Tag Archives: Governor Cozines state of the State address

CURBING GOVERNMENT & EMPOWERING PEOPLE; An interview with Steve Lonegan – Part II

Bookmark and Share     Confident that he will be the Republican nominee for Governor, Steve Lonegan answered questions in this interview in a way that came across to me as a back to basics strategy. A strategy that would scale back the scope of government and their intrusiveness in our lives. A strategy that intends to strip off the extras which cost us more.

In the previous installment of this interview, we got a good glimpse of that approach to government when the Mayor answered questions involving the Committee On Affordable Housing. Aside from calling the actions of the committee “leftwing social engineering“ he called for its abolishment.

Such signs of Lonegans desire to put government back in its proper place are most evident in the area of taxes.

antlone1In part two of this interview, Lonegan volunteered that the “first thing” he needs “to do in the state of New Jersey is to cut taxes“.

He says “we have the worst income tax, we have the highest top end rate in the east at 9%, we have the highest sales tax in the nation and the highest property taxes“.

The former mayor claims that these exorbitant taxes are all “a result of the massive growth of state government”. He adds that “we also have the worst estate tax in the country so not only can you not afford to live here, you can’t afford to die here” and he made it clear that under a Lonegan administration, the solution that he will provide to the problem will be achieved by cutting taxes across the board which you do by cutting the size of government. He added that he will do so by “cutting it with an axe, not a scalpel”.

  • …..“The number one driving force behind increases in property taxes in New Jersey is the state government“…..-Steve Lonegan, 1/21/09-POLITICS 24/7 interview

As for property taxes Lonegan believes the key to solving the problem is lifting government off of our backs and giving mayors and local council members “back the tools they need to govern effectively rather than become functionaries of the state whose job it becomes to implement all the COAH mandates and all the other unfunded mandates that Trenton heaps on the backs of local officials.”

Stating that after 12 years as Mayor of Bogotá he knows the burdens of which he speaks, and proclaimed that he knows what it takes to cut taxes and that due to the overreaching that Trenton participates in, local “officials do not have the tools” to cut taxes .”

He added “we need to eliminate COAH which will be driving up our property taxes. We need to give mayors and councils the ability to negotiate union contracts on a fair playing field and we need to give school boards the ability to negotiate teachers contracts and give them  a fair playing field which they do not have now.”

  • …..”The real losers here are the students”…..      -Steve Lonegan, 1/21/09-POLITICS 24/7 interview

Another factor, one of the most important factors, in rising property taxes is the 15 year old Abbot School funding formula which Lonegan clearly states is plain wrong.

Calling the Abbot funding system “another product of our liberal state supreme court”, Lonegan explains that we have the 33 most expensive school districts in America. “These are the Abbot districts where spending per student ranges as much as $25,000 and in some cases $30,000 per student and the real travesty here is that after billions and billions of dollars pored into these school districts, we still have students coming out of these school districts with a less than mediocre education, often in unsafe schools”, he added.

  • ….“I think the idea of collecting money from people and sending it back is absurd”…..                        – Steve Lonegan, 1/21/09-POLITICS 24/7 interview 

Still on the topic of property taxes, I asked the Mayor what he thought of the homestaed rebate program which eligible homeowners recieve after paying their taxes.  His response was expected and right on the mark.

“I think the idea of collecting money money from people and sending it back is absurd.  I think the whole sytem should be eliminated”  said Lonegan.  He  further stated that as governor, as  he reduces the size of government, “one of the programs that will go will be the homestaed rebate program”. 

  • …..”cut taxes for everyone”…..           Steve Lonegan, 1/21/09-POLITICS 24/7 interview

But before anyone takes tthe line about doing away with the homestaead rebate and tries to paint Lonegan as someone who refuses to make it easier for taxpayers in New Jersey, he made clear that his goal is to “cut taxes for everyone and give them real tax cuts, not some phomy income redistribution scheme that requires people to call into some stupid phone number and wait for an hour”.  Steve believes that if we can “start cutting the state’s income and sales tax for the people, they will say, we don’t want your rebate anymore”

As for the education of our children Lonegan declared that the highlight of his career will be the day that he signs a bill requiring every Abbot school districts to “give a quality education to students with the same funding as every other school district in the state of New Jersey”. 

If they don’t, Lonegan demands that they give each parent of those students a voucher so that they can go to the school of their choice.

With much of our discussion dealing with funding and mandates I asked Mayor Lonegan if as Governor, he would refuse any federal funding for the state because of strings that may be attached to it.

