Category Archives: Massachusetts

"Since when did Massachusetts being ‘whiter’ than New Jersey matter in the discussion of a 2.5 percent property tax cap?…"

That was the question asked by Assemblywoman L.Grace Spencer (D-Essex) when she heard a comment by Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Lori Grifa during today’s special session of the State Legislature to discuss property taxes.

Spencer issued a press release short after hearing the remarks which stated “Since when did Massachusetts being ‘whiter’ than New Jersey matter in the discussion of a 2.5 percent property tax cap? Ask Department of Community Affairs Lori Grifa for an answer. Because I have no idea what the relevance could possibly be.

“A property tax cap is being considered for the benefit of all property taxpayers in New Jersey, regardless of whether they’re black or white. For Commissioner Grifa to interject race in this discussion was inappropriate and unnecessary, and shows a lack of understanding of the issues at hand.”

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The answer to the above question happens to be “it doesn’t”, but it just goes to show you that some people will say anything in order to tow the company line!

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Filed under Department of Community Affairs, Lori Grifa, Massachusetts, NJ State Assembly, property tax cap


From New Jersey Assembly Democrats’s Notes

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan on Thursday morning noted statistics show Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed property tax cap would lead to higher property tax hikes in New Jersey than the state has seen the last two years.

Under the 4 percent property tax cap implemented by Democrats three years ago, New Jersey property taxes have increased 3.7 percent in 2008 and 3.3 percent in 2009, following years of increases hovering around 7.5 percent.

Christie wants to implement Massachusetts’ 2.5 percent constitutional cap, but according to Real Estate Economy Watch that cap led to a 4.8 percent hike in 2008 and a 5.1 percent increase in 2009.

“Gov. Christie’s slapped-together plan would drive New Jersey backwards in its efforts to control property taxes,” said Cryan (D-Union). “Gov. Christie and facts have never been friends, but the facts clearly show that his plan would lead to higher property taxes for New Jersey than we already have, and no one thinks that’s a good idea.”

The Democratic Legislature has approved a tougher new 2.9 percent statutory cap that builds on the success of the 4 percent cap.

Cryan also noted how the Massachusetts cap has led to, among other things, residents being charged $17 per month to keep street lights on in front of their homes.

“Gov. Christie would have us believe Massachusetts is a tax-free paradise, but under his plan, we might as well put coin slots on the street lights in front of our homes,” Cryan said. “This isn’t hysteria. This is reality, and that reality is that Gov. Christie’s plan is built on rhetoric, not facts.”


Filed under Facebook, Gov. Chris Christie, Joe Cryan, Massachusetts, NJ Assembly Dems, property tax cap, property taxes

Brown tells AP he’ll sometimes side with Democrats

Interesting article, will Scott Brown be the GOP’s 41st vote against Obama or will he side with the liberal leaning people of Massachusetts and support many of the President’s priorities ?…Time will tell.


BOSTON — Scott Brown says he has already told Senate Republican leaders they won’t always be able to count on his vote. The man who staged an upset in last week’s Massachusetts Senate special election, in part by pledging to be the 41st GOP vote against President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that he staked his claim in early conversations with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Whip Jon Kyl.

“I already told them, you know, `I got here with the help of a close group of friends and very little help from anyone down there, so there’ll be issues when I’ll be with you and there are issues when I won’t be with you,'” Brown said Thursday during the half-hour interview. “So, I just need to look at each vote and then make a proper analysis and then decide.”

Asked how McConnell and Kyl responded, Brown said, “They understood. They said, `You can probably do whatever you want, Scott. And, so, just let us know where your head’s at, and we’ll talk it through, and just keep us posted.'”

The senator-elect did not elaborate on possible breaking points, though the Washington newcomer dismissed any suggestion he will relent once he starts working in the highly partisan capital.

“That’s not pressure; pressure is what I’m going through right now,” said Brown. He cited his efforts to complete a transition in 2 1/2 weeks, compared with the normal 2 1/2 months for regularly elected senators, while preparing to surrender his responsibilities as a state senator, become a Beltway commuter and resume his triathlon training.

He started Thursday with a one-hour bike ride and 1,500-meter swim.

“I’m trying to do it very well and be balanced and still get my workouts in,” said Brown. “There’s nothing wrong with having good conversation and debating. We do it here in our own caucus, at a smaller level. … It’s just a different building, really.”

Brown beat Democrat Martha Coakley to win the seat held for nearly a half-century by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. The result rocked both the Democratic Party and the Obama administration, who viewed the seat as safe and Coakley as the pivotal 60th vote to preserve a Democratic supermajority in the Senate.

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Filed under GOP Leaders, Massachusetts, President Obama, Scott Brown, the GOP

Wednesday Weirdness III: GOP’s Scott Brown wins Massachusetts Senate seat

Democrats are stunned at the defeat of Martha Coakley in Massachusetts last night, people have a strange and peculiar way of voting against their own best interests once again.

LA Times- Reporting from Los Angeles and Boston – In a stunning blow to Democrats, Republican Scott Brown on Tuesday seized the Massachusetts Senate seat once held by Edward M. Kennedy, handing the GOP the crucial vote that could thwart President Obama’s far-reaching agenda, beginning with healthcare reform.

More broadly, Brown’s epic upset signals the start of what could be an exceedingly tough year nationwide for Democrats, who are fighting to hang on to their majorities in the House and Senate in a political climate that seems to grow more hostile by the day.

“The effort to pass Obama’s legislative agenda has grown more difficult, a flood of new Democratic congressional retirements may follow, and Republicans will certainly feel emboldened to expand their list of Democratic targets for the fall election,” said Rhodes Cook, an independent campaign analyst.

With 99% of the vote counted, Brown, a state senator, was leading Democratic state Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley 52% to 47% — a lopsidedness that only added to the humiliation for Democrats, who held the seat for well over half a century.

The scene Tuesday night at Brown’s victory party in Boston was exultant. Shouts of “Shock the World” and “Yes, We Can” — Obama’s campaign rallying cry — rang through the packed ballroom at the historic Park Plaza Hotel.

“Tonight, the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken,” Brown told the cheering crowd. “This will be the beginning of an election year filled with many surprises. When there’s trouble in Massachusetts, rest assured there’s trouble everywhere.”

The most immediate problem for Democrats is keeping alive Obama’s attempt at a healthcare overhaul — something Kennedy called “the cause of my life.”

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Filed under Martha Coakley, Massachusetts, Scott Brown, senate seat, wednesday weirdness