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Beck Asks Owners to Delay T. Thomas Fortune House Demolition

Senator Jennifer Beck issued the following statement today asking the owners of the T. Thomas Fortune house to hold off on demolition while fundraising efforts are underway to save the home of African-American journalist and human rights activist. This week, the current owners of the home filed a formal application to demolish the building.

“This house has an incredibly rich and important legacy, it’s a significant part of Red Bank’s history. I implore the owners to delay their demolition long enough to allow the fundraising efforts to culminate. Obviously, they are free to do as they wish with their property, but it would be a favor to the community if they would give all the folks working to save the house a chance to raise the monies needed. There aren’t many of these landmarks remaining in the county and we should strive to preserve them.”

T. Thomas Fortune was a newspaper publisher and the ghostwriter for African American leader, Booker T. Washington. He has been credited with creating the National Afro-American League, which was the precursor to the NAACP.

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Bramnick to Hold Cyberspace Discussion with Homeland Security on Oct. 20

Bramnick to Hold Cyberspace Discussion with Homeland Security on Oct. 20

Event open to public at Kean University

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick will hold a public discussion on cyberspace security with state Homeland Security officials on Monday, Oct. 20, at Kean University, in the STEM Auditorium, Room 221. The event will begin at 1:00 p.m.   

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AFP BLASTS CHIVUKULA NOMINATION TO SERVE AS BPU COMMISSIONER

AFP Blasts Chivukula Nomination to Serve as BPU Commisioner

Pro-taxpayer group says Assemblyman has “One of the worst, anti-ratepayer track records of any member of the Legislature”

TRENTON – Americans for Prosperity is slamming Gov. Christie’s nomination of Asm. Upendra Chivukula (D-17) to be a Commissioner of the Board of Public Utilities (BPU). AFP communications director Mike Proto has issued the following statement.

“During his tenure in the Legislature, Asm. Chivukula has racked up one of the worst, anti-ratepayer track records of any member in the Legislature.

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Cho: Garrett's TV ad misleading voters

30 Seconds of Revisionist History, Outright Deceit

Ridgewood NJ -- The campaign of Roy Cho for Congress in the 5th District has put Tea Party incumbent Scott Garrett’s new television ad to the test, giving it failing marks for truthfulness.

Once again attempting to paper over his far-right extremist voting record, Garrett’s ad provides viewers with 30 seconds of revisionist history and outright deceitful and dubious claims that would make even Pinocchio blush.

“This ad proves that either Scott Garrett really does live in his own insular world or he really thinks so lowly of the intelligence of his own constituents in northern New Jersey,” said Cho. “When put against the facts of his record, this ad shows that while Scott Garrett might be smooth enough to pitch used cars on TV, North Jersey’s thoughtful voters would be best not to buy what he’s selling.”

A transcript of the ad is below, with proof points:

WHAT GARRETT’S AD SAYS: Every morning, Scott Garrett hits the ground running. Listening and caring for New Jersey.

REALITY: We’ll just take other people’s words on this one.

The American Prospect: “Garrett votes more like he comes from Alabama than New Jersey.”

The Star Ledger’s Tom Moran: “Garrett seems to have lost sight of the fact that his job during a crisis like this is to help his constituents recover.”

The New York Times: “...an ideological oddity in New Jersey”

In addition, it has been reported by multiple constituents that Garrett keeps the doors to his offices locked to the public.

WHAT GARRETT’S AD SAYS: Whether it’s working together to create better economic opportunities for women and their families.

REALITY: If only. In reality, Scott Garrett has voted time and time again against helping women in the workplace.

Voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which strengthened laws against wage discrimination.

In both 2008 and 2009, voted against strengthening federal laws against gender discrimination in the workplace, including training programs for women.

One of only 9 Congressmen to vote to block the Violence Against Women Act, strengthening laws against domestic violence and expanding protections for women. According to numerous advocates for victims of domestic violence, economic dependence is one of the main reasons battered women remain with their abuser.

WHAT GARRETT’S AD SAYS: For strengthening Social Security and Medicare for seniors.

REALITY: Another dubious claim. Scott Garrett spoke positively in the past about privatizing Social Security, and his votes in Congress haven’t been much better.

Voted to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70 and cut benefits.

Voted in favor of turning Medicare into a voucher system.

WHAT GARRETT’S AD SAYS: For working across party lines to speed recovery efforts for Hurricane Sandy victims.

REALITY: Scott Garrett had to be dragged, nearly kicking and screaming, to vote in favor of federal disaster aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy, and only after the intervention of fellow New Jersey Republicans. More than two full months after Sandy hit our shores, Garrett said he was "still looking" at whether to support the aid package while other area representatives were highly vocal in criticizing Speaker John Boehner for pushing back a vote which further delayed releasing aid to victims. He was the only New Jersey representative to fail to sign a letter urging the House leadership to take bipartisan action to help storm victims. When interviewed about Sandy aid, he said, “I have a problem,” and alluded that federal aid for storm victims is “wasteful spending.”

WHAT GARRETT’S AD SAYS: For tackling the national debt to ensure a stronger America.

REALITY: Scott Garrett voted to shut down the federal government in 2013, which weakened the nation’s economy and stunted its recovery. The shutdown has been blamed for slowing national economic growth and preventing the creation of nearly 120,000 private-sector jobs. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, in just his first four years in office, Garrett supported policies that added more than a half-trillion-dollars to the  national debt.

WHAT GARRETT’S AD SAYS: Scott’s there for us. I’m Scott Garrett, and I approved this message because we all know, when we work together, we can solve any problem.

REALITY: Scott Garrett carries one of the most strident voting records in Congress, and was rated the most far-right member of the House of Representatives.

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Bramnick says partisan legislative panel needs to stop acting as if governor involved in bridge closing

Bramnick says partisan legislative panel needs to stop acting as if governor involved in bridge closing

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick issued the following statement regarding the Bridgegate investigation: "NBC New York reports governor Christie is not involved. Now it's time for the panel that prejudged the governor to end its relentless attacks."

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Bramnick Bill Prevents Vehicle Tracking Devices Without Owner’s Consent

Bramnick Bill Prevents Vehicle Tracking Devices Without Owner’s Consent

In New Jersey, it is not illegal if someone such as an ex-husband or ex-wife attaches a tracking device to their former spouse’s car without their knowledge or consent. Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick believes that is wrong and introduced legislation (A-3747) on Thursday that makes such an act a fourth degree crime.

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Whelan & Mazzeo To Port Authority: ‘AC’s Airport Workers Need A Raise Too’

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Jim Whelan  and Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo  that would urge the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to increase the Atlantic City Airport’s workers minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2015 was approved Thursday by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee. 

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Lesniak-Cunningham Bill Would Aid Inmate Reentry

TRENTON –  Inmates incarcerated for non-violent offenses and clean prison records would be paroled at their first eligibility date, under terms of legislation (S-677) sponsored by Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) and Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-Hudson) that was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

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Handlin Expresses Support for Senate Port Authority Transparency Bill

Handlin Expresses Support for Senate Port Authority Transparency Bill

Bill is just the beginning of the reform process

Deputy Assembly Republican Leader Amy Handlin testified today regarding a Port Authority bill that increases transparency and accountability at the agency. Also joining Handlin in support of the bipartisan, bicameral, bi-state legislation was New York Assemblyman Jim Brennan (D-Brooklyn), Sen. Bob Gordon (D-Bergen), Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). The legislation, S-2181, won approval from the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee. 

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Webber Study of State’s Probation Programs Wins Committee Approval

Trenton, NJ – Measuring the success and failure of rehabilitating people on probation is the main focus of a bill (A-2417) Assemblyman Jay Webber sponsors that won approval from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee today.  Assemblyman Webber’s bill requires the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts to establish a program to record and analyze recidivism rates for adults sentenced to a period of probation. 

“Breaking the cycle of those on probation from committing another offense and reentering the correctional system has to be a priority in New Jersey,” said Assemblyman Webber, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “We should measure the effectiveness of the state’s training and reentry programs to understand what we do well, and what we need to do better.

“Recidivism data is not studied on a regular basis, and the records required by this bill will no doubt give us critical insights on our entire system,” explained Assemblyman Webber. “The goal is to have a first-rate correctional system that spends money wisely and helps certain individuals who have made poor choices lead productive lives and contribute to society instead of sitting in prison.”  

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Beck Statement on National Hispanic Heritage Month

Senator Jennifer Beck issued the following statement in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from September 15 – October 15.

“National Hispanic Heritage Month commemorates the many important contributions of people of Hispanic decent and celebrates the rich Hispanic culture. My district has a vibrant and active Hispanic community. I hope my constituents will take some time to learn more about the history of their Hispanic neighbors. I’ve always felt that it is in our diversity where we find our greatest strength.”

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Thompson: Kids Deserve the Safety of Seat Belts & Harnesses in All Vehicles

Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) said that the New Jersey Senate is sending conflicting messages regarding its concern for the safety of children riding on Garden State roads and highways.

The Senator commended the Law & Public Safety Committee’s passage of legislation (S-2026) sponsored by Senator James Beach (D-6) that updates state laws regarding the use of child safety seats in passenger vehicles to match current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), but questioned the Senate Education Committee’s refusal to hear similar legislation (S-632) that addresses the AAP’s recommendations regarding the need for seat belts in school buses.

“Our kids deserve to be safely secured in age- and size-appropriate seats and restraints regardless of the type of vehicle they are riding in,” said Thompson. “Injuries caused by school bus accidents are not uncommon, but they are preventable. It is mind boggling that we have not taken action yet.”

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Allen Legislation Allocating Funding for Preservation of McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Advanced

Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to allocate funding for the preservation of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst advanced from the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee today.

“The Joint Base contributes billions of dollars to the state’s economy and employs tens of thousands of people in Burlington County and the surrounding area,” said Allen, a member of the Council on Armed Forces and Veterans’ Affairs “We have to make sure resources are made available to show Washington and the nation how important this base is to our families who serve, to our communities and to the state as a whole.”

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Holzapfel Bill Seeking to Prevent Children's Access to Loaded Firearms Passes Committee

Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) that seeks to keep loaded firearms out of the hands of unsupervised minors was approved by the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee.

“We’ve seen too many instances where children with access to a parent’s firearms engage in planned attacks harming others, and too many tragedies where children living in or visiting a home with unlocked and loaded firearms end up accidentally harming themselves,” said Holzapfel, a member of the committee. “This legislation balances the rights of responsible gun owners with the public interest of reducing preventable deaths from these planned and accidental shootings.”

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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...

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

(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 »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... 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

“The fact is that they’ve been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing. Wrap up your work. Do your job." - Gov. Chris Christie

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