Category Archives: Steve Lonegan

Behind Christie’s budget is the largest property tax hike New Jersey has ever seen

NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
BY STEVE LONEGAN

Rush Limbaugh is singing the praises of Governor Christie’s budget. National pundits talk of “spending cuts.” Some enthusiasts have gone as far as starting a “Christie for President” chant.

So many words. But as the big government spin machine rolls on, what is really happening?

Sweep away the bluster and the attitude, and behind it all is the largest property tax hike New Jersey has ever seen.

As was said of Bill Clinton’s budget in 1996 — “The era of big government is over — and all the programs are in place.” Underneath the hype that cocoons Christie’s budget is the fact that it grows state government by more than 6 percent — more than double the proposed 2.5 percent cap on local governments.

Beyond the rhetoric of phantom “spending cuts” is the fact that there are no layoffs in the bloated government payroll that exploded under the direction of Govs. Christie Whitman, James McGreevy and Jon Corzine. Every entitlement program is not just in place, but expanded. Property tax relief to suburban and rural taxpayers is reduced by an astonishing $2.56 billion.

Under Christie, New Jersey’s own Cap and Trade program is being implemented. This program not only mirrors, to the word, President Obama’s proposal, but places an enormous cost of $70 million on utility ratepayers this year alone.

And that’s not the only plank of the Obama agenda in the Christie budget. This budget implements the “public option” — called “family care” — and expands it by an astonishing $107 million, as the Christie administration announces its participation in the Obama “catastrophic pool.”

Christie’s budget expands entitlement programs as well, with food stamp eligibility expanded to 185 percent of poverty level, up from the traditional 135 percent.

Under this budget, state government grows at three times the rate of inflation. No departments are eliminated. No departments are consolidated. All bureaucrats remain in place and the central planners are in their glory.

Limbaugh, in common with other Christie cheerleaders, claims that the budget cuts spending by $11 billion. These are the infamous “phantom cuts” I spoke of earlier.

Here are the facts: The budget adopted by the Legislature in June of 2009 was $29.8 billion. The Christie budget spends $28.3 billion. Where’s the $11 billion cut?

The cut appears to be $1.5 billion, but where does it come from? Some $840 million of the cut comes from property tax relief in the form of school aid to primarily suburban school districts. Another $420 million comes from cuts to municipalities. And $1.3 billion in property tax rebate checks are eliminated.

This all adds up to a massive suburban property tax hike.

Are these real spending cuts — as in cuts that reduce the size and scope of government — or simply a cover story that hides a 6 percent spending increase?

Whatever it is, Limbaugh is buying it. It doesn’t matter to him that aid to taxpayers is cut by $2.56 billion, that the budget is down only $1.5 billion, with the other $1 billion being shifted to funding bigger government in Trenton.

State funding for pre-school programs, primarily in what used to be referred to as urban Abbott districts, is at a record $613 million, up from $593 million under Corzine. Christie called this “babysitting” during the election, but under him this “babysitting” is averaging more than $12,000 per child.

It’s shocking when you consider that places like Hoboken — with six-figure median incomes — were actually classified as Abbott districts and receive millions in free day care provided by Christie’s pre-school program.

Christie’s budget sends a record 60 percent of our income tax to these districts. Under Corzine the amount was 54 percent. Christie is doing to the suburbs what Corzine would never have succeeded in doing.

To further burden taxpayers, the runaway debt continues with the state borrowing an additional $500 million in new debt for school construction — primarily in the Abbott districts — without voter approval. The beleaguered State Pension System receives not a cent of the state’s required contribution, down from the $160 million budgeted by Corzine in 2009. This is not a cut — this is kicking the can down the road.

In this fragile housing market, homeowners can expect their home values to drop even further as buyers discount purchase prices due to higher taxes. The loss of school and municipal aid will drive up property taxes at a record pace, resulting in a corresponding loss in property values. This means a loss of annual income and a loss of wealth.

At a time when our nation is struggling to recover from a recession, this budget drives a dagger into our economic recovery. I wonder if Rush Limbaugh supports such policies?

Voters should urge their legislators to vote no on the Christie budget. A vote for this budget is a vote for record property tax hikes.

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Filed under Gov. Chris Christie, Middle Class, New Jersey, New Jersey Newsroom, property taxes, Rush Limbaugh, Steve Lonegan, tax increase

Christie Going After The "Crazy Conservatives"

It looks as if Chris Christie is trying to fly under the radar to snatch up crazy conservative voters without moderates and independents seeing it.

PolitickerNJ’s Max Pizzaro explains what I and talking about:

Lonegan amplifies support for Christie

Putting the punctuation mark on his weekend of stumping for GOP candidate Chris Christie, movement conservative leader Steve Lonegan issued an email blast to his supporters this morning citing a quote from President Barack Obama’s rallies for incumbent Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine.

“He said that Corzine was ‘one of the best partners I have in the White House…we work together. We know our work is far from over.’

“That’s right,” Lonegan added. “The radical national agenda of Barack Obama is hoping to get a boost from the election for Governor of New Jersey. You know what that means. Last week, the most left-wing Speaker in the history of Congress unpacked her plan to take over health care – and with it 18% of the American economy. Coupled with the Obama ‘cap & tax’ scheme, both these bills will destroy American competitiveness, drive-up costs, and amount to the largest collective tax increase ever.

“It is time to say no to Obama’s plans to Socialize Medicine and the way to say no is by defeating Jon Corzine this Tuesday.”

Lonegan endorsed Christie on the night of the Republican Primary, but has been mostly subdued on the campaign trail until now.

He welcomed U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) to New Jersey yesterday to campaign for Christie. Wilson shouted “You lie!” at Obama during the President’s State of the Union speech earlier this year.

Lonegan’s chief Warren County ally, Assemblyman Mike Doherty (D-Washington Twp.), a lock to win election to the state senate in the 23rd district tomorrow, said New Jersey Right to Life robocalls yesterday urged voters to vote for the only pro-life candidate in the race, Christie, and pointing out that both Corzine and independent candidate Chris Daggett are pro-abortion.

Lonegan, who beat Christie in Warren and Hunterdon counties last June, also did a robocall last night stating his strong support for Christie and urging a vote for Christie.

Moreover, “There are unprecedented call center operations at Republican HQs,” Doherty said.



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Filed under Chris Christie, Max Pizzaro, PolitickerNJ, Steve Lonegan

Monmouth County Unofficial Primary Election Results As Of 9:35 PM

As of 9:28 pm here are the unofficial primary election results for the Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor in Monmouth County. According to the County Clerk votes are still on their way in, but as for now:


Jon Corzine  seems to have won with 63.7% of the Democratic vote, while Chris Christie has defeated rival Steve Lonegan in the Republican Monmouth County primary  54.1% to 44.43%. 

DEM – Governor
212/456 46.49%
Under Votes 366
Over Votes 0
     
  Vote Count Percent
Roger Bacon 369 9.46%
Carl A. Bergmanson 482 12.35%
Jon S. Corzine 2,481 63.58%
Jeff Boss 494 12.66%
Write-In 76 1.95%
REP – Governor
212/456 46.49%
Under Votes 110
Over Votes 0
     
  Vote Count Percent
Chris Christie 6,552 54.10%
Steven M. Lonegan 5,381 44.43%
Rick Merkt 172 1.42%
Write-In 7 0.06%
Total 12,112 100.00%

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Filed under Chris Christie, Gov. Jon Corzine, Monmouth County, primary election, Steve Lonegan

GOP Salivating for New Jersey Governorship


By ANDY BARR- Politico

With New Jersey Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine lagging in the polls, Republicans couldn’t be more enthusiastic about their chances of ousting him in November.

But first they must settle an intraparty conflict over who’s best suited to do the job — former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie or former Bogota, N.J., Mayor Steve Lonegan. Assemblyman Rick Merkt is also contending for the nomination in Tuesday’s GOP gubernatorial primary, though he trails by wide margins in the polls.

The contest pits two wings of the Republican Party against each other, with Christie widely viewed as the moderate conservative with more general election appeal in a Democratic state like New Jersey and Lonegan framed as the more orthodox conservative.

Corzine trailed both GOP candidates, according to a Research 2000/Daily Kos poll released Thursday, with Christie leading the incumbent Democrat 46 percent to 39 percent, with 15 percent undecided. Lonegan held a 3 percentage-point lead over the governor, 43 percent to 40 percent, with 17 percent undecided.

