Friday, January 27, 2006


Don't have the cab wait while you rob a bank:

A [North Bergen, New Jersey] man who allegedly took a cab to and from a holdup Wednesday at a Bank of American branch on 69th Street - robbing the bank while the cab waited - was arrested Thursday, authorities said.

The suspect, Eduardo Quevedo, 44, was being questioned by FBI agents in Newark who are investigating several armed robberies in New Jersey and New York during the past eight months, FBI spokesman Steve Siegel said.

After the robbery, the cabdriver, who did not know a crime had been committed, drove Quevedo to two pawnshops before dropping him off at his parents' house, according to a complaint filed by FBI Special Agent Carl M. Priddy.

During the ride home, the cabdriver told investigators, Quevedo said he was originally from Cuba, had served time in prison and was staying with his family, according to the complaint. The driver also overheard Quevedo on a cellphone say, "It's me, Quevedo."

More about the dumbass here.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ever hear of a lock?

I'm glad they caught this kid, but come on girls . . . you shouldn't leave your iPods and money in an unattended locker room. From the Asbury Park Press:

Darryl J. Impalli, 19, of Manetta Drive has been arrested and charged with stealing items and cash from the girls locker room at Point Pleasant Boro High School during basketball games, police said.

Lt. Richard Larsen said Impalli was charged with the thefts, which occurred Jan. 3 and 9.

The arrest was made after an investigation into two thefts from the locker room during basketball games, Larsen said.

In the Jan. 3 theft, three victims reported the theft of $860 in cash and property including two iPods, a cell phone and numerous gift cards.

On Jan. 9, six victims reported thefts totaling $1,351. The items, taken from a room adjacent to the high school's auxiliary gym, included three iPods, two cell phones, nine gift cards and cash, Larsen said.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Driving while stupid

Note to those who smoke pot (420, mary jane, marijuana, etc.), if you are going to drive around in a car that has no license plates, LEAVE YOUR STASH AT HOME! Along those same lines, if there is a warrant our for your arrest, don't drive a car without license plates. You're just asking to be pulled over. From the Asbury Park Press:
A missing license plate led to drug charges against a 20-year-old Neptune man, police said Tuesday.

Officer John Magner stopped a man driving a 1990 Toyota that did not have a license plate on Myrtle Avenue and Circuit Street about 1:45 p.m. Monday, police said.

After talking to the driver, Markies Wells, Magner found that a warrant had been issued for his arrest by the Red Bank Municipal Court. When Magner handcuffed and began searching Wells, the officer found 17 small bags filled with marijuana that were
stuffed into his waistband, police said.

Wells was charged with possession of marijuana, possession with the intent to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public park. His bail was set at $115,000, and he was taken to the Monmouth County Jail, Freehold Township, and remained there Tuesday, police said.
Good pot shouldn't be wasted on such stupid people.

If the skirt fits, wear it

I'm glad the ACLU is out there fighting the good fight. The ACLU's latest "win" from Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey (via the AP/Fox News):

A male high school student can wear a skirt to school after the American Civil Liberties Union reached an agreement with school officials.

The ACLU announced the deal Tuesday. It will allow a Hasbrouck Heights School senior to wear a skirt to protest the school's no-shorts policy.

The district's dress code bans shorts between Oct. 1 and April 15, but allows skirts, a policy 17-year-old Michael Coviello believes is discriminatory.

"I'm happy to be able to wear skirts again to bring attention to the fact that the ban on shorts doesn't make sense," Coviello said in a statement.

The Hasbrouck Heights superintendent, Joseph C. Luongo, did not return telephone messages left Tuesday seeking comment.

Coviello first wore a costume-style dress but high school officials told him to go home and change. The district's superintendent then advised the Coviello to purchase everyday dresses and skirts at a retail store, which Coviello did, the ACLU said.

But after a few days, he was sent home with a note from his principal saying if he wore a dress, kilt or skirt, he could no longer attend school.

I'm sure his parents are proud. More on it here.

And more "kilts in school" news here. Kim Jong Il: Just say no to pants!

Update: Other blog posts on this amazing victory for civil liberties! Stop the ACLU, Bad Hair Blog and Barking Moonbat.

