Category Archives: Trenton NJ

Congressman Frank Pallone Introduces Bill Bringing Sports Betting to New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 20, 2012
Contacts: Ray Zaccaro (202) 225-4671

Trenton, N.J. – On Monday January 23, 2012, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.(NJ-06) will stand with NJ State Senators Raymond Lesniak (NJ-20) and Jim Whelan (NJ-02) at the New Jersey State House to announce legislation he is introducing that will open sports betting to New Jersey. The bill will exclude New Jersey from the federal prohibition on professional and amateur sports gambling.

In November, 2011 New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure amending the state constitution to authorize the Legislature to enact laws allowing sports wagering in New Jersey. On Wednesday, Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill allowing people over the age of 21 to place a bet on a sporting event in-person at special lounges created in casinos, racetracks or at the site of a former racetrack

“The existing federal law is unconstitutional and arbitrary, giving four states access to this billion-dollar industry, while shutting out the rest,” said Pallone. “The citizens of New Jersey have made it clear they want the opportunity to share in the profits from professional sports betting. This legislation will help even the playing field and uphold our state’s wishes on what is clearly a state issue.”

Senator Lesniak said, “We appreciate Congressman Pallone’s effort to get Congress to give New Jersey what our residents overwhelmingly want, the same ability to place bets on sporting events that it has given to the residents of Nevada and to boost revenues and jobs at our casinos and racetracks.”

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Filed under Congressman Frank Pallone, Gov. Chris Christie, media advisory, NJ Senator Raymond Lesniak (NJ-20), NJ State Senator Jim Whelan (NJ-02), Sports Betting, Trenton NJ

SENATOR BUONO’S STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR’S POCKET VETOES

TRENTON – Senator Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) released the following statement regarding the Governor’s pocket veto of S-668 and S-3072. S-668 would have provided New Jersey residents who save for their children’s college education through a state-administered college savings plan with a state income tax deduction for their investments. S-3072 would have promoted the establishment of partnerships between institutions of higher education and the business community to increase collaborative research and innovation:

“In these tough economic times , when middle-class families are constantly worried about how they will put food on the table let alone how they will pay for their children’s education, it is indefensible that the Governor has vetoed legislation that would have provided incentives to parents to save for their children’s college education as well as legislation that would have strengthened educational opportunities for the state’s college students, so that they may gain invaluable skills to find good, well-paying jobs.

“By providing families with a tax deduction of up to $10,000 for putting money into their children’s NJ BEST account, S-668 would have encouraged parents to save for their children’s futures. The Governor’s short-sightedness could cost New Jersey’s children and their parents the ability to pay the increasing costs of college, making our future workforce much less prepared for a global economy.

“During Governor Christie’s State of the State address, he touted the need to provide a competitive environment where businesses would choose New Jersey over other states to grow and expand their businesses and to create jobs. His actions speak louder than his words. By pocket vetoing S-3072, he has ignored an opportunity for businesses to partner with academic institutions, such as New Jersey’s colleges and universities, to drive innovation in the state. Not only would this program have helped New Jersey’s students develop skills to prepare them for careers in high-demand sectors, it would also have strengthened our workforce, making the Garden State a more attractive place to start and grow a business.

“As we move into this new legislative session, I hope that Governor Christie puts aside partisan politics, and supports legislation that would truly benefit New Jersey’s children, middle- and working-class families and businesses looking to create jobs that are actually in demand and increase economic security.”

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Filed under college education, Gov. Chris Christie, middle-class families, NJ Best, pocket veto, press release, Senator Barbara Buono, State of the State Address, Trenton NJ

>Heard It In The Hallways….

>Last week when an anonymous poster left a tidbit of information in the comments section for the post “Middletown Tax Assessor To Receive $15K “Bonus” Under New Salary Ordinance”, referring to Middletown Township Administrator Tony Mercantante being offered a job in Trenton by the Christie Administration, I found it hard to believe. I didn’t think it was plausible that the guy would leave a nice cushy position in Middletown making over $125,000 a year, to take a less stable, patronage job that wouldn’t pay him anywhere near what he is currently being paid. But I kept it in the back of my mind and started to ask around. What I was told surprised me, but after it was explained I could understand it.

The person that I talked with did not want their name mentioned, but as a Township employee they can be found very often around Town Hall. This person told me that Tony Mercantante was indeed offered a job down in Trenton, somewhere within the State Planning Office and he will be leaving Middletown for his new gig sometime in May.

When I questioned the person why Mercantante would leave Middletown, they explained it thusly:

The late Judy Stanley, who was often referred to as the Queen of Middletown, was very fond of Mercantante and acted as a mentor to him for many years. She was instrumental in Mercantante’s rise through the system. It was Stanley that brought Mercantante back to Middletown as a planner after a few years absence working out of state and it was her idea to promote him from his Township planning job to his current position as Township Administrator, when Bob Czech left that position in order to become Monmouth County Administrator a few years back.

Once Judy Stanley placed Tony Mercantante into the position as the Township Administrator, it became evident to some that he was in over his head. They thought that he had a problem with telling the truth, as in, being to honest when some one asked a question, while others thought that he was (is) a bungler who causes more problems than what he solves.

Allegedly, 3 out of the 5 currently sitting Township Committee people can’t stand him and have been making it extremely uncomfortable for Mercantante to do his job. As a result, it’s often hard to get a straight answer out of him. And on top of it all, Mercantante has to deal with a Township Attorney who has a Napoleon Complex and who also happens to be the #2 Republican in Middletown, Brian Nelson, on almost every decision, every day (that alone would be enough for me to seek out new employment).

So, as a result of all this, I was told that the powers that be, seeing that things have not been working out to their liking for sometime now, have worked out a face-saving arrangement for Tony Mercantante to leave his position as Township Administrator, for a job with the Christie Administration in Trenton.

If this turns out to be true, and I have no doubt about the person who passed along this information, than I want to wish Tony Mercantante well in his new position down in Trenton. I’ve personally never had a problem with him he has always been personable with me on the few occasions that we have talked. He probably deserves better than what he is getting, I always thought that he was on top of things, but then again since when have I thought anything that meant a damn to those that run Middletown anyway.

Good luck Tony, your going to need it now more than ever.

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Filed under Brian Nelson, Gov. Chris Christie, Judith Stanley Coleman, Middletown NJ, planning, Tony Mercantante, Township Administrator, Trenton NJ