Weekly Update – August 26


1. Special Breakfast this Saturday, September 1, ?with Trevor Loudon of New Zealand from 9:30 A.M. to Noon.??? Loudon helped lead a Tea Party type political movement that changed the politics and revived the economy in New Zealand in 2006 and 2008.? Loudon researched documents that were made public after the collapse of Communism in Russia and found that many leftist radicals who helped President Barack Obama launch his political career in Chicago got much of their financial backing from the Soviet government. A $10 donation is recommended for this event only to defray Loudon?s travel expenses, together with the purchase of breakfast off the menu.???? This event will take place at the Shore Diner, Tilton and Fire Roads in Egg Harbor Township by Parkway Exit 36.? Seating is limited and will be first come, first seated.?? We thank Brenda Roames of the Greenwich Tea Party Patriots of Vineland for making Trevor Loudon available to us.

2.?? LibertyAndProsperity.org on the radio.?? Saturday morning 8AM to 9AM on 92.1FM, WVLT Vineland, is heard in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Cherry Hill, and most of South Jersey.?? Seth Grossman is also a guest with Larry Trulli and Dan Klein on 1020AM, WIBG (Ocean City, NJ) on Mondays from 8AM to 10AM.

3.?? Thank you new members!?? We don?t know why, but four people made on-line donations totaling $370 during the past five days.?? Nine people signed up online for our email updates during the past week.?? Why not make an online contribution today?? Forward this to your friends and family? to sign up for our e-mail alerts.?? We now have 1,603 people signed up.?? Go to http://www.libertyandprosperity.org.

4.?? We need your support for our Richard Somers Day ceremony and fundraiser.?? The ceremony will be sponsored by the Somers Point Historical Society led by Sally Hastings on Sunday, September 9 at 2PM.?? Learn why Thomas Jefferson searched the bookshops of London to get an English translation of the Koran in 1786, while U.S. Ambassador to France.??? Learn why he sent the newly created U.S. fleet to? North Africa when he became President.?? And why Richard Somers, of Somers Point died at age 26 in Tripoli (Libya) in 1804.

5.? Please buy your ticket now for our fundraiser from 3PM to 4:30 PM at Gregory?s Restaurant and Bar one block away at 900 Shore Road in Somers Point.?? Tickets are $25 per person, $35 per couple, and includes dinner and cash bar.??? Please buy your tickets now online at http://www.libertyandprosperity.org , or from any Liberty and Prosperity member, or at the Seth Grossman Law Office at 453 Shore Road, Somers Point, or call 609-927-7333 or email sethgrossman49@gmail.com.?? We must sell? 20 tickets just to break even.?? We can only continue our present level of activity if we sell about 75 tickets above that.?? Please do your part by buying your tickets in advance?and by selling at least one additional ticket to someone you know who says they like what we are doing, but never have time to come to our breakfasts.?? Also, if you have any interest in being a candidate for public office next year,? practice organizing and funding a winning campaign by helping us with this important event this year.? The skills are identical.

6.? The Governor Christie?s Education Funding Task Force held its second public hearing, and only hearing in South Jersey? last Tuesday at the Camden County Community College in Blackwood.?? Only two of the five Task Force members showed up?Chairperson Rochelle Hendricks, and Chuck Urban of Absecon.???? Only one reporter (Gloucester County Times) and eight ?members of the public showed up?representatives of the NJEA Teacher?s Union, the? NJ School Administrator?s Association, an ?affordable housing? advocacy group, a state employee, and Seth Grossman, Mark Hutchinson, and Clarence Abbott representing LibertyAndProsperity.org.??? The Chairman said the purpose of the hearing was to find a way to avoid fraud and corruption in giving extra state income tax money to school districts with ?at risk? students.? (Right now, school districts get extra money based on how many students are enrolled in the ?free lunch? program).???? The Teacher?s Union and School Administrators said the current system is fine, and that there is very little fraud in the school lunch program.

7.? ?Seth Grossman submitted the ?detailed prepared statement which was sent to you last week.? It ?pointed out that the 1976 Amendment to the NJ Constitution requires all money collected from the income tax to be dedicated to a $13 billion ?Property Tax Relief Fund? to cut property taxes for owners of real estate.? And that the 1844 and 1947 NJ Constitutions provide that any state tax money used for public schools must be distributed equally for the benefit of all students.?? Right now, roughly two-thirds to three-fourths of the Property Tax Relief Fund from the income? tax is paid to just 32 mismanaged towns run by Democrats.?? ??Senator Michael? Doherty of Warren County proposed a new ?Fair School Funding? formula to cut property taxes in suburban towns by equally distributing the Property? Tax Relief Fund with each town getting the same amount of money for each student.?? Many? local officials adopted resolutions urging adoption of this plan.?? But so far, neither Republican Governor Christie ?nor local Republican legislators John Amodeo or Chris Brown have endorsed the? plan.?? Nor have any Democrats?even Democrats from suburban districts.

8. ? What we have hear is a failure of communication?.?? This line from ?Cool Hand Luke? applied to last Saturday?s breakfast meeting with Chris Brown.??? Chris Brown said going to our group was like going into the Lion?s Den, when Liberty and Prosperity members? should be seen as the base of the Republican Party.???? Chris Brown opened by pointing? out how he volunteered to serve with his reserve unit in Iraq, and how he took a pay cut from his position as Galloway Township municipal judge to become a Republican candidate for State Assembly.???? He also said he? agreed with our Ten Point Program for Liberty in New Jersey posted on our web site.?? And there? was a failure of communication.

9.??? During the? rest of the meeting,? Chris Brown defended his support of state laws which force every electric company in the state to raise electric rates to pay for solar panels.?? He said this program? cut taxes in Egg Harbor Township because the public schools installed solar panels.? He also said the solar panel industry ?created 3,000 jobs in New Jersey.???? Most people at the meeting disagreed, and said? government should not? force people to pay for technology that doesn?t work, and that if solar panels? were really cost-effective, they would not need an extra $100 to $300 every time a solar panel produced $50 worth of electricity.?? They also pointed out that solar subsidies are a shell game where the school district saves money on its electric bills with solar panels, while? all Egg Harbor residents pay higher electric bills.???? And that New Jersey electric bills are almost double what? they are in Florida.? ??And that New Jersey is losing jobs because of? high electric rates.

10.???? The big problem of the meeting is that Chris Brown made it clear that he thinks he is a good legislator and is doing the right thing.? He claimed he did not vote? for any tax increases, a
nd that he intends to keep doing what he is doing.??? He seemed to be especially?irritated by critical comments made by Seth Grossman about his position on solar energy, and appeared to take them as personal attacks.

11.?? But Chris Brown?s vote for solar subsidies was a tax increase, because it raises electric bills.?? Forcing businesses to pay higher payroll taxes to bail out the state?s unemployment fund was also a tax hike.?? So was using RGGI ?green energy? money from higher electric bills to fund state government.? And so was cutting state distribution of the $13 billion ?Property Tax Relief Fund? to suburban towns, which caused higher property taxes there.

12.?? ?Governor Christie signed a new law for the state to to borrow $750 million on various union only construction projects for New Jersey state colleges.?? Stockton College already borrowed some $200 million for its ?wow? student ?center, the Seaview Country Club,? the Woodbine Synagogue, new buildings in Hammonton, and planned new dormitories, off-campus housing, performing arts center, solar panels, over? its parking lots, and proposed new construction near the Revel Casino in Atlantic City.? ?This proposed new $750 million of state debt must be approved by voters in a special ballot question in the November election.

13.??? Why does New Jersey have the 4th worst rate of economic growth, and 4th worst unemployment rate (9.8%) in the country???? Is it our high income, sales, business, and property taxes? ??Is it our 4th highest electric bills in the country??? Is it the high cost of getting permits and the pay to play politics to get them??? Is? it the outrageous fee-shifting lawsuits that cost every business and government agency a fortune? on insurance, lawyers, ?human resources consultants?, settlements, and not being allowed to discipline or fire bad employees?

14.? But instead of cutting the cost of taxes, electric bills, permits, and lawsuits for everyone, ?NJ politicians only ?create jobs? by giving special tax breaks and taxpayer funded gifts to a handful of insiders while raising taxes for everyone else.

15.? Last year, state and local taxpayer s gave the Revel Casino roughly $400 million of tax breaks and other government special deals.??? But in only three months, the Revel lost so much money it just had? to borrow $100 million more to stay open through the winter.??? CRDA tax money gave a $6 million loan to re-open the Steel Pier in Atlantic City.??? It is just approved taxpayer loans to build Jimmy Buffet?s Margaritaville in the Resorts Casino.?? And it will build a brand new building for the Bass Sporting Goods store, and give them a tax break.??? Higher tolls on the Atlantic City Expressway paid for new parking garages for stores and restaurants at ?The Walk? in Atlantic City, which also don?t pay property taxes.??? State government officials say crowds at ?The Walk? prove their success.?? But don?t those crowds come from the empty stores at the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing—and the Shore Mall in Egg Harbor Township and the ?dead? mall across the Black Horse Pike?

12.?? Everyone blames lawyers for ?frivolous lawsuits?.?? But lawyers normally don?t? file bad lawsuits because they and their? clients lose money?except when ?fee shifting? laws give lawyers big fees anyway.???? The most popular fee shifting laws are New Jersey?s ?Law Against Discrimination? (LAD) and the Class Action? laws.??? If ?an employee claims he was offended by a sexual or ethnic remark made by a co-employee, or if a bad employee is fired or fails to get an employee, that employee can often claim ?discrimination? or ?hostile workplace?.???? If that employee sues and wins, the lawyer? gets paid top dollar for every hour he claims he worked on the case?even if the client is awarded only $50.?? It is very common for lawyers to win $20,000 fees, when their clients recover less than $1,000.?? Other ?fee shifting? cases involved customers of businesses who claim they were cheated out of small amounts of money.???? Their lawyers bring ?class action? lawsuits where every customer of the business get a recovery of a few dollars, while the lawyers make millions.?? To avoid the risk of paying big legal fees to the other side, many companies, local governments and businesses pay big settlements to people who? suffered little, if any financial loss.

13.? Here are just a few of recent settlements of ?fee shifting? cases in New Jersey.? Egg Harbor Township paid $110,000 to settle a ?fee-shifting? lawsuit by Egg Harbor Police Officer Robert Ginsberg who made various complaints including ?being denied entry into the motorcycle unit, and having to inform the entire department every time he needed to go to the bathroom?.?? Five law firms are seeking $3.75 million in legal fees of a settlement that will give purchasers of Nutella chocolate spread refunds of a few dollars.??? That is because ?13 customers complained of ?deceptive advertising? that claimed Nutella offered a ?tasty yet balanced breakfast? when in fact Nutella is like chocolate candy.???? Wawa paid $12,500 to settle a civil rights suit by a man who was not blind, but said he needed to take his dog into the store because of ?a seizure? disorder and disassociative amnesia?.??? The store manager personally made the purchases for the man while he waited outside, but the man sued anyway under the Law Against Discrimination.?? West New York paid $90,000 to settle a claim by a teacher?s aide who claimed she needed special accommodation to do the job because of her disability.?? All of these cause higher taxes and higher prices.

14.??? Become a full voting member of LibertyAndProsperity.org! Dues are $60 per year, attend 3 business meetings each year, and work on at least one volunteer project each year. Or be a non-voting supporting member for just $30 per year, with no other commitment.