Monday, January 23, 2006

McGreevey's portrait

Unfortunately, he'll be memorialized on canvas forever. Thankfully Robert Mapplethorpe was unavailable.

Buttafuocos - Fisher Plan TV Reunion

This from the Associated Press:

More than a decade after 16-year-old Amy Fisher had a sexual relationship with a much-older car mechanic and shot his wife in the face, the one-time "Long Island Lolita" and Joey and Mary Jo Buttafuoco have agreed to appear together in a televised reunion.

All three have signed on for the appearance, which has yet to be sold to a network, television producer David Krieff told the New York Post for Monday editions.

"It's time to just put it behind us," Fisher, now 31, told the newspaper. "We played this all out in a public eye. It'd be interesting to let the public see the healing process at the end. They saw everything else — why not let them see the final product?"

Please let the next reunion be Tonya Harding, Jeff Gillooly and Nancy Kerrigan make up.

Pictures worth zero words

I can hear the liberals down the hall -- almost giddy that President Bush has been seen in 6 or so pictures with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Each of the pictures seems to have been taken at White House events, which Bush has hosted scores of over the past 5 years. The number of photos Bush has been in since becoming president in 2001 number in the tens of thousands (at least). Its not that big of a surprise that Bush and Abramoff would have taken a few together, afterall Abramoff was a lobbyist and lobbyists get invited to political events. That's why clients hire lobbyists in the first place.

In any event, I'm sure we'll hear that this somehow ties Bush into all of Abramoff's dirty deeds (i.e., similar to this comment which somehow equates a Bush/Abramoff picture to Bill Clinton receiving oral sex in the Oval Office and then lying about it under oath).

Of course we all know that the sitting president takes pictures with and shakes hands with many people with sordid pasts (and presents). Case in point: Bill, Fidel Shake Hands.

And if its dirty campaign contributions you're looking for, don't forget this vidoe tape of Bill, Al and "an Indonesian gardener."

Please put this one to rest early -- just because you have a picture taken with someone who shows up at a party doesn't mean you (i) know him or (ii) had any discussion with him.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Police capture man accused of killing two children

From the Asbury Park Press:

A Stafford Township man, accused of bludgeoning two children to death with a hammer, was arrested at a Garden State Parkway rest area in Wall Township early this morning, following a manhunt by scores of law enforcement officials.

Richard Toledo, a boarder at a Middie Lane home in Stafford's Ocean Acres section, apparently killed 7-year-old Zabdiel Gonzalez and 14-year-old Carlo Gonzalez last night, police said. Toledo then abducted the children's mother and forced her to use her debit card to take money from an ATM, police said.

Police said the episode started about 6 p.m. Thursday. After the children were killed by the suspect in their home, Toledo drove his vehicle to pick up their mother from work. He abducted her, tied her up and took her to a Commerce Bank branch to take money out of her account, State Police said.

A Superior Court judge set the man's bail at $2 million. Why even set bail at all? I realize the likelihood of him coming up with the $2 million or a bond worth that amount is slim, but isn't this the type of guy that should be kept in the clink no matter what.

More here and here.

RIP Carlo and Zabdiel.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Remembering Aaron, John and Frank

It was six years ago yesterday that a fire in Boland Hall, the freshman dorm at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, killed 18-year-old Aaron Karol of Green Brook, John Giunta of Vineland and Frank Caltabilota, Jr. of West Long Branch and injured (some very badly) 58 other students. A memorial mass was held at Seton Hall yesterday as was a midnight vigil in a memorial garden outside of Boland Hall.

As a Seton Hall alum (albeit from one of its graduate schools and not as an undergraduate), I hope the school always remembers its promise to keep the memory of the fire alive as well as the memory of those who died and of those who were injured.

As for who started the fire, two former Seton Hall students -- Sean Ryan and Joseph LePore -- were indicted on June 12, 2003 for 62 counts of felony murder, arson, reckless manslaughter and aggravated assault. LePore's sister and parents were also indicted for, among other things, obstruction of justice. They all entered "not guilty" pleas. The Essex County Prosecutor's press release as well as the indictments are available here (scroll down to 6/12/03 press release titled "Essex Grand Jury Returns Indictment In Seton Hall Fire Case" -- links to the indictments are at the bottom of the release). A detailed look (although maybe somewhat embellished) of the fire, those killed and injured and those responsible can be found here.

