Yes Alan Steinberg, once upon a time America did send people “back to where they came from”

What is a “Congresswoman of color”?  How does she differ from a plain old “Congresswoman”?  Are the duties, rights, and responsibilities different?

Terms like “Congresswoman of color” are generally used by people who come from mono-chromatic worlds – whether that world is an all Somali-neighborhood in Minnesota or a Palestinian enclave in Michigan.  You can tell such places by the flags they fly.  If a neighborhood flies a flag other than the American flag it’s a good chance you have wandered into a mono-chromatic world.

See, Americans are a mixed people.  Ethnically and racially – as was often pointed out by the great Harlem Renaissance poet Jean Toomer.  A Quaker, Toomer knew that Americans were a “people of the word” – what sets us apart are the words in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.  Our freedoms make us who we are.  After spending many years traveling, Toomer lived and mentored in Doylestown, Bucks County, where he died in 1967. 

Those who think in terms of “people of color” and who are obsessed by the tint of one’s skin are almost always themselves racialists.  Wikipedia notes that “Racialism is the belief that the human species is naturally divided into races, that are ostensibly distinct biological categories.”

The philosopher W.E.B. DuBois argued that racialism was merely the philosophical position that races existed, and that collective differences existed among such categories.  DuBois held that racialism was a value-neutral term and differed from racism in that the latter required advancing the argument that one race is superior to other races of human beings.

Of course, science has largely erased such arguments.  Aside from some genetic correlations in the incidence of diseases in this subset or that, the idea of “racial identity” that is forced down every American child’s throat, that haunts our society in everything from census forms to employment applications, is entirely a political construct.  The American idea of “race” is nonsense and calling people “racist” is a nonsense game.  The actor Morgan Freeman got it right…

Enter Alan Steinberg, house “Republican” for a far-Left insider blog financed by some rather unsavory government vendors.  Steinberg longs for the days when the NJGOP was run by rich, so called “blue-bloods” (a mixed caste that claimed it could trace some measure of its history back to America’s colonial masters).  Unfortunately for Steinberg, all the rich “blue-bloods” are today Democrats, which is why Steinberg is such a decidedly anti-Republican “Republican”.  Like the writer Stefan Zweig, he longs for a lost monarchy, his queen, in exile. 

Alan Steinberg is a racialist.  He embraces the concept of race as central to our political, academic, economic, and cultural discourse in America.  He wants to elevate it to the center of all things, a thing that does not exist.  In some ways, Steinberg is like Donald Trump, who is also a racialist, albeit a tongue-in-cheek one.  Who can take half of what he tweets seriously?  How much of it is designed to arouse – like the comedic entertainer – simply for the pleasure of it.  Steinberg however, is very serious.  He applies heavy meaning to his racialism.

So do his allies in the Democrat Party.  As do those radical Democrats he claims he doesn’t like – Ms. A.O.C. and her posse.  They are racialists all. 

Alan Steinberg is deeply troubled by President Trump’s most recent taunt to Congresswoman A.O.C. and her… wait for it… fellow congresswomen of color, that they “go back to where you came from”.  Of course, they all came from here, from the America of made-up racial and ethnic “identities”.  All from mono-chromatic worlds.  Fake worlds, with flags from other places that are meant to impart some sense of false nationality, irrelevant to the place in which they actually live.  But fly them they do, in these make-pretend “colonies” that unwind and break-up as those within them meet, fall-in-love with, and are absorbed by the real place, by the nation that is, by America.

But as Steinberg fumes and pouts, it is funny to remember that – once upon a time – America really did send people “back where you came from”.  And for the most part, they could in no way be described as “people of color”.  Most of these people where Nazis, war criminals, and America was more than happy to use the words “go back to where you came from”.  Wikipedia notes:   

“According to a February 2, 2011 release from the United States Department of Justice, since 1979, the federal government has stripped 107 people of citizenship for alleged involvement in war crimes committed during World War II through the efforts of the Office of Special Investigations (OSI).  An unabridged 600-page Justice Department report obtained by The New York Times in 2010 stated, ‘More than 300 Nazi persecutors have been deported, stripped of citizenship or blocked from entering the United States since the creation of the O.S.I.’ The Los Angeles Times reported in 2008 that five such denaturalized men could not be deported as no country would accept them, and that four others had died while in the same situation.”

