Archive for the 'New Jersey Issues & Politics' Category

Floor Vote on Gay Marriage Scheduled for Thursday

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Last night, the New Jersey State Senate Judiciary committee passed legislation legalizing gay marriage by a 7-6 vote. Republican Bill Baroni, pictured right, was the decisive vote. The bill will now face a full floor vote on Thursday. My gut prediction is that this will fail, much like it failed last week in New York. Two Democrats, Committee Chair Paul Sarlo and Vice Committee Chair John Girgenti, voted against the bill in committee and getting this to 21 votes in the full Senate will be difficult. Most likely, the Democrats just want to be able to say they took action.

I never write much, if anything ever, about social issues. Social issues are not what wake me up in the morning. However, since the State Senate is considering the legislation, and it is the most high profile issue confronting our elected representatives, I suppose I will weigh in. This type of social engineering is the province of the voters. If they want gay marriage, so be it. If they do not, so be it. Marriage is not a civil institution. Defining marriage is not one of the two or three essential functions of government and it should be up to the people to decide what type of society they want to live in.

If this issue were confronting me via the initiative and referendum, I would probably vote no. Government does not exist to define personal relationships. Expanding the definition of marriage to include same sex couples would expand the power of government to create and bestow rights. There is nothing stopping a gay couple from buying two rings and calling each other a married couple. What they want is the official government signed, sealed and approved piece of paper saying they are married. Why do we want government to have that type of power over our lives? The pro-gay marriage side argues this is a fundamental issue of liberty but how free are you in a world where you have to obtain an official permission slip from the government in order to call you and your partner a married couple?


The Actual FDU Poll is Even Worse News for Christie

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Last night I posted that The Save Jersey Blog broke the news that the latest FDU Poll would have Corzine in the lead with 44% of the vote.

Well, the actual poll results have been released today and the situation is even more dire. Politico reports that Daggett is polling at 17% and Christie favorable/unfavorable is 38/45. This that the campaign is now between Christie and Daggett. Corzine’s numbers are not moving but Christie’s are droppng and Daggett is on the rise. Maybe today’s edorsement by the second largest environmental group will help Christie capture some Daggett voters. Maybe.

What this means is that Christie is going to have to ignore Corzine and attack Daggett. This diminishes Christie’s stature and only further elevates Daggett. This campaign is now an uphill fight for Christie. I am not sure what he can do to turn the momentum around because the dye is pretty close to being cast.

Christie’s idealism

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Star Ledger Columnist Paul Mulshine makes a forceful case that New Jersey conservatives are being sold down the river by Gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie.

Mulshine always generates consternation among Republican Party figures because he is the most vocal and visible conservative in New Jersey media. He has never been, and nor should he ever be, a cheerleader for the Republican Party. He is a principled advocate for the conservative movement, which is not the same thing as the Republican Party.

As a conservative, Mulshine is correct to be outraged by the policy positions staked out by Christie. His endorsement of the Obama Regime’s energy policy flies in the face of not only conservative thought, but sound economic and market principles. The left has planted their flag with these absurd alternative energy fantasies. If these technologies were practical, the private sector would be all over them and they would not require massive government favortism in the form of subsidies to be viable.

The Republican party is supposed to be grounded in realism. Let the Democrats preach about utopian fantasies that government will create, the Republican Party are the grown ups who know fantasy land rubbish when they see it and are responsible stewards of the tax payer dollar. Christie backing Obama’s energy plan is pure pie-in-the sky idealism that all things are possible and that ideas should not be judged on their practicality, but rather on how they make us feel and how noble the goals they seek to accomplish are.

If the Republican Party is ever to make a comeback it is going to not be based on moderating principles but in (re)embracing realism and prudence. The Bush Adminstration abandoned the realism camp abroad, with the adventure in Iraq, and domestically with massive government interventions in the form of No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D. Christie is rejecting prudence and realism for fantasy not only with his backing of Obama’s energy proposal, but also with his promise to cut the state income tax and increase property tax rebates. As Mulshine points out, this is impossible. The income tax funds property tax rebates. You cannot decrease one and increase the other. Making promises with no ability to pay for them is exactly the course George Bush took the Republican Party down with the Medicare presicription drug entitlement and it is the same thing Republicans are rightly thrashing Obama for with his proposal to socialize medicine.

The base of the Democratic Party in New Jersey is depressed. Polling shows that Obama will have no impact in the race. Chris Christie does not need to pander to democratic constituencies in order to win this election. What he needs to do is offer a realistic alternative to Corzine. New Jerseyans want property tax relief, not rebates. Property tax relief can easily be delivered by moving away from affordable housing and allocating school funding equally. These ideas can be sold in practical, non-idelogical terms based on the simple fact that the Abbot School funding program and affordable housing policies have not worked. Everyone knows they have driven up property taxes. The Christie campaign is worried about being labeled too far to the right. Fine. There is a conservative philosophical argument against these programs but Chrisite does not have to go there. The numbers tell the story.

We have had 8 long years, at the state and national level, of idealists, both Republican and Democrat as captains of the ships of state. We have suffered mightly for turning our backs away from prudent thinking with our country engages in endless conflicts abroad, a collapsed housing bubble and an economy in tatters due excessive borrowing by both government and consumers.

Friedrich Hayek famously dedicated The Road to Serfdom to the socialists of all parties. I dedicate this post to the idealists of all parties.

