Tag Archives: government corruption

NEW MEXICO GOV BILL RICHARDSON WITHDRAWS FROM OBAMA CABINET

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GRAND JURY INVESTIGATES NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR BILL RICHARDSON AND ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS

Amid a grand jury investigation into whether he exchanged government contracts for contributions to his failed presidential bid last year, former Clinton cabinet member and incumbent New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson withdrew his nomination for Commerce Secretary in the quickly arranged potential presidential cabinet of President-Elect Barack Obama.

This development helps to maintain the string of Democrat corruption scandals that began with the resignation of New York Democrat Governor Elliot Spitzer early in 2008 and the Senate seat selling scandal of Illinois Democrat Governor Rod Blagojevich at the end of 20o8.

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JOHN 'Women Are My Vice" EDWARDS

The year was not a good one for politicians.  Along with Democrat gubernatorial problems, the Democrat field of Presidential candidates saw its own share of trouble.  Although Joe Biden’s short lived run for the democrat presidential nomination did not see him involved in another plaguerism scandal, the party’s former Vice Presidential nominee was caught with his pants down. 

John Edwards was found to have been having an affair with a hired consultant that his presidential campaign committee paid tens of thousands of dollars to.  All of which occurred while Edwards’  wife began a life threating battle with cancer and continue to stand by her husbands side on the campaign trail.

This latest development just reinforces doubts about politicians and it also creates some doubt about the incoming Obama administration.

Many Obama supporters criticized Senator John McCain and said that picking Sarah Palin was bad judgment and that his campaign did not properly vet her.

That criticism begs to question the judgement and vetting process of the Obama administration.

Did they not look into Governor Richardson before selecting him to be Commerce Secretary?

Maybe they did.  Maybe they felt that anyone who could utilize government for personal profit as well as Richardson may have, would be perfect for a position such as commerce.

Yes siree, change is on the way.  What kind of change we have yet to see.

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EBAY NOTICE: BIDDING FOR THIS SENATE SEAT HAS ENDED BY SELLER

I wish 2008 could end on a good note in politics and on political issues. As it currently stands the only god news that seems to exist is that the price of oil and gas is at one of the lowest prices in recent years. Seeing as how that oil fuels our economy and controls the cost of almost everything else, that is quite important. However, the low prices, like good news, are also going to be short lived.

With war breaking out between Palestinians and Israelis, warnings of the collapse of the auto industry, and the promise to of more and more federal bailouts arrived at by the borrowing of more and more money, most of the news is bleak. But it is recent events in Illinois that monopolize the current events which closes 2008 and it does so on an unfortunately pessimistic note.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH

The gall of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has reached a deafening crescendo.

Accepting for a moment the undeniable innocence before guilt precedence, it still takes an incredible amount of gall to try to appoint someone to a United States Senate seat while federal prosecutors are building a case and the state legislature is holding impeachments hearing against you for trying to sell the very same seat your are filling. You would think that given the circumstances, Blogojevich might just be concerned with peoples faith in government. You would think that maybe, just maybe Blago could understand that the atmosphere surrounding him holds so much doubt about the ability of his selcetion and the reasons behind his selection to fill President-Elect Obama’s vacated senate seat, are so questionable that he should hold off.

Instead, Blogaojevich tries to convince people that he is the only one truly concerned with the business of the people. Only he wants the business of government to go on , unhindered by politics and uninterrupted by unimportant distractions.

In trying to name a replacement for Obama in the U.S. Senate under the existing circumstances, Blagojevich is promulgating a perception into 2009 that is regretful.

He is picking up the final straw that will break the camels back and really help Americans to move closer to believing that our elected officials are worthless.

That is a shame because I do know that there are many truly sincere individuals serving in elected office. I know that there are many men and women who could be making substantially more money in the private sector than in the public sector but forgo that money for service.

I also know that many of those elected officials really work hard and give much more than they get. A sincere politicians, puts people before profit. They sacrifice time with friends and family and they listen to the problems of thousands of people each week or month while their own struggles are put on hold.

Believe it or not a sincere politician does work quite hard. If they want to continue in their job, they are doing a lot more than sitting on Capitol Hill and delivering a speech. A good politician is attending the events in their districts that their constituents are attending. The special events, the monthly meetings, whatever it is, they are there. And believe me, there is a lot of happenings that they must be a part of. Happenings that are not arranged around their schedules. Which means their own  family barbecue,  child’s after school event or even the moment they may want to simply gather their own thoughts are all secondary to that of the needs of their constituents.

Those people are serving because they want to make a difference. They want to make life better for us through a government that is suppose to serve us. They are the people who do not grab the headlines due to the “if it bleeds, it reads” thinking of the media. They’re just doing their jobs, so it does not really create any interest.

But the Blagojeviches of the world do grab the headlines.

Those who are doing their jobs wrong and those using their jobs for wrongdoing get our attention, at least when they are caught.

Unfortunately, there are many who are involved in wrongdoing and we hear about them all the time. The constant flow of stories involving, elected officials engaging in corrupt activity helps to cement the perception that government and government officials are corrupt.

In New Jersey, Governor Jim McGreevey took the damaging tradition of political patronage to an all time height of disgust when he put the care of Homeland Security for New Jersey up to a lover who he was having a clandestine affair with. The rationale for giving his lover the job was based on the fact that McGreevey liked the sexual positions that they shared together, not that his lover was qualified for the position of Homeland Security. There were also some shady financial arrangements that the Governor was involved in. The investigation of those financial activities discovered the affair and the reasons behind the appointment of an unqualified person to an important job involving the safety and security of New Jerseyans.

To take attention off of the actual wrongdoing and criminal activities, McGreevey came out and announced that he would resign because he was a “gay American”. The tactic worked. A shocked nation, talked more about McGreevey being gay than they did about the criminal conduct which forced him out of out office.

Not only did McGreevey’s political insincerity help to promote negative opinions about public servants, his resignation did too.  His resignation actually tried to exploit homosexuality.  He used it to try to play victim rather victimizer.

Caught, instead of making a sincere apology for his financial shenanigans and risking the lives of New Jersey residents by using patronage to fill the Homeland Security position with an unqualified director, McGreevey used homosexuality to take the sting out of it all. Some even called McGreevey brave and courageous. The man was cheating on his wife, cheating tax payers, jeopardizing lives and covering it all up, yet he was brave and courageous!?

The whole incident was an example of what Americans have come to believe about politicians……they’re in it for themselves and to save their own skin. McGreevey’s resignation and apology helped further advance that impression.

Not to be outdone, New York tried to keep up with Joneses. Their former Attorney General, Elliot Spitzer became Governor and about 14 months into his first term as the Governor, it was discovered that he spent over $80,000.00 on high priced call girls that he was illegally soliciting.

From former Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana and former President William Jefferson Clinton, Americans have heard and continue hearing about more and more political corruption each day.

William Jefferson was found with hundreds of thousands of dollars in his freezer that he wrongfully obtained and claimed he did nothing wrong. President Bill Clinton lied before a grand jury and came before the American and swore that he didn’twhen in fact, he did.   He even claimed that your interpretation of whether he lied or not came down to how you define the word “is”.

U.S. SENATE DESIGNATE ROLAND BURRISS

U.S. SENATE DESIGNATE ROLAND BURRISS

The constant chorus of corruption that gains our attention has been depressing and discouraging and it has simply been accentuated but Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. His naming Roland Burris to fill the U.S. Senate seat that he is accused of trying to sell only adds an exclamation mark to the existing  perception of rampant public corruption. Just having the nerve to move ahead with the appointment is a slap in our face. It does not even begin to deal with Burriss’ qualifications or issues positions.

