Monday, October 31, 2005

Rush Holt

Yesterday I had an opportunity to meet some of the other bloggers at, where I am lucky enough to be labeled a "front page blogger" even though I haven't posted nearly enough there, during the liveblogging event with Representative Rush Holt, archived here and here. (If you haven't been to yet, please visit and read. Then, sign up and post. A lot of good writing is being done there on issues important to Our Fair State.)

I was thoroughly impressed with the congressman. He is clearly an intelligent man who is both well-spoken and personable. He has wonderful perspective and clearly cares for the issues about which he spoke. Read the posts, really. He was able to elaborate on each issue in person but the posts are the essence of the discussion.

He was very well aware that with such a large and spread-out district as he has, that electronic media such as blogging are excellent ways to be in communication with the people he represents. Unluckily for me, I am not in Rep. Holt's district.

His name has been tossed about as a possible nominee if/when Corzine leaves his senate seat to become governor. I believe he would be ideal. Even if that doesn't happen, I get the feeling that someday I'll get to vote for this man on a statewide ballot.

Happy Halloween

Laughed out loud

Watching Bush nominate Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. this morning:

"Judge Alito ... has more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years."

Learned a lesson there, did he?

BTW- Alito's a Jersey native- from Trenton, no less. Not that that should sway opinion of him, I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Carnival of NJ Bloggers 24

The Carnival is at Dynamobuzz this week. Go check it out!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Rep. Rush Holt liveblogging!

Rep. Rush Holt will be liveblogging at tomorrow, Sunday the 30th, at 3PM. You must be registered to ask a question, so go do that first, then tomorrow you can ask questions.

Another creationism trial update

From the AP article, on CNN:

"Earlier in Thursday's court session, (former school board member William) Buckingham claimed he had been misquoted in stories from two newspapers that reported he advocated the teaching of creationism to counterbalance the biology textbook's material on evolution.
But the plaintiffs' lawyers confronted Buckingham with a 2004 interview he gave to WPMT-TV in York.
"It's OK to teach Darwin," he said in the interview, "but you have to balance it with something else, such as creationism."
Asked to explain in court, Buckingham said that he felt "ambushed" by the camera crew as he walked to his car.
"I had it in my mind to make sure not to talk about creationism. I had it on my mind. I was like a deer in the headlights. I misspoke," he said."

In other words, we mean creationism when we say intelligent design, but we know we aren't supposed to say it, but we should be excused when we make a mistake and use the wrong words?

The trial will go on for a while yet.


Officer Lockstock: "You're too young to understand right now, Little Sally, but nothing can kill a show like too much exposition."
Sally: "How about bad subject matter? Or a bad title? That could kill a show pretty good."

A few years ago, I saw the musical comedy Urinetown off-Broadway. It's been a long time since I laughed that much in a theater. I loved it, even though I'm not a big fan of musicals. (Mother-in-law sat for the kids for us that evening; she did a double take on the Playbill when we got home. She had thought we were saying the name of the show was "You're In Town.")

Villagers Theater in Somerset is producing this show through Nov. 13th. The Princeton Packet review is here, and they loved it. I'm afraid I won't be able to see it due to scheduling conflicts, but if you have a free evening for some fun theater in Central NJ I strongly suggest getting there. The review implies that tickets are going fast, so hurry.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Leiutenant Governor

(This is cross-posted at, and there's a poll question attached to it. Please visit & vote.)

One of our poll questions in our next election will be whether or not we should amend the state constitution to provide for the office of lieutenant governor. Is this a good idea?

A recent poll shows that nearly half of the voters in Our Fair State have no idea of how the current succession rules work, even though it’s happened twice in recent years. However, apparently ¾ of us support the institution of a lieutenant governor. The fact that as a state most of us don’t understand this, but want it changed anyway, is never a good sign.

The Times of Trenton recently ran two op-ed pieces (Jon Shure’s is also here and I can’t get Neil Weisfeld’s opposing one any longer) with differences of opinion on the matter, and their own editorial in favor of the establishment of the office, as did the Philly Inquirer.

The amendment as proposed is flawed. The big issue is that the new LG would only serve until the next general election if s/he must assume the big chair (unless less than 60 days remain to the next gen. election, when it would go to the next one.) Then a special election would be held to fill out the remainder of the governor’s four year term- causing the LG to immediately start a re-election campaign upon being elevated. The establishment of a high-profile, elected statewide office to serve for possibly as little as two months? Sounds like a big, permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Second, duties of the LG are ill-defined, with permission to serve as a cabinet department head or another exec branch agency. It is expected this would happen but there is no requirement to do so.

Another issue is if a vacancy comes up in the LG position. The governor can appoint someone, without a confirmation by the Senate or Legislature. There is no “check” for this power, and the governor can hand-pick whomever s/he wants to be next in line.

I am not disagreeing with the concept of the LG for Our Fair State. But, if it’s such a great idea, we should be able to fix the (obvious) flaws in the proposed legislation before we approve it. The articles I’ve mentioned often point out how flawed the proposal is but that we should vote for it; personally, I’m not interested in enacting any more flawed reforms hoping it will all be better someday (If you need examples of this, see property tax reform..)