As stated in today's Star-Ledger, no trial date for Ryan or LePore has been set and the case is essentially at a standstill.

Its time that Aaron, John and Frank -- and the 58 students who were injured -- see justice done. Let Ryan and LePore have their day in court and be judged by a jury of their peers. Its the least we can do for the Karol, Giunta and Caltabilota families.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

One day after speech, Corzine starts to back down

Unbelievable. Not more than 24-hours after he was sworn in as New Jersey's 54th governor (or is 52nd governor?), Corzine has retreated from his call "on public servants to join in an historic effort to 'end the toxic mix of politics, money and public business' in order to restore public trust." Today, in a meeting with New Jersey's mayors, Corzine lamented that he said "perhaps too much" yesterday when addressing New Jersey's problem with public corruption. Did the political bosses scold him after the ball last night? Or did he just change his mind and go back on another promise?

I have a sneaking suspiscion that it will be business as usual in Trenton. What a shame.

The least-known Baldwin

In case anyone cares, purported actor Stephen Baldwin is passing the time by protesting the opening of an adult bookstore. From the New York Post:

Actor Stephen Baldwin has his shorts in a bunch over a sex shop opening near his estate in Rockland County — so much so, he plans to destroy the lives of its patrons.

The least-known of the Baldwins, Stephen, a born-again Christian, parked himself outside the store's Route 59 location in Nyack on Friday and took snapshots of construction workers walking in and out of the building.

Once the smut shop opens in a few months, the 39-year-old star of "The Usual Suspects" plans to photograph patrons' license plates and run their names in the local newspaper to shame them from ever returning.

"We're going to notch it up and notch it up until we run this guy out of business," Baldwin told The Post last night.

At least he's not attempting to act!

So far so good

He's Governor Corzine now. If you're interested, everything Inaugural can be found here. Just remeber Governor, you asked the be held accountable. Don't get mad when we do.

The Governor's girlfriend, Sharon Elghanayan, got to dance with Corzine, but only after he danced with his daughter.

Bob Menendez was sworn in this morning as a U.S. Senator and plans to get right down to business. Whatever Senator Bob . . . you may want to start thinking about November, since the polls for your re-election don't look so good. How pissed will he be if he loses the Senate race after giving up a very very very safe House seat?

On the way out of the governor's office, former-Governor-now-State-Senator-Codey granted a 68-year old convicted murder accomplice clemency. It was probably deserved.

Monday, January 16, 2006

File under: "The bitch set me up!"

Accused killer nabbed at motel while awaiting tryst with prostitute:
Franklin Kincey, the man wanted for the murder of Hudson County corrections officer Samuel Broughton, was nabbed Friday night in an Edison hotel room, authorities said.

Friday's arrest brings to an end a month-long search for the 27-year-old East Orange resident who allegedly shot and killed Broughton and wounded fellow off-duty corrections officer Brandon Holmes the morning of Dec. 10 outside the Blue Ribbon restaurant on Summit Avenue in Jersey City.

Police had been searching for Kincey in and around central New Jersey for several days but finally located him in the Holiday Inn in Edison on Friday after learning that he was to meet a prositute there, said Hudson County First Assistant Prosecutor Guy Gregory.

Instead of a prostitute, Kincey was confronted by officers from the U.S. Marshals New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force, Edison and state police, who burst into Kincey's room using a hotel pass-key, Gregory said.

While not truly "set up" by the hooker a la Marion Barry, I think its fair to thank (or blame) her in any event. If it wasn't for her, um, service to the uh, community, this jackass may still be on the lam.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Jim McGreevey, the Gay Blogging American

Jim McGreevey has found something to do in his spare time -- blog. It also appears that he's writing an autobiography. A best seller, I'm not so sure. But I do wonder where in the book the discussion on his opposition to gay marriage and other gay rights during his closeted years will appear. I'm still waiting to run into McGreevey at Paradise in Asbury Park . . . I have a few questions for him.

Hat tip: Wally Edge

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Cast your peanut butter vote

I love peanut butter and could eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches 3 times a day. Even though I'm an old-school PB&J who isn't particularly fond of these recipes, I'm willing to give Shannon Lewis's "Peanutty Pacman" -- bananas, strawberries, yogurt and all -- a try.

Let's give 6-year old Shannon, who is from Manalapan, New Jersey, props and help her win Jif's "Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich" contest. Come on Shannon, bring that trophy (and $10,000 scholarship) home to Jersey!

You can vote here through February 3, 2006.

So far not a good week for Parkway drivers

Did he need to climb 40 feet up before sticking his head in the noose: Barnegat man found hanged along parkway.

I'm betting on "late night in Atlantic City, fell asleep behind the wheel on the way home." Unfortunate: State Police seek help in identifying woman killed in Parkway crash.

No one was killed in this one, thankfully: Stolen car burns in parkway woods.

"New Jersey: Come See for Yourself''

Well folks, that's the new slogan. It could have been worse -- Governor Codey's favorite was "New Jersey, Love at First Sight." Imagine the ridicule we would suffer from that one being broadcast around. I still like my idea, but I'll get over it.

The Girls of the Bada Bing: Let them smoke!

New Jersey's strippers had their tits and asses in an uproar today over the smoking ban that was passed by the State's legislature on Monday. When Governor Codey signs the bill into law on Sunday (just three days before he leaves office), smoking will cease to exist in bars and restaurants. The strippers think this will be bad for business:
"It's going to murder our business," said Dominique Hernandez, 24, who dances at a lounge in Florence. "A lot of people want to get off of work, have a drink and a smoke and watch some pretty girls. There's nothing wrong with that."

Don't get your g-string in a bind, Dominique. I'm willing to bet that business will be just as good even when your patrons have to smoke outside in between dances.

Hat tip: TheMalcontent

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Biden the homophobic blowhard

Senator Jospeh Biden (D-DE) absolutely wins the Blowhard of the Day award (in my opinion) for yesterday's Alito confirmation hearing. His initial "question" to Judge Alito was 1,879 word and 13 minutes long. Joe -- didn't they teach you anything in Senator school?? Sounds bites are supposed to be short so they can fit nicely in a newscast.

In reading some blogs this morning, I stumbled upon some sexist and homophobic comments made recently by Senator Biden (hat tip Michelle Malkin). Speaking about a college tour he took with his son and an attractive young woman student:
This magnificently attractive, intellectually and physically beautiful young girl, was a sophomore, was showing us around,a nd I fuigured, man we got a lock now. My son is gonna really be interested, and, I know, senators aren't supposed to say things like that but, ah, if he hadn't been interested, I would have been worried.

Worried about what, Joe? Worried that your son might be gay? The horror! This is typical of Democrats -- talk a lot about how discrimination of gays is wrong, how nice gays are, how there is a nice gay couple that lives down the street, that there are two gay members of the country club and how gays are just like "regular people." Hell, a lot of them will go see Brokeback Mountain and cry at the end. But then they'll go home, and just like Senator Joe, be thankful that their son isn't gay and that he will make them proud one day and marry a "magnificently attractive, intellectually and physically beautiful young girl." Isn't this the definition of homophobic?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A tax by any other name is still a tax

Facing a $5 billion budget shortfall, New Jersey's lame duck legislature was busy yesterday taxing (yes, the $3 up-charge to the vehicle registration "fee" is a tax since it goes into the general fund to be used for general purposes) and spending $70 million it doesn't have. They also played some pension games (which is nothing out of the ordinary for the Trenton Democrats) and rewarded some insiders with a phat job or two (and higher pensions) even though a panel has recommended curbing the fast growth of pension costs.

Despite not having executed a single person since the death penalty was passed over 20 years ago (and having no prospect of an execution withing the next year), the Legislature decided to put a yearlong moratorium on executions so that it could study whether executions in New Jersey are fair. How do you study something that hasn't happened?

