Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gov Christie Touched Me, Appropriately. Long Branch Not So Much.

With a HUGE thanks to Senator Jennifer Beck, State Committeewoman Christine Hanlon and next Mayor of Sea Bright JoAnn Kalaka-Adams for inviting me out to the Monmouth County Republican Committee Gala tonight... I need to add an additional thanks to one of the greatest, hardest working Republicans I've met in this county, and someone who I both admire and wish I could emulate, Wayne Powmanowski, President of the Monmouth County Affiliated Republican Club.

I was surfing the delicious snacks table, for a slice of apple pie that I shouldn't be eating anyway, when Wayne said "If you want to shake the Governor's hand, he's coming through those doors". All these years of running and working out paid off because, with apologies for cutting him off, I made it across the room before Wayne could finish whatever he was going to say next, muscled a few good folks out of my way, and then it happened.... Chris Christie walked in, shook my girlfriend's hand, then shook my hand. I thanked him for all of the hard work he's done for our state and he touched my shoulder and acknowledged me and my thanks. Yes, Gov. Chris Christie acknowledged my very existence, and, appropriately, touched me.

I've said it before it and I'll say it again - back in the primary days of '09, I was working hard for Team Lonegan and I really wasn't convinced that Christie had a plan or the ability to turn this state around; I was wrong. Despite a Democrat controlled legislature that has been fighting to maintain the past poor state of affairs in New Jersey rather than try something new to improve life in Jersey, Christie has already really made a positive impact on our state, halted a ship that was speeding towards disaster, and I am happy to have him as MY Governor, and I hope to work hard enough to bring a friendly enough legislature to Trenton to make his job easier, or at least remove the roadblock that the Democrats have been so that the ship won't just be halted, but will be pointed in the right direction.

And again, what I like most about Christie is his style. He is unapologetic, upfront and seemingly intentionally confrontational at times. He isn't trying to make friends, he's trying to right the ship, and he may hurt your feelings along the way, but he has a positive, bright vision of New Jersey in the future and he is working to make it happen. He has had his disagreements with Sean Kean and other Republicans - he doesn't hold back, even on "friends".

In a related note to the attitude and style Christie presents... tonight I was told that my comments on the Long Branch beach fees for youths were "mean-spirited" and not what was expected from a "friend". Let me say this much, I am happy to be friends with anyone, especially a Republican; and I am happy to support any and all Republican candidates either in Long Branch or beyond, but I am not going to allow friendships to be the excuse to why I don't confront those people over what appears to be out of control spending, over-taxation, extraordinarily high fees for services or just a failure do the best a Republican can be expected to do. If I allow "friends" to take advantage of my fellow taxpayers, and me, I'm failing my job as a committeeman and a citizen. There is clearly a spending problem in Long Branch if the growth in revenue over the past several years isn't enough to cover our expense to allow the public to walk or sit on our beaches. Be a Good Republican; fix the spending problems instead of being mad at me. I offer this:

“New Jersey does not have a tax problem, that we don’t have enough tax revenue. We have a spending and size of government problem, and we need to start saying “no.” And, today is another one of those examples of saying no.”

" I just don’t believe that if you spoke to a majority of people in New Jersey, they would say to you, “Yeah, you know what? The government does not have enough revenue to do the job. We just don’t send them enough money, let’s send them some more. Because, they don’t have enough. It’s not that they are spending it so wisely, they just don’t have enough money.” And, I don’t think the majority of New Jersians feel that way and I certainly don’t feel that way."

New Jersey Governer Chris Christie - May 20, 2010
Again, don't be mad at me if you want to claim Republican, and don't want to cut the spending... or be mad at me, keep over-spending other people's money, and I'll keep up my criticism.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Moron... More On Joseph Ferraina; Taxpayers, and Ladies, Beware!

Always a bit late with the news, the Worst News Paper Ever, The Asbury Park Press, finally has a story up.

Among all of the other allegations in the complain, the easy one to check should be:
Russo also says in the complaint that Ferraina's office had a shower, bar and was soundproof and secure, making it a bordello.
A bar? As in one with alcohol, on school property? Paid for with taxpayer money? No alcohol on school property.

In some fairness, did taxpayers really pay for a special sound-proof room at Joe's demands, or is the general design/construction of the building such? Same with the shower, some extra expense/demand by Joe, or is/was the shower already in the building for some other purpose? We do have a shower in the main restroom at work because we have a gym in the building, not criminal, but it's also not the boss' secret special shower... more info needed, but again, seems easy enough to get the info on.

The other allegations may or may not be harder to prove but after speaking with some neighbors, the common theme seems to be "Jimmy, this isn't the first time!"

The hear-say/street talk tells of similar ALLEGED tales from a past gym teacher, a teacher in the pre-school program and possibly an athletic director. Word on the street is often wrong, and Joe is innocent until proven guilty. It'll be interesting to see if any of the above people from the word on the street stories come forward. If they do, I think the case becomes more clear, if they don't, I'm willing to believe Ferraina's side of the story, as much as I dislike him, until the facts are laid out and the proof is clear.

And since the APP only lists Joe's base salary as $242K, worth noting that the State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation's March 2006 report titled "Taxpayers Beware", these two items stand out:
* In the Long Branch School District, one administrator cashed in $108,000 in unused leave.

* Long Branch School District
Superintendent Joseph Ferraina
Base salary reported to DOE: $193,149.
Actual total compensation: $305,099.

Difference: $111,950 or 58.0 percent.
Compensation beyond base salary during 2004-05 included more than $78,461 for cashing in unused leave; $10,809 in stipends; $10,907 toward long-term health and disability insurance; $1,244 for unreimbursed medical expenses; and $11,529 in annuity payments.
From 1999 through 2004, Ferraina cashed in $108,100 in unused accumulated leave, and received $30,900 toward long-term health insurance, annuity payments totaling more than $43,200 and $36,000 in automobile stipends.
Ferraina was hired as superintendent of the Long Branch School District in May, 1998, under a multi-year contract. Within one year, however, the board of education revisited the pact, boosting its terms and provisions in the first of what would turn out to be a series of 10 separate amendments, modifications and revisions over the next five years. In each instance, Ferraina’s compensation and benefits increased significantly at
taxpayer expense.


Remember this year's and past year's school budget? about 1200 people voted, 766 people approved the waste that is (or was) Joe Ferraina for the other 34,000+ people in the city. sad.

Long Branch's Former School Super - Joe Ferraina - Accused of Committing Sexual Offenses

Long Branch Patch has the breaking story....

Superintendent Joe Ferraina denies all accusations

A former Long Branch Board of Education Secretary is suing the board and Superintendent of Schools Joe Ferraina, alleging several sexual offenses.

When contacted, Ferraina denied the secretary's allegations.

"I intend to defend myself vigorously against this unfounded accusation which was made in a press release in a civil suit in an effort to cause me personal harm and extract money," Ferraina said. "I intend to take this seriously, and we (Ferraina and the board of education) will be exonerating these malicious and hurtful charges."

In the lawsuit, the former employee claims these sexual offenses took place on multiple occasions in Ferraina's office during work hours. The employee said the first offense occurred in 2004 when Ferraina allegedly forced his way into the employee's apartment.

The complaint states that the employee had a "complete breakdown resulting from the actions of Ferraina," on May 17, 2010, and has been unable to work since.

The employee is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, claiming she suffered while working in a "hostile work environment created by Ferraina and the school board."

This is a breaking news story, check back later for more updates and details.

Readers here may remember/know that I've been quite unkind to Joe in the past for taking half a million a year in taxpayer money to put his name on a school that accepts students from out of the city and otherwise running a district that consistently fails to produce.

To the best of my knowledge, Ferraina officially retired at the end March of this year and there is/was a "celebration" (I believe to paid for by the school board but check for youself if you can, I don't have the info in front of me) scheduled for next month.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

So What's YOUR little Local Committee Up To??

As sent to me by a person who is registered as a Republican in Long Branch, and may or may not be on the County Committee because the chairman may or may not have made the appointment official.... I have no idea what email client the guy uses to send email but the formatting, as with all of his other emails, is how it is displayed on my screen which, in combination with the grammar, punctuation and spelling, makes the emails [less than] enjoyable to read.
Good Morning Boys and Girls. I will bring up Speaker Boehners comments/proposal on Spending and debt

limits at this pm"s meeting and suggest we vote on the concept.

You might want to note yesterday's Press article p16 and or the WSJ editorial of Tue. 5/10 editorial on the subject, consider this with the Greek situation as a backdrop.

looking forward to seeing you this pm.

I suppose a group of adults, elected to county committee, are the boys and girls he's writing to and the email wasn't sent in error.

So do tell, while my fellow committee people are tackling the costs and spending in a multi-trillion dollar federal budget, and comparing them to international budgets and affairs such as those in Greece, what is your silly little local committee doing, huh??

Probably some non-sense like talking about the primary election that is happening in 3 weeks, organizing a GOTV plan, attending, if not holding, fund raisers for candidates, designing/printing materials and canvassing your local districts. Pft, whatever.

You just leave the heavy lifting to the Long Branch Republican Committee... who is going to vote on the federal budget but was completely silent when I asked who would like to review the tiny little $40m or so Long Branch municipal budget or get involved with the BOE elections that 1200 people voted in. I guess the local budget is small potatoes when your going to tell the House Speaker what needs to be done to solve our nations woes.

Ohhh, feel free not to include me in that vote tonight, I'll be at the Jen Beck event showing my support for our candidates and I'll be distributing the postcard on the left and trying to help Republicans win an election and take control of the statehouse this weekend.