15.?? ?Please? read the rough draft of Seth Grossman?s proposed column for the Current and Gazette weekly newspapers in Atlantic and Cape May Counties.??? Please forward your corrections and suggestions for improvement to Seth at sethgrossman49@gmail.com. Thanks.
Every week,? several ?progressives? publish opinions in this paper that attack and ridicule people like me who believe in America?s ?exceptional? 400 year tradition of individual liberty, limited government, and low taxes.
One such opinion that keeps popping up is the charge that that Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court sided with big corporations and corrupted the political process when they ruled that ?corporations are people?.

Corporations, of course,? are not people.??? But they are voluntary associations of people.? People form them when they join with others for a common purpose, bur don?t want to be personally responsible for the debts of the group if the venture fails.??? Anyone can form a corporation by filling out some simple forms and paying a small filing fee to the state treasurer.

People form a? ?for profit? corporation when they? join with others to earn money by producing, buying, or selling? things that people want– and are willing to pay for.??? Some, like McDonalds Corporation, are big, and have millions of owners.?? Others, like Traa Corporation of Pleasantville, which own and? run some local McDonald?s restaurants are small and owned by a few family members.

People form ?non-profit? corporations to pursue other goals.?? Some, like the Red Cross or the NJEA (Teacher?s Union), are big.? Others, like Liberty and Prosperity 1776, Inc. and? the Praise Tabernacle Church are small.?? Citizens United, Inc. is a non-profit corporation that? promotes conservative ideas by producing and distributing documentary movies.

In 2008, Citizens United produced ?Hillary?The Movie?, which was highly critical of? Hillary Clinton, then the leading Democrat candidate for U.S. President.?? But the McCain-Feingold Federal Campaign ?Reform? Law of 2002, made it was a federal crime for any private citizen to put that movie on TV before before any primary election.

That law was supported by left-wing, pay to play Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Jon Corzine.?? It stopped wealthy conservatives from making big contributions to Republicans, while big Democrat unions could still force millions of their members to bankroll campaigns for Democrats.?? This law was also? supported by clueless ?moderate? Republicans like George Bush and John McCain.

But Citizens United fought this ?Federal Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act? in court saying it? violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The First Amendment says ?Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech?.

Five Republican justices of the U.S. Supreme Court said the? Federal Campaign ?Reform? Law violated this First Amendment in not letting Citizens United put its movie on TV.?? It also said the people who ran Citizens United, Inc. did not lose their Constitutional rights of free speech rights simply because they had organized themselves as a corporation.

The only thing shocking and disturbing about this case is that none of the four Democrats on the U.S. Supreme Court think that the First Amendment permits laws like this.

If Democrat Barack Obama is re-elected and replaces just one Republican on the Supreme Court, Congress will be free to make a whole lot of new laws to abridge the freedom of speech.

Those laws would quickly banish Rush Limbaugh, me, and anyone else who challenges the ?progressive? left from radio and TV?just like in China, Cuba, Venezuela, and other ?progressive? countries.

By the way, do laws that keep big?corporations out of politics make government more honest????? Look at what New Jersey?s law keeps casino companies and their executives from giving money to political campaigns did to local government in Atlantic City.??? Compare Atlantic City government with that in Las Vegas where big casino corporations are a big part in local politics.

Also, to learn more about how ?progressives? came to dominate the media, the schools, and the pop culture in this country, come to a special breakfast program of Liberty and Prosperity.org this Saturday, September 1, at the Shore Diner from 9:30 AM to Noon.???? Loudon helped lead a Tea Party type political movement that changed the politics and revived the economy in New Zealand in 2006 and 2008.? Loudon researched documents that were made public after the collapse of Communism in Russia and found that many leftist radicals who helped President Barack Obama launch his political career in Chicago got much of their financial backing from the Soviet government. A $10 donation is recommended for this event only to defray Loudon?s travel expenses, together with the purchase of breakfast off the menu.

  • Seth Grossman

    Seth Grossman is executive director of Liberty And Prosperity, which he co-founded in 2003. It promotes American liberty and limited constitutional government through weekly radio and in-person discussions, its website, email newsletters and various events. Seth Grossman is also a general practice lawyer.

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