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"The End of the Beginning" for Our Save Jersey Movement

  | August 26, 2010

Until the Second Battle of El Alamein in November 1942, it definitely looked like the Allies might lose the African 'Western Desert Campaign' and, with it, all of World War II. The world seemed destined to suffer the wrath of Hitler's evil Third Reich. But the Allies didn't lose that key campaign thanks largely to the cunning, determination and genius of General Bernard Montgomery and the free European forces under his command. 

Upon hearing news of the victory, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered a famous address from London's Mansion House, defiantly declaring:

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end! But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

I wanted to convey a similar albeit less dramatic message to you today, Save Jerseyans, as I announce my departure from The Save Jersey Blog

This wasn't an easy decision to make, but I've decided to relinquish my coveted "Blogger-in-Chief" title in order to pursue other opportunities away from the political arena. Will I stage a grand comeback down the road? Maybe... God knows Barbara Streisand hits the road with a new "farewell tour" on an almost annual basis, and we've all seen plenty of commercials for Garden State furniture warehouses who've been in and out of business for the past 30 years. Time tells all tales. However, at least for the immediate future, I'm leaving you in the trustworthy hands of a fresh, capable, and dynamic new blogging team ready to take Save Jersey to the next level.

That's right, folks! I may be moving on but the blog we built together isn't going anywhere. 2010 is a huge year for the cause; we certainly wouldn't leave you flapping in the wind, now would we? SAVE JERSEY 2.0 (as I like to call it) is already in the advanced planning stages. Please remember to check back for the big relaunch on Wednesday, September 8th, Save Jerseyans. I really think you'll like what the new management has planned for what I'm absolutely sure will continue to be New Jersey's #1 conservative website.

ABOVE: Your Blogger-in-Chief sharing a tender 
moment with Governor-elect Chris Christie on 
Election Night 2009. I'm NOT crying for the 
record... our Guv is just a very strong hugger!

I won't waste your time with a teary farewell or a cautionary lecture. That's not my style. 

For now, I'll say only that this is a very appropriate moment for a Save Jersey transition. We've arrived at the "end of the beginning" of sorts in our ongoing mission to "Save Jersey" from rampant waste, greed and corruption. New Jersey was, in many ways, a very different place when I launched this blog back in May 2008. Think about it... few pundits could've guessed just two short years ago, that we'd have a fiscally conservative Republican in the State House, let alone one who is unafraid to take on this state's institutionally corrupt influences. Property tax caps, public pension and education compensation reforms, a budget balanced without tax increases and an end to special treatment for state employee unions... indeed, we've come a looong way (in a relatively short period of time) from the depressing and embarrassing McGreevey-Corzine years! 

New Jersey is back on track, my friends. This state's media-battered self esteem is on the mend. Machine-bullied voters are no longer willing to blindly endorse the status quo. Our citizens finally admit to having real hope that something besides death (or relocation to North Carolina) can deliver us from high taxes and the abuses of an out-of-control government!

ABOVE: Meeting then-U.S. Attorney for the first time on 
March 6, 2008 after a guest lecture at South Jersey's
Rutgers-Camden Law School.

And yet none of these taxpayer triumphs could've been achieved without you, Save Jerseyans. Don't be so modest! The indisputable truth is that this blog's ever-expanding audience had Chris Christie's back way before it was cool. When self-interested megalomaniacs and third-party plants tried to derail the future governor's campaign for reform during the 2009 campaign, Save Jersey was there to set the record straight and make the enemies of limited government reform infamous. Again, after the election, we worked hard 24/7 to bring national attention to our new Governor's early efforts on behalf of the beleaguered taxpayers who turned to him as their last best hope for an affordable tomorrow. 

Over 1,000,000 visits (and almost as many controversies) later, I can comfortably claim that we helped make the Garden State a freer and more prosperous place. 

So it's goodbye for now, my dear Save Jerseyans. I'll always be grateful for your participation, support, spirit and friendship over the past few years. This experience has been more fun for me than you'll ever know, and I sincerely wish each and every one of you the best in your future work, public and personal, towards furthering the cause of liberty and prosperity in our great state.

But never forget that this is not the end of our battle to Save Jersey... merely the end of the beginning! And what an awesome beginning it's been.

Blue Jersey Blogger Compares American Founders to Terrorists

  | August 25, 2010

The Blue Jersey blogging community skews far-left, Save Jerseyans, but I've rarely been offended or shocked by anything their typically-civil bloggers have written... until now.

The contributor "KendalJames" got lost on his way back to Looneyville and commented on your Blogger-in-Chief's Tuesday morning post discussing Ground Zero Mosque imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's outrageous anti-American remarks. Call me "naive," but I'd like to think that all red-blooded Americans of any political persuasion would be disgusted by someone equating Osama bin Laden's terrorist activities and United States foreign policy.

Apparently "KendalJames" is the exception:

I must've missed the day in class when my high school history teacher discussed Continental Army soldiers strapping pouches of gun powder to their waistcoats, boarding clippers bound for London, and hijacking the vessels at sea and driving them directly into British piers screaming "God is Greater!" The Founders I recall learning about literally risked (and often lost) everything in their previously affluent lives to bring democracy back into a world weary of tyranny.

Yes, "my dear boy" KendleJames. I'm denying that anything you said is true and, quite frankly, I'm questioning whether you've taken complete leave of your senses. And that's assuming you ever had sense to begin with!

It might've done you some good (although I doubt it) to attend Monday's bill signing ceremony in Haddon Heights. Governor Christie and legislators from both parties joined together to honor Garden State veterans from several foreign wars. Each of these conflicts saw young Jersey men and women risk their lives for the cause of freedom and to protect anonymous individuals in distant lands. They did this with little regard for their own safety; many died, and many more came home with physical or emotional scars that would never completely heal. 

And what do these heroes get for their sacrifice? A few colorful ribbons, discount college tuition, and a bunch of bullshit from a smart ass liberal ingrate such as yourself.

You're obviously entitled to your opinion, KendalJames. That's exactly what these brave American soldiers fought to defend. But if you can't appreciate the simple distinction between their sacrifice and the actions of the evil rapists, thieves, and mass murders comprising Al-Qaeda's ranks, then perhaps your freedom wasn't really worth their effort.

An Epic ObamaCare #FAIL in New Jersey

  | August 25, 2010

During the prolonged ObamaCare debate, many of the plan's critics (including your Blogger-in-Chief) questioned the rush to pass a healthcare package. Was there really a large and urgent demand for government-subsidized health insurance? Or were Democrat leaders' motivations to move things along more political than humanitarian? After all, it's well-established that Obama's "47 million uninsured Americans" line is rubbish. Only the marketplace can efficiently account for demand; government involvement is always based on guesswork. No Democrat could've rightly claimed to know how many Americans would even want an ObamaCare package!

Now I think we may have our answer, Save Jerseyans.

In New Jersey, for example, only two people out of nearly nine million Garden State residents have bothered to sign up!

MyFox 5 NY

"Just two people in New Jersey will begin receiving coverage Monday under new plans created by federal health care reforms.

NJ Protect plans are available to those who have been without insurance for at least six months and submit evidence of pre-existing health conditions.

The state will receive $141 million in federal subsidies to cover claims that exceed the premiums paid by the beneficiaries."

This epic ObamaCare #fail is bad news for the legislation's backers. 

A low level of participation is good news, however, for the two individuals who actually got off their butts and enrolled. They get to split $141 million worth of coverage right down the middle!

That's change John Doe #1 & #2 can believe in. The rest of us will pay for it even though we have no desire to use it!

"The Difference Between a Real Man and a Fake Man"

  | August 25, 2010

The Guv returned to Morning Joe today to discuss his latest approval ratings, Save Jerseyans. On the program's set, however, I think his approval rating is closer to 100%.


