Term-Limits for the New Jersey Legislature Are a Must

If two people so immensely different as governor Christie and I are supportive of the same measure – setting term limits for NJ legislators – there must be some merit in the idea. In fact, there is not just some merit: It is very much needed.

Christie favors term limits for state legislators | The Source | NorthJersey.com.

The main ingredient to the sclerotic political system of New Jersey resides in the Legislature whose two political parties gerrymander the electoral districts to keep the membership of the two chambers almost constant term after term. Members die in office and their relatives come or at least attempt to finish the term of the diseased as if the legislative branch of the State of New Jersey were a hereditary succession system. Once in a while, some of the legislators leave the office just to take some more lucrative patronage positions in the numerous independent authorities created by themselves. The long stay of the legislators in their offices leads to the rise of political bosses, such as George Norcross.

I favor limits of two terms for both the Assembly and the Senate. Furthermore, NJ legislators should be subject to the same pension and health benefit contributions as all other public employees.

The two branches of the State of New Jersey, executive and legislative, use above $500 million from a $31 billion state budget. That is also excessive. If elected governor my first budget will propose significant cuts to both branches.

As a side note, the NJ Division of Taxation is engaging in what I perceive as harassment, possibly because of my militancy and candidacy. Since my tax returns are very simple – wages only – they have resorted to attempt to collect NJ tax again on my contributions to a small 457 retirement account I once had. Employees’ contributions to 457 retirement accounts are tax deferred by the federal government but New Jersey taxes them in the payroll. They are demanding that I pay again. The distribution was in the tax year 2008 and the notice I received lists me as customer 001 – like sending me a message – I presume.

New Jersey could only tax at distribution any dividend earned during the life of the account and that tax was paid with the 2008 return.

Additionally, they arbitrarily rejected my homeowners credit in this last return of tax year 2011 offering no reason. Of course I meet all the criteria and my tax return was impeccably simple. I contacted the division by phone and they said it was their error which they would correct but with two incidents back-to-back, when I know I am correct in both, I do not trust the system. Some hack has been instructed to get on my case by any means possible.

Although the total amount in question in the two incidents combined is $452.60, I have sued the Division of Taxation in Tax Court, with the complaint served  to them and the NJ Attorney General today. The court fee is $35 and the postage certified and return receipt to all 3 was about $18.

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Please, Support The Constitutional Amendment Which Bans Corporate Money From Elections

The OCCUPIED Amendment.

It was introduced in the House Judiciary Committee by Florida’s congressman Ted Deutch. I can not stress enough how vital this is for all of us in this nation. We must un-do the terrible harm the U.S. Supreme Court decision “Citizens United vs. FEC” has caused. This is do-or-die. The current malaise in Washington is a direct result of that decision.

H.J Res. 90 reads as follows:

Section I. – Corporations are not people.

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons and do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, or other private entities established for business purposes or to promote business interests under the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.
Explanation: Section I of the OCCUPIED Amendment makes clear that corporations, and entities established to promote the business interests of their member corporations, are not people with inalienable rights enshrined in our Constitution. This section overturns the incorrect assertion in the Supreme Court decision Citizens United that corporations have free speech rights protected by the Constitution and are therefore able to spend unlimited corporate profits in our elections. Section I also denies corporations and other entities established for business purposes the right to claim that worker protections, environmental regulations, and other laws written by the people violate their court-awarded constitutional rights.

Section II. – Corporations can be regulated by people.

Such corporate and other private entities established under law are subject to regulation by the people through the legislative process so long as such regulations are consistent with the powers of Congress and the States and do not limit the freedom of the press.
Explanation: Section II simply states that corporations are established in accordance with the laws of the people and they are therefore subject to laws written by the people. Corporations cannot claim they have constitutional protections from laws written by the people to limit pollution, ensure the fair treatment of workers, and safeguard the public.

Section III. – Corporate prohibition in elections.

Such corporate and other private entities shall be prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in any election of any candidate for public office or upon any ballot measure submitted to a vote of the people.
Explanation: Section III prohibits business corporations and business associations from using their profits to participate in our elections, whether it is through direct expenditures from their general treasuries or through funding third party groups that air attack ads, influence voters, or electioneer communications. This section slams shut the door opened by Citizens United that enabled our elections to be flooded by corporate campaign spending.

Section IV. – Regulation of all electioneering, contributions, and expenditures by individuals and other entities.

Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own spending, and to authorize the establishment of political committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources of those contributions and expenditures.
Explanation: Section IV strikes back against the argument made in Citizens United that caps on electoral spending and expenditures are unconstitutional. By reaffirming the right of Congress and the States to establish campaign finance laws that require public disclosure, corporations will no longer be able to anonymously funnel cash to third party groups for the purpose of funding malicious attack ads, smear campaigns, and companion Super PACS. Section IV also allows Congress to set limits and require disclosure for any and all political contributions and expenditures by individuals and other private entities. This section allows Congress to end the practice of a few billionaires spending unlimited funds to promote their personal political agendas.

New Jersey budget fight is theater for politicians

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/07/democrats_express_outrage_disg.html

The capitol is the stage. Politicians are the actors. Both parties are up to excite the voters and  keep them away from thinking independently.

And people get hurt in the process.