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Another Creationism trial update

Oh, my...
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Introducing "intelligent design" to high school students could help the idea gain wider acceptance among mainstream scientists, a sociology professor testified Monday in a landmark federal trial over whether the concept can be mentioned in public school biology classes.
Lawyers for the Dover Area School Board called Steve Fuller, a sociology professor at the University of Warwick, England, as an expert witness Monday morning. He tried to bolster the school board's contention that intelligent design, which holds that life on Earth was the product of an unidentified intelligent force, is a scientific concept.
Fuller said minority views can sometimes have a difficult time getting a toehold in the scientific community, but students might be inspired to develop intelligent design as future scientists if they hear about the concept in school.
"You have to provide openings where you have new recruits to the theory," Fuller said. "Unless you put it into the school system, it's not going to happen spontaneously."
So, let me get this straight. The expert witness explains that we have to use the schools to recruit people to believe this theory. Mainstream scientists aren't buying it now, so maybe someday these students will become scientists who come up with some science to back it up?

The trial may wrap up next week.

Two Thousand

George Alexander of Fort Benning has the horrifying honor of being the 2,000th US casualty in Iraq.

Since George W. Bush's "Mission Acomplished" speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln, 1861 more Americans have died. So much for that.

"Has any of this registered with the war president, the commander-in-chief who hasn't yet attended his first military funeral? Has it registered with his secretary of defense, who wasn't even personally signing killed-in-action letters? The answers to both questions, sadly, is "doubtful."" -Joseph Hughes

(Thanks Tata for the Whisky Bar link)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I feel like I've been had

From the illustrious Darryl Isherwood, Times of Trenton:

HAMILTON - The township is close to a deal that would scrap its controversial purchase of Klockner Woods and allow a developer to build age-restricted housing on about half of the property and donate the other half to the township, an administration source confirmed yesterday.
The deal, which is being negotiated with the land's owner, Doylestown, Pa.-based Fieldstone Associates, would kill the township's controversial $4.1 million purchase of the land and allow the developer to instead build 100 age-restricted duplexes on half of the 51-acre property.
To avert just such a development, the township had previously agreed to buy the property from Fieldstone on the assumption that at least 41 single-family homes could be built there, though subsequent revelations about the extent of wetlands opened up that assumption to considerable doubt.
The new deal would effectively end the township's two-year attempt to preserve the property. Its plan to buy the land has been plagued from the start by questions over the actual value of the property, which Fieldstone bought in 2001 for $375,000.
Under the deal in the works, the undeveloped half of the property would be donated to the township as open space. According to the source, the deal also calls for Fieldstone to pay for recreational improvements, such as trails and possibly fields, on the land.
The deal would effectively put the two sides back to where they were in late 2002, when Fieldstone first submitted plans to develop the land. But the 100 age-restricted homes are fewer than half of the 256 originally proposed for the property.
Township officials would not comment yesterday on a possible deal. And an attorney for Fieldstone could not be reached for comment.

Really. No, really- This is what's happening now. After all that, months of legal wrangling, weak attempts to preserve the land, court cases- Hamilton will roll over and let the developer just build much like they wanted in the first place? I guess the town wants its citizens to be happy that some of it will be preserved in the end, and that the town/county/state don't have to pick up the exorbitant tab as negotiated.

I feel like I've been had. It almost seems as if the town never had any intention of preserving the land and a lot of this was for show, to placate the preservation groups. That would explain a lot- particularly, why they declined to use the eminent domain proceedings in the first place.

The Times report was based on an anonymous source and the parties involved haven't commented. I wait to see what happens next...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Go with the plain soap

Plain soap and water offer the same level of protection that antibacterial soaps do, according to an advisory panel to the FDA. They have found no added benefits to anti-bacterial soaps when compared to regular soap for handwashing.

Moreover, the anti-bacterial chemicals can contibute to the growth of bacteria which are resistant to antibiotics. The panel requested that the FDA evaluate the risks of these products versus the benefit (which they pretty much said was nil.)

This isn't really new news; this has been an assesment of these products for years. I've sought out non-antibacterial liquid soaps for some time, and it's getting harder and harder to find any. The anti-bacterial properties are touted so heavily in advertising that people are convinced they need them; but, we don't. It's nice to have a national body advising the FDA to reassess the use of these products in the home.

There's two sides to every issue, and Doug has 'em both

From Tom Hester's Monday column in the Times of Trenton:

"Forrester, meanwhile, recently said he's a fan of both the Eagles and Giants, a stance conflicting with laws of nature. "

There's Doug playing both sides again. I propose a new tagline for the Forrester campaign:

Saying whatever it takes to get support, regardless of truth. Doug Forrester.

(Cross-posted at

Sunday, October 23, 2005

This week's Carnival of Bloggers

The Carnival of New Jersey Bloggers is in town over at Katespot today. Go see what we're sayin' this week!

Saturday, October 22, 2005


See, over there, on the right, where I have my short description? I said: "Baker, Brewer, Home Owner, Parent, Pet Owner, Reader, Spouse. (That's alphabetical, fans and friends, not in order of importance.)"

Here's the thing: I hadn't brewed in the last six months. Unless you count tea, that is.