One wonders:  With Governor Murphy’s Sanctuary State directives and the unwillingness by many Democrats to in any way question an asylum seeker’s claims, how many sometime war criminals (or just plain violent criminals) will we be holding similar proceedings on some decades from now?  Stay tuned…

Before sexualizing children. Why not have a debate?

By Rubashov

Is it the ACLU’s fault?  Or is it the people who fund them who have changed? 

We all remember how the ACLU stood up for Freedom of Speech – even when it meant protecting that freedom for people with whom they had absolutely no sympathy.   It was the ACLU who famously set the parameters of First Amendment protections in the 1970’s, when the organization defended the right of the American Nazi Party to march through Skokie, Illinois, a town chosen by the Nazis for its ethnic and religious make-up.  Placing their loathing of the Nazis aside, the ACLU stood with the American Bill of Rights to argue that the Nazis had the right to transgressive speech – the right to knowingly offend. 

Of course, transgressive speech is the very foundation of comedy, and there was some wisdom in the suggestion that we laugh at the Nazis, their silly uniforms, and that flag.  Better to laugh at them, to tolerate them, than to become them, so the wisdom went. 

But times have changed.

The ACLU is under pressure from the people who fund it, from its donor class, as are politicians from all parties and persuasions.  There is a new public religion and it is in the process of driving out its competition from the public square.

And just as transubstantiation demands that its believers accept that bread and wine is changed into flesh and blood, so in this new religion, a person with a penis can be made woman.  It is mystical, faith-based, beyond debate or reason.  It is religion.

Central to this new religion is a persecution myth.  Just as the early Christians had their martyrs and their festivals of remembrance, this new religion has its Stonewall, its AIDS epidemic, its accounts of martyrdom.  The carnality of it – the sex – is all scrubbed from the accounts.  The public face of this new religion is Neo-Victorian in its use of language – “No Sex, please” – this is all about “Love”.

Proselytizing to children is central to all religions, but especially so to groups who make the oppression of the faith central to their ideology.  This was so with Jim Jones, David Koresh, the “Children of God” cult, and many others.  Did they not all operate under the banner that children be sexualized at the earliest possible moment?  Did they not preach endlessly about “Love”?  That “Love is the Answer”, “Love is Love”? 

Sex is as addictive as tobacco and like the sellers of cigarettes (or narcotics) they like to get them while they’re young.  So they come for the children.  Public libraries host “drag queen story hours” for little children, with readings by folks with names like “Lil Miss Hot Mess”.  Isn’t “hot” an explicitly sexual term?  School curriculums now include such varied activities as “condom races” – in which 10 and 11 year-old girls compete to be the first to put a condom on a model of an erect adult male penis.  All watched by their male classmates.  Magazines like Teen Vogue – specifically marketed to children – argue that prostitution is just a job, work like any other, with no moral or psychological concerns whatsoever. 

This is all part of this new public religion.  So a new law, signed by Governor Phil Murphy, mandates the teaching of people from history based on how their alleged sexual practices conform to one of a series of letters (LGBTQ…).  It’s a rather shallow way to teach, for how can the endless ways in which human beings order their lives really be bound and categorized by a half dozen letters – or indeed, a thousand? 

Within the last few days, a School Trustee in Hackensack had the temerity to express an opinion on the new mandate that failed to conform to the new public religion.  In response, Garden State Equality (GSE) – the “LGBTQ” equivalent of Hezbollah – went all jihadist on the trustee, demanding that she be forced into submission or made to resign and shunned thereafter. 

An email from GSE made it clear that they weren’t stopping with her:  “It’s imperative that each and every education official across New Jersey understands that our curriculum law must be faithfully implemented.”  Each and every.  There is no place for religious dissent. 

A GSE supporter reached out and noted that the trustee in question used the term “repugnant” to describe “the LGBTQ lifestyle.”  The term is generally used when describing something that the user finds “distasteful” or that the user is “incompatible” with.  It must be noted that many of our fellow human beings do find such sexual practices as oral or anal sex “distasteful” and that they are “incompatible” with same. 

