November 15, 2007

Let the Post-Election Screwing Begin!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:43 pm

In the week or so since the election, the rat bastards in Trenton have shown the agenda that they played close to the vest until the election was over, lest they arouse the sleeping electorate, which, once properly informed just might have sent their miserable asses packing.

Since the election we have been treated to the following:

1.The Death Penalty. Just a few days after the general election in the state, the average newspaper-reading Joe in Jersey learned that the [democrat] Assembly will vote on doing away with New Jersey’s death penalty. Sure, if you’re a political junkie who is seriously plugged in to what is going on in Trenton on any given day, you might have seen this coming, but for those who get their news from the newspapers and the television, this was quite a shocker.

As a practical matter, the legislative rescission of the death penalty is irrelevant, because New Jersey hasn’t executed anyone since 1963, nine years before then-existing death penalty laws were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972.

In 1982, New Jersey reinstated the death penalty by revising its statute to pass muster under the 1972 United States Supreme Court decision. The Legislature probably should not have wasted its time fixing the statute, because the New Jersey Supreme Court has never missed an opportunity to read the law in a manner that would keep the most brutal murderers (often of police officers) alive. Now, we have a Governor who has opposed the death penalty for many years and continues to do so.

As such, the death penalty in New Jersey is toast and it will become so while the voters sit home and watch Oprah.

2. The Stem Cell Baloney. I wrote about it here. The incumbents figured that their Stem Cell Bond Referendum (authorizing $450 million in yet more borrowing) would pass. After all, the sheeple in New Jersey hadn’t said “No” to a bond issue in some 17 years. Well, as we know, the bond issue was flatly rejected by the thirty percent of voters who bothered to show up at the polls. Only after the election did we learn that the $450 million was really intended to pay the expenses of running the FOUR stem cell research facilities that the state had already planned to build with $270 million more in borrowed money that the voters didn’t get to vote on.

Look, if voters nixed $450 million in borrowing, they sure as shit would have nixed an honestly worded referendum that would have sought authorization to borrow $720 million ($450 million + $270 million=$720 million).

It now appears that at least three of the facilities may not be built, due to the lack of funds to run them. The fourth facility will likely be built, using the excess from the $270 million to run the facility. “Excess?” Please. Not in Jersey. Ever.

3. The Sale/Lease of the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike. Governor Corzine has been hinting at this “Asset Monetization Plan” for months, but he and his cronies in the legislature made sure to keep it relatively quiet until after the election. Now, he and they are ready to rock. Under this “plan” the state would sell or lease our main highways to a third party (although the type of third party remains a mystery) for a large chunk of front money, which will be used to “reduce the cost of debt service” (a fancy way of saying “reduce the interest the state has to pay on previously BORROWED money), and presumably reap the benefits from increased tolls (I think, anyway).

The Governor is so enamored of this “plan” that he is “prepared to lose his job” getting it passed. (Check out the comments to the linked post to see how this horseshit is being received).

I have done my damndest to understand how this “plan” will work to the advantage of New Jersey’s citizens, but for the life of me, I don’t see it. That’s largely because the Governor has not shared any of the details of his “plan.” I urge Jersey peeps to check out THIS SITE for more information on this subject, and if you can make sense of how the “plan” will benefit the citizens of Jersey, please let me know. Seriously.

While each of the foregoing schemes is enough to make one’s hair hurt, what really frosts my stindeens is the calculated effort on the part of the incumbents to wait until after the election was over to pull this crap. (Notably, I didn’t hear incumbent Republicans squawking about any of this prior to the election.) No, the incumbent rats in Trenton knew goddamned well that these issues would have caught the attention of the electorate and that electorate would have demanded that they take *gasp* a position on these very issues.

Of course we all know that having to take a position on a hot issue is absolutely toxic to political rats.


  1. It’s time to overrun your state house and take the state back.
    Don’t forget to bring plenty of rope. Looks like you’ll need all you can lay your hands on to me.