When it comes to our return on the tax dollar that New Jerseyans send to Washington, D.C., most of it has to do with the ability of our representatives in D.C. and how good they are at delivering for the state. Our representatives in the U.S. Senate, Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez have been a sleep and during their naps, New Jersey has fallen to last place when it comes to the money we get back from Washington. Although New Jersey could use all the help it can get right now, I asked Steve if there was any limit to what help he would reject  t from Washington because of some of the federal strings attached to it.

His matter of fact response was “I certainly would, it depends on the strings of course so it has to be analyzed case by case.”

The mayor did feel that it is a “sad state of affairs when the federal government uses money to manipulate us into implementing their agenda on the state level.”

But that answer cuts both ways.

For instance, I am a supporter of legislation sponsored by Texas Senator John Cornyn, which prohibits the use of federal money involving projects that a state or local entity obtains through eminent domain policies. I also support federal legislation to link the refusal of Homeland Security dollars to states that allow themselves to be sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants.

However the Mayor’s comment has merit. There are many cases where the federal government does refuse to turn over money to a state if they fall short of adopting some of D.C’s  intended social engineering programs, programs like COAH for example,  and besides, he did state that he looks forward to the day when we don’t need any help from Washington.

All in all Steve Lonegan presented a great case for not only conservatives but for taxpayers as well.

He also demonstrated that someone with the experience of a New Jersey township or municipal mayor, might just be what New Jersey needs in a Governor. Who knows best what the ramifications of Trenton’s decisions are in the towns, villages, cities and municipalities, throughout our state, than a mayor who has had to deal with what comes out of Trenton?

His points are hard to argue and the only real area for debate, regarding his points, deal with the approach to the solutions of each of those points and that’s what the Republican primary for the gubernatorial nomination will be all about.

In the next part of this interview we will get into that debate as we ask the Mayor about his opponents and his chances of winning.

We will also get into what may become a political liability and deep bump in Lonegan’s road to victory among Republicans.                                                                        Bookmark and Share

punchline-politics

A friend of mine is in the naval reserves…………….

A few weeks ago, He was attending a conference that included admirals in both the US and the French navies. At a cocktail reception, my friend found himself in a small group that included an admiral from each of the two navies.  

The French admiral started complaining that whereas Europeans learned many languages, Americans only learned English. He then asked. “Why is it that we have to speak English in these conferences rather than you have to speak French?”  

Without even hesitating, the American admiral replied. “Maybe it is because we arranged it so that you did not have to learn to speak German.”

The group became silent.

Submitted by Mike, Broomfield, Co.

Photobucket

Be Sure To Sign The Petition To

REPEAL THE CONGRESSIONAL PAY HIKE

Sign the Online Petition – Repeal The Automatic Pay Raise That Congress Is Receiving

Pass The Link On To Family, Friends and Co-workers

http://www.gopetition.com/online/24301.html

Photobucket

AND DON’T FORGET………….

BE SURE TO SIGN THE PETITION URGING THE NOMINATION

OF SENATOR BECK FOR LT. GOV.

RedWhiteBlue.gif picture by kempite

Take The POLITICS 24/7 Poll

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under politics

The Making of a Governor: Interview With Steve Lonegan – Part I

antloneheader

Click Above To Visit The Lonegan For Governor Web Site

Bookmark and Share     When speaking to Steve Lonegan one is immediately struck by his confidence and command of the issues. When you ask Steve Lonegan a question, although there may be many different answers, he states his with a comprehensive slew of facts that make it seem only logical that his is the only right answer.

In this interview I confronted Mayor Lonegan with some of the hot button issues such as taxes, state mandates, federal funds, Abbott districts and even his own campaign. You will come to see that Steve Lonegan does not shy away from any of the issues .

  • “If I had my way, I would take Newark and divide it up into six small towns.”

We started off by asking the candidate about proposed efforts to curb the affordability crisis in New Jersey by consolidating  municipalities.  Some of these proposals have been made by Republicans like Senator Joe Kyrillos of Monmouth County.

When asked if he would oppose legislation requiring that municipalities adhere to a prescribed consolidation formula or incentives to do so, Lonegan replied matter of factly “Yes. Not only will I oppose it I will veto any such legislation.”

He expanded on his answer quite extensively by continuing with “The state government can’t manage themselves. Local government is the most efficient and effective government there is. Our small towns do a phenomenal job of keeping expenses down in almost every single case. And these people in Trenton do not understand the value of local government and for them to come in and force small towns to consolidate under the mode of big government and big government spending is destructive for New Jersey”.