We are not speaking here for Phil and Tammy Murphy, or Valerie Vainieri Huttle, or Jim Tedesco, or Gordon Johnson, or Loretta Weinberg, or indeed for the other politicians who have condemned the use of the term “repugnant.”  What they find “tasteful”, what they are “compatible” with, what their appetites bend towards is entirely their business.  And we would defend their endorsement of oral or anal sex as much as we defend the right of others not to enjoy such things.  Whatever floats your boat, as they say. 

But expressing one’s sexual preferences, one’s choice, is not welcome by the new “public” religion.  Blank conformity is what is expected.  Every public statement, written or spoken must conform.  The new religion allows no public expression of older religions.  All must conform… or they will be made to conform. 

Having gained significant cadres amongst elites in government, the media, in education, and with One-Percenters who control the corporate world, the new religion is attempting a top-down takeover of the public square – bullying out older religions, forcing compliance and general conformity of expressed opinion.  They seem to forget that Americans are contrarian by nature.  Nonconformity is the way with us and we will continue to practice it, even while being oppressed and punished for doing so. 

Of course, this is another reason why they want our children.  But then they forget that generations of Soviet indoctrination did not extinguish the seed of traditional faith in Russia or in Eastern Europe. 

This is an interesting topic that should be debated openly and honestly.  Instead, jihadists like Garden State Equality are concerned only with bullying and banning public dissent.  They don’t care if people dishonestly mouth those allowed saccharine platitudes, so long as they mouth them.

Instead of punishing questioning minds, why not debate them?  Before we allow government – in service of the new public religion – to continue to sexualize children, why not have an open and honest debate on the subject? 

Maybe a group like the Center for Garden State Families or the New Jersey Family Policy Council will set up a series of open discussions on the Murphy administration’s sexualization of young children.  Then they can invite folks like Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle to explain what they like and don’t like – and how they came to embrace the new religion (HINT: Check their campaign finance reports, and you will know why).

Before the Murphy Democrats force one more unfunded mandate on the property taxpayers of New Jersey… have an open and honest debate about their need to sexualize children.

Garden State Equality tries to muzzle concerns about sexualizing children

By Rubashov

Two recent events offer a contrast in different religious outlooks.  On the one hand, we have the Mayor of Hoboken.  On the other, a School Board Trustee in Hackensack.  Both made comments about the beliefs of others.

In April, the Mayor of Hoboken used the phrase “hateful rhetoric” to describe the display of a bible verse at a peaceful demonstration to protest the efforts by self-described “drag queens” to introduce children as young as three to their belief system.  Not to be outdone, the Hudson County Democratic Organization LGBTQ Caucus attacked the Roman Catholic group that organized the protest, calling their beliefs “a hateful and discriminatory ideology.”

Now you can bet that neither the Mayor or the LGBTQ Caucus would have had the guts to attack the verses from a different religious book – say, the Koran – with quite the same viciousness.  And yet, the respective books of Christians, Jews, and Muslims all lay down the same prohibitions in these matters.  They are all “People of the Book”. 

A few years ago, a very few, there was a general consensus about all those marketing categories represented by all those letters.  Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama… they all opposed things like same-sex marriage.  That was until the day before yesterday, when our masters suddenly switched and embraced all that they once opposed.  We are experiencing something like the confusion Rome found itself in when, towards its end, the Emperor decided to ditch the old Roman gods and ordered his people to embrace Christianity.  The old ways were still practiced in private, but in public, it became more and more necessary to conform to the “new” religion.   

Some call this “progress” but others, with a longer historical perspective, can draw parallels that mark it a new paganism.  Whatever it is, it is certainly faith-based, resistant to science and debate. 

Whether this is our new “public” religion, or simply a pseudo-religious cult, all the elements are there.  Proselytizing to children is a part of all religious groups who make the oppression of the cult central to their ideology.  This was so with Jim Jones, David Koresh, the “Children of God” cult, and many others.  Did they not all operate under the banner that children be sexualized at the earliest possible moment?  Did they not preach endlessly about “Love”?  That “Love is the Answer”, “Love is Love”?   