    Comment by dick — November 15, 2007 @ 8:49 pm

  2. I find it astonishing to see how polarized and indifferent the NJ electorate has become in just 17 short years. If you recall, the main issues dealt primarily the increase of the sales tax to 7%, as well as the taxation of common necessities (i.e. “toilet paper tax”). I remember the backlash former Gov. Florio faced, and the grass-roots efforts encouraged by the talk radio station, NJ101.5. Seventeen years ago, the politicians actually listened to their constituents, and backed down. It seems now that they’re only concerned about themselves. In addition, voters actually paid attention to issues. Today, they’re more concerned about trysts. Many factors contribute to this, but one thing is certain: New Jersey is headed for disaster.

    Comment by David — November 15, 2007 @ 9:35 pm

  3. To: All New Jersey State Legislators
    and Media throughout New Jersey

    REPORT: NJ Death Penalty Commission Made Significant Errors
    by Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters, contact info below

    distributed beginning May, 2007



    The New Jersey Death Penalty Commission made significant errors within their findings. The evidence, contrary to the Commissions findings, was so easy to obtain that it appears either willful ignorance or deception guided their report.

    A brief review.

    Below, are the 7 points made within the New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission Report, January, 2007. The RUBUTTAL presents the obvious points avoided by the Commission and discussed by this author, a death penalty expert.

    I was invited to be a presenter, before the NJDPSC, but my time didn’t fit their schedule.

    1) There is no compelling evidence that the New Jersey death penalty rationally serves a legitimate penological intent.


    – The reason that 81% of Americans found that Timothy McVeigh should be executed was justice – the most profound concept in criminal justice, as in many other aspects of life. It is the same reason that New Jersey citizens, 12 jurors, put all those on death row.

    – Although the Commission and the NJ Supreme Court both attempt to discount deterrence, logically, they cannot.

    First, all prospects for a negative outcome deter some. This is not, logically or historically rebutted. It cannot be. Secondly, those studies which don’t find for deterrence, do not say that it doesn’t exist, only that their study didn’t find it. Those studies which find for deterrence did. 10 recent studies do.

    – The Commission had ample opportunity and, more importantly, the responsibility to read and contact the authors of those many studies which have, recently, found for deterrence. There seems to be no evidence that they did so. On such an important factor as saving innocent lives, why didn’t they? The testimony before the Commission, critical of those studies, would not withstand a review by the authors of those studies. That should be an important issue that the Commission should have investigated, but did not.

    – LIFE WITHOU PAROLE: The Commission considered the risk of innocents executed and concluded that it wasn’t worth the risk and that a life sentence would serve sufficiently without that risk to innocents.

    Again, the Commission avoided both fact and reason. The risk to innocents is greater with a life sentence than with the death penalty.

    First, we all know that living murderers, in prison, after escape or after improper release, are much more likely to harm and murder, again, than are executed murderers – an obvious truism ignored by the Commission.

    Secondly, no knowledgeable party questions that the death penalty has the most extensive due process protections in US criminal law. Therefore, it is logically conclusive, that actual innocents are more likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment and more likely to die in prison serving under that sentence, that it is that an actual innocent will be executed.

    Thirdly, there has been a recent explosion of studies finding for death penalty deterrence. The knowledgeable criticism of those studies has, itself, been rebutted.

    – Therefore, in choosing a life without parole and calling for the end of the death penalty, the Commission has made the choice to put more innocents at risk – the opposite of their stated rationale.

    2) The costs of the death penalty are greater than the costs of life in prison without parole, but it is not possible to measure these costs with any degree of precision.


    – For the amount of time and resources allegedly expended by the Commission, this section of their review was unconscionable in its lack of responsibility to the Commission’s directive.

    – The Commission concludes that the current system in New Jersey is very expensive, without noting the obvious ways in which those issues can be addressed to lessen those costs. Why?

    One example, they find that proportionality review cost $93, 000 per case. Why didn’t the Commission recommend doing away with proportionality review? There is no reason, legally, to have it and it has been a disaster, cost wise, with no benefit.

    Secondly, the Commission states: “Nevertheless, consistent with the Commission’s findings, recent studies in states such as Tennessee, Kansas, Indiana, Florida and North Carolina have all concluded that the costs associated with death penalty cases are significantly higher than those associated with life without parole cases. These studies can be accessed through the Death Penalty Information Center.” (Report, page 33).

    On many topics the Death Penalty Information Center has been one of the most deceptive or one sided anti death penalty groups in the country. While it is not surprising that the Commission would give them as a reference, multiple times, it doesn’t speak well of the Commission.

    Did the Commission read any of the studies referenced by the DPIC? It appears doubtful, or the Commission would not have referenced them.

    For example, let’s look at the North Carolina (Duke University) study. That cost study compared the cost of only a twenty year “life sentence” to the death penalty. Based upon that study, a true life without parole sentence would be more costly than the death penalty. Somehow the Commission missed that rather important fact.

    These types of irresponsible and misleading references by the Commission do nothing to inspire any confidence in their findings, but do reinforce the opinion that their conclusions were predetermined.

    Please see “Cost Comparisons: Death Penalty Cases Vs Equivalent Life Sentence Cases”, to follow.

    3) There is increasing evidence that the death penalty is inconsistent with evolving standards of decency.


    The Commission uses several references to prove their point. None of them succeeded.

    – The first was based upon polling in New Jersey. The data showed strong support for executions in NJ, except when asking those polled to choose between a life sentence or a death sentence, for which life gets greater support. The major problem with this long standing and misleading polling question is that it has nothing to do with the legal reality of sentencing. Secondly, that poll shows broad support for BOTH sanctions, not a call to abandon either. The Commission, somehow, overlooked that obvious point.

    Jurors have the choice of both sentences in states with the death penalty and life without parole. Therefore, a proper polling question for NJ would be,

    A) should we eliminate the death penalty and ONLY have life without parole? or
    B) should we give jurors the OPTION of choosing life or death in capital murder cases?

    Based upon other polls, I suspect B would be the resounding winner of this poll in NJ.

    Secondly, the Commissions polling speaker avoided the most obvious and reliable polling question on this topic – asking about the punishment for a specific crime, just as jurors have to decide. For example, 81% of Americans supported the execution of Timothy McVeigh. 85% of Connecticut citizens polled supported the execution of serial rapist/murderer Michael Ross.

    Thirdly, poll New Jersey citizens with the following questions. Is life without parole or the death penalty the most appropriate punishment for those who rape and murder children? Or should NJ remove the death penalty as a jury option for those who rape and murder children?

    – Two religious speakers spoke against execution. Both are easily rebutted by religious scholars holding different views.

    – Another alleged example of this evolving standard is based upon the fact there has been a reduction in death sentences. Such reduction is easily explained by a number of factors, other than some imagined “evolving standard of decency”.

    Murders have dropped some 40%, capital murders have likely dropped by even a greater number, based upon other factors. This, by itself, explains the overwhelming percentage of the drop in death sentences.

    In addition, many prosecutors, such as those in NJ, know that their courts will not allow executions, leading to prosecutorial frustration as a contributing factor in any reduction – not an evolving standard of decency, but an evolving and increasing frustration.

    Please review: “Why the reduction in death sentences?”, to follow.

    4) The available data do not support a finding of invidious racial bias in the application of the death penalty in New Jersey.


    In fact, there is no data to support any racial bias, invidious or otherwise. The Commission must have read the series of NJ studies.

    5) Abolition of the death penalty will eliminate the risk of disproportionality in capital sentencing.


    Yes, Commission, the abolition of all criminal sentences will eliminate the risk of disproportionality in all sentences, as well. This is hardly a rational reason to get rid of any sentence. Get rid of the expensive and unnecessary proportionality review.

    6) The penological interest in executing a small number of persons guilty of murder is not sufficiently compelling to justify the risk of making an irreversible error.


    – The risk to innocents is greater with life without parole than with the death penalty. See (1), above LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE.

    7) The alternative of Life imprisonment in a maximum security institution without the possibility of parole would sufficiently ensure public safety and address other legitimate social and penological interests, including the interests of the families of murder victims.


    This Commission statement is quite simply, false.

    – Life imprisonment puts more innocents at risk than does the death penalty.

    – Justice, just punishment, retribution and/or saving innocent lives, among others, are all legitimate social and penological interests all served by the death penalty.

    – 81% of Americans supported the execution of Timothy McVeigh. 85% of Connecticut citizens polled supported the execution of serial, rapist/murderer Michael Ross.

    The overwhelming majority of those polled did not have family members murdered.

    Is the Commission trying to tell us that a poll of NJ murder victim survivors would show a majority opposed to the death penalty? Of course not, that would be as absurd as the Commissions conclusions in this section.


    Almost without exception, The Commission accepted the standard anti death penalty position, without presenting the easily accessible rebuttal to that position.

    Enough said.


    NJ Death Penalty Study Commission

    It is alleged that the Commission had fair hearings, with both sides adequately presented.

    Alleged fair hearings mean nothing, if decisions are predetermined, as this one was.

    11 of the 13 committee members were either known or leaning anti death penalty. The contempt for and discounting of pro death penalty positions in both the hearings and final report confirm that.

    All the prosecutors on the Commission were up for reappointment – by the staunchly anti death penalty Governor. Would any of them sacrifice their livelihood to fight for the death penalty? Of course not and they did not.

    One committee member – one – was confirmable as pro death penalty.

    Most, if not all, of Committee Chairman Rev. Howard’s previous affiliations were anti death penalty.

    Rev. Howard’s fairness is best shown by the Commission’s final report, which was laughable in its exclusion of pro death penalty positions, positions which would have either overwhelmed or neutralized the anti death penalty, predetermined conclusions of the panel, had those pro death penalty positions been given a fair showing in that report – which they weren’t.

    The Commission hearings and final report were, as all show trials, a farce.

    copyright 2007 Dudley Sharp

    Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
    e-mail, 713-622-5491,
    Houston, Texas

    Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, C-Span, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS, BBC and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O’Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

    A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

    Pro death penalty sites


    www(dot) (Sweden)

    Comment by Dudley Sharp — November 16, 2007 @ 5:25 am

  4. Jimbo…….

    First I am not related to Dudley Sharp, what a piece of work he posted though , hats off to him.

    Second regarding the sale of the Parkway & Turnpike….this is just plain asinine, don`t they have a New Jersey department of Highways & Transportation, what do the workers there have to say about this?

    In a similar vein the City of Erie where I live once owned all the conduits (Tunnels & Infrastruture)in the downtown business district which the public utilities used to rent access to & agreed to maintain their respective equipment, lines & piping. This used to be a significant impact to the funding of the yearly city operational expense budgets, Almost like found money.

    We had a mayor who determined it was wise to sell these conduits to the utilities so as to balance a budgetary shortfall. Of course there was a temporary increase in utility billing to pay for this & the budget was balanced. Today the temporary increase has never been rescinded, in fact one of the standard excuses for projected increases is conduit maintainance. The income the city once recieved from the utilities is long gone & the city is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Oh yeah,the mayor was a Democrat ….one of those still touted as an example of Democratic progress.

    Comment by dudley1 — November 16, 2007 @ 1:26 pm

  5. A week… what took them so long?

    Comment by Teresa — November 16, 2007 @ 3:58 pm

  6. Dudley,
    The Parkway and Turnpike are run by a separate agency, which was merged from The NJ Parkway Authority and The NJ Turnpike Authority. These two agencies were born in the late 40’s with the sole purpose of building the Turnpike (dedicated to getting commercial traffic off local highways) and, then, the Garden State Parkway, which was designed to move North Jersey traffic more efficiently to the Jersey Shore. They were autonomous agencies. They could float their own bonds, award contracts. etc. The agencies did not fall under the NJ Highway Authority. Sooooo, they became larger, and larger, AND became political dumping grounds for the “polically connected. They were, in effect, their own little world. Some of that has changed, but, I believe they are still not included under the NJ DOT umbrella. I wonder what the unions associated with the “Authority” are going to say about the sale? Heh.

    Comment by Jerry K — November 16, 2007 @ 5:38 pm

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