Daily Archives: January 8, 2011

>Reform Party of NJ Plans Anti-Eminent Domain Gathering In Asbury Park Jan.22nd

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Press Release –

(Long Branch, NJ, 01/06/2011) – Jacob Zychick, chairman of the newly created Reform Party of New Jersey, recently visited the largely vacant storefronts of downtown Long Branch. The oceanfront resort’s business district, located along Broadway, is populated primarily by empty structures, a reminder of a failed “Broadway Center” redevelopment project.

Long Branch garnered national controversy in the early 2000s when the city, seeking to redevelop the boardwalk, utilized Eminent Domain to evict homeowners along the city’s oceanfront. Similar tactics were to be implemented on Broadway, however, the plan is largely viewed as dead, leaving the city’s once bustling business district an empty shell. In August of 2009, a New Jersey court ruled against the city in its redevelopment case.


“Long Branch is a city suffering economic stagnation,” said Zychick. “The public sector has let the people down, and now it is time to call them out on it!”

The Reform Party of New Jersey was first conceived in 2009 by a group of student activists seeking to form a viable alternative to the two major parties. The party is the successor to the original NJ Reform Party, which was founded in the wake of independent Ross Perot’s presidential bid in 1992.

While the original NJ Reform Party was dissolved in 2000, the new organization has made great strides over the past year, even sending members to Dallas to meet with national party leadership (and Ross Perot) in October 2010. The party, which seeks to serve “Main Street and not Wall Street,” has become vocally critical of Eminent Domain abuse, and local government’s failure to acknowledge their own flawed policies.

“Long Branch will become just a city-wide strip mall,” said Zychick. “The continued implementation of Eminent Domain abuse has caused a rapid deterioration in the city’s once prized character. This attempted corporate gentrification has, ironically, resulted in the loss of almost all businesses; I counted only one open business on the eastern portion of Broadway.”

Zychick plans on leading a group of Reform Party activists toAsbury Park, another oceanfront city plagued by Eminent Domain abuse, to discuss the issue with local business owners.

“The residents cannot allow the city’s government to blame the national economic downturn for this loss of businesses,” said Zychick. “They must remember that it was the lack of true
leadership that brought cities like Long Branch and Asbury Park to their own economic demise.”

In the wake of Zychick’s visit to Long Branch, the Reform Party of NJ has announced a meeting of anti-Eminent Domain activists to take place in downtown Asbury Park, on January 22nd, 2011.

The group hopes to meet with local business and homeowners, many of whom live under the constant threat of having their properties seized. The reformers will congregate in John F. Kennedy Park, located on Grand Avenue, starting at 2:30pm.

Further details and scheduled guests will be announced. “If you are as angry as I am,” said Zychick, “then join the Reform Party of New Jersey’s activists on our visit to downtown Asbury Park on January 22nd, 2011!”

Visit www.reformpartynj.org or e-mail

ReformPartyNJ@Gmail.com for further information or to confirm attendance.

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Filed under Asbury Park NJ, eminent domain, Jacob Zychick, Long Branch NJ, Reform Party, Ross Perot

>President Obama’s Weekly Address 1/08/11: Tax Cuts Kicking In

>The President touts the new benefits coming from the tax cut compromise for any business large or small, tens of millions of workers and families, and the economy itself.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

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Filed under economic benefits, economy, President Obama, tax cuts, weekly address

>Saturday Morning Cartoons: Lancelot Link: The Lone A.P.E.

>I want bananas on my corn flakes this morning, how about you?

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Filed under Lancelot Link, Saturday morning cartoons, secret chimp

>Governor Houdini

>The following commentary was sent to me by a fellow reader who found it posted over atPolitickerNJ. The commentary was written by NJ State Senate Majority Leader Barbara Bouno.

In her commentary Senator Buono states that Governor Christie should stop trying to be a magician that uses smoke and mirrors to deflect peoples attention away from the real issues facing tax payers. She says that the governor’s magical “toolkit” is not necessarily the whole answer to the property taxes and he should stop pretending that it is because other issues like getting people back to work and creating jobs will do just as much to alleviate the tax burden
than many of the proposals in the “toolkit”.
It’s an interesting read, take a look at it below:
The key to any good magician’s act is to distract the audience from the ruse being played, usually with a flashy object, so they don’t realize that the whole act is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

In many ways, Governor Christie’s “toolkit” to help control property tax increases is a similar smoke and mirror act. Sure, there are several worthy bills among the 30 or so ideas the Governor proposed. The civil service and interest arbitration reform measures we recently passed will certainly have an impact in controlling some of the main drivers of local government spending as employee contracts are renegotiated down the road.

But many of the other proposals will have little to no effect on property taxes in the short or long term. In fact, the administration has failed to produce cost-saving estimates for most of the Governor’s proposals.

Yet the Governor continues to flash his shiny toolkit around as the sole means for helping towns stay within the new two-percent property tax cap about to go into effect.

Why?

Because he is hoping his magic act will distract people from the fact that he has failed to address many of the state’s larger woes – stimulating the economy, putting people back to work – while exacerbating the growing divide between the “haves” and “have nots.”

Our jobless rate remains alarmingly high while the Governor has fought to scale back unemployment benefits. He has staunchly defended tax breaks for the state’s wealthiest residents while cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit for our poorest. Increased New Jersey Transit fees, cuts in after school programs and a general lack of job stimulation ideas are all an increasing attack on New Jersey’s middle and lower income families.

Either the Governor is bereft of financial acuity or simply lacks compassion for the working men and women of this state held hostage by the lingering recession.

A clear example of the former is his dumbfounding claim that Moody’s recent municipal bond downgrade is “a great referendum” on his policies because it means we’re “getting our fiscal house in order.” For a governor to boast about municipalities in our state being downgraded which will increase the cost of borrowing is insane especially when his policies have increased the state’s long-term debt obligation.

Everyone will readily admit that property taxes are one of the most pressing issues facing New Jersey. But for our roughly 400,000 residents looking for work so they can afford to stay in their house, or even buy one to begin with, it is crucial that our public policy agenda succeeds in breathing life into our anemic economy.

In order to tackle the broader challenges we face at a state, we need to focus on economic development and job stimulation. This underscores the contrast between the Governor’s agenda and the democratic led “Back to Work NJ” agenda in the legislature.

We have steadily been advancing roughly 30 measures to make New Jersey a more business-friendly state in order to get people back into the workforce. Many of these bills will bring to life real solutions to address the challenges that have been laid out in ongoing conversations we have had with business leaders throughout the state.

Several measures would modernize our business tax codes to benefit in-state based businesses and small businesses, the latter of which I sponsored. Another bill will expand the program that currently offers grants to businesses to help retain and create jobs, a practical, hands-on measure that will actually put people back to work.

Other components of this package seek to provide tax credits to the biotech industry, to encourage upstart companies to locate in New Jersey. And taking a cue from the successful “Georgia Work$” program, we are looking to create a similar model in New Jersey that would provide the critical training residents need to find work in key industries.

Hopefully the Governor will put his magic act on hold long enough to see the merit in these bills and sign them into law. By putting people back to work, we will be able to help people stay in their homes, generate increased revenue, and fund the vital services needed to keep our state moving forward.

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Filed under Gov. Chris Christie, PolitickerNJ, Senator Barbara Buono, tax saving tool, toolkit