Weekly Update – June 24, 2012


1.?? We still can?t sleep because the Legislature is still in session.?? Last Thursday, the 80 members of the State Assembly were supposed to vote on the ?Residential Foreclosure Act?.???? This measure would allow the State ?Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency? to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars without voter approval in violation of the NJ Constitution.??? That money would then be used to bail out banks by buying foreclosed homes in suburban neighborhoods at top dollar, and then rent them to low income families, ex-offenders, drug addicts and other ?hard to house? people.??? Last Thursday,? 1400AM WOND Talk Show Host Don Williams said that Democrat Senator Jeff Van Drew, and Republican Assembly Members John Amodeo and Chris Brown all opposed the measure and that? Governor Christie promised to? veto the measure.

However, the measure seems far from dead.??? The State Senate is scheduled to vote on the measure on Monday, and the Assembly is scheduled to pick up the measure on Tuesday.???? Please contact your three state representatives today by phone message and e-mail and find out what is really going on.? Get their contact information from our website at:? http://libertyandprosperity.org/engage/contact-elected-officials/.

2.?? State Republican leadership is paying attention to us.?? A member of the campaign staff of Joseph Kyrillos for U.S. Senate ?recently commented that the biggest and most energetic crowd that?? Joseph Kyrillos had before the June 5 Primary Election was our Liberty and Prosperity breakfast meeting in May.???? Kyrillos also noticed a much higher vote turnout for him in Atlantic County than elsewhere.???? Republican state and county leaders also notice the primary election results in Northfield and asked if they could attend our breakfast meeting on July 14.?? Although we have a business meeting afterwards, we always welcome any political leader willing to support our principles.???? Also, if any ?Tea Party? conservatives want to be serious candidates for state or county office next year,? they need to practice their skills helping other candidates this year.??? Remember that George Washington and many colonial Americans learned the military skills they? needed to defeat the British during the Revolution of 1775-1783 , by first serving in the British army against the French and Indians during 1754-1763.

3.?? Correction:? Last week?s newsletter said that our President Dennis Mahon gave details on the expense and inefficiency of using wind to produce electricity at our June 16 meeting.???? Dennis was actually reading an essay called ?Go Fly a Kite!? by Richard Zuendt of the Conservative New Jersey blog.?? You can read the full post at http://conservativenewjersey.com/go-fly-a-kite.

4.? Last week the rock band Phish brought thousands of visitors and vendors to their open air concert at Bader Field in Atlantic City.?? This weekend Metallica did the same.?? Country singer Kenney Chesney performed for thousands on the beach in Wildwood last week.????? These events were all teachable moments for Liberty and Prosperity.??? Why were Atlantic City?s most successful concerts in years held outdoors in an abandoned airport, rather than in the mostly empty Boardwalk Hall that cost $100 million???? Why was the Wildwood concert held on their beach instead of their new $75 million convention center??? Why did our politicians tell us these expensive facilities were needed to attract tourists, when they are empty most of the time???? Ironically, the cost of these useless facilities killed future outdoor concerts.??? A promoter just cancelled two concerts that were scheduled for September at Bader Field in Atlantic City.?? He said he could not afford the 9% ?luxury tax? that was somehow waived for the Phish and Metallica concerts in Atlantic City.???? How can a tax be ?waived? for some people, but not others???? And does Atlantic City need a 9% luxury tax on top of the 7% state sales tax????? Why does the government have to make more money from an event than the business owner?? To pay the debt on the empty $100 million Boardwalk Hall!

5.? Revel Casino in trouble already.??? The Revel Casino is borrowing money already to stay afloat?even during the height of the summer season.???? Financial ?experts? are now say that business at the the $2.4 billion casino is ?underwhelming? and not bringing new business to Atlantic City.? They also say the Revel is ?cannibalizing? business from other casinos.?? This is exactly what we said in January of 2010 when we went to Trenton to oppose special legislation sponsored by Democrat Senator Jim Whelan, and Republicans Vince Polistina and John Amodeo.?? That legislation stripped Atlantic City residents of their petition rights to force a public vote on a local ordinance that gave special tax breaks to the Revel Casino and forcing every other taxpayer?in Atlantic City to pay more to make up the difference.?? By the way, all those high paid tax-subsidized union construction jobs are still costing taxpayers money, as thousands of laid off Revel construction workers collect 99 weeks of unemployment at the maximum rate of $600 per week.?? (Every employer is paying a new tax retroactive to 2011 to subsidize NJ’s broke unemployment “trust” fund).

6.? July 4 Parade in Galloway Township.? We will be marching in that parade which begins at 9AM in the shopping center parking lot on Smithville Blvd.??? We must assemble there by 8:30.?? We again agreed to hire up to three drummers for this event.?? You must be fit enough to march and carry a flag or a six foot wooden pike draped with a red liberty cap.??? We need at least 24 participants to make an effective presentation.? Can you join us?? Also, if you can bring your own 5 foot wooden pole and a liberty cap made from an old?Santa Claus hat with the white trim cut off, it would be appreciated.?? Please RSVP to?Doug Stroz at stroz4@comcast.net.

7.? Liberty Movie:? Wednesday, ?July 11th at 6:00pm at the Shore Diner 6710 Tilton Road, Egg Harbor Township (By Parkway Exit 36).?? No admission, but donations encourage.??? We recommend arriving before 5:30 to get the Early Bird Dinner.
As we reflect upon our Independence this July we present “Rediscovering God In America II: Our Heritage”. This Citizens United production explores the role of religion in early America and the belief that “our Creator” is the source of our Liberty, Prosperity, and survival as an exceptional nation.

From the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown in 1607, through the American Revolution, to the end of the Civil War in 1865, this film tells the story of the deep faith that motivated and sustained our great leaders, and dramatically presents our nation’s belief in religious freedom.

Shot in high definition at historic locations including Jamestown, Philadelphia, Boston, Mount Vernon, and Gettysburg, the film offers fresh historical perspectives from experts, historians, authors, including Douglas Brinkley, Allen Guelzo, and Michael Novak.

8.??? As always, Breakfast Discussion Saturday Morning 9:30AM to 10:30AM at the Shore Diner, Tilton & Fire Roads, Egg Harbor Township by Parkway Exit 36.??? Seth Grossman Radio Program on 92.1 FM Vineland heard in South Jersey, Northern Delaware and Philadelphia Saturday morning from 8AM to 9AM.

9.? ?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.

10.?? Please preview Seth Grossman?s proposed column for the Current and Gazette newspapers and give him your corrections, criticisms, and suggestions as sethgrossman49@gmail.com.

While Republican Governor Chris Christie bragged of a ?Jersey Comeback? at? his ?Town Hall Meetings?, the U.S. Department of? Labor published these inconvenient truth.
Last year, New Jersey was one of only seven states where the economy shrank.???? While the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) increased in 43 states last year, the GDP in New Jersey declined by 0.5%, giving us the 47thworst economic performance in the country.

The reason for this is simple.?? Only liberty brings prosperity.?? And during the past three years, our Republican governor and Democratic legislature gave us more laws, debt, and taxes—and less liberty.

America was ?conceived in liberty? in 1776? as an experiment.?? We were the first to try a small, simple government with a very limited purpose?to secure the ?unalienable rights? of each of us to make the most important decisions concerning our own lives.??? Like deciding where and how to live, work, eat, dress, and relax. ?Where to send our kids to school.? How much to pay for the things we buy and the people we hire.? How much to get paid for the work we do and the things we sell.?? Which churches, clubs, or unions we choose to join or not join.

Atlantic City had prosperity–even during the Great Depression of the 1930?s because Republican political ?bosses? like ?Nucky? Johnson and ?Hap? Farley did far more to secure these basic rights in Atlantic County than the petty politicians and government officials of today.

During the Depression, families were free to move into their basements during the summer, rent rooms upstairs, and sell meals to tourists in their dining rooms.? Others used their personal automobiles to offer taxi and jitney service to visitors.? For a little ?ice money?, anyone could get a liquor license or ?permission? to run lotteries, blackjack, or poker games discretely in ?back rooms.??? ?(Today, those licenses and permits cost a fortune?if you can get them.)

Businesses like the 500 Club, Taber?s Toyland, Casel?s Delicatessen, Mammy?s Restaurant, Kramer Beverage, the Needle Craft, and Willie Malamut?s Ritz-Carlton Hotel all opened and thrived during the Great Depression.?? Because taxes were low and zoning and permit requirements were minimal, they didn?t need loans, grants, tax abatements or other special favors from expensive government agencies like CRDA, ?the Atlantic City Alliance, or the Special Tourism District.

If we had that kind of liberty in New Jersey today, young people could start new businesses– lease to own and fix up empty stores and houses, taxi people from the airport, and promote their own concerts– instead of ?turning to drugs, crime, or TV.

If we had that liberty today, the elected officials of Atlantic City would be free to hire people to bulldoze those ugly, artificial piles of sand that keep visitors on the Boardwalk from enjoying the ocean view and breezes.

If we had that liberty today, the elected representatives of the people in Cape May County would have construction workers replacing those three deadly traffic lights on the Garden State Parkway at mileposts 9, 10, and 11 with safe, clover-leaf interchanges by now.

If we had that liberty today, ?the two old drawbridges between Somers Point and Ocean City would have been replaced for less than $50 million instead of $500 million.?? We could have used the other $450 million to finish most of Route 55 from Millville to Wildwood, and remove the death traps on Routes 47 and 347.

If we had that liberty today, we could cut state government by 25% ?back to what it was just ten years ago.? With a state budget of $23 billion instead of? $31 billion, we could easily cut the state income, sales, and hotel-motel tax rates back to 5% for each.? If? local and public school officials were free to serve the taxpayers who elect them rather than their public ?servants?, real estate taxes could also be cut to 2002 levels.

This would not only make our tourist business much more competitive, but would also encourage industries like Lennox China, Wheaton Industries, and Ocean Spray Cranberry to come back to New Jersey.

Corrections to last week?s column:??? Sunshinereview.org, put total NJ state government debt (including unfunded pension obligations) at $281,544,674,000.?? (I left out three zeros).??? I also double counted the 580,000 non-retired public employees in the state pension systems.?? There are only 257,000 retirees for 837,000 total participants.? ?That gives each? an average $84,468 share of the $70.7 billion of state pension funds?not the $51,000 I erroneously stated.

  • 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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