Poisonous + Contagious. An uncommonly Toxic NJ Political Roundup.

The New Jersey Statehouse and Capitol Building In Trenton

Today’s NJ political roundup includes child rape, domestic violence, contaminated water, drugs, and disease.  You might wanna buckle up.

Warehousing disease

It’s a sad indictment of New Jersey’s Department of Correction that heroin detox and hepatitis go unchecked in NJ prisons. That’s not the sort of topic that usually gets much traffic, especially in the dog days of summer. This time was an exception. Several Trenton legislators actually reached out, sharing their surprise and concern that vulnerable, formerly addicted people with hepatitis are released into the general population on a daily basis.

“We’re not testing for hepatitis in prisons?” they asked, always followed by “What can I do to help?”

No, we’re not testing for hepatitis and yes we should be. In fact, I’m ready to canonize the first lawmakers in Trenton to advance legislation mandating the NJDOC screen and and treat every inmate for Hepatitis B & C just like they do in NY and PA.

Denial is expensive. Ignoring the existence of contagious, blood borne diseases in our prisons is a huge burden on taxpayers in the end.

 

Lead in the Water

Drinking water that’s been contaminated with lead is toxic, especially for youngsters whose brains are still developing. That makes NJ’s lead scandal so scandalous.

Missy Rebovich directs government- and public affairs at New Jersey Future.

“Newark isn’t the only city in New Jersey dealing with lead in drinking water,” Ms Rebovich told InsiderNJ. “Lead service lines have been found in 104 water systems across the state, and as of 2017, 383 school districts–rural, suburban, and urban schools–tested positive for lead in at least one tap. The lead comes from lead service lines–this accounts for 50 to 75 percent of lead in water–and from lead plumbing inside the home, which is typically managed by an effective corrosion control treatment.”

Either way, lead service lines need to permanently and fully replaced.

“This is a big problem that will require coordination among the governor, legislature, water utilities, and residents,” Ms Rebovich warned. “Especially because a serious part of any solution will be determining a source of funding, such as authorizing utilities to use rate revenues for lead service line replacement and providing a state subsidy to fiscally strained water utilities.”

Is there any cause for optimism?

”This is a real public health issue, but it’s one that we can solve,” Ms. Rebovich added. “Jersey Water Works convened a 29-member task force of representatives from local-, state-, and federal governments, water utilities, academia, environmental and public health groups, and community organizations to develop comprehensive recommendations to address lead in drinking water.”

That report will be released in October which is obviously not quickly enough for NJ residents whose water supply is currently toxic.

Toxic Rape Legacy

Tiffany Ellis spent much of the aughts making a name for herself in NJ politics. After helping Jon Corzine become Governor back in ’05, she spent a few years as chief of staff for the NJ Office of the Child Advocate. She left the Garden State for Michigan about a decade ago. She’s now a trial attorney for a firm called Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C.

Ms Ellis made news this week for demanding justice and equity for the victims of sexual assault by serial predator Larry Nassar, who’s infamous for raping some of America’s most decorated Olympic gymnasts. Decades of predatory behavior require enablers and Michigan State University, where Nassar practiced medicine, should be on the hook for damages done to hundreds of abuse survivors. Perhaps unsurprisingly, MSU is shirking responsibility for the role it played in the biggest rape scandal in sporting history.

“MSU wants these claims dismissed and are putting money over morality,” Ms Ellis said, referring the 1000+ papers the university’s lawyers filed in Federal Court in an attempt to dodge culpability against hundreds of less-heralded victims.

“These are not second-class survivors,” Ms Ellis added. “They suffered harm just like any other victim of Larry Nassar. The survivors want justice. They deserved it.”

Amen to that.

Who Hired Arthur Barclay?

Hopefully, the Norcross-aligned Democrats running South Jersey care about domestic violence regardless of where these crimes take place. But the evidence suggests they care a whole lot more when there’s political hay to be made. Take the case of Arthur Barclay, the disgraced former assemblyman from Camden City. After an arrest for beating up his girlfriend, Barclay was gently and discreetly nudged out of office. Camden dems chairman Senator Jim Beach cited heath concerns for Barclay’s dismissal from public office without elaborating.

I dunno, maybe Barclay hurt his hand when he punched a woman in the face?

Arthur Barclay ended up with a County job making over $1000 per week on the taxpayers dime. The Camden County democrats who had tons of opinion about the Katie Brennan/Al Alvarez scandal have NOTHING to say about the abuser in their midst.

The South Jersey Women for Progressive Change sent an email blasts with some questions for the democrats who treat South Jersey like the family store. I’ll echo those questions here:

  • Why was Mr. Barclay hired by the County?
  • Who ordered this hiring? When did it happen?
  • Who knew about this alleged beating, and when?
  • Why did it take Mr. Barclay 11 days to step down from his Assembly position?
  • Will the Camden County Freeholders or the County Committee start a commission to figure out how this happened?
  • Why did the Camden Country Democratic chairman cite “health reasons” as the basis for Barclay’s resignation?

Honestly and transparency are not traits I associate with the South Jersey democrats so I don’t expect a reply.  Their handling of the Arthur Barclay incident illustrates why that’s the most logical conclusion.

Jay Lassiter is a gay atheist who’s working hard to get the government out of your bedroom. And your womb. And your bong.  Judge him by his 4.95 Uber rating. 

 

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