Sex is as addictive as tobacco and like the sellers of cigarettes (or narcotics) they like to get them while they’re young.  So they come for the children.  Public libraries host “drag queen story hours” for little children, with readings by folks with names like “Lil Miss Hot Mess”.  Isn’t “hot” an explicitly sexual term?  School curriculums now include such varied activities as “condom races” – in which 10 and 11 year-old girls compete to be the first to put a condom on a model of an erect adult male penis.  All watched by their male classmates.  Magazines like Teen Vogue – specifically marketed to children – argue that prostitution is just a job, work like any other, with no moral or psychological concerns whatsoever. 

This is all part of our “new” public religion.  So a new law, signed by Democrat Governor Phil Murphy, mandates the teaching of people from history based on how their alleged sexual practices conform to one of a series of letters in the marketing code of our “new” public religion.  It’s a rather shallow way to teach, for how can the endless ways in which human beings order their lives really be bound and categorized by a half dozen letters – or indeed, a thousand? 

Within the last few days, a School Trustee in Hackensack had the temerity to express an opinion on the new mandate that failed to conform to the new public religion.  In response, Garden State Equality (GSE) – the “LGBTQ” equivalent of Hezbollah – went all jihadist on the trustee, demanding that she be forced into submission or made to resign and shunned thereafter. 

An email from GSE made it clear that they weren’t stopping with her:  “It’s imperative that each and every education official across New Jersey understands that our curriculum law must be faithfully implemented.”  Each and every.  There is no place for religious dissent. 

This is the new “public” religion and it allows no public expression of older religions.  All must conform.  Such “conformity” rubs those of us, like your humble scribe Rubashov, the wrong way.  They can stick their conformity. 

If you are interested in standing up for the American Bill of Rights, Free Speech, Religious Liberty… or if you just want to tell our new masters to shove their conformity, you can do so TOMORROW.

GSE has called for an all-out jihad.  On Tuesday, June 25th, at 7:30pm, you can show up to the Hackensack City Council Meeting at Hackensack City Hall, 65 Central Avenue, on the 3rd floor.  Perhaps there will be an honest and open discussion on free speech and the new conformity?  Instead of dishonest conformity – the child of oppression – maybe GSE will embrace the diversity that is not confined by a mere handful of letters?  Will they embrace the common humanity that they share even with those who do not “celebrate” their beliefs?

Maybe… but it will be a snapshot of at what stage we are in the hegemony of our new public religion.  It should make for an interesting spectacle. 

If you want to contact the Hackensack City Council, you can do so by following the links on this page…

http://www.hackensack.org/content/6819/7221/7772/default.aspx

Ever hear of Rose Cleveland? You are about to.

By Rubashov

Billionaire Jeff Bezos is one of our new masters.  A global master.

Bezos owns Amazon.com, with its tentacles of business interests, and he owns mass media outlets like the Washington Post.  Jeff Bezos is an adherent of that modern preoccupation – the sex lives of other people. 

Of course, sex has always been an important tool for those trying to sell us something, but never has it been made so central to how we define ourselves.  As some borders go down, others go up, and the most ubiquitous border between us today is the one that tells us we are what we screw

Based on what you do to who, and how you do it, you will receive a marketing designation – in the form of a letter – and you will, from henceforth on, be defined by that letter primarily, and all the rest of you will be dragged along behind it.  

This is how marketers work.  This is how they sell you things and, more importantly, it is how they manipulate you into believing that you need to buy those things. 

But can the endless ways in which human beings order their lives really be bound and categorized by a half dozen letters – or indeed, a thousand?  And that is not the end of it.  The marketers  demand that we embrace their designation that they assign to us, as something springing from within us, in our blood and inescapable.  We are who they say we are… forever. 

And death offers no escape.  Rather like the Mormons, with their fondness for converting the dead, the marketers are intent on assigning designations to those who are past caring.  It’s a marketing tool to be used on those who are. 

