Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick recently released this most excellent video. Bramnick starts by detailing what Republicans are against…
But then, more importantly, Bramnick lays out three solid policy positions that points New Jersey Republicans in the direction of what we should be for…
(1) Cap State Spending at 2% (just like local government spending is capped).
(2) Cut the State Income Tax by 10% (make NJ more competitive w. other states).
(3) Full Deduction of Property Taxes on the State Income Tax (a move that takes the property tax issue away from Democrats like Andy Kim, Mikie Sherrill, and Josh Gottheimer).
In the video, Bramnick is engaging, folksy, and compelling. So finally, here is the core of something to move the Republican Party forward. So why isn’t everyone banging the same drum?
Two days after Bramnick’s video went up on Youtube, the NJGOP – the State Republican Party – blasted out its weekly newsletter via email. There was some very good stuff in there. Unfortunately, the Assembly Republican Leader’s video was not part of the newsletter. An oversight that should be corrected at the earliest opportunity.
On Thursday, the Garden State Initiative – a free-market, pro-business think tank – held a meeting about the state of New Jersey’s economy and how it can be improved. All the experts present agreed that the business climate went south after the Democrats gained control over the Legislature, nearly two decades ago.
That said, the most prominent plan for recovery featured at the gathering was the one put forward by Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat and so a leader in the party responsible for the downturn in the first place. As with legislation protecting the Bill of Rights (specifically the 2nd Amendment) and culturally traditionalist social legislation (like the Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Protection Act), the Senate President will always be handicapped in how much he can accomplish by his need to appease the far-Left of his party’s caucus. In the end, Sweeney will go as far as Leftist Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg allows him to go – and is anyone under the illusion that this Marxist-lite fellow-traveler is pro-business or pro-taxpayer?
In a column published on his Save Jersey news website, Matt Rooney brilliantly dissected the Trenton Democrats last week…
We hear a lot about the “working class” from Trenton, but each and every policy and budget are designed to put the screws to taxpayers in favor of keeping these rich guys and their power structures chugging right along.
What I’m saying is that Democrats’ lofty rhetoric doesn’t match their reality. On either side of this fight. New Jersey’s true form of government is a blend of socialism and oligarchy (with a sprinkle of kleptocracy for good measure).
So why aren’t pro-business and pro-taxpayer forces pushing the Republican Plan put forward by Bramnick and making its three points the basis of not only the recovery of our party’s fortunes, but those of the state’s taxpayers? Why aren’t they pulling together behind the Bramnick plan, then building on it, to tackle the obvious divide between the haves (those municipalities who bathe in money, courtesy of the Abbott decision) and the have nots (those who pay the highest property taxes in America)?
As New Jersey 101.5’s Dennis Malloy recently noted, the public frustration over property taxes and government in the Garden State is stifling: “Being the state with the highest property taxes in the nation used to be the number one issue in almost any campaign for public office in New Jersey. Lately, (crickets)! Why? …most people have given up hope that it will ever be normal or fair or affordable to most people. There is no one on the horizon with the guts to be honest about it and promise to fix it…”
And yet, in the midst of this frustration, there are thousands of brave souls who are spending their time and energy – both in and outside social media – to address the oppression of their neighbors and fellow taxpayers. Too often, they find themselves on their own, without the assistance or direction from the Republican Party, the business community, or even established figures within the state’s conservative movement.
Take the grassroots effort to Recall Governor Phil Murphy, as an example. This effort is in the process of training hundreds of volunteers in the basics of one-on-one political outreach that could be harvested in future GOTV operations. But is anyone providing them with any real assistance? Listen to this appeal from one of the most effective recall leaders, Bill Hayden of Sussex County:
In May 1940, the allied armies of France, Great Britain, Belgium, and the Netherlands faced the threat posed by a newly re-armed Germany. One of the great myths about the Fall of France is that the Germans had more tanks. They did not. In numbers, weaponry, and armor-protection, the German tanks were outclassed by those of the French Army and its allies. So why did the Germans so easily over-power the superior tanks of the French?
The French used their tanks piecemeal and fought actions individually. Many were not even equipped with radios. The Germans fought coordinated actions, in which not only individual tanks within a unit fought in support of each other, but entire units worked in concert with other units to achieve a particular goal. It wasn’t hardware that won the battle, but tactics – how the hardware was used.
The three major units of New Jersey’s Republican Party – the State Committee (NJGOP), the Senate Republican Majority (SRM), and the Assembly Republican Victory (ARV) – do not work in concert or present a unified message or vision. From there is gets worse. Each county, each candidate, each club marches to its own beat. And the party is barely on speaking terms with the movement conservatives who make up its base and constitute its most loyal voters. Working together could amplify a message and make it punch through to distracted voters. But instead of amplification, we have a cacophony of murmurs, each from its own silo.
Jon Bramnick has offered a simple, three-point way forward. Everyone should amplify it. That would make a start at working in concert.
At Thursday’s meeting, Garden State Initiative President Regina Egea said voters should ask every politician how they intend to lower the cost of living and the cost of doing business. The Bramnick Plan provides the answers.