Tag Archives: Milam

Voted

11-11-08 Voted

This evening Beetle and I voted in our election. She is a second grader who has never missed an election. I am proud of that. 🙂

The Boy voted too with Mommy. We had two vehicles since we had met for dinner locally (to stimulate the economy) to celebrate my FIL’s birthday. As Frank is fond of saying, “If my mother had only waited two more days, I would have been born on the birthday of the Marine Corps.” Semper Fi!

As usual, most of who/what I voted for was defeated.

The Republicans took control of the freeholder board. It is time for them to do something memorable or they will lose control in two years when Fiocchi and Kirstein are up for re-election.

How this area continues to re-elect the Van Drew team is beyond me. I have thoughts about the get out the vote campaigns that I will write about in another piece.

And speaking of Fiocchi, I am pleased that his campaign to step up to the state assembly failed. I did not vote for him. The man totally abused the electorate. After campaigning for two years for freeholder and finally winning a seat, two months later after doing absolutely nothing, he began campaigning for the assembly. Based on what? He is an example of why the public is disillusioned with politicians.

So, what are you going to do for Cumberland County Messrs. Shepherd, Kirstein, and Fiocchi and Ms. Grucci? Doing nothing will swing the county back to Democratic control for another 30+ years. You’re on the clock and we’re watching . . .

No Help from Milam

After publishing my piece this morning about how Assemblyman Milam had disregarded my plea for help, lo and behold, Milam responded. He sent me the following.

Dear Mr.Owens,
First let me apologize for not getting back to you sooner.I have been trying to gather information on both the County & State level in order to answer your question. According to Bob Giles, Director of the New Jersey Division of Elections, there was a 2003 opinion released from the Attorney General’s office prohibiting photography within a polling place.This was their interpretation of statute 19-15-8. I have included his contact information at the end of this email,
Sincerely,
Matt Milam

In addition, below please find the information i was able to obtain from http://citmedia.org/blog/?s=photo+polling.

New Jersey law prohibits more than one person from entering a polling booth, or for anybody to reveal their marked ballot to another person. These prohibitions mean that you cannot film or photograph another person as he is marking his ballot in the voting booth, and you cannot film or photograph your own marked ballot. New Jersey also prohibits any loitering, interference, electioneering, or solicitation of any voters. This means any photography or filming that occurs within the polling place can be stopped if it is judged to violate any of these restrictions. Each county board of election makes its own regulations, which will vary from county to county.
From: http://citmedia.org/blog/?s=photo+polling

New Jersey
• Contact Information:
o New Jersey Division of Elections
o Telephone number: (609) 292-3760
o Toll-Free Hotline: (877) NJVOTER
o E-mail: njelections@lps.state.nj.us
• Relevant Law:
o N.J. Stat. § 19:15-8 – Persons allowed in polling places
o N.J. Stat. § 19:15-26 – Ballots marked secretly in booth; no more than one voter in booth at a time; violation disorderly persons offense
o N.J. Stat. § 19:32-48 – Removal of persons from polling places
o N.J. Stat. § 19:34-6 – Prohibited actions in polling place on election day
o N.J. Stat. § 19:34-7 – Violation of ballot regulations
o Link to New Jersey Statutes (choose Title 19, Elections)

Sigh . . . it’s a circle dealing with these folks. The letter Milam referenced was addressed last June. If the good assemblyman had paid attention back in September, he would have recalled that I found this letter lacking. That was my purpose of contacting my lawmaker.

As a lawmaker, Milam should be privy to the laws and be able to enact legislation. Shoot, that is the one good thing our three representatives have been good for, pushing bills.

Instead Milam is rehashing what I already have on my plate. He then went on to point me to the “pertinent” laws. Of course, the laws do not state photography is prohibited. Only some letter written to a Monmouth County Board of elections Official states that. Even if that does have jurisdiction to my case, I want a law to override this silliness. My lawmaker is not putting that on the table.

Why would a legislator think rehashing information I already have is helping a constituent?

Matt Milam Does Not Represent Me

Longtime readers know one of my ongoing battles is being able to take photographs at the polling place. I have had nothing but run-ins over the years. Last September, I approached Assemblyman Milam about my problem. He promised to help. I never heard back regarding that issue.

