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Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey politics’

NJ-6: Governor Christie stumps for Anna Little

October 17, 2010 6 comments

The Governor made an appearance at Anna Little’s campaign rally in Piscataway earlier today, before her debate with entrenched liberal incumbent, the 22-year congressman, Frank “I helped write Obamacare” Pallone. 

Christie came out to introduce Little to the crowd and gave a classic Christie speech in support of the candidate.  I caught some of his speech on my iPhone:

Say what you want about Christie, and as I’ve noted on this blog before, I wasn’t a fan before the 2009 election.  But seeing what he’s done in less than a year, makes you proud to be conservative from New Jersey.  It’s a relief to hear a Republican not apologize for being conservative.

Once Christie entered the hall, the place went nuts.  I took some photos:

 Tea Party-approved:

Look at that glare:

Here is the Governor telling us all to just STFU and vote on November 2nd:

Another shot:

The place was SRO, but I got there early and got a good spot before the place filled up.  Notice the racist “Don’t Tread On Me” flag.  This is New Jersey for pete’s sake, it’s happening all over:

More “afraid and confused” racists voters at the rally:

This sign got the Governor’s attention and pointed it out to the crowd:

Here’s my take on this race.   New Jersey’s 6th District is historically a deep blue Democrat distrcit running northwest from Asbury Park in Monmouth County on the coast, into parts of Middlesex County, and President Obama won the district easily by a margin of 61-39.  Pallone has been representing the district since George H. W. Bush was first elected President, a full eleven terms. 

The latest polling has Pallone winning by 12 points and RCP recently moved the district from Safe Dem to Likely Dem.   The problem for Pallone is that 12 points is less than half of the 30+ point advantage he usually gets at reelection:

“A 12 point lead may look comfortable, but not when you consider the fact that Pallone regularly wins reelection by more than 30 points,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said. “District demographics are the key to this race. Little does well in the independent-minded parts of the district. The question is whether it will be enough to overcome the built-in Democratic advantage here.”

Look at the last three election cycles for Pallone:

2008: Pallone (D) 67%, McLeod  (R) 32%

2006: Pallone (D) 69%, Bellew (R) 30%

2004: Pallone (D) 67%, Fernandez (R) 31%

If you look at the most recent Monmouth University poll (PDF), you’ll find that Republicans are definitely not very popular in the district.  But also worth noting is that 45% of respondents said they had “no opinion” of Anna Little.  In other words, voters in the district really don’t know much about her.  Voters here feel they don’t really have much of a choice, that it’s just automatic for Pallone to win.  That’s not good for democracy.

The Little campaign is really energized about what they’re doing.  Over the past few months, and few weeks especially, I’ve seen supporters all over the district, lawn signs are all over, even in the bluest of neighborhoods, they’ve been at  local fall festivals, etc.  I overheard one of Little’s campaign workers talk to some attendees at the rally who were obviously undecided, and he mentioned that at recent event where both candidates were present, about 106 Little supporters showed up versus 10 for Pallone.  Take that for what it’s worth.

Turnout will be key to turn this district red, plain and simple.  With a 12 point deficit and two weeks left, the campaign will certainly have its work cut out for it.  It will be difficult, but not impossible. 

Time is of the essence, so if you’re so inclined, throw the campaign a few shekels. 

Anna Little for Congress

Governor Chrisite strikes again

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Earlier this week, this video made the rounds and shows Governor Christie at his best.

Rita Wilson is a public school teacher and decides to go on about how she doesn’t teach for the money and that based upon her class size, she should be making around $83,000. 

Watch the governor’s response:

Turns out Ms. Wilson actually makes $86,000 and, as I’ve noted before, the average NJ family makes $77,875 a year.  So Ms. Wilson, for all her complaining, makes about 94% of what the average family makes annually.

Two things to take from this:

First, just when I think Governor Christie can’t get any better he always manages to surprise.  If anything, it’s a relief to see a politician not only refuse to take any crap from special interests, but also speak straightforward and not in political legalese.  Usually, an official would listen to Ms. Wilson’s complaining and tried to assuage or soothe, which is usually the point at which politicians fail, because they’re not being honest. 

One of the things we hear from the teachers is that they never became a teacher for the money.  But yet every time they open their mouth they’re bitching about–money.  So kudos to the governor for the brutal honesty.

Lastly, tip your hat to Red State for picking up on Ms. Wilson’s actual salary.  Teachers salaries are a matter of public record.  Would it have hurt the Star LEdger or the Record or any of the local papers to look this up and try to find the facts rather than let Wilson’s lies go unaccounted for, especially after she tried to stick it to the governor? 

I guess so.

HELP WANTED: Teacher in New Jersey

May 16, 2010 Leave a comment

We offer you the fourth highest average salary in the nation (behind Connecticut and financially strapped New York and California), an average salary of $63,154, two months vacation and an excellent health package that you contribute little if nothing towards.

It’s a tough job I know…

Attention all conservatives and Republican milquetoasts!

May 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Watch this video and pay attention:

That is how you deal with a complicit media that insists on towing the liberal line.   The media will trash you regardless of what you say or believe, so you might as well show some cajones and stand up for yourself and your beliefs.

More importantly, let this sear into your brain:

Christie said he isn’t bothered when tempers flare in the state’s political dialogue, pointing out that he intends to be tough in his opposition to Democratic initiatives.

“They believe in certain things. They believe in bigger government, higher taxes and more spending,” the governor said. “I believe in less government, less taxes and in empowering local officials who were elected by their citizens. Now I can see where there could be a disagreement or two.”

“Now I could say it really nicely. We could say it in a way you all would be more comfortable with. Maybe we could go back to the last administration where I could say it in a way that you wouldn’t understand it,” Christie said, taking a swipe at Democratic former Gov. Jon Corzine. “But the fact of the matter is, this is who I am and this is who the people elected.”

See that?  This is a recipe for electoral victory–smaller government, lower taxes and less spending.  That applies to our national politics under the Obama administration as much as it does in New Jersey.

Wash.  Rinse. Repeat.

Like I’ve been saying, conservatives and Republicans all over should be paying attention to what Christie’s doing here in New Jersey.

He’s taken on the powerful teachers union, Democrats in the state legislature and a local media that is mostly sympathetic to their cause.  But like the Governor said, the people of New Jersey have spoken.  He’s just doing what they sent him to Trenton for.  Plain and simple.

UPDATE.  It seems the babies over at the Star-Ledger (the journalist he pawned works there) have pulled the video.   Just shows that the governor is pissing off all the right people.

Governor Christie getting s**t done

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

The grown-ups in Trenton are trying to get things done, and that means having to just ignore the cry-babies as they pout and stamp their feet:

Political theater in Trenton reached new heights today as lawmakers advanced a school choice bill in hearing that was moved outside after a leading lawmaker publicly tangled with the state’s largest and most powerful teachers union.

While hundreds of private and charter school students staged a rally in support of the measure outside the Statehouse Annex, the New Jersey Education Association members packed the hearing room to show their opposition. That upset Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Union), who wanted to free up some seats for supporters, much to the NJEA’s chagrin.

“They said, ‘We’re not moving,'” Lesniak said. “So I said, we’ll have it outside.”

Statehouse staff carried out desks and chairs for senators, and the hearing was held in front of hundreds of demonstrators under sunny skies.

[…]

In the end, the Senate Economic Growth Committee unanimously approved the bill (S1872), which will provide scholarships for students to attend private schools.

So while a bipartisan effort to bring real change to our state’s educational system is winding through the senate chamber, the NJEA does what it does best–act like complete douchebags, making the issue a political one as opposed to being about educating disadvantaged students.  The very same students that the NJEA claims to care so much about.

Let’s make it clear, that this school voucher bill is being shepherded through the legislature with bipartisan support.  Politicians from both sides of the aisle are joining with civic groups to bring about real change here. 

Only two explanations come to mind.  First, the state of our education system must be in much worse condition than any casual observer is being led to believe.  For this sort of cooperation to take place, things must really be desperate.  Better late than never.

Secondly, nobody can overestimate the effect that Governor Christie is having on the political environment here in the Garden State.   He survived whatever vile and malicious crap the NJEA threw at him during the budget battle earlier this year (including a union moron wishing death on the governor), and although he took a hit in the polls, it obviously hasn’t fazed him.

He’s making such a name for himself, he’s beginning to get noticed in larger circles. 

The Hill:

Christie is tackling the nation’s worst state deficit — $10.7 billion of a $29.3 billion budget. In doing so, Christie has become the politician so many Americans crave, one willing to lose his job.

Indeed, Christie is doing something unheard of: governing as a Republican in a blue state, just as he campaigned, making good on promises, acting like his last election is behind him.

The crux of this opinion piece is that Christie is making a name for himself in national Republican politics, the implication being he will run for President one day.   A possibility?  Definitely. 

But he has a boatload of work to do here in Jersey first, and he’s doing a much better job than I ever thought he would.  So here’s hoping he stays put.

NJEA fighting Governor Christie and Obama administration on education reform

Governor Christie and state eductation chief Bret Schundler are proposing a reform plan that would reward teachers based on a far-out and radical concept–actually teaching students. 

The proposal is being made as the state tries to bid on Federal funding for education reforms:

The overhaul plan will be included in New Jersey’s new application for Race to the Top, a federal grant program the Obama administration is using to reward states for school reforms. New Jersey could get up to $400 million if selected.

We stand shoulder to shoulder with the president on this,” Gov. Chris Christie said. “This is an incredibly special moment in American history, where you have Republicans in New Jersey agreeing with a Democratic president on how to get reform.”

Christie said adopting the proposed changes are “very necessary” to get the much-needed federal funding for the cash-strapped state. But it was unclear if the governor can get the reforms through the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

[…]

“It is our responsibility to implement these kinds of reforms,” said Education Commissioner Bret Schundler, who unveiled the plan. “It is what is morally right and it will bring dramatic improvements in the education system to the benefit of all children.”

However, Schundler said many details — including the cost of the new statewide computer system — have not been worked out.

There you have it.  Governor Christie is willing to work with the Obama administration to bring significant change to our state’s bloated and inefficient education system. 

So who’s standing in the way?

The New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, said it has doubts about the proposal. The plan is “terrible policy” that relies too heavily on standardized test scores, NJEA spokesman Steve Wollmer said.

“If someone said to you, ‘Your job is dependent on raising student test scores,’ what are you going to spend your time doing?,” Wollmer said. “They will have to teach to the test all of the time.”

[…]

Teachers would also have to wait five years, instead of three, to get tenure under the proposal. The state would also start a “bonus pool” to reward teachers who work in the state’s lowest-performing districts and allow the best-performing teachers to open their own schools.

I’m no fan of taking Federal money for state and local education–I think the Federal government has no place there.  But all of that aside, the politics here are such that it’s almost inevitable–or at least it was at one time. 

Let’s put it this way–if Corzine were still in office, and continued his ass-kissing of the NJEA as he did for eight years, I would suspect that this Federal money would already be slated for New Jersey before the bidding process was even completed. 

But Governor Christie is not Jon Corzine, and his battles with the NJEA since January have been well documented.  This is a smart move by Christie.  Given the near-inevitablity of Federal money to the state (money that the Feds would have wanted to go straight to the unions, I’m sure), why not elbow out the greedy unions, and try to implement some real and significant education reform?  Because if not, it would just go to the NJEA to line their union bosses’ pockets.  In other words, business as usual in the Garden State.

Paterson School Chief makes $300K

April 23, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s all for the children, I’m sure:

Federal tax records show a preschool and child-care agency here mainly funded by government pays its top executive more than $300,000 a year […]

The report said Ron Williams, executive director of the B.J. Wilkerson Memorial Child Development Center, which serves about 350 children, has his pay set by the center’s board. Its $4.3 million in revenue in 2008 included $4.2 million in government funds and the remainder from tuition and donations.

As always, remember stories like this when the our state’s public education system cries poverty, that they can’t get enough of New Jersey’s middle class tax dollars.

Keep in mind also, that the average NJ family makes $70,000 a year.

NJEA applauds author of Gov. Christie death memo…literally

April 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Joe Coppola is the chairman of the Bergen County Education Association, and the architect of the Governor Christie death wish memo.

Apparently, he doesn’t think wishing the death of the chief executive of the  state is a big deal, and neither do his comrades:

Governor Christie wants him canned. Commentators in the national media have called him a moron.

And people won’t stop asking about his infamous memo for teachers union members that ended with a “prayer” wishing for the governor’s death.

“It’s history, it’s over,” said Joseph Coppola, the embattled Bergen County Education Association president who signed the memo. After it was made public by The Record a week ago, union officials apologized for the inappropriate “joke” that was meant to stay private. But Coppola said Thursday he felt trapped in repetitive days like Bill Murray in the movie “Groundhog Day.”

“At least I was able to turn that off,” he said.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Record in his Teaneck office, Coppola said he was worn out from fielding calls from radio and network television shows about the memo mess. While critics abound, he said he has the backing of educators — at a Cumberland County dinner for about 450 union members and legislators on Tuesday night, he got a standing ovation.

“The membership is very supportive,” Coppola said. “I go to bat for each and every one of them.”

A standing ovation? Very supportive?  Wow.

Keep in mind that these are the people who supposedly have the interest of New Jersey students at heart, that their primary goal is our children’s education.

Seems to me that they’re nothing but angry and bitter political hacks, with the selfish interests of the union members first and foremost in their minds.  Kids and New Jersey taxpayers come next, in no particular order.

But then again, most New Jersey residents realize that already.

Governor Christie keeps pounding away

April 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Here in Jersey, the budget battle between the governor and the angry and bitter NJEA is taking up all of the local media coverage–local radio, newspapers, etc. 

As I’ve noted before, conservatives across the country should be taking notes from what’s going on here.  Specifically, that the governor is taking no crap from the special interests that are used to having a governor who caters to their needs instead of the needs of hard-working, tax-paying Jersey families.

The WSJ ran a piece this morning which I hope will help this story get some traction in the national media:

…[I]t’s been a long time since anyone in New Jersey has been serious about the budget. This year, gross mismanagement and accumulated fictions have left state taxpayers a $10.7 billion gap on a total state budget of $29.3 billion. Mr. Christie’s answer is simple: “a smaller government that lives within its means.”

However quaint that may sound, when you have to cut nearly $11 billion in state spending to get there, you are going to get a lot of yelling and screaming. Most comes from the New Jersey Education Association, hollering that “the children” will be hurt by Mr. Christie’s proposals for teachers to accept a one-year wage freeze and begin contributing something toward their health plans. What makes the battle interesting is the way Mr. Christie is throwing the old chestnuts back at his critics.

Yes he has.  Read the whole thing. 

Earlier today, Christie made the rounds of the talk shows, and kept pounding away.  I was able to see the interview with CNBC which aired this morning, and it’s well worth a listen:

Part 2:

It’s no surprise to see Kernan and Quick trying to trap Christie with their political partisanship.  Here you have the governor of a state, trying to make the hard choices necessary to turn it around from a decade of ruinous Democratic administrations, and they respond with “but…but Obama is president now….and things will turn around…aren’t you worried about how that will contrast with your bitterness?!?”   The look on Christie’s face is priceless. 

Here’s to Governor Christie for being brave enough to stand up to the special interests and hoping he has the tenacity to keep at it.

Governor Christie is on Twitter

March 30, 2010 Leave a comment

As much as I think most politicians come across as lame on social networks, it should be noted that I am following the governor on Twitter.

If you’re a NJ resident who thinks he’s doing the right thing in Trenton, you’re missing out if you’re not following his Twitter feed.

Newark mayor Corey Booker has a good feed as well.