Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Letter from Michelle Obama

I'm honored to have received this letter from the First Lady, a couple of weeks ago:

Dear Chris,

For only the second time in my adult life, I am not ashamed of my country. I want to thank the hard working American people for paying $242 thousand dollars for my vacation in Spain . My daughter Sasha, several long-time family friends, my personal staff and various guests had a wonderful time. Honestly, you just haven't lived until you have stayed in a $2,500.00 per night suite at a 5-Star luxury hotel. Thank you also for the use of Air Force 2 and the 70 Secret Service personnel who tagged along to be sure we were safe and cared for at all times.

Air Force 2 only used 47,500 gallons of jet fuel for this trip and carbon emissions were a mere 1,031 tons of CO2. These are only rough estimates, but they are close. That's quite a carbon footprint as my good friend Al Gore would say, so we must ask the American citizens to drive smaller, more fuel efficient cars and drive less too, so we can lessen our combined carbon footprint.

I know times are hard and millions of you are struggling to put food on the table and trying to make ends meet. I do appreciate your sacrifice and do hope you find work soon. I was really exhausted after Barrack took our family on a luxury vacation in Maine a few weeks ago. I just had to get away for a few days.

Michelle Obama

P.S. Thank you as well for the $2 Billion trip to India we are currently on! Love ya, mean it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What I Want the House Republicans To Do

The House GOP received a mandate from the voters to try to bring America back on the right track, after Pelosi, Reid and Obama tried to derail it for the past 4 years. They're in a very delicate position, because if they don't deliver, the Republicans won't recapture the White House and the Senate in 2012. And if they stray again, they'll be back where they were a few months ago.

Now it's obvious that they won't succeed in passing any remedial legislation. Nothing would go past the Senate or past Obama's veto. The best thing right now is the gridlock - meaning no more damaging legislation is going to pass, and the uncertainty about the future may be gone. But the challenge for the GOP is to prove they're not the "party of no" and never were, and try to lead from the House. So here is what I'd like them to do (in approximate order):

1. As soon as the new Congress reconvenes, move to extend the Bush tax cuts all across the board, including middle class, job creators, capital gains and estate taxes. It's possible that some of these will be extended by the current Congress, but there should be no compromise and the House should move to extend all of them. If the Senate or Obama refuse it, they should clearly explain how raises those taxes will be damaging for our economy.

2. Repeal and replace the healthcare bill. Of course it has to be repealed, but if they do only that, it will fuel the calls for the GOP being the party of no. They must present an alternative bill, as short as possible, in a very clear format for the voters. It should include all the common sense proposals, like tort reform, reducing the mandates, allowing interstate purchase of insurance, provide the same tax deductions for individuals that employers have, replace Medicaid spending with vouchers and so on.

3. For any damaging, anti-business bill that would originate in the Senate, offer an alternative, free market bill in the House. They'll never be reconciled, but the voters will be able to see the two options and make a decision for themselves.

4. Before next fall, offer a viable budget with minimal deficits. We've heard the Pledge to America, Jack Ryan's alternative budget last year, now it's time to deliver in real terms. I think the 2012 GOP races will depend on the budget proposal. After years of escalating spending n their own watch, it's time for the Republicans to get back to fiscal conservatism - and offer a real solution.

It's not that hard. Of course, it's not easy, but that's their only job right now. As you know, I don't call myself a Republican, but a conservative, and I'll never hesitate to call them on every mistake!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Markets Celebrate the GOP Wins

Today, the Dow closed at 11,434 and the S&P 500 at 1,221, which are the highest closings since the summer 2008. That is, since before Lehman failed, since before TARP and all the stimuli. It tops a trend that started in September, when it became clear that the GOP will recapture the House and the only question remaining was by how much.

The reason is not only because of the huge Republican win, but because there is a legislative gridlock now. What has hampered the recovery the most, and prolonged this recession for longer than normal, is the huge uncertainty about the future. For 18 months, we didn't know what was gonna happen, what new anti-business bills we were gonna get. It was the healthcare bill, about which we discover more and more which every week passing. It was the question or whether we'll have a cap&trade bill, another financial regulations bill, card check, and on and on. Since Obama took office, any smart business didn't plan any new operations, growth, or hiring, because they weren't sure what's gonna hit them next. There's is no credit crunch, as only 9% of businesses recently polled said that getting credit is their main problem. American companies are sitting on a record $2 trillions in cash, which for now sits much better in protected securities than risk being taken over by new Government mandates, regulations or taxes.

But the takeover of the House, while the Democrats remain in control of the Senate and the White House, means we'll have two years of legislative gridlock. That means that no major bill has any chance of passing! It's exactly what we need, what the markets need, what businesses need: for the Government to stay of our lives. We've had many recessions in the past, and the shortest ones where the ones where the Government didn't do anything, and just let the economic cycle turn everything around. When the Government got involved the most, we got FDR's Great Depression, and Carter's double recession and inflation. We probably had the fastest recovery after the 1988 market crash when Reagan, to everybody's despair, did the right thing: nothing.

So now, we'll have legislative gridlock, and no more bills to squeeze our economy and businesses. It's time to finally start recovery, and the markets showed they're ready.

Why the GOP Should Be Grateful for the Tea Party

The most common lines I hear from establishment Republicans recently is that the Tea Party lost us the Senate seats in Nevada and Delaware. Looking back at September 2010, that could be partly true. The establishment picks that Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell beat in the primaries were much better positioned (at that time!) to beat the Democrat candidates.

What the GOP fails to see is what seats the Tea Party DID win for them!

You don't have to look that far back. Take the summer of 2009, barely 16 months ago. The Republicans had suffered devastating losses. The Democrats had just won a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and a large majority in the House. The GOP was called "a disappearing species" or "a regional party". While a few House seats were expected to be gained in the midterms, there was a 0 chance of them winning back the House. With more Republican Senators up for re-election than Democrats, a few more losses in the Senate could've been predicted.

Then what happened around June/July 2009? The tea parties started. All of a sudden, the disillusioned Republican voters (many of them who skipped the 2008 elections) were becoming energized. People who never cared about local politics got involved. The wave was started. The first Republican wins appeared.

Now fast forward to the summer of 2010. 10-11 Democrat-held Senate seats wer ein play, while no Republican was vulnerable. Up to 90 Democrat-held House races became competitive (in a normal midterm election there are about 30-40). One year after the tea party got involved in Republican politics, we were EXPECTED to win back the House, and were having a remote chance of regaining the Senate as well.

So before blaming the tea party for losing Nevada and Delaware, you gotta thank the tea party for winning Massachussetts, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. And also thank the tea party for saving the Senate seats in Florida, Ohio, Kentucky and Missouri.

And a note to my local Republicans: Before blaming the tea party for "losing" the NJ-6 congressional race, you have to thank them for winning about 40-50 more House seats than we were expected to win before the tea party started.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Thoughts on the Midterm Election

I think it was a great night for Republicans. Not all our favorites won, but it was pretty big anyway. Look at the map on the right. We painted America red again. There are still some pockets of liberal resistance, but we'll take care of many of those in 2 years.

NJ Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll said it best: "
Essentially the only places you see blue are where they have tall buildings or hippies."

In the House we won about 64-65 seats. The Republicans haven't enjoyed such a large majority for almost 70 years. Now I know many of my friends are disappointed because Scott Sipprelle and Anna Little lost. But let's be realistic now: they were long shots anyway. If Republicans won ALL toss-up races, we would've got 90 seats. But neither NJ-6 nor NJ-12 were toss-ups. To win NJ-12 (Leaning Dem), we would've been in the 110-seats pick-up range. And if we won NJ-6 also (Likely Dem), we must've reached the 130-seats victory territory. But we won about half of the toss-up races, which is very good! Nancy Pelosi is no longer Speaker, and Alan Grayson is no longer in Congress! About 15 states switched to a Republican delegation majority, some of them who didn't have it since the 19th century.

We were hoping to get more seats in the Senate. We still got 6 or 7 and keep in mind that Democrats had very few incumbent seats to defend, 19 total, so we snatched one third of that from them. Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold and Arlen Specter are not Senators anymore. Neither would Obama be, since we won his seat also.

Probably the biggest disappointment of the night was Harry Reid's win. But there is a major upside to his win: Chuck "Schmucky" Schumer is not the Senate majority leader! That guy must be miserable, after spending the last 3 weeks in front of his mirror, pumping his fist and practicing his speech.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Middletown Democrat Thugs Vandalize Election Signs

By now, we're used to the regular election sign wars in Middletown: signs being stolen, moved or taken down. It usually happens to Republican signs, and an active member of the Democrat executive committee was arrested and subjected to a fine a couple of years ago, after being caught in the act.

But this year, the sleazy Midddletown Democrat thugs are using new tactics. After taking down at least one 4x4 board sign, since last Friday night they started spraying those 4x4s with grafitti. It happened almost every night for the past 4-5 days, and some of those hoodlums are even tagging them with gang signs. You can see this happening on Tindall Rd, East Rd, Leonardville Rd and other places.

Maybe it's time for Joe Caliendo to remind his thugs that this is not Hudson or Union county, and this kind of gang vandalism is not welcome in Middletown. Or maybe the local committee people would know more. Most of the thuggery occurred in District 23 (Thomas Mahon and Annaliesa Meloro). It was also seen in the neighboring districts, 13 (Steven Borbely and Lynda Cordasco) and 34 (Peter Geronimo and Mary Yule).

Below you can see an example of this new type of Democrat vandalism.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Candidates Face the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce

On Oct 13th, the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce invited Congressional and county candidates for a forum at the Bayshore Senior Center in Keansburg. The crowd was smaller than you'd expect, but most candidates showed up. It wasn't a debate, and no Q&A. Each candidate received the same series of questions in advance and were invited to respond.

Scott Sipprelle, running for Congress in the 12th district, was first. Probably has the most business credentials from all the candidates present, and he relates to the audience. Scott attacks the healthcare bill for the provision requiring all businesses that receive more than $600 from another business to send a 1099. In his example, if you're a transportation company, and buy gas at dozens of gas stations in the Northeast, identifying all of them and getting their tax ID's (since they're all independently operated) would be a nightmare.

Scott's opponent, Rush Holt, isn't here. But he has an excuse. He doesn't know where Monmouth County is.

6th district candidate Anna Little speaks about her conservative history and attacks the healthcare bill. She makes it clear she'll fight to repeal it. She speaks about her vision of water transportation in the Bayshore, from South Amboy all the way to Red Bank. She advocates the "flat tax" and at the end mentions the Fair Tax.

I can't say I wasn't surprised that Anna's opponent, Frank Pallone showed up. He doesn't like to appear in public recently, and it took guts for him to come face a group of small business owners, considering that everything he does in Congress is against business owners. Even more, he came well prepared and was on point with his answers. I don't agree with them, but he didn't avoid the issues, even if he read most of his speech.

One of the questions all the Congressional candidates were asked was whether they support the healthcare bill. Frank (who repeatedly said it's his bill, that he wrote it himself) spoke for over 10 minutes about it, but didn't say whether he voted for it or not, or whether he supports it or not. I'm yet to find a Democrat incumbent who's boast his vote for the healthcare bill in his/her campaign speeches/ads, except Harry Reid. Pallone said he's actively working to fix the bill. Does this mean he accepts it's broken?

Eventually, a surrogate for Rush Holt found the Chamber of Commerce. She struggled to read his answers, and not even halfway through her plea, people were leaving. I can't say it was more or less exciting than if Holt would've spoken. It was the same boring, meaningless blabber than you'd expect of him.