A few weeks ago I noticed that Mr. Milam is now on Facebook. I took that opportunity to remind him of my plight. I sent him a message reminding him of the issue and my desire to take photographs in today’s school board election. Milam responded:

thank you for contacting me, i will check with my staff to see where we stand with this issue,
i’ll be in touch,
Thank you again,
Matt

The election is today, I have heard nothing from my elected representative. So much for I’ll be in touch.

While I fully admit this is not the most pressing issue ever for an assemblyman, it is an issue that he has had on his plate since September. He has produced absolutely nothing. Can you name one thing Milam has done since September for any constituent?

Milam is not serving his constituents. Remember this next time he begs for your vote.

Election Day

Voting

I love Election Day! That I was off from work today made it just that more festive. I voted alone around 10:00 a.m. Gert went in with the children later in the evening.

Watching the returns this evening has been interesting. It sure looks as though Chris Christie is going to pull out the upset here in Blue Jersey: a Republican winning a statewide campaign.

The ballot question to borrow $400 million to fund park cleanups, football fields, and other pet projects is going to squeak through.

It looks like 1st district voters are happy to send two men who have done little for them back to the Assembly. One thinks so little of his record he talks about his son who died four years prior to his running for office. The other parks in handicapped spaces, calls it a BS ticket, and then squanders local tax dollars by going to court rather than just paying the fee.

Even worse, Cumberland County voters are more than happy to send Lou Magazzu back to the freeholder board. It looks as though Tom Shepard will join him, so the 7-0 board will now be 6-1. Nelson Thompson looks to be in as the third freeholder.

Gloria Noto has enough of a lead to hold off Van Embden.

It’s been a mixed evening. I did not subscribe that New Jersey’s gubernatorial election was a referendum on President Obama’s presidency . . . until President Obama said it was. Since he battled so hard for a man who has been disastrous for the Garden State, he can take the loss on his record. So, Obama looks to be the big loser tonight. Well, so was Corzine. Not only did he lose his job, he spent millions to do so.

I am not certain we are poised for a conservative revolution. The GOP is still a mess. Christie did well in a time when things were as stacked against Democrats as they have ever been in this state. Now it is time for him to govern. Governor-elect Christie, you have a massive budget hole for next year’s budget. How are you going to close that? You’re now on the clock.

Soliciting 1st District Assembly Candidates

There is a dearth of candidates running for the state Assembly from the 1st District. Incumbents Nelson Albano and Matt Milam are being challenged for the second time by Michael Donohue and newcomer John McCann. Citizens of the district deserve a better selection.

Albano and Milam have had undistinguished terms legislatively as our representatives. They are masters of getting their names in the newspapers due to their affiliation with state senator Jeff Van Drew. Milam confirms his politics are manipulated by Van Drew and makes no apologies for it.

“I don’t take any offense from people calling me a Van Drew puppet,” Milam said, saying it would be foolish to be angered by it. “I actually take it as a compliment.”

This isn’t the first lapse in judgment from the rookie assemblyman. Milam showed his disdain for constituents during his “BS ticket” fiasco when he parked in a handicapped space and then refused to move his vehicle so he could resume his time in a bar.

Albano thinks so little of his legislative career that he chooses to drag his family’s tragedy into politics over and over to capture sympathy rather than talk about what he has done since being elected.

Neither candidate warrants support.

Unfortunately for 1st District citizens, the alternatives are not much more promising.

One would think Michael Donohue would be an attractive candidate. He spoke well about the stranglehold Democrats have on politics in New Jersey. I voted for Donohue two years ago when he first ran for the Assembly. I will not vote him this November. After the forum last month, I asked Mr. Donohue if he would pledge to get rid of what remains of property tax rebates at the state level. This insidious plan is the epitome of wasteful government spending. Not surprisingly, Mr. Donohue refused. It was his reason that gave me great pause. He told me that until there was another program to put in its place he could not favor getting rid of the rebate program. Of course, another government program that filters money through Trenton is not what is needed. Donohue showed his hand to me with this exchange that he will not be any different than what we already have. Thus, he is unworthy of my support.

John McCann is a green politician (green as in the original meaning of the word, not in the politically-correct meaning some use today). He speaks from a small businessman’s perspective. He has said the right things, although does not instill passion among the constituency . . . at least not from where I stand. He seems to let Donohue set the pace for him. As a first-time candidate, that is understandable. I didn’t have the opportunity to question McCann directly about the rebate program. His answer may have mimicked his running mate’s for all I know. Nevertheless, from what I heard, he is acceptable, although not ideal.

