Category Archives: Democrats

DCCC Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet; Arm Yourself With The Facts Before It’s Too Late

Just in case your Republican friends or relatives at Thanksgiving try to repeat anything they’ve heard from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or by reading Sarah Palin’s Facebook page, we wanted to help you respond with the truth.

(click to enlarge)

You can download this years edition of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet for yourself (or email it to a friend) to have on hand when the Thanksgiving dinner conversation inexplicably turns from footbal to politics.

Arm yourself with the facts before it’s too late.

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Filed under cheat sheet, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Democrats, Glenn Beck, Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Thanksgiving

Another APP Endorsement That Leaves You Scratching Your Head; Take All The Incumbents In The 12th

After coming out in September, stating how ineffective the incumbent politicians that dominate Trenton are, the Asbury Park Press Editorial Board came out with its endorsements on Friday for the newly drawn 12th Legislative District candidates and has endorsed the incumbent politicians that are already serving in Trenton.

…None of the candidates seeking legislative seats in the newly redrawn 12th District served in the district previously. But the experienced Republican slate includes two incumbent lawmakers, one from the 13th District and another from the 30th, and a Monmouth County freeholder.

Two of the three Democrats have run for the Legislature, and lost, before. The other is a newcomer.

Our preference is for the three proven Republican candidates, Samuel Thompson for Senate and Ronald Dancer and Robert Clifton for the Assembly seats. All have served their constituents well in their respective political offices and deserve voters’ support….

Is that it, is this their reason for endorsing the incumbent? They have the proven experience?
It seems that this year the APP editorial board is just looking for excuses NOT to endorse Democrats as opposed to looking for reasons as to why they should endorse incumbent Republicans.
The editorial would lead us to believe that Democratic Senate Candidate Bob Brown,who went on disability 30 years ago after being shot in the line of duty as a police officer in Old Bridge, would have gotten the APP endorsement if only he would have agreed with the Governor’s overhaul of the health and pension benefits for public employees that was passed earlier this year.
To add some support to this argument, you only have to look at the endorsement of Democrat Vin Gopal in the 11th District Assembly race for confirmation. There the endorsement seemed to place greater weight behind the perception that Gopal’s willingness “to compromise in order to get much-needed work done.”. This endorsement also went on to say that “… an injection of fresh blood..”, was needed.
Why hasn’t the same reasoning been applied for the 12th district? Is compromising one’s principles now more important than standing by what one feels is the right thing to do? It would seem so for Democrats William Spedding of Jackson and Catherine Tinney Rome of Old Bridge in their race for the Assembly.
Reader comments left by posters to the online article would seem to agree:
watchdoggg
6:51 AM on October 29, 2011

Dancer, Clifton, and Thompson. Another name for them would be Three Blind Mice.
I’ve rubbed elbows with Thompson at socials, and ALL he ever talks about is what a great job he’s done. In 14 years in office I ask, WHAT JOB, what have you done ??
Clifton, a leftover of the Club Monmouth wrecking crew, still endorsing the “Clubs” mantra by taking care of it’s members.
Dancer, just another incumbent for the party sake.
All three endorse Christie, so I’ll be voting for their opponents.
Signed,….Monmouth County Republican.

BigBlue86
10:35 AM on October 29, 2011

Hey, APP – Why not save some space and time and just put one editorial stating “Just Vote Republican”? You really don’t endorse anyone else anyway. Why bother with the dog and pony show of days of editorials? I’ll vote against anyone you endorse anyway.

HerbWhiteside
12:47 PM on October 29, 2011


TALK ABOUT HYPOCRISY. You couldn’t endorse Brown because he WOULD HAVE voted against Christies Pension reform YET you endorse a proud double dipper(GOP Party boss)Sam Thompson, (not including his Social Security which makes him a triple dipper). Obviously this endorsement is about access to the GOP statehouse and elitist cocktail parties and has nothing to do with whats best for NJ.

VinnieRomano
1:00 PM on October 29, 2011


The APP endorses Christies 3 Stooges. They would have a shred more of credibility if they endorsed “none of the above” Lets be real here the Democrats in this case at least have some fresh ideas and clean backgrounds.
If it wasn’t for a Republican administration Dancer would be under serious investigation. Sam Thompson is just liberal republican party hack with a dubious double pension dipping scandal lurking in the background and Clifton is not qualified to hold any public office. At least if we got rid of the incumbents gave the other guys a shot and voted them out if they let us down. But No you endorse the status quo. I hope the overtaxed, under represented voters in the 12th district put aside party and at least take a shot at some new blood in Trenton.

