The GOP is the natural party of suburban New Jersey.

Matt Rooney is right.  The Democrats’ “unwillingness to end the redistribution of funds from the suburbs to failing urban schools remains the single biggest driver of our state’s nightmarish, neighborhood-killing property taxes.”

The Democrats could – and should – be challenged on their cruel insistence that economically distressed families in suburban and rural New Jersey be made to subsidize rich corporations and wealthy professionals in places like Jersey City and Hoboken.  The tax breaks with which urban Democrat bosses favor contributors to political campaigns are paid for with subsidies from struggling communities throughout New Jersey. 

There is more than enough corporate and professional money in urban New Jersey to cover the education of the children who live there.  If those interested parties were made responsible for the children of their communities the educational systems there would be subject to a greater degree of local oversight and on-the-spot scrutiny by those stakeholders.  Absent that, under the current system of subsidy from afar, those subsidized stakeholders are more than content to allow political corruption to flourish, just so long as they keep getting their discount. 

It is shameful for One Percenters like Phil Murphy, Steve Fulop, Lacey Rzeszowski, and Saily Avelenda to don their pussy hats and try to argue that their tax breaks are about “helping poor children”.  Not when their “philanthropy” is paid for by over-taxed, working class families trying to stay out of foreclosure. There is nothing LIBERAL about screwing over working class families to pay for propping-up corrupt urban political machines. 

As far back as the administration of Governor Jim McGreevey, the Democrats knew that half of the state’s economically disadvantaged children lived outside the over-funded urban Abbott school districts.  More than a decade has passed since the state Supreme Court issued its report on this – and NOTHING has been done to overturn the fundamental unfairness of the state’s system of funding education. 

Since the economic crash of 2008, suburban and rural poverty has grown in New Jersey and throughout the United States.  That’s what the liberal to centrist Brookings Institute has argued in their published studies.  Brookings’ experts also note that, since the 1960’s, most of the nation’s anti-poverty programs have been aimed at the cities.   

Rural and suburban New Jersey lack even the basic infrastructure to help get people back on their feet – on top of which local municipalities are robbed of the property taxes that could help with this.  Everything is taken from them – in the name of the urban poor – but for the use of the One Percent and the corporations they control. 

Corrupt urban political machines, corrupt vendors, rich corporations, and wealthy professionals all make out under the Abbott regime.  The genuinely poor remain trapped in schools that, for all the money spent per pupil, fail to educate their students or prepare them for the working world.  The kids are used as pawns, as an excuse, for the corruption and those getting rich from it.

More than a decade ago a prescient writer by the name of Paul Mulshine argued that the life of every child mattered and that the state needed to provide a uniform baseline of funding.  Instead, the Democrats have ensured that the money continues to miss those poor children living outside the Abbotts, while failing to help those living within the Abbotts. 

The question is, will those currently charged with leading New Jersey Republicans into their next battle recognize these stark facts starring them in the face?  Will they make use of them?  If not for their own political ambitions and those of their party – Republican leaders should be urged to do so on behalf of over-taxed working people, their children, and for the child pawns being used but not served.

New Jersey Republicans face extinction.  Their fighting prowess is minimal.  It has reached the point where any plausible Democrat candidate with a modicum of funding can expect to simply march in and take most of their remaining legislative seats.  Not in Northwest New Jersey mind you, where every Democrat on the ballot was just ruthlessly slaughtered and where the Democrat who challenged Senator Steve Oroho in 2017 lost her school board seat.  This is where the pussy hats run into a phalanx of flannel shirts (and those are the women!).  

In his column (, Matt Rooney raises the question of whether Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick is up to the task of fighting the Democrats next year.  Whether he is a “wartime consiglieri” or not.  We hope that he is, but at the present, he appears to be more concerned about how he is perceived within the “bubbles” of Trenton and Westfield (whose median income is double that of Sussex County). 

Assembly Leader Bramnick would do well to break out of this bubble.  “Bubble land” doesn’t understand America.  It is too rich, too privileged, too unconcerned with the basics of shelter and debt to worry about those who are.  Bubble land never understood the rise of Donald Trump.  Never got the levels of pain and disappointment that the eight gray years of Barack Obama brought to those working class people who voted for him in 2008.  They put it down to “racism” when it was really about the threat of foreclosure – of losing… everything.