So, that’s one out of four I can vote for. I need another candidate. Should two stellar folks come my way, I will have no issue changing course. Yet, it is 16 October and the election is just a few weeks away. We are not being served well legislatively. The challenge to that is not particularly bright. Perhaps the general public is happy to have Jeff Van Drew orchestrate our representation. I suspect Albano and Milam will be re-elected. That will clear the way for Van Drew to challenge LoBiondo next time around.

Sigh . . .

Polling Place Photography

Letter Regarding Photography in the Polling Place

eCache readers may recall my run-in at the polling place in June. I have been banned from taking photographs at the polling place. Of course, there is no law that prevents it. As far as I can tell, there is no ordinance, resolution, guideline, etc. that prevents it. What we have is a Board of Elections officer who has issued an edict and a vigilant pollster who enforces it. The best that can offered is that some lawyer wrote a letter to elections officer in Monmouth County six years ago. Of course, there is very little context provided in the letter that explains the “ruling”.

At a break during the 1 September Millville City Commission meeting I spoke with Matt Milam about this issue. He and his staff are looking into it. Milam was sympathetic to the issue. He asked me to follow up via e-mail. I did and shared the kinds of photographs I wanted to take. I also shared numerous photographs of New Jersey politicians and citizens at the polls.

Ever looking after her son, my mother e-mailed me a url this morning. The Polling Place Photo Project looks to be an outstanding project. The project is just what it sounds like: photographs taken at the polls. New Jersey is well-represented.

In today’s society where virtually every cellphone has a camera, banning photography at public events is not only impractical, but nonsensical.

We’ll see what Milam turns up before the November election. I’ll be certain to document it in photographs.

1st Legislative District Assembly Forum

Wednesday evening I attended the forum hosted by Millville First. Candidates running for the Assembly for the 1st and 3rd Legislative Districts were invited to the event. I wish Google Calendar had a mechanism to see when an event was added to it. I know I read about this some time ago. Millville First has a post dated 20 August indicating the event. According to Jason Leday of The News reported today that incumbents Nelson Albano and Matt Milam would not attend the event.

A representative from the office of Democratic incumbents Nelson Albano and Matt Milam said the two assemblymen would be out of the state today.

Note to citizens of the 1st District, your elected officials shunned meeting with you to be out of the state. There is nothing in their official position that requires them to spend time outside the Garden State. One of the candidates quipped that they were watching President Obama’s speech with Governor Corzine. I hope that was in jest and not proved to be accurate.

Anyhow, that left us with the Republican candidates in the 1st and 3rd to speak with us this evening. One wouldn’t think there would be much interest with a one-sided forum, however, there were a few moments of interest.

Mike Donohue comes off well. A lawyer from Cape May county, he is making his second run at the Assembly. He lost to Albano and Milam last time around. He was on the ticket with Clark and Asselta. I voted for him in that election.

He introduced himself and spoke about his conservative principals. He sounded great! Truly. He had a couple minor comments throughout that caught me off guard, but generally speaking, he was very impressive.

His running mate is John McCann, a realtor from Ocean City. He too spoke to conservative values. His litmus test for legislation is if it is good for small businesses, it’s good for New Jersey. He is far less seasoned than Donohue, but made no mistakes this evening.

Both candidates were asked to speak to the Dollar-A-Day auto insurance that New Jersey offers. Neither candidate (nor those from the 3rd) addressed the fact that these policies do not cover the other driver in an accident. That demonstrates their lack of knowledge of the issue.

Both spoke about not only the high level of taxes (as expected) but also the regulatory nightmare the state puts businesses through. That was refreshing! The format of the forum perhaps did not allow the the level of detail I desired, but all the talking was on a surface level. That is troublesome.

No one made a mistake publicly. Unfortunately, Mike Donohue really disappointed me in the end. He came over and wanted to engage in small talk. He and I had spoken briefly ahead of the forum, and he definitely noted I videotaped the session. I asked him directly, “Are you willing to go on camera and declare you will abolish the remaining property tax rebates?” He asked for clarification. His campaign manager hurried over. Candidate Donohue declined to make that pledge. He began to hem and haw. I said I understood the politics of the issue. He said that despite the politics (only the old folks get those rebates now and no one wants to piss them off), he said until there was a mechanism in place to lower property taxes, it is warranted.