And then we have the middlemen.  Those self-described “leaders” who set themselves up to speak for this letter or that – or indeed, a collection of letters.  They act as a kind of herdsmen, whippers-in, to corral and then to assign interests and behaviors.  “We are your leaders,” they tell us, “We know what you want.” 

And who thinks to question them?  We are sent to our silo, designated by a letter, and then piled in like so many ears of corn.  We need do nothing more.  Others will speak in our name. 

Quiet, in our designated silos, we will know what to buy, how to think, what to feel.  We will be “targeted” by marketing and do what is expected of us.  Ideally, we will forget that we were once human and with endless meaning, a multitude of possibilities.  We will be a letter – for their convenience.

Cheap politicians are always looking for a short-cut.  They love middlemen.  Why deal with many when you can deal with one?  So the middlemen are thus confirmed to speak for who they say they speak for.  And if there is a certain emptiness in what is done in our name, who is to know it? 

There is a pseudo-religious aspect to all this – in that it is based on faith, resistant to science and debate.  You accept it or you do not.  You are either good or you are bad.  If good, you are always good, good in all things, one of the Elect.  And if bad, then there is no hope for you, we should have nothing to do with you.

As with many pseudo-religions, it becomes all about the children.  Jim Jones, David Koresh, the “Children of God” cult… Did they not all operate under the banner than children be sexualized at the earliest possible moment?  Did they not preach endlessly about “Love”?  That “Love is the Answer”, “Love is Love”? 

And so they come for the children.  The marketers, their middlemen, the herders and stockers of silos.  And the cheap politicians hand over the children to them.  Sex is as addictive as tobacco and like the sellers of cigarettes (or narcotics) they like to get them while they’re young.

And so we have Rose Cleveland, sister to President Grover Cleveland., who served as a kind of “First Lady” to her bachelor brother.  A footnote in history… until now.  With the school curriculum in states like New Jersey mandating the teaching of people from history based on their alleged sexual practices (because, being dead, we cannot ask them), we can expect Rose Cleveland to become a household word.  As Jeff Bezos’ house organ called her – this “gay first lady” – should easily surpass her brother in pride of place in the textbooks.  After all, he was just the twice elected President of the United States, the only holder of that office to get elected, defeated, and then re-elected.  But what is that compared to allegedly having been gay? 

A long-ago President, the once-upon-a-time affairs of state, those are the real footnotes.  Such past things have no utility to the marketers.  But a lesson to living children in the here-and-now, to embrace a category chosen for them, to adopt a silo and pliantly comply, now that has a practical utility for the marketers. 

And so we are on the threshold of a new great forgetting.  When marketing removes the need for personal experience and pseudo-religion takes the place of knowledge.  Who needs the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights… when we have Rose Cleveland’s love letters? 

Study hard, children.  Be sure to get an “A”.  

Will S-1500 force Sen. Singleton to resign from his job?

New Jersey Democrats are in the process of making a pig’s breakfast of efforts to reform the use of “dark money” to influence elections, as well as the operations and processes of government.  Legislation proposed by Senator Troy Singleton (D-07) seeks to require “disclosure by independent expenditure committees; raises certain campaign contribution limits; repeals ban on certain intraparty fund transfers.”  The Bill is S-1500.

We strongly support full disclosure and are great fans of groups like Common Cause and RepresentUS, which campaign for transparency and honest government.  That said, along with open government comes the need to enforce laws against those vigilantes who use the data from such to harass and harm those who chose to financially support a political candidate or committee. 

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that making a political contribution to a candidate of your choice is a form of free speech – protected by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.  Disclosure should not be a means by which thugs can target the homes, families, and employment of individuals who exercise that right.  From the NAACP seeking to protect its donors from southern KKK groups to Christian groups seeking the same protection from wealthy LGBT activists, disclosure will soon lose its popular support if it becomes a means to vengeance or violence. 

Particularly as some Democrats are seeking to recruit and politicize the actual criminal class (including violent criminals), S-1500 should include tough sanctions to protect the free expression of political choice.  And this is just as important for Democrat Party primaries as it is for General Elections, if you get our drift… so don’t cut your own nuts off just to spite someone else.

