In the November 2014 election the NJ Libertarian Party will be running candidates under the Libertarian Party banner. A candidate search is currently underway. Our current list of approved candidates includes:
- Joe Baratelli of Mercerville for U.S. Senate
- Dorit Goikhman of Morganville for U.S. Congress (6th District)
- Jim Gawron of Flanders for U.S. Congress (7th District)
- Steve Uccio of East Windsor for Mercer County Freeholder
- Brian Pizza of Forded Riverfor Ocean County Freeholder
Petitioning is currently underway. The most help is needed with Joe's petition. Joe's petition can be found here. A short one page biography of Joe will be posted shortly. Please print a petition today and start gathering signatures.
In apparent display of social correctness and lack of understanding of social media and free speech rights, Executive Director of HR, James Miller has suspended Associate Professor Francis Schmidt over a picture Schmidt had uploaded to his Google+ account.
Our schools and universities should be a place of open discussion, discovery, and analysis of all thoughts. By limiting what can be discussed, the bureaucrats who run our higher education institutions are limiting the ability of young people to learn and develop. Instead of banishing anything that may be deemed offensive, schools should be encouraging students to have their views challenged, discussed, and analyzed.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) summarizes the censorship:
Displaying a lack of both pop culture and First Amendment awareness, administrators at Bergen Community College in New Jersey placed Professor Francis Schmidt on leave this past January, requiring him to meet with a psychiatrist before returning to campus—just for posting a picture of his daughter in a T-shirt quoting the popular HBO television show Game of Thrones.
Wayne D. Pelura, Committeeman
Township of Carneys Point
Dear Committeeman Pelura:
I note from your 2013 Financial Disclosure Statement (on-line here) that you listed no source of income for either you or your wife Patricia. Given that your home on Johnson Avenue is assessed at $290,800 and has taxes levied against in in the amount of $7,287.45 (property detail sheet on-line here), it seems very unlikely that neither you nor your wife have a source of income greater than $2,000.
The entire point of the Financial Disclosure Statement filing is to help citizens learn whether public officials have conflicts of interest. Suppose for example, the Township Committee was considering whether to award a contract to a company that employed your wife Patricia. Clearly, it would be violation of the Local Government Ethics Law (LGEL) for you to vote on or participate in the discussion regarding that contract. Yet, absent your wife's employer being listed as a source of income on your Financial Disclosure Form, a member of the public (unless he or she knew or was familiar with you and your family) would likely not be aware that you would be conflicted from voting on that contract. Thus, when public officials decline or refuse to identify the sources of income for them and their family members, they are frustrating citizens' ability to detect violations of the LGEL.
NOTE: to attend as a NJ Delegate you must be approved by the NJLP State Board and be a current Libertarian Party member.
Last November, I traveled and spoke to European Libertarian groups in Moscow and in Madrid. The latest additions to our speaker lineup come from contacts I made during his trip.
Vera Kichanova is a libertarian elected official and activist who has been described as one of "Putin's Unruly Children." In 2012, she was elected as a municipal deputy in Moscow's Yuzhnoye Tushino district. In 2013, she received a Democracy Award from the National Endowment for Democracy. While in Washington, D.C., to receive the award, she met with National Security Adviser Susan Rice in the White House. Back in Moscow, she works as a journalist and is a frequent and vocal advocate for liberty who has been detained or arrested many times for her activities. She has become one of the most visible and internationally known faces of the Russian opposition, and has been featured in articles in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Der Spiegel, and more. Vera is 22 years old.
On April 2, 2014, Administrative Law Judge Susan M. Scarola recommended acceptance of a settlement of an Open Public Record Act (OPRA) case filed with the Government Records Council. Judge Scarola's recommendation and the Settlement Agreement in the case of George F. Burdick, Jr. v. Township of Franklin (Hunterdon County) are on-line here.
According to the agreement, Franklin Township Clerk Ursula Stryker agreed to "personally pay a fine of $1,000 to the Government Records Council" within 60 days of Scarola's order. The agreement recites that the Township acknowledged that it was able to comply with an Interim Order of the GRC, but attributed its failure to do so to "the intentional acts of at least one of its professionals which directly affected [Stryker's] ability to comply with the Interim Order." The agreement also recites that the Township "has already made adjustments to its Open Public Records protocol to ensure continual compliance with the GRC's ruling" and that the Township "wishes to resolve this matter without having to expend additional counsel fees for one or more days of hearings."
On January 27, 2014, the Town Council of Hammonton, an Atlantic County community with a 2010 population 14,791, resolved to appoint a separate deputy records custodian for each of ten principal departments in the municipality. The same resolution also appointed nine "Alternate Records Custodians"--one for each of the ten departments except for the Recreation Department.
According to Resolution 023-2014, which is on-line here, "the Open Public Records Act does not preclude the Municipality from developing reasonable and practical measures for responding to OPRA requests which may include the designation of deputy custodians for particular types of records."
I'm honored to be serving as the new Chair of the NJLP. I'm confident 2014 will be an exciting year for liberty in New Jersey. Thank you again to Jay for his years of hard work and leadership.
I wanted to share the following article from LP.org. Apparently not only is the LP the fastest-growing party in America, since 2012 we're actually the only growing party!
I would also like to congratulate the excellent candidates nominated at the Convention. They are:
- Joe Baratelli - US Senate
- Steven Uccio - Mercer County Freeholder
- Brian Pizza - Ocean County Freeholder
March 21, 2014
Internal Affairs Unit
Burlington Township Police Department
851 Old York Rd
Burlington, NJ 08016
Dear Sir or Madam:
I chair the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Police Accountability Project and ask that you accept this letter as our Internal Affairs complaint. We would like your agency to investigate whether Sergeant David Brintzinghoffer (as well as any other officers and personnel employed by your agency) acted in accordance with department policy and the law regarding a July 5, 2006 incident involving Demetrius Cope.
According to the Appellate Division's March 21, 2014 decision in State v. Demetrius C. Cope, Docket No. A-2165-11T3 (on-line here), Sergeant Brintzinghoffer conducted an unconstitutional "protective sweep" of Cope's apartment that resulted in him finding a firearm in "plain view." The Appellate Division ultimately ruled that the firearm is inadmissible because it was "discovered and seized as a result of a warrantless search that did not fall into any of the recognized exceptions to the warrant requirement."
On July 12, 2011, Glenn A. Grant, Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) issued Directive #03-11 which states in its preamble that:
An open and transparent court system is an integral part of our democratic government. The public has a right of access not only to our courts, but also to court records. Public access to court records allows citizens to understand the system and to judge its effectiveness.
This lofty goal, however, does not actually play out in practice.
On September 6, 2013, New Jersey enacted L.2013, Chapter 158 which established a conditional discharge program for municipal courts that allows first time offenders to avoid prosecution for a large variety of disorderly and petty disorderly offenses if they enter into a supervisory program. The new law, which became effective on January 4, 2014, requires applicants to pay $75 into a "non-lapsing fund to be known as the 'Municipal Court Diversion Fund,' which shall be administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts."