“The Governor shall not have any direct or indirect interest, financial or otherwise, or engage in any business or transaction or professional activity that is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of the Governor’s duties in the public interest.” — Governor Jon Corzine’s Executive Order No. 1
Senate Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco said Governor Corzine should re-read his Executive Order No. 1, which lays out the rules for conduct of a governor’s financial affairs. “It is obvious that the governor is invested in a hedge fund whose managers also own casinos,” Bucco said. “Clauses in Governor Corzine’s executive order No. 1 would seem to prohibit such an investment.”
Corzine Slashing Suburban and Rural Property Tax Relief by 30% to Increase Aid for Cities
Senator Steve Oroho, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, called on Governor Corzine to impose the same cuts in Extraordinary Aid to urban towns that he already imposed on more rural and suburban towns.
“Corzine slashed Extraordinary Aid to more than 500 rural and suburban towns by 30% last month and is preparing to increase aid for about 50 more urban towns with the savings,” said Oroho. “He’s rigging property tax relief programs based on election year politics.”
Senate Republican Whip Kevin O’Toole expressed frustration at reports in the Star-Ledger that the huge Xanadu building is “eerily empty” of workers because financing of the long-delayed, $2 billion project has fallen through yet again. He also called for legislative hearings on the Xanadu project.
“Whenever anyone questioned the Corzine administration’s shaky management of Xanadu, the response has been for the governor to praise the project because it’s creating jobs,” O’Toole said. “If published accounts are correct, almost no one now is working on Xanadu at a time when New Jersey desperately needs the work.”
After Years of “Last-Resort” Increases on Sales, Business & Income Taxes, Corzine Again Says Tax Hikes Will Be Last Resort
Assembly members Dawn Marie Addiego and Scott Rudder expressed disappointment that in a rare moment of honesty from Governor Corzine to taxpayers, he all but promised more tax increases if he remains governor.
According to a story in Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, Governor Corzine will not rule out tax hikes but said they “should be a last resort.”
Senate Republican Budget Officer Tony Bucco called on Governor Jon Corzine to release all documents detailing links between casinos and a hedge fund company in which the governor is invested. The Governor’s financial disclosure forms show that he has invested in a hedge fund called TPG-Axon. The Star-Ledger reported that the fund has the same addresses and almost the same name as Texas Pacific Group (TPG), an operator of hedge funds that bought Harrah’s Entertainment in 2006. Harrah’s owns four casinos in Atlantic City. Yet the governor contends that his investment meets the letter and the spirit of the state casino laws.
“Our casino laws are designed to prevent even the appearance of conflicts of interest involving government officials,” Bucco stated. “Governor Corzine should immediately release documents detailing the ties between TPG (Texas Pacific Group) and the casino industry.”
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande will host a blood drive on Friday, October 2nd, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the American Red Cross, 1540 W. Park Avenue, Tinton Falls.
To make an appointment to donate blood, please call JoAnn Denton at 732-866-1695. If you have a question about donor eligibility, please call the donor health line at 1-866-236-3276.
Senators Philip Haines (R- Burlington) and Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset) have drafted legislation that would address the ill-advised Appellate Division court decision, Homes Of Hope, Inc. vs. Eastampton Township Land Use Planning Board , which trumps local zoning regulations, mandating more government housing in local towns.
New Jersey’s Unemployed Can Find Better Job Markets as Close as Connecticut and Delaware
Senator Joe Kyrillos, a member of the Senate Economic Growth Committee, said that, contrary to Governor Corzine’s recently videotaped comments, New Jersey residents don’t have to move all the way to Midwest farm states like North Dakota to find work. August figures show every neighboring state had an unemployment rate lower than New Jersey’s 9.7 percent, a 33-year record. Unemployment was 8.1 percent in Delaware and Connecticut, 8.6 percent in Pennsylvania, 9 percent in New York and 9.1 percent in Massachusetts.
“The governor said that only farm states like North Dakota are experiencing low unemployment,” Senator Kyrillos said. “Our neighbors Connecticut and Massachusetts not only have less farm land than New Jersey, they have far lower unemployment.”
33-Year High in Joblessness May Add to $3.6 Bln Shortfall
Senator Steve Oroho, a Republican on the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, said he is concerned that the alarming increase in New Jersey’s unemployment rate will lead to calls for higher business taxes. August unemployment was the highest in 33 years.
“Under current law, business taxes will increase if there is a lingering deficit in the unemployment fund, and at the rate we’re going, we’ll have a huge deficit,” Senator Oroho said. “The worst way to deal with a 9.7 percent unemployment rate is to raise taxes on businesses that create jobs.”
12th District Legislators Pleased to Announce that Funding for Branchport Creek Clean-up Is in Place
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande attended a press conference this afternoon at Monmouth Park Racetrack to announce that the Borough of Oceanport has been awarded a $22 million loan by the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT) for improvements at the racetrack.