Second conference on Religious Liberty to be held in Ocean County

Following up on June’s successful conference on religious Liberty held in Newton, Sussex County, a second conference is scheduled for Ocean County on August 27th in Toms River.

At the first conference, attendees heard from Senator Steve Oroho on the status of various legislative initiatives – including the Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation Prevention Act and the 20/20 bill, which recognizes that a fetus experiences pain at 20 weeks (all but 7 nations on earth recognize this FACT).

Rev. Mandy Leverett gave a talk about the threat of human trafficking in New Jersey and detailed a number of horrific cases.  There was a discussion about how a porous border and the Murphy administration’s Sanctuary State directive empowers human traffickers in the sexual exploitation of women and children. 

Christine Flaherty explained the importance of the 20/20 bill, also known as the "Babies in the Womb Feel Pain".  This legislation recognizes the scientific fact that a fetus or unborn baby is pain-sensitive at 20 weeks.  Every other country on earth recognizes this fact except North Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Canada, and the Netherlands.  Similar legislation has been passed in nearly half the states and is moving forward in others in an attempt bring our laws into line with the rest of the civilized world. 

An ecumenical movement has formed called the 20/20 Project.  Its members represent many religious denominations.  It is actively supported by a number of organizations including the Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of Metuchen, the Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of Newark, Project LEARN, the New Jersey Family Policy Council, New Jersey Right to Life, the Center for Garden State Families, Corazon Puro, LifeNet, the League of American Families, among others. 

Of course, the 20/20 bill has been attacked by the death-cult wing of the New Jersey Democrat Party (there are still a great many religious Democrats who value life and recognize that their communities are being slaughtered for profit by Planned Parenthood).  As one activist said:  “They celebrate taking life and would do anything to maintain the barbaric practices that are illegal in most of the civilized world."

And speaking of attacks…  Since the first conference in Sussex County, one of the speakers has been attacked for his Biblical-based beliefs.   

Pastor Phil Rizzo, who spoke to the conference on the importance of religious freedom, was stalked and targeted by Sussex County Democrats for agreeing to help sort out a recent Twitter controversy involving the GOP county chairman.  State Democrats reached out to a political blog to arrange a “hit” on Pastor Rizzo, the gist of which was that he didn’t embrace Islam and wasn’t pro-LGBTQ+. 

The fact that those two world-views differ dramatically apparently didn’t dawn on the author of that hit piece, but the incident did offer up an important lesson:  There are Establishment forces who want to drive traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs out of the public square and to make it punishable (and eventually illegal) to express them. 

Despite the presence of good believers in the Democrat Party, the leadership of that party is in thrall to these forces – as is corporate media.  As evidence of this was the statement by the Sussex County Democrat Chairwoman that compared Pastor Rizzo to “Hitler” because he held traditional Biblical beliefs and the attack by an LGBTQ+ activist employed by the Star-Ledger. 

The battle lines are drawn and they are coming for your Bible.  They want to make reading it (or repeating what you have read) a “hate crime”.  And they will target and stalk anyone who stands for religious freedom.  Faith will either win this one or be driven into the wilderness. 

If you are interested in attending the Second Conference on Religious Liberty, please contact the Center for Garden State Families at

info@gardenstatefamilies.org

If you have a conflict, please contact the center and ask when the next one will be (at least four more are planned throughout the state).  Let’s get active!

And be of good cheer.  Faith can move mountains, while government and politicians and corporations and media and academics are all… “a small dust in the balance.”


Wirths and Space block Chinese Communists from gaining foothold in Princeton

America won!  Thanks to Assemblymen Hal Wirths and Parker Space, the Chinese Communists will not be buying a college in Princeton.

Alerted by businessman-philanthropist Mike Hennessy, the Assemblymen got to work generating grassroots opposition to the all but done sale of Westminster Choir College to a Chinese company controlled by the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and the Communist Party of China (CPC).  Westminster is a division of the Westminster College of the Arts, and is part of Rider University.

Last June, Rider University had signed a purchase and sale agreement with a newly created entity called Kaiwen Education, which is controlled by the Chinese navy and its Communist Party masters.  Assemblymen Wirths and Space were concerned that the sale could give the Chinese government a foothold on the Princeton campus, with all its sensitive research and technology facilities.

Rider had provoked the ire of Hennessy and others, when it banned Chick-Fil-A from opening on campus, despite a majority vote by students asking for a Chick-Fil-A restaurant on campus.  It seems Rider’s administration thought that Chick-Fil-A’s ownership was too Christian and therefore “controversial”.  Apparently Kaiwen, the PLA Navy, and the CPC were just the right amount of communist.