Roland Burrss is an old line, liberal Democrat party machine hack. By accepting Rod Blagojevich’s tainted, highly questionable appointment to the U.S. Senate, Burris is also showing us that he lacks any of the basic good judgment that a representative leader should have. His acceptance of such a tainted nominarion from such a tainted Governor demonstrates that Burriss is more interested in elevating himself than he is in elevating the quality of life of the people he would represent.

It is heartening to know that there are measures which can still rectify any wrongdoing in this case. Ultimately, a clause in the U.S. constitution allows the Congress final say in seating members.

But their too politics has been corrupted. In the 70’s a Democrat led U.S. Senate denied seating a Republican who won election in New Hampshire.

In the 80’s the Democrat led House of Representatives refused to seat a Republican who won election to congress from Indiana.

In both cases, the elections were close, the state’s Secretary’s of State certified the elections, but politics and personal power prevailed. Democrats trumped democracy and appointed their partisan preferences over the will of the people.

So with 2009 ahead of us we are looking towards a year with a new President who has promised change but based on how 2008 ended, can we believe in that change? Can we believe in anything that comes out of any government anymore.

Here in New Jersey, I hold out hope.

Here in New Jersey Republicans have been offering reforms that take steps to open up the process of government and allow concerned citizens to see facts.

State Senator Joe Pennachio recently presented a bill that would put the states budget, in all of its detail, on the internet for the public to see.

State Senator Jennifer Beck has presented bills to reform ethics and other measures that would eliminate some of the benefits that corrupt New Jersey politicians could enjoy even after found guilty of their dastardly deeds.

Of course politics being politics, Democrats in control of the process oppose these measures but thankfully there is an election in 2009. An election in New Jersey that can offer us the opportunity to help change the negative perceptions of public service and to eliminate corruption from government.

By electing reformers and rejecting those who are roadblocks to reform, we may begin to eliminate the corruption that has led us to lose faith in government. Maybe. That is up to us, the voters. So although corruption surrounding the replacement of a senator for the vacancy left by our incoming President grabs the headline as 2008 ends, the elections of 2009 hold out hope for bringing about the the type of change that we really need.

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HERE COMES LIBERAL CONTROL OF GOVERNMENT

Recently, Democrats took control of Monmouth County’s Board of Chosen Freeholders. Since 1986 Democrats have long been locked out of leadership in government on the county level in Monmouth County New Jersey. They have not held a single seat on the county’s governing body.  Not since recent years when, slowly, they have managed to elect one and even two new Freeholders. The most recent election helped elect another Democrat. The importance of that third Democrat Freeholder was pivotal. On a board of 5, it meant control of county government. The Republican loss of control in Monmouth may or may not have been deserved. But what is not deserved, is the certain lack of quality that Democrat control is promising to bring.

Since winning their third Freeholders seat, Democrats have gone out of their way to demonstrate that politics, not policy will rule the day.The first thing that the liberal troika of Freeholders did was to discuss who would become their ringleader. The three of them held private conversations that led to a private vote which elected one of them to be the Freeholder Director. Never mind that there were two other members of the board that should have been consulted and a part of the decision. They were Republicans and after all, who really cares about the democratic process?

 

So with partisan politics at the forefront, Democrats held their own election and released an independent press release that informed the people, including the two Republican Freeholders, of who will be the new director. You would think that the new liberal regime would at least try to seem inclusive and decent but no, not these guys.

Now, days after installing their own leader, the new leadership is promising to cost county residents even more money than their policy initiatives will burden taxpayers with.

They are pushing for the creation of new positions. New, high paying positions. Positions that spread some of their own responsibilities, such as oversight, to people other themselves.

In several areas, the liberal Freeholders want to create new bureaucratic positions that they intend to fill through the time held tradition of patronage.

To make matters worse, the new regime is trying to replace existing county employees, who are Republican, with fellow Democrats simply because they are not Democrats.

That is not unheard of in the world of partisan politics, but what is a bit of real impropriety, is that they are trying to replace those who hold jobs that are classified as civil service positions. Individuals holding civil service positions can’t be removed from the job without just cause yet something as menial as the law is not getting in the way of the Democrats. Without any proof or evidence, they are trying to claim that some of these civil servants have been insubordinate and inept. Proving that is going to be hard, especially since such charges were not levied by Democrats until they took control of the process.

Liberal State Party Boss, Assemblyman Joe Cryan

Liberal State Party Boss, Assemblyman Joe Cryan

To add insult to injury, the new liberal Freeholders have left the decision of who to hire in Monmouth County up to Joe Cryan, an Assemblyman from Union County who represents the towns Elizabeth, Kenilworth, Roselle and Union, New Jersey. Even more important than his Assembly leadership, or lack of it,  is the fact that Joe Cryan is the chairman of New Jersey’s Democrat State Committee.

So not only have Monmouth County Democrats kicked off their reign with increased spending and a patronage driven direction, they have relinquished authority to a state party boss from a different county. Assemblyman Cryan’s own legislative chief of staff confirms this and admits that the Assemblyman has contacted state personnel departments and Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics about finding candidates for the Monmouth County positions of chief financial officer, directors of the human resources and human services departments, and the newest  new post of inspector general.

Isn’t this great. Not only is a state employee of a state legislator using state time to respond to political party business, his liberal party chief boss is appointing people to posts in a county that he neither lives in or is elected or hired to represent.

But at least the Democrats running Monmouth County’s Board of Freeholders will win favor with the state liberal party chieftain. I mean so long as the needs of party politics are being fulfilled, the citizens of Monmouth County will be taken care of.

Or will they?

The games being played by county Democrats prove that the people of  Monmouth are not the priority. Nor are the problems that need solving or the future troubles that need avoiding. Politics is what these characters have shown us to be their priority and as such, we have to hope that the state liberal party boss, Assemblyman Joe Cryan from Union County cares as much for the people of Monmouth County as he does for the people living in the towns of the district that he represents.

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A visitor from Holland was chatting with his American friend and was jokingly explaining about the red, white and blue in the Netherlands flag. “Our flag symbolizes our taxes,” he said. “We get red when we talk about them, white when we get our tax bill, and blue after we pay them.”

“That’s the same with us,” the American said, “only we see stars, too.”

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SPEAKING OF CORRUPTION………….

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NEW JERSEY'S GOVERNOR. How corrupt is Corzine?

 While New Jersey competes with Illinois for the title of most corrupt state in the Union, Illinois’ soon to be former Governor, Rod Blagojevich isn’t the only state executive trying to keep secrets.

New Jersey’s own Governor, Jon Corzine, is in the courts as he tries to keep his negotiations with one of the state’s most powerful unions a secret.

 She claims that state arbitration laws demand that the talks remain secret.

Ain’t that convenient? Laws that demand the people be kept in the dark about the reasons behind why the government does what it does. Sounds like Lenin’s rules of order for the politiburo

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IL. GOV. ROD BLAGOJEVICH. His secrets out but when will Corzine's be out?

Like more than half of the voters polled in New Jersey, I disagree with the Governor’s position. I believe that state negotiations for state contracts that spend the tax dollars of state residents should be an open and honest process. We should know what was offered and why. We should know what the union demanded and why. We should not be kept in the dark when it comes to finding out how own money is spent.

Governor Corzine and Carla Katz may want to keep the details of their negotiated deal a secret but that is not how a democratic form of an open and honest government works.

The two of them were not arranging how they were going to finance their next personal vacation to Hawaii. They were negotiating how to spend our tax dollars. That gives us the right to know how that arrangement was made.