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Filed under 12th Legislative District, Asbury Park Press, Bob Brown, Democrats, endorsement, reader comments, republican incumbents, Sam Thompson, Trenton

President Obama’s Weekly Address 10/29/11: "We Can’t Wait" to Strengthen the Economy and Create Jobs

WASHINGTON—In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that we can’t wait for Congress to take action to grow the economy and create jobs, and highlighted the executive actions he took this week to help families save thousands of dollars by refinancing their mortgages, put veterans to work, and lower the cost of student loans. The President continued to urge Congress to do its part and pass the American Jobs Act now, which will put more money in the pockets of middle class families, create jobs and strengthen our economy right away.

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

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Filed under American Jobs Act, Congress, Democrats, Job creation, middle-class families, mortage crisis, President Obama, Republicans, student loans, weekly address

Letter: Middletown needs balanced Twp. Committee

The letter below appears in this weeks edition of the Independent.

I ’ve heard so many people say with defeat, “It didn’t used to be like this.” They are talking about our town officials’ apparent disregard for the residents they serve.

Middletown has been ruled for many years by a Republican majority. Our five-member Township Committee is all-Republican this year, and many residents would agree that things seem worse than ever .

There is a saying: If you keep doing the same thing, you can expect the same outcome. If we want to make things better in Middletown, we need to choose better representatives who put residents above all.

OnNov. 8, we fill twoTownship Committee seats. It’s our chance to put some balance back on the dais. But we need to vote in both Democratic candidates, not just one. We need two people who together guard our interests in order to make a real difference.

One reason is because it takes two votes to get any issue discussed — one committee member to make the motion, and another to second it. Without that critical second vote, an idea — no matter how good — dies on the vine.

There is a long list of issues that our Republican officials refuse to have a conversation about. And right now, they don’t have to. We can’t force them. They can do just exactly as they please, without any justification, no matter what it costs you. And if you’ve been paying attention to your tax bills, I don’t need to tell you what the price has been.

There’s another reason why having two Democratic representatives is so important. It takes four votes out of five to approve new debt. Three alone can’t do it, certainly not without having a real conversation about it first.

Paul J. Jansen
Middletown

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Filed under Democrats, letter to the editor, Middletown Township Committee, Republican Majority, the Independent

As A Matter Of Fact…Budget vetoes: The scorpion and the frog

July 6th, 2011 | Published in NJPP Blog: As a Matter of Fact …

By Mary E. Forsberg, Research Director

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

Replies the scorpion: “It’s my nature…”

This parable has many variations: the scorpion and turtle; the snake and dog; the viper and farmer. What each variation has in common is a bad actor, a character who can’t play fair, even if it means he might perish.

Those who are reading the press these days may recognize certain similarities with the current state of politics in New Jersey. And the Democratic leadership surely is croaking now.

It wasn’t a surprise that the governor wielded his ax against the Millionaires’ tax and women’s health programs. He did it before. He said he would do it again and he did it.

What was surprising, though, were the other cuts that had nothing to do with policy and everything to do with the very nature of his leadership. The cuts are unprecedented and go beyond any reasonable policy and fiscal considerations.

The Legislature

The budgets of the Executive office, the Legislature and the Judiciary have always been sacrosanct; a “gentleman’s agreement” has traditionally given each responsibility for its own budget and spending.

No governor before has chopped 41 percent from the Legislature’s staff salary accounts, but that’s exactly what the governor did. And he did it with a dose of venom, saying:

“The budget as adopted by the Legislature relied upon exaggerated revenue estimates, flawed assumptions concerning fund balances and ignored the harsh reality of its spending decisions. This reduction, among many others enumerated herein necessitated reductions of known surpluses, imprudent spending and other excesses.”

People who have noticed this salary cut haven’t made much of it. But the fact is, it has the potential to shift the balance of power in the legislative branch. Here’s how that works.

The salary accounts that the governor cut will not affect the salaries of legislators or those of their district office staff. The ones cut supported the Democratic and Republican legislative committee aides and the people who run the partisan staff offices in Trenton. Money for those salaries is appropriated to the Senate and Assembly in a lump sum and is divided based on which party is in the majority – the majority party (currently the Democrats) gets more of the money, has a bigger staff and has the larger suite of offices.

Unless the Legislature overrides this veto with a 2/3 vote (which would require the support of both parties), the staff of those offices will be significantly reduced. How these cuts are shared will be up to the majority Democrats in the Senate and Assembly. And as Assembly Speaker Oliver, a Democrat, was quoted as saying, “I’m certainly not going to shoot myself in the foot.”

