On December 13, 2017, the Local Finance Board, the primary enforcer of the Local Government Ethics Law (LGEL), fined a former Deputy Director of the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders $200 for voting to appoint the former mayor of Willingboro Township (Burlington County) to head the County's Office of Purchasing while the former Deputy Director served as Willingboro's Labor Counsel.
The Board, which has the statutory authority to issue fines between $100 and $500 for LGEL violations, found that Douglas Long, who formerly served as Freeholder Deputy Director and presently chairs the Cumberland County Democratic Committee, violated the LGEL by voting in favor of appointing former Willingboro Mayor Jacqueline Jennings to head the purchasing office while he simultaneously served as Willingboro's Labor Counsel. According to its Notice of Violation, the Board determined that Long's vote in favor of Jennings' appointment constituted an official act where Long had an interest or involvement "that might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity or independence of judgment."
(UPDATED FOR CURRENT VERSION OF BILL 12/20/2018) I've spent quite some time looking at how the GOP tax proposals will impact income tax rates. If you want to know how to determine the impact on your taxes I've developed an online calculator for you to use below. The major impacts of the proposals on taxpayers are:
- Updated tax brackets with generally lower rates. Top rate has dropped from 39.6 to 37%.
- Standard deduction has been doubled. This will reduce the number of people who itemize. Currently about 30% of filers itemize. The Tax Policy Center estimates that this will drop to 5% of filers.
- Personal deduction has been eliminated.
- State income tax and property tax deduction has been capped at $10,000 (combined). This impacts those who typically itemize.
- Child tax (for children under 17) credit has been increased to $2,000 from the existing $1,000 per child. Income restrictions have been raised for this credit.
- A credit of $500 for elder care or children 17 and over has been added. (I'm unsure if the income restrictions apply to this credit. I applied the restriction in the below calculator.)
Originally published in the Suburban Trends, 12/13/2017
Regarding "Take time on legalizing marijuana" (Suburban Trends, Editorial, Dec. 10):
Why are so many in the journalism profession timid and lukewarm about defending individual liberty on all issues? A case in point would be the editorial in which you urge caution in repealing laws against marijuana in New Jersey.
This letter was published in The Record, 12/6/2017
In the Dec. 5 edition of The Record, a letter appeared in which the writer insinuates that Libertarianism is somehow part and parcel of conservative Republican politics. Most Republicans I know are just as hostile towards the Libertarian pro-freedom viewpoint as Democrats on the left are. Neither group thinks that individuals should be allowed to make their own choices in life with regard to personal freedom or economic freedom. To their way of thinking, we exist to serve the greater collective; this is the basis for every authoritarian and totalitarian ideology that has ever blighted human history.
This letter was published in the The Record, 11/23/2017
Judge Ray Moore of Alabama calls himself a Constitutionalist; if so, his copy of it doesn't resemble the one I have in front of me as I write this. Where is the government granted power to decide who can fall in love and be married or what substances you may put into your body? Like most "social conservatives," Moore has disdain for personal civil liberties that he doesn't approve of.
On November 13, 2017, the New Jersey Local Finance Board (LFB) issued Notices of Violation to Ridgewood Village's (Bergen County) former Mayor and Manager for authorizing and appearing in a video that advocated only one side of a referendum question that was pending before Village voters.
The Notices of Violation, issued against former Mayor Paul Arohnson and former Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld, both arose out of a June 21, 2016 referendum question which sought $11,500,000 in bonds or notes to finance the cost of constructing a new parking deck. Under New Jersey law, government officials may use public resources to educate--but not to persuade--voters on public issues.
Published in The Record, November 17th
Regarding: “If you want services, pay taxes” (The Record: Your Views, Nov. 15):
The letter writer asserts that people should stop complaining about taxes because they – taxes – pay for schools, police, garbage, pickup etc., but commits an egregious misconception about these services. Namely, that they must be paid for by using coercion, which is the essence of taxation.
New Jersey Libertarian Party General Meeting
Sunday November 12, 2017 – Killarney's 5:00pm
5:00 Call to order & quorum check [Chair]
5:00 Agenda review & approval [Chair]
5:05 Membership Report [VP of Membership]
5:10 Secretary's Report [Secretary]
Approval of minutes of prior board meeting
5:15 Treasurer's report [Treasurer]
Imagine a horse race where the faster horses are given a head start. This is how New Jersey elections are run. The incumbent politicians have given themselves advantages in elections and have paid for it with your tax dollars.
As of October 12th, Democrat Phil Murphy has received $7.4 million in public funds, Republican Kim Guadagno has received just under $2.1 million in public funds. Libertarian candidate, Peter Rohrman, has not received any public funds. NJ’s matching fund program allows candidates to be given $2 from public funds for every dollar they raise. Candidates from other political parties and independent candidates are excluded by setting a minimum level of $430 thousand that must be raised to qualify for the program. The more successful your campaign, the more money you get from the government. In true Orwellian newspeak, NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission Chair, Jeff Brindle, says that these funds allow those who qualify to “mount competitive campaigns”.
This letter was published in the The Record, 10/4/2017
I wonder if the people making such a big deal over some players in the NFL not standing for the national anthem realize we didn’t even have an “anthem” until the 1930’s and the tune to which it’s played isn't even American, but the tune of an old English drinking song. The same could be said about the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, which wasn’t written until the 1890s and by a self-avowed Socialist named Walter Bellamy at that.
New Jersey Libertarian Party
PO Box 56, Tennent, NJ 07763-0056
Contact: Patrick McKnight –Chair, NJLP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NJ Libertarian Party Fighting For Lower Property Taxes
Tennent, NJ, September 20, 2017 –
I love New Jersey. My family has lived here for four generations. Unfortunately, New Jersey has become a difficult place to live for anyone other than the extremely wealthy. It doesn’t have to be this way.
In my town the average homeowner will pay nearly $150,000 in property taxes over the next 10 years. This fact represents a serious failure of public policy. A community should be more than a school district where its graduates can’t even afford to live.
This letter was published in the The Record, 9/14/2017, USA Today, 9/13/2017, and the Suburban Trends, 9/20/2017
While racism, bigotry and hate deserve to be condemned, I can't help but observe that many of the letter writers to The Record display an appalling lack of historical knowledge despite their noble intentions.
For example, I see the concept of secession being labeled as treason when applied to the South in 1860. If that’s the case, then the original 13 colonies should be condemned for seceding or breaking away from England in 1776. Keep in mind that the states brought the federal government into existence not the reverse.
This letter was published in the The Record, 9/7/2017, USA Today, 9/6/2017, and the Suburban Trends, 9/13/2017
In the three weeks since the violence in Charlottesville, not many people have taken note that the “Alt Right” white nationalists and the “Antifa” counter protesters actually have some things in common. For example, both groups are hostile towards a free market economy, in that they both oppose free trade. Recall the “Occupy Wall Street” rallies of several years back, when many of the same people and organizations that were in Charlottesville were also involved in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. Both groups believe in censorship of those they don't agree with. If either side ever got in power you could kiss the Bill of Rights goodbye. Can anyone imagine the white nationalists, the Ku Klux Klan, or National Socialists (Nazis) allowing blacks, Jews, Hispanics, Asians or people in the LGBTQ community the right to own guns or have First Amendment rights? The other side would do the same thing in a heartbeat.
NJLP Board Member, Dorit Goikhman, interviews John Paff.
While "personnel records" of public employees are mostly exempt under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), N.J.S.A. 47:1A-10 makes certain types of personnel information expressly available to the public. Specifically, a public employee's "name, title, position, salary, payroll record, length of service, date of separation and the reason therefor, and the amount and type of any pension received shall be a government record" and must be disclosed to the public.
As one can see, one of the items within the public domain is an employee's "payroll record." But, what exactly is a payroll record and what information must it contain?
Tuckerton confidentially paid $8,225.36 and forgave a $16,774.64 debt to settle indicted police officer's federal civil rights lawsuit
On June 5, 2017, the Borough of Tuckerton (Ocean County) quietly paid $8,225.36 to settle a lawsuit brought by a suspended Borough police officer who was indicted on January 13, 2015 for allegedly causing his K-9 canine "Gunner" attack a 58-year-old female motorist on January 29, 2014 and then falsifying an arrest record to cover his actions. Under the terms of the settlement, Tuckerton also agreed to forgive $16,774.64 in health premiums that the Borough said the officer owed and also gave full ownership of Gunner to the officer.
Tuckerton officer Justin M. Cherry filed two lawsuits against the Borough--one each in federal and state court. In both complaints, Cherry claimed that he was deprived of some training opportunities and that when he complained he was met with "demeaning and harassing" conduct by Chief Michael Caputo. Cherry said Caputo's harassment was retaliatory and that Caputo "has been determined to terminate [Cherry's] employment by any means." Caputo's alleged harassment consisted of refusing to compensate Cherry for his "at home" care of Gunner and accusing Cherry of hacking Caputo's e-mails.
On August 3, 2017, Libertarians for Transparent Government (LFTG) filed a lawsuit against the Wall Township Board of Education challenging its refusal to disclose an invoice from Jostens, the high school's yearbook vendor.
On October 15, 2015, both Keith Brown of NJ Advance Media and Isaac Avilucea of the Trentonian reported that State Police Detective Doug Muraglia was one of the two officers who together fired as many as eighteen shots at Radazz Hearns, then age 14, on August 7, 2015. The other officer who fired at Hearns was identified by the newspapers as Mercer County Sheriff’s Detective James Udijohn.