At least something worthwhile came out of yesterday's session -- no more smoking in bars and restaurants. Casinos are still fair game.

The new legislature is sworn in today. God only knows what kind of trouble they can get into on their first day.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Sam Alito meets the barking dogs of the far left

All things considered, yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing into the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court was not much beyond what anyone thought it would be. Each committee member had the opportunity to make a 10-minute opening statement. At the conclusion of that, even though most of the air in the room was taken up by the blowhards sitting to the left, Judge Alito was introduced by Senator Frank "Last Place" Lautenberg (D-NJ) and former Republican New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and was permitted to make an opening statement.

I won't pontificate about Judge Alito's statement, but I did think it was humble and sets a road map to how he sees the law, sees the role of the Supreme Court (or, for that matter, judges in general) and how he makes decisions as a judge.

Today at 9:30a.m. the games really begin. In the first round of questioning, each committee member will have 30-minutes in which to ask Judge Alito questions. There will be some tough questions from both sides. Some of them fair. Some unfair. There will be grandstanding -- most likely from Ted Kennedy and the Democrats attack dog, Chuck Schumer. At the end of the day, although Alito may be bruised by all the low blows, he'll come out standing. Good luck, Judge.

Here are some links to comments about yesterday's hearing (and beyond):

Ted Kennedy either lied or needs to fire his staffers for inadequate research.

Chuck Schumer wants to change the rules in his "what's good for the goose isn't good for the gander" approach to confirming Republican nominees. (More from Power Line here, here and here.)

New Jersey's two U.S. Senators should listen to former Governor Brendan Byrne.

Finally, Sam Alito the person, not the judge.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Evelyn FINALLY calls it quits

Assemblywoman Evelyn Williams (D-Essex) has finally decided that she doesn't belong in the New Jersey legislature. From the Star-Ledger:

Bowing to pressure brought on by a string of recent accusations, state Assemblywoman Evelyn Williams said yesterday she will not continue serving in the Legislature.

In a three-paragraph letter faxed to Essex County Democratic Chairman Philip Thigpen yesterday afternoon, Williams said she would step down when the current session ends Monday, citing a need to resolve the "misunderstandings and misperceptions" that have plagued her over the past three weeks.

Williams' problems began on Dec. 20, when she was arrested on a charge of shoplifting at an Irvington discount store. Two days later, Williams was fired from her $70,060 job at the Essex County Detention Center after county officials said they found out she had retired and started collecting pension checks without telling them.

That revelation sparked an investigation by the state Department of the Treasury into whether Williams knowingly defrauded the state pension system. If Williams is found to have defrauded the state, her $45,000-a-year pension could be revoked.

Most recently, Williams has been accused of not paying a group of electioneers she hired to push the Democratic ticket during this year's gubernatorial campaign.

More on Evelyn Williams here, here and here.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Deadbeat Evelyn

Not only did New Jersey Assemblywoman Evelyn Williams (D-Essex) get arrested for shoplifting and fired for a pension scam, but she also stiffed Corzine campaign workers the $60 a day she promised them.

From the Star-Ledger:
For five days leading up to November's gubernatorial election, Ervin Mathis pounded the streets of Newark, pushing the Democratic ticket.

He handed out doorknob hangers and collected absentee ballots throughout the city's South Ward. On Election Day, he took a post outside the Palm Gardens Holiness
Church on Bergen Street, distributing campaign literature and placing leaflets on parked cars.

But once the election was over, Mathis said, he never got the $240 he was promised. Instead, he got excuses from the woman who hired him -- Assemblywoman and South Ward Democratic chairwoman Evelyn Williams.

Mathis is one of seven Democratic electioneers interviewed by The Star-Ledger who claim they still have not been paid for their work during the final days of the campaign. All the workers were hired and supervised by Williams.

Here's more:
The campaign workers, who said they were hired
by Williams to promote Jon Corzine and the Democratic ticket, say they signed up every morning at a storefront on Bergen Street, where Williams dispatched them to various South Ward neighborhoods.

Others, mostly senior citizens, were sent to a phone bank in Orange. The workers were promised between $60 and $75 for each day they worked and told they would be paid by check every two days.

