Daily Archives: September 9, 2011

Highlands Thanks Local PD, FD, EMS for Irene Response Sunday 9/11/11

Local officials in conjunction with Quick Check will host a “Welcome Back Highlands” celebration to thank Police, Fire, EMS and Volunteers for their hard work during Hurricaine Irene and welcome back local residents who had evacuated.

FREE REFRESHMENTS (INCLUDING PASTRIES AND COFFEE) WILL BE PROVIDED COMPLIMENTS OF QUICK CHEK – ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND. FIRST RESPONDERS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM NEIGHBORING COMMUNITIES WILL ALSO BE TREATED AS GUESTS OF HONOR.

Where -Veteran’s Park, located near 20 Bay Ave Highlands NJ 07732 (Monmouth County)

When Sunday, September 11th, 2011 at 4pm.

Why – Both the residents of Highlands, NJ and Quick Chek highly value the numerous contributions made to our community by our first responders and citizen volunteers during Hurricane Irene and wish to say thanks as well as bring the entire community together.

Press Contact: Councilman Connelly at 908-309-9598

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Filed under EMS, Fire, first responders, highlands NJ, Hurricane Irene, media advisory, Police, Quick Check, Welcome Back

The Shameless Republicans who Refuse to Denounce Sam Thompson’s Double Dipping: Just Another Reason Why New Jersey Property Taxes Are So High.

For nearly two weeks now, I’ve tried to contact New Jersey Republicans, New Jersey Tea Parties, and New Jersey blogs that claim to be conservative. I’ve asked them to denounce Sam Thompson’s double dipping. Thompson has been double dipping since 1998 as an Assemblyman, and plans continue double dipping if elected State Senator in District 12. Despite this, he claims to be a fiscal conservative. I call him a fiscal phony. Regardless of whether or not I get elected, I want my campaign to at least stop one of the many New Jersey politicians from double dipping. I think it would be an important symbolic victory for New Jersey taxpayers.

I wasn’t sure why conservatives haven’t been able to pressure Thompson to stop double dipping. I first thought that many groups that are trying to eliminate fiscal waste simply did not know Thompson was a double dipper, so I’ve reached out to groups around the state through Twitter and Facebook and told them about Thompson’s double dipping. I then asked them to join me and other taxpayers in denouncing Thompson’s actions.

I contacted Tea Parties in New Jersey on Twitter. Thus far, the Ocean County Tea Party and The Northern New Jersey Tea Party have stood by in deafening silence. Neither of these organizations have joined me in asking Thompson to stop double dipping. Why do groups that claim to be “taxed enough already” refuse to denounce a guy’s actions that create government waste and cause high taxes? I’m still awaiting Bayshore Tea Party’s response, and will update you with their decision.

The New Jersey Tea Party had an interesting, if not paranoid, reply. After not replying to my first request, I asked them why they refused to denounce Thompson, and they stated that their party “does not refuse to do that”. This got my hopes up, as I thought it would lead to a clear denunciation of Thompson. I was wrong. They followed with a rather curious claim, “We are obligated to do nothing you like”. It gets better, as they then told me if I “Attempt to dictate what We must say” and “We may claim that You are an enemy of freedom”. Amazing. Only in New Jersey. A guy asks a Tea Party group to denounce a double dipper, and I’m considered an enemy of freedom.

After having no luck with Tea Parties, I thought I’d contact some conservative Blogs. Save Jersey claimed to be against all double dipping, but have refused to publicly denounce Thompson. Rather than doing that, they questioned how a candidate with a union endorsement (in this case, NJEA) could question another candidate for “waste & greed”. Of course, Thompson was endorsed by the AFL-CIO in 2009, but that doesn’t seem to bother them. The larger problem here is their rather pedestrian slight of hand technique to divert attention from the issue of Thompson double dipping. They have yet to publicly denounce Thompson. I’m not holding my breath.

