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FRANKLIN MAYOR BRIAN LEVINE ENTERS RACE FOR REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL NOMINATION

Franklin Mayor Brian D. levine
Franklin Mayor Brian D. levine

Bookmark and Share   Franklin Township Mayor Brian Levine has made it clear that he will be running for New Jersey’s Republican gubernatorial nomination.

A fiscal conservative, Levine promises to elevate the level of debate in the Republican race for the nomination.  He promises to run a strong grassroots campaign and if that is true, there will be a lot activity in the grassrotts, maybe even enough to overcome the powerbrokers who are ignoring the roots of the party in New Jersey.

Currently all the existing candidates, except for one,  are working hard with the grassroots.  At the moment, that  field consists of former Bogaota, N.J. Mayor, Steve Lonegan and Assemblyman Rick Merkt. The establishments choice, former federal prosecutor Chris Christie, has said he will formally declare his candidacy in February. He is alos the one that has done little with the grass root organization of the party.

With Levine in the race, some may find him to be an acceptable alternative to Lonegan who the left tries to paint as a radical extremists. Others may find Levine more electable than the virtually unknown, but also conservative, Merkt . The establishment, however, will continue lining up behind their choice, Chris Christie.

So what does Levine’s entry into the race actually do?

Well it forces all of the candidates and potential candidates to move more to the right, especially on fiscal issues and it is on the fiscal issues that the G.O.P. will have an advantage in the general election against Jon Corzine.

It would seem to me that the Republican field will have a lot of  “I want to cut taxes more than you ” going around, which is a good thing. Especially in the case of Chris Christie who happens to be the blankest slate in the shaping field.

The addition of Brian Levine into the race will really help to gain attention. In fact there are some Republicans who I

Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan

Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan

know have been hoping that Levine would make his move and go for the nomination. These Republicans are not comfortable with Christie, believe Merkt is too unknown and unproven and that Lonegan is too easily painted as an extremist but they feel that Mayor Levine has what it takes to get elected Governor in New Jersey.

They believe he has the skills to manage and the philosophy we need and can catch on.

Of course this could mean that Steve Lonegan will have to work harder to prevent splitting his share of the conservative vote with Levine and Merkt, but that is where the race will get interesting.

03As a movement conservative, Steve Lonegan brings more than just economic cultural thinking to the table he brings societal thinking to the table. A thinking that questions governments place in society and that is where the race for the Republican nomination can get real hot.

When all is said and done Chris Christie is still the man to beat. Weak kneed Republican legislators more concerned with their own power than the well being of the people have been declaring their support for him even before he becomes a candidate.

That is a mistake.

The field should fight it out. Let Republicans capture the headlines and attention. Let the debate raise questions and make New Jerseyans think. Let them pick the Republican best suited for the challenges that we face in this state. Let them pick the type of Republican that they want to be our standard bearer and has provem himself to be right for the job.

With Levine now in the race, Republicans will certainly have an array of good men with good ideas to choose from.

punchline-politics21 

The bigger the ego the thicker the skin,
The bigger the lie the smoother the spin,
The more the disdain the wider the grin –
There’s only one goal and that is to win.

The promises made they never will keep,
The artful denial of prejudice deep,
The wondrous reforms that are not, but they’re cheap –
The goal is the same. Who cares if we weep?

When to serve all the people is to serve only one,
To distribute the wealth is something they shun,
And the cudgel of fear has only begun –
Democracy’s lost. Self interest has won

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

The election for that job takes place January 30th

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AND DON’T FORGET………….

BE SURE TO SIGN THE PETITION URGING THE NOMINATION

OF SENATOR BECK FOR LT. GOV.

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AS ONE DOOR IN NEW JERSEY CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS?

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State Senator Jennifer Beck

State Senator Jennifer Beck

State Senator Joe Kyrillos
St. Sen. Joe Kyrillos

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

Assemblyman Richard Merkt
Assemblyman Richard Merkt

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

antlonegan

Former Bogata, NJ Mayor Steve Lonegan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is another potential candidate out there though.

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

Bio Tech Millionaire John Crowley
Bio Tech Millionaire John Crowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freeholder John Murphy

Freeholder John Murphy

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

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

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

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

punchline-politics21

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

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

 

 

 

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New Jersey: DESPERATELY SEEKING LEADERSHIP

As 2008 begins to end, our nation looks ahead to the election of a new President and New Jersey begins to wonder about 2009 and our own election for Governor. In doing so, we could all place an ad out that would ask for what the wanted advertisement displayed here seeks.

While the country debates over the stability of our national economy, New Jersey is still wondering when we will be able to get a handle on our own economy. While Americans cope with a lack of buying power due to the ripple effects of rising energy costs, New Jerseyans wonder how they can deal with that on top of the affordability crisis in our state.

As the current governance of New Jersey consists of rising rates on existing taxes and the implementation of new taxes, the citizens of New Jersey wonder how much more can we pay? As the cost of gas ranges back and forth between unaffordable and impossible the state is looking for opportunities to raise the price that it costs to drive on the roads that we use that gas for. As taxes rise in the state on both consumers and producers costs rise and less is purchased. The less purchased causes less to be produced which leads to more lay offs and more business closings. This is reflected in the states dismal economic growth and it’s lower than average rate of small businesses and the creation of them. Under the current corporate and small business tax structure in New Jersey, starting a business here offers more penalty than profit.

Today we find ourselves desperately seeking leadership and a leader who can inspire us and offer our state a direction that leads to prosperity and a comfortable existence. We seek someone who understands us and our hopes and needs.

For the past 7 years our state leaders have offered us a dog and pony show that has been painful to watch and expensive to deal with.

Before announcing that he “was a gay American” to cover up his scandals, Governor Jim McGreevy exercised statecraft by appointing people to important positions based upon the sexual positions that they enjoyed and their oral talents.

He was followed by a leading financial expert who took part in the risk taking that led to historic federal bailouts. With Governor Jon Corzine, New Jersey was afforded that financial expertise of a state budget that is fueled by tax increases and held hostage to unions and their leaders who he has literally been in bed with.

Carla Katz, the Governor’s former lover and current leader of the state’s largest union , slept with the man that is making the bed that we have to lie in. He even made these union deals in secret and refused proper examination of the evidence that proves the secrecy of their deals. As a result, we are left with meeting the demands of unions gone wild and paying for pensions plans that are more exorbitant than the golden parachutes of failed Wall Street execs.

On top of all this we are constantly witnessing the derailment of public trust as well as the careers of a large chunk of New Jersey’s political class. Each week, and at the beginning of the past summer, each day, we have endured the indictments and convictions of hundreds of lawmakers from the municipal levels to the county and state levels. This is all a product of New Jersey’s proliferation of governments. As the 46th largest state in the nation our size does not limit the opportunity for political corruption. In fact the expansion of state government coupled with the over 650 local governments, makes government the largest employer in the state. It also provides for the inordinate amount of patronage positions, lucrative sweetheart contracts , special favors, graft and opportunity for corruption that the overabundance of government entities brings to the table.

All of this leads to not just an affordability crisis but also a crisis in confidence. A lack of confidence in those who are entrusted with our states effect on our lives. These circumstances have led state government to be more of a problem in our lives than a source of comfort and stability in them.

As a Republican I cannot say that my state GOP has been much of a help. Since Governor Christine Todd Whitman, New Jersey Republicans have lost their agenda, their voice and yheir numbers in the legislative ranks.

The last individual that the party ran for Governor, was not even man enough to take blame for his own lack of influence and ability in the state. In the face of a gubernatorial race that he was out spent, out maneuvered and outdone in, he blamed President George Bush.

In trying to replace Corzine’s handpicked replacement in the United States Senate, the party settled for the unaccomplished son of a very accomplished, former Republican Governor. His candidacy was so off track, uninspiring and unattractive that the embarrassment of his Republican representation forced me to write in the name of a different New Jersey Republican.

