Monday, August 3, 2015

OF INTEREST




There are several items of interest that command my attention and result in “blogs”; Plainfield, Iran, and the 2016 Presidential campaign.

It is obvious that the “Iran deal” is of paramount interest, but at present we still have until the end of September before Congress will take action and the President will veto or ignore. Never the less there is enough every day in the media to merit frequent discussion.

Plainfield and of course the goings-ons of the Council and Administration which is the major one is dependent on the moment.  The next Council meeting is the 10th of this month

However, there is a Planning Board meeting this Thursday “to determine whether Block 13, Lot 38.03 on the City Tax Map Sheets 74 and 79 (1252-1354 Randolph Road, 1241-1323 Moffett Avenue) qualifies as an Area in Need of Redevelopment pursuant to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et. seq..” That is to determine the fate of the Muhlenberg site.

August 6 is also the night of the first Republican debate among the selected 10. Fortunately that can be recorded for later viewing. Earlier the unfortunate 7 will have their chance but not in prime time.

The “debates” are a chance for those who are relatively unknown by the public to gain exposure and perhaps become viable candidates.

The Ledger continues its war against Christie. On Saturday its first page headline was “Christie super PAC skirts law, critic says”

The article notes that:” Some of the $11M it raised came from those with state contracts, “an abuse” of pay-to-play rules, former GOP senator contends”.

America Leads a super PAC promoting Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign, in raising $11 million so far this year, relied in part on donations from people or companies that have lucrative contracts with the state or are interested in doing business with New Jersey, records show.

“The donations, while not illegal, helped the fundraising efforts of the super PAC America”.

BIG DEAL! Sunday’ New York Times reports that over 400 million dollars  has already been raised Super PACs supporting candidates in both parties. There is a list 30 separate donations of over a million dollars to Super PACs supporting other Candidates. The biggest are one  for $11.3 mil and $10.0 mil for Cruz who also has two more of $5mil.Others PACs receiving multiple contributions of  over 1 million those include supporting Bush that  have a total of , Perry, Rubio, Paul, Graham, Trump, Walker and Huckabee. Our Governor is a piker, the largest the Ledger list for him is $500,000.00.

Although the law allows a maximum of $2700.00 individual contribution to a candidate there is no limits on what can be given to the ‘Super PACS’ which have as a result of the “Citizens United decision”*  have increasingly assumed the core campaign costs of advertising, polling and travel as long as it can be claimed that the candidate is not directing the operation.  

Yes, New Jersey’s pay-to-play laws would have prohibited some of the donations, which are being used to pay for television ads in New Hampshire and nationwide on Fox News, from being donated to Christie during his two campaigns for governor.

Although Bill Schluter, a former Republican state senator who helped write the state’s pay-to-play laws said “It’s certainly not ethical and it goes against all standards of fair campaign contributions,” “It doesn’t follow the spirit of the pay-to-play law. It’s just an abuse.” the PAC supporting Christie is legal and the Ledger is nit-picking.

The issues should be if Christie is a viable candidate, and if nominated would he make a good President. I am not sure about either, but that is for the people to decide; the Ledger is acting as if it were a Super PAC without incurring any propaganda expenses.

* In its 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, the court opened the campaign spending floodgates. The justices' ruling said political spending is protected under the First Amendment, meaning corporations and unions could spend unlimited amounts of money on political activities, as long as it was done independently of a party or candidate.

5 comments:

  1. Doc, As a doctor, what would you do with that property? I always thought they should expand the nursing school, or to providing education for Physician's Assistants (PA's) which are now allowed in New Jersey.. Create a campus, or a training hospital. I have this awful feeling that we will end up with, as always, more affordable housing, which we have already an abundance of in Plainfield. Even our beautiful homes are affordable in contrast to surrounding towns. I just have given up hope.

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    1. The city and area need a small acute shoet term stay care hospital 1(20 bed?) with exotic surgery refered to centers like RWJ. The staff of the hospital could also be part of an outpatient clinic practice. This would be a true medical mall. It would only be possible with a for profit outfit that would be able to accept medicaid patients.

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    2. First sentence should read: The city and area need a short term stay acute care hospital (120 bed)----

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  2. Thank you for your thoughtful response. Let us have hope???

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  3. You don't get it about the Christie Super Pac story. Major NJ State Contractors are donating to support CC's presidential campaign. While legal it smells of Pay to Play which is illegal in NJ, but not at the Federal Level. That's how Christie rolls. The Exxon settlement is a better example. $8.9B in damages by Exxon and Christie sold out for $225M. He did this right after Exxon donated to the RGA that Christie headed. Then Exxon also donated to CC's Super PAC. Get it?

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