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Newt Gingrich Proving To Be Surprisingly Strong in New Jersey

 Bookmark and ShareNew Jersey Republicans may be happy with Governor Christie’s job performance but not all of them are in agreement with his first choice for the Republican presidential nomination.  many New Jersey Republicans are throwing their weight behind former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.  Myself included.  While I made sure to give each of the presidential candidates a fair hearing and gave them an all opportunity to earn my vote, back in November I concluded that Newt earned my endorsement and made it public on POLITICS 24/7’s  sister site, White House 2012.

Despite my support for Newt, I have been critical of him.  When mistakes have been made, like Newt Gingrich himself, I see no shame in admitting them, especially if one learns from them and does not repeat them.  And as this campaign progresses, I still believe that Newt Gingrich is the man best suited to do the job we need done in the years ahead.  And so do many New Jerseyans.  This realization has only been reinforced in the weeks since I endorsed him and until recently when I honored to be appointed the Regional Director of Central New Jersey for Newt 2012 .

The position is one that has afforded me the opportunity to get a true sense of how deep support for Newt runs.  Hundreds of volunteers across New Jersey have declared that they too belive that newt Gingrich has a proven record and solid vision for the type of true conservative reforms that our nation needs.  They understand that his he is the anti-establishment candidate and they are proud of it.  Many conservatives like the fact that Newt has always been willing to take on the establishment because he realizes that it is the political establishment that is holding us back with behemoth sized  bureaucracy and the crony capitalism of inside the Beltway political figures who allow bad personal politics to override positive public policy.

Yet today, some are again writing Newt Gingrich off.  Once again, some are trying to claim that this is a two man race that does not include Newt Gingrich.  Well those same people who were wrong before, are wrong again.  Ask people like DeLinda Ridings, who served as a Regional Director for Newt Gingrich in South Carolina.  After two back to back losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, people like DeLinda Ridings help to coordinate the effort and organize the support of Newt Gingrich supporters to pull off an astounding landslide victory that crossed every demographic.

That in and of itself is makes it worthwhile to remember that history does tend to repeat itself.  And if the enthusiasm among Newt Gingrich supporters is any indication, the victory that South Carolinians pulled off for Newt in the Palmetto State can very easily be duplicated in the Garden State and others as well.  That is especially the case given the fact that a few political lifetimes can pass between now and the New Jersey Presidential primary that will take place four months from now in June.

In that time, we are very likely going to see the position of frontrunner change hands numerous times, and while I am confident that Republicans will be united behind our candidate by the time we head to Tampa for the Republican National Convention, I am also confident that each of the candidates are going to to do their best to earn that united support till the bitter end.  In the case of New Jersey, it is one of very last battles in the nomination process and could prove to be quite pivotal in determining who the nominee is.  But as of now, I can tell you that regardless of what any state polls might indicate, the one thing they can not accurately gauge is how strongly voters stand behind their choice for President. And when it comes to the volunteers who are committing themselves to Newt in New Jersey those supporters vary from young to old.  It consists of young college students to older, retired persons.  It includes high powered attorneys to high powered, high energy Moms. school teachers, union workers, small business owners and minimum wage earners.  But regardless of their age or status, they all share at least one favorite quality about Newt.  We know that he is unafraid to challenge the status quo of Washington, D.C. and even fellow conservatives.

Newt supporters know that he will challenge traditional political thinking and force conservatives to make the Republican Party the Party of ideas once again.  We know that Newt is in the mold of great conservative thinkers like Jack Kemp who forced his economic ideas upon the Party and even sold Reaganomics to Ronald Reagan and introduced our nation to the type of Urban Enterprise Zones that revitalized once depressed and dilapidated urban centers.

They know that unlike Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich is the only candidate running for President who understands that we can’t just tinker with the our regressive tax code that is burdening our national economy and depressing every family’s economy and that we must  instead abolish our complex, failing, loophole ridden tax code, with one that offers one rate for one nation and can help grow our economy by leaps and bounds.

New Jersey Republicans understand that our ship of state can’t continue sail the rough seas created by the excessive growth of government and the ever increasing expansion of government involvement in our lives.   They know that to survive the government created tsunami in front of us, we must quickly change course with sharp turns away from the socialist path of so-called moderates and the progressiv-liberal Democrats that have hijacked the Constitution and placed it in the hands of activist judges who have a greater desire to impose on us their personal political agenda than to interpret the intention of our laws.

So I urge all New Jersey voters to remember that this race is not over.  There is a long way yet to go and I ask that you join us in supporting the only conservative reformer in the race for President…..Newt Gingrich, the conservative with a true vision, a vision fitting of our great nation.  A vision that suits the high aspirations of our nation and its people.

To join the effort, you can contact me, Anthony Del Pellegrino, at :

Newt2012CentralNJ@gmail.com

You will be directed to the coordinator of the region you residen in, and we will get you on board with Team Newt!

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President Obama’s State-by-State Job Approval Numbers Mean He’s Headed for a 1 Term Presidency

Bookmark and Share Gallup recently released their annual state-by-state presidential approval numbers and the results paint several pretty dismal pictures for the President, pictures that reflects the overall dismal economic condition that that the nation is in.reside
According to the analysis the President received a plurality of approval from residents of only the District of Columbia and 10 states, while his job approval was below 50% in the remaining forty states. Furthermore; in a majority of them, his approval was well below 45%.

This analysis is particularly troublesome given that while the President’s job approval rating nationally is below the 50% mark, the President’s reelection rests not within the national opinion as much as it does within the collective electoral college results that arrived at through the opinions reflected in each individual state. And while a Real Clear Politics average of national polls put the Presidents approval rating at 46.5% and his disapproval rating is at 47.9%, what the Gallup state-by-state analysis shows is that the President’s challenge is actually tougher than the national polls indicate.

Gallup points out that President Obama received a 44% job approval rating in his third year in office, which is down from 47% in his second year. If that trend were to continue, Ron Paul could be nominated by the G.O.P. and probably defeat President Obama handily. But reality dictates that Ron Paul will never see the light of day as a Republican presidential nominee, and that President Obama’s numbers are not likely to trend downward as he embarks upon a billion dollar campaign that will seek to rehabilitate his own image while eviscerating the image of his Republican opponent.

However, if the President finds his reelection effort failing to reverse the trend of his existing numbers and change the opinions that voters have of him now, he is doomed. Based upon the current trend, If the President were to only carry those states in the Gallup poll which he he had a net positive approval rating in 2011, he would lose the 2012 election with 215 electoral votes, to the Republican nominee’s 323 electoral votes.

A White House 2012 breakdown of the Gallup study demonstrates how daunting a challenge lies ahead for President Obama.

Based upon his current state-by-state approval ratings, if we give President Obama each state where his rating is at 50% or above, he would lose the election by winning 159 electoral college votes from D.C., California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. The Republican nominee would receive 379 electoral votes, 109 more than needed.

But White House 2012 tried to be a bit more realistic and decided to breakdown these numbers down by giving President Obama the benefit of the doubt by assuming he can turn his numbers around in all those states where his approval was as low as 45%.

That was not only generous, it was also responsible for a fairly more accurate picture of things.

Regardless of the numbers, there are some states that will not likely vote Republican regardless of how bad a job President Obama is doing or who the Republican presidential nominee is. States like Washington and Oregon on the West Coast will probably remain dark blue and the president may easily turn around his downward trending approval ratings among the liberal sympathisers of those states. That accounts for 19 more electoral votes. Then you can easily see the President take Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan in the Midwest. That’s 36 more electoral votes. Then because his numbers are barely above 45% in Iowa, let’s say he can pull off some magic there, a state which he won in 2008. That’s 6 more. Then on the East Coast, you’ll find Maine, and Rhode Island remaining true blue. That’s another 8 electoral votes. And throw in Pennsylvania too if for no other than reason than the Southeast portion of the state may still be strongly under the President’s spell. That’s 20 more for a total shift of 89 electoral votes which gives President Obama 248 to the G.O.P.’s 290, a figure that still gives the win to the Republican nominee with 20 more electoral votes than needed.

With 29 electoral votes, this would make Florida the key to the President’s winning reelection. Without it he needs Ohio with 18 electoral votes and at least one of the following other states; Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, or North Carolina.

Those four states are not goof for him right now, but he has better numbers in them than he does in other states like New Hampshire or Arizona.

But even these state’s will be hard for Obama. Currently his job approval is 40.4% in Colorado, 41.7% in New Mexico, 41.3% in Nevada, and 43.7% in North Carolina. Meanwhile his approval numbers in Florida and Ohio are at 43.6% and 42.1% respectively.

While turning these numbers around will not be impossible in the course of the lifetime that politically speaking, exists between now and November, doing so will be quite a dramatic achievement. One that may require not just a well run campaign on the President’s part, but also a badly managed campaign on the part of whoever his Republican opponent is.

On a sidenote, I can not figure out for the life of me how the President’s job approval rating went up in a place like Wyoming. It went up slightly in Connecticut and Maine, but those two states are known for the lunacy of their liberalism and in many cases their socialism. But Wyoming?

As for the final outcome, no one can honestly say they know how the election will end. But based upon a bit of instinct, the issues that will play out during the campaign, and the existing numbers, I offer my own following projections.

It should be noted that if this scenario does come to fruition, there is the potential for an Electoral College crisis, for it offers the possibility of a tie in the Electoral College:

However I do not suspect that such a tie will occur because of the battleground states that I believe this will come down to, I foresee Republicans winning Pennsylvania, Colorado, and New Mexico.

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Poll Proves President Obama to Be Weak Where He Should Be Strong

Bookmark and Share    A new Quinnipiac Poll shows that 52% of New Jersey voters disapprove of the job that President Obama is doing and 43% approve of his job performance.  It is his lowest approval rating in the Garden State yet.  A breakdown of the polls shows that  Democrats approve of his job performance 77% to 19% percent. Disapproval is 88% – 10%  among Republicans, and the most important and lethal number is his 60% – 34% disapproval rating among independent voters.

Quinnipiac also notes that there is a large gender gap as women have a 50% to 45% approval rating of the Presidents job performance, while men disapprove  60%  to 36%.

Still though, the poll finds that voters are split 47% to 48% on whether President Obama deserves reelection.

However; one should take note of the polling history pertaining to New Jersey’s 2009 gubernatorial election.

At this same point in that election, almost a year before it took place,  a similar Quinnipiac Poll found that New Jersey voters disapproved of Governor Jon Corzine’s job performance by 51% to  40%.  It was his fourth negative score that year. Democrats approved of the Governor 60% to  31, while Republicans disapproved 75% to 19%,  and independent voters gave him a thumbs down by 52% – 38%.

Those numbers are better than President Obama’s number are and Jon Corzine went on to be  soundly defeated by Chris Christie.

The only difference is that President Obama’s job approval among Democrats is higher than Jon Corzine’s approval was at this same point in his election.  That shows that New Jersey Democrats are still more enthusiastic about Obama than they were of Corzine.  But aside form that, President Obama’s disapproval among New Jersey Republicans, and more importantly, New Jersey Independent voters, is substantially higher than Corzine’s were.

All of this simply confirms that at the moment, President Obama is indeed in trouble.

These poll numbers come from a very blue state that is in the bluest region of the nation for…….. the Northeast.  If the majority of voters  in a state like New Jersey disapprove of the job that the President  is doing, than you can rest assured that similar sentiments exist throughout the region.  So it only follows that President Obama will have to actually spend time and money campaigning in state’s like, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and even New York.  That will give the President less time and resources to dedicate to winning battleground, or swing states, like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.

The last time a Republican presidential candidate won New Jersey was in 1988, when George H. W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis.

With 14 electoral votes, if New Jersey does not soon be safely in President Obama’s column, it will dramatically increase the number of electoral college equations needed for Republicans to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.  Following conventional wisdom, giving Democrats and Republicans the state’s they traditionally win and leaving states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and several others undecided, if New Jersey is a tossup,  President Obama will have 15 different ways to reach a winning combination of electoral votes.  Republicans would have 45 winning combinations available to them.  And for those who really like suspense, there would be 7 scenarios whereby there could be a tie in the electoral college.

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Who Sits on the Deficit Reduction Committee Will Determine Who Has Won the Debt Ceiling Debate

Bookmark and Share    The pending multifaceted, two staged deal on raising the debt ceiling has received mixed reaction. Those on the left despise the fact that the deal does not include any immediate tax increases, or as they have been defined in this debate, revue increases. Those on the right despise the deal because it does not contain any significant reforms on entitlements and does no go far enough in proposing cuts. Then there are those who have no partisan political allegiances. These are for the most part, the average independent, middle of the road voter. These individuals understand that the proposal’s almost $3 trillion in deficit reduction over a ten year period is really only a drop in the bucket that does little to put a dent into our long term debt and is still not enough to maintain the United States’ AAA credit rating.

While the deal is not yet a done deal, despite conservative angst with the proposal and liberal disgust for the bill, it is more than likely going to pass in the Senate. So ultimately, look for passage of the bill.

That brings up another debate. One that is totally based on political perceptions and asks who won this deficit ceiling debate?

Seeing as how the bill raises our debt ceiling and does not reduce our debt significantly enough, there are no winners. At least not immediately. In fact the lack of immediate results makes us all losers here. But at the same time, it is clear that Republicans have settled on a deal that moves things in their direction. Democrats received none of the tax increases they wanted, they received none of the spending increases they wanted, and they were forced to accept some bitter pills. Some of these pills include the Republicans desire to get Democrats on record with a future vote on a balanced budget amendment and immediate spending caps. Another Republican victory in the proposal that is hard for the left to swallow is the automatic wholesale cut of up to $1.2 trillion that will occur if several terms of this bill are not met by the time Congress goes on their Thanksgiving recess in October.

So it would seem that Republicans have advanced their conservative agenda far more than liberals advanced their socialist agenda. Still, the need to reduce the deficit significantly enough to insure that our debt does not continue to exceed our GDP, has not been achieved.

Solving that problem will require deficit reduction actions that more than double the nearly $3 trillion proposed over the next decade. And that will have to be done in the not so distant future.

In the meantime, while Republicans did not have to compromise as much as Democrats were forced to, they are not yet winners in the debate. That will only be determined in October when the newly created Select Committee on Deficit Reduction proposes the $1.2 trillion in cuts and expense saving reforms that the bill demands. From the Republican perspective, the danger here is that this super committee is not limited to spending cuts and entitlement reforms. It could end up proposing tax increases (revenues). The committee could also shirk its responsibility to significantly reform entitlements, something that will be quite hard to pass the Senate anyway.

Given the flexibility that the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction has, the only way the G.O.P. will have proven that they were successful in this recent deficit ceiling debate will come from what the Select Committee on deficit Reduction comes up with.

The committee is to be comprised of 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans, presumable chosen by the legislative leaders of the perspective political Parties. Boehner and McConnell for Republicans, and President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi for the Democrats.

The Party leaders will initially consider the usual cast of characters as candidates for this committee. People like Tom Kean, Erskine Bowles, Alan Simpson, Lee Hamilton, Judd Gregg, and other seemingly, now non-partisan, elder statesmen. Now while there may not necessarily be anything wrong with the usual cast of candidates for typical D.C., bureaucratic committees, the crisis we are in is not typical. Our debt crisis is so severe that for the first time in history, military experts warn that it has become a national security crisis. Furthermore; President Obama’s leadership has awakened the nation to just how distinct the political ideologies that divide our nation are. People have come to question what kind of nation America will be. Will we be the type of nation with a government that controls more and more of our lives with greater control, or do we want less spending, less government, and more freedom. Including economic freedom.

The ideological differences have become so divergent, that it is incumbent on the G.O.P. to make sure that the 6 members they choose for the deficit reduction commission are true conservatives who believe in limited government. Any one of those who doesn’t hold true to that belief, can easily defect and give the balance of power to the 6 liberals that Democrats will appoint to that committee.

So who should the G.O.P. appoint to the committee?

The first choice should be House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Ryan is a must. He is a deficit hawk who is reasonable but passionate. He understands the need for entitlement reform, supports a balanced budget amendment, is brave enough to stand against the tide of popular opinion and not looking for anything more than getting the job done.

Another appointment should be Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

Daniels has been there and done that when it comes to the budget, deficits, and spending. As Governor, his state has been one of the most economically stable states in the nation and he brings to the table some first hand experience with the excellent built-in, economic structural aspects of the budget process that Indiana has and that the United States would be wise to adopt.

Former Tennessee Fred Thompson is another excellent choice.

Thompson has proven to have a wealth of understanding for our existing problems and a unique down-to-earth and often blunt approach to the problem that can be refreshing.

Other good choices would be individuals who do not come from the often self-contained alternative reality that is Washington, D.C. People who are students of sound economic policy and people who have operated with and successfully crafted budgets that created jobs. The type of people who come from the real world……the private sector. People like Jack Welch, the most studied CEO of the 20th century, who had a successful 41- year career with the General Electric Company, one of the nation’s most preeminent names in the free market. Lawrence Kudlow is another refreshing suggestion. The CEO of Kudlow & Co., LLC, an economic research firm was a chief economist and senior managing director of Bear Stearns & Company, back when Bear Sterns ran things right, he improper workings of the Federal Reserve Bank regarding open market operations and bank supervision. Kudlow is also the host of The Kudlow Report on CNBC.

With the exception of Paul Ryan, there are probably others who would make even better members than those suggested above. These are the type of people who should have a seat at the table that represents the conservative, free market, economic principles which can get us back on track. Without conservative voices who will stand firm on these values, Democrats will wind up being the real winners of this most contentious recent debt ceiling debate.

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Gabrielle Giffords Makes A Surprise Return To D.C. to Cast a Bipartisan Vote

Bookmark and Share    Gabrielle Giffords made a surprise return to Washington, D.C.  today. After a tweet on Twitter that said Gabriele Giffords returns to Washington to support bipartisan legislation, the Congresswoman walked on to the floor of the House for the first time in over seven months.

In the middle of the final House vote on a bitterly battled debate to raise the ceiling, the Congresswoman entered the chamber to a round of spontaneous applause that lasted for over five minutes. With that, she cast her vote and  added her support for the bill which passed with 269 votes in support and 161 opposed.

Gabby Giffords’ return to Washington was probably one of the most difficult one in the history of the House. While many have endured tough reelection campaigns and some have even had to cope with set backs in their health, none have taken a bullet to the head in the line of duty and none have had to enter a recovery and rehabilitation regimen as difficult as hers. Back in January, while holding a constituent service in her home district of Arizona, the Congresswoman was shot by a madman whose rampage killed several and wounded dozens.

As if the final vote on the contentious debt ceiling bill needed any more drama added to it, the return of Giffords to work on the House floor added an almost surreal, made-for-TV-like flavor to it all. But it also offered us al a dose of reality in the alternate reality that is often D.C. politics. Giffords exhibited the type of strength and stamina that proves to us nothing is impossible and that with the right determination and passion, all odds can beaten and goals can be achieved. That goes too for controlling spending and balancing our federal budget.

No matter what though, Gabrielle Giffords helped end an otherwise ugly and negative process on an positive high note. We should all join in a hearty congratulations to the Congresswoman and her family as well as to thank her for what is an exemplary commitment to public service and dedication to participation in the democratic.

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Are Republicans the Party of ‘No” or Are Democrats the Party of “No-Can-Do”

Bookmark and Share   As many, or depending on how one looks at it, as few as 25 Republicans are refusing to support Speaker’s John Boehner’s deficit reduction plan. A late scheduled vote on the plan on Thursday was pulled after it became clear to the House Republican leadership that they did not have the 217 votes needed to pass the Boehner plan and it is not yet known when or if the vote will take place on Friday. This leaves the Senate and House with approximately only three days to cut a deal that would allow the federal government to raise the debt ceiling before it has the potential of defaulting on its current debt on Tuesday, August 2nd.

But on Thursday, financial institutions reported that based upon all of the deficit reduction plans that are being considered, no matter which one is passed, the markets are likely to downgrade the United States’ credit rating because none of the plans reduce the national debt sufficiently enough to sustain its current AAA rating. This fact has only helped to reinforce the position of the 25 or so House Republicans who have taken the position that they can support any of the plans out there, because they do not go far enough in cutting spending.

Given the new data, these approximately two dozen Republicans are right. If President Obama and Democrats are to be believed, we were going to default on our debt by August 2nd, if we did not raise the debt ceiling. Aside from bogus Democrat attempts to scare senior citizens by claiming that they would then not receive their Social Security checks, the main argument for the need to raise the debt ceiling was that a failure to do so would force a downgrade of our credit rating. This would produce a significant increase on interest that all Americans would have to pay. But now that it is clear that neither Boehner’s or the Democrat’s plans would cut spending enough to avoid a downgrade of our credit rating, it only makes sense to do what is necessary to avoid that form happening. As such, the position held by the Republican who are holding out for more spending cuts and a more significant deficit reduction plan, are right to oppose the existing plans.

With the facts as they are, to do anything other than come up with a bill which that significantly and quickly cuts our deficit and debt, would be meaningless. If the G.O.P. led House does now pass the Boehner plan, the only possible reason for it would be an obvious desire to avoid the political fallout from leftwing rhetoric designed to make the Republican Party look like the Party of “no” and as obstructionists unwilling to compromise. But the question is what are the compromises choices? Pass a hike in the debt ceiling by August and see our credit rating downgraded because our current debt obligations and future debt is unmanageable? Or default on our debt by not raising the debt ceiling and still see our our credit rating downgraded because our current debt obligations and future debt is unmanageable?

 That is not a compromise. It is insanity as described by Albert Einstein it is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. .

The only sincere political move here would be to hammer out a bill that cuts costs and reduces spending. Part of those spending reductions must include true entitlement reform. Entitlements are the largest portion of the existing and future debt. They are the elephant in the room and to ignore them or pretend that it is not there is not just stupid, it is lethal to our economy.

As for Speaker Boehner, I appreciate the direction he has been going in. His leadership has been pushing for less spending and more cuts. However, as we can see, he was not pushing for enough cuts in spending. Under pressure from President Obama and the Democrat led Senate, he has been encouraged to compromise. In his unique position, Boehner has tried to accommodate both his conservative caucus and the liberal President and Senate. But it is clear that in this case, compromise will not save our economy or our economic future. So speaker Boehner must ask himself this. Will he act on this issue as a politician or as a leader?

Currently the following 25 members are said to be voting Nay on Boehner’s bill.

Todd Akin (Mo.)
Justin Amash (Mich.)
Michele Bachmann (Minn.)
Paul Broun (Ga.)
Jason Chaffetz (Utah)
Jeff Duncan (S.C.)
Jeff Flake (Ariz.)
*Scott Garrett (N.J.) -as 0f 10:30 am, Rep. Garrett’s office tells POLITICS 24/7 that he has not announced his position
Phil Gingrey (Ga.)
Louie Gohmert (Texas)
Trey Gowdy (S.C.)
Tom Graves (Ga.)
Andy Harris (Md.)
Tim Huelskamp
Jim Jordan (Ohio)
Steve King (Iowa)
Raúl Labrador (Idaho)
Connie Mack (Fla.)
Mick Mulvaney (S.C.)
Ron Paul (Texas)
Dennis Ross (Fla.)
Tim Scott (S.C.)
Steve Southerland (Fla.)
Joe Walsh (Ill.)
Joe Wilson (S.C.)

These men and women understand that passing the Boehner plan would be nothing more than a purely political vote and they would rather lead than play politics. Hopefully, these 25 members can influence Speaker Boehner in a way that will force him to do the same.

In 2010, voters clearly and loudly called for leadership, not compromise. Much of the electorate is tired of political compromises that benefit the political careers of the political players but do great harm to the long term health of our nation. The 25 members holding out for more cuts understand this. They are also making this moment in time a pivotal one for the career of John Boehner.

Boehner promised to be a different kind of Speaker of the House. He promised those who put the G.O.P. in control of the House that he would not cave in to politics-as-usual, would not forget the need for fiscal responsibility, and would uphold a commitment to accountability. Now is his chance to prove that he was not lying. Now is the time for a political leader who will stop playing games and get the job done. Right now, that job is to come up with a plan that significantly reduces our debt and does not just move numbers around. John Boehner must be brave and willing to turn the tables around on the Democrats who live in a world of perpetual taxing and spending. Instead of being on the defensive and afraid that Democrats will paint Republicans as the Party of “no”, Boehner must be brave and demonstrate how Democrats are being the Party of “no can do”, the Party that can’t propose a budget, the Party that can’t cut spending, can’t avoid a downgrading of our credit rating, can’t stimulate our economy or create jobs, and that can’t reform the entitlement programs that will go broke if they are not reformed.

What it comes down to is who is the Party of “no-can-do”, and who is the Party that is willing to say no to the right things? John Boehner can make the answer to that question clear to the American people, but only if he is willing to side with those who are more concerned with solutions than they are with political perceptions.

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New Jersey Needs To Act on Market Competition and Consumer Choice…”S2664″

Bookmark and Share   Any day now, the New Jersey State Senate will be taking up important legislation called the Market Competition and Consumer Choice Act (S2664).   The measure is not a topic of discussion at Garden State dinner tables, but it is one that is worthy of  fighting for . Passage of this bill would reform outdated laws that have outlived their usefulness, and hamper the development, expansion, and use of new technologies within the state’s telecommunication industry and among cable providers. The Consumer Choice Act is actually one of those rare pieces of legislation which rectifies legislative inadequacies and instead of suffocating economic development and stifling competition, it promotes competition, the drive for greater customer service, lower prices, and business expansion that creates something sorely lacking these days….. Jobs.

In a day an age when the Obama Administration is causing many Americans to understand that more government and more government regulation is not necessarily a good thing, New Jersey is slowly waking up to the same reality. People like former Governor Jon Corzine helped show us that big government comes with a big price tag, a price tag that costs way more than its worth. More government and more government regulation is a rising tide that lifts all costs. From the cost of utilities and the price of merchandise and services to taxes, over-regulation delivers higher costs and less competition. And with decades and decades of intrusive federal, state, and local regulations, New Jerseyans live within a tangled web of government weaved red tape.  That’s why the Consumer Choice Act is so important to New Jersey.

Newly evolved technological advances in the telecommunications industry have transformed the industry, but New Jersey’s outdated laws, create an obstacle that makes it hard for the benefits of these new technological advances to fully thrive in New Jersey. Yet special interests which profit from the enforcement of oppressive regulatory policies,  want to prevent the New Jersey State Senate from passing the Consumer Choice Act.   Blocking it in the state senate is their last hope because the bill has already passed the State Assembly. In fact, in the Assembly it passed with enthusiastic bi-partisan support.  Even among the leadership of both Parties, in both legislative chambers.

These special interests are literally trying to scare voters into demanding that their State Senators vote against the Consumer Choice Act. They are threatening legislators with the promise of pumping tens of thousands of dollars into campaigns to defeat them during next years state legislative elections. And to motivate voters to their side, these special interests are stooping to scare tactics and lies. They are trying to convince vulnerable, fixed income senior citizens into believing that their phone service will be taken away. They are trying to make sports enthusiasts believe that their favorite cable sports channels will evaporate right before their very eyes.

The problem is, the Consumer Choice Act  is anything but a danger to existing services.  It promises to increase choices, enhance service quality and hold down or even reduce costs through competition.

Current regulatory policies do not properly deal with the realities of the competition that exists in today’s telecommunication market. The way regulations are now, companies like Verizon are able to dominate the market and inhibit consumer choice among alternate technologies such as cable companies, and wireless and competitive local exchange companies. This in turn stymies investment, innovation and growth of the telecommunication industry and among cable service providers. That lack of growth is costing New Jersey desperately needed tax revenue …..  increased tax revenue that could come without raising taxes.

This has been proven in other states which have adopted legislation similar to the Consumer Choice Act. When Indiana adopted such reform legislation, they saw an influx of investment from telecommunication companies that approached half a billion dollars and created thousands of new jobs. But here in New Jersey, we are left to contend with outdated legislation that stifles competition, kills growth, inhibits innovation and discourages employment opportunities. 

Well it is a new day in New Jersey. With Governor Christie at the helm, you might say that it’s finally morning in New Jersey. As such, we now have an environment conducive to getting government out of the business of bureaucracy, untangling the red tape that creates a hostile environment for business and industry, and can reform government in a way that will allow it to enter the new decade that has already begun.  The Consumer Choice Act does that.  It is a reform that allows government to catch up to the times. And at the same time, people need not fear the cries of wolf coming from the special interests opposing this bill. Existing legislation such as the Consumer Protection Act , helps insure consumers against all the evils they try to scare us with.

We live in a state that has an innumerable amount of antiquated and truly stupid laws on the books. Take the Married Women’s Property Act from the 1800‘s. It allows only married women to own, control and dispose of property. Then there is another law still on the books from the 1800’s. It claims that if a woman is raped but then gets married within a certain timeframe, the man can’t be considered a criminal. State Senator Jennifer Beck is trying to get these laws repealed. But there are hundreds of senseless and outdated laws still on the books. One of my favorite state laws makes it illegal for men to knit during fishing season. On the local level, in Newark there is an existing law that makes it illegal to buy an ice cream cone after 6pm without a note from your doctor. How’s that for over-regulation?

Let’s face it folks, New Jersey does not have a problem with too little regulation. The problem is we have too much and much of it is too old to be effective in the 21st century. That is why it’s time to pass the Consumer Choice Act. It’s time for New Jersey to step out from the shadow of our past and into the brightness of the future. And it’s time for the naysayers to take a deep breath and get on the bandwagon before they get run over by it in the 2011 elections.

Call your State Senator and tell them you want market competition and consumer choice in New Jersey.  Tell them you want S2664.

To find your state Senator and their contact information visit the legislative directory link provided here and click on your municipality.

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Scott Walker Addresses The Massive Union Protests in Madison

Bookmark and Share  After nearly two weeks of union protestors surrounding the Madison Capitol building, Wisconsin Governor Scott walker took the airwaves and delievered what he called a “fireside chat” with the voters of his state  (see video below and complete transcript of the speech below that).

In his speech, the Governor addressed many of the concerns that fist pimping union protestors have been screaming about.  He reminded them that that the aspects of collective bargaining schemes his bill restricts , does not are not what give and protect civil servants and their rights.  He made it clear that it was the state’s civil service laws which do that.  He also assured voters that contrary to the rhetoric, the fight he seeks is not with unions or civil servants but with the budget deficit that hangs over Wisconsin citizens head, a deficit that in the upcoming budget willl reach $3.6 billion.

Walker explained that his bill is aimed at protecting Wisconisn taxpayers and allowing Wisconsi families to make ends meet.  He described that his budget repair bills simply asks that collective bargaining be reformed because it is a system that is broke and that it asks civil service employees to give a little towards their own benefits.  Governor Walker quite poigantly pointed out that many working class families, including non-government union employees who wish they had half of the benefits that civil servants receive but contribute nearly nothing to.

The Governor used his 10 minute speech wisely.  He shaped the debate and put the images of near riotous, cursing hoardes of protestors, in to perspective for voters and he assured them that his efforts will not be derailed by protestors from others states who have joined in the festivities surrounding the capitol.

The speech was an appropriate and neccesssary one in which Governor Walker presented a compelling case while looking far more rationa than those carrying posters depicting him as Hitler and comparing him to Nazis.

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Transcript of Governor Scott Walker’s Februaruy 22, 2011 speech relating his budget repair bill and the massive union protests against it:

Good evening.

Wisconsin is showing the rest of the country how to have a passionate, yet civil debate about our finances. That’s a very Midwestern trait and something we should be proud of. I pray, however, that this civility will continue as people pour into our state from all across America.

First, let me be clear: I have great respect for those who have chosen a career in government. I really do.

In 1985, when I was a high school junior in the small town of Delavan, I was inspired to pursue public service after I attended the American Legion’s Badger Boys State program. The military veterans and educators who put on that week-long event showed the honor in serving others.

Tonight, I thank the 300,000-plus state and local government employees who showed up for work today and did their jobs well. We appreciate it. If you take only one message away tonight, it’s that we all respect the work that you do.

I also understand how concerned many government workers are about their futures. I’ve listened to their comments and read their emails.

I listened to the educator from Milwaukee who wrote to me about her concerns about the legislation and what it might mean for her classroom.

That’s why last week we agreed to make changes to the bill to address many of those issues.

And I listened to others like the correctional officer in Chippewa Falls who emailed me arguing that bargaining rights for public employee unions are the only way to ensure that workers get a fair say in their working conditions.

I understand and respect those concerns. It’s important to remember that many of the rights we’re talking about don’t come from collective bargaining. They come from the civil service system in Wisconsin. That law was passed in 1905 (long before collective bargaining) and it will continue long after our plan is approved.

You see, despite a lot of the rhetoric we’ve heard over the past 11 days the bill I put forward isn’t aimed at state workers, and it certainly isn’t a battle with unions. If it was, we would have eliminated collective bargaining entirely or we would have gone after the private-sector unions.

But, we did not because they are our partners in economic development. We need them to help us put 250,000 people to work in the private sector over the next four years.

The legislation I’ve put forward is about one thing. It’s about balancing our budget now — and in the future. Wisconsin faces a 137 million dollar deficit for the remainder of this fiscal year and a 3.6 billion dollar deficit for the upcoming budget.

Our bill is about protecting the hardworking taxpayer. It’s about Wisconsin families trying to make ends meet and help their children.

People like the woman from Wausau who wrote me saying “I’m a single parent of two children, one of whom is autistic. I have been intimately involved in my school district, but I can no longer afford the taxes I pay. I am in favor of everyone paying for benefits, as I have to.”

It’s also about the small business owner who told me about the challenges he faces just making payroll each week. His employees pay much larger premiums than we are asking because that’s how they keep the company going and that’s how they protect their jobs.

Or the substitute teacher here in Madison, who wrote to me last week about having to sit at home unable to work because her union had closed the school down to protest.

She sent me an email that went on to say, “I was given no choice in joining the union and I am forced to pay dues… I am missing out on pay today… I feel like I have no voice.”

I assure you that she does have a voice.

And so does the factory worker in Janesville who was laid off nearly two years ago. He’s a union guy in a union town who asks simply why everyone else has to sacrifice except those in government.

Last week, I traveled the state visiting manufacturing plants and talking to workers – just like the guy from Janesville. Many of them are paying twenty-five to fifty percent of their health care premiums. Most, had 401k plans with limited or no match from the company.

My brother’s in the same situation. He works as a banquet manager and occasional bartender at a hotel and my sister-in-law works for a department store. They have two beautiful kids.

In every way, they are a typical middle-class family here in Wisconsin. David mentioned to me that he pays nearly $800 a month for his health insurance and the little he can set aside for his 401k.

He – like so many other workers across Wisconsin – would love a deal like the benefits we are pushing in this budget repair bill.

That’s because what we are asking for is modest – at least to those outside of government.

Our measure asks for a 5.8% contribution to the pension and a 12.6% contribution for the health insurance premium. Both are well below the national average.

And this is just one part of our comprehensive plan to balance the state’s 3.6 billion dollar budget deficit.

Now, some have questioned why we have to reform collective bargaining to balance the budget. The answer is simple the system is broken: it costs taxpayers serious money – particularly at the local level. As a former county official, I know that first hand.