We urge Jon Bramnick and the other leaders of the NJGOP to embark on an experiment in listening and learning.  Not the usual photo-op in Newark… go to where the new poverty is.  Visit a food pantry in what everyone thinks is a middle class town.  Watch the people who once had a good job, with benefits and a pension, but who now work three without.  Notice the high priced automobiles, now over a decade old.  Drive around and take note of the “for sale” signs.  Visit an encampment of working people who have lost their homes.

This isn’t a time for rallying around a corrupt Establishment that – uses poor people as an excuse to rape working people to make rich people richer.  No matter how you personally feel about the Democrats responsible, these are bad policies and they must be challenged.  The choice must be one of clear-blue-water between the parties.  Again, if not for your own political ambitions and those of your party, do it for the over-taxed working people, for their children, and for the child pawns being used but not served.

Matt Rooney makes the point very clearly:  “Taxpayers want an advocate… not a mediator.”  Amen.

Bill Maher takes down Jersey City’s political class

Last week, some self-described “liberal” politicos in Jersey City called for the removal from office of a fellow “liberal” politico because he posted a humorous photograph of a well-tanned, middle-aged, fat white man.  True, the man is wearing high-heels, but does it necessarily follow that he enjoys sex with other men? 

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The town of New Hope, in Pennsylvania, holds a yearly “drag race” in which participants of all sexes and sexual orientations race downhill wearing high heels and a vast array of other garments and accessories.  It doesn’t mean that the runners embrace same-sex marriage or are transvestites.  Likewise, the crowd cheering them on come from all walks of life and points of view.  It isn’t serious… it’s fun.

Like this guy…

Okay, different footwear, but is it really all about the shoes?  Do we need to check out the footwear before making a joke?

The Jersey City politicos channeled some serious neo-Victorian outrage, topped with neo-Puritan calls for public shaming and worse.  One of the pair, Mr. Michael Billy (of the LGBT Hudson Pride Center) claimed the fat man in the high heels was “transphobic, homophobic and misogynistic…”  That’s a mouthful.  We wonder if he could say that after he’s had a few?  Of course, he added this appeal for more taxpayers’ money… It is “a stark reminder of the ‘work’ still left for us to achieve.”

Mr. Billy added:  “Jersey City is the most diverse city in the nation with the largest LGBTQ+ population in the state," Billy said. "This post doesn't reflect our welcoming spirit.”

Naah, Jersey City is just an up-tight, stick-up-its-ass, kind of place – filled with a lot of modern day Mrs. Grundys.  It hasn’t  been all that LGBT long enough to be comfortable with it… the way so many, more mature towns, are.  Jersey City isn’t comfortable, so it isn’t cool… too prickly and looking to be offended to kick back and have a good time.  Too damned political to have a sense of humor.

Mr. Billy even let his armband show a bit when he suggested to the Jersey Journal that the politico who posted the picture of the fat man be made to “apologize and participate in cultural competency training.”  “Cultural competency training”??? Does Mr. Billy or his group get taxpayers’ dough to do that bullshit?  In a corrupt town like Jersey City, everybody who is anybody has got their own scam.

Another politico – Mr. Michael Maddalena – said the fat man was “homophobic and transphobic”.  He apparently forgot the “misogynistic”.  He demanded an apology or a resignation.  Ouch. 

Other, cooler places, places that have been “LGBT” since before there was anything called “LGBT” (back when it was just “gay” or “eccentric”), those places where everyone rubs along together and thinks of each other as dear neighbors and friends, those places don’t have all these hysterics.  That’s for the uncool and the uncomfortable… those who have something to prove and need to prove it every day.

The great New Yorker writer Joe Mitchell very lovingly wrote of Greenwich Village – back when it was poor and genuinely eccentric – that it was filled with all types of people, some outwardly quite ordinary, but that in its collective soul, “we are all freaks together.”  Jersey City, which subsidizes its rich at the expense of the state’s poor and middle class, will never get it.

But maybe this will help, courtesy of that genuine liberal, Bill Maher…

Jersey City blog to network with reform blogs across NJ

Take a look at this blog and see what it has accomplished already…

Real Jersey City editor Michael Shurin is a pro-freedom, pro-reform, anti-corruption crusader who doesn’t stop until the bad guys are in jail.

He’s becoming a role-model for citizen journalists throughout New Jersey.

We at Jersey Conservative are proud to be part of a growing network of citizen journalists from throughout the Garden State.  People of many different political perspectives understand that a corrupt process not only corrupts outcomes, but it ruins people’s faith in the integrity of what should be their government.  It not only suppresses voter participation – it destroys hope.

We will be working closely with Real Jersey City to expose the corruption there that every taxpayer in the state is subsidizing.  And we will examine how an intricate network of bi-partisan political deal making keeps the money flowing into Jersey City to the benefit of – not the poor, or even the working poor – but the very wealthiest corporations and professionals.

So stay tuned and follow the money…

The Quinnipiac Poll: Manufacturing Consent

If you want a picture of how the establishment manufactures a false consensus, you need go no further than the Quinnipiac University Poll released last month:

Let's start with the subject line.  It read:  "Quinnipiac University Poll shows NJ Majority Favors Affordable Housing."

Sure.  And how many people support un-affordable housing?  That's a thumb on the scale for a start.

We suspect that if you were to switch the term "affordable" for terms like "taxpayer-subsidized" or "builder-subsidized" or just plain "subsidized" housing, you would get a very different response.  Try the phrase "Section-8" if you really want to get a howl!

And you are never going to get a true picture by wording the question this way:

12. As you may know, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled that all New Jersey communities must allow the development of affordable housing for middle class and low income people.  Do you agree or disagree with this New Jersey Supreme Court decision?

Most people think of themselves as middle class.  This is like asking, "the New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled that all New Jersey communities must allow the development of affordable housing for people like you.  Do you agree or disagree with this New Jersey Supreme Court decision?"

That's an elbow on the scale for sure.  Go ahead, test it without the "middle class" and see what happens.  We dare you.

And here is a muddle designed to achieve a predetermined outcome: 

19. Do you think the state should provide every school district the same amount of funding per student, or do you think the state should continue to provide low income school districts with additional funding per student to make up for lower funding from property taxes?

Is Hoboken a "low income" school district?  Is Jersey City?  Is there not enough wealth present in those communities to support the education of the children who live there?

And what is meant by "additional funding"?  A little vague isn't it?  Let's see what happens when you plug in a figure like $15,000 per student or $20,000 or more?

Here is a question that you will never see in a Quinnipiac University Poll:  "Do you think low income taxpayers from rural and suburban New Jersey should subsidize urban school districts in communities like Hoboken and Jersey City?" 

This is how the establishment avoids discussion of the topics it would rather not discuss.  The State Supreme Court's own Doyne report showed that half of the state's economically-disadvantaged children fell outside those so-called "low income" school districts presently served by the status quo.  The Brookings Institute has studied and warned of the explosion of suburban poverty since the Great Recession, but in New Jersey, we don't discuss such things.

Academic polling, once used to ignite conversation, is being used to stifle it in New Jersey.  Even putting a finer point on a question, for instance, by identifying the "unelected" State Supreme Court as "ordering" the "elected" Legislature, would cause respondents to consider the question differently and produce a different set of results.  As academics, you would think such considerations would excite the intellectual curiosity, but apparently not.  That's not what they do.  Their job is to club all non-conformers into the prescribed patterns of thought.

Instead of providing an outlet for alternative points of view, much of the polling done by the political class in New Jersey is conformist by design too.  Keep your head down, get paid, and do not question the shibboleths.

We have just been through a national election in which the weaknesses of conformist polling were stunningly exposed.  We found that not only could you think the unthinkable, you could say it too, and you could be elected President of the United States by saying it.  It wasn't the populists who elected Donald Trump, it was the pollsters and academics who had confidently told people for years that they could safely ignore everything he talked about.

Something for the GOP Senate caucus to think about as it tries to deep six the "fair school funding" argument in favor of a more conformist message.  You might want not to believe it, the profs at Quinnipiac might not want to believe it either, but Donald Trump really did happen.  Reality does have a way of giving La La Land a rude wake up.