Tag Archives: patronage

Reckless Debt Accumulation & Misleading Environmental Policy: Vote No On Ballot Question #1

Bookmark and Share    On November 3rd, those voters in New Jersey who realize that there is an election is going on will be deciding who NJenvironmenttheir assemblymen and state senators will be. They will also be choosing who the Governor of the state for the next four years will be. The choices for governor are dismal. Essentially it is a decision between bad, really bad and not as bad as the other two. Three weeks before the election and it looks like the candidate not as bad as the other two is Chris Daggett. But no matter who it winds up being, New Jerseyans are screwed. None of the candidates have a clear plan for placing the state on a path to prosperity and none of them bring new innovative approaches and solutions to old, debilitating issues and problems.

The person in charge for the next four years is not likely to lower the costs of living in New Jersey anything else, including the mounting debt that we are accumulating. That is why it is important for us New Jersey voters to look out for ourselves and to vote correctly on a little known ballot question that will be before us on Election Day. It is Ballot Question Number One, the “Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2009.”

The language used in it is not short and snappy. At length, it broadly explains that if passed, the measure will increase the state debt by $400 million through bonds. With this borrowed money, New Jersey bureaucrats will determine how to protect state waters, what lands to preserve and how to attain and create land for recreation use. The increased debt spending is also suppose to be used for bureaucrats to purchase land for agricultural and horticultural preservation and to purchase property that has been damaged by storms and floods for state conservation or recreational purposes. Lastly , question number one is intended to  provide money for preservation projects and to pay off the interest on the debt it all creates.

Now the green lobby would have you take that all as necessities crucial to clean drinking water, keeping farms up and running, preserving a clean environment, saving wildlife and insuring that New Jersey does not lose all of it’s natural beauty and bounty.

As positive and noble as that sounds, what you must remember here is that many of those who are promoting question number one in such a positive way, are also making money from the passage of question number one. You must also remember that it is the state government which makes the determinations that determine which, how, and why lands are to be used with this bond debt program. You have to understand that there is a translation problem between English and government talk. This is the same government that defined the property that former State Senator Ellen Karcher owned as “farmland” because she sold three tress that grew on her property as Christmas trees . That “farmland” designation entitled her to special tax breaks and other benefits.

Do you really think that the state and state bureaucrats will not stretch and abuse the meaning of such terms as “preservation”, “storm damage”, and “conservation”?

You must also understand that the most dangerous aspect of any legislation or proposition is what is not mentioned in it. In this case what is not mentioned are the countless other entities that will be profiting from the increased debt that question number one would have us  approve.   Attorneys, consultants, developers, accountants, soil analysts, surveyors, resource management advisors and others involved in the lucrative field of conservation and New Jersey political patronage will all be sharing in the $400 million of debt we are being asked to approve.

What is also not mentioned in the ballot question is that through the advice, consent and determination of all those people and Trenton’s bureaucratic legislature, many projects financed by the debt will include the creation of parking lots, bathrooms, Astroturf covered ball fields, and even the purchase of condemned inner city buildings. To one degree or another all of these projects could be considered some kind of “open space”, but is it really the type of open space that we thought they meant? And who will benefit from such projects? The developers hired to pave the way for parking lots, roll the asphalt, paint the parking space lines and ultimately charge people to park there, will be the beneficiaries, that’s who.

Let’s face it, who doesn’t like mountains or lakes? Who doesn’t like clean water or a nice park to run in or picnic in? The answer to those rhetorical questions need not be answered. We all appreciate a sound environment and as such, responsible local action should be in order. Local municipal and county governments should choose wisely how to use their land and how to preserve and protect it. Does anyone think that Governor Corzine, who, in all likelihood has never even been to a town like New Jersey’s Sunberry Village in Pemberton township,  know what the people of the village need as far as land use better than the people of Sunberry Village do?

Does anyone assume for one single minute that state government will spend money that they don’t even have, responsibly?

On November 3rd, things will be bad enough. We will be stuck with a state legislature that is deaf to our needs, local officials dumb enough to believe them, and one of the three blind mice governing us. So unless all of your senses are dead, don’t go out of your way to make things any worse than they already are or will be. Don’t help finance a bureaucratic boondoggle that will help fund corruption, patronage and false promises.

Vote “NO” on ballot question number one “Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2009”

To familiarize yourself with the ballot question below is the exact language that will appear on the ballot. Read it. Understand it. And REJECT IT!!!

  • Shall the “Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2009,” which authorizes the State to issue bonds in the amount of $400 million to provide moneys for (1) the acquisition and development of lands for recreation and conservation purposes, including lands that protect water supplies, (2) the preservation of farmland for agricultural or horticultural use and production, (3) the acquisition, for recreation and conservation purposes, of properties that are prone to or have incurred flood or storm damage, and (4) funding historic preservation projects; and providing the ways and means to pay the interest on the debt and also to pay and discharge the principal thereof, with full public disclosure of all spending, be approved?
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JUST HOW MUCH DO POLITICIANS RESPECT THEIR CONSTITUENTS?

