Monthly Archives: June 2011

>Are Car Break-ins Related To Methadone Clinic?

>My wife ran into a friend of ours while enjoying the evening summer beach concert at Sandy Hook last night. My wife’s friend lives over in the Applebrook development near where the Middletown Methadone Clinic operates on the corner of Apple Farm Rd. and Hwy 35.

She was told by our friend that there has been a rash of car break-ins and burglaries over the past couple of weeks in the neighborhood and that friends and neighbors are extremely upset. They are wondering if any of these break-ins are related to the methadone clinic being down the road from their homes or is it just the usual suspects that roam around at night during the summer months when school is out.
My wife was told that the residents are upset that they haven’t seen any public information or warnings about these break-ins in the local media. Our friend added how her neighborhood was always very quiet and a safe place to live, they never had to worry about locking the doors of their cars or the doors and window of their homes before the methadone clinic opened.
She related how she has been yelling at her husband about locking the car up at night because the garage door opener is in it. The garage is attached to the house and anyone can walk into the house through it if they have access when the garage door opens. She feels as if herself and family are living in the middle of a crime infested, inner city neighborhood of Camden or Newark instead of a beautiful, family orientated, bedroom community located in Middletown.
She doesn’t know what she or her neighbors will do with themselves if the clinic remains at it’s current location. She said that they feel let down by those who run the Township and can only hope that the town can eventually save her neighborhood before people decide that it’s time to move out.
For our friend and others that live in the Applebrook development, I hope so too.


Filed under Applebrook, bedroom community, break-in, burglary, methadone clinic, Middletown NJ

>Crime Scene Middletown: Car Thief Caught In The Act


On June 29, 2011 at approximately 6:10 am Patrolman Felipe Benedit and Patrolman Anthony Gigante responded to the area of Antonia Court in reference to a report of a car burglary in progress. Patrol officers were advised that a home owner was currently involved in a struggle with the suspect.

Patrolman Benedit arrived on scene and engaged in a foot pursuit with the actor, identified as Matthew Drury, age 25, from Emory Drive in Lincroft, NJ, who had broken away from the home owner. Officer Benedit and Officer Gigante were able to apprehend Drury and take him into custody. Police say the home owner was awoken by his dog barking and observed Drury inside his neighbor’s car. The homeowner then confronted Drury and tried to detain him for the police.

Drury was charged with four counts of Burglary, Simple Assault, Receiving Stolen Property, Resisting Arrest, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Unlawful Possession of Prescription Medication. Drury was found in possession of Xanax and Soboxin at the time of his arrest. He was being held on $52,000.00 bail with no 10% option set by Judge Thompson. Police are investigating whether Drury may be connected to other car burglaries in the area.

** This information was supplied by the Middletown Township Police Department. It does not indicate convictions.


Filed under burglary, car theft, Crime Scene Middletown, drug possession, Lincroft NJ, Middletown Police, simple assalt

>After Receiving $41.1M Tax Subsidy For Economic Development And Job Creation Campbell’s Soup Co. Announces Layoffs

>Nothing like wasting tax payer money on corporate welfare when the money could have been used for other more important things like education, health care, property tax relief, infrastructure….

Once again Governor you definitely have your priorities straight!.

Campbell’s Soup Co. Announces Layoffs:

CAMDEN, N.J. – Campbell’s Soup Co. plans to lay off about 770 people worldwide, Including about 130 people at its Camden headquarters, in an effort to reduce overhead and improve efficiency.

The reductions will be phased in over the next two years and will result in a savings of about $75 million dollars.

The cuts include about 10 percent of the company’s workforce in Camden, its longtime headquarters.

Fox 29’s Steve Keeley has more in this Wednesday morning live report from “Good Day.”


