Tag Archives: State Senator Sean Kean

MORE FISHY POLITICS IN NEW JERSEY

N.O.A.H.

Bottlenose Dolphin Exhibiting Typical Feeding Behavior In New Jersey's Shrewsbury River On Dec. 16, 2008 -photo credit:N.O.A.A.

 New Jersey Republican State Senator Sean Kean has called upon the state Department of Transportation to stop work on a route 36 bridge that spans the mouth of the Shrewsbury and Navesink River estuary in Mounmouth County New Jersey.

You might think it odd for a state legislator to call for the cessation of work on an important roadway in his district. But such is the case.

Senator Kean doesn’t want the project abandoned, he just wants it suspended until a group of immigrants leave the area.

Is this a sign that New Jersey Republicans are finally accepting the fact that illegal immigration is wrong and must be treated as such?

I wish.

But even if that was the case, why suspend the final touches on a project that improves a bridge on a crucial artery?

Well the immigrants involved in this particular case are not illegal nor do they have green cards, passports, licenses, or any other verifiable identification but they do have fins.

They are Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and this particular pod consists of 12.

These 12 happy campers came to the area 6 months ago and have been enjoying their new digs in the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers ever since.

There presence in the area is not abnormal, just infrequent. More infrequent is the length of their stay in the area. In the past, most visiting dolphins have moved on by now for areas south around the Carolinas.  But not this pod.

Experts say that their unscheduled visit it is not indicative of a problem though.

There are two ecotypes of bottlenose dolphins, offshore and coastal. The offshore bottlenose dolphins usually frolic further out to sea than the coastal variety and they do so in large groups often numbering in the hundreds. The coastal variety tend to stay closer to shore and often inhabit bays, harbors and rivers. They also run in groups much smaller than their offshore relatives. Normally 20 or less. With the exception of the  the poles around both hemispheres, both ecotypes exist in tropical and temperate waters worldwide.

The pod presently roaming the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers are apparently the coastal type and the duration of their time in these rivers is simply because this is where they want to be now.4 of the 12 Dolphin Pod In The Shrewsbury River During June of '08

Marine scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service out of Gloucester Massachusettes, along with other wildlife officials, claim that the pod of 12 are not in any danger. They add that none of the dolphins are exhibiting any sign of stress, disorientation or starvation. In fact experts believe that the pod is just acting normally, and probably  following the path of fish they feed on.

Yet animal rescuers and members of the group Clean Ocean Action are not satisfied by that assessment.

They believe that construction on the bridge at the Shrewsbury-Navesink River estuary is the reason for the  long stay of the dolphins. Their thinking is that the loud noise from pile-driving along with the presence of crane barges by the bridge, are preventing the pod from exiting the straight that the bridge spans.

Marine experts have testified that the happy and healthy animals are not effected by either the barges or the noise and, just in case, whenever the dolphins are found within 500 meters of the bridge, work is stopped until dolphins have moved on.

But the activist dolphin fans still call upon the animal experts to do something. They have requested that they “lure” the dolphins back out into Sandy Hook Bay.

Explaining that the move is unnecessary, NOAA officials assured the activists that in addition to having the same concern for the dolphins that they do, there just isn’t a need to force the dolphins to change the normal, natural behavior that they are exhibiting.

They further add that the attempts to capture, herd or lure the dolphins are unlikely to work and unnecessarily dangerous.

antshrews1smallThe lead veterinarian for NOAA was reported to say “we’re letting these dolphins be wild dolphins.” She added “we are not, as an agency, trying to limit the habitat of the recovering coastal bottlenose dolphins.”

Given all of the testimony by professionals in the field, why would Senator Kean call upon the Transportation Department to stop working on what experts say has nothing to do with the longer than usual stay of the dolphins?

Politics.

Among the only imagery sadder than a lifeless dolphin is an innocent, wide-eyed, fear struck, baby fur seal about to be clubbed over the head or Bambi weeping . If any number of these dolphins perished, Sean Kean does not want to be linked to their demise through any sad imagery of the dolphins that would be replicated on a slick campaign mailer sent out by his opponent in the next election and blaming him for their death.

So Senator Kean acted responsibly as far as electoral politics goes.

After all, he does not have the authority to force the D.O.T to stop a project, so no one can blame him if they don’t stop construction on the bridge,……. he tried.

But what if the Department of Transportation did decide to comply with his request?

What is politically expedient today for the senator, may not be politically expedient for him tomorrow.

If construction on the bridge did stop because of Kean’s request for the safety of the dolphins, how long would it be before the dolphins finally moved on and construction could resume?

The bridge in question happens to be heavily traveled, especially during the summer months when every single beachgoer coming from the north, including New York are traveling over it to get to the beaches of Sandy Hook , Sea Brite and many others past it.

Any traffic congestion during the summer months because of construction that was dealyed by the the dolphins will be compounded by a preponderance of beachgoers who locals call bennys, a term used by locals, out of frustration with the out of town, summer visitors and the extensive congestion of our roadways that the bennys cause as they flock to the Jersey Shore and make it more difficult for us to move out and about in our local neighborhood and on our beaches between Memorial day and Labor day.On The Navesink Rink In July

The term  is based on first letter of the towns that tourists rode through when taking the Jersey Shore line of the New Jersey Transit train system to and from the shore.  They include Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark and New York.

If Sean Kean’s requested cessation of construction on that bridge during the less traveled winter months, causes the construction to occur when the Bennies are clogging roadways during the summer months, the added delays will result in angry voters who will not be pleased with the senator‘s actions.

But Senator Kean has to do what he feels he has to do.

Perhaps he sincerely fears for the lives of these dolphins. As a feline enthusiast and cattery owner, I am an animal lover and that includes dolphins. So I could understand if his motovation was driven by heartfelt concern. But I can’t understand why he would disregard the advice of a group of people who also like dolphins but unlike either one of us, these animal lovers are experts concerning dolphins. They know much more about them than the senator and most, if not all, the concerned activists who are second guessing them.

Of course, he could just be going through the motions in a well conceived attempt to please everyone .

Boaters Look On While The Dolphins Do Their Thing

Boaters Look On While The Dolphins Do Their Thing

The senator probably understands that some people will not be satisfied by any evidence that contradicts their opinion. Some of the “stop the construction crowd” probably wouldn’t be convinced that the bridge isn’t effecting the dolphins even if Flipper himself popped out of the water and presented them with a notarized statement swearing that their concerns are unwarranted.

So, given the fact that the construction site operates with a monitoring systems that is sensitive to the dolphins needs and that the D.O.T is not likely to comply with his request, Kean publicly goes through with the request understanding that the dolphins are not at risk.  But by officially calling upon the D.O.T to suspend work on the bridge, the activists will know that  Sean Kean did all that he could to address their concerns while Kean knows the  bridge will be completed before the busy summer months roll around and the dolphins will still be safe. 

Everybody wins.

All that convoluted thinking kind of makes you wish you were a dolphin yourself. They don’t have to deal with trying to please everybody. They get to go where they want, when they want and how they want, and they do it all without a big bureaucracy charging them for it.

Which brings us to a different potential problem for the dolphins.

If these bottlenose dolphins stay in the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers too long, Governor Corzine and the Democrat led state legislature will certainly tax them and add a toll for them to pay when they do finally decide to leave.

punchline-politics21

Christmas Time in Washington

The Supreme Court ruled there cannot be a Nativity scene in Washington, D.C. this Christmas.

 

This isn’t for any religious or constitutional reason, they simply have not been able to find three wise men and a virgin in the nation’s capitol.

 

There was no problem however finding enough asses to fill the stable.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under politics

ARE REPUBLICANS ROLLING OUT A RED CARPET OR WAVING A WHITE FLAG?

Recently, State Senator Sean Kean (R-Monmouth) and Assembly members Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean) and Dave Rible (R-Wall) endorsed Chris Christie for the Republican nomination for Governor.

antsk4

State Senator Sean Kean

I normally find myself in agreement with those lawmakers, usually.

 

However in this case I do not approve of their premature endorsement of a candidate who not only hasn’t articulated his positions on the issues facing the state but is not even a declared candidate for the nomination.

antmpphoto1

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini

New Jersey Republican leaders seem to be yearning for a savior. So much so that I believe they are willing to throw out the baby with the bath water.

In their intense desire to win an election they seem to be placing little importance on the principles that we need a Governor to bring to Trenton along with their victory.  On top of that thinking being wrong based upon its shallowness, it also ignores a basic truth.  It ignores the fact that our party should not be built around any one individual.  It should be built around our principles and the ideas that Republixcans bring to the table.  Rather than focus on one person to lead us to victory, Republican legislators should be providing Trenton with the ideas that could win the day for us.  Without those ideas, there is no need to win.  So I suggest that Republican elected officials focus on that job.  Focus on bringing change through the legislative solutions they propose.  I want them to do their job and let the candidates running for governor do their job.

Assemblyman David Rible

Assemblyman David Rible

Once the candidates  have done so, or at the very, least begun to do so, then come out and endorse one of them.  Don’t just endorse someone for political expediency.  Have some sincerity in purpose.  Endorse someone for their ideas, their thinking, the direction they propose to take us.   Not for their name. 

 

I want to know these things before I approve or reject his candidacy. I want to know where he stands on issues before we say….”here take our nomination, take all that we believe and do as you wish with it to become Governor”.

