User-agent: * Allow: / Trenton Butcher Block: July 2011

"Our Liberties We Prize, Our Rights We Will Defend."

Commentary on national and local events from the standpoint of a Trenton city resident and state worker.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In District 3, It's Mike Mulligan for State Senate

Mike Mulligan will be our next state senator from District 3, if public employees have anything to say about it.  He represents our best alternative to Stephen Sweeney,
If you believe State Senate President Stephen Sweeney is a self-serving scoundrel, you aren't the only one that believes this.  Of course, you know I have been saying this for some time.  But who am I anyway?  Don't take my word for it and you don't have to.  It appears that Brian Donohue from the Star Ledger says the same thing too.  (Click here for the Star Ledger article.)

Also, check out this video from the Star Ledger.  After watching this video, I'm pretty certain George Norcross suffers from one of the worst cases of potty mouth I ever have seen in either an insurance salesman or a public official.

Basically it appears that Sweeney and the rest of the South Jersey Democrat legislators that went along with the pension bill are in the hip pocket of George Norcross III, who had the bill larded with provisions to line his pockets and enrich his hospital and health insurance company.

No, Sweeney doesn't have to go just because he has the morals of a 19th century Chicago alderman.  He's also a bad negotiator.  Remember how I said in the last posting that a politician's positions are more about respect than his personal beliefs.  Well Christie had no respect for Sweeney.  He gutted the Democratic budget and cut programs that were near and dear to the senate president such as aid to the state;s cities (Witness our recent 12 cent per $100 property tax increase made necessary by the aid cuts.), family planning and Medicaid.  If these programs were so important to the Democrats, shouldn't Sweeney have worked out a quid pro quo with the governor that the Dems would back his plan to screw over public workers if Christie would go easy on aid to the cities and the state's lower income residents.  No, Sweeney chose instead to trust Christie.  Why on God's green earth would anybody trust a former prosecutor?

The end result was Christie got everything he wanted and the working people and poor people of this state got screwed over double.

There is an alternative to sending this jerk back to the senate this fall.  It's called Mike Mulligan.  Voting for Mulligan would more about getting rid of Sweeney than standing for anything Mulligan is for.  He is an attorney from Pilesgrove Township in Salem County and is your basic cookie-cutter Republican.  He would back up the governor on just about anything he wants.

OK, then what's the difference between Sweeney and Mulligan?  Well, Mulligan will be a freshman senator with little power.  Sweeney is the senate president.  Mulligan won't have the ability to push through legislation like Sweeney does.  And besides by getting rid of Sweeney, we are sending a powerful message to the rest of the Democratic legislators.  That message is that attacks against unions will not be tolerated.  Anyone who attacks unions will get thrown out of office.

Here is a video where you can see and hear Mike Mulligan in action.

Why not vote for a third party candidate with views more in line with ours.  The answer is because Mulligan has a chance and third party candidates do not.  When was the last time that someone other than a Democrat or Republican got elected to the legislature anyway.  Besides, we can simply remove Mulligan during the next election and replace him with a REAL Democrat, someone other than Stephen Sweeney.

By the way, if you are interested in learning more about George Norcross, here is his Wiki article.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Just Hanging Around (At Least Until January 2012)

In April 1945, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini thought he'd play it safe and hightail it for Germany in a German military convoy.  The vehicle he traveled in was captured by Italian partisans.  He was caught because he was wearing a private's overcoat with general's pants (which have a red stripe going down each leg).  His mistress was picked up a few days later along with about two dozen other high ranking fascists.  The communist-dominated partisan council decided on public executions.  After the dictator was killed, he was hung upside-down next to his mistress from the Esso gasoline station on a square in downtown Milan.

One of the benefits of living in the USA is that we get to elect our leaders.  What this means is that when we want to get rid of a politician we can just vote them out of office, which is a lot less messy than what the Italians did to change their government around in1945.

Of course don't actually hang anybody, but our politicians still get to "hang around" a while anyway.  After we vote out Sweeney and his crew in November, they will still be around stinking up the statehouse until the middle of January.