With all the corruption in New Jersey government, you would think that the governor would want to stay above reproach. You would think that he would go out of his way to help regain voters faith in government. Especially since he succeeded a corrupt democrat governor who resigned under a patronage and financial scandal that he tried to overshadow by announcing he was a closeted “gay American” who was cheating on his wife.

As more and more political leaders and government employees are being arrested in New Jersey, we need to know that our incumbent governor can be trusted.

CORZINE LOVERS LOAN

CARLA KATZ Former Union Boss and the Governor's former Girlfriend. Things could get "hairy" for the two of them.

By appealing the courts decision and fighting to keep his “official” talks with Carla Katz a secret, Jon Corzine is only raising suspicion and increasing our already lost faith in government.

Corzine may not know how to be a good Governor but he is not stupid. He realizes all of this, yet he still defies the obvious and clings to the documentation of his secret arrangements with the CWA’s former president and his own former girlfriend.

The people and the courts of New Jersey deserve to know what is in those emails between Corizne and Katz. None of us are asking for the disclosure of any pillow talk or personal realizations. We simply want to make sure that the CWA contract deal was made for all the right reason.

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KATZ & CORZINE-Struggling on the dance floor and now in the courts

Corzine’s refusal to clear his name by turning these emails over to the proper authorities simply makes one believe that, like many other indicted and arrested New Jersey politicians, Corzine made a corrupt deal. That is not exactly the best impression that one can bring to the table in their bid for reelection. But until Governor Corzine releases those emails, he will be running for reelection with a smoking gun in his hand. Then again if the appellate courts reject Corzine’s appeal, he may not be running for reelection after all. Instead he just might join a long list of fellow former state legislators and a few other governors in federal prison.

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UNDER THE “HE SAID IT, NOT ME” CATEGORY

“Give this motherf****r Obama his senator? F**k him. For nothing.

 F**k him.”   

~Soon to be former Illinois Governor Rod Blagovejich

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CROWLEY STILL CONSIDERING RUN FOR NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR

Bio Tech Entrepreneur  John Crowley

Bio Tech Entrepreneur John Crowley

Political insiders make it clear, that at this point in time, biotech entrepreneur John Crowley is still strongly considering running for Governor of New Jersey.

So far there are already two declared candidates for New Jersey’s Republican gubernatorial nomination. Assemblyman Richard Merkt and former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan.

Both of these men deserve to be heard and are worth watching. Not only do they have substantial records on the issues but they were also brave enough to throw their hats in the same ring that is likely to contain, now former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie. With all the hoopla over Chris Christie’s possible entry into the race, many other potential candidates opted out of even trying. But not Merkt and Lonegan. That alone warrants their right to be heard.

So we already have two strong willed, determined aspirants for the nomination and that is a good thing, a very good thing.

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Franklin Township Mayor Brian Levine

Another potentially prominent presence in the growing field of Republican candidates could come from an incumbent mayor.

Brian Levine has twice won election as Franklin Township’s mayor. Not an easy job in a town that is heavily weighed in favor of  democrats.

Levine has the type of crossover appeal that we will need to win back the keys to Drumthwacket in November. If Levine does declare his candidacy for the nomination, the question will become, does his crossover appeal to Democrats turn off the more conservative wing of the Republican party that would nominate him?

Presuming that Chris Christie does run, Lonegan’s, Merkt’s and possibly Levine’s, efforts, will at least force Chris Christie to do some real campaigning of his own for the nomination.

Although Christie brings the name recognition and seeming ability to tap into the financial resources that a successful campaign requires, I do not want the party to simply coronate him. I want him to earn the nomination. Make clear his positions on the issues, articulate his plans for the state and prove that he has the ability to get his message across in a way that people can believe.

As official candidates for the GOP nomination, Steve Lonegan and Richard Merkt will help to make sure that Chris has to prove himself. But truthfully, both Merkt and Lonegan are slightly handicapped in their ability to force Christie to play on the same field as them. Neither of them have the name I.D. that Christie does and neither of them have the access to the amount of money that is needed to be truly competitive and that Christie can tap into. The same holds true in the case of Levine’s possible candidacy.

Money is not everything but in politics, unfortunately, it means a lot.

That brings us to back to John Crowley. He has money.

John Crowley is a self-made, independently wealthy man with a compelling and inspirational history that brings even more to the table than just the money that is needed.

After studying at the U.S. Naval Academy for three semesters, he graduated with degrees in foreign service from Georgetown University and went on to obtain his J.D from Notre Dame Law School and then worked as a litigation associate in the health care industry.

Crowley furthered his education and received an M.B.A from Harvard Business School. From there he went on to work for a San Francisco based management consulting firm.

In 1998, John Crowley was handed the greatest challenge of his life. His wife, Aileen gave birth to twins, Patrick and Megan. Both were born with a fatal neuromuscular disorder called Pompe disease.

The disorder was so rare that few if any pharmaceutical entities attempted to develop treatment or cures for Pompe.

Determined, the Crowley’s settled in Princeton, to be near doctors who were specializing in Pompe disease.

John Crowley subsequently took up employment with Bristol-Meyers Squibb but after two years he left Bristol-Meyers to embark on a new venture. A venture that sought to increase the pace of research into Pompe and the development of a cure for it. It was a race against time that was slowly taking the lives of his children.

He became the CEO of a biotech company called Novazyme. In short time Novazyme merged with the world’s largest biotech company, Genzyme Corp., and soon after that the combined efforts of the two, brought about by John Crowley, led to the creation of an enzyme replacement therapy for Pompe disease that is keeping the Crowley kids alive today.

Getting to that point was not easy and there were a great many trials and tribulations, but John Crowley, his wife, and the team he assembled never gave up.

The story is the stuff that books are written about and about which movies are made.

A Pulitzer prize winning author actually did write a book about it. It is called “The Cure: How a Father Raised $100 Million – And Bucked the Medical Establishment – In a Quest to Save His Children” (ISBN 978-0060734398).

On top of that Harrison Ford has procured the rights to turn the Crowley story into a movie that he will also co-star in.

So, to say that John Crowley is a storybook candidate, is not just an understatement. It is true.

Now, at 41, Crowley is an intelligence officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve and is currently the President and CEO of Cranbury, New Jersey based, Amicus Therapeutics. He is also considering running for the Republican party’s gubernatorial nomination.

I hope he does.

That is not an endorsement of his potential candidacy but it is a sign of my eagerness to get to know what John Crowley would do as our Governor. He obviously is a talented, determined man with spirit, ingenuity a strong sense of commitment and a can do attitude and work ethic.

As is the case with Chris Christie, I do not know where John Crowley stands on the issues, but I hope we will be able to find out in a hard fought primary battle for the nomination.

Unlike Lonegan and Merkt, Crowley has the money needed to establish the name I.D. that Christie has. That would help even the playing field and insure that Chris Christie will have to earn the nomination as opposed to having it handed to him by the party establishment.

If Crowley enters the race, the entirety of the pro-Christie, Republican, establishment has the potential for splintering up. That is made apparent by Mercer County Chairman Roy Wesley who is the G.O.P. leader of the county that Crowley lives in.

It is reported that, right now, Wesley is “leaning toward” either Christie or Crowley.

Seeing as how we all know that Christie will be running but are not yet sure if Crowley will, the “either or” answer of Wesley makes sense. Why piss off Christie now by backing someone who may not run? However that “either or” response bodes well for Crowley and can best be interpreted to mean that if Crowley runs Wesley will endorse him but if he doesn‘t run, Chris Christie can count on Wesley‘s support.

The Chairmen of Union and Salem counties have already indicated that they are leaning to Christie. Monmouth county’s Republican chairman, Joe Oxley, has not gone that far, but nearly.

According to PolitickerNJ, Oxley stated that “everybody’s anticipating, hoping and expecting that Chris may very well enter the race”. He added that he is good friends with Christie and that Christie will have lots of support throughout the county.

Regardless of the opinions established at this point in time, if Crowley does enter the race, he will certainly shake things up. Many uncommitted county leaders and organizations will probably find themselves impressed with Crowley. He may even have the capacity to change the minds of many individuals currently inclined to support, Lonegan, Merkt or Chris Christie.

Personally, I look forward to Crowley’s interest in the governor’s job turning into a yearning for the job. I want him to run and turn our primary into a truly competitive race that will capture the headlines and attention of voters for months.

Such a race will help establish much needed name recognition for our future nominee and it will help to shed some light on our Republican solutions to our state’s problems.

On top of that, I hope John Crowley believes in the principles of our party and is willing to implement those principles in his approach to solving New Jersey’s problems.

If Crowley comes out trying to run a campaign that, for the sake of political expediency, makes him sound like a democrat, than I will be saying, “Adios, Sayonara, Au revoir, John.”

The same applies to Chris Christie.

If we are to win in November, we will have to run against the liberal policies being applied in Trenton by the current regime. We cannot run against democrats by trying to be them. If that is ones intention than don’t run.

I have a feeling that not only does John Crowley disagree with liberal policy, he is also not afraid to promote a right of center approach to government.

If that is the case, then Crowley may very easily get my vote.

For me, his political outsider status is a plus. He has no entanglement with the political bureaucracy that brought us to where we are today and as result he bears no blame. Furthermore; his “can do” mentality to getting things accomplished in the real world is the type of thinking that we need in the jaded world of government bureaucracy.

Of course, no matter who wins our nomination, it will behoove them to select State Senator Jennifer Beck as their running mate and our Lieutenant Governor nominee.

Please be sure to sign the online petition for that effort!

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There’s one thing that Democrats and Republicans share in common:

 Our money.

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AFTER 7 YEARS OF DELIVERING JUSTICE TO JERSEY, CHRISTIE MOVES ON

Today marks the end of a era.
It marks the end of the seven year reign of one the most effective and influential figures in New Jersey.
U.S. Attorney Chris Christie officially leaves office today

U.S. Attorney Chris Christie officially leaves office today

Today, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie officially resigns from office.

During his time as U.S. Attorney, Christie created an atmosphere that chilled those on the dark side of justice and brightened the hopes of those of us on the right side of justice.

With 132 convictions and zero acquittals, Chris Christie not only rooted out wrongdoing, he successfully prosecuted it wherever he found it.

Given the propensity for political corruption in a state that breeds wrongdoing through it’s proliferation of local governments and government arranged deals, Chris Christie had a lot of ground to cover.

And cover it, he did.

Whether the target was a Republican or Democrat, if they were breaking the law, Chris Christie was ending their careers and cleaning up the messes they were making.

More than just racking up white collar convictions, Chris Christie spared New Jerseyans from the violence that hardcore criminals would be free to carry out were it not for his successful prosecution of them. But it is in the area of white collar crime that Christie had the greatest impact. His efforts fighting government corruption gave citizens a sense of confidence. The confidence of knowing that those in government whom were not acting in the best interest of the people, would soon pay a hefty price and their wrongs would be rectified.

Christie restored a sense of balance. The type of balance that assured us that while government might be watching us, someone was watching them.

As Chris Christie closes the door on his own efforts fighting crime through the u.S. Attorney’s office, he may just open another door that could usher in the opportunity to continue doing some good for New Jersey. That door could be the one to the Governor’s office.

Many Republicans are waiting with bated breath, for Christie to announce that he is running for Governor. The hope is that with all of his name identification and his high positive polling numbers, he will run for the Republican nomination.

I will admit that Chris Christie has all the right qualities and advantages for a successful candidacy but I am not willing to grant him the nomination because of that alone.

I want to know where Chris Christie stands on the issues.

If I find myself agreeing with him than I will be ecstatic over his potential candidacy, but that remains to be seen .

That’s why we go through the primary process……..to find out where those interested in the job, stand on the issues. So I want the process to play itself out. I want Chris Christie to have to fight for the nomination and earn it. Let him show me why his positions on the state’s economy or pension negotiations and taxes are better than other candidates like Steve Lonegan or Assemblyman Richard Merkt.

Hopefully others besides them will also enter the race for the nomination.

People like the compelling John Crowley.

Crowley’s story is an inspiring one that demonstrates his ingenuity, sense of commitment, dedication and effectiveness. It is a story so inspirational that books have been written about it and a movie, starring Harrison Ford as John Crowley himself, is to be made about it.

If people like him enter the race, we are assured of a contest for the nomination that will produce one of the strongest candidates that New Jersey Republicans have fielded for statewide office since Tom Kean Sr. ran for reelection as Governor.

So I look forward to the primary process that will allow us to choose our nominee and I hope that Chris Christie will be a part of that process. If he has a conservative approach to the solutions that New Jersey needs and can demonstrate that his political leadership is anywhere near as good as his crime busting efforts then he just might get my support.

But today, regardless of Chris Christie’s political future, we take a moment to pay tribute to him and to thank him for all that he has done to combat the corruption that cheats all of us in New Jersey.

His departure from the U.S. Attorney’s office leaves us hoping that justice in Jersey will continue to be served as efficiently and as effectively as it was under his direction for the past seven years.

So thank you Chris. 

Thank you for serving us with distiction and for doing your part in insuring that those working in government were making government work for us.

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TRUE POLITICAL STORY

Supposedly G.B. Shaw once sent Winston Churchill some tickets for the first night of one of his plays.

Churchill then sent Shaw a telegram to the effect: “Cannot come first night. Will come second night if you have one.”

Shaw promptly replied: “Here are two tickets for the second night. Bring a friend if you have one.”

 

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PRESS RELEASES ABOUT THE EFFORT FOR JENNIFER BECK HAVE GONE OUT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Anthony M. Del Pellegrino
LiberalsRlosers@aol.com

 

Garden State Grass Root Republicans Trying To Cultivate A Winning GOP Ticket In ‘09

(Manchester, N.J. -November 26, 2008) ~ Followers of Republican State Senator Beck, R-Monmouth, have begun a petition and campaign for her to be tapped as the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor and running mate of whomever ultimately wins the nomination for Governor. They expect to deliver that message to whomever the Republican nominee for Governor winds up being .

As stated in the petition, it calls “upon the Republican party’s nominee for Governor to select State Senator Jennifer Beck as their running mate and our nominee for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey in the November elections of 2009.”

Supporters of the “State Senator Jennifer Beck for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey” petition effort believe that Senator Beck’s placement on the ticket would significantly boost Republican chances of winning“.

The petition’s creator, Anthony Del Pellegrino of Ocean County, released the following statement:

“As the race for Governor in New Jersey takes shape, many potential candidates for the Republican nomination are waiting for soon, to be, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie to make his intentions official. With the undeniable advantage that his popular, positive recognition, name id and deserved reputation brings, few will be very competitive against him if he decides to run. Some potential candidates won’t even run against him because of those advantages.

However, while Christie’s decision puts the GOP field in a temporary holding pattern and even though things could change at any moment, one thing wont change. That is the fact that no matter who is nominated for Governor, barring Jennifer Beck herself, no one person will bring more to the ticket as Lieutenant Governor than Senator Beck.

She has proven herself to be one of the state’s brightest and most energetic Republican lawmakers. While during the course of the last few state election cycles, Republicans have been losing seats in the state senate and assembly, Jennifer Beck has been winning them back for us. She appeals to independents and Democrats alike and beyond her masterful ability at campaigning and conveying our message of prosperity, fiscal responsibility and efficient government, Jennifer Beck is someone we believe in. She is a proven, positive force who embodies the future of New Jersey Republicans and, if elected, should the need arise for her to become Governor, Jennifer Beck would be more than just a competent Governor, she would be a unifying force and innovative leader who could steer New Jersey in the right direction.

That being the case, I have embarked on this effort to show whoever gets the Republican gubernatorial nomination that State Senator Jennifer Beck has a great deal of support for being chosen as our candidate for Lieutenant Governor

I have chosen to begin this campaign now, as a grass root effort, there is no heavily financed machine behind it. There will be no ads purchased on the airwaves or placed in newspapers. It is simply a heartfelt attempt to be able to help Republicans shape the strongest possible ticket against Jon Corzine and Trenton’s liberal led state legislature. Such a grass root effort takes time—–lots of time, to build momentum and recognition. So today we start that process and enlist the support of all those who hope to be a part of putting New Jersey back on track and who want to be a part state history by influencing the selection of New Jersey’s first Lieutenant Governor”.

Initial steps for the Beck for Lieutenant Governor movement have begun.

An online petition has been set up and is available for signing on to at:

http://www.gopetition.com/online/23572.html/

And along with the petition, two internet sites for the cause have been created. One is a blog that can be visited at:

http://jenniferbeckforltgovernor.wordpress.com/

The other is on a new web site called Rebuild The Party. Initiated by political computer tech king Patrick Ruffini, Rebuildtheparty.com was created after the recent elections and is designed as a networking platform for, as the title reads, rebuilding the party. On it supporters of the Beck petition drive have set up an online group called State Senator Jennifer Beck for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey and that can be found at:

http://rebuildtheparty.ning.com/group/statesenatorjenniferbeckforlieutenantgovernorofnew.com

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The Race To Shape New Jersey’s Future Begins Now!

POLITICS 24/7 has launched a new political effort and blog .

With it, today, the Republican grassroots of the Garden State takes steps to begin shaping New Jersey’s statewide elections in November of 2009.

It may seem early but given the importance of the outcome of the election, we need to gear up wisely and quickly.

In that vein, POLITICS 24/7 has started an effort to build support for the selection of our state’s first Lieutenant Governor.

The newly amended state constitution created the office after an abundant number of recent occasions where vacancies led to the sitting Senate President becoming the Acting Governor, thereby giving him the power of two of the states legislative branches at the same time.

The position is long overdue and in this coming election, for the first time, voters of New Jersey will be electing a gubernatorial ticket—–a Governor and a Lieutenant Governor. The constitution states that the individual who wins their party nomination hand picks his running mate for Lieutenant Governor.

It is fact that there are only a few potential Republican candidates, who may be running , that have the name identification and accessibility to the financial resources required to compete with the independent wealth of incumbent Governor Jon Corzine. Governor Corzine has invested tens of millions of dollars in his three statewide campaigns and the money successfully purchased his elevation first to United States senator and then Governor.

At the same time, Republicans in the state, have lost their own level of competitiveness in fundraising . Combined with the uniqueness of campaigning in a state that is split between the most expensive and third most expensive media markets in the nation, running a statewide campaign in Jersey is inordinately expensive.

On top of that, Republicans have been losing power and influence in the state legislature. The more their numbers decrease and their minority status increases, the tougher it becomes to influence legislation. Less influence leads to lesser fundraising capabilities.

This brings us to where we are today. It is a situation where few Republicans seem poised to be able to run a truly competitive and viable campaign for Governor. The only two potential candidates who might be willing and are able to overcome the obstacles to a successful campaign are soon to be former U.S. Attorney. Chris Christie and the resourceful, bright, determined, bio tech millionaire John Crowley.

Chris Christie’s efforts combating crime in New Jersey have garnered him incredibly positive and popular name identification and with that, the ability to raise the funds needed for a campaign with any chance of winning.

John Crowley‘s inspirational story and his personal wealth might make him another possible contender. A wealthy, New Jersey, political outsider who has a heart of gold and the pockets to match it. He is an innovator and an achiever. After establishing a bio tech company for the purpose of saving his newborn children from a rare and fatal disease, John Crowley has proven himself to have the determination and ability to solve problems and improve the lives of New Jesey residents lives.

In any case, the choices for a gubernatorial candidate who has all the right qualifications and resources, at this time, are limited. I for one am looking at all the potential candidates. For a more detailed assessment of them check out this highlighted POLITICS 24/7 post.

This leads us to why Politics 24/7 has begun an effort for the Lieutenant Governor spot.

Whichever possible candidate can prove themselves to be most qualified and to has the ability to tap into the resources needed to compete, there is one person who would be their best choice for a running mate.

State Senator jennifer Beck

State Senator Jennifer Beck

That person is State Senator Jennifer Beck.

When it comes to adding value and enthusiasm to the ticket, Senator Beck wins hands down. Her proven ability as a campaigner exceeds most others in today’s political arena.

When over the past few election cycles, Republicans were losing seats in the assembly and senate, Jennifer Beck won them back for us. She has won uphill battles in elections where Democrats outnumbered Republicans by margins that would have made most Republican operatives look the other way and avoid having their perceived, expected loss, added to their records.

As a councilwoman, assemblywoman and state senator, Jennifer Beck appealed not to the partisan tendencies in us but the collective goodwill among us. Independents and Democrats alike warmed to her approach to problem solving and government policies. Yet she did so not by trying to be politically expedient by trying to sound like a liberal. She did so by articulating conservative values in a way that appealed to those who she sought to lead.

And lead she did.

In just a relatively short time in Trenton as a legislator, Senator Beck established a solid and trusted reputation for herself. The type of reputation that our gubernatorial needs. it’s a reputation for clean government and positive reform. A reputation for innovation, fiscal responsibility and government accountability.

Between her appeal and ability as a candidate and communicator, and her legislative policy direction, Jennifer Beck would not only be a plus for the GOP ticket, but she will be a plus for the state of New Jersey and its citizens.

With Jennifer Beck, New Jerseyans will have a the security of knowing that should the need arise, we would inherit a true advocate of and for the people of New Jersey at the helm. Her steady hand will be a source of confidence that we need.

Furthermore, as stated in the constitutional amendment creating the office of the Lieutenant Governor, The Governor can appoint the Lieutenant Governor to lead any cabinet position excluding the position of Attorney General.

By granting a cabinet position to Lieutenant Governor Beck, the state will not just have some lady in waiting, sitting behind closed doors, but a hands on head of government applying her great abilities each and every day to specific responsibilities that we, the people, can benefit from.

So today, I officially launch this site, “The Jennifer Beck for Lieutenant Governor” blog and welcome any and all Republicans who have any vision to join me in getting the ball rolling.

No matter who receives our nomination for Governor, Jennifer Beck is an asset whose involvement on the ticket will boost our fortunes and prepare New Jersey for the next generation of leadership.

With that in mind, today POLITICS 24/7 proudly introduces JENNIFER BECK FOR LIEUTNANT GOVERNOR, a blog site created for building a grass root network of Republicans who intend to make it known that we expect and urge our nominee for Governor to tap State Jennifer Beck for Lieutenant Governor.

In accordance with the state constitution, the Republican nominee for Governor must select a running mate within 30 days of winning the nomination and the person should be JenniferBeck

Part of this effort utilizes a petition which makes our intention known and will be presented to whomever wins the nomination on the day after such a victory is determined.

I ask that any and all New Jersey residents to sign the online petition.

As a the process of deciding New Jersey’s future unfolds many things may change but the fact that we need to restore responsible, effective and constructive leadership in Trenton still remains. That being the case, today the grassroots of the Republican party begins an effort that sets a standard for the upcoming election. It is a standard set by the person who is our focus of our attention, Jennifer Beck. If she is not to be our nominee for Governor in 2009, then the individual who will be the nominee must reach the standard standards set by her. Then they must also make her their running mate and possibly New Jersey’s first Lieutenant Governor.

So I invite you all to visit JENNIFER BECK FOR LIEUTNANT GOVERNOR. Republican ticket in next There you will be able to find out more about Senator Beck, including, among other things, her voting record and biographical information.

Thank you!!

Yours truly in republicanism;
Photobucket

 

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AS ONE DOOR IN NEW JERSEY CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS?

US Attorney Chris Christie has made it official. On December 1, he will step down from his post as New Jersey’s prosecutor. His departure from the post will be missed. During his past seven years of crime busting, Christie did more to positively effect the state than did the tenures of Govenor Jon Corzine and his predecessor Jim McGreevey.

Chris Christie Resigns from US Attorney's Office and Becomes GOP's Hope For Electing A Governor
Christie Resigns from U.S. Attorney’s Office

 

 

Elected officials from local townships to county governments and from state agencies to state legislators were indicted, found guilty and arrested. Democrats and Republicans alike, suffered the consequences for wrongdoing rooted out by Chris Christie. And there were many.

Knowing that there is so much corruption in our state is a sad state of affairs. But such corruption is a natural result of a state where the largest source of employment is government. Despite it’s small size in landmass, and being one of the smallest states in the union, it has 21 counties, and 566 municipalities. Some of these local towns consist of as many 274,000 people and as few as 20. On top of that exists the all encompassing, cumbersome state government.

All these governments make corruption quite a lucrative endeavor. The growing amount of governments allows patronage to pile up as so many people have the opportunity to create inconsequential posts that they can hire relatives for. The numerous governments creates the opportunity for numerous contractors to offer so many government officials and employees special favors for the inside track on a “government contract”. The system simply breeds corruption and the people pay for it on top of the price for running the prolific preponderance of governments that make corruption so popular.

Short of mandating a consolidation of governments and reducing the number of “governments” in the state, not much can reduce this rampant scope and popularity of the governmental culture of corruption.

But as the US Attorney for the district of New Jersey, since December 20, 2001, Chris Christie provided New Jerseyans with reasonable justice and a relieving sense of corrective adjustment to a system that is weighed against the working class and in favor of the governing class. On the very day that Chris Christie announced the date of his resignation , a jury found a Democrat State Senator guilty on all the charges that Christie brought against him. The timing only helped to accentuate the positive effects that Christie’s leadership has brought to New Jersey.

But is Chris Christie’s resignation as US Attorney for New Jew Jersey really a loss for New Jersey?

Christie’s leaving one office could mean entrance into another…..the Governor’s office.

With the state in the midst of an affordability crisis that seems only to be worsening, New Jersey is looking for leadership. More than 65% of the population feels the state is on the wrong track and the poll numbers show that only 43% of the state inhabitants approve of Governor Jon Corzine while 46% disapprove of him. In the same poll 51% of respondents feel that Corzine should not be reelected.

This all indicates, that at this point, New Jersey wants “change”.

That makes it seem that the GOP has a great window of opportunity to climb through during the year leading up to next November’s state elections. But such is not the case as of yet.

Having no major media market of it’s own, New Jersey is stuck in between the most expensive and the third most expensive media markets in the nation, New York and Philadelphia. So reaching out to the whole state requires one to go through Philly in the South and New York in the North. This makes running a statewide campaign in Jersey quite expensive and money is something state Republicans don‘t have. This goes especially for the Governor’s race where incumbent Jon Corzine has spent tens of millions of his money in previous races. As a Wall Street millionaire he has the money and doesn’t have a problem trying to raise the funds to compete.

On top of that, state Republicans have not helped themselves. They have failed to provide any believable, appealing alternatives to those offered by Democrats.

They have also failed to provide any leader who inspires a sense of optimism and positive change.

State Senator Jennifer Beck

State Senator Jennifer Beck

State Senator Joe Kyrillos
St. Sen. Joe Kyrillos

There are a number of Republicans inside and outside of the state legislature who are promising and could provide the party with the infusion of innovative ideas and inspirational voices that we need. People like State Senator’s Joe Kyrillos and Jennifer Beck. Former Assemblyman Paul DeGaetano is another and so is Morris County Freeholder John Murphy. Of those four, I am confident that Jennifer Beck will some day be our Governor or one of New Jersey’s two United States Senators but that is not so for this coming race.  Time is needed for Senator Beck  to establish herself. But for now, the greatest reason why none of these four  will emerge as a likely candidate for governor in ’09 is money and name identification. The disjointed access to media in the state makes their names less than household names in the south and to become well known would take millions of unavailable dollars to their campaigns.

Assemblyman Richard Merkt
Assemblyman Richard Merkt

Regardless of the odds stacked against them one little known Assemblyman has declared his candidacy for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Assembly Richard Merkt made his intentions known for a few months now and although his voting record is conservative oriented, he still lacks the innovation of ideas that inspires anyone. The same goes for former and potential GOP candidate for the nomination Steve Lonegan.

antlonegan

Former Bogata, NJ Mayor Steve Lonegan

Lonegan’s ideas are quite conservative and he has a truly consistent conservative approach to government. But that in and of itself is a problem. Openly conservative candidates do not go over well in New Jersey. Especially under funded, conservative candidates. Like many other potential candidates, Lonegan is severely hampered by the lack of financial resources that will be available to him.

That brings us back to the beginning. What alternatives does New Jersey have to the current menage~a~tois between the Democrat governor and Democrat controlled state senate and assembly?

By losing Chris Christie in the corruption busting crusade to change government from the outside, he may now be the best person for Republicans to use to change government from the inside.

He has the name id that others would need to raise tens of millions of dollars to achieve.

He has a reputation of success, taking on government and government officials and for nonpartisanship.

All of this appeals to Jersey’s very large and crucial independent voting bloc and gives him a leg up.

If Chris Christie were to declare his candidacy for governor, for the reasons mentioned above, he would be a figure that people would automatically have reason to rally around.

If he ran on a platform of reform he could be one of the most effective candidates to do so, that the state has ever seen. Christie could discuss reform of the culture of government and corruption. He could call for the outlawing of the dual office holding which consolidates power and increases the opportunity for corruption. He could preach the virtues of reforming many of the practices that have led to illegal conduct in government that he prosecuted. He could promote the consolidation of municipal governments so that we reduce costs and reduce the opportunity for hundreds of governments to be corrupt.

Add to this other reforms such as those to our state’s economy, it‘s contract negotiation process, future pension plans, property taxes, education funding, infrastructure development and you have an agenda of reform that offers real hope to a state populations that wants change.

I do not know where Chris Christie stands on these issues. As a Republican I would hope that he believes in many of the ideological principles that make me a Republican. I would hope that he would want to reform New Jersey’s anti business atmosphere of over taxation which reduces job opportunities and growth. I would hope that he is willing to cut spending by reducing ineffectual programs, the size of government and it’s overabundance of government employees. I would hope that he understands that New Jersey is unaffordable to live in and that taxes must be cut in order to alleviate that problem.

Until I know where Christie stands on these issues, I can not say that he has my support. Besides he has not yet made his intentions known or announced his candidacy. If he does make such an announcement and runs for the Republican nomination, I hope he makes his ideological philosophy clear. Part of the reason for the failures of other recent statewide Republican candidacies is due to their unwillingness to distinguish themselves from Democrats. They have felt a need to go along to get along and it has not worked. There are plenty of Democrats to choose from in New Jersey and given the chance, residents of the state will choose a Democrat acting like a Democrat over a Republican acting like a Democrat on any given day.

With the reputation that he has already established, Chris Christie can offer conservative oriented initiatives and they can be well received. Unlike Steve Lonegan whose conservative philosophy is shadowed by a right wing image problem, Chris Christie has a more independent, nonpartisan image that can make any right leaning initiatives, that he offers up as reform, more palatable and acceptable to a liberal oriented electorate. Chris Christie is the only possible candidate who can do that at this point in time.

There is another potential candidate out there though.

John Crowley has a remarkable story. One so compelling that books have been written about it and actor Harrison Ford will be playing John Crowley in a movie about him.

Bio Tech Millionaire John Crowley
Bio Tech Millionaire John Crowley

Crowley started his own bio tech business here in New Jersey. He started it not for profit but for survival. Survial of his new born children who were diagnosed with a rare and fatal disorder called Pompe disease. There were no treatments for the disease and since it was so rare, the pharameucitical and science industries did not bother with trying to find a cure. So began Crowley’s creation of a bio tech company that raced time to discover a cure.  To date the company he statred to keep his children alive has done just that and his childrens lives have been extended as the treatments so far established have allowed John Crowley’s kids to ward off the worst of the disorders effects.  There were many ups and down that the Crowley family took to get to this point but determination and clear thinking got them this far.

Now a multimillionaire, Crowley has pockets almost as deep as Governor Corzine. This gives him the chance to develop name id and possibly mount a competitive race against Corzine. He almost ran for US Senate against Frank Lautenberg but passed that up. Now he has expressed some possible interest in the race for Governor.

 Although his financial situation might make Crowley viable, and his story is remarkably inspirational and proof oh his determination, where he stands on the issues is yet to be known.

The unknown positions of both Christie and Crowley prohibit me from leaning to one or the other and it should also prohibit others from doing so too. The way it currently stands, conservative Steve Lonegan has my initial philosophical support. But philosophical support is meaningless. It means as much as a Governor who has the right philosophy but can’t implement that philosophy into the application of government. My philosophical support must translate into tangible support. So should Crowley or Christie articulate ideological lines of thinking similar to Lonegan and an ability to implement them, they could easily win my physical support.

This makes declaring their candidacies as soon as possible, quite important.

New Jersey Republicans need to choose our gubernatorial nominee carefully and we need to close ranks around that nominee as quickly as we can. So the debate must begin and in order for that to happen we need to know who the debate is between and what the players stand for.

The most important declaration of candidacy happens to be Chris Christie’s. Many other potential candidates are awaiting his decision. If he runs, many others will bow out. If Chris Christie does not run, the field will fill up fast. Promising candidates like former candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, Freeholder John Murphy may just go for it again. His spirited, fresh faced, energetic, Trenton outsider image could shake things up quite a lot.

Freeholder John Murphy

Freeholder John Murphy

In any event, Chris Christie is holding the greatest promise of hope for New Jersey. His crime busting reputation could be the making of New Jersey’s version of what Tom Dewey was to the state of New York and what Rudy Giuliani was to New York City………squeaky clean politicians who are reform minded, and inclined to creating prosperous governments that improve the quality of life for all it’s citizens.

That’s how it could be and if it is to be so, Chris Christie must first make intentions known quickly. The first week of the new year should be the latest for that decision.

Should Chris Christie decide to go for it then he must not be afraid to preach the Republican principles that have, more often than not, reformed government for the better.

Republican defeats have forced Republican candidates to sound like Trenton Democrats. Doing so has only helped to increase Republican losses at the ballot box. Chris Christie is poised to turn that all around but only if he leaves no doubt about his Republican inclinations and no doubts about his desire for the job.

punchline-politics21

A little girl asked her father, “Daddy? Do all Fairy Tales begin with ‘Once Upon A Time’?”

He replied, “No, there is a whole series of Fairy Tales that begin with ‘If elected I promise’.”

 

 

 

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THE TOP 10 POLITICAL HAPPENINGS OF 2008

With the new year here, we have the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and to thank the passage of time for resolving some situations. While some happenings in 2008 came and went, other events of 2008 still require time, time that will absorb much of 2009 and even beyond.

So today, before we forge ahead with the rest of this new year, we reflect on the events that shaped politics and the politics that shaped events, by presenting to you the 10 most significant political stories of the year that helped to get us where we are today.

TONY SNOW

TONY SNOW

10. – THE DEATHS OF TIM RUSSERT and TONY SNOW

TIM RUSSERT

TIM RUSSERT

Both of these men loved politics. For a time they were both involved in politics on different sides of the aisle and during  a different time they covered both sides of the aisle in politics . Tony Snow started in print and broadcast journalism delivering political news and commentary and ended his career in politics as the Press Secretary for President Bush. Tim Russert began in politics working for a political legend, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and ended covering politics on NBC. As host of Meet The Press, Tim became a part of every American household and despite his personal left leaning tendencies Tim Russert was respected for probing questions that were leveled at liberals and conservatives alike. Tony Snow was also a partisan. For decades he was a favorite in conservative circles, yet when delivering a news story people of every party carefully listened to the insightful delivery of facts that he presented. His last major endeavor was one that helped provide the White House with the ability to properly convey the right messages. Tony served as Press Secretary for 17 months. Probably the most understandable 17 months of the Presidents two terms in office. Tim Russert died after suffering a massive heart attack on Jun 13th at the age of 58 and Tony Snow died after battling colon cancer on July 12th at the age of 53. In life they shaped politics and political opinion. In death, they left us a legacy of lessons and examples to follow.

 

 

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

9 . – IS THAT CAMPAIGN MONEY IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST GLAD TO SEE ME?

 

The Empire State helped to set a tone for 2008 when early in the year, New York’s Governor, Elliot Spitzer got caught up in scandal. After serving only 14 months in office the rising Democrat star found himself standing next to his wife announcing his resignation. Suspicious transfers of money in and out of Spitzer’s bank account led federal investigators to believe that he might be taking bribes. However their probe discovered that for over several years Spitzer wasn’t taking bribes, he was paying out at least $80,000 for prostitutes. The period covered his tenure as New York’s Attorney General as well as his brief time as Governor. The happiest people of all in this episode were David Paterson and New Jersey. As Spitzer’s Lieutenant Governor, Paterson, became New York’s first African American Governor, and the nation’s first legally blind one. New Jersey was just happy to know that they were no longer the only state in the region to lose a governor because of sexual scandals and illegal conduct.

 

 

8. – WEEKEND AT KIM’S

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

 

Around August rumors began to circulate that North Korea’s obscure and, to put it kindly, eccentric leader, Kim Jong-Il, was dead. Since then no reputable sources have either seen him or heard from him. Not that that is unusual, few people have ever heard or seen Kim Jong-Il, but what is unusual are recent decisions that Kim Jong-Il supposedly made to eliminate efforts to develop nuclear power. Did Kim make that decision? Is North Korea really abandoning nuclear ambitions? Or is North Korea propping up Kim Jong-Il, like a bad, out of sync, Korean version of “Weekend At Bernie’s” while a different, unknown, brain dead ruler is pulling the strings and, at the same time, trying to pull the wool over our eyes? All jokes aside, the sensitivity of the situation is a dire one. Chaos on the Korean Peninsula could create a ripple effect that no one can afford. Dramatic events could alter sensitive relations with South Korea and negotiations with the United States. All of which could result in tensions throughout the world including those involving hard feelings between North Korea and Japan. And let us not forget North Korea’s greatest ally, China. With their booming economy, the Chinese are ambitious. Knowing who is in charge of things could be helpful in 2009.

 

 

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

7. – BID WELL FIDEL?

 

In 1959 Cuba took on the face of Fidel Castro. Just 90 miles off of our shores, Cuban communism and Castro were too close for comfort. As much as we didn’t like it, invasions, coups and even assassination attempts did not eliminate Castro’s hold on power. However, time did reduce Castro’s influence. As time changed most of the world, Castro and Cuba didn’t but the logistics which helped to make him a thorn in our side did change. The, once feared communist Soviet-Cuban relationship lost it’s potency as the Soviet Union lost it’s hammer and sickle. As time went by, our concerns with Cuba focused more on human rights for Cubans than defense from Cuba. So it was still welcome news when, in February, we discovered that an ailing Fidel Castro was resigning from office. Not that it mattered much. Before stepping down, Fidel told the Cuban Communist Party that they were too elect his brother Raul to be the new Commander in Chief. The event did not change things very much but after almost 50 years in power, and events such as the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Elian Gonzales and other disconcerting situations, as minor as the effects of this change may be, Fidel’s painstakingly slow departure from the world stage is welcomed and ranks as the seventh most dramatic political occurrence of 2008.

 

 ant1georgis1a2

6. – THE GEOGIAN-RUSSIAN WAR

 

It was not a battle that reshaped Europe again but the surprising developments that caused the Russian Army to invade a neighboring, breakaway Republic with internationally recognized sovereignty, gave us all a glimpse of reality. It may not be the Soviet Union anymore but a bear by any other name is still a bear and the vulnerabilities of newly formed and reformed European nations and those with relatively new freedoms still offer some new Russian leaders the same old reasons for wanting control. The incident helped to demonstrate that freedom in parts of Europe is still a fragile concept.

 

 

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

5. – THE EBAY APPOINTMENT

 

2008 ended with a story that will carry well into the first months of 2009. As President-Elect Obama vacated his seat in the U.S. Senate, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich began a private auction process to determine who will fill the vacancy. As investigators, under the direction of federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, investigated Blagojevich for numerous improprieties, they discovered that he was basing his appointment to the senate seat on who could give him the most for it. Blago wanted either a “cushy union” job, a high paying cabinet position or at the very least an enormous financial campaign contribution. After being arrested the Illinois state legislature began impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich and he began digging in his heals refusing to resign. The events have the potential for drawing in some big name co-conspirators and participants. From Rep. Jesse Jackson, jr. to President -Elect Obama’s incoming Chief of Staff, Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuelle, many reputations may yet be questioned in this scandal. And to make things even more interesting, Blagojevich took the opportunity to raise the stakes and named Roland Burris, a long time, old line, liberal Chicago Democrat party machine hack to replace Barack Obama. Not at all concerned with peoples faith in government, or the integrity of the process, Burriss accepted the tainted appointment and in doing so, puts the United States and it’s Democrat leader, Harry Reid in the position of denying to seat someone that would be the only African American in the United States Senate. So coming in as the fifth top political occurrence in 2008 is the story that will keep on bleeding and keep us reading…..the process to replace a Barack Obama in the senate.

 

 

4. – BRINGING OUTSIDERS IN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

 

One of the most important political decisions made in 2008 was John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President on the Republican ticket. It was a controversial choice for some and one of the only right decisions made in the opinions of others. No matter how you see it, it remains one of the most spoken about political stories of the year. Beyond the newsworthiness are the implications. For many it was a sign of the fact that government needs thinking that is as far removed from the Washington D.C. mentality as Alaska is from Washington D.C itself. Many Americans are tired of Washington politics and want common sense as opposed to the one hand washes the other, old boys bureaucracy that we perceive as screwing us more than helping us. Sarah Palin embodied, and still does embody, that thinking. She is a political outsider who became a Governor by opposing the political class while representing the working class. Without abandoning conservative Republican principles, Sarah Palin fought against corrupt Republican and liberal politicians. Although picking Sarah Palin for Vice President may have been the right decision for John McCain, trying to restrict and control her wasn’t. By trying to script Sarah Palin, the McCain campaign lost out on the greatest advantageous quality Palin brought to the ticket…….her anti-establishment, outsider qualities. As McCain lost the election for President, Sarh Palin won exposure. Exposure that has made her a person who conservatives look forward to advancing the cause and for Americans to have to consider for national leadership in the future. So at number four in 2008 is the selection of Sarah Palin for Vice President. Thank you senator McCain!

 

 

ant1oil23. – “OILS WELL” IN THE ECONOMY?

 

The price of oil ranks third on our list of top stories. As prices for a barrel of oil soared to heights in excess of 150 dollars a barrel , gas prices flew up to over 4 dollars a gallon and the ripple effects raise the cost of everything from milk, eggs and bread to lumber, air fares, and life in general. The high cost of energy generated heated debates over domestic oil drilling, and pushed issues like immigration and terrorism off of the front burners in the race for President. Based upon the duration of the immediate negative effects of the price of oil combined with its ripple effects on the economy, its control of the political agenda and the long term policy initiatives that it created, oil prices is number 3 in ‘08. It is also likely to become a top story again, at least around August of ‘09, when the now delightfully low prices we see rise back up.

 

 

2. – THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

 

Putting all political opinion aside, Barack Obama ran a long hard campaign, that Republican strategists are dissecting in order to reproduce in elections of their own. The Obama campaign not only effectively tapped into voter dissatisfaction, they organized it and organized it well. Their utilization of the internet was exemplary and their ability to win favor through eloquence and style over substance and fact was done to political perfection. Despite some pitfalls such as Bill Ayers, ACORN, Rev. Wright, admitting a desire akin to socialism by stating that he wanted to spread the wealth, Barack Obama won big. To do so his campaign raised historic amounts of money and more than just raising that money, they spent it right and put it to good use. A use that mobilized the forces well enough to produce his substantial victory. The election of President-Elect Barack Obama comes in second not only because of how he won but because he did win. His victory marked the election of America’s first African American President. Like any other first, it is notable and in this case it is profoundly notable. It demonstrates an undeniable ability for our nation to overcome racial differences and the evidence of decency overcoming prejudice is promising. The effects of President-Elect Obama’s leadership are yet to be seen but the lessons learned and points made by his election are unquestionable.

 

 

ant1bailout21 . – BAIL OUT MANIA

 

POLITICS 24/7 considers the 700 billion dollar bailout that the federal government approved to be the most profound and important story of 2009. Not only was the suggested need for this bailout indicative of our wrong ways of the past, it signaled a continuation of wrong ways in the future. Our promotion of spending as the answer to all of our problems has created generations ands a government that spend beyond our means. The 700 billion dollar bailout meant to solve our problems didn’t solve our anything, it just provided a quick fix. It did however, create more problems. It has called upon more people and more industries to put their own hands out. The bailout set in motion a sense of government control that has taken freedom, with all of it’s risks and promises, out of the free market and it has helped to move America closer to the socialism that we have fought against in the past. Many major events come and go in politics. What we once saw as earth shattering developments often become something that we later laugh about but we fear that bailout trend established in 2008 is no laughing matter for any time.

 

2008 was an intense year. There were many events and some of the most dramatic ones did not involve politics. Human nature played a role in all of them though and hopefully our better instincts will drive the events and politics of 2009.

With that in mind we wish everyone a happy new year and hope that our better instincts help to make each and every day better than the last.

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