Along with other Rider benefactors, Hennessy organized a grassroots effort to stop the sale, while there were protests by students and faculty, as well as legal challenges. Federal authorities were contacted and had become interested in the matter.  Under this pressure and the pressure from legislators like Wirths and Space, the state attorney general's office delayed the pending sale in March, asking Rider for more information about the deal.

Westminster Choir College is the world’s foremost college of religious music.  A residential college located on a 23-acre campus in the heart of Princeton, it is a four-year music college and graduate school that “prepares men and women for careers as performers and as music leaders in schools, universities, churches and professional and community organizations.”

Rider University announced on Monday that the two sides had mutually agreed to not extend the agreement.  This essentially cancelled the sale, although the money-hungry Rider administration still publicly held out hope for an “alternative relationship” with the Chinese Communists.

Assemblymen Wirths and Space, who introduced a resolution (ACR-222) in opposition to the sale, called the announcement a big win.

"It took many vocal opponents, but our efforts paid off.  Rider University made the right decision to stop the sale," Wirths said. "From the very beginning, the company's interest in the music college for the purpose of academia seemed suspicious."

Kaiwen Education has no experience in higher education.  It was a made-up subsidiary of a government-owned Chinese defense contractor.

"Today's announcement is a big win against the authoritarian Chinese government who we feared might be using the guise of academia to access Princeton's world-class scientists, researchers and institutions for nefarious purposes," Space said.

State Senator Steve Oroho introduced the Senate version of the resolution, SCR-160.  Surprisingly, no Democrats and few Republicans saw it as a battle worth fighting, let alone one that they could win.

“Standing up to one of the world’s most repressive regimes – on the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square – wasn’t considered important enough to most of the Legislature,” one grassroots campaigner said.  “While millions of people in Hong Kong are protesting this oppressive regime, the Democrats who run the Legislature were more than happy to turn a campus in Princeton over to them.”   

Another noted:  “Guess it lacked a connection to LGBTQ… that’s all that matters these days.”   

This could have been a real moment of unity in Trenton for Republicans and all but the most craven Democrats.  Instead, the Democrats tried to block legislative action in opposition to the sale, while most Republicans didn’t have the good sense to take a stand.  Thankfully, guys like Hal Wirths and Parker Space did, but where the hell is everybody else’s political radar these days???

No wonder so many members of the Republican base share sentiments like these…

Parker Space backs Sheriff Strada, rips Murphy on “Sanctuary State b.s.”

Assemblyman Parker Space wanted there to be no doubt as to how he and his legislative colleagues feel about Governor Phil Murphy’s attempt to strip Sussex County citizens of the right to vote on the important issue of Sanctuary State status for Sussex County. “It is left-wing b.s. pure and simple.”

“Sheriff Mike Strada is right to stand up to Governor Murphy and the leftists who run his administration.  We support him 100%.”

A plain-spoken farmer and family businessman, Assemblyman Space said to forget what the all the smooth-talking lawyers have to say about this.  “It is a matter of American principles,” Space said.  “The property taxpayers of Sussex County pay for the operations of the Sheriff’s office… they pay for the Sheriff and all his officers… they have the absolute right to instruct him on how they want him to deal with Murphy’s Sanctuary State b.s.”

“The county’s taxpayers have the right to tell the county Sheriff to follow federal law because they pay the county Sheriff.  If Governor Murphy wants to dictate to the Sheriff then let’s send him the bill for the Sheriff and we’ll all enjoy a property tax cut.”

Assemblyman Space noted some important facts about the debate over illegal immigration:

(1) In its most recent report on illegal immigration, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that illegal immigration costs New Jersey taxpayers over $3 billion every year, which is close to 10% of our state’s entire budget.

(2) The State budget which was recently enacted spends $2.1 million for an “Office of Immigrant Protection.”  Assemblyman Space and his colleagues opposed the budget and introduced legislation prohibiting public funding for it (A4033). 

(3) Going even further, Governor Murphy and State Democrat leadership also passed legislation, which we opposed, to give illegals financial aid for college (S699).  And most recently, the Murphy Administration announced that they were looking into providing driver’s licenses to illegal residents.

Assemblyman Space noted that he and his colleagues have introduced the following legislation:

S-305/A-949   Bars companies which hire illegal aliens from public contracts, grants, loans, or tax incentives for seven years.   

S-528/A-172   "New Jersey Jobs Protection Act;" requires E-verification of employment.

S-168/A-497   Requires proof of lawful presence in the United States to obtain certain benefits.

S-2506/A-233    Requires certain contractors to verify work authorization of newly hired employees.   