S-1500 amends existing law to increase campaign contribution limits, but neglects to address the glaring deficiencies in the rules enforced by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJELEC).  Take this portion of the bill as a for instance:

“No individual, other than an individual who is a candidate, no corporation of any kind organized and incorporated under the laws of this State or any other state or any country other than the United States, no labor organization of any kind which exists or is constituted for the purpose, in whole or in part, of collective bargaining, or of dealing with employers concerning the grievances, terms or conditions of employment, or of other mutual aid or protection in connection with employment, or any group shall: (1) pay or make any contribution of money or other thing of value to a candidate who has established only a candidate committee, his campaign treasurer, deputy campaign treasurer or candidate committee which in the aggregate exceeds [$2,600] $3,000 per election… No candidate who has established only a candidate committee, his campaign treasurer, deputy campaign treasurer or candidate committee shall knowingly accept from an individual, other than an individual who is a candidate, a corporation of any kind organized and incorporated under the laws of this State or any other state or any country other than the United States, a labor organization of any kind which exists or is constituted for the purpose, in whole or in part, of collective bargaining, or of dealing with employers concerning the grievances, terms or conditions of employment, or of other mutual aid or protection in connection with employment, or any group any contribution of money or other thing of value which in the aggregate exceeds [$2,600] $3,000 per election…”

Why is it a bigger deal for a labor union to contribute $3,001 to a candidate or incumbent, but no big deal to throw a six-figure job, benefits, and a pension at him?  Because that’s what is being done.

Let’s look at the case of Senator Troy Singleton as an example.  On his personal financial disclosure statement covering 2017 (the latest available), the Senator lists that he was paid in excess of $50,000 by the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters.  This was the largest portion of his income.  His personal financial disclosure statements (2011-2016) all list the same source of income.  

And it’s not like Singleton was a union carpenter who worked his way up through the ranks and was rewarded by his brothers and sisters.  Singleton was a political operative a lieutenant in the regime of south Jersey political boss George Norcross.  Singleton worked for Norcross captain Joe Roberts, a Camden County Assemblyman who was made Speaker of that chamber.  His hiring was a straight political act.

So let’s get serious.  If you want to take out the corruption, dry up the money, stop ignoring the elephant in the room. 

But hey, if you are looking to put out press releases that congratulates yourself on some bullshit tweak that will go the same way as all the other bullshit tweaks… well, this is the kind of legislation that will accomplish that.  Just like old Joe Roberts’ “Clean Elections” b.s. of more than a decade ago.  Yep, old Joe was so committed to the people of New Jersey, that the moment he retired he got out of the crap hole he helped to create and moved to a low tax Red State.  Joe Roberts might be a hypocrite, but he was no fool.

The Democrat Party vendor blog, InsiderNJ, recently reported that Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-03) was in support of S-1500.  This is curious, given his own sources of income.  In an ethics case from 2013, documents from the United States Labor Department were entered into the record, stating the following:

“As Senate President, Steve Sweeney is paid $49,000 per year, plus an “allowance equal to 1/3 his compensation” ($16,333) for a total of $65,333.

Steve Sweeney is also an official with the Iron Workers union.  As a general organizer paid through the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, AFL-CIO, Sweeney received a base salary of $165,264 in 2012.  In addition to his base salary, Sweeney also received compensation in the form of allowances and disbursements for expenses. His total compensation through the International in 2012 was $206,092.

In addition, Sweeney received allowances of $21,351 as President of Iron Workers District Council of Philadelphia and Vicinity. In 2012, Sweeney's total compensation through the Iron Workers was $227,443.

The Department of Labor requires public disclosure by labor unions of how union dues are spent.  These disclosures list union employees, their salaries and allowances.  The disclosure also includes the allocation of time by union officers and employees estimating the amount of time spent on various activities such as organizing or administration.  One of the purposes of this disclosure is to show how much the union has spent on its core activities: collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment.  Non-members working in a union environment are obligated to pay dues, but only to support these core activities.

According to disclosure filings by the International, Sweeney spends a considerable amount of his time as a union official on activities described as ‘Political Activities and Lobbying.’ (LM-2, Schedule 12, Disbursements to Employees, Line I, Schedule 16)

What political activities did he engage in and on behalf of which candidates and causes? The explanation offered as part of the disclosure describes political activity as ‘to influence the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of anyone to a Federal, state, or local executive, legislative or judicial public office, or office in a political organization, or the election of Presidential or Vice Presidential electors, and support for or opposition to ballot referenda.’ (Instructions for Form LM-2 Labor Organization Annual Report, page 27)

Lobbying is described as ‘associated with dealing with the executive and legislative branches of the Federal, state, and local governments and with independent agencies and staffs to advance the passage or defeat of existing or potential laws or the promulgation or any other action with respect to rules or regulations (including litigation expenses).’ 

Senator Sweeney is not registered as a lobbyist with the United States Senate or House of Representatives.  He is not a registered lobbyist in Pennsylvania.  The union that pays Sweeney's salary does not use outside lobbyists.  Instead, it uses an employee as its primary lobbyist – registered with both the House and Senate.  It is interesting to note that the primary lobbyist in Washington allocates only 50% of his time to political activity and lobbying.

New Jersey state law does not appear to allow legislators to simultaneously serve as lobbyists. 

Questions concerning Senator Sweeney's political activity and lobbying for the Iron Workers union become a more serious matter when the amount of time allocated to these activities is noted.  Calculating the value of that allocation as a portion of Sweeney's compensation adds further emphasis. 

Sweeney spent 30% of his union effort in 2012 on political activity and lobbying.  In 2011 and 2010, the amount was 38%.  In 2009, the amount was 34%.  There is no indication of the actual amount of time Sweeney devoted to these activities, only the proportion of the whole.

Placing dollar amounts on Sweeney's activity helps put matters into an easily understandable form.  In 2012, Sweeney's gross pay was $165,264, and his total compensation was $227,443.  In simple terms, Sweeney was paid $49,579 of his gross, or $68,233 of his total compensation, to engage in political activity and lobbying for the union.  In 2011, Sweeney was paid $62,141 of his total compensation for political activity and lobbying.  In 2010, $58,377, and in 2009, $56,669.”

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In Senator Sweeney’s defense, it must be said that he started his career as a blue collar man.  Sweeney was an actual ironworker, served his apprenticeship and earned his way.  He wasn’t a fake like Troy Singleton.

As for the ethics complaint.  It was brought before the New Jersey State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Ethical Standards, that august body where ethics goes to die.  They duly heard the complaint, killed a few chickens, and closely examined the entrails… before the Norcross lieutenant who chaired the committee delivered a lecture to the complainant about daring to bring such affronts before them.  Don’t you know man, this is New Jersey!

And it’s not just these guys.  Most of the Democrats in the New Jersey Legislature are in hock to some machine, serving some master, living off pay checks courtesy of some regime.  Do they recuse themselves when presented with a conflict of self-interest?  Of course not!  That’s why they are there.  People like Senator Nick Sacco (with three public jobs and collecting a public pension) and Teresa Ruiz (two public jobs, with a third for her spouse) routinely vote on legislation that directly benefits the political machines that pay them.  That’s why they are there.

David Goodman, a spokesperson for Represent New Jersey, recently had this to say about political reform in New Jersey:  “Partisan Gerrymandering serves to strengthen the forces and effectiveness of dark money.  What it really amounts to is rigging elections—politicians prioritizing big donors to get elected, and then redrawing their districts to stay in office. They are picking their voters, instead of the other way around.”

He noted that just a month ago, Represent New Jersey alongside coalition partners, like the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, organized the fight against the partisan gerrymandering bills with action alerts, countless calls to legislators, impromptu hallway lobbying and in-person advocacy at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Facing massive grassroots pressure, the Senate President and Assembly Speaker pulled the amendment.  RepresentUs members showed that this movement is ready to fight against corruption by those in power—regardless of party affiliation.

Goodman says he is excited that the state Senate is holding hearings on S-1500, on January 17th.   He should temper that excitement with realism and know that they are playing him and RepresentUS.  And that’s okay, so long as he knows, and then uses that knowledge to turn it around… and play them.