Monthly Archives: July 2009

Best Quote of the Day, From Yesterday

“The facts surrounding the freeze versus layoff issue belie Sheriff Guadagno’s claim that she is the rare elected official who hasn’t backed down from the public-employee unions,”… Guadagno “essentially sabotaged the county’s plan as it related to the unions within the Sheriff’s Office,”.

Monmouth County Freeholder Jonh D’Amico quoted in the Asbury Park Press about Monmouth County Sheriff / Republican Lt. Governor candidate, Kim Guadagno and her efforts to undermine negotiations with county union members.

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Filed under Freeholder John D'Amico, Kim Guadagono, Lt. Governor, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Sheriff, Republican Candidate

Despite the corruption arrests, Corzine still doing OK

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to be a regular columnist /contributor to the NewJerseyNewsRoom.com, a news organization put together by former Star-Ledger staff members that had been layed-off by the newspaper over the past year.

A couple of members from the News Room have been following this blog and thought that I would be a good fit and lend a progressive voice to the website.
I was honored to think that real journalists thought enough of my writing and insight to include me in their endevours, so I couldn’t say no to the offer.
Below is the first of what I hope to be many opinion pieces posted by my new friends at News Room Jersey:
Despite the corruption arrests, Corzine still doing OK

When I first heard the news on the morning of July 23 about the FBI sting operation that netted 44 people throughout the state on corruption and other assorted charges, as part of the continuing 10-year-old investigation known as “Operation Bid Rig,” I have to admit I wasn’t very happy.

I thought, “here we go again.’’ Another black-eye for the state’s already tarnished and beleaguered image as the most corrupt in the country. I was shocked, angered and concerned all at the same time.

As a Democrat who is involved in the local politics, I immediately thought about how this would affect Governor Corzine and the rest of the democratic ticket down the line. This was not something that Jon Corzine or democrats, in general, needed to be dealing with 13 weeks before November’s election.

After working the overnight shift, keeping up on what seemed like an endless stream of new information and details about the sting operation, I started to think that there was no way, with recent polling numbers showing that the governor trailed his opponent by upwards of 15 points depending on the survey, could survive this latest round of bad news.
My despair only increased when, as the morning shift arrived, my fellow co-workers sought me out to express their displeasure with the scandal and said that it was further evidence as to why they would not be voting for Jon Corzine.

It didn’t matter to those guys that the investigation was started 10 years earlier during the Whitman administration or that the governor was not involved or named in the investigation. It was just further evidence to them that New Jersey’s political system was broken and just as corrupt as ever.

It didn’t matter to them that Jon Corzine is beyond reproach or that he can’t be bought off by special interest (the man is a multi-millionaire who doesn’t need to take money from other people) or that Corzine is one of the most politically ethical elected officials that the State of New Jersey has seen in over a decade. It didn’t matter that during Corzine’s time in office, he is responsible for ending the practice of duel office holding by elected officials or the fact that major Pay-to-Play legislation was passed early in his administration that ended that practice or that he put an end to no-bid contracts.

Read More >>> Here

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Filed under Gov. Jon Corzine, Monmouth County, New Jersey, New Jersey Newsroom, Operation Bid Rig, political corruption, the Star-Ledger

What Does Another 80 Cents a Day Buy? Not Enough!


On July 24, the federal minimum wage rose to $7.25 per hour. With it, thousands of New Jersey’s minimum wage workers saw a 10-cent increase in their hourly wage. This is nothing to be proud of, especially since the state’s median household income of $67,035 makes New Jerseyans the second highest income earners in the country.

The increase marks the first time in four years that New Jersey’s minimum wage earners will make the same as those in Mississippi, Arkansas, North Carolina and 27 other states throughout the country. This despite the fact that the state’s median household income is 84 percent higher than Mississippi’s, 75 percent more than Arkansas’ and 50 percent higher than North Carolina’s.

Housing costs in New Jersey are among the nation’s highest, with renters paying more than $400 above the national average per month. To afford a two-bedroom apartment alone, a minimum wage worker would have to work an impossible 129 hours per week every week of the year.

Housing is not the only thing that costs more in New Jersey. Groceries cost 11 percent more than in the rest of the country, utilities 16 percent more and health care an additional 10 percent.

In 2007, the state’s Minimum Wage Advisory Commission recommended the minimum wage be raised to $8.25 an hour, the federal poverty threshold for a three-person family; one year later it recommended an increase to $8.50 an hour. The commission also called on the legislature to annually adjust the minimum wage with the cost of living. To date, the legislature has done nothing.