But two months after the election, the workers say they're still waiting for their money. They say Williams held them off with excuses in the days after the election, then disappeared altogether. At one point, workers said, she offered them Thanksgiving turkeys to hold them over until they got their checks. The turkeys never came either, they said.

"She wanted to give people turkeys and I was like, 'Give me my money and I'll buy my own turkey,'" said Mathis, an unemployed machine mechanic who said he is owed pay for five days, including Election Day.

"We worked for Corzine going door-to-door getting absentee ballots, handing out the doorknocker things with his name on it. We did all that and she didn't pay us," he said.

So what did Williams do with the money she owed these people? I'm sure Corzine will make good on her promise to pay them, but maybe the IRS should look into whether his campaign paid proper payroll taxes (or issued 1099's) and whether each worker was paid a prevailing wage.

Sayonara cigarettes

It looks like a total ban on smoking in the workplace -- which includes bars and restaurants -- will pass the New Jersey legislature today. If it does, Acting Governor Codey will sign it in the next few days and the ban will take effect 90 days later. What seems to be the only controversial point in the bill is that casinos will be exempt from the ban.

First, I agree with the bill and think it should become law. I hope it passes today and Codey signs it next week. I'm all for people having the choice to smoke, but the rest of us shouldn't be subjected to their habits. I supported Mayor Bloomberg when he pushed it through in New York City (where I work) and it has not made the bars any less crowded. I hope that once passed and signed into law, the state will enforce the ban like New York did -- tickets to the smoker and the owner of the bar.

Second, I support the casino exemption and would support an exemption for bars and restaurants that have air filtration/purificiation (or whatever) systems like casinos. You don't notice the smoke in a casino nearly as much as you do in a small bar. If the bar has some system to constantly bring clean air in and dirty air out, I'll suffer a little bit (it better be a VERY good filtration system) so my friends don't have freeze on the sidewalk while sucking on their cancer stick.

I'm not usually a supporter of "nanny" laws (the government trying to be your nanny and telling you what is and isn't good for you). If you want to ruin your lungs on smoking, go right ahead. In fact, I'll drink to your success. But while I'm ruining my liver, I'd like to keep breathing.

And as for Messrs. Travia and Crater (read the linked article above) who think that "'the right to pursuit of happiness" should incorporate the right of men to have their beer and a smoke . . . . "And look at the girls,'" you can still do so . . . you'll just be looking in through the window from the sidewalk.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs

Soon-to-be-Governor Corzine has another potentially cost-saving choice to make in the coming days -- whether to put his name up on every highway sign (park sign, construction sign, picture in the Turnpike rest stops, etc.) that currently has Acting Governor Codey's name on it. Although the cost is not astronomical, it is unnecessary. The governor's name on a sign promotes nothing more than name recognition. After $120 million in campaigns over the last 5 years, the one thing Mr. Corzine doesn't need help with is name recognition.

We appreciate that he has decided not to accept his $175,000 salary. Obviously he's entitled to it and deserves it. The fact that he can afford to live without it and has decided to do so due to the State's financial position should not go without thanks. Not wasting the state's (our) money on vanity plates for highway signs and rest stops should be a no-brainer.

Now I realize that Codey's name will have to be removed in any event and something will need to be put over the scratched out "McGreevy." But why not do what George Pataki did in New York eleven years ago when he took office? The New York DOT blocked out Mario Cuomo's name and put nothing up in its place. That is one Pataki example Corzine should have no problem following.

If you agree, shoot the Gov-to-be's transition office an email (or contact them here) and tell them how much we'd appreciate keeping that money for something more useful.

Yes Virginia, Democrats will tax anything

Remember Jim Florio's toilet paper tax? I do, but it seems that New Jersey's elected Democrats have forgotten all about it with the introduction of a bill that would tax water. Yep, water. The details of the proposed tax:
Under the legislation, customers of New Jersey's various public water franchises would be hit with a levy of 4 cents per 1,000 gallons of water used.

Money raised through the levy -- expected to be just over $2.50 per household, or $13 million annually -- would go into the state's general fund.