Filed under Camden NJ, Campbell's Soup, Education, Fox News, Gov. Chris Christie, infrastructure, layoffs, myfoxphilly, property tax relief, tax subsidies

>Desevo Officially Resigns As Middletown Candidate; Replacement Candidate To Be Named Tomorrow Night

>I received word a short while ago from Middletown Democratic Chairman Joe Caliendo, that he had officially received the resignation of Democratic candidate Alex Desevo and forwarded it on to the Monmouth County Clerk’s office.

Caliendo said that a replacement candidate will be chosen tomorrow night to succeed Desevo on the November ballot, when names will be presented to the members of the full body of Middletown Democratic Executive Committee.
When I asked Chairman Caliendo the names of those who were interested in joining Jim Grenafege on the Democratic ticket this year, I was told with the understanding I was not to say anything until after the full Executive Committee had a chance to meeting give it’s approval.
After hearing the names of those interested I can say this, there are names that are familiar and new to Committee members. It should make for an interesting meeting, I’ll let everyone know afterwards.
Checkout the Asbury Park Press for some other details, I just noticed that they beat me to posting ( damn, I hate that I get home from work so late)


Filed under Alex Desevo, Asbury Park Press, Chairman Joe Caliendo, Democratic Candidate, Middletown Democratic Executive Committee, Middletown NJ

>After A Rash Of Criminal Mischief At Middletown Parks Police Are Asking Residents For Information

>I have received the following request from Middletown Deputy Police Chief Craig Weber, asking residents for information regarding a rash of vandalism at neighborhood parks around town. Any information that can be provided would be greatly appreciated:

Middletown Police report that a number of Parks and Recreation facilities have been damaged and vandalized during the past week. Among the damaged facilities were two baseball fields at Middletown Thompson Park including the Challenger Youth baseball field, which is intended for the use of athletes with special needs. Middletown Thompson Park is located on Newman Springs Road in Lincroft. Newly-sodded soccer fields at the Fairview Soccer Fields on Oak Hill Rd. were extensively damaged by unknown persons joy riding on the fields. Baseball and softball fields at Normandy Park on Nut Swamp Rd., and Applebrook Park on Iler Drive, were also damaged by unknown vehicles being driven on the fields. In addition, a portable outdoor bathroom located at Lincroft Acres Park on Orchard Hill Drive, Lincroft was damaged after it was intentionally struck by a vehicle and knocked over. A park bench, concrete steps and hand railing in Tindall Park, Tindall Road have also been destroyed.

Parks in Middletown are generally closed to the public at dusk, unless permission is obtained from the Parks and Recreation Dept. or the facility is lighted and specifically designated for after hour use. Police are asking citizens to call and report any suspicious activities or incidents of people misusing or damaging Township Parks and Recreation facilities or property. The Middletown Policemen’s Benevolent Association is offering a reward of $ 500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for damaging the Parks. Call 732-615-2100.

Deputy Chief R. Craig Weber
Technical Services Division
Middletown Township Police Dept
1 Kings Highway
Middletown, NJ 07748
office 732-615-2054
fax 732-615-2051

(Tindal Park Steps)

(Thompson Park)

(Normandy Park)

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Filed under Criminal Mischief, Fairview Soccer Fields, Lincroft NJ, Middletown Parks and Recreation, Middletown Police, Normandy Park, Oak Hill, park vandalism, Thompson Park, Tindall Park

>Crime Scene Middletown: Drugs And Alcohol Dominate Latest Middletown Police Report


On June 20, 2011 at approximately 11:50 am Patrolman Thomas Meckier was on patrol in the area of Main Street in Port Monmouth when he observed a vehicle driving on Main Street that fit the description of a suspicious vehicle that was seen in the area earlier in the day. Officer Meckier attempted to stop the vehicle in the area of Main Street when the driver, identified as Richard Stavola, age 23, from Kings Highway East fled from the vehicle and ran into a house on Main Street.

Officer Meckier was able to apprehend Stavola at the residence. He was charged with Criminal Trespass after the resident advised police that Stavola was not authorized to be in the house. He was also charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after police located glassine baggies used to package narcotics that belonged to Stavola. He was processed and held on $5,000.00 bail set by Judge Richard Thompson.

