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Archive for October, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Posted by edison1205 on October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween, everyone.   Don’t eat too much candy!

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Endorsement summary

Posted by edison1205 on October 28, 2010

EDISON BLOG’S ENDORSEMENT SUMMARY FOR THE 2010 ELECTION & VOTING INFORMATION

Congress, 6th District: Frank Pallone (D)

Congress, 7th District: Ed Potosnak (D)

County Sheriff: Keith Hackett (R)

County Clerk: Elaine Flynn (D)

County Freeholders, Richard Frank (R) and David Rosenthal (R).  No endorsement for the 3rd open seat.

Edison Township Council, 1 yr. unexpired term: Robert Karabinchak (D).

State Public Question (dedicated allocation of unemployment and disability funds): YES

Polls are open from 6am to 8pm.  If you don’t know where to vote, look up your polling place on your sample ballot.  Or use the polling place locator service found here: https://voter.njsvrs.com/PublicAccess/jsp/PollPlace/PollPlaceSearch.jsp.

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Endorsements for the 2010 Election: State Public Question

Posted by edison1205 on October 28, 2010

Aside from candidates, voters will also be asked to decide on a state public question that would bar the Legislature from reallocating money collected from employees and employers for unemployment and disability, to any purpose other than unemployment or disability.

The fact that we even need a constitutional amendment on this point is a shame in and of itself.  From 1992–2007, the legislature, with the approval of the governor, has passed laws 22 times to divert a total of $5.4 billion from these funds, collected from workers on the premise — and promise — that it would be used for their benefit in the case of unemployment or disability.  But this promise has been grossly violated time and time again, at the expense of working folks and their families.

Normally, we would not back the idea of putting budgetary decisions into the Constitution; generally, these calls have to be made from year to year by the annual budget law.  But legislatures and governors, from both parties have been so consistently irresponsible on this point, that the amendment is needed.  We recommend a YES vote on the State Public Question.

Fore more information, see the League of Women Voters analysis here.

Over the weekend will come the news you’ve all been waiting for: our endorsement for the Edison Council seat.

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Endorsements for the 2010 Election: County Clerk

Posted by edison1205 on October 28, 2010

Incumbent Elaine Flynn faces off against newcomer Harold Kane in the race for Middlesex County Clerk.  Flynn, who has been in office since 1996, has done a great deal to improve the computerization and internet access of county land records.  There have been some issues with her election administration tasks where she has shown less than ideal independence from county political officials, and there is always the argument that after 14 years in office, it may be time for a change.  Still,  Kane’s professional background, while adequate to the task, simply does not measure up against Flynn’s demonstrated accomplishments.  We endorse Elaine Flynn for County Clerk.

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Endorsements for the 2010 Election: Freeholder

Posted by edison1205 on October 18, 2010

There are three, 3-year terms for the Board of Freeholders up for election this year.  Pete Dalina, Christopher Rafano and Blanquita Valenti are seeking re-election, and their challengers are Richard Frank, Jordan Rickards and David Rosenthal.

The incumbents, part of a monolithic party organization, have had an unremarkable tenure as freeholders, with not enough regard for controlling the costs of government.  Of the $408 million county budget, $57.4 million goes to “employee fringe benefits” and $85.3 million goes to debt service, paying off some projects that may not have been in the public interest.  Not great, not horrible, but definitely less than what Middlesex voters deserve.

Although Frank and Rosenthal are newcomers to public office, we think their private-sector business experience (especially Rosenthal’s) would add a good diversity of opinion to the county government.  We therefore endorse Richard Frank and David Rosenthal for freeholder. We do not endorse Rickards, for as much as we would like to see some more youthful faces on the board, his politics (proud Heritage Society member) and background (Liberty University for his undergrad degree) make clear that he is too far to the right for Middlesex County.

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Endorsements for the 2010 Election:Sheriff

Posted by edison1205 on October 14, 2010

On January 1, 2011, the reign of Middlesex County Sheriff Joe Spicuzzo comes to an end. We were never comfortable with his dividing of duties between Sheriff and chair of the county’s Democratic Party.  This division of duties may have played a part in not supervising the office while rampant sexual harassment was going on, which led to a $1  million settlement in May 2009 and a $1.59 million settlement in April 2010.

But that’s the past, and the question is who is better to replace him and impose some order on the office.  Keith Hackett is a retired state police captain who served a long and distinguished career.  Mildred Scott worked in the Middlesex office for 27 years, coming up through the ranks before becoming a county freeholder.

Here, the combination of a fresh set of eyes and law enforcement experience carries the day and we endorse Captain Keith Hackett.  Freeholder Scott cannot bring the independence needed for reform at the Sheriff’s office.  Indeed, like Spicuzzo, her campaign has no understanding of the need to separate official duties from campaign ones, as evidenced by the recent fiasco where Scott used official vehicles for campaign ads.

Hackett provides a clean break from a questionable past and the better possibility for increasing professionalism and decreasing cronyism in the office.  We endorse him for Sheriff.

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Endorsements for the 2010 Election:Congress

Posted by edison1205 on October 6, 2010

We will be making endorsements of the Congressional and county races, the local Edison race, and the State public question, in the weeks to come.  Tonight, it’s Congress time.

1. Congress (6th District-part of Edison): Frank Pallone.  Pallone has amassed a respectable record in his 22 years of service in the House of Representatives.  He has demonstrated leadership, especially on environmental and foreign affairs issues.  His opponent, Anna Little, has no federal political experience, and ran with the support of Tea Party affiliated groups, who like her politics that tend too far to the right to match the educated, cosmopolitan constituency that is the 6th District.

2. Congress (7th District-part of Edison):  A portion of Edison is located in the 7th CD.  We back Ed Potosnak, an innovative and experienced science teacher from Bridgewater for this seat.  His brief stint on Capitol Hill working for a California congressman gives him insight into federal legislative workings, but he is no Washington insider who has lost touch with everyday people. His opponent, Leonard Lance, is a gentleman and independent thinker who will break from his party when needed.  But three big mistakes lost him our support: his NO vote on the health care reform legislation; at least two NO votes on stimulus spending to help end the recession and get America working again; and his praise of  Chris Christie’s substantive budget decision and the means he uses to reach them. People in the CD-7 are hurting, and these votes make him seem out of touch.

YOUR SAMPLE BALLOT

For those parts of Edison in the 6th Congressional District

For those parts of Edison in the 7th Congressional District

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Voter registration deadline

Posted by edison1205 on October 6, 2010

The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming election is October 12. The application must be turned into the municipal clerk, county clerk, or county elections board by that date, or it can be mailed in and will be accepted if postmarked by October 12.

If you live in Middlesex County, use this postage-prepaid application for English, this one for Spanish, this one for Chinese, and this one for Gujurati.

If you live elsewhere in New Jersey, consult this page (which is permanently posted year-round on the right side of our page) and determine the right county and language to use.

For other states, consult the U.S. Election Assistance Commission pages here.

Mail-in (absentee) ballots are also available.  There is NO EXCUSE not to vote in this election, which will be held on November 2, between 6am and 8pm.

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