Voice of the People: Disloyal Democrats Should Explain Themselves

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Voice of the People by James J. Devineby James J. Devine

Democratic Mayor Kevin Glover owes Scotch Plains voters a better explanation why he gave an endorsement to heartless Republican Gov Chris Christie, whose refusal to modify the state’s medical marijuana law is leaving Vivian Wilson, a 2-year-old township resident, to suffer in agony every time she is stricken with life threatening seizures from the rare and incurable disorder called Dravet syndrome.

Dravet syndrome, also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI), is a rare and catastrophic disease that begins in infancy for which other medications do not control seizures. Individuals with Dravet syndrome face a higher incidence of sudden unexplained death.

Aside from delaying common sense action because a girl in the second year of life might turn into a pothead, Christie vetoed an increase in the minimum wage law and tried to stop lawmakers from putting that issue on this November’s ballot.

He also slashed the Earned Income Tax Credit by 25 percent in his first year as governor, effectively raising taxes on the state’s poorest workers while refusing to extend a millionaires tax that expired.

Sen. Nicholas Scutari, who sponsored the original marijuana bill, said: “Our medical marijuana program should have restrictions in place to protect against abuse, but it cannot be so limited that patients who are eligible for the program cannot access care.” The bill before Christie would also amend the law so that children would not need to get consent from a pediatrician and a psychiatrist in addition to their treating doctor.

In New Jersey, Christie’s veto is the only thing standing in the way of marriage equality and the fundamental principle of ‘equal protection of the law’ for every citizen.

New Jersey’s working and middle class families are overburdened by New Jersey’s property taxes, which are the highest in the nation. Despite his tough talk and union-busting legislation to dip into public employee pensions and wages, net property taxes went up 22.4 percent in the first three years of Christie’s term, according to a nonpartisan analysis by NJ Spotlight released in May.

Christie sharply cut the size of property tax rebate payments and limited eligibility for non-seniors to those earning $75,000 or less. The Bush Republican’s rebate reductions steered more property tax relief from the state government to the wealthiest two percent of New Jerseyans — those earning more than $500,000 because residents in the state’s top tax bracket qualify for a tax credit that’s worth up to $897, but the maximum benefit to a New Jersey family making $50,000 to $70,000 is only $245.

Just to be clear, we call Christie a Bush Republican because he was appointed to six-figure federal job by George W. Bush after raising about $500,000 for the GOP presidential campaign leading up to the former Texas governor’s disputed victory in 2000. And he only managed to avoid Karl Rove’s 2006 political purge because he violated federal laws by leaking reports about a trumped up investigation into U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez.

In this instant, taxpayers are spending $24 million on unnecessary elections because the Bush Republican cares so little for the public that he is wasting money on a special round of voting just so Cory Booker is not on the same ballot as Barbara Buono, the underfunded Democrat challenging Christie.

Christie also stopped a project that would have created 6,000 jobs building a new access tunnel between the Garden State and New York City plus he slashed aid to cities and schools that resulted in thousands of layoffs among teachers, police, fire fighters and more. These are some of the reasons why New Jersey lags behind the national economic recovery, with one of the highest unemployment rate and greatest number of homeowners facing foreclosure.

At the end of Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine’s term, it was apparent that independent Chris Daggett failed to catch on with the electorate and Christie was the only viable alternative to the Wall Street titan who so miserably failed in government.

Today, there is no excuse for the slew of opposing party endorsements flowing the cruel, obnoxious Republican, except to secure for themselves an unlikely invitation to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom. Democratic voters should be prepared to condemn and punish the betrayal of opportunists who are serving the greedy interests that hijacked the Tea Party and wrecked the world.

Despite his large fundraising advantage and sizable lead in the polls, Bush Republican Chris Christie is a heartless bully, whose actions have made a difficult time worse for working families, retirees and little children suffering from incurable disease.


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