That answer nullified everything he stated this evening. His answer demonstrates to me that he is not sincere when he stated that we have to change how Trenton does business.

I truly understand not wanting to take such a pledge. But to slough it off because something else needs to be in place really misses the point. I told him it costs the state money to run the program. He began drifting so 3rd District candidate Lee Lucas could have his time. Nice.

I do not have faith that Donohue will be the great savior. I suspect that candidate does not exist. The team of Albano and Milam have not served our district well. Change for change sake is not appealing, although it may be better than spreading out the vote.

New Jersey’s 1st District Leaders Are Clueless

Governor Corzine has proposed a budget that is smaller by about $4 million than last year’s budget. While that sounds wonderful, the reality is that one-year gimmicks, which Corzine promised not to use, and deferring pension payments are how this budget was decreased. Spending was not decreased at all, it just wasn’t increased much.

Last week Corzine finalized a deal with one of the state worker unions. He heralded it as a cost savings deal. It is no such thing. The workers agreed to 10 furlough days instead of 12. But they get bankable vacation days in return. They’ll cash those out at retirement at a higher rate than what they lose next year.

Corzine has been a disaster as a financial caretaker of our money. So you would think that I would applaud Nelson “Little Buddy” Albano’s comments yesterday that he, Jeff “I Sponsor Every Bill” Van Drew and Ass. Milam will vote against the Corzine budget. I don’t. Did you catch the reasoning?

Assemblyman Nelson Albano spoke to Coastal Broadcasting and reiterated that State Senator Jeff Van Drew, his colleague in the Assembly, Matt Milam, and he would not be voting for the budget because of the significant cuts it would bring to the 1st District.

That’s right, these three “leaders” want more money spent in the budget. These are the guys who led us while Corzine ensured that not one penny of the $891 million of federal transportation stimulus money was spent in Cumberland County. Not one penny! Now they are outraged so will vote against the budget.

Could this have anything to do with Albano and Milam’s re-election campaign this year? It’s not exactly as though they can ride the coattails of the governor since he is even more unpopular than former Governor Florio. So these two do-nothings are trying to distance themselves from the sinking governor.

P.S. Have you heard anything about Ass. Milam’s leadership in ensuring that handicap parking spaces are properly marked? Neither have I. I suspect the Ass. wants that issue forgotten so he can be re-elected. Can you come up with one thing Ass. has done for his constituents? I’m drawing a blank too.

Matt Milam Is a Disgrace

09-01-28 Matt Milam Is a Disgrace

The 1st district was bamboozled. It somehow elected Jeff “I Sponsor Every Bill” Van Drew to the NJ Assembly several years ago on the coattails of Jim “I’m a Gay American” McGreevey. He beat incumbent Jack Gibson. Van Drew is an affable man and did himself well in marketing himself once elected despite doing nothing of importance.

Jack Gibson served with Van Drew when Nick Asselta moved up to the Senate. Van Drew orchestrated a coup by ousting Gibson a second time with political-neophyte Nelson Albano. As Van Drew admitted, Albano was the right candidate being an Italian from Vineland.

Nelson “Little Buddy” Albano has had an undistinguished legislative career. But Van Drew is the master of photo-op. And when Sen. Asselta disgraced himself, it was time for another move.

In 2007, Van Drew took on Asselta and won. He had Albano still on his ticket and he brought on another political rookie in Matt Milam. Milam’s father was a stalwart in the community. I served with him on The Daily Journal’s Community Advisory Board in 2000 and 2001. While I disagreed with Bill Milam on many issues, he was a gentleman who deserved respect.

Unfortunately, Matt is no gentleman.

On 17 October 2007 Ass. Milam pulled his vehicle into the public lot next to the Oar House. He parked right outside the side door of the bar. Inside he went to meet with local lawyer, Brendan J. Kavanagh. While inside the bar, a Millville police officer noticed Milam’s truck parked illegally and ticketed the assemblyman. Milam went to the scene, protested, and took possession of the ticket. He placed the ticket on the dashboard of his vehicle and returned to the bar.