Yes, it would only be about $2.50 per household (although that is on top of already high water prices). And yes, it looks like the bill will die in the Assmebly this week. But the mere fact that they are contemplating such a move bothers me and is cause for worry once Jon "I lied when I told you I wouldn't raise the gas tax" Corzine takes office on January 17, 2006. Is anything protected from taxation by the New Jersey Democrats? NJ Conservative (hat tip) thinks that air is safe (at least for the time being). I wouldn't hold my breath.

For those of you unfamiliar with the "toilet paper tax," in 1990, then-Governor Jim Florio pushed a $2.8 billion tax increase through the Democratic controlled state legislature. The tax increases included an income tax hike, a hike in the sales tax and inclusion of additional items on the sales tax list. This is where the name came from -- included among the newly taxed items was toilet paper. People were outraged. There was a march on Trentron (with people and cars draped in newly-taxed toilet paper). Florio's mail included both unused and used toilet paper. "Impeach Florio" and "Dump Florio" bumper stickers were soon seen everywhere. Needless to say, the mid-term elections didn't go well for the Democrats -- they lost control of both houses of the legislature. Most of the tax increase was repealed once the GOP took control of the legislature and Florio did not fare so well in his re-election bid a few years later.

A lesson to the Democrats in control in Trenton today: If you think New Jersey voters don't have long memories, just think back to the 2000 senate primary. Florio ran (albeit against a well-funded Corzine) and lost. Voters interviewed at the noted that they just couldn't forgive him for the toilet paper tax. And these were fellow Democrats!

Watch out Pennsylvania and Flordia, it looks like your toilet paper is next!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Assembly shoplifter-pension-scam-artist still on the job

Evelyn William, the Assemblywoman from Newark who, after only about a week on the job, was caught shoplifting from a store in Irvington, has yet to resign. What is taking her so long?

In any event, it looks like her pension scam goes deeper than just accepting pay checks and pension checks at the same time. Bill Albers of writes:

The first investigation into this incident will no doubt involve Williams, the shoplifting arrest, and her pension, which she appears to have been receiving improperly.

The issue regarding her pension seems to be what has gotten Williams in serious trouble with not just the law, but her county employers. Williams was fired as director of social services for the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center after it was found that the Assemblywoman was illegally collecting her pension while still working for the county.

Upon further investigation, it seems Williams should not have even qualified for the pension plan, reserved mainly for firemen and police officers in the line of duty.

That may raise an entirely new investigation that could go well beyond Williams herself. Sources both inside and outside of Essex County seem to believe that Williams may not have been the only person to improperly be allowed take advantage of this pension.

The Police and Firemen's Retirement System Board of Trustees is empowered to designate what county and state workers are eligible for inclusion in the plan, of which Williams found herself a part. But, to be included, Williams would have still had to have filed a special application for membership, explaining why her position in social services qualified her for the title of "policeman", a requirement to participate in the plan. The burning question is how Williams was able to join the Police and Fireman's Retirement System, and for what reasons, political or otherwise?

Another issue that may arise as part of that investigation is how diligent Williams was on her job. One of the key factors in the sum total of Williams' pension is the number of service credits she accumulated – that is, the number of months Williams made a full pension contribution. Receiving a full pension from the Police and Firemen's retirement System can take service of twenty years or more. It has been suggested that someone as politically active as Williams, who at one time served as a Deputy Mayor of Newark, may have not been as diligent with her job as someone with more free time, and, at times, she may have turned her county position into a no-show job.

Of course, until a full investigation can be mounted by the state, these are all rumors and allegations.

Yes, these are just allegations at the moment. But the state needs to investigate and provide answers to all these questions. Furthermore, a good hard look at the New Jersey pension system is needed and strict rules are required in order to safegaurd the taxpayers, the pension system and the hard working state employees who have paid some of their salary into the system.

Previous on Williams: Caught Stealing

Previous on the Pension System: Peter's Pension Padding

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Slogan Extension

Voting on the New Jersey slogan has been extended to January 8, 2006.

But instead of voting for one of the finalists, check out this idea for a slogan and e-mail Acting Governor Codey if you like it.

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