On Monday -- October 17, 2016 -- Bill Spadea, an agent of Townsquare Media, launched a campaign aimed at defeating conservative Republican legislators who voted for the tax restructuring plan that ended the Estate Tax, eliminated the tax on retirement income for most New Jersey seniors, cut the sales tax for consumers, provided a tax credit for low-paid workers, provided an income tax cut for veterans, and funded the bankrupt TTF through a rise in the tax on gasoline instead of by increasing property taxes. On Monday, Spadea wrote:
"Even if the current crusade by courageous community leader, Senator Kip Bateman is successful in forcing a vote it’s not gonna pass. Even if by some miracle the legislature voted to repeal the (tax restructuring package) they overwhelmingly supported, it would be met with a veto by the Governor who led the charge for the largest tax (cut in New Jersey's history)."
That said, this repeal push is not about actually repealing the tax. It’s about giving notice to the politicians that we’re watching and we’re gonna #remember in november.
...Kudos to Senator Kip Bateman for stepping up. Think twice before attacking what may seem like a quixotic battle. It’s actually necessary to identify who we need to thank and vote out in November 2017."
Spadea makes it pretty clear that this a political action campaign. Instead of reporting the news or even commenting on it, this is the news. Spadea has long craved this kind of political power. Remember when he was using the money of some pharmaceutical millionaire to build a party structure? Remember Spadea's "red shirts." No, we're not kidding, like those old boys back in the 1930's, Spadea did the whole shirt thing too. It goes nicely with the cult of personality.
Note the intensity and the anger in the singing. That kind of rage -- unreasoning, stage-managed, and directed at some scapegoat -- may be found almost any day on radio station NJ 101.5 FM. But then, radio is a very old vehicle for this kind of thing.
Townsquare Media is the corporate entity that owns the license (Townsquare Media Trenton License, LLC) to operate radio station NJ 101.5 (FCC Facility 53458). The license is a for-profit monopoly granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Townsquare Media is owned by Oaktree Capital Management. This corporation dates from the mid-1990's. Media sources note: "Oaktree quickly established a reputation in the high-yield and distressed-debt markets." The Securities & Exchange Commission fined Oaktree and ordered them to disgorge profits after the SEC ruled they had "sold securities short".
According to Oaktree Capital Management's filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission, it has important holdings in the petroleum sector, with one of its most important funds dependent on oil and gas profits from Alaska's North Slope. So yes, boys and girls, raising the price of gasoline is not in their economic self-interest.
The federal government grants for-profit corporations a monopoly on the use of a certain frequency provided that they abide by a very few rules and regulations. One is that they should at least try to be honest. The FCC website states:
"As public trustees, broadcasters may not intentionally distort the news. The FCC has stated publicly that 'rigging or slanting the news is a most heinous act against the public interest'."
What this means is that a radio station shouldn't out and out lie just to inflame public opinion in an effort to jazz up the ratings in order to sell more advertising and reap a windfall in corporate profits. But this is exactly what the corporation that owns NJ 101.5 has allowed Bill Spadea to do for months. Now it has stepped that up and launched a political action campaign against Republican legislators.
Townsquare Media/ Oaktree Capital Management's choice of Senator Kip Bateman to play the hero is hilarious. We will have more on that later.