NJ Politics. I STILL Just Can’t.

One of these days, I’ll lavish our politicians with well-deserved good press. Unfortunately today is not that day.

#DingDong

Chris Christie will be gone in 187 days. Once departed, the notion of who’s really moderate in Trenton will radically change. And that new bell curve is gonna ring-ding-ding. For some more loudly that others. You can count on it.

Holly Schepisi has a habit of voting dogmatically only to turn around and (defensively) boast how moderate she is all over social media. She did it after voting against gay marriage and yet again over her vote against Planned Parenthood. Actually worse that voting no, she abstained. Because that’s what politicians do when they want to have their cake and eat it too.

“It’s solely a political issue,” said Schepisi told NJ.com after (not) voting . “It’s solely to attack the Republican women in the Legislature. And everything that is wrong with politics.”

So here we have a partisan politician who balks at something partisan or political. Excuse me while I bang my head against my desk 6-8 times, yeah!? We all know that any vote related to a woman’s choice is going to be extra political. That wasn’t new last week when this bill came up, despite Schepisi’s breathless protestation to the contrary.

“Honorable” mention in this mess goes to Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver who was attending a Caribbean wedding and missed the vote altogether. Must be nice to have a job that gives you paid time off when you’re needed most, yeah? Oliver’s absence gave her female GOP colleagues cover to become restive, and ultimately not vote.

Democratic Assemblyman Joe Egan also abstained and I’m only sorry I can’t tell him he’s a coward in person. If this bill gave Egan heartburn, he should have the guts to vote no,

But the real villain in the Planned Parenthood funding saga is Chris Christie who never met a reproductive choice bill he didn’t veto. For the entire duration of Christie’s tenure, NJ was held hostage by those republicans desperate TO CONTROL THE OUTCOME OF EVERY PREGNANCY IN NEW JERSEY. Voting NO or abstaining on Planned Parenthood bills only emboldens politicians to tell the rest of us when we’re allowed to have a family.

Last week the GOP Assembly caucus had a golden opportunity to finally show back bone and override one of Lord Christie’s selfish vetoes. And they blew it. Again. Because apparently they just don’t realize how unflattering their fealty to Christie looks to the rest of us.

BEST APOLOGY EVER

A lousy day on Twitter beats a great day in the clink. Just ask Bridgegate mastermind David Wildstein who dodged jail time last week. Wildstein also joined Twitter just in time to issue an apology for closing the busiest bridge in the world to further Chris Christie’s political ambitions. Reaction was mixed.

NJ political operative Derel Stroud was underwhelmed.

“Wildstein said what he had to say in court,” Stroud told InsiderNJ. “While I believe most of it was sincere, he stopped short of telling the truth; that Chris Christie was behind it all. He may be forgiven by some folks, but this won’t be forgotten, and unfortunately, his loyalty for a guy who has continuously showed he could care less about anyone but himself, will forever follow him.”

Conservative blogger Matt Rooney wasn’t having it.

“Amazing,” Rooney tweeted. “After a lot of time and treasure, the architect won’t see jail time and the sacrificial lambs will likely get off on appeal #WasteOfTime!”

Bill Brennan is a long-time political activist and former gubernatorial candidate.

“Wildstein was rewarded for protecting Christie from Federal charges,” Brennan told InsiderNJ. “The entire prosecution was a charade designed to create the illusion that justice was being served. US Attorney Paul Fishman gave the middleman a free pass for dealing downward. Bill Stepien, David Samson and Chris Christie were protected. ”

You might add the late Jamie Fox to that list too.

“Our system of justice is profoundly broken, it was used to protect the guilty,” Brennan added.

It’s obvious why Wildstein’s excuse left many cold, but I’m pretty impressed. As far as political apologies so, it’s about the best we’re gonna get. I should know: I spent 28 days in rehab where you learn to properly fix the awful stuff you’ve done. Four things comprise a proper apology: 1) an expression of shame, regret, and remorse, 2) an acknowledgment how this impacted others in a negative way, 3) a commitment to never repeat your transgression and finally 4) a contemplation of how the transgressor would feel if the rolls were reversed.