Race to the Top: Throwing Big Money at a Non-Monetary Problem

  | August 25, 2010

Do you factor winning the lottery into your family's annual budget, Save Jerseyans? What about the small business owners out there in this blog's audience... do you collect scratch-off tickets and pray for the best when it's time to satisfy your company's payroll obligations?

Of course not! Sure, you'd happily accept the money if awarded but you'd be a fool to count on it, particularly at the expense of responsibly managing the resources already in your possession. Why, then, should a state or school district behave any differently? I can't think of a good reason. Can you?

I highly doubt the NJEA and its Democrat enablers can, either, but that certainly won't stop them from pretending otherwise. Governor Christie's detractors in the teachers union and elsewhere are pouncing on New Jersey's narrow loss in the nationwide "Race to the Top" competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Education. The top ten scoring states received federal education funds ranging from $75 million to $700 million; when the results were promulgated on Tuesday, New Jersey was in eleventh place. Published reports cite "errors" in the Christie Administration's application as the reason for our disappointing finish.

Who's to blame? I don't know if it even matters. What I do know is that the public education system is a lot of things but "underfunded" isn't on of them (see below). A few governors like Chris Christie get it, yet Washington is stubbornly doing everything it can to thwart any reforms capable of undermining union power. The recent costly (and futile) federal teacher bailout is a glaring example. This multi-billion dollar "race" program is another. Would it be cool if New Jersey miseducators had more money to throw at more random crap? I guess; not a dime of it, however, will help produce better educated kids until we correct the institutional, legal, and culture problems plaguing our school system.

Think I'm full of it? Get in line! Then click here to view a classic clip from The Cartel. It highlights shocking facts supporting the conclusion that want of money is not that which ails our struggling school system. Not even close, Save Jerseyans:


Denial Ain't Just a River in Egypt

  | August 25, 2010

Apparently it also runs through Bergen County, Save Jerseyans. Right through New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman's backyard, to be exact.

I can't think of another explanation for his strange remarks printed in yesterday's Star-Ledger. The River Edge native told reporter Bob Braun that New Jersey -- are you ready for this? -- does not have a "culture of corruption." That's one I've never heard before! But it gets better. Fishman, already standing in a hole and reaching eagerly for his shovel, added, "I don't know how you can make that kind of comparison," and, "I don't happen to believe that to be true."

With all due respect, Mr. U.S. Attorney, it's not really up for debate. Corruption isn't just endemic in the Garden State; it's a traditionBob Ingle is collecting royalty checks from an entire full-length book (and an updated edition) dedicated to chronicling this state's crooked and pervasive political subculture... and The Soprano State only focuses on contemporary and egregious examples of public betrayal. I just finished reading Boardwalk Empire, a fantastic book based on the upcoming HBO series about Atlantic City's sordid history. The author discusses how budding Jersey bosses like Frank Hague (D-Hudson) and Enoch Johnson (R-Atlantic) cut their teeth stuffing ballot boxes, dishing out patronage, and rubbing elbows with Al Capone and his underworld network while the rest of the country was experiencing a civil reform movement with, ironically, former Governor Woodrow Wilson presiding in the White House.

Hudson Democrat boss and U.S. Senator Bob
Menendez - the man who championed Fishman's
U.S. Attorney nomination.

Our politicians' morals haven't improved much despite all of the negative literary attention. Most tangible evidence points to continued good times for our state's political puppet masters: George Norcross still rules South Jersey with an iron fist, Northeast Jersey powerbroker Brian Stack was recently reelected mayor of Union City with 85% of the vote, and the legislature is still chop full of double-dipping dual office holders. Bob Menendez, an old school political kneecapper and feared party chieftain hailing from Hudson County, presently represents New Jersey in the U.S. Senate. A man like Menendez can reach the upper political echelons in few other places besides New Jersey; interestingly, Hudson Bob wielded his influence to push Fishman's nomination for U.S. Attorney.

