NJ Herald pushes anti-business Knipe for Freeholder

Since when does somebody get TWO announcement stories in the New Jersey Herald? Most candidates don’t even get one.

A few weeks back, the New Jersey Herald covered the announcement of Peter Knipe. They even lied for him, claiming that this was his first campaign for office when, in FACT, he ran for local office and lost.

Now, on the very day that the Republicans who Knipe is running against are set to announce their candidacy before an expected crowd of 200 county taxpayers and business leaders, the Herald has re-run the Knipe announcement story, with a big photograph and prominent placement.  Why?

Is the out-of-state Quincy corporation, who own the NJ Herald, playing politics in Sussex County’s Freeholder race?  Are they trying to secure the continued flow of subsidies to their newspaper – those notices and advertisements we see at the back of the Herald week after week?  Are they afraid reformers on the Freeholder Board might cut back in an effort to save money and hold the line on rising property taxes?

Some have speculated that there is a war going on between the newer Freeholders and county government insiders like attorney Kevin Kelly and administrator Gregory Poff.  Kelly serves as the New Jersey Herald’s attorney.  For years, Sussex County has been notable for the manner in which county government insiders have been successful in bullying successive Freeholder Boards into hiring people they recommend and providing their vendor friends with lucrative county contracts. 

Kelly, along with the vendor who does county and municipal government audits, even went so far as to form a SuperPAC for the purpose of collecting money from vendors in order to pick their own bosses or muscle recalcitrant office holders. No wonder costs have gone up and up in Sussex County (and with them, property taxes… up and up), while successive boards have gone along with the program per the county government insiders.  

Meanwhile the average, hard-working county employees – the civil servants we all depend on – they have been squeezed by the top insiders and have watched money that should have gone to them go to create patronage jobs for insider “friends” and contracts for favored vendors.  No wonder regular county workers are fed-up.  Does the Herald favor this corruption?  Is their continued subsidy all that matters to them?

For most Republicans it is a given that if you cut taxes on small businesses they will have more money to expand and hire new employees.  That’s how you grow an economy.

At a public meeting last month, we got to see a “different kind of Republican” in action.  His name is Peter Knipe.  He appears to be the candidate of certain county government insiders and maybe even the New Jersey Herald.  

What got our attention was Knipe’s assertion that if you cut the tax on small businesses, it won’t result in more economic activity and ultimately lower taxes for everyone.  Knipe believes in the “static wealth” theory – that the economic pie always remains the same.  It is the same theory many socialists believe in.  Knipe holds that if you remove revenue from one source, it will need to be made up by another.  So, in his words, cutting the taxes small businesses pay will result in everyone else paying more.

Of course, a short survey of history shows that wealth expands and that the pie never stays the same.  There is more wealth today than there was in 1980 – or in 2008.  Cutting business taxes to spur economic growth and ultimately lower taxes on everyone is the very premise of President Donald Trump’s economic plan.  

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So we don’t get where Knipe is coming from.  And especially as Knipe has been running advertisements on social media sniping at the fiscally conservative reformers on the Freeholder Board who came in January and who have had to fight the county government insiders every inch of the way since.  

The insiders who support Knipe are opposed to stopping the county’s death spiral of debt by giving control over any new debt proposals to the voters – the property taxpayers.  If this law had been in place there would have been no solar scam.

The insiders who support Knipe are opposed to government transparency.  They have illegally blocked Open Public Records Act requests and have acted corruptly to hide the details of financial transactions.  

The insiders who support Knipe want to run out the clock on action the county can take to recover some of the millions lost by Sussex County taxpayers through the solar scam.  Millions that could go to property tax relief.

The insiders who support Knipe are blocking common sense reforms like an ethics committee organized under state law, liaisons between the Freeholder Board and individual municipalities, and the appointment of well-known reformers as Trustees to the Sussex County Community College.

The insiders who support Knipe are blocking efforts to place a question on the ballot that would give the voters a say in whether or not Sussex County will abide by Democrat Governor Phil Murphy’s Sanctuary State edict – or to recognize the primacy of federal law with regard to illegal immigration and our national borders.  Why would anyone stand with Governor Murphy’s Sanctuary State nonsense?

We have offered candidate Knipe the opportunity to explain or clarify the position he expressed publicly, as well as those who appear to support him – including the Herald.  We would be happy to publish what he sends to us on it.  We look forward to hearing from him.