Corzine gets grateful support from mayors

Corzine gets grateful support from mayors
Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy

TRENTON - Street people help in an election year, and Gov. Jon Corzine may have a few more of them in the form of those in the political establishment arguably most naturally resistant to the Wall Street outsider who leapfrogged over all of them to become governor: mayors.

Ticked last year when Gov. Jon Corzine made substantial cuts to state aid for municipalities, big city and suburban Democratic Party execs warmed to the governor’s plan this year to cut municipal aid by less than 2%, even as he slashed 850 line items to repair a long-term budget gap of $7 billion.

 

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Lonegan laments Corzine's budget proposal

Lonegan laments Corzine's budget proposal

Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, a Republican candidate for governor and a champion of deregulation, objected strenuously to Gov. Jon Corzine's budget proposal today.

Lonegan sees Corzine's effort as a failure to identify the underlying structural problem of New Jersey state government. 

"The Governor's budget ignores the fact that New Jersey is the highest taxed state in America," Lonegan said in a statement. "His proposal exacerbates this condition by increasing the income tax, guaranteeing that we will continue to drive out high-income wage earners. I have proposed a flat income tax of 2.9% that will provide the state with the revenue we need while stopping the outflow of jobs and high-income tax payers from New Jersey.

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Flashpoint: Kyrillos versus Cryan

Flashpoint: Kyrillos versus Cryan
Gov. Jon Corzine, right, and Democratic Party State Chairman Joe Cryan

TRENTON – The specter of a reviled former president revisited the Statehouse today in the budget speech delivered by Gov. Jon Corzine, who oratorically pushed the Bush button at least once when he said Democrats saved SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) health care benefits for 10,000 New Jersey children.

The remark received applause among the chamber’s Democratic members.

But the budget address this afternoon before a joint session of the legislature unleashed a Republican army of critics, one of the most vocal of whom was state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Middletown), rumored to be a short list candidate for lieutenant governor with GOP gubernatorial frontrunner Chris Christie.

“I think it’s delusional,” Kyrillos said of Corzine’s speech, who re-emphasized Christie’s essential argument that the state budget crisis and the national economic crisis, which Democrats say was intensified by former President George W. Bush’s bumbling two-term tenure, are two issues.

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Bergmanson bashes Corzine budget plan, and in return gets slammed by Cryan

Bergmanson bashes Corzine budget plan, and in return gets slammed by Cryan
Carl Bergmanson stands on the route Gov. Jon Corzine walked to the rostrum to address the legislature.

UPDATED 

TRENTON – As lawmakers departed, a man handing out cards with the words “independent Democrat” printed on them panned the budget speech just delivered by Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine. 

“It was outrageous,” said former Glen Ridge Mayor Carl Bergmanson, who says he plans to be on the ballot in the Democratic Party primary. 

He may have been the only Democrat in the room publicly expressing a negative opinion.

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Fisher to run for assembly in District 38

Fort Lee Republican activist Judith Fisher dropped her candidacy for Bergen County freeholder yesterday, instead choosing to run for assembly in the 38th Legislative District.

The move has the enthusiastic support of Bergen County Republican Chairman Bob Yudin, who said he encouraged Fisher – an unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Fort Lee in 2007 and council in 2008-- to run for assembly instead.  

“She’s from Fort Lee and ran for mayor and did very well. It’s very important for us to reduce the pluralities in that part of the county.  I’m absolutely delighted that she’s done this,” said Yudin.

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Christie derides Corzine speech as anti-middle class

Christie derides Corzine speech as anti-middle class
Chris Christie (center)

In his statement released in the wake of Gov. Jon Corzine's budget address, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie hove to the language of the middle class. 

“Today's speech by the Governor is the unfortunate culmination of the Corzine-McGreevey era--seven years of tax increases, irresponsible spending, the doubling of our state debt and, most importantly, a failure to make the tough decisions," said the Republican frontrunner for governor. "The Wall Street philosophy of spend now, borrow now and pay later has driven New Jersey to be unaffordable for its people. This budget proposal is just more of the same--higher state taxes, higher property taxes and no accountability for the pain that this lack of strong leadership has caused the people of New Jersey."

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Shocker: Dems and GOP disagree on budget

As the press releases containing official responses to Gov. Jon Corzine's last budget address before his reelection rolled in this afternoon, two themes stuck out along starkly partisan lines.

Assembly Democrats repeatedly called it a "prudent," "tough" and generally fiscally responsible way to "position" the state for an eventual national economic recovery, which they've long contended is responsible for the state's fiscal straits.

Assembly Republicans disparaged the Governor's talk of drastic measures as the culmination of three years of not doing enough to curtail state government expenses, compounded by the fiscal practices of seven years of Democratic domination in Trenton and his own broken campaign promises.

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In the wake of governor's speech, the clash begins in the chambers of Trenton

In the wake of governor's speech, the clash begins in the chambers of Trenton
Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany)

UPDATED 

TRENTON – It looked like bedlam, but closer inspection revealed a perfect fault line.

The governor’s speech ended and that great mass of lawmakers spilled into the aisles and into the well of the chamber amid a crowd of reporters who heard them to a man or to a woman either applaud (if they were Democrats) or denounce (if they were Republicans) the 2010 budget speech.

“I think he did an admirable job,” said Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Newark). “We’re still going to be lower than the highest tax rate in New York. Only those that are making over $500,000 a year are getting a tax increase.”

“A three-quarters of one percent tax increase,” put in Assemblyman Thomas Giblin (D-Montclair).

“We’re trying to spread the pain as much as possible in the midst of a global recession,” said Continuo. “But we are dedicated to preserving programs for the underserved.” 

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 19th

NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal NBC News tonight is reporting that federal investigators say after nine months of investigating Bridgegate there is 'no evidence" that Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures at the...

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Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

Contributors

Sports and politics do mix: Welcome the next NFL Commissioner, Condi Rice          There are many sports fans who insist on believing that old bromide that sports and politics do... more »
(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

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