With Republican elected officials simply endorsing Christie before he has stated a position on any issues or even become a candidate, they are not helping matters. They are simply saying, “we don’t know what you stand for but we need you”. That type of courtship does not help us build a strong ticket for Governor in November. In fact it could lead to trouble.

 Years ago when New York was my political arena, before becoming the Republican nominee in his second attempt to become Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani told me that losing against Dave Dinkins the first time around, taught him a lot.

You see, the first time he ran, Rudy expected Republicans allover the nation, to roll over and roll out the red carpet for his candidacy. At the time he felt that Republicans needed him more than he needed Republicans. That wasn’t exactly the case.

 

While waiting for Republicans throughout the city to come and kiss Rudy’s ring, another Republican courted them for their support. With money and conservative opinions, Ronald Lauder garnered enough support to wage a strong primary battle against Rudy. It was a battle that probably caused Rudy to lose the election by one percentage point

Potential republican Nominee for Governor, Chris Christie

Potential Republican Nominee for Governor, Chris Christie

Instead of making his rounds and earning support from the party whose nomination he wanted, Rudy felt that it was incumbent upon them to come to him.

Not all of them did.

Many felt at home with the more conservative candidate who respected them enough to ask for their support, not expect their support.

Had Rudy maintained a little humility and earned the support of all Republicans, he may have avoided the bloody and expensive primary battle that he found himself in and by avoiding that battle he might have won the war and been elected mayor four years earlier than he was. In fact he probably would have been able to serve three terms instead of the two he was limited to by the term limits which voters adopted in the same election that finally saw Rudy win City Hall.

Four years after losing the 1989 mayoral race, Rudy admitted that the way he conducted himself, the first time, was inappropriate. He told me and a couple of county chairmen that he learned his lesson and that he knew he needed every Republican as much, if not more than they needed him.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani

With that lesson learned, Rudy went on to win the Republican nomination for Mayor with ease and ultimately became one of the greatest mayors New York has ever known.

Now, here we are in New Jersey and another famed prosecutor is on the verge of saving Republicans from defeat.

If Chris Christie believes like Rudy did in 1989, Christie could find himself in the same position as Rudy.

With some Republican elected officials simply endorsing Christie before he has stated a position on any issues or even become a candidate yet, they are not helping matters. They are actually saying, “we don’t know what you stand for but we need you”. That type of courtship does not help us build a strong ticket for Governor in November. It simply helps to create an arrogant  mentality in Christie that allows him to believe that we owe him the nomination and that the job of Governor is his merely because he may want it..

Truth is, we owe nothing to Chris Christie other than our thanks for his undeniably successful tenure as New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney for the past seven years.

So stop wooing Chris Christie. Let Chris Christie start wooing us, the voters. Let Chris Christie join the other official candidates and earn our support.

The most recent example of Republican leaders hastily rushing to endorse someone, long before the primary election for a Republican nomination took place, was at the end of last year, when hundreds of Republicans from county chairmen, mayors, freeholders, councilmembers and state legislators rushed to endorse Rudy Giuliani for President.

We all know how successful that was.

So stop trying to part the sea for Chris Christie. We need to let him articulate his positions on the issues and demonstrate why he would be a better Governor than Richard Merkt, Steve Lonegan, Brian Levine or any other potential nominee.

A good start for Christie would be to stop stalling. The longer he waits to make a decision, the more suspect people become. They begin to wonder, does he want the job bad enough? Is there some closeted skeleton that is making him apprehensive about running?

Whatever the answer, Christie needs to make it official, one way or the other.

Until then, I suggest that everyone stop hoping that Chris Christie can walk on water. Stop making him believe that he is the best thing since sliced bread merely because he is Chris Christie. Help us win back New Jersey so that we can turn things around. Help strengthen our ticket in November by making Chris Christie put his very best foot forward and earn the nomination that he may want.

We are not helping ourselves by rolling out a red carpet for Chris Christie while waving a white flag of surrender for what ,we as Republicans, stand for.

We need to let Christie articulate his positions on the issues and demonstrate why he would be a better Governor than Richard Merkt, Steve Lonegan, Brian Levine or any other potential nominee. We need to make sure that Chris Christie represents the Republican ideology and approach to government that we stand for.

So before Republicans officials hand over our mantle to someone, let them prove themselves to be worthy of holding it. Let the candidates campaign for the nomination so that the right ideas may help win day rather than just some empty suit with a well known name.

 

RedWhiteBlue.gif picture by kempite

punchline-politics21

Q. How many Libertarians does it take to change a light bulb?

A. None, the market will take care of it.

Q. Why did the Libertarian cross the road?

A. To start his own country.

Leave a comment

Filed under politics