So today, lousy wet ugly Saturday that it is, we went to The Brewer's Apprentice in Freehold, got ingredients for two batches, and we're brewing. It smells great in here- that wonderful, warm, malty-hoppy scent that comes from an hour of boiling wort (unfermented beer.) We'll pitch the yeast tonight, rack to secondary in two weeks and let lager for a while, bottle, then three weeks after that we'll have nice fresh beer!

No, it's not a quick process. But it's worth it.

Right now I'm enjoying a homebrewed IPA that is aging beautifully; the hops and oak are outstanding. Had a stout last night that never carbonated as we'd like but great flavor. We're making a pilsner today that I have faith will be a great batch.

All the other titles in my self-description I handle on (almost) a daily basis. Today, I am embracing Brewer once again.

"Relax, have a homebrew!" -Charlie Papazian

Fleecing of Hamilton and NJ- Hamilton must pay

Hamilton must pay interest as the original purchase agreement states, according to preliminary findings by Judge Linda R. Feinberg. Hamilton Township was to begin paying interest Sept. 1 on the $4.1 million they agreed to pay Fieldstone Developers to buy back land the township sold to them for $375,000 four years ago. Feildstone filed a motion to force the town to begin to pay the interest as agreed to in the June purchase agreement. The interest is a little over $27,000 a month.

The money is interest in addition to the purchase price, so the cost is currently $4,145,556.00 and counting.

The judge suggested that the interest may be able to be counted as part of the price, but that is yet to be seen. She was careful to point out that the case is not settled and the terms could still change. However, "If in fact the township did not exercise as much due diligence as it should have, maybe Fieldstone should have the benefit of that (8 percent) interest going forward," Judge Feinberg is quoted in the Times.

Township Attorney Paul Adezio had requested to waive the interest payments because of the delay in closing the deal, caused by the state Department of Environmental Protection's request for a wetlands delineation survey. The survey should have been done a long time ago and at the request of the Township, and that is at the heart of the matter. As of now, however, Hamilton has to pay what they agreed to pay. Tough luck, that, being held to your legal agreements.

Let us not forget that this is an election year in Hamilton Township, so the candidates are all up in arms about this. "I don't think it's a big issue. A lot of the people I talk to don't think that much about it. It's important, but is it as important as the safety of their kids or the schools? I don't think so."said Councilman Wayne DeAngelo, who is up for re-election this year. I wonder who he talks to who doesn't care much?

(Previous posts about Hamilton's Klockner Woods:DEP agrees to investigate, Deal posponed, Council attacked, Eminent domain?, Survey requested, Fieldstone may have known, Study Delay, Lawsuit )

Friday, October 21, 2005

Forrester's stem cell flip-flop

Sorry for the lazy linkin' post, but I see no need to elaborate when the Tom Moran of the Newark Star-Ledger did such a good job of pinning this one for us:

Forrester's stand on stem cells: Flip, flop

For the record, Doug Forrester opposes public funding for embryonic stem cell research and Jon Corzine favors it.
It's a clear difference, but one that was lost in the mist during their televised debate this week.
Forrester was asked directly: Do you favor public funding for embryonic stem cell research?
Not much wiggle room there.
Here is the answer he gave: "There are few things that are more exciting than stem cell research."
He then told how his daughter, Briana, suffered a serious brain injury and developed Hodgkins disease. Stem cell research, he said, could wind up helping her.
"We need to do it vigorously," he said. "We need to do it now."
So what gives?
The next day, Forrester was in full defensive crouch, refusing to answer questions.
But his spokeswoman confirmed that he opposes any public funding for this research, no matter how much he gushed during the debate.
All politicians spin during a debate. But this one was over the top.
The honest answer to the question would have been "no."
And he sure seemed to say "yes."
To lure conservatives, he has signaled opposition, saying he opposed "using human beings as guinea pigs." And to lure moderates and liberals, he's struck a supportive note, as he did during the debate.
The danger for politicians who shift ground like this is that they end up pleasing no one.
Marie Tasy, of New Jersey Right to Life, said that Forrester wobbled in the same way over abortion before settling on a position in favor of abortion rights.
"He told people face-to-face that he was pro-life," she says. "He walks a tightrope. He's trying to pander to his pro-abortion supporters while not alienating Republican pro-life voters. It's a conundrum for a candidate who thinks he can have it both ways."

Ahhh, priorities...

Today, in the Times of Trenton, there are two stories side-by-side on page B8.

Senate: $3B to ensure TV reception
Lawmakers want to spend $3billion to make sure millions of Americans won't wake up to blank TV screens when the country makes the switch to all-digital broadcasts....

right next to:

No increase in heating aid
For the second time this month, the Senate voted against putting more money into a program that helps low-income families meet home heating costs. Senators who opposed the $3.1 billion in emergency money...

And who says our priorities are screwed?

National Mammography Day

Today is National Mamography Day. So, female fans and friends, if you're 35 and haven't gone for your first baseline mamogram, go now! Today's the day to call for that appointment.

Anyone whose life has been saved by early detection will tell you, go now. Anyone whose life has been touched by this tough cancer will tell you, go now. And I'm telling you too, go now.

(For Mae, Harriet, Sandy, and Joan.)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

They're getting desperate

The "swift-boating" of Jon Corzine has begun by the Republicans.