This leads me to Art Gallagher of More Monmouth Musings. Similar to the reply of the New Jersey Tea Party, Art’s initial response got my hopes up. He informed me that “conservatives already denounced that months ago before I was a candidate”, and asked “where were you then”? I was in Old Bridge, but I also denounced Sam’s double dipping back in 2009. I have tried to find out which conservatives he was talking about, and assumed he was claiming to be one of them. However, I haven’t found anything that Art has written to suggest he opposes Thompson’s double dipping. I also asked him if he could provide me a link. He has yet to do so. Instead, he has questioned the pension I received after I was shot in the line of duty. The Old Bridge GOP and a Republican consulting firm were quick to “retweet” this question,
but less quick to answer my questions about Thompson’s antics. As I have previously stated in my last campaign and this one, I will give up my pension if elected to office. This has been published on the Star Ledger website. However, Art isn’t really interested in this. He has more interest in maintaining his relationship with cozy relationship with elected Republicans, regardless of their pension antics. Asking about my pension is the same tactic Save Jersey pursued when they asked about one of my endorsements.

Of course, I’ve tried to contact the GOP and get a few answers. Funnily enough, I expected the least from them in all of this, but the Old Bridge GOP gave me the most entertaining answers. After first asking for a source to my claim about Thompson’s double dipping (Did they really not know?), they then told me that Thompson is not “ACTUALLY” double dipping. How did they reach that conclusion? They stated: “Sam retired after 25+ years of service to the State and collects a pension from that. He was then elected to the legislature, a different job, where he receives a salary”. Amazing. How is that not double dipping? He continues to receive a pension despite holding a job in the legislature.

It actually gets even better. Old Bridge GOP wrote “Sam’s decision to retire saved taxpayers money Bob and you know this. It’s easy math.” How on earth do they reach this conclusion? It’s bad enough to avoid denouncing a double dipper, but now the GOP is claiming that double dipping saves NJ taxpayers money?! Only in New Jersey. And, it wasn’t just them. The person running “Frank Pallone is not for New Jersey”, who claims to be conservative, also stated that Thompson’s double dipping has saved us money. How on earth does anyone let Republicans near their money?!

The only other defense by the Old Bridge GOP is to claim that there are Democratic double dippers. As I’ve previously stated, I believe double dipping by any politician in any party is wrong. Both sides need to give it up. However, my experience with “conservative” voices in New Jersey tells me that Republican double dippers like Thompson face no pressure to end this practice. As funny as the defenses of Thompson have been to read, it is Thompson and other double dippers that have the last laugh, and they do so at the taxpayer’s expense.

Only in New Jersey.

Bob Brown
Democratic Candidate for State Senate in District 12

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Filed under 12th Legislative District, AFL-CIO, Bayshore Tea Party, Bob Brown, double dipping, NJ Tea Party, NJEA, Old Bridge GOP, pension reform, Sam Thompson, Twitter

Pallone Renews Commitment to College Affordability, Protecting Pell Grant Loan Funding


Long Branch, N.J. – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. Monday will speak with Rutgers students during a roundtable discussion regarding their concerns about federal support for improving college affordability and the ongoing threat the Republican majority poses to funding federal Pell Grant loans. New Jersey students are concerned about college debt and the availability of federal Pell Grants, which for many, are the only way they are able to attend college.

During the recent debate to raise the debt ceiling in July, Republicans offered Pell Grant cuts as a way to cut the budget. These cuts were averted but as the Super Committee convenes to discuss budget cuts, Pell Grant funding may again be on the table.

WHO: Congressman Pallone will host a roundtable discussion soliciting input from Rutgers students and student organizations

WHEN: 11:00 a.m. Monday, September 12, 2011

WHERE: Rutgers Student Center
126 College Avenue, New Brunswick
Main Lounge (Across from Multi-Purpose Room)

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Filed under budget cuts, college education, Congressman Frank Pallone, media advisory, pell grants, Rutgers University, student loans, super committee