Wildstein’s mea culpa was heavy on the first three. But he neglects the roll reversal part. Here’s the missing part we needed to see:

“When I try to imagine how my actions affected others, I’m absolutely mortified. It’s painful to imagine how I’d feel had I been the victim and not the perpretrator of this heist. So to the students whose first, second, third, and forth days of school I ruined, I’m sorry. And especially to the widow who waited in vain for an ambulance to fetch her dying husband, there are no words to express the shame my actions make me feel. Serving the public is a privilege and I blew it big time.”

Something to that effect.

NJ Senator Loretta Weinberg represents Ft. Lee – the BridgeGate epicenter –  in the state legislature.

It is the ‘official end’ to the story,” Sen. Weinberg told InsiderNJ. “But we don’t actually have the full story yet!”

And we many never really know that full story either. Wildstein’s carefully crafted apology might be the closest thing we get towards any kinds of closure on this sad saga.

Unless of courses someone writes a book.

(Looking at you, Bill Baroni!)

 

Jay Lassiter is an iconoclast, tech savvy media artiste, street warrior for LGBT liberty and marijuana reform, and an un-intimidated presence if the halls of Trenton power as he aggressively pursues liberal causes. He’s often at brunch and always on twitter @Jay_Lass.

 

 

 

 

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  • Justin Escher Alpert

    Let any of The People of The Garden State name any intractable issue hereinabove, and then let’s put together a bipartisan coalition of the next generation of State Leaders in a room with time and space, with a dry-erase board and fresh marker selection, and with finger sandwiches and copious amounts of coffee, and let’s actually SOLVE THE PROBLEM before the November election. Let’s develop for the next administration a clear Path upon which to lead The People of The Garden State. May we all agree that our best days are in front of us. #LibertyAndProsperity

  • Michael Patrick Carroll

    Hmm. Here I was thinking the those entities to which we send taxpayer funds are not supposed to be either partisan or political. (FWIW, the proposals we have voted on have precisely nothing to do with Planned Parenthood, which isn’t mentioned therein and wouldn’t get one thin dime if they passed.)

    I expect somewhat better of the author than to lapse into unhinged propaganda. So let me reiterate: the proposal upon which we have been asked to vote do not mention PP, and to assert that they do is a lie.

    There has never been the slightest demonstration of any unmet need, nor any demonstration that the number the Dems drew out of the ether bears any relationship to … well, anything.

    But if these bills were related to PP, the appropriate vote would still be “no”, because if government should stay out of the bedroom – and it should – that means it should neither regulate nor subsidize what goes on there. Politicians have no business telling you with whom you can sleep, and you have no business demanding that the taxpayers pay for your birth control. Those are private decisions, and should be made – and funded – privately. To the extent that PP does good work, feel free to whip out your checkbook and donate.

    PP just blew though 800K scarce dollars on an election in GA. Last year, it spent tens of millions on crassly partisan politics. (How many “health care providers” have PACs?) Just think how far tens of millions would go toward providing women’s health care! The only rational conclusion at which one arrives is that PP prefers to spend money on politics rather than actually providing services.

    So, consider a “no” vote as “pro-choice”: those who like PP are free to donate to their heart’s content, those who don’t may exercise their constitutional right to choose not to fund a blatantly partisan, political entity.

  • Creed Pogue

    MPC is usually more honest and direct than this. The issue is seven million dollars for women’s health that mostly goes to Planned Parenthood for all the other women’s health functions they perform besides abortion. So, none of the money goes to pay for anyone to get an abortion. The decision to line item veto the money by the Governor and the “decisions” of “moderate” Republicans in the Legislature to sustain the vetoes are nothing besides partisan and political.

    Sadly, Senator Weinberg has all too often enabled a Senate leadership that has been more interested in a good relationship with a terrible Governor than getting accountability for the public when that Governor goes completely beyond the pale.

  • Ken Bank

    So who are the unindicted co-conspirators? When are we going to find out? As to MPC, it’s a good thing he wasn’t around during the last century when taxpayer dollars were spent on birth control, specifically giving away free condoms to American soldiers stationed overseas.

  • Mary Eastwood

    I do not want my taxes going towards an organization that murders babies. Plain and simple , have planned parent hood stop performing abortions and I will be all for giving them my tax money!

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