Bill Hayden calls on taxpayers to Recall Gov. Murphy

Conservative leader Bill Hayden makes the point that “New Jersey is Not Lost!”

Hayden is the President of the Skylands Tea Party and is active with a number of other conservative and Second Amendment groups around New Jersey.  Hayden recently made these points about the Garden State and the Governor whose controversial policies and new taxes have added to its woes:

While things in the Garden State look bleak with Phil Murphy at the helm, there is light at the end of the tunnel!! 

How we ended up with Governor Murphy is a mystery, as he promised a sanctuary state, 2nd Amendment rights trampled, higher taxes, and all the other misery he has brought.
But the adage, for every action there is an reaction is still true!!!!
New Jersey is waking and we can all be part of the movement to take back the state. 

Hayden urged fed-up taxpayers and freedom-loving citizens to join the Recall Gov. Murphy effort and volunteer by following these links…

https://m.facebook.com/RecallPhilMurphy/

https://helpsavenj.com/

Hayden added:  “Please if you can, join in the efforts and let’s not only rid us of this scourge, called Governor Murphy and the Democrats, but restore sanity to public office.”

Meanwhile, here is a fascinating video on the forces behind the “new” Democrats that now occupy Congress…

Regina Egea: Why can’t NJ do what Massachusetts did?

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Regina Egea is one of the smartest thinkers on public policy in New Jersey.  An M.B.A., former AT&T executive, state Treasury Department official, and Governor’s Chief of Staff – Egea also served in local government as a Deputy Mayor and School Board Member.  As President of the Garden State Initiative, she is collecting the data, studying the issues, and coming up with solutions to New Jersey’s most pressing fiscal concerns.

For New Jersey Republicans, she’s a breath of fresh air in a political culture too often dominated by stale thinking.  If the NJGOP wants to seriously contest for power again, it will be folks like Regina Egea who will provide the policy prescriptions that will inform the narrative on why Republicans should be elected.

Egea recently wrote:  “It is clear that we are at our ‘fork in the road’ in New Jersey and there’s a clear path to improve our economy. Massachusetts decided a generation ago to shed its ‘Taxachussetts’ label and cut its taxes by 25% between 1977 and 2014 while growing its economy and maintaining a public school system at the top of national rankings at a lower cost per pupil than New Jersey… we need leadership now willing to make the necessary reforms to reduce spending in Trenton and throughout New Jersey governments before ‘it’s over.’”

Below are excerpts from Regina Egea’s op-ed published yesterday in the Star-Ledger and on NJ.com:

“New Jersey… is losing income tax revenue. Using 2015-16 IRS data, the Bank of America analysis indicates that high tax states – such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California – are currently experiencing a net loss of high income earners (defined by the Internal Revenue Service). Florida, which has no state income tax, experienced a net gain of over $17 billion in income between 2015 and 2016… In this same time period, New Jersey experienced a loss of approximately $3 billion.”

“The research firm Wealth X reported New Jersey lost 5,700 people with liquid assets between $1 million-$30 million in 2018 – and that’s before the implications of the state and local tax (SALT) cap on federal taxes have truly been felt.”

“The Bank of America also references a February TheHill.com article citing U.S. Census data that states growing in population are usually ‘the same states with lower tax and regulatory burdens, lower government debt and greater transparency and accountability for government spending.’”

“Ironically, New Jersey is turning being home to a relatively high number of ‘millionaires’ into a strategic vulnerability. The top 2 percent of all N.J. income tax filers (who make more than $500,000 per year) account for over 40 percent of all income tax revenue to the state. Since close to 40 percent of state revenues are from personal income taxes, that means more than a third of all state revenues come from the top 1 percent of residents. Increasing dependence on revenue from this group exacerbates our vulnerability. An individual loss in this income category reverberates throughout the state.”

“Now we’re at New Jersey’s ‘Fork in the Road.’ An example of one alternate path is just up I-95 in Massachusetts, where the highest marginal personal income tax rate is just 5 percent, compared to New Jersey where the rate is 10.75 percent (third-highest in the nation). Our second highest in the nation corporate income tax rate of 11.5 percent will inevitably lead to market share loss to not just Massachusetts’ 8 percent rate but other attractive states like North Carolina’s 2.5 percent rate, which helped to lure Honeywell from New Jersey.”

“Massachusetts solidly outflanks the Garden State when it comes to property taxes ($37 versus $51 per $1,000 of personal income) as well as the size of public workforces: theirs is 8 percent smaller than New Jersey.  And Massachusetts, whose annual K-12 education performance closely rivals New Jersey’s, spends nearly 20 percent less on a per pupil basis.”

To read Regina Egea’s entire op-ed, click the link below:

https://www.nj.com/opinion/2019/04/nj-is-at-a-fork-in-the-road-policy-group-says-its-time-to-take-the-less-taxing-path.html

For more information on the Garden State Initiative, explore their website:

https://www.gardenstateinitiative.org/

The hidden power we have to take back our schools.

