Tag Archives: Codey

A Lost Opportunity

Senate President Dick Codey stole New Jersey’s relevancy. As I have documented numerous times here over the last three years, Codey single-handedly pushed to move New Jersey’s presidential primary from early June to February. The rationale Codey provided was to make New Jersey more relevant in national politics.

New Jersey held its presidential primary on Super Tuesday along with 23 other states. Did you notice a flood of candidates here in the Garden State?

Our state was lost in the swell of states pushing for relevancy.

As of today, the Democratic Primary is very close. Only 101 delegates separate Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton. By all accounts this primary is going to drag out through all 50 states. Despite the unlikelihood of Clinton surpassing Obama, it can end up so close as to not produce a clear winner. The summer should be fun in Denver.

But consider if Codey had worked on cutting state spending rather than playing politics. The Democratic would still be as tight as it is right now. But instead of having our governor cheer from the sidelines, New Jersey would be primed to be a king maker. At least the candidates would be coming here to listen to our concerns.

That won’t happen here this year or any other year for that matter now that we are so early and with so many other states. Thanks, Sen. Codey.

Thinking About NJ’s Presidential Primary

Just out of curiosity, how relevant has New Jersey been in this year’s presidential primary?

The question comes from Senate president Dick Codey’s desire to move the primary from June to early February.  His stated reason was to make New Jersey more relevant in national politics.

Codey got his way.  New Jersey bumped up its primary four months.  How relevant were we?

Governor Corzine endorsed Hillary Clinton.  There was an Obama rally, but other than that, little/no campaigning was done here.

New Jersey is considered the most liberal state in the nation.  The GOP candidates did not spend in this market.  McCain had an advertisement out of Philly that showed here for a day or two, but no campaigning took place.

Mr. Codey, how relevant are we?

Relevancy

Who would have thunk it? Xpatriated Texan agrees with me.

And, just to make it more relevant, ten of our twenty super-delegates have publicly declared for the struggling Hillary Cliinton campaign. With polls showing that HRC maintains at least a fifteen point lead over her nearest challenger – well, let’s just say we have been fortunate that being stuck between NYC and Philly gives candidates an easy way to make a campaign stops between airports.

You want to know something that will make you sick? We would have been better off if we hadn’t moved our primary at all.

New Jersey leaped-frogged its presidential primary this year, along with a lot of other states. The charge was led by Senate President Dick Codey in an effort to make New Jersey relevant in the national election.

Of course, the second part of relevance came up recently when New Jersey passed legislation that will disregard New Jersey’s voters’ choices. Rather than obligate the Electoral College to vote the way New Jerseyans vote, if enough other states sign on to this God-forsaken law, our electors will cast New Jersey’s ballots for the candidate who wins the popular vote nationally.

Being relevant in the Garden State means watching how everyone else votes. Hasn’t this worked out well for us?

Codey’s Primary Screws Taxpayers

Dick Codey got his way. New Jersey moved its presidential primary from June to February. Virtually every other state moved its primary too and New Jersey is no better suited to be “relevant” than it had in June. Furthermore, the $10 million New Jersey has set aside for holding this February primary sounds like it won’t be enough.

What will the legislature do? Pull it from the General Fund:

If the price runs over, the state legislature will appropriate money from the general fund

I suppose there will be another call to raise taxes to cover that expense.

So predictable.

Of course, shore towns will be scrambling finding volunteers in the off-season to run the polling stations. Senate President Codey does not understand New Jersey shore.

Your Property Tax Refund Will Be Taxed

New Jersey lawmakers and Governor Corzine conspired to re-elect the Democratic majority in state government next month. To do so, last year they hiked the sales tax. That money sat in an account until it was used to fund this year’s property tax rebate.

I have previously detailed how insidious this plan is.

Have you watched television recently? The state Democratic Party is blasting the airwaves with a plethora of campaign advertisements. The First and Third legislative districts are pumping the same advertisements, but with different legislators. Albano, Van Drew, and Sweeney are all claiming to have provided property tax reform as well as working to rid the state of wasteful spending.

