Category Archives: 12th district

>Tough Cop Bob Brown Takes on Governor Christie

>Democratic State Senate Candidate Bob Brown, who is running for the open Senate seat in the new 12th legislative district, has hit the campaign trail running even though the general election is some 7 months away.

Bob Brown, who has run unsuccessfully for the State Assembly during the past two campaign cycles in the old 13th district has filmed a Youtube video (see below) that stakes out his position on the under funded NJ pension system.

It’s definitely worth checking out.

Former police officer and attorney Bob Brown is speaking out for current and retired New Jersey police and firefighters. The New Jersey police and firefighters pension fund is underfunded by seven billion dollars! Bob blames Governor Chris Christie and past governors for taking a tax holiday and not contributing to the fund while police and firefighters continued to contribute. Bob says it’s time to stop blaming police and firefighters for the state’s fiscal incompetence and is asking the Governor to be less of a bully and sit down with him to come up with a solution.

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Filed under 12th district, Bob Brown, Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey State Senate Candidate, state pension system, YouTube

>Mulshine Talks Up His Favorite Democrat, Bob Brown, In Today’s Column

>Paul Mulshine’s talks about favorite Democrat,Bob Brown,in his column today over at NJ.com.

Brown, as anyone who reads this blog knows, has become a friend of mine over the past few years. Brown after losing State Assmebly races in 2007& 2009 in the old 13th district to Sam Thompson, vowed that he wouldn’t seek office again, that was until Democratic State Chairman Steve Wisniewski contacted him.

Wisniewski wanted to know if Brown would be interested in taking on his old nemesis Sam Thompson for the vacant State Senate seat in the new 12th district. After hearing how Thompson is has been “double-dipping” (collecting both a state pension and salary), Brown couldn’t refuse.
Here’s what Mulshine has to say about Brown today:

You might recall that upon the release of the new legislative map last week, I put in a call to a guy from Middlesex County named Bob Brown and asked about whether he’d run in the gerrymandered district into which his town had been inserted.

There was no way he’d run again after his town got stuck in a district that runs from the Raritan Bay almost to the Delaware River. That was laughable, he said.

Brown’s not laughing anymore. He’s running.

Brown is a Democrat, but he’s more conservative than most Republicans. He’s a colorful ex-cop from Old Bridge who was shot in the line of duty and decided he’d be better off pursuing law. At Seton Hall School of Law, he often ran into an affable guy from Livingston who even then “seemed like he was running for office,” Brown recalls.

Chris Christie is now running New Jersey. As for Brown, he lost a run for the state Assembly in 2009. That’s when I first wrote about him. It was unusual to hear a Democrat saying things about school funding like, “We gotta send that money back to the suburbs,” at a time when Christie was tiptoeing around the issue.

At the time he and I spoke, any Democratic run in the largely suburban 12th District seemed doomed. Right after my column ran, however, the Republicans announced the name of their nominee for the Senate seat in the new district, Sam Thompson, who is currently an assemblyman and who also hails from Old Bridge.

On the same day, Thompson’s name appeared in an article in this newspaper because he and another Republican assemblyman are “double-dipping,” collecting state pensions while also collecting legislative salaries.

The day after that article ran, Brown got a call from state Democratic Chairman John Wisniewski. “The Wiz,” as the assemblyman from Middlesex County is known, asked Brown if he might want to take that Senate run seriously after all. Brown did, and yesterday he filed the signatures. Brown said he’ll base his campaign on the pension issue. Brown himself gets $14,000 a year as a result of his retirement following that shootout, which he won, by the way. But “I will not double-dip,” Brown promised. “If I get elected, I will not take my pension.”….

Read more >>> Here

This race between Brown and Thompson will be closely watched by many, Brown has more than an excellent chance at winning it even though the newly drawn district leans republican.

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Filed under 12th district, Bob Brown, Democratic Candidate, NJ.com, Paul Mulshine, Sam Thompson

>NJ 12th District Senate Candidate Pledges to "Cut the Fat"

>Anyone that follows this blog on a regular basis knows Robert (Bob) Brown. Bob is a friend of mine whom I’ve gotten to know over the past 5 years, while he was busy running twice for the NJ State Assembly in the old 13th District in 2007 & 2009.

When I congratulated him on receiving the Democratic line for the open NJ State Senate seat in the new 12th legislative district, I asked him if he had anything that he wished to comment on for the blog and for any potential voters in his new district.