By Gay Brandeal

Just supposing that you are confused or discouraged about a recent decision made in a NJ school system which affects your child’s safety or constitutional rights. Perhaps, it is concerning gender bathroom rules, the imposition of religious practices during a school day or did you read about the ability of many high school students to unblock sites which the school has deemed unacceptable on those daily used Chromebooks? What should one do? Well, there is the well-placed phone call to the superintendent, principal or teacher regarding the concern and an email to the board of education president as well asking some pointed questions regarding the point of disagreement. But can a parent do more? And speaking of the board of education do you know much about the state system which is in place for electing board members in NJ? The law states that every third Tuesday in April or during the fall general election (which is held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November) there should be an annual school board election. The purpose of this election is to submit a proposal to voters for the approval of additional funds, for electing board members or for other educational purposes or immediate needs for the coming year. All school elections are held by ballot and should be conducted in the same manner as a general election. Certain specific laws govern the withdrawal of a candidate’s name prior to an election. Names are drawn by the secretary to the board of education following the last day for filing and are positioned on the ballot in the order drawn. No political party designation should accompany the name of that individual running for the board.

But Alas! Here is the new law (S868) which may influence your decision to run for your local school board. No more than a one to three word designation summarizing a theme on which bracketed candidates could choose to run is now allowed as of 2019. For example, if Mrs. Jones, Mr. Ortega and Ms. Patel are all concerned about the safety of their school aged children they may be bracketed as “Safety First” candidates during the local school board election. Having circulated a petition summarizing their focus the candidates provide voters with information on certain issues. They would vote as a block in the coming decisions therefore providing more strength for that stand. The names of those “bracketed” together after a petition had been circulated gathering the names would appear together although the order on the ballot would be chosen by the bracketed group not the board secretary.

Serving on the school board requires a strong desire to provide the best education for local children. The study of issues, dedicated time, teamwork, knowledge of the law and people skills should be pre requisites for certain. Hopefully, people of integrity with motives to protect children and improve the educational milieu would be interested in serving. Consider for a moment the decisions which consistently lie in the hands of NJ board of education members in various cities and towns in the Garden State. In recent years LGBTQ rights as well as Chromebook safety issues have arisen in our state as well as questions about mandated religious practices being allowed within the school day. It is the local Board of Education members who wield the power to decide what will or will not be allowed in that particular school system. Should there be less revisionist history allowed or what bathroom and locker room rules will be altered to meet the perceived rights of a small group of students? What actually  happens to those Chromebooks at the end of the school year? How well are they scrubbed and can someone still hack into your child’s personal information from the previous year? What policies on bullying and discipline are put into practice and what power does the principal or superintendent really have to enforce them?? The board of education is in charge. The board closely monitors the use and distribution of monies and adopts curriculum changes which can completely alter what and how children are taught. Many parents and guardians are discouraged, confused or absolutely dissatisfied with their local public school system. Many are completely thrilled and are pleased at how their child’s academic and social needs are being met. Whatever your opinion is about the quality of your local schools be aware that the real power resides in the decisions made by your board of education members. It is this powerful board which initiates or stops new programs and policies which inevitably affect your child. Consider your desire to provide your child with the best public education possible in NJ and ponder whether you or a family member or friend would be an asset to the local board of education. Then consider what common ideas could be the foundation of those who are bracketed together with shared values. Is your child’s academic future worth the investment of your time and talent by running for your local board of education? Only you can answer.  

Visit www.njsba.org/candidacy for more information.

Gay Brandeal is a retired New Jersey educator from Morris County.

The Hugin campaign would have done better in a Democrat primary.

Bob Hugin is a great guy.  Really.  He’s a good and decent man.  It was unfortunate that he found himself in a Republican primary… this year.  The fact that he persevered with such confidence and grace makes him a heroic, somewhat tragic, figure.  

Bob Hugin could have run in the Democrat primary.  $35 million… against Bob Menendez?  Hugin had the issues right for a Democrat primary… and the media wouldn’t have pounced on a Democrat Bob Hugin the way they did a Republican Bob Hugin.  The media love rich members of the One Percent when they are Democrats (it is a capital sin when you are a Republican)… they love woke, right-on pharma folk of the proper political affiliation.  They would have forgiven him everything.

But Bob ran as a Republican, and he ran this year.  A year when the media he wanted to appeal to was working to nationalize the election – to make it about Trump.  That media ended up vouching for Bob Menendez, despite having formerly called for his resignation. That media still cuts it with the people who Bob Hugin wanted to convince:  Democrats and liberal-leaners.   

Rather than shutting down Menendez, Hugin’s attacks were used by the media as evidence that he – Bob Hugin – was a “bad” man.  Of course, this only works with those who are open to receiving a message from the likes of Tom Moran and MSNBC.  Unfortunately, they were precisely the voters that the Hugin campaign was aimed at. 