When asked if he supports consolidation without state coercion the former Bogota Mayor says “science and statistics prove that small towns are the best type of governments in the state. The state government is on the verge of its own collapse and bankruptcy……..it is one of the biggest political diversions in state history…..trying to blame small towns under some bogus claim that if you force two small towns to consolidate, you will save the state money—It doesn’t. The statistics prove over and over again that small towns are much more cost efficient”.

“If I had my way, I would take Newark and divide it up into six small towns.”

“In every case, these big units always need subsidies and aid. The other aspect to this agenda is that in all these small towns, you have volunteer ambulance corps, volunteer fire departments and when you consolidate them into big cities you then force unionized labor and the labor unions would love noting better than to get rid of all those volunteer fire departments and ambulance corps and have them all be unionized like Newark or Jersey City or what have you”

To further punctuate his point Lonegan explained that in his last year in office as Mayor, his town of 8,000 people (the same as Wasilla, Alaska) had a per capita spending of roughly $750 per person whereas nearby towns such as Teaneck with 40,000 residents spent $12 hundred dollars person and Hackensack where 45,000 residents live, their per capita expenditure was close to $16 hundred per person.

Another reason for his opposition to merging small towns was based on the fact that the small town Mayors and planning boards and zoning regulations get in the way of state officials which have designs on these small towns and their property.  So the state would love to do away with many of those local authorities through consolidation because it would make it easier for them to ride roughshod over local residents and implement their own big government plans and policies. 

 That conveniently brought us to another issuer. State mandates and COAH.

  • “….its a very, very dangerous plan that will undermine communities, undermine the economy  and to capitulate on this will be forfeiting our rights as Americans”

Thanks to a series of state court ordered, legislative style, mandates the Council Of Affordable Housing has implemented policies to create so called affordable housing that will drive up property taxes, consume open space and change the character of the towns forced to comply with them.What does Steve Lonegan think about it? As he stated to POLITICS 24/7, “it has to be completely overturned”

He called it “a total leftwing engineering scheme, the most radical in all the country”.

Lonegan believes it is unfortunate that some Republicans feel that we have to “follow it” simply because it was court ordered.

“The court was not elected to govern the state and also the whole mentality behind this is nothing but social engineering on a level that the country has never seen before and again its an issue where local communities don’t want to have the agenda of Trenton shoved down their throats” said Lonegan.

How will he overcome COAH? Well the feisty firebrand says he will “accomplish that by defunding COAH, taking away their pencils and paper, appointing people to the existing COAH board who believe in abolishing COAH and while I am doing that, we will be pushing for a referendum on the ballot to have COAH overturned and the Mt. Laurel decision overturned“.

From COAH our conversation progressed to immigration of which I asked how the Mayor, as Governor, would, in New Jersey, combat the proliferation of illegal immigration?

  • “I’ll be roling up the red carpet”
In rapid fire form Steve, as he asked to be called said “I actually support 287G empowering local police and county police to have the authority to act as an extension of the United States Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS). We will not be having driver licenses for illegal aliens, absolutely not and we will not be extending in state tuitions to illegal aliens. In state tuitions is for those who have supported and built this state, paid taxes in this state and can benefit from this discount. It is not just for anyone who barges into New Jersey illegally and unfortunately we’re dealing with the fact that the federal government has failed at controlling immigrants and we’re paying the consequences. So those are the steps we can take here.” 

Not satisfied with that statement alone, Lonegan again brought up COAH.  According to him “while we are driving high income jobs and businesses out of the state by having the highest taxes in America” the 100 thousand low income housing units that the COAH mandates are forcing us to build are “a red carpet to illegal aliens saying, hey come to New Jersey.  So i’ll be rolling up that red carpet”

As you can see so far, Steve Lonegan doesn’t hold any punches and as the interviews continues, tomorrow, you will see that he doesn’t give any inappropriate punches either.  He says it like it is and offers, to many, a politician who isn’t interested in playing politics but rather frustrated by the political games being played in Trenton

Be sure to log back into us on Friday for more. 

We get into everything from Abbot School districts, property taxes and  homestaed rebates to Steve’s competitors for the Republican nomination for Governor.

Just like the race for Governor, this is going to get interesting.    Bookmark and Share

punchline-politics

“Well, did you all see Obama’s speech? He said America is finally ready to lead again, to which Bush said: ‘Hey, I’m sitting here! Hello! I’m still here!'”

–Jay Leno

RedWhiteBlue.gif picture by kempite

Take the poll on who should be the next Chairman of the Republican National Committee

The election for that job takes place January 30th

RedWhiteBlue.gif picture by kempite

antcap1234

Photobucket

antloneganad4

2 Comments

Filed under politics