For years, I tried to use modest changes in pension and health insurance contributions as a means of balancing our budget without massive layoffs or furloughs. On nearly every occasion, the local unions (empowered by collective bargaining agreements) told me to go ahead and layoff workers. That’s not acceptable to me.

Here’s another example: in Wisconsin, many local school districts are required to buy their health insurance through the WEA Trust (which is the state teachers union’s company). When our bill passes, these school districts can opt to switch into the state plan and save $68 million per year. Those savings could be used to pay for more teachers and put more money into the classroom to help our kids.

Some have also suggested that Wisconsin raise taxes on corporations and people with high-incomes. Well — Governor Doyle and the Legislature did that: two years ago. In fact they passed a budget-repair bill (in just one day, mind you) that included a billion-dollar tax increase.

Instead of raising taxes, we need to control government spending to balance our budget.

Two years ago, many of the same Senate Democrats who are hiding out in another state approved a biennial budget that not only included higher taxes – it included more than two billion dollars in one-time federal stimulus aid.

That money was supposed to be for one-time costs for things like roads and bridges. Instead, they used it as a short-term fix to balance the last state budget. Not surprisingly, the state now faces a deficit for the remainder of this fiscal year and a 3.6 billion dollar hole for the budget starting July 1st.

What we need now more than ever, is a commitment to the future.

As more and more protesters come in from Nevada, Chicago and elsewhere, I am not going to allow their voices to overwhelm the voices of the millions of taxpayers from across the state who think we’re doing the right thing. This is a decision that Wisconsin will make.

Fundamentally, that’s what we were elected to do. Make tough decisions. Whether we like the outcome or not, our democratic institutions call for us to participate. That is why I am asking the missing Senators to come back to work.

Do the job you were elected to do. You don’t have to like the outcome, or even vote yes, but as part of the world’s greatest democracy, you should be here, in Madison, at the Capitol.

The missing Senate Democrats must know that their failure to come to work will lead to dire consequences very soon. Failure to act on this budget repair bill means (at least) 15 hundred state employees will be laid off before the end of June. If there is no agreement by July 1st, another 5-6 thousand state workers — as well as 5-6 thousand local government employees would be also laid off.

But, there is a way to avoid these layoffs and other cuts. The 14 State Senators who are staying outside of Wisconsin as we speak can come home and do their job.

We are broke because time and time again politicians of both parties ran from the tough decisions and punted them down the road for another day. We can no longer do that, because, you see, what we’re really talking about today is our future.

The future of my children, of your children, of the children of the single mother from Wausau that I mentioned earlier.

Like you, I want my two sons to grow up in a state at least as great as the Wisconsin I grew up in.

More than 162 years ago, our ancestors approved Wisconsin’s constitution. They believed in the power of hard work and determination and they envisioned a new state with limitless potential.

Our founders were pretty smart. They understood that it is through frugality and moderation in government that we will see freedom and prosperity for our people.

Now is our time to once again seize that potential. We will do so at this turning point in our state’s history by restoring fiscal responsibility that fosters prosperity for today – and for future generations.

Thank you for joining me tonight. May God richly bless you and your family and may God continue to bless the great State of Wisconsin.

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New Jersey and Wisconsin; Same Problems, Same Protestors

Bookmark and Share As cold and snowy Wisconsin heats up due to newly elected Republican Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to get his states fiscal house order by daring to ask that union workers contribute to their own benefits, as a New Jersey Republican I thought it appropriate for the Garden State to send the Badger State a some advice and a little pick-me-up.

It has taken New Jersey more than a decade of a Democrat controlled state legislature and Democrat Governors, some corrupt and some not quite as corrupt, to finally elect someone with the nerve to stand up to those who have had their hands out and in the taxpayers pockets. And as soon as Governor Christie told them that the party was over, they screamed and hollered and some teacher union leaders even publicly called for his death. But Governor Christie is still standing and he does so with many New Jerseyans firmly behind him.

So my advice to all you Wisconsin voters who would rather see a union worker red with anger than your state drowning in red ink, stay firm and stand behind your Governor. Write letters to your newspaper editors, call in to your state representatives and send an email letting them and Governor Walker know your for the cuts. And take a lesson from New Jersey. Just because bus loads of SEIU and AFSCME and NEA members from out of state show up at your state capitol, it doesn’t mean that they are representative of your states citizenry. You elected your representatives.  It just means that union dues and big labor are still hard work trying to nickel and dime taxpayers.

Not more than a few months ago, hundreds of similar bus loads crammed in to Trenton to protest Governor Christie the same way they are now with Governor Walker. But in the end, after all the screaming and yelling, after all the fist pumping and sign waving, voters know that 2 plus 2 equals 4 and that what these big union lobbyists are telling us, just doesn’t add up.

The picture below was taken at one of those union protests in Trenton and it gives me an idea.

What do you say you in Wisconsin keep monitoring your protestors and we in New Jersey will do the same?  Take pictures, videos or just write down your favorite union protestor tale. And let’s see which state has the most ridiculous ones. I’m sure it will be a close contest. After all, many of the protestors there are the same ones we have had here.

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