And who can blame would-be reformers for feeling as if they're shoveling sand against the tide? Consider the trouble poor Jay Webber ran into back in June 2008, when the then-freshman assemblyman tried to introduce a simple ethics reform proposal related to campaign expenditures. The assembled Democrat caucus (from which some members have since been indicted) nearly burned him at the stake right on the chamber's floor! Truthfully, the Webber incident was almost as shocking as the round-up of 44 bribed pols (and a few organ peddlers) last summer. A nationwide audience was shocked to see how our state's politicians casually accepted bribes. With such an indifferent attitude towards extra-legal activities, it's easy to imagine how many other future felons still lurk in county complexes and municipal buildings across the state. 

Former Governor Corzine dancing with his 
old girlfriend ousted CWA-NJ union 
and one-time Fishman client, Carla Katz.

For the record, I do appreciate Mr. Fishman's belief that New Jerseyans need to take pride in their state. That's an uncontroversial sentiment that he shares with his predecessor. I take issue, however, with his reluctance to call a spade a spade. Any progress we have made in recent years is almost entirely attributable to the tireless efforts of former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie who took it upon himself to make corrupt influences infamous! Most importantly, Chris taught us that ignorant voters and jaded taxpayers will continually reelect corrupt pols until an articulate, principled, and relentless public servant steps forth and, like a dutiful owner training his dog, unmercifully rubs voters' faces in the excrement that they've carelessly left lying on the carpet. 

Sure, it's cynical, but maybe housebreaking a dog really isn't all that different from preparing citizens to take responsibility for their democracy, Save Jerseyans? In any event, Chris Christie's hard work resulted in scores of corruption convictions and, for those who dared take advantage of the public, a sobering expectation of swift and severe government reprisal. His subsequent election as governor drove the point home for anyone left standing; finally, someone had helped taxpayers recognize the all-important connection between public impropriety and the lightening of their wallets.

Chris Christie's certainly a hard act to follow, so I won't automatically assume the worst about Mr. Fishman's approach. Perhaps Mr. Fishman simply misspoke? It's also possible that he's stuck in the mindset of a defense attorney where, in a different life, he defended less-than-admirable people like Jon Corzine's ex-girlfriend and poster girl for institutional corruption Carla Katz. Who knows what years of representing defendants corrupt enough to get booted from a New Jersey labor union does to a man. And I won't even entertain the thought that he might actually sympathize with the political tactics of his sponsor, Senator Menendez...

I guess it's all speculation at this point, folks. Fishman is in place until at least the termination of President Obama's first term in January 2013. My only hope going forward is that Mr. Fishman will proactively police our democratic process with the same zeal he exhibited during his defense of Carla Katz. Despite what the U.S. Attorney may believe, New Jersey is undeniably grappling with an entrenched culture of corruption and its taxpayers literally cannot afford to have a top lawman living in a state of denial. Even with Chris Christie sitting in the big chair, we still need an aggressive, independent federal advocate unafraid to both confront wayward politicians and, from time to time as the situation dictates, tell voters what they need to hear with no regard for their feelings or self-esteem. 

Having myself come of age in a period where New Jersey's U.S. Attorney could be counted on to do what the state's politicians wouldn't, Save Jerseyans, I shudder to think where we'll be in a few years without similar leadership from Mr. Fishman.

New Sipprelle TV Spot: "Credit Card"

  | August 24, 2010

Scott Sipprelle is quickly turning into one of my favorite fiscal conservative voices, Save Jerseyans. 

His latest districtwide TV spot produced by Jamestown Associates, "Credit Card," is hitting Central Jersey's airwaves with just two months left to go in the battle to unseat Rush Holt. Sipprelle has consistently positioned himself as a deficit hawk throughout the campaign; back in February, Scott's campaign pitched an unusually detailed blueprint to rein in federal spending. No one can ever accused this candidate's campaign of being devoid of substance!