Bookmark and Share    Recently a doctor in New Jersey wrote his two senators and made it known that he opposed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He made it clear that he hoped for them to vote against the bill as it stood.

Well one of them, Frank Lautenberg, has yet to respond and in the case of Lautenberg everyday that goes by without a response creates an increasing risk for there never to be a response. At 85, Lautenberg has little time left and his pace has slowed down quite a bit and is not getting any faster these days.

However New Jersey’s junior senator, Robert Menendez, did send a reply to the good doctor’s correspondence.

menendezHe wrote:

 Dr. Harris;

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for education priorities in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you on this important issue.

…….Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I appreciate your support. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of more assistance.

I invite you to visit my website (http://menendez.senate.gov) to learn of other important issues to New Jersey.

Robert Menendez
United States Senate

Wasn’t that nice? After letting the Senator know that he opposed the ARRA, Senator Menendez thanked Dr. Harris for supporting him.

Now there are two things to note here. Dr. Harris never acknowledged any support for the Senator. He simply asked the Senator to properly represent his views and vote against the bill and not only did Senator Menendez ignore that fact in his reply, in the end, he did exactly the opposite of what Dr. Harris hoped for and voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That does not warrant support. If anything it is reason for opposition to the Senator.

And then, of course, there is Senator Menendez’s totally, out of the blue, reference to Dr. Harris’ support for so-called “education priorities” in the bill.

Dr. Harris made no mention of such support. He never once mentioned education in his letter. But as you can see, Senator Menendez articulated his appreciation for it.

The incident shows us a few things.

First, few elected officials actually read through all of their mail. There is quite a lot of it so that should not to be held against them. So long as they have a hard working, attentive staff with a well run office and efficient constituency caseworkers.

Obviously Senator Menendez doesn’t.

Senator Menendez apparently has an overpaid staff stuffed with patronage positions that provide little more than lip service to those who he represents. The staffer who sent the wrong boilerplate response to Dr. Harris obviously does not care and that does not instill a great deal of confidence in the people Senator Menendez represents.

A good staff is a sign of a good legislator. A good staff not only properly communicates to the people, they properly communicate the needs and desires of the people to the legislator that they work for.

Granted, this is just one letter but it is symbolic. It is a symbol of just how detached the political class is from the people they represent.

Many of them almost feel that the politics they deal with is none of the people’s business. They feel that the people do not know any better and that the people would be better off if they just left things up to them.

Nowhere is that better demonstrated than in the video I submit for your review in this post.

In it, one of Washington, D.C.’s most powerful and corrupt politicians, Charlie Rangel, actually tells a fellow New Yorker from Brooklyn to “mind his G-Damn business” when he asks the Congressman to explain how he expects to get away with some of his shenanigans like driving a taxpayer subsidized Cadillac around for personal use, refusing to pay taxes on rent properties that he owns, and abuses the use of four rent controlled apartments below market rates all while writing the very tax code that he exempts himself from.

Now I am originally from Brooklyn and let me tell you, take away our baseball bats and other weaponry and you still will not be treated kindly by us after giving the response that Rangel did.

What Rangel seems to have forgotten is that as a public servant, his business is our business. It is especially our business, like it or not, when he is breaking and skirting the very laws that he is instrumental in writing and forcing us to live by while he doesn’t.Turnout Primary

These two examples may seem insignificant but they say a lot.

These examples are just more proof of the prevailing bad attitude that our political leaders posses. It demonstrates that many are out of touch with us and that they truly lack any connection to the fact that they are no better than us and that they are not immune from the legislation they create.

Of course it would help if we, the people, held our elected officials accountable when elections rolled around but that rarely happens. After all Charlie Rangel has been reelected to his Harlem congressional district 19 times. That’s 38 years.

Frank Lautenberg, who didn’t even bother to respond to Dr. Harris’ letter, has been reelected to the United States Senate five times.

And Senator Menendez was originally appointed to his senate seat. He subsequently won election to his seat after little more than a year of incumbency. His relative newness is what probably accounts for his at least pretending to care what the people think, even though his reply to Dr. Harris totally ignored the point he wanted addressed.

In the end, I guess it comes down to the fact that we get what we deserve. I mean if we want our elected officials to be held accountable, should we not hold ourselves accountable for the choices that we make when we vote for these elected officials?

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It’s tough being a politician. Half your reputation is ruined by lies; the other half is ruined by the truth!

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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.

punchline-politics21

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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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.

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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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