Lonegan and the GOP

Author: Rory B. Bellows

While I am strong supporter of Steve Lonegan, I find some aspects of his email criticizing the NJ GOP troubling. I fully support his criticisms of the Republican turncoats who voted for the Crap and Tax bill. That vote was a disgrace. However, some of his other claims are puzzling. Lonegan is outraged that the leadership of the stat committee blocked a move to adopt the national Republican Party platform for the state party. Lonegan and his supporters want the state party to adopt the national platform because of its strong pro-life planks. On one hand, they are arguing that the GOP should not be afraid to support pro-life positions. On the other hand, this is the party platform that John McCain adopted. McCain is the anti-Lonegan. He is a big government liberal Republican. That conservative activists would want anything to do with a platform adopted by a national party that he activists correctly argue has drifted leftward is puzzling. Would they also like the adopt the 2008 Republican Party position on the bailout bill? How about the McCain campaign’s support for Cap and Trade? This party platform represents the positions of a national party that drifted absurdly far from conservative principles and was soundly thrashed at the ballot box by a marxist street organizer. Yeah, let the state Republican Party follow that lead. Not that the NJ GOP needs any help to suffer crushing defeats.

Lonegan’s backing, which I am sure is done out of principle, is also odd because the focus of his campaign was on fiscal matters. The Republican committmen who wanted the state party to adopt the national platform only are doing so because of the abortion issue. And it’s foolish. Even if the Governor of New Jersey is pro-life, and the party adopts a pro-life platform, the Roe decision will still be the, unfortunate, law of the land. While I am a pro-life libertarian, much in the tradition of Ron Paul, Murray Sabrin and Judge Andre Nopolitano, the true conservative and federalist position is that social issues fall under the province of the tenth amendment and thus are matters of state’s rights. There should not be a national position on any of these issues unless it is that the issue of abortion is left to the individual states to decide. Conservatives like to rally around that the states represent 50 different labratories for democracy when opposing the oppressive once size fits all policy prescriptions of the Marxocrat Party. A conservative philosopher such as Steve Lonegan should be rallying around THAT idea.

New NJ Gov Poll

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Rasmussen Reports shows, leaners included, Chris Christie leads Jon Corzine 53-41.

Beneath the surface things look good

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Wow. What a few weeks to take a break from blogging. Despite the MSM narrative of a part in disarry in the wake of the Sanford and Ensign scandals and the Palin resignation, things are looking up for the Republican Party in the 2009 and 2010 election cycles.

We’ll start with the off-off year governorship races in New Jersey and Virgina. In New Jersey, Republican Chris Christe continues to trounce Jon Corzine in the polls, holding a 10.2% advantage in the latest aggregate. Things are going so poorly for Corzine that he has released a negative ad. In the first week of July.

Down in Virgina, Republican Bob McDonnell holds a 6 point lead in the latest poll over his rival for the Governorship of Virgina.

Right now, the odds are that the GOP will sweep these races. Some will try and argue this is not a sign of things to come in 210, but not so fast, my friend.

Candidate recruitment is picking up for the GOP. Candidates who wanted no part of races in 2006 and 2008 are entering races across the country. In Oho, Barack Obama’s aproval rating has nosedived 13 points in the last two months to 49%. Governor Ted Strickland, once of the nation’s most popular Governors now holds a 46% approval rating. This has led to quaity challengers such as former Congressmen Jon Kasich an Bob Portman to run for Governor and Senate respectively. At one point in time these Republicans trailed Democratic incumbants by double digits. Those leads have fallen to single digits.

Yesterday news came out of New Hampsire that the party’s top choice to run for retiring Senator Judd Gregg’s seat, Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, would in fact enter the race against Democratic Congressmen Paul Hodes. Ayotte was the only Republican who led Hodes in a hypothetical head to head matchup poll.

New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio and Virgina are four states where the GOP has gotten their brains beat in the last two election cycles. New Jersey and New Hampshire represented a consolidation of the Democratic base and Ohio and Virgina were beach heads for Democratic incursion into traditionally strong Republican areas that saw support for the Party erode to local corruption and the national unpopularity of President Bush.

Now that the corrupt local officials and President Bush are no longer around, quality Republican candidates are emerging and the euphoria of the course change of 2006 and 2008 is wearing off now that the realities of Democratic governence is setting in.

New Hampshire and

Leonard Lance must go!

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Even mainstream Republicans are realizing the farce that is Leonard Lance’s congressional career. He votes for SCHIP expansion, he votes for the Lily Leadbetter Act, he votes for paid family leave and now he votes for the Cap and Rape bill. And this guy claims to be a fiscal conservative?

Do you realize this Cap and Rape bill prevents you from selling your house unless it meets federal energy efficiency standards? There is no way Congressman Lance read this bill and his dereliction in voting for a bill that he had not read is grounds for firing him. This bill is a massive federal power grab and was a key component of the Obama agenda. Lance rationale is that we need to make America more like New Jersey. For Congressman Lance to say we need to make America over-taxed, over-regulated and completely hostile to business is bullet in the brain stupid.

I’m usually not for intra-party firing squads but Lance’s “representation” of his district has proved that he is a loyal foot soldier for Chairman Obama. The sad part is, this is a 180 degree for Lance. In the State Senate he was viewed as a reliable vote against outrageous spending and big government boondoogles. If Lance’s first few months are indicative of how he will vote on Chairman Obama’s attempt to socialize medicine, 7th district Republicans will have a hard time makig up their mind as to which primary challenger they are going to vote for in 2010.