Locals certainly know of this space. There is a handicap space with a wide access area to the right of it. It is designed for vehicles with a lift, like my father used to drive. A decent representation of the parking spot is found here. Unfortunately, the diagram does not show the slant of the space. The slant cuts into the actual space. Admittedly, it is large enough to pull a vehicle into, although the ass-end will stick out in the narrow strip. I imagine a SUV would make it difficult for a vehicle pulling in from High Street.

Nevertheless, Milam was ticketed and did not move his vehicle. That is important to remember. He tosses out a lot of distraction (faded blue lines, not well-lighted, etc.), but what is not disputed is that he was ticketed, he put the ticket in his vehicle in public view, and returned to the bar. Local artist, Carl Johnson (you should read his blog), took a photograph of the ticket on the dashboard.

Milam stated several times he would not willingly park in a handicap parking space:

  • 21 November 2008: “If anyone is aware of the importance of not parking in a handicapped space, it’s me. Morally, I would never do that.”
  • 13 January 2009: “It gets down to looking out for the handicapped who need these spots,” Milam said, “and a person who would accidentally, like I did, park in that spot.”
  • 27 January 2009: “So if anyone knows the importance of not parking in a handicapped parking spot, it’s me. I would never do it intentionally.”

If he would never do so intentionally, why is the ticket on the dashboard and the vehicle still in the illegal spot?

Not only would Milam park in handicap space intentionally, he did! Now Milam lies about it.

All this is a political nightmare for the egotistical assemblyman. My mother has said more than once to me that most fallen politicians fall not because of the initial deed but because of the cover-up. This is indeed Milam’s problem.

Milam pulled his vehicle into a spot that was illegal to park in. He was ticketed and rather than be embarrassed that he had “accidentally” parked in an illegal spot, he left the vehicle there so he could return to the bar. Then he impulsively declared he was going to fight the ticket, thus costing Millville to incur court fees. But by doing so, he escalated the prominence of this story.

Then Ass. Milam decried:

It was a BS ticket

Yeah, that’s the way to play down the story, rookie.

Milam did go to court where he pleaded guilty. What a great headline that will be mailed out throughout the district once election season hits. You sure do know how to play politics.

And if that wasn’t enough, after a couple weeks when the story was dying somewhat, what did our great representative do? Well, not content with having the story die, Milam wrote to the local daily. In it he stated:

there I was on Jan. 12 in Millville pleading guilty to parking illegally in a handicapped parking spot. It cost me a $256 fine, $33 in court costs, and attorney fees

Yeah, he couched that statement with a lot of “it’s someone else’s fault” stuff, but there it is.

Recall, Milam did not move his vehicle after he knew it was parked illegally. How’s that for character?

Here’s something else to ponder . . . how many handicap parking spaces are you familiar with that have regular parking spots next to them on the right? 😉

Milam is a disgrace. Remember that this November when you enter the voting booth.

They Just Don’t Get It

The Press of Atlantic City gets it. So does freshman state Assemblyman Vincent Polistina.

Consider this scene from the Assembly floor, reported by The Associated Press: “As the state Assembly Thursday blitzed through dozens of bills, Assemblyman Vincent J. Polistina refused to sit still.

Over and over again, the freshman Republican from Atlantic County, participating in his first voting session, stood to question how much each initiative would cost the state, even on the most innocuous sounding bills, such as giving certificates to New Jerseyans who served in the military during the Cold War.

It’s not that Polistina opposed honoring veterans.

He said he favored doing that.

But the bill, Polistina said, would cost the state an estimated $350,000. …

‘This bill will cost money,’ Polistina said. ‘I do not believe this is the right time to be introducing anything that could cost upwards of $350,000.'”

The Press editorial nails the issue precisely:

In addition to his controversial toll hike, Corzine has also vowed to hold next year’s spending at this year’s level, which could require $2.5 billion in spending cuts. Still, the Assembly wants to hand out certificates to veterans of the Cold War.

The culture in Trenton has to change. Polistina deserves praise for recognizing that – and acting on it. Not many rookie assemblymen make so much noise at their first voting session.

But the question remains: What will it take for the rest of them to get it?

Locally, Nelson Albano and Matt Milam voted in favor of this expenditure. How does that cut spending? Cuts need to occur. Adding spending is wrong.

These guys just do not get it.

Who is going to cut spending? When will it happen?