NJ Libertarian Blog

NJ has agreed to purchase a piece of property for over $1.8 million from a family that built a condominium complex in which not a single condo had been rented out. At first the state of NJ contended that the family and Union City officials conspired to build the building with the knowledge that the state was going to buy it to build an elementary school. They were unable to prove so in court and now instead of having to pay the $326,000 that they wanted to they are compromising at $1.825 million. The story gets better.

The Somerset County Republican Organization has informed Murray Sabrin that if he cannot promise them that he is not running an alternate slate of freeholder candidates he cannot participate in their screening process. In other words if he doesn't play ball with the Republican county establishment then he is not welcome. This brings up a question that many independently thinking people ponder: is it better to follow one's own political beliefs if it leads them to a third party or to try to reform one of the two major political parties from the inside?

The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a bill that will give the FDA full regulatory control over the tobacco industry. If the bill passes it is expected to dramatically reduce tobacco marketing, ban many flavored cigarettes, and prohibit the labeling of cigarettes as “light” or “low-tar.” It makes me feel warm and fuzzy to know that the government would care for me so much that it would protect me from the evil tobacco industry. I guess flavored cigars will be next on the chopping block.

Here is a NJLP shirt design idea. Let me know what you guys think.

Steve Adubato endorsed Rep. Rob Andrews which kind of contradicts my last post. Thought I would point that out before anyone else did. A lot of endorsements have been rolling out in the last day or two and despite the fact that Andrews has been getting a lot of support he is currently behind Lautenberg by 35%.

Fairleigh Dickinson University posted the results of a recent poll yesterday that shows how many people don't know who the GOP candidates are. When all voters were polled the numbers stood at Joe Pennacchio being unrecognized by 77%, Murray Sabrin by 84% and Andy Unanue by 90%. When narrowed down to just Republican voters the numbers come out to 29% saying they?ve heard of Pennacchio, 18% saying they?ve heard of Sabrin, and 12% saying they?ve heard of Unanue. (These polls were tricky to get because the Star Ledger article was linked to the wrong poll, what else can we expect from them?) Joe Pennacchio has been the front runner in gaining the endorsement of county organizations but this poll shows that the race is still wide open.

Mike Gravel, former Democratic Senator of Alaska and Presidential Candidate, just announced recently that he has joined the Libertarian Party. At first I didn't know what to think because I don't know much about Gravel. I had seen him in the debates once and he seemed bitter and angry but a lot of times Ron Paul can come off as angry as well. I checked his campaign site and went over his issue stances and found that I wholeheartedly agree with him 65% of the time and very much disagree with him the other 25% and am iffy on the last 10%. This is my breakdown on what I agree and disagree with and why.

The Hudson County Sheriff's Office caught 57 fugitives this month in what was called "Operation Talon". I consider this quite an accomplishment for one County Sheriff's Office. Though the news worthy part of this story is in how they got caught, they cut off their welfare benefits. After finding that their benefits were cut these geniuses went to the county welfare office to complain. The police waited there and arrested every single one.

A quote from today's Star Ledger states the following:

New Jersey's 15-year-old Local Redevelopment and Housing Law requires that an area be declared blighted before a municipality can use eminent domain to take a property and sell it to private developers.

The Supreme Court is hearing District of Columbia v. Heller which will decide whether the 2nd Amendment gives rights to bear arms to the people or to the militia, or both for that matter. Right now the NY Times is reporting that a majority of the justices seem to be interpreting the 2nd Amendment as the right of the people to bear arms. This will be a great moment in history where one of our most vital rights, that of our right to have the ability to defend ourselves, family, and country, by bearing arms will be reinstated. There is one problem though, the Supreme Court is not so ready to decide what that means for gun control laws.

In NJ anyone younger than 19 years old cannot buy cigarettes and now they are passing a law that will make it illegal to smoke in public if you are under 19. This is a very sad state of affairs. With all the pressing issues which our great state must deal with our elected officials are focusing on attacking our right to buy and smoke cigarettes. Now I don't smoke myself and I discourage all my loved ones from smoking, but to tell a legal adult, someone who can vote and die for their country, that they cannot buy or smoke cigarettes is ludicrous. It's the Nanny state telling its little children what they should do and what they shouldn't do, except instead of being sent to your room you are being fined and imprisoned. They are taking our freedoms one year at a time and it is unacceptable.

Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), who's office I drive by quite often since it is near where I work, is crafting a bill that will bring Universal Health Care to NJ. It will force everyone in the state to buy health insurance and will require the raising of taxes to fund this program on a continual basis. And here is the kicker... Corzine is supporting this bill despite the fact that he has sworn to freeze state spending. Hmmmm... you mean to tell me that Universal Health Care won't raise state spending? And how about the $56 billion or so hole in the state pension fund? How does the state of NJ plan to plug all its holes in the budget by making the largest sinkhole of all?

I attended the joint convention and it was a great experience. I met an array of VIP Libertarians, watched the presidential debate, and got elected to the position of Vice Chairman of the NJ Libertarian Party. I have to thank Lou Jasikoff for all the work he has done last year as Chairman and also for the opportunity that he and the rest of the party are giving me this year to further the cause of liberty in the state of NJ. I was also elected Chairman of the joint Somerset, Middlesex, and Union Libertarian County Committee. I have always believed that the key to success in our state is to establish strong local grassroots organizations and I am glad that I am now in a position to head up that effort. The slate of elected officials of the NJLP for this year is as follows:

Bristol, Middletown, and Falls police departments are going to institute check points to catch DUI drivers between now and 3/19. Now this may sound like a good idea at first but this is akin to random drug testing or random audits by the IRS. It is a very clear violation of our rights. A few months ago I saw Scotch Plains police officers establish a check point to check the inspection stickers on people's cars. The reason behind this? For money! They wanted to rack up the fines they were handing out to increase the amount of money that the municipality was bringing in.

Bridgewater, NJ is going to have to increase taxes due to the need to expand affordable housing based on state requirements. Here is a quote from a Star Ledger article that outlines the situation.

The rules require that for every four market-rate housing units, a town must provide one housing unit that is for low- or moderate-income individuals. Using a calculation that combines projected growth rates and other factors, Bridgewater owes about 1,000 more units in affordable housing under the rules, said officials in the sprawling township.

I think I am going to start a "Ridiculous Crime Of The Week" post since the state of NJ supplies me with enough of them. On Friday a man was arrested in Cranford for possessing a hypodermic needle. I wasn't even aware that this was illegal, I don't even know why this is illegal though I can imagine. My guess is that the government believes that anyone with a hypodermic needle is going to use it to administer illegal drugs to themselves or someone else. If this is true then my question is what happened to innocent until proven guilty? Is it right to arrest someone for something they might do illegally because I can't think of anything else you can do with a hypodermic needle which would be illegal.