The problem with that is that the Homestead Rebate program is wasteful government spending. The state borrowed the money (yes, with interest) to pay the rebates.

Hold your legislators accountable. They want to claim credit for the rebate. Fine, let them. Of course, that thousand dollars you received is really only worth $667. “What?” you say. Well, the federal government gets its share. Assuming a 33% tax bracket and itemized property tax deduction, that property tax rebate isn’t quite what your legislators are claiming.

Sure, $667 is nice. Remember, Senate President Codey claimed:

The silver lining in the protracted budget debate is that we have produced a guaranteed revenue source to provide substantial property tax relief

These are the same folks who promised revolutionary property taxes reform by the end of 2006. I am not certain about all communities, but I do know Millville raised its property taxes this year.

The folks running for re-election are the ones who created the problems. On the heels of all this, someone is going to have to pay to fix the bridges, fund the public pensions, create revenue to support the bloated budget, not to mention pay for the pet projects these folks keep promising constituents. It’s time to say, “Enough!”

How Relevant Are We?

For more than two years, I have criticized the move of New Jersey’s presidential primary.  Once held in early June, New Jersey will now hold its primary on the 5 February 2008.

State Senate President Dick Codey led the charge for the change.

Today we are achieving the goals I set out in the State of the State address: to improve every New Jerseyan’s access, to make sure people have confidence in the voting system, and to make sure New Jersey’s votes actually mean something in the presidential primaries.

Codey, 7 July 2005

That was after Codey first enacted a change.  Then states began leap-frogging New Jersey.  Codey successfully got the primary moved again.  Then he stated:

Now, New Jersey voters will finally have a voice in what is arguably the most crucial election of our generation.

For too long New Jersey voters have been bystanders during this critical phase of the electoral process. Judging by the early visits we’ve already received from Presidential contenders, it’s clear that this bill has already begun to make us more than just an ATM machine for candidates.

Codey, 15 March 2007

New Jersey is certainly showing its relevance in the 2008 presidential campaign.  Next week the New Jersey Democratic Party is holding its convention in Atlantic City.  Hillary Clinton will attend.  Yet, no other Democratic candidate will.  Even Garden State liberals are lamenting New Jersey’s irrelevance in presidential primaries:

It’s quite obvious we are still not relevant.

Earlier primaries do not make a state relevant.  That only works for a couple.  Yes, Iowa and New Hampshire have had a bonus being the first two up for a long time.  But 50 states clamoring for those two spots do not make 50 states relevant.   As I stated in 2005:

And while New Jersey may not be a huge player presently in national politics, it is perfectly positioned to be should a primary ever be contested. We get to be the decision maker. Moving to February does not offer that. And frankly, shouldn’t primaries be contested? If they are not, then what difference does it make when the Garden State votes? It appears the studies support this.

No one is campaigning in New Jersey because there is nothing to compete for.  The high-ranking officials have already endorsed Hillary Clinton.  The state is so blue, no Republican is going to squander campaign funds for votes that do not matter.

If New Jersey wants to be relevant, it needs to not tilt so heavily in favor of one party and one candidate.  It needs to be more moderate.  As long as the Democratic Party is controlled by leftists such as Menendez, Lautenberg, Corzine, etc., New Jersey will continue to be irrelevant.

Daily Journal Calls for Pension Reform

The Daily Journal’s editorial today is right on the money!

In Codey’s dual positions as governor and Senate president, he has the legislative power and bully pulpit to totally eliminate dual-office holding with no exemptions or grandfather clauses.

Legislators need to do more to bring sanity to the state pension system.

They need to bar state employees from tacking government jobs together to increase their pensions, and eliminate boosting of pensions by adding high-paying jobs near the end of their government careers. They need to eliminate the practice of people using part-time jobs to accrue time in the pension system, such as former Gov. James McGreevey is doing with his job teaching ethics and leadership at Kean University.

Requiring pension system participants to be full-time workers and recalculating retirement benefits so they’re based on one job only and the highest salaries over a five-year period would go a long way toward eliminating these abuses.

