Entries in Governor Chris Christie (25)

Tuesday
Mar132018

Phil Garber and the NJ Democrats' Fake News machine

Phil Garber is a small-time editor of a weekly newspaper operating out of Mount Olive, in Morris County.  Garber has never heard of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the oldest association of writers and editors in the United States, and if he had heard of them, his actions over the years confirm that he's never read the Code of Ethics of the SPJ. 

In a recent headline, Garber reported that Mount Olive is getting $292,500 from the state for a repaving project.  Garber noted that the funds were possible because of the recent gas tax increase that has more than doubled the amount of funds for local road and bridge safety improvement projects.

Of course, Garber had pissed all over the Republican who led the fight to prevent the bankruptcy of the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), from which those funds were drawn.  That was in 2016.  The Tax Restructuring Package that cut five taxes and re-funded the TTF through a 23-cents a gallon increase on gasoline was passed in 2016 and signed into law by Republican Governor Chris Christie on October 14, 2016.

But that did not stop Editor Garber from making this the first sentence of his story:  "The first fruits of the new administration of Gov. Phil Murphy have been harvested in terms of a grant of $292,500 for the first phase of repaving International Drive North."

No shit.  Phil "the swallower" Garber wants us to swallow this.  The "first fruits" of an administration that didn't take office until January 16, 2018.  How did that work?

Garber works for a newspaper that is owned by the wife of Mark Magyar, one of Senate President Steve Sweeney's top aides.  In December of 2014, Magyar was hired as the Democrat's new Director of Policy and Communications.  Magyar had been a statehouse reporter for the Asbury Park Press and the Bergen Record, as well as the editor of the New Jersey Spotlight.

The corporate and political empire of Democrat Party boss George Norcross -- the political machine of which the Senate President is a part -- has a history of co-opting or attempting to co-opt local and regional newspapers in that part of New Jersey where his authoritarian rule is almost uncontested.  The machine is in the process of solidifying its rule in its southern New Jersey base, while expanding its power across the state -- and beyond.  The machine is allied with powerful lawyer-lobbyists like former Governor Jim Florio and Camden County Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli, who are expanding into neighboring states.  And while the machine's first such foray ended in prosecution and tumult, it might well be successful, and could usher in a period of sustained, anti-democratic ruthlessness, unique in the experience of post-Prohibition America.

Mark Magyar is the spouse of Elizabeth K. Parker, Co-publisher and Executive Editor the New Jersey Hills Media Group.  The group is controlled by the Recorder Publishing Company, a privately held entity in Bernardsville, that owns and publishes 17 local newspapers in Republican Morris County, Somerset County, and Hunterdon County -- and in Republican towns in Essex County.  Their readership comes from towns that usually get the short end of the sick from the Democrats in Trenton.

Elizabeth Parker owns Recorder Publishing with her brother, Co-publisher and Business Manager Stephen W. Parker.  He oversees the print and on-line advertising operations.  The company also sells other services, including website development, search engine optimization, "Reputation Management", and "Social Media Management".

Some of the newspapers they control have been around for more than a century -- like the Hunterdon Review, established in 1868; the Bernardsville News, 1897; Madison Eagle, 1880; and The Progress, 1911.  Recorder Publishing was started by the late Cortlandt Parker, who founded the Morris Observer in 1955.  His company expanded to its current size with the acquisition of the Eagle-Courier Group in 1991. 

Cortlandt Parker, who died in 2002, had residences in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and Boston, Massachusetts.  His New York Times obituary describes him as having progressive positions on "social issues" and cites as an example his refusal to accept cigarette advertising in his newspapers "before it was common to do so."

While taking a position against the generally working class pleasure of tobacco, Mr. Parker was an advocate of that upper class pleasure -- wine.  He founded the Greenvale Vineyards in Rhode Island and published several magazines about the wine industry in the Finger Lakes region of New York, New England, Long Island, and Virginia.  The New England Wine Gazette is published by Recorder Publishing, at its Bernardsville operation.

Newspapers were never as pure or disinterested as their cheerleaders would have us believe, but at least -- once upon a time/ just yesterday -- they did constitute a locus of power independent of political machines.  Not necessarily of their corporate advertisers (per Herman and Chomsky), but certainly of base political machines.  Those days are drawing to a close. 

New Jersey is unique in its forms and ways of political corruption -- especially of systemic corruption -- in that it rides the wave just ahead of the rest of America.  Sadly, it appears that what we once called journalism is on a rapid descent into the realms of propaganda and in future will be little more than coarse party broadsheets -- advertisements using histrionics worthy of Pravda or the Völkischer Beobachter.

Friday
Nov112016

Tuesday a bad day for folks who prefer b.s. to truth

Lots of Big Lies fell on Tuesday:  "Hillary is inevitable," "Trump can't win," and so on.  Among those Big Lies was the one fabricated by Bill Spadea about Ballot Question 2. 

Over the past year, Bill Spadea has used the corporate resources of Townsquare Media and Oaktree Capital Management in an effort to make Spadea a major player in New Jersey politics.  Those corporate resources are worth tens of millions of dollars and the airtime alone expended by Spadea and his agents would have cost the average political campaign millions to buy.  All it took was a complacent board of directors and a greedy local management for Spadea to accomplish this enormous appropriation of resources and capital.

 

Spadea accomplished what some would have considered impossible.  He took hold of wallflower Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and tore her away from the Governor who had mentored and promoted her.  Spadea smirked as the Lt. Governor performed stunts for him, like opposing Governor Christie on Ballot Question 2.  The Lt. Governor's Super PAC spent money to defeat Ballot Question 2 as she campaigned across the state on a platform that included advocating for a NO vote on both Question 2 and Donald Trump.

 

Guadagno was joined by the usual Christie-haters and by two Sussex County Assembly members who had temporarily (one hopes) lost their good sense. Spadea, who is a kind of patron saint for failed candidates for political office, attracted such ran-and-lost types as Mark Quick (lost for Congress and Assembly), Peter Vallorosi (lost for Congress), Michael Cino (lost for Congress twice), and Harvey Roseff (lost for township council and Freeholder).

 

None of these people did dick for Donald Trump or Congressman Scott Garrett.  Vallorosi and Cino actually softened up Congressman Garrett in the primary -- something that enormously benefitted the eventual left liberal, Clintonista Democrat winner -- Josh Gottheimer.  Mark Quick had ran an earlier campaign against Garrett , which also added to Garret's troubles.  This trio and their friends claim to be "conservative" but what kind of conservatives pick a fight with someone they agree with 95% of the time, in order to elect a left liberal who they will almost never agree with? 


Vallorosi, Cino, and Quick are idiots.  Those who have anything to do with them are idiots.  These three and those who give them material and emotional support now have what they wanted -- conservative Republican Scott Garrett has been defeated and left liberal, Clintonista Democrat Josh Gottheimer is now the member of Congress for Sussex County.  Good job asswipes!   

 

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno is an idiot too.  She followed the fluttering eyelashes of Billy "the hand" Spadea.  Like those above, she bought the Big Lie and spent money pushing a NO vote on Ballot Question 2.  For good measure, Guadagno chose to give Donald Trump a barbed wire enema -- telling the media that she wasn't going to vote for him (which was supporting Hillary Clinton by default).  Lining up with Guadagno were Sussex County's two Assembly members, who inexplicably lent their names to this pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQ, anti-Trump liberal's campaign to defeat Ballot Question 2.  What happened to common sense?

 

Spadea has been a political loser his whole life.  He thought he was part of an historic wave when he tried to split the RNC and start a far-right third party in the mid-1990's.  That failed.  Then he ran for Congress and lost.  He started his "Red Shirt" movement, the "Building a New Majority" project, promoted a statewide GOP candidate who would transform the Republican Party to remake it in his vision.  Failed, failed, and failed again.  He even set his sights lower, ran for Assembly, and found himself blocked.  Another failure.  Bitterness followed.

 

Then he was rescued by FOX. Given a late-night "news of a kind" show.  Then the popular host of NJ101.5 had an accident, and Spadea found himself with a lever of power that he quickly learned and used to pursue his personal ambitions.

 

But Spadea went too far.  Having lost the gas tax vote he decided on the "Big Lie" approach and made up the myth that Ballot Question 2 was a vote on the gas tax.  People like Kim Guadagno believed him, but groups like American for Prosperity (AFP) and Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) saw Spadea's bullshit for what it was.  On Tuesday, voters saw through the b.s., rejected the Big Lie, and Spadea lost once again.

Tuesday
Nov082016

Guadagno won't "vote for Trump"

President Barack Obama can't bring himself to say the words "Islamic terrorism."  For Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, the words she can't say are "vote for Donald Trump."

 

But she's played fast and loose -- just like she did when it came time to tell voters where she stood on abortion.  Back when she was a candidate for the Assembly in 2007, Kim Guadagno assured party leaders that she was Pro-Life.  But when Chris Christie needed a Pro-Choice candidate for Lt. Governor as "balance" to his ticket, Guadagno quickly raised her hand and assured the world that she supported abortion. 

 

Of course, there are those who just LOVE Guadagno because -- after 2,473 days in office -- she's had an opinion other than the Governor's.  Unfortunately, it was "Red Shirt" leader Bill Spadea's.  That opinion was this:  That after 25 years of not raising revenue sufficient to pay for road and bridge maintenance, the state should continue to borrow just to cover the cost of the existing debt and that property tax increases should be used to fund actual transportation needs.

 

The cost to taxpayers of Guadagno's plan:  Property tax hikes of $574.00 each year.

 

We get a big kick out of so-called "conservatives" who say they support Guadagno.  Apparently, using future generations to subsidize cheap gas for today is more important to these "conservatives" than are the deaths of thousands of unborn children.  It is a scientific fact that after 20 weeks, these children feel pain, but that hasn't stopped New Jersey from remaining among an uncivilized remnant of nations (principally Communist China, Vietnam, and North Korea) that refuse to accept science.

 

Guadagno's latest loosey-goosey is to put out a robo-call saying that she supports the Republican ticket but without mentioning the word "Trump."  In this way she can tell liberal Democrats next year that she stands by her statement of October 9, 2016, about "not voting for Trump" (and thereby helping to elect rabidly pro-abortion Hillary Clinton and assure liberal control of the U.S. Supreme Court), while sliming GOP voters this year into thinking she's with them.  Everybody will be happy except the children.  The unborn will continue to die and those born will be handed the bill for the cheap gas subsidy that she's hoping will be her ticket to following Chris Christie into the Governor's office.

 

Guadagno's co-conspirator in this latest sham is none other than that flip-flopper in chief, Assemblyman Erik "Twister" Peterson.  The "Twister" (as he is known) can take a vote to support a ballot question in January and then act like he's never read it a few months later.  And he can sound just as convincing when he is talking out of either side of his mouth, swearing that both ways are "conservative."  Was he actually there when the vote was taken or is this a special talent?  Who knows?

 

Guadagno and Peterson should stop pandering to everyone -- especially the neo-fascist wing of the Alt-Right .  Pay attention to the debate, read, make up your mind, and then stick to it.  Yes, we know things change and there's always more information to be had, but a radio talk show isn't new information -- it is entertainment designed to sell vinyl siding, used cars, and suppositories of one sort or another. 

 

Political leaders and adults of any kind should avoid believing that listening to Bill Spadea takes the place of the serious, sober, consideration of rational policy.  The Spadea show is not only a poor substitute, it is no substitute at all.  Quite the opposite.

 

 

Guadagno, before she replaced Governor Christie with talk radio host Spadea.

 

Monday
Nov072016

Lt. Gov. Guadagno votes NO on Trump!

On October 9th, Republican Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno told the Star-Ledger:  

"I won't vote for Donald Trump."

You can read the full article, Lt. Gov. Guadagno breaks with Christie, won't vote for Trump, here:

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/10/lt_gov_guadagno_breaks_with_christie_wont_vote_for.html

Friday
Nov042016

Phoebus flip-flops on Gas Tax Question

Speaking at a meeting in Newton Wednesday night, Assemblyperson Gail Phoebus executed an about-face on protecting gas tax revenue for transportation projects. 

 

When asked how she would vote on Ballot Question 2, Phoebus gave the old "my issues are your issues" response and told those present that she would vote whatever way they wanted her to vote.  Phoebus didn't mention that she had voted for Ballot Question 2 earlier this year, when it was discussed and debated for months on its way through the Legislature.

 

Was she awake during those legislative proceedings?  Was she playing video games on her iphone? 