John D'Amico, Democrat running for Freeholder, was almost as boring as Holt's surrogate (his Dem colleague on the Monmouth Cty Board of Freeholders, Amy Mallet). It felt like half an hour and can't remember one thing he said.

Tom Arnone, mayor of Neptune City and Rep. candidate for freeholder, was probably the most interesting speaker. He didn't have any notes, he spoke completely free about his achievements as Mayor and President of the NJ Conference of Mayors, as well as his plans once he's elected.

Tom was followed by a blonde lady wearing a Halloween pirate costume. Her name is Janice, she's from Spring Lake, and she's running for freeholder as a Dem. She spoke for about 10 minutes about what she's done as a councilwoman to improve the business climate, and she would do to help companies, how the freeholders should get involved in business, and what elected representatives should do to help small businesses. And then all of a sudden, she ends with "... and I think Government should get out of the way of small businesses!". For anybody who listened to her speaking exclusively about how Government should get involved in the business environment, it must've been like a shock.

The Dem candidate for Sheriff, a short lawyer named Brophy, spoke briefly. He focused on spending by the current Sheriff's Department. According to him, the department is "losing about $2,500 per day. Over the year, this adds up to $8-9 million". Hmmmm. Maybe, but he's wrong by a 0 (a factor of 10). Won't blame him personally for this, after all if you're an Obama supporter you start mistaking trillions for billions and billions for millions.

Last candidate to speak was Brophy's opponent, current Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. He boasted his experience, as undersheriff for many years and acting Sheriff since the beginning of 2010. He challenged Brophy's calculations and said they're not losing money from the federal contracts. And he informed his young opponent that the department's contracts and budget are determined by the freeholders, not the Sheriff.

It was a good, informative forum, but I would've liked more local business owners to show up. Also, the ability to ask direct questions to the candidates would've been nice, but in that case I'd probably still be there at this hour.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Road to Hell

by Thomas Stokes

The road to hell, it is said, is paved with good intentions.

The current economic crisis, resulting from the sub prime mortgage meltdown, is certainly a perfect example of this.

Politicians had the major role in creating the current problems, starting with the admirable intention of having low-income families own their own homes.

The Community Reinvestment Act, passed by a Democrat Congress in 1977 to reduce alleged discriminatory credit practices in low income areas actually encouraged lending to uncreditworthy borrowers. Amendments to the CRA in the mid-1990s, raised the amount of mortgages issued to otherwise unqualified low-income borrowers, and allowed the securitization of CRA-regulated mortgages, even though many were subprime.

Those who opposed this faced charges of racism from the more liberal politicians and activist groups like SEIU and ACORN (both of these organizations are international and no information is provided as to foreign funding of their political activities in the US).

In 1982, a Democrat Congress passed the Alternative Mortgage Transactions Parity Act (AMTPA), which allowed creditors to write adjustable-rate mortgages, including option adjustable-rate, balloon-payment and interest-only mortgages.

Approximately 80% of subprime mortgages were adjustable-rate mortgages.

By 2008, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac owned, either directly or through mortgage pools they sponsored, $5.1 trillion in residential mortgages, about half the total U.S. mortgage market.

When concerns arose in September 2008 regarding the ability of Fannie and Freddie to make good on their guarantees, Washington placed the companies into a conservatorship, effectively nationalizing them at the taxpayers' expense.

What has been the result of this?

The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930's. In 2009, almost 3 million homeowners faced foreclosure. Huge drops in home values for those who manged to keep their homes with many now "under water" (values below the mortgage owed). Double digit unemployment, poverty levels higher than when President Johnson waged a "War on Poverty". This attempt to help people has not only hurt those same low-income families. but has also hurt each and every one of us.

In New Jersey, politicians have created the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) which imposes mandates on communities, like Middletown, to provide low-income, high density housing at taxpayer expense. This has a major impact on services, especially schools, and the property taxes we pay.

Professional politicians, of both parties, always searching for more votes, ignore the unintended (but not unforseen) consequences of their actions. Yes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Friday, October 1, 2010

November is Coming to Middletown

October 1st, 32 days before election day, the AFP bus made a stop in Middletown for the grand opening of the Bayshore Tea Party HQ. Bayshore TP is one of the first tea party groups that appeared in NJ in early 2009. Since then, it continued to grow in numbers, it became more and more active in the local community and is currently conducting an unprecedented grassroots campaign for Anna Little. And now, due to AFP, its NJ director Steve Lonegan, and its grassroots campaign November is Coming, Bayshore has its one HQ!

There are a lot of local patriots who made all of this possible: Barbara, Dwight, Brian, Bob, Lynn and many others. They achieved so much in just over one year and! Having Steve Lonegan and the November is Coming bus stop here is a great honor for the tea party.

Steve addressed a crowd of almost 100 people, gathered in a parking lot on busy Route 35, and started by saying that the current tea party efforts will make "Acorn look like Little League baseball". In 2006 and 2008, taxpayer-funded Acorn conducted a very aggressive GOTV campaign, but that's being dwarfed now by the more numerous, more dedicated, more enthusiastic conservative volunteers.

What the AFP is offering Bayshore TP, besides a very nice HQ, is a state-of-the-art phone banking system and a micro-targeting voter database, which will optimize the volunteers time so they can reach those voters most likely to swing their votes. It cost AFP a lot of money raised through private donations, but it's all free for the Bayshore tea partiers!

Anna Little also stopped by and energized the crowd with a short speech, while trucks carrying huge Little signs were driving up and down the highway. Not even a disgruntled liberal neighbor who called the cops couldn't interrupt the party. Mayor Scharfenberger of Middletown and township candidate Kevin Settembrino stopped by, as well as representatives from Scott Sipprelle's campaign and the Monmouth County Republican Committee, signaling that all Republicans in NJ are joining forces against the Democrats.

