Tag Archives: Van Drew

Political Hypocrisy

Yesterday, I wrote about political leaders are not convicted to what they say.

New Jersey held its primary yesterday. Taxpayers paid millions so Democrats and Republicans can determine who the voters will get to vote for in November. This is a private event that the public is forced to fund.

The public is also forced to deal with the event.

Representative Jeff Van Drew (R) went begging for votes. Presumably, he wanted the public to vote for him to be the Republican nominee yesterday.

Jeff Van Drew endangered children.

Our schools were wide open so the public could enter and vote for him. And they did.

Yet, Van Drew calls for measures to lock down schools. Talk about fake and phony.

I Voted

20-11-03 I Voted

Today is election day. In New Jersey this year, machine voting was outlawed by Governor Murphy. I do not like that. Mail-in voting was strongly encouraged with every registered voter receiving a mail-in ballot as well as other taxpayer-paid mail explaining how to do mail-in voting.

I am skeptical, not to mention I like going to the polls.

Most polling places were not open today. A condensed number were open to receive one’s mail-in ballot. So disappointing. Nevertheless, I voted.

Neither candidate of the two major parties are acceptable to me. Much like in 2016, I voted for the Libertarian candidate. This year it is Jo Jorgensen. She will not win. If she did, she wouldn’t be ready to run our country. Even so, I voted for her. Republicans and Democrats need to run better candidates. Until they do, I will not vote for them. There is virtually no difference between the two parties. Both run up the debt. I believe in many Libertarian policies, so I made my voice heard. It won’t matter.

Cory Booker is not a good senator. I am willing to give the Republican a try. He will not win. Booker will continue not being a good senator.

Neither candidate for U.S. Representative is acceptable to me. For 20 years I have railed against Jeff “I Sponsor Every Bill” Van Drew. That he switched parties doesn’t change that he has been wrong on the vast majority of issues over these last two decades. Amy Kennedy is a novice with the big Democrat machine behind her (not to mention the Kennedy legacy). Her policies are unacceptable. I voted for the Libertarian candidate. I know little of Jesse Ehrnstrom other than he will not win. Much like the presidential race, I hope enough people express displeasure with the offerings so next time around we have better candidates.

I voted for the Republican slate for freeholders. Democrats have done nothing positive for Cumberland County in the 27 years I have lived here. Other than one political cycle, Democrats have run the county. They have done so poorly. I don’t expect Republicans to do much good, but to shake things up I feel is in our best interest.

Question 1: Legalize Marijuana
I voted against this. While I am pretty close to the Libertarian Party, I am skeptical of providing government more responsibility. Government doesn’t do much well. I usually stipulate defense and roads, but there are plenty of arguments against even those. Anyhow, I need a plan that does not open up a new market as a source of revenue taxes. Until then, I do not want government to do any more; I want it to do less.

I suspect this will pass.

Question 2: Property Tax Deduction for Peacetime Veterans
I am in the minority, I am sure, but I do not think specialized tax breaks for specific populations paid for by the rest of the population is good public policy.

There are certain perks for serving in the military. Those are known going in. We don’t need to create more perks after the fact.

Sure, I will be excoriated for this, but I believe that if property tax relief is good for peacetime veterans, it is good for everyone. Call me a radical.

Question 3: Redistricting
I am skeptical of any change to redistricting. Shoot, I am skeptical of the current plan. The last thing I want to do is change the rules without knowing all the fallout. How about we just wait for the damn census and move on with the other business government is supposed to do. This is a pure political move.

It would not surpise me if every vote I made today is on the losing side. I am comfortable with my votes. In addition to the above, I cast three write-in votes for the Millville School Board: Lynne Porreca Compari, Joy Sooy, and myself. No, I haven’t spoken to either of those two in a few years. I just tried to think of three people I thought would serve the city and the school district well. Three more votes that will not win.

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

Gov. Christie just tweeted, “I want everyone to take a moment today to take a deep breathe, appreciate where we are, & know we are all not whole until the job is done.” Um, to think we paid someone else to tweet that touchy-feely self-help. Very presidential, eh? . . . Dave Vanaman is touting keeping the tax rate stable as a reason to vote for him for City Commission. No disrespect sir, but the budget isn’t exactly your responsibility as the Public Safety Director. If taxpayers accept that, then we have to say Derella did a good job, but he didn’t. Tout what you have done in your area, which you did not . . . The problem with The Daily Journal’s paywall is that citizens cannot get the information they need to vote. Apparently the paper posted video and an interview with each candidate for City Commission. I cannot watch because I don’t pay. Part of me says a business can do what it likes. Another part of me says a citizen is supposed to be served by the Fourth Estate since it is granted privileges that I provide . . . When a candidate can express “The Route 55 project will bring more people to the Cumberland County area, including the New Jersey Motorsports Park on Millville, the lawmakers say,” then the opposition hasn’t done a good enough job presenting NJMP in a negative light. Obviously, Sen. Van Drew doesn’t want my vote because the last thing I want is more people at the noise maker . . . “We don’t know why corporations don’t want to relocate here.” Well, how about crime and the poorly-educated populace . . . the federal government shut down for 16 days recently. No one mentions it. For one thing, everybody ended up getting paid. President Obama’s failed policies overshadow the fact that few were inconvenienced when government was shut down . . . My son just showed me the Target catalog. He circled all the toys he wanted. The running total was ~$3,600 . . .

Bob Andrzejcak Gets the Van Drew Treatment

Bob Andrzejcak Political Flyer

It’s political season again. Nelson Albano trots out his dead son (check his Facebook page). Bob Andrzejcak has joined Team Van Drew. From all accounts, Andrzejcak seems like a nice enough fellow. He fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. He lost his leg.

Of course, Team Van Drew puts that up front and center because . . . well, that is important for the citizen to vote for him. Maybe the next photograph could be Bob Andrzejcak’s leg at Michael Albano’s grave!

When Politicians Get in the Way

Once again we see politicians stepping into public education.

My state senator, Jeff Van Drew, is trying to sound reasonable when he states that he would consider sex education studies for public school children that would teach about abuse.

New Jersey state Sen. Jeff Van Drew is open to the idea of educating school kids about child abuse, so long as it is done properly and doesn’t take away from a child’s studies.

Think about that for a moment . . .

Okay, ready? What part of the school day would not take away from a child’s studies?

Yup, there isn’t a part unless one is going to infringe upon the multiple meals students are served during the day, which I deem unlikely.

Make the argument all you want for how valuable this is, but you can’t add it without taking something away . . . unless you extend the day.

That, dear reader, is elementary mathematics. 😉

Now What, Sen. Van Drew?

Previously I have written about the asinine proposals state senator Jeff Van Drew has regarding the Beesleys Point Bridge (and here). Now it seems that Van Drew’s $1 deal will force locals to borrow cash to demolish it.

What?

Van Drew wanted to purchase the Beesleys Point Bridge, which was a private bridge that the state closed because of needed repairs. The owners could not afford to fix the bridge. Van Drew estimated it would cost $20 million to repair the bridge so he devised a plan to purchase the bridge for $1 and then get the state to foot the repairs. By the time he got around to requesting that, the estimate swelled to $32 million. Not surprisingly, the state said no.

Advance forward another year and now there is concern that the opened drawbridge may collapse. Now comes the plea to the taxpayers. The county freeholders recently bonded $1.2 million to tear down just that section of the bridge, leaving the balance of the bridge to be dealt with another time.

Remember this when Van Drew tells you he wants to be re-elected. The Beesleys Point Bridge fiasco is entirely his. Without his interference, this bridge would not be on the public’s dime, but still the private owner’s responsibility. Hold Van Drew accountable! Of course, Team Van Drew does everything together so Nelson Albano and Matt Milam are also on record with this disaster.

Van Drew Squanders Public’s Time

Jeff Van Drew, the prolific law writer in New Jersey, squandered the public’s time again today. Van Drew loves feelgood legislation. He’ll rename roads, pass dedications, etc. Today, Van Drew’s SR71 was read at the Transportation Committee. This bill calls on the United States Congress, which neither Van Drew nor any of his colleagues have any purview over, to stop airlines from charging fees for carry-on luggage.

This House respectfully memorializes the Congress of the United States to enact legislation to prohibit airlines from charging fees on carry-on baggage which meets existing restrictions on the weight, size, and number of bags.

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that airline fees are ridiculous, but if a company wants to charge for the bag I carry onto its plane, it has the right to do so. And if every other carrier follows suit, it’ll be the cost of doing business with them. It’ll suck, but that’s what it is.

Why Van Drew is wasting his Senate time, the time of his colleagues, etc. on this insidious bill that has no chance of doing anything is beyond me. Actually, it is not. Van Drew is the master of hype. His name is in the paper even more than Freeholder Magazzu. He gives the appearance of doing something, but it is worthless.

The bill specifically cites Spirit Airlines, which operates out of Atlantic City. How good is that for business in Van Drew’s district?

Questions for Jeff Van Drew

On 11 May New Jersey state senator Jeff Van Drew was scheduled to speak in Millville at the VFW. I attended that meeting. Unfortunately, Van Drew canceled his attendance. He was in a budget meeting with the governor.

I had prepared some questions for him prior to driving over. I just came across those notes. So Sen. Van Drew, will you kindly respond to the following?

  1. What is your opinion of part-time public employees receiving health benefits? Given that you are a part-time employee, will you advocate canceling all health benefits for New Jersey legislators?
  2. You encouraged the state to purchase the Beasley’s Point bridge. For years you have called for an influx of $20 million to restore the bridge. The price of the project has ballooned to $32 million, if not more. Libraries are closing, teachers are being let go, police officers are being terminated. Can New Jersey afford to invest in a bridge that few want at this time?
  3. New Jersey is in the process of applying for Race to the Top grants. The United States Constitution states that if it does not specifically delegate a right to the federal government, it falls to the states or the people. Education is not a fundamental right as held by SCOTUS. Why should New Jersey play along with the federal government to get this money? Doesn’t it weaken the state by subjecting it to the feds?
  4. Will you name one thing Team Van Drew member Milam has accomplished as an assemblyman that did not involve riding on your or Albano’s coattails?

Needlessly Complicated

I’ve mused over the years that if I ever became an elected official I would do little. It seems to me that politicians do things just to do them much of the time. Rather, I would work at streamlining what has already been done. Strip what is already on the books.

The reality is that government is needlessly complicated. Everything is so entwined it is difficult to unravel what has already been done. It has been going on for so long, it is difficult to even imagine government not providing some services that it does. Reading some of the comments recently about perhaps scuttling the school lunch program seems to support this.

One New Jersey politician that seems to be involved in legislation just to give the appearance of doing something is state senator Jeff Van Drew. Earning the moniker “I Sponsor Every Bill”, Van Drew sponsors more legislation than any other.

At present, Van Drew has introduced legislation that prevents school districts from using any money saved from freezing teacher salaries on anything other than teacher salaries. Yes, that is exactly what his bill would do. Not one penny of the savings could be used for classroom supplies for the students. Remember, education is about the students. Freeze the teacher salaries to gain control of the budget, but Van Drew would not permit the district to use that budget to address academic needs.

Talk to me again how a lie of politicians1 is best to address the educational needs of students.

Legislation like this is needlessly complicated.

1 I love collective nouns. I once read somewhere a suggestion that a group of politicians should be called a lie. I think it is extremely clever and have adopted it.

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . . Millville Edition

I didn’t read the BEN column today. It’s not a regular read unless some keywords show up in my Google Alerts. Anyhow, I missed the announcement that Jeff Van Drew had canceled his attendance at Millville First’s meeting. So there I was. They held a meeting anyhow. I figured I might as well stay . . . Commissioner Vanaman confirmed that no Commissioner (or part-time employee) receives a stipend in lieu of health benefits. Bravo! . . . He also mentioned that 17 slash titles have been eliminated. He estimated the savings was about $60,000. Slash titles are the extra titles some city employees have that garner a stipend on top of the employee’s salary. Another bravo! . . . A deal is in the works that will save all police and fire positions with no tax increase to Millville property owners. If this comes through, I will be a very happy camper . . . I am still confused as to what the Recreation Department does. Apparently there will still be an employee in the department despite there being no recreational activities . . . The big news is that NJMP apparently is low on cash. They approached CCIA (the dump) to help them re-finance their $40 million debt. Talks are ongoing behind closed doors . . . Meanwhile, $425,000 was had from the Cumberland County Empowerment Zone for “offseason operating expenses.” The loan is written that it will be paid back in a year with interest until the impending CCIA loan comes through. There is also language in the Empowerment Zone deal that states if NJMP can’t repay in a year, the loan will be extended to a decade. Go figure . . . I also learned that RAD was started with $8.3 million of borrowed money. Millville is still paying the vig on that loan . . . It was discussed that 65% of the municipal budget goes to public safety. Obviously such a large percentage makes it difficult to cut from other areas . . . Vanaman rattled off seven officers who will be retiring or leaving within the next year. He stated that was why he is adamant no others are cut. That’s commendable, but the room was clear: whatever as long as there is no tax increase . . . There was some discussion about a hold-up with the stop light being installed on the east end of town . . . there was an older couple who cracked me up. The lady was 81 and indicated that the new high school was inconsequential when it was announced that it wouldn’t be built until at least 2016 (if at all). She dismissed it, “I’ll be gone by then.” Her husband agreed . . . I reckon there were at least 30 folks there . . . I questioned Vanaman regarding the noise study. He said there would be movement very soon on that. I reminded him that we had been hearing that for some time. He indicated there was a deal being brokered. I don’t have a lot of hope for a good resolution, but we shall see . . . It was an interesting meeting . . .