Morning News Digest: December 30, 2009

After nearly winning Assembly seat, Villare ponders another run 

Former Republican assembly candidate Robert Villare is not finished. After coming one point away –1,362 votes — from unseating Democratic incumbent Celeste Riley (D-Bridgeton) in the 3rd District with a bare bones, mostly self-funded campaign, the cardiothoracic surgeon and political novice from Paulsboro is considering running for office again in the near future.  And this time, he might have some support from the party. The small margin between Villare and Riley caught some observers off guard.  Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Paulsboro), an incumbent for eight years compared to Riley’s eight months, ran comfortably ahead of the pack. Although Republicans cited the district as a potential pick up opportunity early in the election cycle, Assembly Republican Victory (ARV) – the political wing of the Assembly Republicans – publicly withdrew support after Villare and fellow Republican Lee Lucas prevailed in a primary over establishment favorites George Shivery and Art Marchand.  In October, however, ARV did contribute $6,150 to Villare’s campaign.  Villare, who loaned his own campaign $57,413, described the support as “too little, too late.” “All they gave was lip service,” he said, noting that most of the party’s resources were taken up by the District 1 assembly race, where Republicans were forecasted to have a good shot at taking out two Democratic incumbents but did not prevail. “If they had just given us a few people, some resources and a little bit of funding, there is no question we could have swung the votes… and I would have won,” said Villare.  Creating another obstacle for Villare was Lee Lucas, whose “survival of the fittest” letters to local newspapers made him controversial in Republican circles to begin with, and whose alleged use of a racial slur to a neighbor during a dispute, quoted in a 2006 police report, made him persona-non-grata and forced party leaders to publicly renounce him.  Although Villare and Lucas shared their party’s nomination, they ran separate campaigns. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ)

Yudin lashes out at BCIA over Record report

Bergen County Republican Chairman Bob Yudin today seized on an investigative report by The Record on a loan program of the Bergen County Improvement Authority’s Municipal Banc, calling on incoming state Attorney General Paula Dow to investigate. The Record details how Rutherford, Fair Lawn and Hackensack “let a total of more than $1.6 million in loans sit idly in Commerce Bank accounts while taxpayers paid more than $200,000 in interest and fees.”  At the time the loans were taken out, Freeholder David Ganz was mayor of Fairlawn and Freeholder Bernadette McPherson was mayor of Rutherford. The report also mentioned that several major Democratic donor firms worked as consultants for the BCIA, earning at least $1.8 million over a four year period. Bergen County Republican freeholder candidates made a campaign issue out of the agency’s bonding fees during the 2008 race.  “We said it before and we will continue to say it: the BCIA is a runaway train whose primary purpose is to support the corrupt Bergen County Democratic ORganization by making quesitonable loans in order to churn out millions of dollars in feeds for major donors to the county Democratic machine,” said Yudin. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ)

Tea Party group wants to recall Menendez

Citing partisan politics and votes against limiting the government’s control over health care, the Sussex County Tea Party has launched a petition drive to recall U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken), a massive undertaking that would require the signatures of 1,306,224 registered voters to get on the ballot. New Jersey is one of eighteen states that allow voters to recall statewide elected officials. Elected officials can face recall elections if organizers follow specific legal guidelines and collect the signatures of one quarter of all registered voters.  As of last month, New Jersey has 5,224,896 registered voters. The Tea Party, a grass-roots group that supports “fiscal responsibility, individual liberty and limited government,” says they filed a notice of intention with Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells on September 25.  On November 25, the recall committee filed a civil complaint in Superior Court against Wells, alleging that she failed to comply with their notice. “Senator Menendez has sided with rigidly partisan politicians in his repeated votes for cloture on a variety of key bills, stifling public debate in the Senate and denying New Jersey citizens transparency,” the recall committee said in a statement released today.  “For example, the Senator voted down an amendment that would have prevented Medicare from being raided for new entitlements and another that would have limited the government’s control over the health care of American families.  During this difficult financial period when Americans are cutting their own budgets and trying to save every penny, Senator Menendez voted down proposals to remove from spending bills a number of extravagant, excessive multi-million dollar projects that offered little or no short-term economic benefits.” The Sussex Tea Party is run by RoseAnn Salanitri and Tim Adriance.  Their lawyer is Dan Silberstein. (Editor, PolitickerNJ)

New Jersey’s new governor is seeking everday hero nominees

Gov.-Elect Chris Christie is seeking nominations of everyday heroes in communities across the state. The theme of Christie’s inauguration Jan. 19 is “Rebuilding New Jersey Together: Pride through Service and Community,” and during the event the new governor plans to honor everyday heroes. “Tell us who your New Jersey hero is and how he or she is making a difference right here at home,” the inauguration Web site says. “Nominate the man or woman who has dedicated his or her time and efforts to making New Jersey a better place to live.”
The nominees will be listed on the website and five will be selected to attend the inauguration. Christie and his Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno will be sworn in at the Trenton War Memorial at noon. Space is limited and the event is by invitation only. There will be a mass at Newark Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which is also invitation only. The mass will be followed by a $500-per-person reception at The Prudential Center in Newark. A portion of the reception ticket proceeds will be donated to three charities, the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, the National Guard State Family Readiness Council and DAYTOP. To nominate your hero visit the inauguration Web site. (Hayes, Jersey Journal)

Mulshine: Where the p.c. view of Islam went off the tracks

Above is a video of the man now known as Yusuf Islam singing “Peace Train.” All I can say is, you’re a lot safer on a train than on a plane with such characters. Back in 2004, Islam was deported from America because of his prior statements endorsing violence in the name of enforcing Islamic law. More on that below.  In this article we learn that the Nigerian who tried to down a plane full of people on Christmas Day had indicated a desire to study sharia as well. This tells you all you need to know about where the politically correct view of Islam goes wrong. The p.c. crowd – which includes everyone from George W. Bush to Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama – love to insist that Islam is a peaceful religion and that violent Muslims are a fringe element. But sharia calls for the violent death of those who commit such crimes as converting to Christianity. Can you be a peaceful believer in murdering religious converts? I don’t think so. Yet the laws of any number of Muslim countries call for such murders. If you can’t tell the difference between us genuine conservatives and the so-called “neo” conservatives who ran this country during the Bush administration, look no further than this. We traditional conservatives wanted to pursue a foreign policy that cut off immigration from such countries and stressed the assimilation of emigrants already here. We wished to deport those who prefer Islamic law over the American constitution. The neos, by comparison, wanted to “liberate” the entire Muslim world so that those Muslims who came here would be harmless. This is such a nutty idea that it’s almost impossible to say it out loud without laughing. Yet that was the stated view of every official in the Bush administration and it seems to be the view of every official of the Obama administration as well. (Mulshine, Star Ledger)

Mulshine: The prosecutors vs. the people of New Jersey

Contrary to the old saying, it’s not lonely at the top. In fact, it’s kind of cozy — if you’re a former member of the U.S. Attorney’s staff. After Gov.-elect Chris Christie nominated Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow to be the next attorney general of New Jersey, I noticed a somewhat disturbing pattern. If Dow is confirmed, the four most powerful offices in New Jersey will be occupied by alumni of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Guadagno also worked under Christie. So did Stuart Rabner, who is chief justice of the state Supreme Court. Four people who built their reputations as crusading prosecutors running the state. What’s disturbing about that? Plenty, says Harvey Silverglate. Silverglate is an attorney and author from Boston who is something of a stickler for the Constitution. His work in that regard has won him the approval of legal scholars on both the left and the right. Liberals like Silverglate because of his work expanding civil liberties. But he’s also popular with conservatives because he co-founded the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which fights speech codes and other forms of political correctness on campus. Silverglate’s latest target is the growing power of the U.S. attorneys, who are the regional representatives of the federal attorney general. The title of his latest book is “Three Felonies a Day.” That’s the number of potential federal crimes the average citizen commits between waking up and going back to sleep each day, he says. “There’s this increasingly vague federal criminal law that can be used to get any person for anything,” Silverglate told me when I got him on the phone. (Mulshine, Star Ledger)

Ingle: Fix the system then follow up

I just got off an airplane, my 48th of the year. When I began the journey the TSA agent asked if he could frisk me. “Go ahead,” I told him and when he finished I asked why he did and he said it had to do with the type clothes I was wearing — jeans and a lumberjack plaid flannel shirt. While I was away a 23-year-old Nigerian nutburger named Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a plane approaching Detroit. Apparently he wasn’t wearing jeans and a flannel shirt to set off alarms so the explosives tied to his leg were missed. That wasn’t the only thing. He was on a watch list of potential terrorists and, more incredibly, his father went to the U.S. Embassy and said his son might be a threat. Junior paid in cash and had no luggage. When he tried to blow up a plane it was a civilian passenger in a seat behind him who went into action. He, another passenger and a cabin attendant subdued the guy. But the real corker was when Obama’s head of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, first tried political spin saying “the system worked” (Does that sound like “Heck of a job, Brownie?”) and when the stupidity of that was realized, she came back and said that was taken out of context. She said she meant AFTER the incident the system worked in that regs were tightened and other flights were notified. Balderdash. The system failed when this would-be bomber got on that airplane with explosives. As for those proposed new rules, no getting out of the seat in the last hour and only one carry-on, what’s special about the last hour? And would one piece of carry-on have prevented this? (Ingle, Gannett)



  Morning News Digest: December 30, 2009