AFP is targeting three incumbent Democrats, Adler, Pallone and Holt, with the last two being in the coverage area of the Bayshore TP. Steve Lonegan predicted a 100-seat swing in the House, and Anna Little, Scott Sipprelle and Jon Runyan will be part of this new wave of Republican representatives.

The Bayshore Tea Party HQ is located at 275 Route 35 in Middletown, just North of Pool world. Please stop by and join the conservative grassroots efforts!

November is Coming

The "November is Coming" headquarters in Middletown has its grand Friday night at 7pm. It will be managed by the Bayshore Tea Party, being the first tea party HQ sponsored by AFP. Here's the press release:

New Jersey’s Flagship ‘November Is Coming’ Tea Party Headquarters will be first of its kind in nation, Friday, October 1st, 7PM

RED BANK– Americans for Prosperity is announcing the grand opening of its ‘November Is Coming’ Tea Party headquarters in Middletown, located at 275 Highway 35, on Friday, October 1st at 7PM. The opening will coincide with arrival of the free market organization’s ‘November Is Coming’ Bus Tour.

The ‘November Is Coming’ Bus Tour will be making stops in key districts across the state earlier in the day, including Cherry Hill, Toms River, and Somerset.

New Jersey state director Steve Lonegan hailed the opening of the headquarters as groundbreaking.

“The Tea Party movement has been enormously effective in recruiting activists. These patriots have mobilized for rallies and protests but now they will have a central place where they can meet, organize and execute the grassroots voter reach out that is necessary to ensure a conservative victory in November.

“This is truly a remarkable step. Nowhere else in the country do Tea Party activists have such an operation in place. All the momentum and energy in the Tea Party movement will now be focused on our ‘November Is Coming’ grassroots effort. They realize the time for rallies is over and the time to get the troops on the ground to make a difference has come.

“The passion and intensity in the conservative Tea Party movement is palpable. And now these activists will be using this energy toward the biggest voter education and outreach effort ever undertaken by the conservative movement. By the time we are done, this will make ACORN look like Little League baseball.”

Activists participating in the ‘November Is Coming’ project will be encouraged to go door-to-door and implement a state-of-the-art phone banking system as part of a citizen education effort. Activists will let people know where incumbent representatives stand on the issues and encourage them to contact their representatives to tell them to stop the out-of-control spending and big government policies.

The New Jersey campaign will focus on educating voters about the big government, big spending records of incumbents of Frank Pallone, John Adler, and Rush Holt.

The grand opening of the November Is Coming Tea Party headquarters is free and open to all conservative Tea Party activists.

What: Grand Opening of November Is Coming Tea Party Headquarters – Middletown

Who: Americans for Prosperity, Tea Party Activists

When: Friday, October 1st at 7 p.m.
Where: New Jersey November Is Coming Headquarters
275 Highway 35
Red Bank, NJ 07701

Media: Media are invited to attend. Please contact Michael Proto at or (201) 487-8844/(201) 281-2700.

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Reaction to Chris Christie's Education Reform Proposals

Ed Mazlish sent us the following response regarding the Governor's education reform agenda:

Governor Christie called the Legislature into special session for a Constitutional Amendment to deal with the crisis of school funding and the high property taxes mandated by the Abbott decisions. Did he propose an Amendment to overrule th...e Abbott decisions? No. He proposed yet another cap on property tax increases - instead of dealing with (1) the Court's blatant violation of separation of powers by ordering spending and tax increases to support such spending; and (2) the misguided Constitutional provision that the Court used to justify such violation of separation of powers (the Public Education Clause). If he "loved children" and really wanted to deal with the education crisis - both from the perspective of failing schools and skyrocketting property taxes - he would have urged a very different Constitutional Amendment. And he certainly would not be trying to override taxing and spending decisions dealing with education made by local school boards and centralize such decisionmaking in Trenton.

What's even worse is that he had a very creative, committed Education Commissioner in Bret Schundler who has demonstrated novel thinking on solving education problems. Instead of implementing some of the vouchjer and charter school proposals Schundler has championed and pioneered, he threw Schundler under the bus at the first opportunity.

The solutions to the education problem are really not that difficult. Conservative thinkers and politicians have been providing the justifications necessary to implement real change in the education arena - these arguments have been available for at least all of Governor Christie's adult life, if not longer. He is either aware of them and chooses to ignore then, or he is willfully ignorant of them. Either way that does not demonstrate his love for the children.

Bashing the teachers unions makes for good soundbytes (and I am no fan of those unions, or any other unions for that matter). But it does not make for sound policy. It would be nice of the Governor had a better solution to the education crisis than artificial caps on property taxes (that have more holes than swiss cheese), redistributing wealth from rich districts to poor ones (otherwise known as raiding the surpluses of districts that actually saved money for a rainy day over the years), and demoralizing the teachers who will ultimately be teaching most children in New Jersey. We deserve better from a Governor who promised to shake things up.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chris Christie on Education Reform

Today, Sep 28, I attended Governor Chris Christie's townhall meeting in Old Bridge, focused on his proposals for education reform. It's the first time I go to a townhall organized by someone I support. The ones I've attended before were organized by Democrats and resulted in a lot of frustrated attendees, vociferations, protests and so on, due to the extreme views of the speakers. Rush Holt even decided that "townhalls have a negative connotation", without thinking that maybe his ideas have negative implications. So in a way I expected a lot of discontent union members to show up, especially in Democratic Old Bridge from Democratic Middlesex County. To my surprise, most of the people inside the packed room (a few hundred peoples) were supporting the Christie Reform Agenda, were enthusiastic about his proposals, and have him many rounds of standing ovations.