By the way, here are the names of the state senators who voted for the Sweeney/Oliver/Christie pension bill.  All Republican senators voted "Yes".  In adition to the Republicans, the followers of Democratic bosses DiVenenzo of Essex County and Norcross of Camden County voted for it.

This included Van Drew (D-01), Whelan (D-02), Sweeney (D-03), Madden (D-04), Norcross (D-05), Beach (D-06), Ruiz (D-29) and Stack (D-33).  In the Assembly, the Democratic traitors were Milam (D-01), Burzichelli (D-03), Riley (D-03), Moriarity (D-04), Fuentes (D-05), Wilson (D-05), Greenwald (D-06), Lampit (D-06), Conaway (D-07), Angelini (-11), Rible (D-11), Spencer (D-29), Coutinho (D-29), Oliver (D-34) and Ryan (D-36).

All the other Democrats in the Senate and Assembly voted against the bill.

Since all seats in the Senate and Assembly are up for grabs this November, this is how I would vote.  If you are currently represented by a Republican, vote to replace him with a Democrat. (All Republicans voted for the bill).  If you are currently represented by one of the Democrats listed above, vote to replace them with Republicans.  Otherwise, vote Democratic.

See, its not just about party.  It's also about respect.  The Christiecrats that voted for this bill do not respect the rights of public employees or the power of their unions.  You see the Democrats trying time and time again to put funding for Planned Parenthood back in the budget.  That is because they both respect and fear the pro-choice vote.  The same for environmental or anti-discrimination legislation.  Democrats Never want to be seen as anti-environmentalist or anti civil rights.  That is because they fear the wrath of the voters from these constitutanties.

Yet for some reason, some of these same Democrats were willing to accept public employee union money and helpers when they ran for office last time, but nonetheless were willing to vote against us.  They need to be taught the hard way that the union vote must be earned.  It can not be taken for granted just because you are running as a Democrat.

Even if we just succeed in removing Sweeney and Oliver, we would have succeeded in decapitating the Democratic legislative leadership.  That should get the rest of the Democrats to wake up and smell the coffee and get to work on the repeal of this bad law.

Repeal the pension law.

Restore the cost of living adjustment and restore collective bargaining.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Who Gave to Stephen Sweeney's Campaign

As you already heard, the South Jersey Democratic Machine, led by George Norcross III, provided the muscle to push the bill which will drastically raise health insurance and pension contributions for the state's half million public employees.  This includes everybody, including state troopers and judges.  The bill also eliminated cost of living increases on pensions.

As with every thing else, Mr. Sweeney and his boys voted the way they did because it was good for Mr. Sweeney and his friends.  To hell with the constitutants, let alone loyalty to organized labor.  Remember, Mr. Sweeney is the Ironworkers president.

The bill originally contained a provision which would have required public employees to get all their health care in New Jersey, because with few exceptions like emergencies on vacation out of state, the policy would not pay to out of state providers.

Who pointed out this provision?  Why, the Republicans.  It wasn't until then that Democrats from soutside the thrall of Mr. Norcross agreed to remove the provision.  Mr. Sweeney and his friends defended the provision because they said it would keep New Jersey insurance money in the state.  In fact Sweeney inserted the provision on behalf of his friend, George Norcross who is CEO of the Cooper Health hospital system and also owns a health insurance company.

Guess who would have benefited from keeping you fron going to let's say Sloan Kettering in New York for cancer treatment?  Why, Mr. Norcross and his insurance company and hospitals.  Nothing like having a captive audience to buy your product, even if something else that's better is available out of state.

Here is the list of Sweeney's contributors:

(Click on the link.  I tried to put the whole file up, but to no avail.)

I did the advanced search and this is what they gave me for the 2011 primary.  It looks like a list of 2007, 2008 and 2009 contributions.

Here is a list of all the individual reports filed by mr Sweeney, including some from 2011.  Here is the link to the state website.

Happy hunting!