Entries in Star Ledger (10)


Selling out: Media's decline from Al Doblin to Jonathan Salant

New Jersey's establishment media -- its editors and reporters -- are in a freefall and have lost their sense of decency.  Job security is such that they have all become free agents, writing articles to please prospective employers. 

So we have Star-Ledger Editor Tom Moran performing a masochistic panegyric to please Democrat machine boss George Norcross.  Over at the Bergen Record, that newspaper's editor was turning out pro-Democrat columns non-stop while engaging in backdoor negotiations with Senate President Steve Sweeney's office.  A few years ago, boss Norcross tried to buy the Philadelphia Inquirer, now his machine is getting all the talent on the cheap.

The NJGOP's answer to this was predictably self-defeating.  It's idea of a GOP counterbalance to the growing Democrat hegemony over media was to bring back Bridgegate mastermind David "Wally Edge" Wildstein, possibly the only person more hated in New Jersey than his old boss, Chris Christie.  To fund Wildstein's operation they found former Jamestown alumnus Ken Kurson.  It was Kurson who ran such memorable efforts as incumbent Marcia Karrow's loss to Mike Doherty in 2009 and incumbent Jeff Parrott's loss to Parker Space in 2010.  But losing has never been a bar to advancement in the NJGOP.  In fact, it generally is an asset.

Yep, Kurson has been accused of sexual harassment by writer and cancer-survivor Deborah Copaken.  This comes at a time when Kurson's old firm is trying to convince the women of New Jersey that the NJGOP's choice for U.S. Senate -- Bob Hugin -- is a new kind of man, when it comes to women (whatever that is supposed to mean).  You can read about what Kurson gets up to here:  


It was Wildstein who outted Al Doblin as the ethical-free-zone he is.  Doblin plainly hated the kind of attention he's bestowed on others his entire working life.  In a series of whines, he complained to Wildstein: 

“I am the editorial page editor.  If someone makes me an offer, I have the right to consider it,” Doblin explained.

Doblin called a request for information regarding his employment search “truly horrific.”

“This is unfair.  Truly unfair,” he said. 

But Doblin is not the worst of the bunch.  That "honor" must surely go to Jonathan "short-ass" Salant, a reporter worthy of his own Duranty Prize for consistent blindness to all but the party-line.  In case you've forgotten Walter "the hand" Duranty.  He's the assbandit who denied that Stalin was starving to death millions of human beings in the Ukraine and elsewhere in what was once called the "Soviet Union".  He even won a Pulitzer Prize for it. 

Duranty wrote for the New York Times, which later was forced to admit that his articles denying the famine constituted "some of the worst reporting to appear in this newspaper."  There have been calls to revoke his Pulitzer, but you know how tough it is to get elitist filth to admit they made a mistake.  So Duranty's award -- for 1930's era Fake News -- still stands.  And so much for journalism.

Salant's latest dry-humping of the news came a few weeks back, when he attempted to write an update of the various congressional races in New Jersey.  

He started off by being childishly giddy about Republican Leonard Lance's district having gone for Hillary Clinton in 2016, while failing to mention that Democrat Josh Gottheimer's had done the same for Trump that year. 

Salant never fails to describe a Republican donor negatively, offering bits of color, always dark.  On the other hand, old short-ass describes such creatures as George Soros in this light:  "Malinowski (received a donation of) $5,400 from investor George Soros, a major Democratic donor."

Investor?  A major Democratic donor??  How about convicted financial scammer who liberal economists have criticized for his callous manipulations of currency?  

Perhaps Salant is displaying his talents for the consideration of one of the many Soros media organs?  That seems to be the way these days. 

In writing about the fifth district, Jonathan Salant somehow missed the fact that a third Republican, Jason Sarnosky, had dropped out of the race weeks before.  He wrote about him as if he were still campaigning.  

He went on to cover the race in southern New Jersey's first district.  And once again, Salant behaved like he was on a job interview.  He never once mentioned the machine that bears the Congressman's name and wrote as if it didn't exist. 

Not to place Donald Norcross in the context of the machine of which he is a part is misleading and unethical.  It promotes bad government by purposefully covering up the truth and it gives aid and comfort to one of the most authoritarian political machines in America.  Don't want to see it, Jonathan?  Well just try being an ordinary citizen when the machine decides it wants to use eminent domain to take your property in order to give it to one of their corporate friends.  That's what you are shilling for. 

