Friday, May 22, 2015

NJ Watchdog: Gifts to Gov. Christie are not 'gifts,' rules AG




Gifts to Gov. Christie are not 'gifts,' rules NJ attorney general

In New Jersey, a gift is not a gift – particularly if you’re the governor and your subordinates interpret ethics rules in your favor. For example:

  • Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones flew Gov. Chris Christie and his family to Texas on a charter plane to be his guests in a VIP luxury box at a football game in January.
  • Billionaire casino owner Sheldon G. Adelson provided a private jet to fly the New Jersey governor and his clan to Israel in 2012.
  • King Abdullah of Jordan picked up a $30,000 hotel tab for Christie and his entourage during the same trip.
Yet none of those favors are considered “gifts” the governor is required to publicly report – thanks to a pretzel-logic legal opinion issued last week by his political appointee, Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman.

The opinion enabled Christie to report he received no gifts during 2014 – just as he has since taking office in 2010.

The governor and other state officials are supposedly required to disclose all sources of income, including “honoraria, lecture fees, gifts and other gratuities (cash or non-cash) and other miscellaneous sources of income” in annual financial statements filed with the State Ethics Commission, as required by Executive Order 24.

But according to a six-page opinion from Hoffman, a gift does not have to be reported unless it is a gratuity – such as “money received for performing a service” or “items received in return for performing some service, such as speaking at an event.”

The bottom line, strange but true: Christie does not have to report the favors as gifts unless it can be shown he did something in exchange for them.

The full story is online at http://watchdog.org/220132/christie-gifts-nj/.

Agree That Public Transit is Vital to NJ's Future? Join Us & