[OPINION] Garwood’s Republican Revolution

By Garwood Councilman James A. Mathieu

In Garwood’s Primary on June 4, voters must decide if they wish to stay with the establishment Party and their Democrat positions on taxes, spending, and debt or go in a new direction of reform, tax relief, debt reduction, and spending discipline. In order to keep Garwood affordable for all its current and future residents, we need a Party that is a consistent advocate for its taxpayers.

The special interests and their spending constituencies are more than well-represented. But who will stand up for the men and women who go to work every day and pay Garwood’s exorbitant taxes? Who will stand up for the senior citizens who built our borough and now struggle on fixed incomes that are falling behind our ever-increasing taxes? Who will ensure that their children and grandchildren don’t have to move out of our borough and our state in search of a lower cost-of-living? To be a voice for the taxpayers, Garwood needs a new Party and that is why I have chosen to run as a Conservative in the June 4 Garwood Primary.

I am building a new Garwood Party that stands upon low tax, low debt, small government, and free market principles. I took a pledge never to support a tax increase when I ran for Council in 2010, and with my “no” vote on the 2013 budget on April 9, I have kept my pledge. The only problem is I haven’t had anyone else to vote “No” with me the last three years—not even my fellow Republicans. Republicans should bring new, fresh, alternative ideas to the table instead of the old tax and spend model New Jersey is rejecting. I bear no ill will toward my establishment colleagues; I just believe that Republicans should sometimes be different from Democrats, particularly when it comes to taxes, spending and debt. Because the Garwood Party lacks such ideas, our borough is missing the benefits made possible by the bipartisan reforms of the Christie administration.

If Garwood leaders vote the same way as Garwood Democrats, then why should anyone vote Republican? We already have a fine Party in our borough made up of good, honest citizens who are our friends and neighbors, and who have their own ideas about how to manage our borough. I have come to know their leaders personally over these last three years and they are people of character and substance.

We need a fresh, new Party that complements and challenges them, not one that criticizes Democrats when they are in power only to do the same exact things when Republicans take charge. We need a Party that has the determination, fortitude, and courage of its convictions to avoid being co-opted by the tax and spend lobbies. Sometimes there need to be policy struggles between the two parties, and within parties themselves, to bring forth the best ideas we have to offer. A Garwood Party with Democrat ideas and voting records will offer no such new ideas.

So Garwood’s voters can judge for themselves, I am putting before them my record of taxpayer advocacy, support for cost-cutting, opposition to tax increases and excessive debt, and in favor of bringing new and innovative solutions to local government. I humbly ask for the honor of the nomination on June 4 in order to compete in November’s general election as a Republican.

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