Former gubernatorial candidate Steven Lonegan, the state director of Americans for Prosperity, is expected to announce today that he is forming a campaign organization to urge the defeat of the Green Acres referendum on the ballot next month. The state is seeking voter approval to spent $400 million for Green Acres, water supply and floodplain protection, and for farmland and historic preservation projects.
In 2007, Lonegan led the statewide effort to reject three public questions – all supported by Gov. Jon Corzine — on the statewide ballot that year. A proposed constitutional amendment to dedicate 1% of state sales and use taxes for property tax reform failed 51%-49, and a proposed $450 million stem cell research bond issue failed 53%-47%. A $200 million Green Acres/Blue Acres bond issue passed 54%-46%.
New Jerseyans pass most public questions that make it to the ballot. Until two years ago, voters had approved 31 successive ballot questions. The last to fail was a 1990 $135 million bond issue to help low and moderate income families secure housing construction; that was rejected 51%-49%.