The southern region of New Jersey is an example of a dominant-party system or one-party dominant system of government.  According to South African political scientist Raymond Suttner, such a system occurs when there is "a category of parties/political organizations that have successively won election victories and whose future defeat cannot be envisaged or is unlikely for the foreseeable future".  It is a de facto one-party system, often devolving into a de jure one-party system, a semi-democracy. Usually, the dominant party has a tendency towards "suppressing freedom of expression and manipulating the press in favor of the ruling party." 

Well, short-ass, that is who you are shilling for.  That is who you are now.  All those romantic post-Watergate notions about doing right... well you're over that, right?  Expensive restaurants and sexy vacations got the better of you, didn't they?



NJEA-backed Democrats will raise property taxes

Warning:  In accepting the NJEA's endorsement, Democrat candidates Kate Matteson, Gina Trish, and Jennifer Hamilton have signed-on to the NJEA's disastrous plan to un-cap property taxes.


In 2010, the New Jersey Legislature passed legislation to cap increases in local property taxes at 2 percent.  They did so, according to figures from the Star-Ledger, because local government spending had increased by 70 percent since 2000 and the average property tax bill had gone from $4,429 to $7,281.  As the Star-Ledger noted: 


" Local governments rely heavily on property taxes, the one tax voters routinely identify as their biggest concern. At a combined $45 billion, local governments spend more money than the state does with its annual budget of about $30 billion. Not surprisingly, New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation."


The NJEA's legislative agenda would undo the 2-percent cap and take us back to the days of the McGreevey and Corzine administrations, when local property taxes were going up by an average of 7 percent every year.


The NJEA is the state teachers' union.  The NJEA does not represent the views of many ordinary teachers -- most of whom are forced to pay unnecessarily high property taxes in order to reside in New Jersey.


Republican Lawmakers Caught in Planned Parenthood Trap Face Rebellion from NJ Voters


Contact:  Marie Tasy, Executive Director

732 562 0562

Republican Lawmakers Caught in Planned Parenthood Trap Face Rebellion from NJ Voters

July 13, 2017--

The Star Ledger has reported that 4 Republican lawmakers have committed to change their No votes and now intend to vote to force the taxpayers of NJ to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business, despite the organization's terrible record in NJ of engaging in waste, fraud and abuse and despite the evidence which shows that NJ women's health care services are being met, provided and funded through the FQHCs. 

 "Republican Lawmakers who vote to fund Planned Parenthood will undoubtedly face a backlash by voters in their districts in November," said Marie Tasy, Executive Director of New Jersey Right to Life.

Record of Waste, Fraud and Abuse

The U.S. Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services performed an audit during the period when our state funded Planned Parenthood and uncovered a consistent problem with New Jersey-based family planning clinics run by the NJ Planned Parenthood abortion business.  The government audit found that they were improperly billing Medicaid for services that did not qualify as family planning.

An initial audit revealed New Jersey improperly received federal reimbursement at the enhanced 90 percent rate for 160,955 prescription drug claims that were billed as family planning, but did not qualify as family planning services. A letter from the Inspector General to New Jersey officials recommended that New Jersey repay $2,219,746 to the federal government.

See p. 5 of the audit:


In 2011, an employee at Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey in Perth Amboy, NJ  was caught on video willing to aid and abet undercover investigators posing as sex traffickers of minors.

Central Jersey Planned Parenthood fires worker after release of undercover video


In addition, a 2011 inspection performed by the surveyors from the Dept of Health found 39 deficiencies for Planned Parenthood of Mercer Area  for, among other things,  improper use of syringes and compounds, improper training and qualifications of staff on pain management and health care counseling (including abortion services), failure to have an infection control program in place, failure to have hot running water in facility, failure to require physical exam for staff and failure to test staff for rubella, and TB tests, improper use of and sterilization of medical instruments and devices, including a vaginal ultrasound and several other sanitary and safety violations involving patient care and many other administrative deficiencies.  This facility also provides “family planning services.”   (Obtained by NJRTL through OPRA. )

"It is unconscionable that these lawmakers want to force the hard working citizens of NJ to fund an organization that is so unworthy of our tax dollars.  This is an organization that proves time and again that they don't care about women, only their bottom line, and we should not be funding them with our tax dollars. Planned Parenthood is a private, non-profit organization that has the ability to raise their own funds. Any lawmaker who wants to support them is free to do so through their own bank account, but shouldn't be forcing the hard working citizens of NJ to fund them.  We plan to monitor this issue and keep NJ voters informed about this important matter that affects all NJ taxpayers, "said Tasy.


Marie Tasy is the Executive Director of New Jersey Right to Life


Politicians fight in municipal court

It's a new-found perk to holding municipal office:  When you don't like something someone says about you, instead of hiring a lawyer and going to court using YOUR money, just file a criminal complaint, have it signed-off on by a municipal employee whose job YOU control, and then have the part-time prosecutor (a lawyer also in private practice) whose job YOU control prosecute the case for you.  Heck, YOU even control the job of the municipal court judge you will be appearing before. 


And even if they transfer it to another court, it is still the same law firms chasing the same municipal court appointments.  One year you are the prosecutor in this town, the next in that, or someone in your law firm is -- and it goes for municipal court judges too who are also lawyers in private practice (an unheard of practice across America).  Which one of these attorneys is going to stand up to a Mayor or Deputy Mayor who holds their living in his or her hands each January when they select the attorneys to fill the lawyer-only part-time municipal jobs the property taxpayers will be paying for?   


Yesterday, the Star-Ledger reported on such a case in Union County between Assemblyman Jamel Holley and Roselle Mayor Christine Danserau:


"Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-Union) faces a petty disorderly person's charge of harassment that carries a $500 fine, but the money isn't the point, said Roselle Mayor Christine Danserau.


'This is about the fact that harassment is unacceptable,' said Dansereau, who claims she was the target of Holley's obscene tirades.


...The strained relationship between Holley and Dansereau stems from a dispute over the borough's proposed $56 million library and recreation center, called the Mind and Body project. Holley has been pushing for the project to move forward, and Dansereau has pushed for more details about how much it will add to homeowners' tax bills."


Guess what?  The taxpayers are paying for all of it because it's a perk of holding municipal office.


This systemic corruption is being examined right now by the media, legal organizations, and by the New Jersey Legislature.  The Gannett publishing organization -- the largest in America by circulation, reaching over 21 million people every day -- has been taking the lead with its watchdog investigative series on municipal court corruption in New Jersey.  The series has focused on the too cozy relationship between court employees and the local governments who pay their salaries.


New Jersey's municipal courts have been described by the media as "a system that increasingly treats hundreds of thousands of residents each year as human ATMs." 


"Many cash-strapped municipalities have turned to the law for new revenue...


Towns have the power to pass new rules or increase fines on old ones. And just like the singular judge-jury-and-jailer of the old Western days, a town first enforces the higher fines through its police force, then sends the defendant to its local court — which is headed by a judge appointed by the town leaders who started the revenue quest in the first place.


While municipal judges are sworn to follow the rule of law and judicial ethics, the pressure to bring in the money is potent in New Jersey, lawyers and former judges told the Press. In Eatontown, email records between town officials showed that increasing revenue generation by the local court was the main reason the council replaced the municipal judge in 2013..."


The New Jersey Legislature is planning to address the corruption at municipal courts, with the Chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee  calling the "fairness of the system into question" and for the Legislature to "study municipal court reform."  Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon (Republican Budget Officer) is promising to make it happen this year and plans on holding hearings across the state to understand the full extent of this local corruption -- case by case.  He calls the current system a "municipal money grab" and promises to explore "legal remedies."


According to the state Administrative Office of Courts, over 75 percent of the more than 4.5 million cases handled by municipal courts statewide are adjudicated with a guilty plea or a plea deal and some kind of payment to the court.  The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is currently studying how municipal court corruption impacts the state's residents, especially the poor.


The Gannett report notes that the New Jersey State Bar Association earlier this year assembled a panel to study the independence of municipal judges and whether the political pressure they face through their appointment impacts decision-making. The panel is still receiving testimony and hasn't yet disclosed its findings.


The Gannett report also notes that "the municipal court system can be altered or abolished by an act of the Legislature at any time."


It cites a former member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Municipal Courts, who said that "the first step in fixing the broken municipal court system is to professionalize staff."  Most prosecutors and judges are part-time employees who work in multiple towns. 


Blogs like More Monmouth Musings and Sussex County Watchdog have received tip-offs about local municipal corruption in the past.  If you have anything to pass along confidentially, please contact More Monmouth Musings at artvg@aol.com or Sussex County Watchdog at info@sussexcountywatchdog.com.


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: