This was sent to the State Chairs list February 27, 2014 by Roger Paxton of Arkansas
We are not “Republican-light.” We are not “Democratic-light.” We are Libertarians.
It is tiresome to continually be asked why we would want to run a Libertarian candidate against a “good Republican” or “a good libertarian leaning Republican.” Would this same person ask that of the Democratic Party? Would this same person expect the Democratic Party to not run someone against a “good moderate Republican?” Of course not. So why do they ask us?
I believe Republicans and conservatives do this because they have a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be a Libertarian. They believe we share some sort of camaraderie with them but can offer no proof of what makes them think this way. They throw around words like “Republican-libertarian,” and “conservative libertarian,” and “constitutional libertarian” like these word salads have some sort of meaning. They do not.
Name: John Paff
Hometown: Franklin Township, Somerset County
Family: Wife Diane, children Alex, 16, and Katie, 12
Best known as: New Jersey's busiest open-government activist
How he got started: "I guess I've always been interested in how things work, how the system works." But it's not just how things work. A lifelong New Jerseyan -- he grew up in Cumberland County and moved to the Middlesex/Somerset area when he went to college at Rutgers University -- he wants to make sure that state government works as well as possible.
Paff started working with the Forfeiture Endangers American Rights, a group looking to reform federal and state asset forfeiture laws, in 1992, and then moved to trying to improve attorney ethics before landing on open government issues. He now chairs the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project and is a member of the board of directors of the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government.
UPDATE: Since I wrote the below story, my daughter and I visited Sean in the jail. I've rewritten the below story with details I have learned during my visit.
When Edward Forchion, aka NJ Weedman, left the Burlington County Jail on January 28th it marked the end of his sentence for probation violations related to an arrest for medical marijuana possession. He was carrying with him a very disturbing letter from fellow inmate, Sean Turzanski. Sean's letter tells the story of an elderly homeless man, Mr. Robert Taylor. Mr. Taylor is known to have been in and out of jail and to have a drinking problem. He was known as Drunk Santa Claus.
According Mr. Turzanski, Mr. Taylor was thrown onto a concrete floor, stripped of his clothes wearing only a prison "turtle suit" without any other clothes, blanket or mat. For 5 days Mr. Taylor did not eat. Mr. Taylor was non-verbal and given no care. On December 29th Sean heard Mr. Taylor begging for help. Sean yelled to get the attention of the Correction Officers on duty but was told to "shut up". The next day the Officers checked on Mr. Taylor and found him dead lying on the concrete floor in the same position where he was thrown five days earlier.
In his February 7, 2014 letter, Somerset County Counsel William T. Cooper III defended the Somerset County Freeholder Board's decisions to conduct seven matters in nonpublic (i.e. closed or executive) session instead of publicly. Cooper's letter is on-line here and the minutes of the executive meeting in question are on-line here. (My letter of complaint about the executive session discussions is on-line here.)
With all due respect to Mr. Cooper, I believe that his position is flawed.
As just one example, the minutes of the January 14, 2014 closed meeting state:
Mike Amorosa addressed concerns and complaints received about employees utilizing e-cigarettes indoors. The Board endorsed the inclusion of e-cigarettes to the policy.
January 31, 2014
Hon. Patrick Scaglione, Director, and members of the
Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders
Dear Director Scaglione and Board members:
In response to my Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request, I obtained the minutes of five of the Board's recent nonpublic (executive or closed) meetings. For your ready reference, I have placed those minutes on-line here.
Several of the matter discussed do not appears to fall within any of the N.J.S.A. 10:4-12(b) exceptions. As you are aware, the Open Public Meetings Act requires all Board discussions to be held in public unless one or more of the N.J.S.A. 10:4-12(b) exceptions, construed strictly against closure, apply. Following is a list of some of the topics that I believe could have been discussed with the public in attendance.
Donna Faulkenberry, President and members of the
Spotswood Board of Education
105 Summerhill Road
Spotswood, NJ 08884
Dear President Faulkenberry:
While I appreciate the fact that the Board posts its nonpublic (i.e. closed or executive session) minutes on its web site (most public bodies do not), I think that the minutes themselves fall far short of the "reasonably comprehensible" standard required by N.J.S.A. 10:4-14. As an example, please see the Board's April 23, 2013 nonpublic meeting minutes here.
First, they are not even labeled "Minutes" but rather as a "Resolution for Executive Session."
Second, they contain some boilerplate language followed by the only substantive portion which reads, in its entirety, "The Board discussed a contractual matter." Do you think that the "reasonably comprehensible" language in N.J.S.A. 10:4-14 requires, at a minimum, the identities of the parties to the contract under discussion?
There’s a ‘Heck’ of hypocrisy in Chris Christie’s call for disability pension reform during his State of the State address.
“Our pension system is burdened by some who collect disability retirement because they claim they are ‘totally and permanently’ disabled, but are now working full-time,” said New Jersey’s governor, ignoring the problem in his own office.
Adam J. Heck, one of Christie’s state lawyers, has collected a $110,000 salary plus nearly $45,000 a year in tax-free disability retirement checks from the state.
At age 28, Heck retired as a Middletown Township police officer in 1993. He was struck on the hand with a hockey stick while responding to a domestic dispute, according to state pension records.
Heck is one of 18 ‘disabled’ state employees who double-dip $2.2 million a year – $1 million in tax-free accidental disability pay plus $1.2 million in salaries – named in a New Jersey Watchdog investigative report last year.
Yesterday, I wrote about the burgeoning Chris Christie scandal (please don’t call it #bridgegate), involving the apparently retaliatory nature of several lane closings on the George Washington Bridge last September. Christie was accused of creating a traffic jam to get back at the mayor of Fort Lee, a Democrat who declined to endorse him in his re-election bid. Christie initially laughed off the allegations, claiming the lane closures were part of a “traffic study.” My original first line for that blog post was “Governor Chris Christie may have shown how Jersey politics can rival the Chicago style,” but I excised it because, well, the scandal was about Christie, not President Obama.
Read the full story on Reason's Hit and Run Blog...
Judge O'Connor significantly revises her "generator" decision
Judge O'Connor called both attorneys in Paff v. Warren County Prosecutor's Office today and held a Case Management Conference via telephone at 4 p.m. today (Monday, December 23, 2013). The judge's purpose in calling the conference was to modify her previous order so that the identities of the official(s) who misused the county-owned generators would also be redacted from the documents that will provided in the case.
O'Connor's December 18, 2013 order stated that the Prosecutor's office "shall redact from the documents the names of any person who provided a statement to [the Prosecutor's office], as well as his or her position of employment, birth date, home and cellular telephone numbers, home address, and any personal identifier."
Economist and former Libertarian nominee for Governor, Murray Sabrin, has written and produced the documentary "The Federal Reserve: 100 Years of Boom and Bust." Watch the entire documentary below.
Free-market Capitalism has helped a great many people who have been poor and down and out, move up the economic ladder, move up in mobility and has fostered the creative power and genius of individuals far better than other economic system that has existed and failed such as socialism, communism, fascism and feudalism. Capitalism as a system is not, nor it has ever been, a four letter word as some people would have us believe. However, what is an abomination to free-market capitalism, and freedom overall, is crony capitalism.
Crony Capitalism (Or State Capitalism as it is also called) entails government enacting laws, rules, regulations, tax monies and favoritism to one business over another. For example, if a small pharmaceutical company had founded a medicine to cure cancer and went to the Food and Drug Administration to get it approved, a bigger company with vast resources, money and lobbyists can influence am FDA bureaucrat or a politician to sit on the approval for years or reject it entirely. Another example would be when a regulation is enacted that forces smaller companies into compliance so that bigger companies do not face head to head competition. Or, when tax monies are given to companies because they are politically favored or to keep these companies afloat so they do not have face situations like bankruptcy or reorganization when the market is not to their liking.
Crony Capitalism, State Capitalism, is the norm in countries such as Argentina, Communist China, France, Italy and, sadly, the U.S. If people should be outraged and angry that anger should not be directed at Capitalism, but at governments the choose winners and losers. By showing no favoritism of one entity over another, society, freedom, the economy and free-markets can flourish. It is only when Crony Capitalism occurs that everything stays stagnant and stale. When government practices economic neutrality, equality of opportunity can bloom, and that is what real capitalism is all about.
Today is the 80th Anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition of alcohol! Celebrate by having a drink of your choice today.
What is Repeal Day?
The turn of the twentieth century was a dark time in America. The Women's Christian Temperance Union, which had been promoting Prohibition for many years, believed alcohol was the cause of many, if not all, social ills. Mistruths like this were spread. Lines were drawn. Bars and taverns were vandalized. People were killed. On January 16th, 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act, outlawing alcohol and ostensibly putting an end to drunkenness, crime, mental illness, and poverty.
Ironically, America's thirst for alcohol increased during Prohibition, and organized crime rose up to replace formerly legal methods of production and distribution. While proponents of Prohibition argued that the amendment would be more effective if enforcement were increased, respect for the law diminished and drunkenness, crime and resentment towards the federal government ran rampant.