The brief transcript for those of you who are unable to listen at work:

"Washington politicians think of us as one giant credit card.  They spend, and we get the bill.  Help me stop the reckless spending that’s mortgaging our country’s future.  My Blueprint for Renewal controls spending, creates jobs and reforms a broken system.  Let us return to the principles that made America the land of opportunity.  I’m Scott Sipprelle and I approved this message because it’s time to take that credit card away!”  

You know the drill, Save Jerseyans. Grade the ad by leaving a critical or supportive comment below...

Steve Sweeney, Double-Dipping, and a Brief History of "Linda's Loophole"

  | August 24, 2010

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) announced last week that he would finally resign from his position as Gloucester County Freeholder Director... "sometime this year." 

We'll believe it when we see it, Save Jerseyans. Senator Sweeney's promised to end his dual-office holding ways for some time now, and yet he's continued to serve as both a state senator and a county freeholder since 2001. Who knows why he's choosing now to call it quits. Is he already eyeing a 2013 gubernatorial campaign? Or perhaps he wants to focus more energy on next year's legislative election battles? Of course, his sudden departure could also have something to do with a recent Superior Court decision mandating independent oversight of the ethically-challenged Gloucester County Freeholder Board. We may never know...

But perhaps the most important question is easily discernible: who made Sweeney's South Jersey pension romp possible? None other than Central Jersey Democrat Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein (D-Monroe).

Photo: Boss Sweeney (front row, left) and his Glouco freeholders

Greenstein co-sponsored the September 2007 "dual officeholder ban" legislation -- A-4326 -- with Michael Panter (D-Monmouth), and it was ultimately endorsed by Governor Corzine. The bill proved a short-term public relations success for the Democrat caucus; I'm afraid it's long-term effect can't be discussed in equally complimentary terms. You may recall how Linda's legislation "grandfathered" 19 legislators who were "dual office holders" (a public official occupying more than one public office simultaneously) at the time of the bill's passage including Steve Sweeney. Any public official elected before February 2008 could by right stay in place (both places) until the voters or an undertaker carried them out in a box. 

I do distinctly remember Corzine remarking at the A-4326 signing ceremony that "It's not the bill I wanted, but it gets us down the road" to reform." 

Not quite, Jon.

Numerous double-dippers are still going back for seconds at the taxpayers' expense. A notable offender is state Senator Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) who continues to serve as both a powerful state senate committee chairmanand Wood-Ridge mayor. Did I also mention that Sarlo's engineering firm makes millions off of state, county and municipal contracts?

Our state's pervasive culture of corruption won't dissipate, Save Jerseyans, until we make it harder for politicians like Sweeney and Sarlo to accumulate the awesome power necessary to steal from their constituents. Linda Greenstein's neutered bill basically gave them a free pass. I wish her the best of luck defending the need for a "grandfather" clause before cash-strapped LD-14 voters this fall.

Christie Invokes Jersey Pride at South Jersey Veterans Event

  | August 24, 2010

A fashionably late Governor Christie returned to Southwest Jersey yesterday to sign four bills honoring and aiding our state's native fighting men and women. It was a truly wonderful event to witness for the 100+ assembled guests and, mercifully, the anticipated afternoon summer rainstorm held off until the exact moment when the Governor made a b-line for his idling black suburban. The man is certainly a master of timing, Save Jerseyans.

What struck me most about the Governor's remarks, however, was how he artfully weaved the occasion -- and his administration's recent legislative successes -- into a larger theme of restoring 'Jersey Pride' throughout the Garden State. I've long argued that the Governor's ability to speak movingly and convincingly about his love for the Garden State is a "secret weapon" of sorts in his ample political arsenal. Focusing on the state's self-esteem could prove to be a shrewd move heading into next year's legislative elections. It certainly worked with his Haddon Heights audience...

For now, enjoy this short video montage from Monday's signing ceremony:

EXPOSED: Ground Zero Mosque Imam's Pro-Terrorism Comments Caught On Tape!

  | August 24, 2010

The plot has thickened yet again, Save Jerseyans.