According to the poll, Corzine’s favorability rating is just 36 percent, compared with 55 percent who view him unfavorably. Nine percent had no opinion.

In the GOP gubernatorial contest, most polls show Christie leading Lonegan by around 20 percentage points. A May 20 Quinnipiac University poll gave Christie a 56-to-33-point lead.

“It’s pretty obvious that it is going to be Christie vs. Corzine,” said Quinnipiac pollster Clay Richards. “There was a little doubt for a while that Christie just didn’t seem to be catching fire, but in the last few weeks, he definitely has and Lonegan has not.”

Christie has been aided in his run by the support of several prominent national Republicans and is seen as having the support of the national party establishment. Former GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Steve Forbes have spent significant time on the stump with Christie and aided the former federal prosecutor in fundraising.

In his endorsement, Romney praised Christie as “a strong conservative voice for balanced budgets, low taxes and more jobs.”

Lonegan has sought to turn Christie’s establishment support against him by questioning Christie’s willingness to let moderate Republicans from outside the state speak on his behalf.

When asked about the endorsements Christie has gotten from popular Republican figures, Lonegan strategist Rick Shaftan quickly interjected, “You mean all these moderate Republicans helping Chris Christie?”

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Filed under Chris Christie, Congressional Democrats, Gov. Jon Corzine, Mitt Romney, New Jersey, Politico.com, primary election, Republicans, Rudy Giuliani, Steve Forbes, Steve Lonegan

Quote of The Day

“Chris has been very specific about what’s broken with the state. …We’re not talking about electing an economic theorist here.”

Chris Christie Campaign Chairman Joe Kyrillos during interview with NJN senoir political corrospondent Michael Aron yesterday morning. 


Comment – Ya, just a guy who went to law school because he was so bad at math and science

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Filed under Chris Christie, Joe Kyrillos, Michael Aron, NJN, Steve Lonegan

Obama at Notre Dame

If you were like me today and didn’t get around to watching much T.V., you probaly missed the big news item of the day.

No it wasn’t the second Lonegan-Christie debate, who wants to hear two blowhard promising you everything in the sky but who will be unable to accomplish anything if elected the next Governor of NJ.

The big news item of the day was President Obama’s commencment address to the graduating students at Notre Dame University. Obama addressed the student body amidd anti-abortion protesters,thirty-nine of which were arrested, including Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff identified as “Roe” in the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that struck down state laws banning abortion.

If you missed it like I did, then check out the entire address from this CNN video

Embedded video from CNN Video

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Filed under Abortion, Chris Christie, commencement address, New Jersey, Notre Dame, President Obama, roe vs. wade, Steve Lonegan

New Jersey’s GOP Primary: Lonegan Isn’t Christie’s Biggest Problem

By Bill Pascoe , CQ politics

With five weeks left until Primary Election Day, the Republican gubernatorial primary in New Jersey just kicked into high gear.

But are the rival campaigns — and GOP primary voters — overlooking the most salient data?

Is Jon Corzine — who just registered the highest-ever job disapproval ratings on record for a New Jersey Governor — nevertheless on a glide path to reelection?

Political New Jersey has been aflutter since last Wednesday, when the release of two new surveys — one by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, and one by Strategic Vision — focused attention on the threat posed to establishment Republican frontrunner Chris Christie by conservative challenger Steve Lonegan.

Quinnipiac has a long history of polling in New Jersey.

Quinnipiac, as it always has, told us how the poll was conducted, including telling us the size of the subsample of likely GOP voters.

Strategic Vision, by contrast, didn’t tell us what was the size of the subsample of GOP voters, or tell us whether the survey respondents were screened for a likelihood to vote.

Consequently, most campaign veterans — at least those who aren’t already on the Christie campaign payroll — focused on the Quinnipiac numbers.

That Quinnipiac survey indicated that the GOP gubernatorial primary was a lot tighter than most people had believed it to be.

According to that survey, Christie’s lead over Lonegan was a mere 9 points, at 46-37 percent, among the subsample of 486 likely GOP primary voters.

Read more >>> Here

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Filed under Chris Christie, CQ politics, Gov. Jon Corzine, New Jersey, primary election, Quinipiac Poll, Republican Candidate, Steve Lonegan