Opinion

Opinion

Notes from the campaign trail

This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of our process and leave it to the reader to make a judgment on the state of our “democracy”.

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The Federal Reserve's Centennial

On December 23, 1913 President Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act giving the United States a permanent central bank. All these events took place at the end of what is known as the Progressive Era, a period of supposedly great reforms to benefit the common man.

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The Federal Reserve's Centennial

On December 23, 1913 President Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act giving the United States a permanent central bank. All these events took place at the end of what is known as the Progressive Era, a period of supposedly great reforms to benefit the common man.

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When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies

In the movie Love & Death, the main character impersonates a Spanish ambassador and is asked how much progress he’s made on a pending treaty.  The ersatz diplomat replies, “I've come up with all the little details.  If I can just think of the main points, we got something.”

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The Race is On!

It appears that I have unilaterally announced the gubernatorial candidacies of both Senate President Steve Sweeney and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.  Well, somebody had to do it...

But seriously, an explanation may be in order.

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True or Not, Wildstein Letter Hurts “Christie 2016”

Former NY/NJ Port Authority exec David Wildstein claims to know of “evidence” that contradicts Chris Christie’s statements about when he knew of Bridgegate.  If true, the governor’s political career is all but over. If false, the governor’s political ambitions have still suffered a serious, and potentially permanent, setback.  It all hinges on his effectiveness as RGA chair. 

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Super Bowl Transit Communication is Off Track

When it comes to customer service, there is a very simple rule: It’s all about them; it’s not about us!

 

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No excuse for communication blowup

Legendary "60 Minutes" reporter Mike Wallace was known to ask the toughest and most challenging questions of leaders in every walk of professional life, including asking numerous presidents what some would say were embarrassing questions about their failures in office.

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2013's Top 3 PR Blunders

 

This past year did not disappoint when it comes to communication faux pas and PR blunders. They came in all forms and in every professional arena and, as always, offered some lessons for the rest of us about how NOT to communicate in public.

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Send your Property Tax Bills to Steve Sweeney!

In the New Jersey Supreme Court's 21st decision on school funding, the only surprise is that they only want us to cough up another $500 million instead of $1.7 billion. The fact that we will be paying more for failing schools was never in doubt, only the amount.

 

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The Citizen’s Convention: The Second Battle for Trenton Begins

On April 16, 2011, a consortium of New Jersey Tea Party organizations will conduct an historic statewide convention for all New Jersey citizens concerned about an out of control government that continues to operate at odds to the best interests and common good of all of its citizens.  Read More >>

Opportunity Scholarship Act: Euphemism for Vouchers

The following was written by Christopher D. Kniesler, the Executive Director of NJ's premier fiscal conservative think tank, Solutions for New Jersey, Inc. Read More >>

The 2.5 Cap Amendment is Not Good Public Policy

The announcement by Governor Christie and leaders of the legislature that property taxes would be capped at two percent through legislation rather than through the amendment process was a victory for good public policymaking.  By preserving the integrity of the constitution, lawmakers will have needed flexibility to respond to unforeseen economic conditions.

Governor Christie’s proposal to submit a constitutional amendment to cap property taxes at 2.5 percent to the voters was a classic example of “doing the wrong thing for the right reason.”

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Lessons from the campaign

Now that  the dust has finally settled after the grueling campaign for governor, there are a number of lessons that we can draw from this election.

First and foremost, this was a "pocketbook" election. The No. 1 issue on the minds of voters was the state of the economy, followed closely by concern over skyrocketing property taxes. Indeed, nearly 90 percent of those polled indicated that they were concerned with the condition of the national economy.

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Negative campaigns work

I am often asked by my students, friends and even reporters why campaigns in New Jersey are so nasty and why candidates rely so heavily on negative ads.  The answer, quite simply, is that candidates rely on negative campaigning because it works.  If it didn't work, candidates would have abandoned the approach years ago.  In short, people are much more likely to vote against something or someone when they feel threatened.  And after all, that is the point of negative campaigning.

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July 1, 2010 - Remarks as Prepared for Delivery of Governor Christopher J. Christie to the Joint Session of the New Jersey Legislature Regarding the Cap 2.5 Proposal

 

Members of the Legislature and fellow citizens and taxpayers:

Earlier this week, I signed into law the budget for Fiscal Year 2011.  I thank you for your cooperation and your courage in making the tough choices.  

They said it couldn't be done, but together, we made the necessary spending cuts.  We kept the promise:  we balanced the budget without raising taxes on the people of New Jersey.

The spirit of bi-partisanship that we struck earlier this week must be sustained and built upon.  The people we serve deserve nothing less.

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Governor Christie: “Now is the time to not ignore the problems but to confront them.”

A lot of the things that these difficult trying times are bringing into focus for all of us as citizens, as elected officials – that accountability is important now more than ever. Read More >>

Maintaining the Safety Net for New Jerseyans Who Need It

The everyday struggles of individuals served by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and our partners in the non-profit and provider communities only worsen when the economy sours. The need for social and economic supports increases and the State’s ability to respond is challenged, but not weakened.

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Torricelli on The Arc Tunnel

The atmosphere in the US Senate chamber in the days following the 9/11 attacks was surreal. Nobody knew where the next attack would be or what the future might hold. Scores of briefings by uniformed personnel reviewed Al Qaeda base camp locations and lists of vulnerable domestic sites.

 

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Torricelli on Ground Zero controversy

I never remember being so startled. A college professor reminded our class that almost every freedom guaranteed to the American people in the Bill of Rights  was also guaranteed to the Russian people in the Soviet Constitution.

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Torricelli on November school board elections

There are more opinions in New Jersey than proposals for dealing with our soaring property taxes. People will differ on the proper formula for state pensions, class size or the ratio of police officers to the local population. What no one can dispute is Chris Christie's proposal to get more people involved in the decision making.
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Poison Drinking Water in Keansburg, NJ

Poison Drinking Water in Keansburg, NJ

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Opposites or Not?

It appears that opposites do indeed attract.  Last week, controversial conservative columnist and author, Anne Coulter said she supported Chris Christie for Vice-President in 2012.  Last year at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) Conference, Coulter touted Christie as her choice for President.

So let’s look at this for a second.  Anne Coulter is a tall, skinny, blonde conservative, while Chris Christie, well, uh, …..isn’t. 

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The Barn Burner in Bergen

Certain phrases say it all: Ali vs. Frazier; King Kong vs Godzilla;. Add to those: Rothman vs. Pascrell.

 

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