S-541/A-2640    Prohibits municipal ordinance to create sanctuary city; Establishes State and local employee ethics violation upon noncompliance with federal immigration enforcement request.  

“Clearly, if we are ever to get things back on the right track, we must pass these types of reform measures. It’s important that local, state, and federal law enforcement work together to strictly enforce the immigration laws that are already in place.  If we do not address the problem of illegal immigration, New Jersey will never succeed in getting government spending under control.”

“Finally, we oppose all forms of amnesty for illegal immigrants as well as supporting measures to prevent our state from becoming a destination for terrorists posing as refugees looking to harm our families and neighbors. This is a critical issue and we will not waiver in our beliefs.”

Assemblyman Space shares an office with District 24 colleagues Assemblyman Hal Wirths and Senator Steve Oroho. Space is the Republican State Committeeman for Sussex County.  His wife, Jill Space, was a Delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention supporting Donald Trump.

Regina Egea: Connecticut’s housing crash a warning for NJ

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The Garden State Initiative’s Regina Egea has once again brought home some hard truths that New Jersey’s political class had better embrace.  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’s been collecting data, studying issues, and coming up with solutions to New Jersey’s most pressing fiscal concerns.

On May 9th you too can be part of the solution.  The Garden State Initiative will be holding its 2nd Annual Economic Policy Forum.  Join policy leaders like Senator Steve Oroho, Senator Declan O’Scanlon, and Senate President Steve Sweeney in a discussion about the future of New Jersey.  The details are below:

Garden State Initiative's 2nd Annual
Economic Policy Forum  
Thursday, May 9th, 4 to 6 pm
Hyatt Regency - New Brunswick

Egea recently wrote:  The Garden State Initiative's first research report in 2017, “Connecticut’s Fiscal Crisis Is a Cautionary Tale for New Jersey”, detailed how our neighbor up I-95, with its struggling economy, saddled with massive public debt and high taxes, served as a ‘canary in the coal mine’ for New Jersey unless we take the necessary measures to get our own fiscal house in order.”

Below are excerpts from Regina Egea’s op-ed published today in the Bergen Record and NorthJersey.com:

A recent Wall Street Journal report, “Wealthy Greenwich Home Sellers Give in to Market Reality,” on Connecticut’s real estate market should concern all New Jersey residents.

The report documents a severe price decline among high-end real estate in the Nutmeg State’s most exclusive areas, notably Greenwich, long a symbol of modern American affluence. Despite America’s booming economy, the report cited numerous reports of owners selling homes for far below what they paid a decade or more ago. 

This was typically preceded by these homeowners' establishing residences in more fiscally attractive states like Florida. (Sound familiar, New Jersey?)

The evidence is staggering. The median home price in Greenwich dropped by 16.7% last year to $1.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to a report by brokerage Douglas Elliman, with early reports showing a 25% decrease in early 2019. In a jarring anecdote, the Journal cited “a stately Colonial-style home on Greenwich, Conn.’s tony Round Hill Road is being sold in a way that was once unthinkable in one of the country’s most affluent communities: It is getting auctioned off. Once asking $3.795 million, the four-bedroom property will be sold … for a reserve price of just $1.8 million.”

…The storm that is currently hitting Connecticut’s real estate market has clouds gathering in New Jersey.

When the wealthy flee a state, sustaining massive losses on their homes in the process, it is unfortunate for the individual but likely devastating for those remaining, particularly if this occurs in New Jersey due to our extraordinary reliance on property tax revenues to sustain local governments and schools. 

The research firm Wealth X reported that New Jersey lost 5,700 people with liquid assets from $1 million to $30 million in 2018 — and that’s before the implications of the state and local tax (SALT) cap on federal taxes were truly felt. Recent reports indicate that New Jersey’s income tax receipts are falling well below projections.

Discussions around yet another tax increase on the wealthy, to fund the nearly $40 billion state budget, will only exacerbate the exodus of wealth. As reference, Connecticut has a top marginal tax rate of 6.99%; last year’s budget agreement increased New Jersey’s to 10.75%. The top 2% of all New Jersey income tax filers (those making $500,000 per year) account for over 40% of all income tax revenue to the state. Since close to 40% of state revenues are from personal income taxes, increasing dependence on this group exacerbates our vulnerability at both the state and local levels. An individual loss in this income category reverberates throughout the state.

The risk now is not just those wealthy fleeing our state. As high-end real estate values deflate, as in Greenwich, the taxes to support our local governments and schools will be redistributed to moderate- and lower-value property owners.

A recent Monmouth University poll illustrates that New Jersey residents’ views of the quality of life in our state are tumbling to an all-time low. The latest poll shows that only 50% of residents are positive, down from the prior result of 54%, and in no surprise, 45% of residents named property taxes as the state’s most pressing issue.

