W&L: Lame Ducks and Deep Fried Turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving! In honor of the holiday, we have a special, winners-only edition of Winners and Losers.  Everyone’s a winner this week!

Saily Avelenda and the NJDSCWe love it when talent is recognized and elevated. For those who don’t know, Saily is a University of Pennsylvania trained attorney who left her job as an Senior Vice President at a financial institution to help found NJ 11th for Change and played a key role in flipping CD-11 Democratic for the first time in 34 years.

We feel really good about the State Chair fight when one of NJ’s best grassroots organizers is in charge. Game on!

NJPP’s report on Tax Incentive programs: Need some light reading for Thanksgiving weekend and already finished The IrishmanSheila Reyertson has you covered! Our favorite part is the succinct infographic comparing the original Economic Opportunity Act to the Governor’s plan and the Lesniak/Kyrillos proposal, at-a-glance.

Which plan comes closest to researched-backed best practices? Well, sure not the EOA! As it turns out, the original Economic Opportunity Act is really awful! By all the measures! Thank goodness for the lovable wonks at NJPP who take a complex issue and make it understandable.

NorthJersey.com and Deep Fried Turkeys: If there is one piece all year that captured how progressives are trying to shake up the status quo in Jersey, please read Charlie Stile’s “A New Jersey army of liberal activists vow to destroy their own party ‘machine’.” Stile writes that “these political newcomers view Norcross as the CEO of a corrupt, politics-for-personal-gain enterprise that has operated on autopilot in Trenton for more than three decades. They see it as an operation that brooks no dissent and blocks “progressive” ideas now ablaze within the party’s grassroots. It’s the message that a new generation of activists is taking seemingly everywhere — to social media, television, small community groups, sidewalk protests and Trenton hearings.”

And kudos to Stile for deep frying Norcross and Chris Christie on Wednesday in his “NJ’s top political turkeys of 2019: 10 racist tweets, anti-Semitic slurs and scandals.”

Cosecha: Speaking truth to power! Cosecha asked some tough questions of VP Biden this week, in an exchange that went viral. We are so impressed by advocates who possess the courage to engage with powerful people on important issues. Solidarity!

Trenton’s advocates: There were two great victories this week in the legislature- hearings scheduled for drivers licenses; and the Assembly voted to restore voting rights to people on parole and probation. But, there are more steps to go. We only wish it hadn’t been such a dogfight so far.

Lame duck session is only warming up, so we hope the legislature stays away from bad bills, such as the one that benefits a certain hospital in Camden that would make it more difficult for patients to see doctors in New York or Philadelphia. Ick.

CWA: Dennis Trainor (CWA District 1 Vice President) and Hetty Rosenstein, (NJ Director) sent a strong letter this week to every Democratic State Committee person pointing out what every Dem not tied to George Norcross is obviously thinking:  “We do not support this unnecessary and divisive effort of running against the current Chair and Vice Chair, both of whom have demonstrated their ability to create a massive Blue Wave in New Jersey.”

Camden NAACP on Twitter: If you aren’t following the Camden NAACP, get there now! They are clever, snarky, on-point and on-fire with the bespoke memes, and taking none of the Norcross nonsense. Kudos to this powerful local chapter for being a consistent voice for the people of Camden!

One word replies on email: We millennials love our clever, wordy emails, emojis, excessive exclamation points and, hashtags and hip references. But sometimes one word is enough.

“Changed.” And, my how things have, since 2014! King George has long claimed he had nothing to do with the edits to the Economic Opportunity Act, but after this great reporting from Nancy Solomon and Jeff Pillets, it sure seems he had a hand in things. (Act surprised.)

This Thanksgiving I am grateful for investigative journalism!

Stephen A AustinAmerica loves it when underdogs win. At the buzzer. Off of an improbable hustle and loose ball, and a fast layup over a formidable defender, by a player whose family lost everything in The Bahamas during a hurricane.

Stephen F. Austin University, we’ve only been fans of you for three days, but we’ve never been more proud!

This Wonderful Opportunity to Completely Rethink Taxation: 2% cap debate; Millionaires Tax, tax incentives – can’t we figure this out? Sweeney rides in on a white horse to try to “solve” taxes, but let’s hold up for a second.

As NJPP’s Brandon McKoy said on twitter, “Lifting the cap & putting greater onus of education funding on local residents is an unsustainable band-aid. NJ should also be identifying new sources of revenue at the state-level & using those sources to provide greater municipal aid. It’s not “either, or.” It’s “yes, and.”

Yes! And, if Senator Sweeney is really into “fixing” NJ’s tax situation, let’s:

  • Raise taxes on people who make over a million dollars a year.
  • Reign in corporate welfare, by putting hard caps on tax incentives
  • Snuff out corruption at the County, Municipal and state levels
  • Implement a fairer tax code.

Can we get that done, Senator?

Kate Delany:  We neglected last week to link to a very powerful op/ed Kate Delany authored on NJ.com and Delaney was right back at it this week with the Collingswood Progressive Democrats attending a meeting of the Camden County Municipal Joint Insurance Fund (JIF) to advocate for more transparency and fiscal/ethical oversight of this public entity (that offers its commissioners catered spreads at every meeting.

A healthy primary in CD2: The D field is getting crowded! We were surprised that known Norcross ally Bridget Harrison seems to be flirting with a run. What is going on? Has the Machine abandoned Van Drew? Are they trying to flood the field with real-life phantom candidates to split the progressive vote? Is the Van Drew race a shiny object so that Donald Norcross and his role in the Economic Opportunity Act fly under the radar?

Or are we beginning to hear the sounds of a dam about to break open in southern New Jersey?

101.5: Again in the spirit of the holiday season, we end with a shout out across the aisle.  Bill Spadea says we disagree on 95% of issues. Like Bill’s politics, that estimate might be rather conservative. But take a listen to the 5% we both agree on. (Everyone hates corruption!)

And, finally, we just can’t help ourselves with this classic. Happy Thanksgiving Weekend, everyone!