Hat tip to Human Events contributor Jason Mattera for posting the unbelievably utterances of would-be Ground Zero Mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. We've heard the rumors, seen the antisemitic demonstrations and even learned about the strange ambiguities regarding the property's title. Now we finally have hard evidence of the soon-to-be notorious imam's shocking anti-American sentiments. And the contents of this audio file are truly shocking, Save Jerseyans - it's not an understatement. Not only does Rauf argue that Americans have more blood on their hands than Osama Bin Laden but, if you can believe it, he also (GASP!) uses the "N" word! 

They may not care about his terrorist ties or sympathies, folks, but you can bet that his looney liberal supporters will desert him for using the "N" word... right?

Listen for yourselves:

This never really was a First Amendment issue. There's no inalienable or "fundamental" right to build a religious super-structure mere footsteps from hallowed ground. Now, however, what should be clear to everyone (including dense, arrogant elitists like Mayor Bloomberg) is that this mosque's presence in Lower Manhattan would constitute a risk to the safety and security of New York City's residents. 

The discovery of Rauf's outrageous comments proves beyond a reasonable doubt that his community's intentions are far from peaceful. It also presents ALL politicians with a second opportunity to get this one right. Wake up, guys! We need leadership from men like President Obama on the left (and Governor Christie on the right) to prevent radical Islamofacists from gaining a geographically and morally significant beachhead in the ongoing international war against terrorism. 

Anti-Semites Rally Behind Ground Zero Mosque

  | August 23, 2010

And so it begins, Save Jerseyans. The principle figures pushing the controversial Ground Zero mosque project have been drawing heavy scrutiny for weeks now, but it was only a matter of time before these fanatics betrayed their true, hidden, ghastly intentions for everyone to see.

Kudos to the citizen journalist who filmed this pro-mosque Manhattan demonstration. The entire clip is revealing but, if you're in a big hurry, go ahead and fast forward to the 3:55 mark to hear the real meat and potatoes:

So there you have it. I've been telling you all along that this mosque complex's construction has NOTHING to do with religious unity, love, peace, dope, harmony, free pizza on Friday, etc. Quite the opposite! Even if violence isn't the ultimate goal for everyone involved, the individuals in this video seem determined to force a confrontation of some kind. The cheap rainbow banners, inane group chants and platitudinal homemade signs fail to mask the horrid culture of antisemitism animating their cause. It also doesn't help that half these people look like extras from a Lord of the Rings sequel. Creepy!!!

But seriously, folks, the pro-mosque protesters' bizarre behavior validates Charles Krauthammer's very well-stated position on the issue: Ground Zero is no place for controversial political pronouncements, particularly any espoused by Islamic fundamentalists and sympathizing far-left Jew haters like those exposed in the video embedded above.

The Fat Jokes Are Back

  | August 23, 2010

A belated hat tip to News Busters for jumping on the latest lame leftist attempt to make Governor Christie's weight a political issue:

As Mark Finkelstein correctly noted in his News Busters post, the New Jersey Democrat established tried this tactic and, unsurprisingly, fell flat on their faces. Jon Corslime's notorious "If" television spot, accusing Christie of "throwing his weight around," almost ended up garnering more YouTube views than Corzine earned actual votes on Election Day. Yes, sometimes there is justice in the universe!

More than anything, the fat jokes signal desperation in the Democrat ranks. Christie continues to outflank them at every turn at a time when their Congressional majorities and fledgling presidential administration are in extreme peril. When in doubt, the "politics of personal destruction" are a liberal's natural defense mechanism.

Of course we'll do everything in our power to help them destroy themselves! Veteran Save Jerseyans may remember our popular parody of the ill-fated "If" ad. Mr. Schultz should check it out and feel free to second-guess the wisdom (or lack thereof) underlying a substanceless strategy predicated on exploiting the Governor's waist line: