Category Archives: Republicans

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

Quote Of The Day: Republicans and their priorities

Remember this quote from the 33rd President of the United State, Harry S. Truman, when you head to the polls tomorrow.

It tells you all you need to know about Republicans and their priorities which seems to as true today as it was over 60 years ago.

Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home–but not for housing. They are strong for labor–but they are stronger for restricting labor’s rights. They favor minimum wage–the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all–but they won’t spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine–for people who can afford them. They consider electrical power a great blessing–but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. They think American standard of living is a fine thing–so long as it doesn’t spread to all the people. And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.”

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Filed under 33rd President, American farmers, Harry S. Truman, medical care, minimum wage, Quote of the day, Republicans, schools, Teachers

Corruption Behind the $4 Million Tab for Tax Appeals in Middletown

By guest blogger Linda Baum

I’m sure we all recall the big jump in our property assessments on 2009 tax bills. That was the result of a town-wide revaluation done at the height of the market in 2008 — a huge mistake. It guaranteed there would be an onslaught of appeals and the drastic measures we saw this year by the Mayor and Township Committee to find extra money to pay the $4 million dollar tab.

Remember the ugliness? The seizure of $500,000 of library funds and threats of police layoffs to gain concessions. Middletown certainly didn’t feel like a great place to live.

The Township should have done a revaluation years earlier. It had been at least 15 years since the last one. The company hired to do the revaluation had difficulty explaining the delay. That company, Realty Appraisal, does loads of revaluations around the State, and the cause for the delay didn’t stem from their efforts. So then where does blame lie?

If you spoke to the County Tax Administrator, I’m sure he would tell you that revaluations should probably happen every 4-5 years. By waiting, Middletown drew the ire of the County Tax Board.

Middletown Republicans basically thumbed their noses at the County and refused to do a revaluation while other municipalities followed the law. Meanwhile, the richest property owners in the Township saw property values increase hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in that time period while their taxes were based on assessments from long ago.

Residents in less affluent sections of the Township were picking up the tab for the Navesink River Road crowd. That’s because when expensive properties are dramatically under-assessed, the effect is to remove potentially hundreds of millions from the town-wide assessment base. The result is that everyone else pays proportionately more.

The low assessment base means that the tax rate would have been set too high. Evidence of that is the big decline in the overall tax rate upon revaluation – it went from $3.787 in 2008 to $1.725 in 2009 (per $100 of assessed value). Owners of newly built homes would have been among the most adversely affected by the inflated tax rate, which, coupled with their higher more up-to-date assessments, means they were paying more in property taxes than they should have been in the years prior to the revaluation.

The bottom line is that the more valuable your property and the longer you owned it, the more money you stood to save from the Township’s failure to revaluate.

Per the County, around 60% of Middletown residents saw a reduction in taxes as a result of the revaluation. Since the Township still needed to collect the same total revenue, it stands to reason that owners of high end properties saw the largest dollar increases in their taxes after the revaluation.

It seems to me the Township most likely delayed the revaluation for two reasons.

First, the Republican Party leaders resided along the Navesink River Road corridor and had enjoyed tax-free, enormous increases in the value of their homes. As they took advantage of this increase in equity, the Township gave them a free pass. A revaluation would have increased taxes for many of them.

Second, Democrats had started to take seats on the Township Committee and the Republican Party desperately wanted to avoid losing votes, and possibly control of the Township, by doing a revaluation. Republican strongholds like Shadow Lake might have punished Republican leaders for tax increases and shifted the balance of power.

The County was upset with Middletown officials and, in 2008, took the unprecedented step of suspending our tax assessor, Charlie Heck, for failing to submit the paperwork necessary to do the revaluation. In a brazen admission of the underlying truths, then Mayor Scharfenberger actually referred to Mr. Heck as “Saint Charlie”. And this year, Mayor Fiore and our all-Republican Township Committee voted unanimously to award Mr. Heck a $15,000 bonus.

While you can draw your own conclusions, it seems obvious to me that Republican officials manipulated the process for their own political and personal financial gain. Due to their delays, when they were finally compelled by the County to submit the data for the revaluation, they did so on the eve of the financial crisis, just before property values plummeted. It would have been wise to postpone the revaluation until the market settled, but they couldn’t ask for another extension because they were already in deep trouble with the County for waiting as long as they had.

The delay cost taxpayers dearly. To deal with the unrealistic property data created by the poorly-timed revaluation, the Township was forced to undertake a costly reassessment this year, forcing taxpayers to expend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a reassessment that could have been avoided.

The overall tab may be $6 million or more now. Township officials won’t reveal how much or exactly where the money is coming from to pay for it. But appeal awards continue to roll in, and one thing is certain. Middletown residents will be feeling the sting for years to come.

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Filed under Charles Heck, corruption, Middletown Township Committee, property tax reassessment, property tax revaluation, Republicans, Shadow Lake, tax appeals, tax assessor, tax rate

Letter: Middletown GOP to blame for poor fiscal policies

The following letter appears online today at the Asbury Park Press:

In his Oct. 21 letter, “Real solutions to problems put Middletown on right track,” Mayor Anthony Fiore admitted that Middletown government is derailed. I could not agree more.

True to form, he falsely blames years of excessive spending, unnecessary bonding, escalating taxation and debt, all cradled in Republican mismanagement, on the Middletown Democrats who somehow magically made elected Republicans spend our tax dollars. This is just more empty rhetoric to go with decades of empty promises.

After Fiore strong-armed $500,000 from library funds, took $350,000 for the second year in a row from sewerage authority fees and used $1.3 million in public education funds, his so-called fiscal discipline required a 12 percent tax increase to cover $45 million of a $62 million budget. This lack of incumbent Republican fiscal discipline has Middletown looking at a projected $2 million shortfall for 2012.

Ask Mayor Fiore if he has a real solution. Past Republican practice points at raising taxes. During his term, he has contributed 22 percent to a 40 percent increase in taxes over the last five years. Past practice also points at adding to our $70 million debt, which has increased 66 percent over the same five years.

Finally, at least $2.4 million of $4 million in “cuts” claimed by Mayor Fiore were onetime nonrecurring expenses that were never part of the 2011 budget.

Put a stop to more than 30 years of poor fiscal policy and borrowing. Please help our community get back on track. Vote for James Grenafege and Carol Fowler.

James Grenafege

Middletown Township Committee candidate

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Jim Grenafege, letter to the editor, Middletown Democrats, Middletown Library, Middletown Sewerage Authority, property taxes, Republicans, Tony Fiore

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

5 Reasons Why Chris Christie Would Be A Horrible President

This post from Addicting Info hits on all the points as to why our Governor, Chris Christie, would be a disaster as president. The post is not mean-spirted, just a matter-of-fact telling of how it is. Christie maybe the latest GOP flavor of the day and making people sit on the edge of their seats waiting like eager children for a double scoop of Rocky Road ice cream but the bottom line is, he is on the wrong side of many issues that are important to the average person.

The new Republican face of the week is Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. After constantly saying “no” over and over when questioned whether he will run for president, Christie is possibly having a change of heart. Added into the mix of current candidates, Christie would surely shake things up. His anti-worker stance in New Jersey has been popular among conservatives, but hated by many others. Here are 5 reasons why Chris Christie would be a horrible president.

1. War on Workers – As we look around the country, the war on workers has grown. Conservative governors such as Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Rick Scott in Florida, have stepped on the average worker and union member as they’ve seen their rights stripped away at every turn. Chris Christie is one of the names on the list that has gone after union rights. In order to get his budget under control, instead of asking the wealthiest members of his state to contribute, Christie attacked union members and forced them into pension and health care cuts and froze their raises in the future.

2. Anti-Education – Like many other conservatives, the attack on public education is nothing new. Republicans look to privatize schools, manipulate the curriculum and cut more spending out of their budget to preserve the tax breaks for the wealthiest members of their state. Christie has cut over $1 billion in public education since coming into office, which effects both teachers and students. Public education cuts have more to do than just tightening the budget, they are also a great way to break apart public sector unions. Public school teachers are part of a larger public sector union, which are one of the top contributors to Democratic campaigns. Like his Republican friends, Christie looks to destroy unions in order to weaken the Democratic party, even at the expensive of working Americans.

3. Destroying Social Security – Out of all the government programs, none has stood the test of time and been as successful as Social Security. Before the great President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law, over 75% of seniors lived in poverty, today that number is less than 10%. Chris Christie has followed the GOP stance on Social Security and calls for privatization and raising the retirement age. Currently, seniors over the age of 65 receive benefits. Christie and the Republicans have looked to raise the retirement age to close to 70, forcing the elderly to work even longer despite the average life expectancy in the US to be only 73. While Democrats look to preserve the program, Christie and the Republicans look to destroy it.

4. Christie, of course, loves the rich – While middle-class families lost their property tax rebates, got kicked out of health care programs and schools lost over $1 billion in funding causing massive tuition hikes, Chris Christie pushed to give tax breaks to top income earners. The “token” line of defense for Christie and the Republicans is that if you lower taxes, businesses will want to stay in the state, build and create jobs. This is proven to be false on many occasions. Many pharmaceutical companies have left Christie’s state of New Jersey and headed for states like California and Massachusetts not because of the tax rate, but because they have better research and development centers. Cutting taxes on the rich at the expensive of the middle-class is not just wrong, but deplorable.

5. His Health – When discussing a political candidate, people should stay away from personal matters unless it would really be detrimental to the office. Chris Christie has been criticized, and rightfully so, for his out of control weight problem. Christie has had a history of medical problems, and was even taken to the emergency room in July because of severe breathing problems and an asthma attack. Obesity is one of the leading causes of heart failure, and Christie is the perfect example of someone who needs to take better care of themselves. The issue with Christie’s weight has nothing to do with his politics, but maybe instead of trying to take care of the country, he should try to take care of himself first.

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Filed under AddictingInfo.com, Education, GOP presidential candidate, Gov. Chris Christie, millionaire tax cuts, New Jersey, Republicans, Social Security, war on workers

A Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican

As posted on AddictingInfo.com

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards.

He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised. All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should loose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression. Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans.

The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.

After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home. He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have”.

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Filed under AddictingInfo.com, health benefits and pension, Joe Republican, Liberals, Middle Class, Republicans, retirement benefits, unions