Money has begun to be shifted from losing candidate Rick "man-on-dog" Santorum to Our Fair State's Doug Forrester. According to Radar Magazine online,

Increasingly dubious about Santorum’s chances, Capitol Hill sources report GOP powerbrokers have refocused their attentions—and dollars—on Doug Forrester, a little-known party hack who’s currently embroiled in a dead heat race with multi-millionaire Democrat Jon Corzine for New Jersey’s governorship.
“The party is pouring millions of dollars in PAC money into Forrester’s coffers, but most of that money was previously earmarked for Rick,” reports a well-placed Republican senate staffer.

Forrester's folks have hired the same firm who produced the Kerry Swift Boat ads. Now, up on the campaign's web site is the lovely, inaccurate post entitled "Corzine’s approach to homeland security is going to get people killed." Inflamatory? Accusatory? Baseless? All hallmarks of the Forrester campaign so far, I should have expected no less.

jmelli over at has the full analysis. Go forth and read. It ain't pretty.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

New poll and debate bits

From the Times of Trenton:
With Corzine, a U.S. senator since 2001, holding leads of about 6 points over Forrester in various polls, Forrester answered almost every question with a Corzine critique. He often cited Corzine's support for other Democrats who have controlled New Jersey government in the past four years.
Corzine paid less attention to Forrester and stuck mainly to promoting his initiatives, from property tax and ethics reform to making college and health care more affordable.
"I have a vision," Corzine said. "I have a series of plans, I have the integrity and competency to deliver on that."

Which is the same as it's been for a couple of months now: Jon Corzine has a vision for Our Fair State, while Forrester has a vision of himself as governor.

Sen. Corzine hit the magic 50% mark in the latest Quinnipiac poll, versus 43% for Forrester. 7% are undecided- meaning, statistically the the "third-party" candidates aren't even registering. Did you know there's a debate tomorrow featuring the candidates who qualified for matching funds, Independent Dr. Castillio and Libertarian Jeff Pawlowski? Do you care? Nah, me neither.

53% of voters felt both Corzine and Forrester were honest and trustworthy. Forrester was seen as able to do a better job at ending corruption than Corzine, 43% to 38%. Democrats are seen as more corrupt than Republicans, 50% to 22%. Mind you, the poll was taken before both the debate and the new Forrester corruption scandal Burlington county.

I wonder if the latest debate and scandal will shift those numbers any. Next debate featuring the major candidates: 11/5, on WNBC.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Debate video

ABC local WPVI has tonight's debate on their website here. If, like me, you had things to do between 7-8PM, here's your opportunity to see it.

Debate tonight!

7PM, from The College of New Jersey. It will be on TV on WPVI, WABC and Univision; radio, WHYY will cover it.

This debate includes Republican Doug Forrester, Democrat Jon Corzine, independent Hector Castillo and Libertarian Jeffrey Pawlowski.

Should be interesting as a four-way debate!

Doug Forrester- his pay-to-play contracts

"Enact Comprehensive "Pay-to-Play" Reform: No issue is more important to reversing the downward spiral of ethical standards in government than the enactment of across-the-board, comprehensive "pay-to-play" reform for all levels of government. "

That's from Doug Forrester's web site. Shame he hasn't read it.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Monday that Benecard, Doug Forrester's insurance benefits company, benefitted from a $3.4 million in business they recieved from Burlington County Special Services School District. in 2004 and 2005, despite the fact that they were significantly more expensive than other bidders. Their contract was renewed after the first year, even though the price increased 37%.

"Forrester has said that his companies' government contracts were not influenced by politics but based on price proposals that were lower than its competitors'." Um, they're not. What are they influenced by?

Forrester donated almost $60,000 to Burlington County Republicans since 2003. And, the agent who brokered those county contracts? Sean Gormley, son of State Sen. William Gormley. The Burlington County GOP controlls the school board in question, according to the Inquirer article. Republican county leader, Glenn Paulsen, is one of the Republican powers influential in choosing statewide candidates- such as, who gets to run for governor. Hmmm... kinda sounds like pay-to-play to me...

Go read the Inquirer article, especially if you're an undecided voter. The Star-Ledger article is here.

Life intrudes on the CoNJL again

Sorry I've been away for a day or so. The precious little blog time I had yesterday I spent reading, not writing. Will try to catch up.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Go fly a kite

I mean it, go fly a kite. There's nice wind, mostly steady but some gusts, the sun is shining, and soccer was canceled so the fields are empty; perfect day for it. Wear boots.

We just spent about two hours with many kites in the sky. It's a great day to go fly a kite.

Hel-lo, I've waited here for you, Everlong

Saw the Foo Fighters last night at the Continental Airlines Arena. ("What's the Continental Airlines Arena?" I asked the husband, when he gave me the tickets on my birthday. "The Meadowlands," he said.)

It was great.

Some band named Hot Hot Heat opened, and that's enough said about that. Then Weezer took the stage. I've never been a big fan but the songs I did know are good; they were very engergetic and put on a good show.

But the hit of the night was the Foo Fighters. If you don't know who they are and you're still bothering to read this post, the Foo Fighters are the band that Dave Grohl formed after the end of Nirvana over ten years ago. They've put out five albums and songs on a bundle of compilations, and if you listen to commercial rock radio you've heard some of their songs.

That's kind of odd for me, because I don't listen to commercial radio. I listen to public radio, WXPN for music and WHYY for news/interest programming. Needless to say neither one plays a whole lot of hard rock. I realized halfway through the concert that I didn't know which songs they'd play because I had no idea what all the singles were. I play the whole albums on the iPod instead.

The band was amazing. Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins have a huge amount of energy and it translated into a fast-moving stage show. Well-designed lights and media rounded it out. Roger Taylor, the drummer from Queen, made a surprise appearance at the end and performed "Tie Your Mother Down" with the band. Very cool.

We hadn't been to an arena rock show in years. We thought we'd be the oldest people there but while we were in the top half, we certainly weren't the oldest. I did remember to plug my ears so I wouldn't have that hour of deafness afterward, something I never did when younger. One thing has changed- no one lights their lighters in the dark at concerts any more; they hold up their cell phones instead. Thousands of phone cam pictures were taken last night.

Another amazing part- we left with the crowd after the show, and somehow got from the parking lot to the Turnpike in two minutes. Honestly, 120 seconds after turning on the car, we were zipping through the EZPass lane. That's never happened before nor will again.

Excellent band, great show, good time.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Gotta Love Codey

Sometimes I just love Acting Gov. Codey, I really do. This is one of those times. He's not been very active in campaigning for Corzine until the recent spate of ads, but he just came out swingin' at Forrester's 30-in-3 property tax plan. From the Times of Trenton:

"How in God's name is he going to pay for it?" Codey asked. "It's totally unrealistic. I wouldn't even call it pie in the sky."
"The governor cast further doubt on Forrester's plan by relaying how he recently met with the treasurer and discussed state revenues.
"It's not like we're going to have an extra $3 billion sitting around next year," Codey said. "If he can show me in black and white how he's going to pay for it, God bless him. He's going to have to dig up Houdini."
Asked if the Legislature won't consider Forrester's plan if it's considered unrealistic, Codey said, "That's correct."

Codey is expected to continue as president of the State Senate next year, so he does have the authority to say this. The plan is "unrealistic" at best, costing the state-by the GOP's own estimate- $6bil the first year and $3bil each year after, or more if the Dems do the math.

Forrester believes he can cut "waste, fraud and abuse" to get the money. If we can cut that much in waste and fraud, we should use it to plug the massive hole in the state budget for which we have to borrow $4bil to keep afloat this year. So, where will this money come from to pay for the plan? 30-in-3 sounds like another borrow-and-spend Republican fiasco to me.

I'm not a fan of Corzine's plan to increase rebates, which I feel are gimicky and wasteful. (Why should I pay the state to administer a program to send my own money back to me?) But he believes in a constitutional convention for tax reform. At the very least he supports converting the rebate program to a credit program so we don't have to pay to adminsiter a paperwork program. These plans are way better than continuing to borrow hand over fist so officials can grandstand in the short run, then send the bill for all the interest on that debt to us taxpayers for generations to come.

Acting Gov. Codey met with the state treasurer and discussed revenues prior to his remarks about Forrester's plan. He knows what the money situation is in our fair state. And I gotta respect a man who tells it like it is.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Maybe it's the rain

I feel like I'm in a fog. If it weren't so late in the day I'd have a cup of coffee but then I'd be doing cartwheels until 2AM. It just took me 20 minutes to answer a simple question in email, and after those 20 minutes I don't think I even answered it. Not in a politician-evasive way, but in a "huh?" way.

My town's not particularly flooded, unlike Bound Brook, Montgomery, and anywhere along the Metedeconk. But it sure seems like my brain is.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Radio Debate wrap-up

Last night, Doug Forrester faced off with Senator Jon Corzine in a radio debate. If you missed it, it's available here. It's a little long, over 1 1/2 hours, so it's broken into 5 parts on the site. It's worth the time, though.

Sen. Corzine did much better than in the NJN debate, where he looked tired and had a few missteps. He got more involved in explaining some of his plans. Once again, Forrester sounded polished and stayed on his message, whether or not it was relevant to the question.

A good example of how this worked was brought out early in the program. On a question about Kramer Hill in Camden and eminent domain abuse, Corzine explained his position, then Forrester stuck to his talking point by bringing up Petty's Island, the brownfield island in Pennsauken, by stating it has the same developer as Kramer Hill and Corzine "won't stand up with him" against eminent domain abuse. Corzine responded stating unequivocally that eminent domain is NOT the issue with Petty's Island, that's an issue about making polluters pay for their environmental damage, and the two issues are separate. Corzine explained his plans, Forrester stuck to his message.

That's been the theme for this campaign, hasn't it? Corzine has plans for the future, but Forrester has campaign talking points.

Forrester made the mistake later on of challenging Corzine on financial plans for the state's future with the pension plans and investments. Corzine's answer may have gone a bit into detail for most, but really, why would you challenge the former CEO of a Goldman Sachs on financial issues? The Senator had a new proposal about securitizing the revenues of the toll roads in our state, which will be interesting to read.

I listened to the debate last night in New Brunswick, in the company of The One True Tami, GD Frogsdong, and Kire, where Al Franken was doing live commentary. He was great, of course. He noted that Forrester incorporated his company in DC to avoid NJ taxes, but then has the nerve to run for governor of Our Fair State while touting tax reform.

Side note- I am no fan of NJ 101.whine. They spend a lot of time distorting the issues and making people angry, which brings in listeners and ad revenues but simply creates angry, misinformed people. But boy, I was happy with Eric Scott's performance as moderator. He kept the answers on track and when the candidates didn't answer a question, he called them on it. He did a great job.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Don't forget tonight's debate

NJ101.5 is holding a gubernatorial debate tonight at 7:30. You should listen to it, even if it's on the worst radio station in New Jersey.

The polls have the race closer than ever, with the Fairleigh Dickenson poll out today putting Corzine's lead at 8 points, and the WNBC/Marist Poll, released yesterday, putting Corzine ahead of Forrester 47% to 45%- a statistical tie.

Last day to register to vote

Today, Oct. 11, is the LAST DAY to register to vote in time for the November elections. Here's some info if you need it.

Did you know you can get an absentee ballot for any reason in NJ? There is no reason not to vote. So if you haven't registered, go do it now.

Fleecing of Hamilton and NJ- Klockner Woods Lawsuit

As shock follows shock, Fieldstone Developers are suing Hamilton to get the interest they are owed under the current contract. Why shouldn't they? The payment is all legal-like, set in court and everything.

Fieldstone may be slick, predatory and even have crossed the line into illegal practice, but they didn't fail the taxpayers of Hamilton, Mercer County and New Jersey with this ridiculous deal. The Hamilton Council and Mayor did that.

Lazy Link Tuesday

If you haven't seen Andrew's rant on Did I Say That Out Loud? about our country's energy policy of constructing more oil refineries, you should. It's here and it's short, go read it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Survey says...

Over at Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, Mimus Pauly has started a survey of the greatest Americans ever. So far the votes are light but may explode by the time you read this.

I'm having a hard time picking mine, but maybe you know yours right away. Head on over and punch in.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Getting some distance from Forrester

On Thursday, Democrat Assembly candidate Dan Benson held a press conference to attact Assemblyman Bill Baroni (R-Hamilton.) Benson was surprised when Baroni showed up and turned it into a debate. The two sounded off on property taxes until Benson's staffers pulled him out.

Baroni's big attack on Benson is that as a township councilman, Benson voted for the ill-advised, ill-considered and possibly corrupt Klockner Woods deal. Benson is hitting back at Baroni because he was on the Assembly Republican Policy Committe, who devised the property tax plan which was co-opted by Forrester as his ill-advised and ill-considered "30 in 3" sound byte. Baroni insisted his name was eventually taken off the plan; Benson believes that was only after Forrester said he'd lay off 6,000 state workers to pay for it.

When Benson repeatedly asked Baroni if he helped write the plan, Baroni replied, "What part of no didn't you understand? The "n" or the "o"?"

It's interesting that a Republican Assemblyman trying for re-election is actively distancing himself from Forrester and the property tax "plan" he espouses, especially when Forrester's narrowing Corzine's lead in the polls to single digits. Baroni was on that committee that developed the gimicky "30 in 3" bit but is adamant in his rejection of it- it's almost as if he knows something about it that Forrester won't say. Such as, it won't work?

(Cross-posted at Blanton's and Ashton's)

Friday, October 07, 2005

Update to Hate Mail

A local policeman came to take my report today and took the letter away. He asked if I needed it and of course I said no, I saw no need to ever see it again. I did not take care to avoid fingerprints on the letter (because I didn't initally think I would be turning it over to the police, or that they would take it as seriously as that) so I was advised that if I get another one, to avoid getting prints on it.

The nice patrolman did correct me; technically it's harassment, not hate mail, since it didn't specifically name or threaten me in the contents. I appreciate the correction but it doesn't make me feel a whole lot better. A little bit, though; "harassment" is a slightly less noxious word than "hate."

And life goes on.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Hate Mail

"Holy Bible King James- Thou Shall Not Kill
Koran Sacred Book of Islam- Thou Shall Kill
Which one would you believe?"

I got my first hate mail yesterday.

I don't mean a moonbat comment on my blog, or a nasty note in my email inbox. I mean a mailed letter, delivered to the door of the house where my family lives.

"Goonsburg, former member left wing radical ACLU
Stop your complaining at least we made it close" (with accompanying crude drawing of SCOTUS)

There are no threats in it. Except for my name (which was made fun of) and address on the envelope, there's nothing in it specific to me or about me. There are sixteen pages of ranting, some hand-written, some type-written and some copied out of books and pamphlets. All of it is photocopied. Some is even outdated, since it mentions Justice O'Connor.

"They continue to push the ERA
And talk of disarming the USA
They lie about the police
And accuse them of police brutality
And as you all know
They're letting the criminals go
To increase crime and terror in the streets
And they don't want you to own any Bibles or Guns"

My first reaction was panic. I called my husband at work, who kindly offered to come home, but I declined as that wouldn't have done any good. I emailed a few fellow lefty bloggers to inquire, but I was the only one of us who got the letter.

"Same sex marriage will destroy this nation forever. Then we have America's war on children abortion on demand. This is God's message when does life begin."

I have a Corzine sign in my yard. I have a bumper sticker on my car. I have this blog. I wrote a letter recently to the local newspaper. I wear my political affiliations on my sleeve. I'm still wondering which was the spark for this.

"Don't eat white bread white bread make you dead sooner- White bread in original color is gray it's dyed to make it white so it looks more appealing almost all the vitamins are taken out- what they do to dye it is bad for you"

Since very single page is photocopied so I doubt I'm the only recipient. The envelope is hand-canceled and required extra postage, so that means someone took it to the post office. Did they make the trip just for me? Should I be flattered or scared?

"They want you interdependant on other countries
As they plan to move you into the European Union
Their destroying the American dollar"

I haven't read it all. I don't intend to read it, either. Much of it is incoherent.

"Stop buying them-evil of your two newspapers
in Trenton- paper tigers The anti-American global government Trenton Times is controlled as is the New York Times Which now owns the Boston Globe and Washington Post The Trentonian is left wing thunder on the right They are assaulting your children running prostitution ads in back of their paper- greed and pushing gay sex- you do not have to stand for it- victory"

So, what am I going to do?

First, I'm calling the police. I don't know if they'll care, since there are no threats to me, but it's worth the phone call- especially if I'm not the only one in the area who got one.

Second, I'm not taking down my Corzine sign. I'm finding a Panter and Morgan sign and putting it up as soon as possible. I might put another bumper sticker on the car. I'll continue to blog as long as someone reads it. I'll write letters to the editor as often as I feel necessary. I'm going to continue to wear my political affiliations on my sleeve. I'll be as loud as I damn well want, as long as I need to be.

Third, I'm going to wash my hands because I just touched the hate-filled, foul thing. Then I'm going to check the locks on the doors, again.

Al Franken on Debate Night

If you haven't already heard,

Al Franken will be at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick on Tuesday Oct. 11th at 7:30PM, commenting live on the radio debate between Sen. Jon Corzine and Doug Forrester.

I love Al Franken. I listened to parts of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them while driving, and I literally had to pull over, I was laughing so hard. He has a way of seeing the truth through all the bull, then telling it like it is, except way funnier. I expect his commentary on the debate will be great.

Creationism trial update

Today a witness outlined how early drafts of a biology textbook had the word "creationism," which was replaced with "intelligent design" in the federal court trial over the Dover, PA school district's policy of stating the "intelligent design" concept should be taught with evolution. Last Thursday, a high school biology teacher testified that she and her colleagues refused to read a statement on "intelligent design" in class because they questioned the concept's scientific validity.

There will be weeks to come of this trial.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Fleecing of Hamilton and NJ- Klockner Woods study delay

The study to determine how much of Klockner Woods is wetlands won't be ready until spring! So much for the one-month estimate. This delay would put the interest due to the develper at over $100,000 by the time the assessment is finished- over a quarter of the original cost ($375,000) that Fieldstone Development paid for the land four years ago, but only a pittance compared to the $4.1 million they expect to be paid for selling it back to Hamilton Twp. for preservation.

"My hope is that we are still going to be able to preserve Klockner Woods," said Mayor Glen Gilmore yesterday. "We have asked both the owner as well as the court to provide us with the additional time to conduct the study so that there are not any outstanding questions about the preservation effort." Gilmore said Fieldstone has yet to agree to waive the interest payments, which amount to about $27,000 per month.

And why should they? They've done quite well for themselves.

Gilmore also says he wants to be mindful of the 1500 petition-signing residents who want the land preserved. I think almost ALL the residents want this land preserved. We're angry about the exhorbitant price to which you agreed with almost no study.

New Jersey Katrina/Rita Relief Part 2

Back in Sept. I compiled a list of locations for Katrina donations. Relief efforts in NJ for Gulf coast victims may have slowed but are still going on, and here are some of the current programs in place:

State of NJ list of organizations is here. to sign up to volunteer here.

Operation Lean On Me: Needs kitchen utensils, linens, towels, pots and pans, flatware, school supplies, children's backpacks, daipers, wipes, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, baby formula, cereal, baby food, pet food but no dishes or clothing. Mail operationleanonme at , or bring to Colonial Fire Co. At 801 Kuser Road Hamilton. Cash donations are accepted (make check to "Operation Lean On Me" to Yardville Nat'l Bank, 2465 Kuser Road, Hamilton Square NJ 08690 attn: David Davis.

Rutgers University-Camden has several ongoing relief efforts listed here.

Kids of Katrina: Started by a Warren Township Middle schooler, this group is seeking school groups to collect donations of new (and nearly new) backpacks filled with age-appropriate new contents. Deadline is Oct. 29 between 8 a.m. and noon to bring items to Feed The Children Distribution Center, 1111 Corporate Road, North Brunswick. For information, call (732) 565-0136

The Farmers' Market in Bound Brook will serve as a drop-off site for donations every Saturday from Sept. 17 through Oct. 29 at its location in the New Jersey Transit lot on Main Street. Donations of bottled water, nonperishable foods, can openers, hygiene products, medical kits, bug repellent, baby supplies, pet supplies, cots, new pillows and new sheets can be brought to the farmers' market site, which will accept donations from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday.

Girl Scouts of Bergen County are making Health Kits. Please place the following items in a one gallon zip-lock plastic bag:One hand towel, One bar of soap (bath size,) One wash cloth, One toothbrush, One comb, One 4-7 oz. tube of tooth paste, One nail file or nail clipper, and Six bandaids. Health Kit donations will be collected at the Meadowlands 5K Run/Walk on October 23, 2005.