The Governor started kinda like an E! channel show, with about five minutes dedicated to movie reviews. He talked about The Cartel, but especially about the newly released Waiting for Superman. There's no coincidence, as these movies are about failed public school systems. So he went straight to the topic of the day - education. And today he didn't speak about compensation, benefits, guaranteed pay raises or (lack of) contributions to health insurance, but about one thing: teacher quality.

Packed room in Old Bridge

His first example, as it relates to his recent joint appearance with Mayor Booker of Newark and CEO Mark Zuckerberg (or Zuckerman as Booker repeatedly called him) of Facebook, was about the abysmal Newark school system. Over there, only 1 in 2 children graduate from high school. You can say this is bad enough. But 95% of those students who decide to go to college need remedial education to bring them up to the level of college admission knowledge! What this means is that high school tests are rigged so those teachers can make themselves look good and keep their jobs!

The problem with public (unionized) education in NJ (and other states) is that it doesn't take into account AT ALL teachers' performance. The system doesn't reward good teachers and punish bad teachers. It just maintains a status quo where everyone has a guaranteed job, a guaranteed salary, a guaranteed pay raise. Imagine another enterprise, a private company, where at the end of the year, the boss comes to one of the worst employees and says "Congrats for surviving one more year! Here's your bonus and your 5% raise for next year!". Does anyone see that possible?? Well, it's the reality of unionized education, where the only test you have to pass in order to keep your job and get a raise is "to breathe". That's all you have to do!

Chris Christie said "I don't attack teachers. I attack BAD teacher". And later: "I don't bash teachers, I bash stubborn, self-interested unions". It's the unions that have created the so called "rubber rooms" in New York City. A rubber room is a room where the worst teachers are sent to just do nothing... watch TV, read newspapers, play cards, while getting paid full salary and benefits. Just because it's so hard and expensive to fire them that it's more economically feasible to pay them full salary to do nothing! That's the reality of public education.

The Governor said the NJ Legislature needs to act on several bills. One is about prohibiting using seniority as a basis for deciding compensation. It goes back to the previous example. Right now, salaries, benefits and pay raises are obtained automatically, simply by breathing for one more year. It doesn't matter if you're the best or the worst teacher, you get the same. I don't think it's even necessary to ask what's then the incentive to be a good teacher?? Christie's proposal is very simple: compensation should be based only on merit. Good teachers get paid more, and bad teachers get paid less or get FIRED. Also, he suggested that additional degrees shouldn't be a criteria for boosting a salary, as a lot of teachers get free Masters' degrees (I mean, paid by the taxpayers) in non-related subjects, just to get a pay increase.

Chris Christie's 2nd legislative proposal is about tenure. The way tenure is used now in public education is illogical. Tenure was introduced in higher education in order to stimulate professors to be free thinkers and to engage in creative debate, without fearing for their job. But it's been adopted by the public education system as a synonym for "job guarantee". 3rd grade teachers don't engage in phylosophical debates, the hide behind tenure as an excuse for their performance. Imagine the following discussion a principal can have with a parent: "Your daughter's 3rd grade teacher is really bad, but you know we can't fire her. Lucky us, we got more funding from the state, so we're gonna give her a pay raise this year, and try to talk to her into bettering herself. And who knows, maybe next year she'll do a better job". The thing is that the daughter of that parent has only one year in 3rd grade. And that more money won't make that teacher better. But this is the reality of our public, unionized education.

I think teachers should be like eveybody else working in this country: you do your job well, you keep it. You do a bad job, you get fired. Chris Christie's proposal wasn't that common sense (or "radical", as the Democrats would call it), he just proposed that tenure should be granted or revoked based on teacher performance. I'm sure it would still be very hard to revoke someone's tenure, but it's a small step forward.

Christie takes on the unions

After his speech, the Governor said he's ready for "the fun part of the program, the one most likely to get on YouTube": questions from the public. He responded pretty much on point to all of them, as they were about common sense issues like education (mostly) or public employees. He seemed a little bit upset only when the issues of accrued sick time was raised. In case you didn't know, public employees are allowed a certain amount of sick days per year, which accrue unlimited over their career, and when you retire you get PAID for all those unused sick days. Sounds sick, doesn't it??? The Governor errupted saying that "if after 20 years on the job you haven't used any sick days, you shouldn't asked to be paid for that, you should go to church, get on your knees, and thank God for your good health". But really, can anyone find any similar arrangement in any other American enterprise? There were people who retired this year and were paid by the State (meaning us, taxpayers), $900,000 (Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars) in accrued sick time. This makes ME sick! The best the Governor could do was to cap those payments at $15k/person. Still a lot, but the best you can achieve with a Democratic legislature driven by special interest groups (read: Unions).

Someone asked about RGGI, which is the local equivalent of Cap & Trade, used by several liberal Northeast states. I was looking forward to hearing the Governor's opinion about this, and can't say I was very satisfied. He said he's a bit opposed to it, because big industrial states like Pennsylvania are not participating, so the program is totally ineffective and even more, creates higher costs of doing business in NJ, while Pennsylvania can attract more of those businesses away from NJ. But Chris Christie didn't specifically address the fact that it costs small businesses a lot of money and ultimately we, the citizens of NJ, have to pay all those costs associated with Tax&Trade.

Finally, Chris Christie's best quote about Democrats came as related to a question about vouchers and charter schools: "They don't like choice, because it allows people to walk away from failures". This is true about so many aspects about our life. Democrats would like to mandate and regulate everything (what to eat, what car to drive, what light bulbs to use, etc), because people won't "choose" something they don't like unless they're forced to or left with no other choice.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Rush Holt "Darling" Appointed as Consumer Protection Czar

Today, Pres. Obama announced that he will appoint Elizabeth Warren to be an Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, circumventing the Senate confirmation process. Sen. John Cornyn issued the following statement:

“Another day, another unelected czar is added to the Obama Administration. The President’s reliance on unelected czars to implement his radical agenda skirts the very checks and balances our nation was founded upon, and directly contradicts President Obama’s pledge to be the most transparent Administration in history. What is transparent is that making Elizabeth Warren his ‘consumer czar’ is an obvious political favor to special interest groups – like labor unions and liberal grassroots organizations – meant to invigorate them 50 days before an election.”