To read the entire article, visit NorthJersey.com

https://www.northjersey.com/story/opinion/2019/04/29/connecticut-housing-crash-predictive-nj/ 

For more information on The Garden State Initiative, visit…

https://www.gardenstateinitiative.org

Sarnoski hosts group that trashed Lonegan, attacked Oroho

Just hours before the June 5th Republican primary, NJ Family First – a wholly owned subsidiary of the New Jersey Family Policy Council – did something it has never done before.  It instructed Republican primary voters on how to vote, explicitly telling them to vote for one candidate and against another.

Mind you, they had never done so against a Democrat.  Even the most liberal of far-left, anti-traditional values, pro-abortion Democrats have been spared this kind of treatment.  NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council saved this kind of trashing for a Republican.

Guess which Republican?

Yep, the most consistently Pro-Life/Pro-Traditional Values Republican in New Jersey.

The conservative Republican who led the fight and who put the money together to defeat the 2007 ballot question to use taxpayer money to fund embryonic stem-cell research in New Jersey.

The conservative Republican who led the fight and who put the money together to defeat Garden State Equality’s same-sex marriage legislative push in 2009-10.

The conservative Republican who led the fight and who put the money together to stop the nomination of left-wing sexologist Janet Rosenzweig as the State’s Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families. 

This is who NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council decided to single out for the most grotesque treatment:  A conservative Republican who was ENDORSED by the New Jersey Right to Life PAC, the National Right to Life PAC, United States Senator Ted Cruz, United States Senator Rand Paul, State Senator Mike Doherty, State Senator Gerry Cardinale, State Senator Joe Pennacchio, State Senator Steve Oroho, and every other Pro-Life Legislator in the State…

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Yep, NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council trashed Steve Lonegan.

The NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council then went on to pimp for pro-abortion candidate John McCann, who had challenged Scott Garrett and Gerry Cardinale for the 5th District Congressional seat in 2002 on the grounds that they were “Pro-Life” and “too conservative.”

Just days before this mailer hit, McCann was quoted in the Bergen Record (June 1, 2018):

“Lonegan is staunchly pro-life, and recently told an audience at the Knights of Columbus in Fair Lawn that he'd support every anti-abortion bill that came before him. He's tried to tag McCann as being pro-choice, but McCann says the label doesn't fit.  

‘I believe that life begins at conception,’ McCann said.

But when asked whether he would support any future bill to further limit abortion, McCann indicated he would not.

‘The law is what is,’ he said.”

Year in and year out, the New Jersey Family Policy Council pleads for money from good traditional values conservatives.  They give… and this is how NJFPC uses it?

Maybe not.  We have been reliably informed that the money for this mailer came from an outside source with connections to both establishment Republicans and Democrat Party interests.  So perhaps it wasn’t so much the donations of conservatives going to trash a conservative, as it was the name of what was once a traditional values organization being used to that end.

Complicating matters for NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council, is that sources tell us that the same political consulting firm that did candidate John McCann’s direct mail program, incorporated this mailer as part of it.  That firm was the subject of a recent FBI raid and is currently under scrutiny by the United States Justice Department for its role in creating what are described as “scam PACS”. 

Complicating matters even further, this firm was complicit in an advertising campaign that attacked Senator Steve Oroho, who supported Lonegan.  The attacks on Oroho, who is the prime sponsor of New Jersey’s Pro-Life legislative agenda (the 20-20 bill, etc.), were advocated by the McCann campaign’s co-chair, a source with first-hand knowledge confirmed for us.

***

Now NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council is trying to make in-roads into conservative Northwest New Jersey.  There are certain monied interests that require a “traditional values looking” front group that will pimp for anyone.  With this latest mailer, NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council has proven its “flexibility” on such things.  And its first move in this regard is to host a “training event” for potential candidates and activists. 

To this end, they have asked Warren County Freeholder Jason Sarnoski to host the event for them, scheduled for next week. 

Perhaps Freeholder Sarnoski is unaware of the role played by his new-found friends in trashing conservative Lonegan, who was endorsed by BOTH State Senators who represent Warren County.  What will Senator Oroho, who was himself trashed by these people, make of it?  What will Senator Doherty, Lonegan’s closest political ally, make of it?

As for Freeholder Sarnoski’s involvement with the NJFPC pimp operation, we offer this observation.  Whether aware or unaware of what occurred, Sarnoski always was somewhat ambivalent on certain issues near and dear to social conservatives, and was never really comfortable around movement conservatives.  Perhaps he is a good fit after all? 

More later…