 

Apparently Assemblyperson Phoebus scares easily.  A combination of Alt-Right "Red Shirts" led by Bill Spadea (who was tossed out of the GOP twenty years ago for attacking President Reagan and trying to set up a far-right alternative to the Republican Party) and far-left liberals like Democrat State Senator Ray "Lord of Ass" Lesniak (New Jersey's biggest proponent of left-liberal cultural values) are trying to defeat Ballot Question 2.

 

For Spadea, it is about power.  If he can derail the vote, he can build his new order movement and split the GOP.  For Lesniak, it is about giving the majority Democrats in the Legislature the power to take the money from the gas tax and use it to do things like replenish the funding for Planned Parenthood that Governor Christie took away.

 

According to the nationally-recognized, non-partisan organization ballotpedia, the purpose of Ballot Question 2 is easy to understand:

 



A "yes" vote supports this proposal to dedicate all revenue from gas taxes to transportation projects.




A "no" vote opposes this proposal, thus devoting the same levels of revenue to transportation projects.

 

The non-partisan organization ballotpedia.org provides the following details:

 

Amendment design

Question 2 would create a constitutional requirement that all revenue derived from taxes on motor fuels be deposited into the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF).[1] Currently, only 10.5 cents of the gasoline and diesel fuel taxes is required to be deposited into the TTF.


Transportation Trust Fund

Question 2 would require all revenue from tax revenues on motor fuels to be deposited into the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). The TTF was designed to fund the Department of Transportation and NJ Transit, which then use the revenue for transportation-related projects.[2] 

 

Phoebus has consistently voted against placing questions on the ballot that she opposes, so her opposition to a ballot question she strongly supported is a remarkable, although not unprecedented, flip-flop.

 

It will be remembered that as a Freeholder, Phoebus seconded sending a letter urging support for an increase in the gas tax to fund the Transportation Trust Fund and prevent a property tax increase.  She later voted against the gas tax increase and for the property tax hike.

 

As a candidate for the Assembly, Phoebus was less than honest when she denied voting to send the letter (she had seconded the motion and voted for it).  She also compounded that untruth by denying it on her campaign literature and website.  

 

Phoebus' latest flip-flop is even more remarkable because the Assemblyperson must be aware that her Democrat colleagues are itching to get their hands on the new revenues from the gas tax to send them to their urban districts.  During her talk Wednesday night, Phoebus expressed her strong support for mass transit and her wish to expand mass transit into Sussex County.

 

The Lackawanna Cut-Off Rail Project is almost completed but could end up being scrapped if the gas tax revenue that should rightfully go to transportation, ends up in the pockets of urban Democrat Party bosses.  The Andover Township council is pushing strongly for this expansion of mass transit in Sussex County and their efforts will be for naught if Ballot Question 2 is defeated.

 

There are countless examples of how funds raised for one purpose are misused for another.  The diversion of fees from the state's 9-1-1 program would not be happening if there was a Ballot Question 2 protecting how it should be spent.

 

Ballot Question 2 is the only way we can make sure that the revenue raised from the gas tax is spent in the way it was intended to be spent -- on transportation projects like roads and bridges and the Lackawanna Cut-Off Rail Project.  Sadly, Gail Phoebus is missing on this when it counts.

 

The Lackawanna Cut-Off Rail Project is doomed without a YES vote on Ballot Question 2.

 

Update:  In this morning's New Jersey Herald, Assemblywoman Phoebus denies knowing in January 2016 that there were negotiations on-going that included a gas tax increase.  This is, of course, less than honest.  In November of 2014, then Freeholder Phoebus seconded a motion by the Freeholder Board to send a letter in support of an increase in the gas tax. 

 

The Minutes of the Freeholder Board meeting, including Phoebus' motion and her vote to send the letter, can be accessed below:

 

http://www.sussex.nj.us/uppages/RMMinutesNov251.pdf

 

According to New Jersey Herald (November 25, 2014) reporter Bruce Scruton, Phoebus and her Freeholder colleagues clearly understood the need for a gas tax increase:

 

“I never thought I'd be in favor of increasing taxes."

 

"They do need to cut some costs down there, but the roads and bridges need to be funded.”

 

"Most of the ideas being considered by the state Legislature are on some form of tax or 'assessment,' whether from raising the state's gasoline tax, a sales tax on gasoline or possibly an assessment on the suppliers."

 

In the light of Phoebus' vote in November 2014 and these comments, Phoebus' comments today in the Herald appear to be willfully misleading.