Operation HELP's Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts include an ongoing food drive. Jacob's Chapel and Christian Kids Network Inc., 316 Elbo Lane Mt Laurel NJ. For more information and drop-off times, call (856) 235-7900

Monday, October 03, 2005

Debate and Reform news items

Last week, I mentioned a news item that Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Jeff Pawlowski planned to release his answers to the questions from the NJN debate. I emailed the Pawlowski campaign and have yet to hear back. However, Green Party candidate Matt Thieke has posted his on his web site. (I like most of his answers, too.)

Reported in today's Trenton Times: In a big anti-corruption pitch, Assemblymen Michael Panter and Dr. Robert Morgan are proposing stronger penalties for those public officials convicted of corruption, mandantory ethics training, and mandantory reimbursment by developers caught manipulating the building process. I can't find bill numbers yet, but when I do I'll post them and urge you to write your assemblymen to push the reforms through. These reforms may not be sweeping but they're steps in the right direction.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Carnival of New Jersey Bloggers XX


Welcome to the Carnival! The tents are up, the weather is beautiful and we're glad you're here. Let's see what's going on in the blogosphere in Our Fair State this week.

Our Stories

Tata may have Poor Impulse Control but she is is done with dating. Greg Gethard wraps up his Amazing Coat Week with a tale of class, death and high school. Shamrocketship is having an happy Ordinary Day. MyManMisterC is convinced his name is cursed- but his fiance with her own name is still lucky . On "D"igital Breakfast, Thomas tells us how to buy a house in forclosure. The worst restaurant patron ever gets a mention by the Contrarian. Hondo at inadmissible Evidence got quite a scare from a hiding Pewter. Banned Book Week is being celebrated at Fausti's Book Quest. The One True Tami tells us about the recent visit of the Dalai Lama. GiggleChick recaps her HBO showcase and her mention in New York Magazine. Mamacita is already getting Katrina Spam. Danielle, Not Your Typical Jersey Girl, wants some workplace etiquette. Furey at Phily2Hoboken can't see you.

New Jersey

Dave at the Political Dogs talks taxes and wants Jon Corzine's face on the ten-dollar bill- or maybe the three-dollar. The latest poll was good news for Doug Forrester, says Roberto at Dynamobuzz. Blue Dog Howl discusses Forrester's comments about Corzine's endorsements. Rob at is thinking about the alternatives and wonders why is it always partisan? is sick of NJ's gun laws. Sloppydawg reminds us to watch our media about our media. Jim at Parkway Rest stop teaches us some Jerseyspeak.

Around Town

Feeling Stoopid is having none of the fried Oreos at the Westfield Town Fair. The Jersey City Artist's Studio Tour gets attention from Dojo Mojo. Today is the South Street Music Festival in Morristown and Jersey Days has the info. The Barista of Bloomfield Ave. has photo proof of the Sopranos crew's carelessness. Dojo Mojo found a fabulous car, but Kate at Katespot wonders what's with the fake bullet holes?

In The News

Media in Trouble is annoyed with Bill Kristol on Charlie Rose, but even more annoyed with Bob Ingle. Jane at Armies of Liberation has some good news with hope for a democratic Yemen. Professor Kim hails the life story and contributions of the late Federal Judge Constance Baker Motley. Karl discusses what President Bush states about progress in Iraq. Nordette discusses Bill Bennet's recent comments on Confessions of a Jersey Goddess. The Contrarian quizzes us to see if the waters of stupidity are receding. Bob at eCache calls the New York Times on their correction policy. In The Word Unheard, USMC_vet discusses the politics and analysis of Abu Azzim's position in alQaeda in Iraq. Jack at Jersey Perspective heard Sean Hannity when Tom DeLay was indicted this week. Some quick news takes are on tap at Coffegrounds. Fausta at the Bad Hair Blog tell us about Condaleezza Rice's speech at Princeton.


Steven over at the Opinion Mill is listening to some Bob Dylan this week, while Bob at The Rix Mix also weighs in after No Direction Home and Sluggo remembers how iconic and ambitious Dylan is. Janet of The Art of Getting By thinks Topher Grace has it over his remarkably similar contemporaries. Mister Snitch shows us both the $100 laptop and the very expensive lap. Rob tells us about the Small Press Expo at Laughing at the Pieces. Cripes, Suzette has a guest post who's bummed about how whiny the internet is. Andrew at Did I Say That Out Loud? remembers Rudolph's Coach Comet.


Some poetry to wrap us up: Haiku from the Down the Shore, and some Odes to Football from Riss's Tequila Shots for the Soul.

Thanks for visiting the Carnival! Next week it travels over to The Opinion Mill. You can submit posts during the week to See you there!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Short time remaining!

... to submit for the Carnival of NJ Bloggers.

Lindberg Reenactment

Famous Trials Theater will reenact the famous Lindberg baby trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann in the old Hunterdon County Courthouse starting today and continuing weekends through October 23rd. The courtroom was restored to its 1935 appearance, and several pieces of original furniture will be used.

I don't think I'll be able to make it out, I've stretched my babysitting goodwill pretty thin these days. But it sounds incredibly cool, from a historical perspective and as good theater.

For more info head to Famous Trials.