In pure Bob Brown fashion he asked me to pass along his pledge:

“I pledge to tighten my belt and cut the fat by losing 40 pounds between now and election day. I ask the Governor to share in the sacrifice and cut his fat first before cutting other peoples benefits.”


I can tell already that Bob Brown’s campaign for a State Senate seat will be one to remember and I wish him all the best!

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Filed under 12th district, 13th Assembly District, blogging, Bob Brown, Democratic Candidate, NJ State Senate

Michelle Roth, Candidate For NJ State Assembly District 12: Answers 10 Questions

Michelle Roth has sat on the Manalapan Township committee for the past 5 years, last year she served the town as Mayor. She is currently seeking 1 of 2 seats that are up for grabs in the State’s 12th Assembly District.

She was kind enough to return my 10 question questionnaire that I sent to candidates seeking assembly seats for Monmouth County. In doing so, Michelle Roth has become the 5th candidate to respond to my questionnaire.
While going over her responses I was struck by her business background and the fact that she earned an MBA in Finance from Fordham University. I also impressed by her ideas on how to control property taxes. She believes that if the emphasis for school funding was switch from property taxes to income taxes and school administration was centralized through the counties then savings could be realized through eliminating school districts and the consolidation of purchasing.
Read her reponses and decide for yourselves:

1. What is your motivation for seeking a seat in the NJ State Assembly and can you tell us a little about yourself?


I would like to change the way business is done in Trenton so we can get our spending under control and shift the funding of education away from property taxes and over to the State income tax system, where it belongs.

I earned an MBA in Finance from Fordham University and own a small consulting firm that does no business within the State of New Jersey. I have served on the Manalapan Township Committee for 5 years and was Mayor in 2008. I am married with three daughters.

2. As you meet residents throughout your district what seems to be the greatest concerns they are expressing and how do you plan to address them?

The only thing on everyone’s mind is the high cost of property taxes in New Jersey. There are several ways we can address this:

  • – Shift the funding source for education from property taxes to the State Income Tax.
  • – Shift school administration to the County level. This ensures greater economies of scale on purchasing, eliminates redundancies and centralizes management and hiring. This is done successfully elsewhere in our country without sacrificing quality in the classrooms. It will also be easier for budgeting oversight if there are only 21 school budgets to review Statewide instead of over 600.
  • – Keep all police patrol functions local, but centralize administration at the County level. This works effectively in other states.

3. What do you hope to accomplish once you are elected to the State Assembly?

Make government more efficient.

4. What is it that makes your district unique and how does that uniqueness impact your campaign?

Our district is similar to other suburban districts. We have several small municipalities surrounded by larger ones.

5. If elected, how would your professional background enhance your ability to be an effective State Assembly representative?

My business background will be extremely valuable when dissecting the State’s budget. I have also had the opportunity to travel extensively within the US and internationally, which has allowed me to see how different ideas utilized by other governmental entities succeed elsewhere and then scrutinize what can be transplanted here.

6. Do you have any thoughts on how to contain the growth of state government?

Invest in infrastructure and technology to make government leaner and more efficient and less reliant on manpower.

7. Is there any aspect of state government that you believe there is a need to be expanded upon?

No

8. Why should residents of your district trust you to represent them in the legislature ?

The challenges that face us are both great and grave. We need to make sure that we have the right people in office making the tough decisions. As the Mayor of Manalapan, I made local government more transparent by televising all meetings and improving access to public records online. I prevented urban sprawl by purchasing open space and supporting farmland preservation programs. I also reduced the size of government while making it more efficient. I will work to do the same in Trenton.

Since I do not do business within the State of New Jersey, there is nothing I want from the Trenton machine. That means I will always do what is in the best interest of all the residents of the 12th district.

9. Why do you identify yourself as a Democrat as opposed to a Republican or Independent?

Although I am very fiscally conservative, I align socially with Democrats on issues such as women’s rights and civil rights.

10. Is there anything that is important to you that I hasn’t been asked, that you would like to address?

I believe we should institute campaign finance reform.

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Filed under 10 questions, 12th district, Michele Roth

Letter:Michelle Roth, Democratic Candidate Adresses the 12th Assembly District

Dear Neighbor,

My name is Michelle Roth. I am running for Assemblywoman in District 12.

Like many women in Monmouth County I wear various hats. I am a working mother (of three daughters), wife and public servant. I have dedicated my time since my children were young to creating solutions that improve the future for all our children. I understand the challenges modern families face. I also understand that government needs to do a better job providing essential services and a lower tax bill so that our children and our parents can afford to stay in New Jersey. I worry about the future our children will inherit.

Because the challenges that face us are both great and grave, we need to make sure that we have the right people in office making the tough decisions. As the Mayor of Manalapan, I made local government more transparent by televising all meetings and improving access to public records online. I prevented urban sprawl by purchasing open space and supporting farmland preservation programs. I also reduced the size of government while making it more efficient. I will work to do the same in Trenton.

I am not the usual candidate for public office. I earned an MBA in Finance from Fordham University and own a small consulting firm that does no business within the State of New Jersey. There is nothing I want from the Trenton machine. Instead, I would like to change the way business is done in Trenton so we can get our spending under control and shift the funding of education away from property taxes and over to the State income tax system, where it belongs.

The Women’s Political Caucus of NJ recently endorsed me. They said that women elected to public office make a difference in our quality of life and change the political environment for the better by helping to restore the public’s trust in government. Women elected to public office waste no time in rolling up their sleeves to get the job done. I have also been endorsed by Planned Parenthood as I stand in defense of women’s rights.

Along with my running mate John Amberg, I have run a grassroots campaign, walking door to door and trying to speak with as many of the 141,000 voters in our district as possible. If we missed your door, I do apologize. You’ll notice that we had no fancy literature and did not bombard you with mailing after mailing. Nor have we said anything negative about our opponents. We’ve run a clean campaign based upon our ideas that we would enact when elected.

I know I can begin to fix the problems in Trenton but I need your help. On November 3rd, when you go out to vote, please vote for Michelle Roth and John Amberg. Let our voice be your voice in Trenton. Let us put your family first.

With warm regards,

Michelle Roth, Candidate
12th Assmebly District

www.roth-amberg.com

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Filed under 12th district, John Amberg, Michele Roth, open letter

DURING FIRST WEEK OF NEW CONGRESS, HOLT REINTRODUCES ONLINE JOB TRAINING AND BATTLEFIELD PROTECTION BILLS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Washington, D.C.) – On the first day of the 111th Congress, U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) reintroduced the Online Job Training Act and the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act.

The Online Job Training Act (H.R. 145) would provide grants to states to establish or improve workforce training programs on the Internet. The bill would make job training more accessible and convenient for prospective workers. The legislation is based on a successful online learning pilot program run by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Rutgers University.

“In 2009, our first priority must be jobs, jobs, and jobs,” Holt said. “We need innovative programs that help get people back to work, and online job training is one such program that merits our support.”

Under the bill, each state would be eligible for $100,000 in federal funding to implement or enhance online courses as part of their workforce investment programs. The bill would also authorize $1 million for the creation of a national center for excellence in online job training to coordinate with state and local workforce investment boards as they develop technology-driven methods for education and job training.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development pilot program has demonstrated the value and effectiveness of online courses in providing skills training and education to low waged workers. This program, developed by Dr. Mary Gatta, Director of Workforce Policy and Research at Rutgers University’s Center for Women and Work, provided 128 women with a computer, Internet connection and access to online courses. Nearly all the women completed the program, and participants experienced a 14 percent annual wage increase.

One New Jersey woman took a course at night, while working in a residential group home. Because she was gaining certificates and job training in Excel and Access, her employer gave her a promotion to digitize and then manage the bookkeeping/database. In fact, she competed with another employee with more seniority for the promotion, and received the promotion specifically because of her job training. With the money from the promotion, she was able to start saving to send her daughter to college.

“Congressman’s Holt’s bill demonstrates the importance of using technology to better deliver education and training to all Americans,” Gatta said. “Over the years, many other states have implemented similar online learning programs for marginalized groups, and this bill represents a significant next step in scaling these programs up nationwide.”

The Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act (H.R. 146) would establish a federal grant program specifically for preserving and protecting battle sites associated with the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Urbanization, suburban sprawl, and unplanned commercial and residential development have encroached on many of the significant battlefields of the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. According to a 2007 National Parks Service (NPS) report, 170 of 677 nationally significant sites associated with the two wars are in danger of being destroyed in the next 10 years, including sites in Trenton and Princeton. At least 33 states could benefit if the bill becomes law. The bill passed the House in the 110th Congress but did not receive a vote in the Senate.

“The battlefields of the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 provide a unique opportunity for Americans to experience where and how the epic struggle for our nation’s independence took place,” Holt said. “Preserving these American historic treasures is essential in remembering the sacrifices that our forefathers made to secure our freedom and independence, and in educating future generations about our rich cultural history.”

Enactment of Holt’s legislation would set aside funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the preservation and protection of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields and related historical sites, as is currently done for Civil War sites. The bill would allow officials at the American Battlefield Protection Program to collaborate with state and local governments and non profit organizations to preserve and protect the most endangered historical sites and to provide up to 50 percent of the costs of purchasing battlefield land threatened by sprawl and commercial development.

In addition to the 170 sites in danger of being destroyed within the next 10 years, the NPS “Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States” found that 99 have already been lost forever and 234 are in poor condition.

Contact: Zach Goldberg
202-225-5801 (office)

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Filed under 111th Congress, 12th district, Battlefield Protection Act, Civil War, conservation, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Online Job Training Act, Revolutionary War, Rush Holt

>DURING FIRST WEEK OF NEW CONGRESS, HOLT REINTRODUCES ONLINE JOB TRAINING AND BATTLEFIELD PROTECTION BILLS

>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Washington, D.C.) – On the first day of the 111th Congress, U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) reintroduced the Online Job Training Act and the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act.

The Online Job Training Act (H.R. 145) would provide grants to states to establish or improve workforce training programs on the Internet. The bill would make job training more accessible and convenient for prospective workers. The legislation is based on a successful online learning pilot program run by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Rutgers University.

“In 2009, our first priority must be jobs, jobs, and jobs,” Holt said. “We need innovative programs that help get people back to work, and online job training is one such program that merits our support.”

Under the bill, each state would be eligible for $100,000 in federal funding to implement or enhance online courses as part of their workforce investment programs. The bill would also authorize $1 million for the creation of a national center for excellence in online job training to coordinate with state and local workforce investment boards as they develop technology-driven methods for education and job training.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development pilot program has demonstrated the value and effectiveness of online courses in providing skills training and education to low waged workers. This program, developed by Dr. Mary Gatta, Director of Workforce Policy and Research at Rutgers University’s Center for Women and Work, provided 128 women with a computer, Internet connection and access to online courses. Nearly all the women completed the program, and participants experienced a 14 percent annual wage increase.

One New Jersey woman took a course at night, while working in a residential group home. Because she was gaining certificates and job training in Excel and Access, her employer gave her a promotion to digitize and then manage the bookkeeping/database. In fact, she competed with another employee with more seniority for the promotion, and received the promotion specifically because of her job training. With the money from the promotion, she was able to start saving to send her daughter to college.

“Congressman’s Holt’s bill demonstrates the importance of using technology to better deliver education and training to all Americans,” Gatta said. “Over the years, many other states have implemented similar online learning programs for marginalized groups, and this bill represents a significant next step in scaling these programs up nationwide.”

The Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act (H.R. 146) would establish a federal grant program specifically for preserving and protecting battle sites associated with the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Urbanization, suburban sprawl, and unplanned commercial and residential development have encroached on many of the significant battlefields of the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. According to a 2007 National Parks Service (NPS) report, 170 of 677 nationally significant sites associated with the two wars are in danger of being destroyed in the next 10 years, including sites in Trenton and Princeton. At least 33 states could benefit if the bill becomes law. The bill passed the House in the 110th Congress but did not receive a vote in the Senate.

“The battlefields of the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 provide a unique opportunity for Americans to experience where and how the epic struggle for our nation’s independence took place,” Holt said. “Preserving these American historic treasures is essential in remembering the sacrifices that our forefathers made to secure our freedom and independence, and in educating future generations about our rich cultural history.”

Enactment of Holt’s legislation would set aside funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the preservation and protection of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields and related historical sites, as is currently done for Civil War sites. The bill would allow officials at the American Battlefield Protection Program to collaborate with state and local governments and non profit organizations to preserve and protect the most endangered historical sites and to provide up to 50 percent of the costs of purchasing battlefield land threatened by sprawl and commercial development.

In addition to the 170 sites in danger of being destroyed within the next 10 years, the NPS “Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States” found that 99 have already been lost forever and 234 are in poor condition.

Contact: Zach Goldberg
202-225-5801 (office)

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Filed under 12th district, Civil War, conservation, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Revolutionary War, Rush Holt