Friday Roundup, Men Behaving Badly Edition

I love it when there are so many juicy tidbits to cover that a long prelude is unnecessary. Let’s buckle up and get right down to it.

Dark Money

Governor Phil Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney have a problem with transparency. They both have SuperPACs raising- and spending boatloads of unregulated money to push their respective agendas. And now we know of a $55,000 check from PSE&G to (yet another) secretive SuperPAC aligned with Sweeney. Why? Cuz that fat check got sent to the wrong PAC! Can you imagine the poor sap at PSE&G’s office of government affairs who was sloppy enough to make this mistake? Womp!

This $55,000 bribe “contribution” came shortly after PS&G got a $300,000,000 annual taxpayer-funded subsidy from Trenton. It’s an extreme example of the kind of taxpayer-subsidized corporate welfare that’s fetishized by the South Jersey democrats. They pass laws that give massive tax subsidizes to their biggest donors. To me, that’s corruption. And the only reason we know about it is because a clerical error gave us a peek behind the curtain.

$11,ooo,ooo,ooo

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s GrowNJ Program was sponsored and promoted by the same South Jersey democrats who do PSE&S bidding with your tax dollars. So it may come as no surprise to learn that, according to a scathing audit, these subsidies failed miserably to deliver on their promise of more jobs and more economic development.

The EAD has approved over 11 billion dollars in tax giveaways to wealthy corporations and all tax payers have to show for it is this lousy t-shirt  a massive, yearly property tax bill.

Erica Jedynak is state director of Americans for Prosperity New Jersey, a right-leaning pressure group.

“The EDA’s ‘tax breaks’ for certain companies are corporate welfare, which drains the state budget and skews the tax code,” Jedynak said. “As we have said many times before, the government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers and this report proves just that. The findings highlight corporate cronyism at its worst. This issue unites people across the political spectrum.”

Corruption unites people across the political spectrum.

Sheila Reynertson is senior policy analyst for New Jersey Policy Perspective. She provided a left-leaning argument for curbing the abhorrent practice of corporate welfare and cronyism.

“Every New Jersey taxpayer should be furious knowing that the state has handed out billions of dollars in corporate tax breaks — with no real strings attached — while simultaneously cutting funds for public schools, NJ Transit, and state colleges and universities,” Reynertson said. “The state’s failure to produce annual reporting, as required by law, is an insult to taxpayers who expect state dollars to be sufficiently monitored. The lack of oversight and monitoring undermines the integrity of a tax subsidy program, and more importantly, trust in state government. By their very design, the state’s incentive programs favor corporate interests over the well-being of the state’s economy and its working families.”

So the next time a South Jersey democrat tries to convince you that massive handouts are good for the economy, remember how that worked out the other 11 billion times.

Joe Kelley

Do you remember that time former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight threw a chair across the court in a fit of absolute, glorious pique? I’m a Hoosier by birth so I’ll never forget. The Hoosiers lost that game 72-63 to Perdue, their intra-state/conference rivals. But the best thing about that ugly incident was coach Knight got tossed from the game.

When Joe Kelley threw a chair across the room during Phil Murphy’s campaign, he didn’t get tossed. Instead, he got a promotion to deputy chief of staff with a fat six-figure paycheck.

When women allegedly get raped or groped or prompt chair throwing, they have a choice: 1) let it go or 2) press their case, often at great personal- or professional risk.

The latest example: Allison Kopicki, who resigned from the state Economic Development Authority after she “experienced a certain level of retaliation from members of the administration that is keeping me from doing my job effectively, including exclusions from meetings and being prevented from working on projects that I had been assigned to earlier this year.”

Putting aside the appalling work done by the state Economic Development Authority that favors rich corporate tax dodgers over people who actually pay their fair share, Allison Kopicki’s Kelley-related grievances should have been properly addressed by the Murphy administration. Joe Kelley should have been fired from the campaign and surely never hired for his current influential, lucrative post.

I hope Senator Weinberg, who leads an investigation into Gov Murphy’s sketchy hiring practices, calls deputy chief of staff Joe Kelley and gets an explanation for his loutish ways.

I’d bring the popcorn to that hearing.

 

Jay Lassiter is a political activist who’s working to keep the government out of your bong.

 

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