But we can already hear the mountain of excuses lawmakers will have on why these pension reform steps can’t be taken now. There are no legitimate excuses, however, on delaying a bill that would eliminate dual-office holding once and for all.

It’s way past time such a reform measure became law. If lawmakers delay it any further, voters will remember in November.

Bravo!

Time for Less

Only in New Jersey could one seriously suggest that state legislators earn a pay raise in a time of fiscal crisis.

Could a full-time legislature be part of the solution to many of New Jersey’s political problems? . . . Currently, our part-time legislators earn $49,000 per year plus health and pension benefits. Perhaps a full-time salary plus benefits might be the way to go.

The public is targeting public employees, particularly in New Jersey, and their benefits to help control property taxes. Property taxes are out of control in the Garden State. Reform has not happened. During the analysis period for reform, we learned that “leaders” in New Jersey want to spend another billion dollars on education.

The solution obviously then is to pay legislators more to do their job. Yes, indeed that’ll help the taxpayers.

This is something that Dick Codey will like.

When, dear reader, do we ever hear about cutting spending? Not spending at a slower rate, but an actual cut? Any department that could be done away with? Any positions that could be pared down? Any idea that is met with, “Yes, that sounds great, but it is just not something we can afford in New Jersey”?

We don’t ever hear those things. All that is ever proposed are solutions that cost money. We’ll be told that the cost for this is minimal. When compared to that billion dollars these folks want for education, it is indeed minimal. But it all is more. It is time for less.

Corzine Wants More Debt

The cluelessness of New Jersey politicians is exasperating.

The first year of Governor Corzine’s term saw more debt added to the taxpayers’ back as we will still be paying for potholes filled last year in 2020, a sales tax increase, and inaction on the promised property tax reform that was the anchor of Corzine’s campaign. All the while, local communities raised local taxes. New Jersey extended its “lead” as having the highest property taxes in the land.

A couple weeks ago I blasted Corzine for his timing. The governor has not learned his lesson.

Given the fiscal peril the state of New Jersey is in, the legislature is pushing for a ballot question for citizens (not all taxpayers mind you) to okay another $230 million of debt. Truth be told, the legislature wants $500 million, but have not voted on that bill yet.

New Jersey is already the fourth most indebted state in the land, but if Democrats in Trenton have their way, we’ll move up a bit on that list. All for what?

Stem cell research.

Voter approval would boost plans by Gov. Jon S. Corzine and Democrats who control the Legislature to make New Jersey a stem cell research leader, but would also increase state debt that has nearly doubled since 2000 to $29.7 billion.Voter approval would boost plans by Gov. Jon S. Corzine and Democrats who control the Legislature to make New Jersey a stem cell research leader, but would also increase state debt that has nearly doubled since 2000 to $29.7 billion.

Yup, your elected leaders (spearheaded by Dick Codey) want to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars in order to give it away in the form of grants to companies.

I am all for spurring the economy along, but can the state afford this right now? Forget the moral questions that stem cell research raises, the taxpayers of this state cannot afford to spend money. The failed property tax reform discussed sinking yet another billion dollars into the education budget. I do not think those “in charge” understand the problem.

New Jersey cannot afford to spend any money. The debt we carry has doubled since 2000. We already owe $30 billion. This proposal adds another $20 million in mandatory expenses (not to mention what it does to the state’s credit rating) to the budget. That is completely unacceptable.

Governor Corzine, your business background is failing our state.

On Codey’s Watch

New Jersey Senate President Dick Codey (former interim governor after McGreevey resigned) has championed moving the Garden State’s presidential primary to an earlier slot so New Jersey will be a player in national politics. Our dismay at that is well documented.

It seems that Codey, who has been in state government since 1974, has been in a leadership position as resident after resident has fled from this once proud state. With the latest Census Bureau report that New Jersey’s population has now fallen behind North Carolina’s, our state is primed to lose a seat in the US House of Representatives after the 2010 census.

Would it not be more prudent for Senator Codey to work toward building jobs, reducing taxes, and improving the quality of living in our state to become a player than to move an election? What is better for New Jersey?