Whether the governor understands this or not, a greatly reduced Republican partisan staff in Trenton is certainly a possible outcome of this line item veto.

Higher Education

Students and institutions of higher education felt the sting of the governor’s veto, which cut full-time and part-time Tuition Aid Grants (TAG) below even his own budget recommendation in March. He reduced the Democrats’ appropriation by $48.5 million, even though the amount in the Democrat’s budget was only $21.3 million more than his budget recommended.

In another unusual veto, the governor reduced the number of state-funded positions at each college by nearly 1,200 positions overall. This veto is an easy one to overlook and understanding it isn’t straightforward. What it means, however, is that the governor is reducing the state’s obligation to pay fringe benefits costs for these positions and is transferring those costs to the colleges – all without prior consultation and at the last minute. It is a backhanded way of again reducing the state’s responsibility for its higher education system. For Rutgers University and the Agricultural Experiment Station, this represents a 6 percent loss; for the other colleges, a 5 percent loss.

The veto message was again venomous. He blames the Legislature for this cost shift, saying:

“The Legislature’s failure to appropriately fund health benefit costs for all state employees necessitated a reduction in the state’s support of employee fringe benefits at all public institutions of higher education.”

Legal Services to the Poor

If you are poor in New Jersey and have a legal problem, save it until next year – maybe. Like the TAG scholarship, legal services will be significantly less than even what the governor proposed in his March budget.

His veto eliminated all state funding ($600,000) for the legal clinics at Seton Hall University Law School, Rutgers Newark Law School and Rutgers Camden Law School. In March he budgeted each of them for $200,000 apiece.

He also apparently took umbrage at the additional $5 million included by the Democrats in their budget for Legal Services of New Jersey, which provides legal services to poor people in civil matters. He cut that budget by $10 million – leaving Legal Services of New Jersey with a smaller budget than he recommended in March.

Cleaning up New Jersey

The Governor’s veto cut $18.8 million or 16 percent of the amount he recommended in March for Department of Environmental Protection programs that safeguard and preserve the state’s environment – for remediation of hazardous waste, underground storage tanks, monitoring water, and dealing with diesel pollution. Funding for these programs comes from a 4 percent constitutional dedication of corporate business tax (CBT) revenues. The effort by the governor and some in the Legislature to ensure that New Jersey is “open for business” by doing away with regulations and reducing corporate taxes means less money is available to protect New Jersey’s environment.

The moral of the budget

No one expected the governor to move away from his ideological position on funding health care for women or to abdicate his protection of the wealthiest in the state from the Millionaire’s tax, which would have added an additional 1.78 percent to their income tax bills this year.

But the veto message this year went beyond negotiation and fair play. There are consequences to every action. The scorpion’s sting meant death to both the scorpion and the frog. The consequences of this veto message are a less prosperous state and an increase in the chasm that separates the state’s wealthy from everyone else.

For a complete list of the governor’s line item vetoes, see the chart


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Filed under As a Matter of Fact, blog, Democrats, Gov. Chris Christie, line item veto, Millionaire'sTax, New Jersey Policy Perspective, NJ State Budget, veto override, women's health issues, working poor

What a Liberal Does on the Fourth of July

I think this sums it up pretty well

By Dan Bimrose,Founder, LiberalFix.com
Post @ Huffingtonpost.com
6/30/11

For certain elements of society the word liberal has become interchangeable with such words as communist, socialist and fascist.

While liberals such as myself choose to associate themselves with such historic figures as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, those same elements of society would suggest that each of us tree hugging “ne-er do wells” have a secret room with a secret wall painted red and devoted to displaying pictures of Hitler, Mussolini and Lenin.

On a day when we should all celebrate our nation and some of us recount historically accurate stories of our nation’s birth, there are members of society who find it difficult to imagine that it would be possible for self-styled liberals, progressives and Democrats to find cause for celebration on the Fourth of July.

This all too common charge that those like us are unpatriotic and un-American is an allegation that I take great umbrage with.

By definition conservatives and liberals do not think alike and that is just fine. The idea, however, that liberals are unpatriotic is absurd. Those who say such things are guilty of one of two things, they are either ignorant or they are lying with the intent of influencing your opinion so that it more closely represents their opinion.

Liberals do find it difficult to stomach the assertion that our founding fathers believed that there is an inherit bias toward discrimination in the documents and actions produced by those very same founding fathers.