Back in July, Rush Holt was asked at a "press conference" if he'd support Elizabeth Warren was a consumer protection czar. He became very excited about that question. He couldn't stop praising her. Holt said that Warren "distinguished herself by speaking for the little guy", and that "some say she's a liberal, but she just wants to help the little guy". He also said Warren "SHOULD BE the 1st director of a Consumer Protection Agency", but because it would be practically impossible to confirm such a radical leftist (with communist sympathies) in the Senate, Holt said he hopes that the President can circumvent the Senate and appoint her.

So Rush Holt's months-long scheme came true, Elizabeth Warren being appointed as a czar without the due process of Senate confirmations.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Desperate Career Politician Holt Resorts to Negative Smear Campaign Against Sipprelle

Sipprelle slams Holt TV Ad as "mean-spirited and full of fabrications"

Princeton, September 8, 2010 - Career politician Rush Holt (NJ-12) launched his campaign today with a negative cable television commercial filled with personal attacks and complete fabrications in a desperate attempt to smear his opponent and distract voters from his failed record in Congress, charged his challenger, businessman Scott Sipprelle.

The ad is in stark contrast to the positive, issued-based ads Sipprelle has aired this summer detailing his positions on important issues facing the country.

"After 12 years in Congress, all Rush Holt has to offer is dishonest attack ads to distract people from his failed record on jobs, reckless government spending and extreme partisanship," said Sipprelle. "His decision to go negative on me in his first ad is the clearest indication yet that our positive campaign message of economic renewal and political reform is catching fire with voters and that Mr. Holt's political career is on life support."

Sipprelle chided Holt for, again, resorting to personal smears and complete fabrications about Sipprelle's stance on the issues.

"Let me be perfectly clear, I have never once advocated for denying women equal pay for equal work. On behalf of my wife and daughter, I challenge Mr. Holt to produce one single shred of credible proof that I have ever taken that position," said Sipprelle. "Furthermore, Mr. Holt's retreat into class-warfare politics in attacking my plan for comprehensive tax reform isn't surprising from a professional politician who has made a career out of promoting tax-hikes and tax loopholes."

Sipprelle added, "My position on this issue has always been crystal clear - my flat tax plan would cut taxes for all individuals and corporations, while eliminating tax breaks, credits, earmarks, and special deductions. That's not a tax cut for the rich, it's a tax cut for working people and an end to Washington's shady culture of tax loopholes. This will create a fairer, simpler system and help spark our economy."

Sipprelle concluded by saying he relished a fight with his opponent over who best represents the American Dream.

"My immigrant grandfather began his American dream by picking vegetables in farm fields, while Mr. Holt comes from a line of established politicians," charged Sipprelle. "I started from the bottom and worked my way to success through personal sacrifice, toil and dedication, while Mr. Holt has spent his entire professional life in the sheltered confines of a college campus ivory tower or roaming the Halls of Congress. I coached town baseball and fund educational scholarships for the disadvantaged, while he parties and cuts deals with lobbyists and political insiders who help preserve his increasingly tenuous cling to power. When it comes to the American Dream, I am the living embodiment of it, while Mr. Holt promotes policies that are moving the American Dream out-of-reach for future generations of Americans."

See Holt's TV Ad here:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Is a Severe Recession Obama's Plan for 2012?

If you thought we barely passed through a bad recession, then wait for 2011. The huge tax increases that will occur when the tax cuts of 2002-2004 expire will deal a severe blow to our economy, which could send us into a much severe recession that the one we didn't even recover from.

Despite all the lies that come out of Obama's mouth (and I'm shocked at how he can keep a straight face while telling them), small businesses will suffer a deadly hit after January 1st. As you can read in today's Wall Street Journal, 48% of small business income will see a tax rate increase from 35% to 40.8%. That's a 5.8 tax rate increase, or more precisely, a 16% increase in the tax liability. At the end of 2011, as a small business owner, you should be happy to still be in business.

Now consider the fact that the GOP will take over the House (according to a study published by the Huffington Post, there's a 79% chance of that happening). Also, the GOP is very close to also getting the Senate. According to the RCP averages, Republicans will win 8 seats. That leaves them to win 2 of the other 3 competitive races (Wisconsin, California and Nevada), which is very probable.

So what's gonna happen? Republicans will control the full Congress, Obama will prevent them from passing any relief measures, and will blame the recession that he engineered on an inept GOP Congress. Then he will run on this in 2012. It seems like the only thing that could still save him, given the total support from the media.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

AFP Applauds Sen Doherty and Oroho for Introducing Cap-and-Trade Repeal Bill

Legislation Would Repeal Global Warming Response Act, End New Jersey’s Participation in RGGI Cap-and-Trade Scheme

BOGOTA, NJ – Americans for Prosperity is praising Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) and Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) for introducing legislation that would lead to New Jersey’s withdrawal from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) “Cap & Trade” program.

The legislation, which mirrors the bill introduced in the Assembly earlier this summer by Alison Littell McHose (R-24) and Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25), would repeal the Global Warming Response Act and the companion legislation that created the RGGI cap-and-trade-program originally passed in 2007 under Jon Corzine.

Currently, New Jersey is one of ten states participating in the RGGI cooperative. To date, eight RGGI auctions have taken place extracting over $660 million in revenue. New Jersey’s share of $65 million was diverted by Governor Christie in the FY 2011 budget to plug the revenue shortfall. And last week the governor announced plans to use RGGI funds to subsidize a wasteful windmill project off of New Jersey’s coast.