Each year New Jersey’s elected officials do not raise the minimum wage, it’s the state’s working poor who suffer the most. Money earned today will buy less next year than it did this year, and even less in the following year. In actual buying power, the state’s minimum wage has declined since it was first introduced in 1968. That means the $7.25 per hour workers earn today buys less than the $1.40 they earned in 1968 or the $3.10 they received in 1980. Had it kept pace with inflation, the minimum wage would now be $8.68, or $1.43 more than it currently is. This, combined with the fact that low-wage workers tend not to receive wage increases, health coverage or sick days makes keeping up with inflation impossible for these families.

Raising the minimum wage not only helps individuals and families who rely on every bit of their paycheck to pay their rent, buy their groceries, clothe their children and provide healthcare for themselves and their families, it also stimulates the economy. Because they earn so little, low-wage workers are less likely than people with higher salaries to save money. This means that every additional dollar they earn is needed and will be spent.

The current economic downturn has affected almost everyone, and New Jersey’s low-income earners are struggling to meet the most basic of needs. By raising the state minimum wage to at least keep up with inflation, New Jersey will lessen the hardship faced by its most vulnerable residents.

To find out more about the New Jersey Policy Perspective click >>>Here

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Filed under median household income, minimum wage, New Jersey, New Jersey Policy Perspective

Rocky start for Guadagno on GOP gubernatorial ticket

BOB JORDAN – Asbury Park Press

Monmouth Beach resident Kim Guadagno made history last week by becoming the first person in New Jersey politics chosen as a lieutenant governor candidate. Guadagno was already in the record books as Monmouth County’s first female sheriff.

But Guadagno got off to a bumpy start on the first day of the campaign last Monday and continues to be challenged on her claim to have successfully handled tough negotiations with public-employee unions. Monmouth Democrats contend Guadagno instead obstructed efforts to freeze county government salaries by pandering to unions within the Sheriff’s Office.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie said at a Freehold Township campaign stop that the flap has no reflection on his newly minted running mate.

Read More >>>Here

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Bob Jordan, Chris Christie, Kim Guadagono, Lt. Governor, Monmouth County Sheriff

Video: Gov. Corzine’s leadership is putting people to work

In this new video released by the Corzine campaign last night, President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood praises Governor Jon Corzine’s leadership in securing federal money for projects that are putting people to work in New Jersey.

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Filed under Gov. Jon Corzine, New Jersey, President Obama, Putting people to work, Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation

New Corzine Video: A Partner in The White House

This is an excellent new video from the Corzine ’09 website, it contains highlights from President Barack Obama and Governor Jon Corzine’s rally in Holmdel, New Jersey.

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Filed under campaign rally, Corzine'09, Gov. Jon Corzine, Holmdel NJ, Mad Elephant, President Obama

Obama Email Calls for Support Of Jon Corzine

I received the following email in my inbox this morning from President Obama. The President is urging supporters to get behind the Corzine campaign and support the good work the Governor has done for New Jersey.
The President states that “Jon is a fighter for the middle class. He created a strong economic recovery plan designed to retain and attract business, instituted major reforms to ease unfair property tax burdens across the state, and made critical investments in schools and transportation infrastructure that will leave New Jersey stronger and more competitive in the years to come”
I think the President is right, Jon Corzine needs our support, read on:

Friend —

Last Thursday, I visited Holmdel, NJ to stand with a great leader for New Jersey — your governor, Jon Corzine. Jon and I were joined by thousands of people like you who share our commitment to building a better future for New Jersey and our nation.

We live in challenging times. Now more than ever, we need leaders with the strength to make tough decisions and the courage to do the right thing — leaders who bring people together for a common purpose, and fight for the most vulnerable among us. Jon is one of those leaders.

I’m proud to have Jon as a partner as we all work to get our economy back on track, and I hope to work with him for years to come. But if I learned one thing from my campaign last year, it’s that none of us can do it alone. It will take thousands of people like you coming together and working as one to build a better future for New Jersey.

Today, I’m hoping you’ll stand with me to support a bold leader for New Jersey. Please volunteer for Jon’s campaign today.

The people of New Jersey know the cost of this economic crisis. The past months have not been easy, and weathering this storm has tested our spirit and required great sacrifice. But in Jon, you have a governor who has built consensus to help families get through it, while putting the state on a path to long-term prosperity.

In trying times, Jon is a fighter for the middle class. He created a strong economic recovery plan designed to retain and attract business, instituted major reforms to ease unfair property tax burdens across the state, and made critical investments in schools and transportation infrastructure that will leave New Jersey stronger and more competitive in the years to come.

I know Jon’s not done yet. We have a lot more work to do. Jon has set New Jersey in the right direction, and if you stand with him — and with me — the time and effort we invest today will pay off ten fold in the better New Jersey we’ll build together.

The stakes in this election are high, so I’m asking you to do your part — volunteer for Jon’s campaign today.

President Barack Obama

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Filed under Corzine'09, Gov. Jon Corzine, New Jersey, President Obama, volunteer