Can we put aside the myth that Republican voters will come out no matter what, and dutifully vote Republican?  That myth should have finally, once and for all, been discarded after the low turnout Assembly races in 2015, when Republicans AGAIN lost seats in the Legislature and were AGAIN provided with irrelevant excuses for having done so. 

Oh the excuses!  One year it is Christie’s fault, the next it is Trump’s, and in between, the dog ate it!  New Jersey Republicans should set up their own public relations firm specializing in excuse-making.  Excuses aside, New Jersey’s GOP establishment should understand that the days of Republicans “holding their noses” and voting are over.

Republican voters are like anyone else.  Ignore them, say you are embarrassed to be with them, that you are “different” from them… and they will reward you in kind.  As an experiment, try some of that language next time you are in public with your wife and her family (or your husband and his).  Invite them out to a restaurant, then tell the host:  “I’m a different kind of member of this family, I’m not really one of them… They are a little, umm… backward.”  And say it so they hear it.  Say it loud, like ten million dollars’ worth of loud, and see how they like it.  Go ahead, try it.  Get back to us on it.

And that’s what the whole Hugin campaign was based on, wasn’t it?

“I’m a different kind of Republican.”  They are a little backward, a little off, but I’m with it.  I am a cool Republican.  Except that there are no “cool” Republicans.  Not in the minds of the media.  They only thought John McCain was cool when he was pissing on Bush.  The moment it became about him and Obama, John McCain became a troglodyte in the minds of the media.  After the dust settled, he became cool again, especially when pissing on other Republicans… especially when pissing on Trump.  But when he needed them, the media screwed John McCain.  So why even bother with them?

President Ronald Reagan understood the media (and they were a lot more condensed, more centralized, and a lot stronger back then).  That’s why he talked past them – to the people.  He didn’t give a damn about their approval.  He fed them the diet he wanted them to eat and even when they shit it out it contained the kernels of his message.  Reagan wasn’t afraid to be a Republican and to explain what that meant.  He had a message that he tested and honed by human contact – by speaking to people, engaging them, listening for the examples that would be used in his speeches, turning them on to his way of thinking, building a movement of ideas and about issues that mattered to people.

How many Republicans today, in New Jersey, can explain why they are Republicans or what Republicanism is?  At the big Republican show put on by the NJGOP last spring in Atlantic City, two professional Republican organizers up from Washington, DC, posed the same questions to attendees.  Not only was there no apparent theme or connectivity between the responses, even the organizers couldn’t adequately provide reasons or an explanation as to why they were there in the first place.  It was kind of sad.

What that confab did showcase, however, is the top-down meddling that has become the hallmark of the establishment in New Jersey, with a congressional candidate in a contested primary receiving top billing as the event’s featured speaker.  Yes, there was resource-draining meddling in districts 2, 5, and 11 – in an effort to promote candidates who would fit seamlessly with the statewide message being promoted by the campaign of Bob Hugin.

Instead of building a grassroots coalition of Republicans and reformers – of the kind Ralph Nader wrote about in his book, Unstoppable – the Hugin campaign  actually determined that their best chance lay in targeting “soft” Democrats and culturally “left-leaning” independents.  But these are the very same voters open to arguments from left-leaning media like CNN, MSNBC, NJ.com, and the Bergen Record.  So when the Hugin campaign pushed a relentlessly negative message about Menendez, those “independent arbiters” pushed back and were listened to. 

This allowed the Menendez campaign to focus on making the link between Hugin and Trump – which the media backed up.  The more the media pressed, the more Hugin denied Trump, the more he suppressed his own base.  Meanwhile, the Hugin campaign went right on churning out GOTV communications and efforts to turn out those “soft” Democrats and culturally “left-leaning” independents who had by now been convinced by the media that Hugin was a “bad” man who was lying about Menendez.  Gagged and gagged again.

In the days and weeks ahead we will be taking a proper, in depth, examination of the Republican operation in the Garden State.  It will be a necessary, warts and all, detailed review.  So stay tuned.

For now, we will leave you with this: 

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  - Winston Churchill

200 pastors in Trenton yesterday: The GOP misses an opportunity.

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More than two hundred circles of influence came to Trenton yesterday.  They came to the State Capitol to pray for the Garden State and for the Nation.  More than two hundred leaders who – at least once a week – stand before hundreds of like-minded people at gatherings held across the state, in small towns and big cities, to help them navigate the important decisions in their lives.  More than two hundred leaders…

But who was there to engage with them?  To provide them with ideas and to hear their concerns?

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Who is ever there?  Instead, they are left in a kind of echo-chamber.  Left to figure it out on their own.  And if their own ways sound more fire and brimstone than politic – whose fault is that?  After All, they are clerical people not politicians, and if politicians won’t break bread with them, talk to them, they are left only to themselves.  They in their hundreds and their flocks in their thousands and tens of thousands. 

Hey, how is that GOP turnout coming?  Good?  Or screwed?

Will lessons never be learned?

Acres of diamonds.  Acres of diamonds.  It’s sad.