The lack of a cohesive agenda and message has made New Jersey Republicans inconsequential. There minority status in the state assembly and senate have left them out in the cold and sitting at the kiddies table when it comes to hammering out state budgets or initiatives.

What we need in New Jersey is a true leader. Someone who can convey the fact that they understand the people they wish to lead. We need someone who is willing to bring a Main Street attitude to Trenton, not the Wall Street mentality that we currently have. We need a leader who can approach government with a vision that inspires state residents and offers innovative directions and policies to expand opportunity for economic growth. Someone who is reform minded , not stuck in a mode of reviving failed policies of our past.

Governor Corzine may or may not be running for reelection in 2009. The way I see it, if his choice for President, Barack Obama , wins, Jon might be jumping ship and accepting a presidential appointment such as Treasury Secretary. After having done all that he has to the state treasury, I can only pray for divine intervention if he gets control of the national treasury. But the nation’s loss might be New Jersey’s gain. It may open up a window of opportunity for Republicans to climb through. With the right candidate who has the right vision and agenda, we might just be able to send the right person to Trenton.

Although I am a conservative, one person I would like to see go for it is John Murphy. The same John Murphy that I wrote in for U.S. Senate against Senator Menendez when Tom Kean, Jr. was the Republican nominee.

Murphy, a Morris County Freeholder, is fresh, bright, fiscally and personally responsible. He may not have the conservative agenda of former gubernatorial candidate and Bogota, NJ Mayor Steve Lonegan but he has something that Lonegan doesn’t….appeal. He also has the freshness that New Jersey’s political atmosphere needs. When Murphy sought the Republican nomination for Governor in 2005, he outlined a very promising vision and a credible, optimistic plan to restore faith in government and solvency in our state budget and the pockets of the people.

It would seem that Murphy may not go for it this time. Instead he may seek the assembly seat being vacated by fellow Morris County resident Rick Merkt and Rick Merkt might be making a run for Governor instead.

Having reviewed the record of Merkt, I can say that his conservative credentials are worthy of considering but I have little more opinion of him. His tenure in the New Jersey assembly has been commendable but he has not been known for injecting innovation and real leadership.

Then there is the 800 lb. gorilla on the scene, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.

In a recent Quinnipiac poll Christie polled 40 percent to Jon Corzine’s 41 percent. That is impressive and if I knew anything about his positions on the issues, I would say that it is encouraging. However, like most New Jersey residents, I know nothing about Christie that goes beyond his exemplary and aggressive pursuit of crime busting. As the chief federal prosecutor in the region, Christie has been quite adept at rooting out corruption especially in the case of New Jersey political corruption. There he has been quite busy.

Democrats are already afraid of his potential entry into the race. They are already trying to discredit him and calling for him to resign as U.S. Attorney. By law a candidate for public office cannot maintain the position. If he does decide to run he will resign from the justice department but until then his political critics will just have to hope that they are not caught with their hands in the cookie jar because if they are, Chris Christie will add them to his long list of political prosecutions.

If he does run, his campaign will provide me with the information I need to determine if he is the man we are looking for. If he is able to provide a voice for the opposition to the liberal agenda controlling New Jersey. If he can offer a positive alternative path to prosperity and if his agenda is the Main Street agenda that New Jersey needs then I will be at his side, scratching for every vote that we need to steer the state in a better direction.

As a former New Yorker from Brooklyn, I worked on the campaign of another shining prospect that was a prosecutor. His name was Rudy Giuliani and although he was not a conservative, he revived New York City. He brought it out of it’s downward spiral and brought it back to new heights.

In the mean time, I wait. I wait for someone to answer our ad and save us from the oppression of a liberal government that takes much but does little. I wait for my own party to live up to it’s responsibilities and offer the people of New Jersey a viable alternative to a state controlled by liberals and lacking hope.

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