My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience

There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. There is further speculation as to what kind of president she would be.


My Richard Nixon Ambivalence



Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about him, and this feeling endures. 



The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America

The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul during the past few days is the current leading topic of journalists covering the first stirrings of the 2016 Republican presidential nomination campaign. The media portrayed this rather heated verbal altercation as a policy dispute between Perry, a foreign policy “interventionist” and Paul, an “isolationist”. I believe that this is actually an oversimplification of the positions of both candidates.


Gov. Christie and the GOP Platform

The following letter was sent to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire GOP leaders.  


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”.


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.


New Jersey 2014 Primary Day Recap

Here’s a look at yesterday’s vote by the numbers.  It’s long, but worth the read for those interested in GOTV targeting and ballot position logistics.

House District 3 – Republicans


New Jersey 2014 Primary Day Outlook

New Jersey has a few interesting primary contests in federal races tomorrow, some with greater consequences than others.  Here’s my take on the few competitive ones.

House District 12 – Democrats


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.”


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!



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.


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.


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.



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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.

Poison Drinking Water in Keansburg, NJ

Poison Drinking Water in Keansburg, NJ


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. 


The Barn Burner in Bergen

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



The Passion of Newark's first Latino Mayor

The Passion of Newark’s first Latino mayor

City hall is in flux, left-behind Booker loyalists and veterans alike anguished over their future in Newark. 

In the middle of it stands Acting Mayor Luis Quintana, who despite the turbulence seemed quite cozy in his new digs-the mayors office.

As I entered, Quintana greeted me in his typical manner, with a huge bear hug.  I gathered there was a great deal that he wanted to cover during our conversation.


Caliber of Candidates speaks well of Newark

By NAKIA J. WHITE With only eight months of campaign time left, the four Newark mayoral candidates are honing their oratorial skills.  Given the plethora of debates and forums scheduled they'll have more than enough time to sharpen their rhetoric. 

Tonight's pedagogical focused debate, hosted by Newark Education Trust, asked candidates a number of educational questions related to school reform, school closure and the role of the mayor in education. 


Newark Mayoral Debate. And the Winner Is...

Newark Mayoral Debate. And the Winner is... Last night's Newark mayoral debate at the North Ward First Avenue School was not a typical candidate forum.  

The room was split, figuratively and  literally down the middle between mayoral candidate Ras Baraka's supporters and those of Anibal Ramos, each brandishing campaign paraphernalia for their respective candidates.  Mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries' supporters were few and far between.  


Trenton's Hypocrisy Chronicles, Mary Pat Angelini Edition

(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 both parties -- who "talk the talk" but don't "walk the walk."  No doubt, whoever takes the Jersey Hypocrite of the Year Award in 2014 will richly deserve it.  It's too early to give out the award now, but it's not too early to make nominations.  Which is why I submit, for your gracious consideration, my nominee for Trenton Hypocrite of the Week: Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini. 


The only thing Congress can agree on these days is ending the War on Drugs

(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just because the War on Drugs is an epic failure.)  


What do you get when a City Hall scandal rocks the capital city in New Jersey? Low voter turnout

(State House)-- Trenton is one of several large New Jersey municipalites with "non-partisan" elections for Mayor today.  Here's a little tutorial about this race and what you might expect once the ballots are counted later this evening.



White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >


My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... 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

quote of the day

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast


Who is a better field general for his party as both try to win governor's races around the country?:


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