On June 24, 2011 Patrolman Anthony Dellatacoma and Patrolman Brian Dilworth arrested William Connett, age 32, from Main Street in Port Monmouth, NJ, for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia as a result of an investigation at his residence. The officers located numerous pipes used to smoke Crack Cocaine in Connett’s house.

He was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and released pending a court date.

On June 21, 2011 at approximately 3:10 pm Sgt. James Prosinski was assigned to a special duty detail at the Gateway Bakery when a subject, identified as Edward Shaw , age 72, from Bergen Street in Brooklyn, NY, was asked to leave the property after having a dispute with the owner.

Sgt. Prosinski advised Shaw to leave the property and he refused at which point he was arrested for Defiant Trespass. Shaw was transported to police headquarters for processing and was released pending a court date.

On June 21, 2011 at approximately 11:50 am Patrolman Raymond Sofield responded to a residence on Henry Place in reference to a possible overdose. Upon arrival the officer located the victim, identified as Heather Lenhart, age 35, from Henry Place in Middletown.

Patrolman Sofield conducted an investigation which resulted in the discovery of a hypodermic syringe and two baggies containing Heroin. Lenhart was charged with Possession of Heroin and Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe. She was released on her own recognizance pending a court date.

On June 22, 2011 at approximately 12:30 am Patrolman Robert McNair conducted a motor vehicle stop on Thompson Avenue. The driver, identified as Dawn Haviland, age 39, from Twilight Avenue in Keansburg, NJ, was arrested on Contempt of Court warrants.

Haviland was transported to police headquarters for processing. Officer McNair conducted a search incident to the arrest which resulted in the recovery of three white pills identified as Methadone. Haviland was then charged with the additional offense of Unlawful Possession of Methadone without a valid prescription and was held pending bail.

On June 22, 2011 at approximately 11:15 am Corporal James Keenan responded to a residence on Southend Avenue in reference to a fight. Upon arrival the officer was advised by the victim that Autumn Heltzman, age 29, from Holly Street in Keansburg, NJ, had come to the residence and assaulted the victim by grabbing her by the arm and throwing her to the ground.

Corporal Keenan conducted an investigation which resulted in Heltzman being arrested for Simple Assault. She was transported to police headquarters where she was processed and released pending a court date.

On June 22, 2011 Detective Kimberly Best arrested Christopher Malamut, age 18, from King Fisher Drive in Middletown as a result of an investigation conducted by Detective Best into a burglary and theft from a residence located on East Roosevelt Circle that occurred on June 8, 2011 during which a laptop computer was stolen.

Malamut was charged with Receiving Stolen Property after Detective Best determined that he had purchased the laptop, knowing it was stolen, from the subjects who broke into the house and stole it. He was processed and released pending a court date.

On June 24, 2011 Patrolman Anthony Dellatacoma , Patrolman Brian Dilworth and Detective Laurence Schachtel arrested Jay Hansen, age 25, from Walling Avenue in Belford and Jonathan Steele, age 23, also from Walling Avenue as a result of an investigation conducted by Detective Schachtel. Hansen and Steele stole jewelry from his Hansen’s mother and sold it to local jewelry stores.

Steele was charged with Theft and Receiving Stolen Property and Hansen was charged with Theft and Unlawful Possession of Prescription Medications and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The drugs were located on Hansen at the time of his arrest. Both subjects were released pending a court date.

On June 24, 2011 at approximately 7:20 pm Sgt. John Werner was on patrol in the area of Church Street near the train station when he observed a suspicious person walking near the train tracks. Sgt. Werner approached the subject, identified as Michael Stillitano, age 19, from Hawthorne Road in Red Bank, NJ, and conducted an investigation which resulted in Stillitano being arrested for Possession of Alcohol Underage after the officer located a Gatorade bottle filled with Rum and Coke.

He was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and released pending a court date.

On June 25, 2011 at approximately 1:45 am Patrolman Savino Capilupi and Sgt. William Straniero responded to the area of Wilson Avenue for a 16 year old female who was intoxicated and left home without her parent’s approval. The officers located the female who began to yell and scream at the officers and then started punching Sgt. Straniero.

The officers were able to take the juvenile into custody at which point she was arrested for Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer, Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest, and Criminal Trespass. She was processed and released to her mother pending a court date.

On June 25, 2011 at approximately 7:45 pm Patrolman Brady Carr responded to a report of a one car accident at the intersection of Shady Oaks Drive and West Front Street. Upon arrival the officer located the driver, identified as Donald Sharp, age 53, from Quince Court in Red Bank, NJ, standing by his vehicle. Officer Carr detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person.

Officer Carr conducted an investigation which resulted in Sharp being arrested for Driving While Intoxicated and Reckless Driving. He was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and released pending a court date.

On June 26, 2011 at approximately 2:05 am Patrolman Nicholas Fenezia was on patrol in the area of the Leonardo Marina when he observed a group of subjects sitting in the parking lot and a can of beer near the group. The officer approached the group and conducted an investigation during which he located a backpack containing Marijuana and a Pipe used to smoke Marijuana.

Patrolman Fenezia continued his investigation which resulted in a 15 year old male juvenile being arrested for Possession of Under 50 grams of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession with the Intent to Distribute under one ounce of Marijuana. He was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and released to a guardian pending a court date.

On June 26, 2011 at approximately 4:55 am Police Officer Janine Kennedy responded to a report of an accident on Highway 36 near Church Street. Upon arrival Officer Kennedy conducted an investigation which resulted in the driver of one of the vehicles, identified as Paul Boschi, age 52, from Swartzel Drive in Middletown, being arrested for Driving While Intoxicated and Reckless Driving.

Boschi was transported to police headquarters where he was processed and released pending a court date.

On June 26, 2011 at approximately 12:55 pm Patrolman Michael Pintilie and Corporal Douglas Wiatrak responded to the parking lot area of Ideal Beach in reference to a report of two subjects fighting. Upon arrival the officers conducted an investigation which resulted in the subjects, identified Rudolph Jones, age 55, from Monmouth Parkway in Middletown, and Paul Ortiz, age 48, from Ocean Avenue in Middletown being arrested for Disorderly Conduct.

Both subjects were transported to police headquarters where they were processed and released pending a court date.

The Middletown Police report the arrests of the following subjects for other offenses:

Matthew Lennox, age 21, from Walker Terrace in Middletown, NJ, arrested on June 21, 2011 by Patrolman Christian Clark on a warrant for Aggravated Assault with a motor vehicle. He was released pending a court date.

Chanta Timoniere, age 41, from Harvard Street in Red Bank, NJ, arrested on June 21, 2011 by Patrolman Ian May for Simple Assault. She was released pending a court date.

On June 21, 2011 Patrolman Ian May arrested a 17 year old juvenile from Middletown for Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose. He was released to his mother pending a court date.

Lynel Lepkoski, age 46, from Gillville Lane in Middletown, NJ, arrested on June 22, 2011 by Patrolman Brian Dilworth and Patrolman Anthony Dellatacoma on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Hazlet Township Municipal Court. She was released after posting $1,150.00 bail.

Charles Kirkpatrick, age 43, from Washington Avenue in Keyport, NJ, arrested on June 23, 2011 by Patrolman Keith Hirschbein on a Contempt of Court warrant. He was released after posting bail.

Lindsey Starrace, age 22, from Dalby Place in Middletown, NJ, arrested on June 23, 2011 by Patrolman John Soltysik on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Red Bank Municipal Court. She was released after posting $121.00 bail.

Stephen Acquaiva, age 34, from Bonnie Drive in Middletown, NJ, arrested on June 24, 2011 by Corporal Ralph Flannigan on a Contempt of Court warrant. He was released after posting bail.

Steven Barbiero, age 30, from Raleigh Court in Ocean, NJ, arrested on June 25, 2011 by Patrolman Felipe Benedit for Simple assault. He was released on bail.

Daniel Meehan, age 20, from Lohsen Place in Port Monmouth, NJ, arrested on June 26, 2011 by Patrolman Raymond Sofield on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Middletown Municipal Court. He was released after posting $550.00 bail.

Karissa Kundert, age 19, from Harbor Way in Middletown, NJ, arrested on June 26, 2011 by Patrolman Raymond Sofield on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Keansburg Municipal Court. She was held on $938.00 bail.

Stephan Thompson, age 26, from Bloomfield Avenue in Bloomfield, NJ, arrested on June 26, 2011 by Patrolman Frank Mazza on a Contempt of Court warrant issued by the Clifton Municipal Court. He was held on bail.

** This information was supplied by the Middletown Township Police Department. It does not indicate convictions.

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Filed under arrest warrants, Contempt of Court, Crime Scene Middletown, criminal trespass, drug paraphernalia, drug possession, heroin, Marijuana, methadone, Middletown Police, underage drinking

>AS A Matter Of Fact…Democrats make a statement with budget plan of their own

June 27th, 2011 | Published in NJPP Blog: As a Matter of Fact …

Democrats have done an unexpected thing. With just days to go before a budget must be enacted, they have introduced their own budget – a “this is what we stand for” budget – with a companion millionaires’ tax to restore at least some of the Christie administration’s proposed program cuts.

That they did this shouldn’t be a surprise.

It’s common practice for the party that controls the Legislature to draft and sponsor the state budget. The Democrats control both houses just as they did last year.

But last year the majority party ceded budget power to the Republican minority, who produced a bill that closely resembled Governor Christie’s March 2010 proposal. Many expected the same to happen this year, so it’s somewhat surprising Democratic leaders have proposed a spending plan of their own.

Here’s what is being proposed [The actual list of changes has not been posted publicly although the press has been briefed and Senate President Sweeney’s office confirmed details]:


$913 million from higher than expected revenue estimates: In March 2011, Governor Christie’s proposed budget planned to spend $29.4 billion in FY 2012. In May, when revenue projections were updated, the Office of Legislative Services (OLS) estimated that collections for the current year and next would be $913 million more than the Governor’s original March estimate. The estimate assumed the current tax structure would remain the same.

$550 million from the reintroduction of the millionaires’ tax: Last year, the legislature passed a millionaires’ tax bill that increased taxes on taxpayers with incomes over $1 million. Governor Christie vetoed the bill. The legislature could not override the veto. In this year’s bill, the additional tax revenue would be tied to additional aid for wealthier suburban schools. Part of the logic is that Republican legislators might be willing to vote for a bill to raise income tax rates on their wealthier constituents if that additional revenue stays in the wealthier school districts.

$300 million in funding shifts from programs that have unused balances: Not all programs spend their entire appropriation every year. Unspent funds either lapse and become unavailable to the program or they rollover and become part of the same program’s spending in the following year. This year the legislature has determined that $300 million is available to be cut from programs that have been over-funded in the past and added to programs that need additional support.


School Aid: The democrats’ bill would add at least $1.1 billion to school spending. Senator Sweeney said this includes the Supreme Court-mandated $500 million for the state’s poorest, urban districts and $600 million for defunded suburban school districts. Something to keep in mind is that the original Millionaires tax enacted in 2004 was tied to property tax relief for senior citizens. That connection made the bill palatable to some Republican legislators who represented senior citizens who would benefit from the property tax relief but would not be subject to the higher tax rates.

Property Tax Relief: It is said the bill would double Homestead Property Tax Rebates – not triple them as Christie said he would do.

Money not spent on the Homestead Property Tax Rebates would be used to unfreeze the Senior Freeze program, allowing new seniors to participate and raising the amount rebated. This program freezes property taxes for people over 65 who earn less than $80,000. In the current fiscal year, only seniors already in the program were eligible for the rebate and the amount was limited to the amount received in the prior year.

It is said an additional $50 million would be made available to communities with understaffed fire and police departments – aiding Newark, Camden and other communities with high crime rates.

Health Care: It is said the bill would restore $7.5 million in ideological cuts to women’s health clinics and $300 million for NJ FamilyCare and Medicaid to allow working parents to continue to obtain affordable health care coverage.


By law, New Jersey must pass a budget by the end of the day on Thursday, June 30th. Passing a budget on time is a deadline the state has always taken seriously.

It is impossible to know now how the negotiations are going – if the Democrats will be successful in their attempt to share the sacrifice among all income groups and help the poor and middle class in this state. The governor vetoed a millionaires’ tax last year and has said he will veto it again. It seems unlikely Republicans would join Democrats to over-ride the governor’s veto, especially in an election year, although redistricting has left some Republicans in more Democratic districts.

In battles of the budget, the New Jersey governor holds most of the cards. He alone has the power to determine revenues and set the limit on funds available for programs. If Governor Christie doesn’t agree the state will collect an additional $800 million next year or if he vetoes the Millionaires’ tax and the legislature can’t over ride the veto, that’s money the legislature can’t spend. In addition, New Jersey’s governor has line-item veto power. Any program he doesn’t want funded can be reduced or eliminated. If this happens, the legislature’s only recourse is to override that veto if two-thirds of the legislators support the override.

The only successful override of a governor’s veto was in 1992. Governor Florio vetoed the entire budget passed by the then Republican-controlled legislature. The Republican budget had cut $1.1 billion from Governor Florio’s proposed $15.7 billion budget. At the time, the Republicans had a 27-to-13 majority in the Senate and a 58-to-22 majority in the Assembly. The override passed both houses with no votes to spare. (It was opposed by all Democrats and, in the Assembly, two Republicans.

Democrats now have a 24-to-16 majority in the Senate and a 47-to-33 majority in the Assembly, making veto overrides more difficult. So far none have been successful. Perhaps it will be this budget – this statement of what New Jersey ought to stand for – that will be the first success.

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Filed under As a Matter of Fact, Budget Battle, Democratic Budget, Democratic priorities, Gov. Chris Christie, Health Care, higher revenue, Millionaire'sTax, New Jersey Policy Perspective, property tax relief

>Captain Joseph Azzolina Memorial Bridge in Highlands/Sea Bright Awaiting Governor’s Signature

>Almost forgotten over all the commotion surrounding Thursday night’s pension and health care reform debate down in Trenton, was the fact that pension and health care were not the only business being debated and adopted that day.

Also approved by the Assembly Thursday night was legislation sponsored by Senator Sean T. Kean and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini that designated the bridge which spans the Shrewsbury River, as the “Captain Joseph Azzolina Memorial Bridge”.
All that is left to making the naming of the bridge in honor of Joseph Azzolina is the signature of Governor Christie, which is expected to soon.

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Filed under Gov. Chris Christie, Highlands Bridge, Highlands New Jersey, Joseph Azzolina, Mary Pat Angelini, NJ State Assembly, Sea Bright NJ, Sean T. Kean, shrewsbury river

>APP: Middletown candidate to drop out of race after drug arrest, party leader says

>Just as I said Friday night, but now it is made official by Democratic Chairman Joe Caliendo, Alex Desevo is off the Democratic tickets a candidate in Middletown and a replacement will be soon be named.

Posted on the Asbury Park Press website just a bout 40 minutes ago:

MIDDLETOWN — A Democratic candidate for Township Committee who was arrested on June 18 on charges of possessing crack cocaine has agreed to resign from the race, a party official said.

Leaders of the Middletown Democratic Party planned to Monday, June 27, to find a replacement for Alexander DeSevo, 43, said Joseph Caliendo, who heads the party.

“Middletown voters aren’t going to want that kind of person,” Caliendo said. “I don’t know what happened with the young man. It’s between him and his conscience.”

DeSevo, a criminal defense attorney, was caught possessing crack cocaine and various drug paraphernalia at the Holmdel Motor Inn on Route 35, where he was staying with two women, police said.

Police became involved after one of the women showed up at the Holiday Inn in Hazlet, more than a half mile away, and said DeSevo had chased her from the Holmdel Motor Inn, according to authorities.

The party has until September to find a replacement for DeSevo, whose name will not appear on the November ballot, Caliendo said.

“This should not be an issue in the race,” Caliendo said. “We believe we have a good chance of winning this November, so we want to find a candidate who can really represent Middletown well.”

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Filed under Alex Desevo, Asbury Park Press, crack cocaine, Democratic Candidate, drug possession, Joe Caliendo, November Elections

>N.J. Republicans look to restore $7.5 million for women’s health care; Action comes after they opposed two Democratic bills to do the same

>Now that it’s coming down to crunch-time with the state budget and the entire state assembly is up for re-election this year, 13 republicans have decided to join the Democratic bandwagon and support women’s heath issues by looking to restore $7.5 million to the budget that Governor Christie decided wasn’t necessary.

These Republicans, lead by Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco (R-Camden), have opposed this measure for the better part of 18 months and are only now joining forces with the Democrats because polling has shown that Governor Christie’s job rating has plummeted among women and they are now vulnerable on the issue.

It’s a classic example of flip-flopping on an issue in order to secure votes in an election year, on an issue that is extremely important to many of their constituents. But I wonder how hard they will actually fight for women’s health funding once the Governor comes down on them?

The following article written by Tom Hester Sr., appeared over on

Much to the surprise of Democratic women legislators who have tried for over a year to get Gov. Chris Chirstie to the restore $7.5 million he cut out of the 2010-11 state budget for women’s health care, 13 Republican Assembly members on Friday announced they are sponsoring a resolution to restore the aid to the shaping 2011-12 budget.

Assemblywomen Linda Stender (D-Union) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) responded to the announcement by describing the unexpected Republican action as an 11th hour political ploy designed to pander to the women they have abandoned for the last 18 months.”

As recent as May 19, Christie disapproved of restoring the $7.5 million. In the past year, he vetoed Democratic bills to restore the aid. Republican legislators have supported the governor’s position.

The Republican resolution stresses that no money could be used for so-called family planning. Democratic women legislators insist the money would not go toward funding abortions.

The resolution was announced at the end of a week that featured the release of a Quinnipiac University poll that showed Republican Christie’s job rating has plummeted among women. All 120 seats in the Legislature are up for re-election in November.

Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco (R-Camden), the prime sponsor of the new resolution, said, “Everyone wants to provide healthcare for our neediest women and their children and this resolution will make that possible responsibly and compassionately. This funding is an effective use of our resources to make sure that every dollar we spend is used to treat disease or to keep women and children healthy.”

The resolution would allocate the $6.2 million to federal qualified health centers and $1.3 million for New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection.

No money would be allotted to Planned Parenthood and the resolution would change budget language from “family planning services” to “women and family health services.”

“This is an effective way to actually funding women’s health services without getting lost in political debate,” DiCicco said. “Anyone who is truly concerned about the well-being of New Jersey’s most vulnerable women and children can support this approach.”

When Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) introduced legislation to restore the $7.5 million on May 19. Michael Drewniak, Christie’s press secretary, said of the Democrats’ action, “It’s predictable that the majority party in the Legislature, led by Senator Sweeney, can’t resist the urge to open the public’s wallet as soon as a few extra dollars become available. We cannot throw out the sensible budgeting practices we’ve put in place just because of a modest increase in tax revenue.”

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Filed under Gov. Chris Christie, Loretta Weinberg, Medicaid, New Jersey Newsroom, women's health issues