daughter's college education..."

***

"In August of 1996 I joined what I believed was a dedicated profession and well known department... I joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1982... I was activated in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm... I retired with 20 years of service in 2003.

...I have made many life choices on the promises and assurance my family and I would be able to live without the threat of losing our home or not being able to afford the basic simple lifestyle we have had in our lives.  Upon the assurance of the County of Bergen, the politicians and the Bergen County Sheriff my family committed to providing an education for my son that now involves the payment of an incredible amount of education loans."

***

"I am currently a Police Officer with the Bergen County Sheriff's Department... I am also a United States Disabled Combat Veteran.  I served four and a half years with the 82nd Airborne Division, with a fifteen-month deployment to Iraq as an Infantryman... With the promise of job security, I continued my life as any other reasonable person would have.  I recently purchased a home and have plans to marry my longtime girlfriend, whom this layoff also affects tremendously..."

It's no wonder then that candidate John McCann is so agitated by questions regarding the accumulation of power by Democrat politicians (and the concurrent loss of power of local elected Republicans).

Wednesday
Jan312018

Did the McCann campaign lie to national Republicans?

The campaign of congressional candidate John McCann recently issued a press release claiming to have been placed "on the radar" by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).  "On the radar" is the first designation in the NRCC's "Young Guns" program, which highlights "promising" candidates.

To get considered for this program and to obtain the "on the radar" designation, a candidate's campaign must first fill out a lengthy questionnaire and complete a background survey with questions like:

- If you are an attorney, please list the type of clients/nature of litigation (corporate, criminal defense, family, etc.) and any noteworthy cases that could potentially be relevant in a congressional campaign:

- Have you ever owned or run a business?

- If so, has this business ever been a part of any legal proceedings such as a suit, judgment, bankruptcy, etc.?

- Please list any history/problems with your business partners (bad breakups, criminal history, sanctions, significant lawsuits, etc.).

- Have you or your business ever had any tax warrants, liens, etc., filed against you? Were annual business filings consistently submitted on time?

- Have your personal finances been thoroughly examined, including analysis of any foreclosures, personal bankruptcy filings, investments, etc.? Are all taxes up-to-date?

- Is there anything in your past that has not been addressed in this questionnaire that you see as a potential vulnerability in your run for Congress? 

Considering the answers that McCann would have had to provide to questions like these -- if answered truthfully -- we fail to see how the McCann campaign could have possibly obtained entry into the program or secured the designation for their candidate.  If answered truthfully, that is.

We understand that some law enforcement officers who have been in legal disputes with Mr. McCann, an attorney, have accumulated enough background material on him to choke a horse.   And his tax liens and such make for a poor public record.  A quick look at this website will make you wonder what is going on inside the brain cavities at the NRCC:

https://www.realjohnmccann.com/

Could it just be desperation?  The chicken wing of the congressional GOP has been cutting and running rather than standing on its record in 2018.  Nearly half of New Jersey's Republican incumbents have quit rather than fight.  Because of them, New Jersey might well be on its way to becoming another Massachusetts.  And it is no surprise that these incumbents are -- like McCann -- from the GOP's liberal Whitman "My-Party-Too" crowd.  They long ago cut ties with the conservatives who make up the Republican base. 

Maybe the NRCC is taking anyone with a pulse into these programs?  Based on its acceptance of a candidacy as shambolic as McCann's is, the NRCC no longer has the high standards and stringent requirements it once did.

Well, we owe it to you -- our readers -- to get to the bottom of this.  So we are going to publish the questions asked by the NRCC, and the details of what should have been revealed by the McCann campaign to them.  Then we are going to ask the NRCC... Why? 

But not just the NRCC staff.  Because anyone who has read Donna Brazile's new book knows how corrupt national committees can become.  Here's a piece of the story, courtesy of Politico...

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/02/clinton-brazile-hacks-2016-215774

So judge for yourself as to whether or not "corruption" of one kind or another could have figured into what happened.  What we do know is that there are eight elected public employees who are responsible for the oversight of the NRCC and should be held to account for its decisions.  They are all members of Congress themselves, and all accountable to the people and to the media -- inside their districts, as well as the wider media.  So we will be reaching out to them as well and asking them:  "Knowing this... why did you allow this to happen?" 

Maybe they didn't know?  Maybe they caught a line of bullshit?  Maybe somebody is doing somebody a favor?  Maybe they are scared and believe that it's all over but the shouting?  Who knows?  And that's why we are going to ask.

Monday
Jan082018

"Moocher" label: Democrat Gottheimer's coded racism?

Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) has been throwing the "M-word" around again.  The Bergen County Democrat has taken to social media to decry what he calls "moocher states" -- which Gottheimer defines as those who get more back than they pay in. 

According to Gottheimer, the country's top "moocher" is Mississippi, the state with the highest percentage of African-American residents -- 37 percent and growing.  In contrast, New Jersey's percentage -- 13 percent -- is about a third of Mississippi's.  So what is Congressman Gottheimer trying to say and who is he calling "moochers"?

Perhaps the real reason Mississippi receives more in federal money than New Jersey does, is that the folks who live in Mississippi are -- on average -- much poorer than those who reside in New Jersey.  According to the latest data from the United States Census Bureau, Mississippi is the poorest state in America, with a median household income of just $40,593.  In contrast, New Jersey is the fourth richest state in America, with a median household income of $72,222.  Only Maryland, Hawaii, and Alaska had higher median household incomes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

By another measurement -- covering the years 2010-2014 -- New Jersey is the second richest state in America, with a Per Capita Income of $37,288.  By this measurement, Mississippi is again the poorest state in America, with a Per Capita Income of just $21,036.