Senator Doherty issued the following statement: “There are many credible members of the scientific community that have questioned the theory of global warming. New Jersey's citizens and businesses do not need economically damaging regulations or energy based taxes that are prompted by the global warming hysteria of recent years.”

Americans for Prosperity state director Steve Lonegan thanked both legislators for taking a stand on this issue.

“Senators Doherty and Oroho both recognize that cap-and-trade is nothing less than an insidious tax on energy. They understand that such a tax will make our state less competitive, kill jobs, and force ratepayers to bear the cost in the way of skyrocketing utility bills.”

“In recent weeks, we have also discovered some stunning and disturbing news about the way the RGGI program operates. There is a total lack of transparency with RGGI bureaucrats refusing open records requests and failing to disclose the salaries of their employees; salaries paid by the taxpayers of New Jersey,” said Lonegan. “The clandestine way in which this program operates is all the more reason RGGI needs to be repealed and New Jersey needs to withdraw from this scheme now.”

“We thank Senators Doherty and Oroho for their courageous effort to put an end to the ill-conceived RGGI program and we look forward to other legislators, and the governor, joining with them to do what is in the best interests of our state.”

For more information on New Jersey’s cap-and-trade program, please visit

Monday, August 23, 2010

Anna Little Closes the Gap at 6% on Frank Pallone

Anna Little’s Grassroots Strategy Keeps Sixth District Race Close

Repeated Votes on Spending Also Keeping Incumbent’s Numbers Down

Highlands, NJ – In a poll released by the Anna Little for Congress campaign, Anna Little is only six points behind 22-year incumbent Frank Pallone. The poll, conducted by National Research Inc., shows Pallone at 40% and Little closing the gap at 34%. Perhaps most telling is that Pallone has nearly 100% name ID among voters in the district. “The more people learn about Anna Little, the more they like her and can see her as the right alternative to the incumbent. The voters already know about Frank Pallone and becoming increasingly uncomfortable with his out-of-touch voting record. He’s been in Washington too long and has become a bit too cozy with Nancy Pelosi.” commented campaign chair, Leigh-Ann Bellew.

Aside from Pallone’s voting history and strong support of Speaker Pelosi’s agenda, Anna’s campaign is running an unprecedented ground effort that is taking her message directly to the voters. During the past five weeks, Anna Little’s volunteer army has knocked on more than 10,000 doors in the Sixth District. A tireless campaigner, having won her past five elections for Mayor and Freeholder in similar fashion, Anna is comfortable taking her message directly to the voters.

Little said she was heartened and gratified by the results, though she admitted she is not surprised: “The arrogance of Frank Pallone and Nancy Pelosi aside, New Jersey voters have sent and are sending an unmistakable message to Democratic incumbents - stop spending money we don’t have and bankrupting our children. It seems that neither Governor Christie’s election nor the unsustainable path on which the Democrats in Congress have put America matter to entrenched incumbents like Frank Pallone and Nancy Pelosi. As Frank Pallone said at his town hall last year, he just knows better what’s good for us.”

Little’s ground game arrives in Manalapan this Saturday, August 28th, beginning with a meet and greet followed by dozens of volunteers and the candidate spending the day in the neighborhoods. The details will be announced on Wednesday, August 25th. All are welcome and members of the press are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Afternoon at Frank Pallone's Open House

Aug 16, 4pm, Congressman Frank Pallone hosted an open house at his Long Branch office. About 30 tea partiers gathered outside to protest, while 25-30 people gathered on the porch and in the hallway hoping to see their representative. While waiting on the alley, there was very little evidence that anybody (including those coming out) managed to see Pallone, who apparently was hiding in his upstairs office.

It was a hot afternoon. One protester said he's as sweaty as a Democrat on election night. The tea partiers were told they can't "stand" on the sidewalk, so they marched up and down the road in front of the building. One of their chant was "Get out of Anna's house!"

Staffers invited me inside. One of them told me I have a nice camera and I can take pictures. Then she said I can't take pictures, but I can take notes. But the Congressman held only one-on-one meetings, and I can't join any of those. So I could only take notes of what? People sweating in a crowded room with no A/C?

One lady in her 80s comes out and she says Pallone couldn't help her. When asked what she needed help with she said "I need help getting into my grave". Silence followed. I wanted to suggest that Pallone co-authored ObamaCare, and thus he's actually helping her, but she continued with a rant about her husband's will, and how the grave was left out of it, and his son won't let her use it.

A teenage scout girl brings out candy. My friend Art asks her if she wants to see the Congressman and the girl is in shock. "Congressman?? I thought this is the funeral!" Quite understandable, since the people waiting in line to see Frank Pallone looked quite grim. Meanwhile, the tea partiers kept having fun, waving flags, responding to honks, and chanting.

Art is also talking to a senior lady who twice said that her relatives fought in the Revolutionary War. She says she came here to save the horses. No, not the horse racing at Meadowlands or Monmouth Park, but the horses out west which are slaughtered for the Europeans to eat.

After waiting for more than 2 hours in some cases, people are leaving the building. Pallone's staffers come outside to serve Kool Aid to the overheated people. All the staffers are very short and thin girls. And a boy. At least now I know what's his type.

I'll post a few more updates once I'm able to identify some people who actually spoke to Congressman Pallone. In the meantime, enjoy a few pictures!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Holt vs Sipprelle: Jobs

Rush Holt has a new section on his website dedicated to comparing his positions to Scott Sipprelle's. It's appropriate that he put JOBS at the top of the page, since economy and the jobs seem to be the most serious issue on the voters' mind going into the November elections. Here's the comparison that Holt makes:

Rush Holt:
  • Helping create jobs with tax credits for small businesses.
  • Created the New Jersey Technology Center to build the jobs of the new economy.
  • Demanded that big banks that took government bail outs make more loans available.
Scott Sipprelle:
  • Opposes raising the minimum wage.1
  • Opposes equal pay for equal work for women.2
  • Profited by investing in and promoting corporations that shipped American jobs overseas.3
Let's go through the list, starting with Scott Sipprelle:

1. Economists are unanimous in agreeing that raising the minimum wage results in unemployment. It's a basic economic principle. Raising the minimum wage is good posturing as social justice, but it results in higher unemployment for those categories of workers that work at minimum age, especially teenagers. After the last minimum wage increase, teenage unemployment skyrocketed.

2. Holt still has to document Sipprelle's opposition to equal pay for women. What Sipprelle opposed is not equal pay, but a new law mandating it. Wages are settled on the labor market, and interfering with the free market always has unintended consequences. If a woman is paid less than a man in a certain job, that can be due to a lot of factors. Mandating equal pay, since it imposes artificial wages for certain female employees, will results in less jobs for women. Again, Sipprelle's position would prevent an increase in unemployment.

3. Did the rocket scientist ever wonder why would a company ship jobs overseas? It's because of the high payroll taxes they're subjected to here, to the vast array of Government regulation which increases the cost of employing in the US, and (especially now) because of the climate of incertitude regarding new taxes and regulations that may come (like health care insurance costs, union mandates, carbon taxes, expiring or not expiring tax cuts). Scott Sipprelle's positions would definitely help contain all those reasons for companies to outsource jobs overseas. Holt still didn't mention what his incentives for companies to hire are.

Now on to Rush Holt:

1. What credits exactly? I have a small business and I'm not receiving anything. I just have to pay more and more taxes and I see no logical economic reason of hiring anyone right now.

2. What? Where? How does that help?

3. Wait, isn't that how our current crisis started? By Government forcing banks to make loans to borrowers who should't have otherwise received them? If a bank considers it safe to make a loan, it will make it, that's how banks make profits and bankers get rich! If they don't make a loan to someone, it's because they consider the risk outweighs the benefits. And now Holt again wants to force banks to make loans to borrowers who might be able to pay back??

The bottom line is: who would you trust more about the economy and jobs? A bookish rocket scientist, or an investor and small business owner?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Anna Little Held a Press Conference During the President's Visit

Mayor Anna Little, Republican Candidate in 6th District held a Press Conference during the President’s visit to address the continuing economic challenges facing many Businesses in New Jersey’s 6th District.

Yesterday, Anna Little, Republican Nominee for Congressional District 6 joined with residents from the 6th district in greeting President Obama in Edison, NJ. After being relocated twice by Secret Service officials, Little made statements to the press via an open demonstration promoting Liberty and Economic Freedom, and outlining the ineffectiveness of economic stimulus legislation to date.

"New Jersey has lost more than 85,000 jobs since Obama entered office in January 2009, and the New Jersey unemployment rate has stagnated at more than 9% since May of 2009,” said Little, with tea party demonstrators at her back. Little continued to explain that President Obama's budget for 2011 generates nearly $10 trillion in cumulative deficits and increases the national debt to 90% of US economic output by 2020.

While tea party demonstrators shouted "Liberty" and "Freedom" along the curbside at Plainfield Avenue and Lincoln Highway (Route 27) in Edison, NJ, Little continued the conference stating, "The stimulus plan obviously has not created jobs in New Jersey, but rather has resulted in debt, deficit and taxes to be paid by our children and grandchildren."

Congressman Frank Pallone along with this administration's bailout sent a trillion US tax dollars to foreign banks on the backs of struggling American families,” stated Little. "A healthy economy depends upon vibrant and successful small business. Free market principles coupled with across the board tax reductions would set the stage for economic growth."

The group joined in singing "God Bless America" before closing the conference.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Obama Visits Edison

President Obama was in Edison, NJ today. He had a "sandwich summit" at the Tastee Sub Shop on Plainfield Ave, where he met with a few local business owners. Of course, this was a great occasion for local conservatives who disagree with his policies to show up and show their discontent.

We set up on the SW corner of Plainfield Ave and Rt 27, a block from Tastee. All corners were full of people, must've been hundreds, but the tea partiers ruled our corner, especially members of the Bayshore Tea Party. Actually, I kept wondering where are the other groups, since only Bayshore seemed to be organized.

Although there was a mix of Obama protesters and opponents, the event was very peaceful. We had many conversations with the radical liberals, but we kept disagreements on topics, not on a personal level. One of them even brought us drinks (tea!) and we all sang kumbaya together. The only incident occurred after people started leaving, when some Obama girls (on drugs, maybe) started yelling racist stuff in one of our friends' face, until the State Police came and removed them.

There was a lot of press embedded in our group, so the secret service had to behave in a civilized manner. The spoke nicely to us, and didn't even push us waaay back, like they pushed two groups of Obama supporters on the opposite corner. When the motorcade drove by, there was loud booing, and waving of American and Gadsden flags. What happened inside Tastee? You'll have to find out from someone who was there. Now here are some pictures:

The Tea Party corner:

The Bayshore Tea Party in the front row:

State police attempting to push back the crowds:

This is still Frank Pallone's district, but not for long:

Getting ready for Obama's arrival. Snipers in position on Tastee's roof, pockets of Obama supporters being pushed back.

The Presidential motorcade arrives. Obama kept the windows shut and didn't acknowledge the crowd. The car with the big antenna is the teleprompter's command center.

A bunch of crazy Obama girls (arguably on drugs) started yelling racist stuff at one of our tea party protesters. The State Police intervened and pushed them aside, but one of them was still struggling and hitting back at the officer.

Off all these hundreds of people, there must have been a stupid liberal anarchist who got himself arrested. Note how everyone has their fists raised, holding their cameras!