As I've said before, if you live in Long Branch and want to help Republicans get elected and help our party grow, shoot me an email jhogan [a.t.] longbranchrepublicans com or click the call me link on the left. Otherwise, that's what the Long Branch committee is up to. And check out the new Long Branch Republican Club website if you have time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gary Johnson / Ron Paul - South Carolina Debate Highlights

*My* guys... (thanks to Eric for forwarding the Ron Paul link)

Gary Johnson:

Ron Paul:

Nice that Ron Paul isn't the only libertarian leaning Republican on the stage, hopefully with more Republicans advocating for real limited government principles, more people pay attention and get on board.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Long Branch to Charge Youths Beach Access Fee, Council Woman Recommends Violating Child Labor Law

In years past, youths under 18 were permitted access to the [public] beach in Long Branch (a City that receives state and federal aide for beach replenishment projects, UEZ funding, Abbott school funding... a nice long list of handouts) for free.

In fact, a report from the NJ DEP under Corzine and Incompetent Lisa Jackson regarding the Public Trust Doctrine says on page 27:
Local regulatory authorities have the responsibility to address public access and
can do so in a variety ways.
Allow children to obtain access to municipally-owned land along tidal
waterways and their shores free of charge
So this year, the Long Branch City Council will be charing those 14-17 a daily beach access fee of $3/day, $30/season citing the cost to maintain the beach and the property tax cap in place that prevents them from raising taxes, and thus shirking that "Responsibility".
In fairness, that same document says that children are those under age 12, I guess we should be thankful?

In 2007, City of Long Branch raised $645,262.80 in beach badge sales, anticipated revenue was $375,00.
In 2008, City of Long Branch raised $784,845.45 in beach badge sales, anticipated revenue was $625,00.
In 2009, City of Long Branch raised $979,175.04 in beach badge sales, anticipated revenue was $700,000.
In 2010, City of Long Branch raised $1,303,020.04 in beach badge sales, anticipated revenue was $979,175.

In 2011, City of Long Branch municipal budget anticipates bringing in "only" $1,250,000, a drop for the first time in years I have data available for... seems dubious. I can only presume that the City Council is hoping to deter families from going to beach with their children, accounting for the loss in revenue? Or maybe since the beach badge claims to require ID, maybe they will be checking that those on the beach are LEGAL US Citizens and not just holding a Cracker Jack box ID?

Further, the City Council is raising existing fees, and adding the new $3 fee for youths, citing costs to operate the beach DESPITE BEACH REVENUE HAVING MORE THAN DOUBLED SINCE 2007!

So what does our "Republican" Councilwoman, and one of my fellow Republican Committee members, Joy Bastelli have to say about this?

Councilwoman Bastelli - "I think that many children in Long Branch, if they cant get a formal job, they certainly can cut grass, they certainly can baby sit." -- April 26, 2011 City Council Meeting.

The problem? Illegal in NJ -- HAVE A READ! Department of Labor and Workforce Development says:
12:58-3.2 Power driven machinery

(a) Minors under 16 years of age shall not be employed, permitted or suffered to work in, about, or in connection with power-driven machinery.

(b) "Power driven machinery" shall include:
  1. Power tools, including but not limited to, power lawn mowers, power woodworking and metal working tools.
Just to drive the point home a little more -- According to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report, about 16,200 children younger than 19 were treated in doctors’ offices, clinics and emergency rooms for lawnmower-related injuries in 2007. Maybe we should keep the kids off of the lawn mowers and send them to the beach.... ohh wait, right, got it.

No that it would make up millions, or hundreds of thousands, but do take note that the City of Long Branch is still paying for pagers/cell phones for most City employees, including the police department, even though they spent $4m last year on an upgraded radios for the department so that officers wouldn't need cell phones and would have good radio coverage city wide.

Mostly, I'm just curious how our costs of maintenance have more than doubled since the city is not supposed to charge/receive more than it costs to maintain and operate the beaches. And I'm sure I'll get the nasty email or talk to from someone explaining why I'm wrong and why I don't have the facts straight, or twisted to their perspective.

PS - So maybe I am a bridge burner... I expect my party and those claiming to represent it to do "better"... and "better" in this case means not charging youths to use public beach space... or you can always stop with the age discrimination and charge them the $5s to get on the beach and grant the 14-17 years olds the right to vote, see how that works out for you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Not to defend Pakistan, but remember Jaycee Dugard?

I'm certainly not here to defend the government of Pakistan in any way, nor do I advocate for foreign aid, foreign intervention or anything else, however, I do want to share my $0.02 thoughts on the possibility/denial that Pakistan has been making regarding the whereabouts of Osama Bid Laden.

Separate story from a few years ago... Jaycee Dugard, 11, was kidnapped and held prisoner in a man's backyard in a well populated California town for 18 years. My trusty computer tells me that Antioch, CA is 38 miles outside of Oakland, CA, 80 miles from Sacramento, CA. Holly Bobo is still missing somewhere in TN and while I haven't seen the missing children pictures on the back of a milk carton lately, I'm sure there are plenty of missing children out there.

So while I'm normally the skeptic, especially of hostile foreign governments, it's just a little thing that came to mind and while I normally cut no slack to anyone for anything, I'll at least hold out judgement on Pakistan a little while longer and hopefully this serves as a wakeup call to the people and government there that terrorists are alive and well, even within their own borders, and all should remain vigilant.

Either way, a special thanks and congratulations to all of the active, retired and deceased service men and women of our armed forces and intelligence departments for finally getting Osama. Thank you.