I will allow that the 3/5 compromise which allowed for slaves to be counted as 3/5 of a white man for the purpose of determining a states representation in Congress, and the lack of a provision guaranteeing women the right to vote were monumental fails in regards to discrimination. The need to compromise to achieve a bigger goal allowed for these fails to exist.

Time, acquired wisdom, and progress would eventually fix these wrongs. Liberals respect, honor and cherish the Constitution as an evolving document capable of being changed when we as a nation are ready for change.

We believe that the founders had it right when they said in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We believe this to be the very worthy intent of our founding fathers.

We acknowledge conservatives love the Constitution as well. Well, they love certain parts of the Constitution. Different conservative groups would love to repeal a variety of amendments including the 8th, the 14th, the 16th, the 17th, the 19th and possibly the 26th amendment.

Liberals do believe that children born in the inner city or poverty stricken rural areas deserve the same access to health care as blue bloods spending the holiday on Martha’s Vineyard. We are not unpatriotic because we believe this. Perhaps you could call us compassionate, but not unpatriotic.

We understand that we pass on more to our children than just budgets and balance sheets. We also pass on the environment and the planet to our children and grandchildren. Regardless of whether or not we feel that global warming is real or a myth we still value clean water and clean air.

We may not appreciate the wars we are currently fighting in the Middle East, but we love and respect our soldiers. After all they are our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, wives and husbands.

We believe that teachers, policeman and firefighters should be paid and paid well due to their value and service to our community.

We believe that all of our children deserve libraries, gym class, and the opportunity to star in their school play.

We believe our country is great because we are a melting pot, not in spite of it. We value diversity. This is the American Way. This was the American dream.

We pay our taxes, but think that the wealthiest amongst us and the most profitable industries can share in bearing a little extra burden to fix our government’s mistakes.

We believe that our senior citizens are people who have served our countries and their families well. They deserve not just our respect, but the ability to retire with the reasonable assurance that their health needs and financial needs will be met.

No, we do not agree with everything and most of the time we do not agree with anything, but it is not necessary to call each other unpatriotic or un-American. Liberals do not think conservatives are evil, we just think they are wrong. Perhaps some of the name calling conservatives out there will learn that liberals are Americans too.

What will I be doing this 4th of July?

More than likely my children will wake me up early so that we can go to the local parade, but before we leave for the parade I will hang our flag outside.

I am assuming and hoping the day will be filled with at least two Italian sausages smothered in onions, one elephant ear, and multiple lemon shake-ups. At the parade I will shake hands with a few elected officials, but reserve my support and encouragement for those politicians that are Democrats. In my part of Indiana, they need all the help they can get.

I will conclude the day by watching the local fireworks display right before rushing home to put the kids in the tub so I can clean off the cotton candy that has become caked on their faces. With any luck I will not have to get out the tweezers to remove a roasted peanut from my youngest daughter’s ear.

We will go straight from the tub to the bedroom where we will sing songs and the kids will say their prayers before being tucked in and given strict orders to “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite”.

So what do liberals do on the 4th of July?

Pretty much the same thing everyone else does.

Happy 4th of July and God Bless America.

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Filed under 4th of July, Conservatives, Democrats, founding fathers, liberalfix.com, Liberals, Republicans, The Huffington Post, US Constitution

>After TEA Party and Coffee Party What’s Next? A Tequila Party of Course

>While Republicans enjoy TEA and Progressives partake in Coffee another group would rather party with Tequila.

That’s right, there is a new party in town called the Tequila Party and both sides of the political fence should start taking notice because now the potentially largest minority voting block, the Hispanics, has come together to see that their interests in jobs, immigration and education do not go unnoticed by Republicans and Democrats in office.

…The newly formed grass-roots group sprouted from a growing frustration among Hispanic voters that neither party is doing much to help the nation’s immigrant population and that the tea parties have turned the tide against them.

Rather than swear allegiance to one party or the other, Tequila Party members said they plan to form a Hispanic voting bloc so strong that they can no longer be ignored.
“We’re not telling anybody how to vote. We don’t care, because we do bad anyway at the polls. Right now, we need to get over that hurdle,” said DeeDee Garcia Blase, the group’s founder and president….
…”Democrats take the Latino community for granted, and Republicans tend to assume that Latinos don’t vote or that they always vote Democrat,” Quasius said. “We think both parties’ perceptions of Latinos need to be fairly shaken up.”…
You can read more about this online at Roll Call

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Filed under Coffee Party, Democrats, immigration, Latino and Hispanic voters, Republicans, Roll Call, Tea Party, Tequila Party