In applying the "moocher" label to Mississippi, Democrat Gottheimer claims that New Jersey gets back just 33 cents for every dollar it sends to Washington, while Mississippi receives $4.38 for every dollar it sends to Washington.  Despite Gottheimer's claims, the Pew Charitable Trust Reports that New Jersey received far more in actual federal money than did the state he mocks as a "moocher":

But the Democrat has raised an interesting concept in his claim that some places "mooch" off other places when they get back from government more than they pay in.  If there are "moocher states" as Democrat Gottheimer claims, can we apply Gottheimer's measurement to other cases -- such as the relationship between municipalities or school districts within a state.  If, as the Democrat Congressman claims, there are places that "mooch" off the federal government, does it not also follow that there are places that "mooch" off state government?

This was the central idea behind State Senator Mike Doherty's Fair School Funding plan, which he championed back in 2012.  According to Doherty (R-23) and his acolytes, the solemn promise made to the voters when the state income tax was established -- that the proceeds would be used so that property taxes could be reduced -- was broken by the state judiciary (the failsafe of the political establishment) when it absconded with the revenue from the state income tax and directed that it be used for social engineering purposes, in what became known as the Abbott Decision.  Worse still was that the two other branches of the State's government -- the Executive and the Legislature -- allowed the Judiciary to get away with it.

In effect, New Jersey's judiciary set up a "moocher" and "mooched upon" relationship within New Jersey, based on the municipality that you happened to reside in.  This is the world now -- as Democrats like Josh Gottheimer see it:  The "moochers" and those "mooched upon."

So who are the "moochers" in Democrat Gottheimer's brave new world? 

In 2012, Senator Doherty conducted a series of town-hall meetings in which he demonstrated how some municipalities in New Jersey were -- to use Democrat Gottheimer's phrase -- "mooching" off other municipalities.  Using data supplied by the Department of the Treasury, Department of Education, and the Office of Legislative Services, Doherty compared two towns -- one, a so-called "Abbott" District in Monmouth County; the other, a non-Abbott in Sussex County.

Like the federal income tax, New Jersey has a progressive income tax.  Those who earn more, pay more.  According to the figures provided to Senator Doherty, the top 1% of earners pay 38.5 percent of the state income tax, while the bottom 33 percent pay nothing.

Doherty compared Asbury Park, an Abbott District, with Sparta Township, a non-Abbott, and found that the average Sparta resident paid almost 6 times as much income tax as the average resident of Asbury Park:

Doherty also found that the average student in Asbury Park got back 17 times as much in income tax revenue as the average student in Sparta Township:

In what Congressman Gottheimer would call a clear case of mooching, Asbury Park paid in just a sixth -- in income taxes per person -- of what Sparta did, but got back 17 times more!

Senator Doherty made the point that New Jersey got back just 61 cents on every dollar it sent to Washington, DC, but noted that for non-Abbott towns like Sparta, the return was even worse on the state income tax money it sent to Trenton. 

            Sparta Twp - $5,611,989 / $36,267,481 = $0.15

            Asbury Park - $57,632,816 / $3,835,809 = $15.02

That's right.  Towns like Sparta get back 15 cents on every dollar they pay in state income tax to Trenton.

Senator Doherty noted that unlike everywhere else in America, New Jersey's school funding formula -- and its use of the state's revenue from the income tax -- left many of its towns without a basic threshold with which to educate their children.  And because of this, New Jersey needed artificially high property taxes to pay for the children in these revenue-starved towns.

The Trenton Democrats have argued that these so-called Abbott towns need all that revenue because they are economically disadvantaged.  Yes, they once were,  but the Democrats have ignored the economic gentrification going on in places like Hoboken, Jersey City, and Asbury Park -- and the enormous influx of wealthy professionals and rich corporations.  The Democrats' formula for apportioning the state's take from the income tax is locked in a time warp -- based on figures decades old. 

In fact, when the state commissioned a study on how effective its formula was at helping economically disadvantaged children, the state's own figures showed that it missed half the state's poor children -- those who lived outside the so-called Abbott towns.  That was a decade ago, the Abbotts have only grown collectively richer since then.

Today we have a situation where poor families in suburban and rural New Jersey are subsidizing rich people in chic urban hotspots.  Their cut of the revenue from the state income tax allows these hotspots to keep their property taxes comparatively low.  Why should rich Hoboken get its property taxes underwritten by the income tax revenue paid by rural Warren County?

 Warren County has double the population of Hoboken City (107,000 to 52,000) but the population of Hoboken has been growing while Warren is shrinking (5% vs. -1%).

And while Hoboken has just 800 veterans, Warren County has over 7,000.

The per capita income of Hoboken City is over $70,000.  This compares with Warren County, at $33,000.

The median value of an owner-occupied home is $550,700 in Hoboken but only $271,100 in Warren County.

The U.S. Census reported that 5.5% of the people in Hoboken are without health insurance vs. 12.5% of those in Warren County.

73.5% of those 25 or older in Hoboken have graduated from college.  In Warren County that figure is 29.6%.

So why do Trenton Democrats continue to support a system that allows rich people in Hoboken to "mooch" off poor families in Warren County?  Somebody needs to ask Democrats like Phil Murphy and Tim Eustace next time they hold a press conference with Josh Gottheimer to complain about "moocher states."