With ?nice guys? like this in politics, who needs enemies?
By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
(Reprinted from the November 24, 2010 Current-Gazette Newspapers of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, http://shorenewstoday.com/index.php/…s-enemies.html)
For the past two weeks, Harry Hurley reported that Republican leaders in Atlantic County are now selecting their candidates for state Senate and Assembly in next November?s statewide elections.
It looks like incumbent Republican Assemblyman Vince Polistina will run for the state Senate against incumbent Democrat Jim Whelan next November, and that Assemblyman John Amodeo will run for re-election. Former Galloway Township municipal court judge Chris Brown, former Assemblyman Kirk Conover, bakery/restaurant owner and Freeholder Frank Formica and Galloway Township Mayor Keith Hartman are being considered to replace Polistina as the Assembly candidate.
Republicans in Cape May County and Democratic and union leaders in both counties are also actively putting their tickets together.
New Jersey?s motto since 1776 has been ?Liberty and Prosperity.? Liberty includes laws and government that give every person an equal chance to work and succeed, and low taxes that let us keep most of what we earn. Only this liberty creates prosperity: jobs, wealth, and a ?stimulated? economy.
?Boardwalk Empire? on HBO is fiction, but it is historically accurate in showing how prosperous Atlantic City was before big unions and big government ?fixed? New Jersey?s economy by creating tourism, casino reinvestment, stadium, convention hall, airport, economic development, etc. authorities; project labor agreements, public-private partnerships, and high taxes to pay for them.
Which Republican candidates under consideration for the state Legislature will fight for more liberty to bring back that prosperity?
1. Vince Polistina is a nice guy, but he depends on the kindness of politicians to earn his living. His engineering firm works for the Egg Harbor Township Municipal Utilities Authority, the Egg Harbor Township Board of Education, the borough of Folsom, Estell Manor, and the city of Cape May. He previously worked for the Galloway Township and Hamilton Township governments. Most of Polistina?s work for private clients is getting permits from politicians. Polistina can?t afford to offend politicians by defending ?liberty and justice for all.?
2. John Amodeo is also a nice guy. But he has also been an active member of Operating Engineers Local 825 for 37 years. His loyalty and his pension are with the building trades unions who brought ?public-private partnership? to New Jersey. Communist China calls this ?state sponsored capitalism.? The government gives permits, monopolies and tax breaks to a handful of selected companies. Union companies make fortunes in construction, and if the projects fail, taxpayers get stuck with the losses (Atlantic City baseball stadium, Boardwalk Hall, General Motors, AIG, etc.).
3. Chris Brown, a lawyer, is another nice guy. But like Polistina, his business also depended on politics. That included his appointment as municipal court judge in Galloway Township. In April of 2007, Gov. Jon Corzine?s car slammed into a guardrail of the Garden State Parkway at 92 miles per hour ? after hitting the brakes. The state trooper driver was racing to a media event in Princeton, after the governor stayed too long on Pinky?s Corner in Atlantic City. That year, speeding police officers caused three deaths in the area. State police at first tried to blame the innocent driver of a red pickup truck. I filed a citizen?s complaint when the Galloway police and state troopers refused to do so. I wanted public testimony under oath as the law required. This never happened. Judge Christopher Brown dismissed my complaint by finding ?no credible evidence of probable cause that a traffic violation had taken place.? Only the prosecutor, not I, had a right to appeal. Chris Brown should publicly explain that decision.
4. I like Kirk Conover and he talks like a good conservative. But he rarely talked or voted that way when he was a freeholder and assemblyman. Conover now collects a $19,000 per year pension for holding those part-time political offices, a practice that Liberty and Prosperity thinks should end.
5. Frank Formica is a great businessman who turned around his family bakery in Atlantic City and opened a store in Northfield. But he publicly speaks out for public-private partnerships and more political control of the economy.
6. Keith Hartman: I know very little about him. I heard he became financially secure when he sold a business. He is now a councilman in Galloway Township, where he also has some ceremonial duties as mayor under its council-manager form of government. But Hartman, like the rest of the Galloway council, kept quiet when Stockton College bought the Seaview Country Club and wiped out $500,000 a year in county, local and school tax money. Why? Was there some deal with the unions?
Tea party, anyone?
Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman appears on 1400AM talk radio Mondays and Tuesdays from 3-4 p.m. and on 92.1FM Saturdays from 9-10 a.m. For information see www.libertyandprosperity.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (609) 927-7333. Breakfast discussions are held 9:30-10:30 a.m. every Saturday at the Shore Diner on Fire and Tilton roads in Egg Harbor Township.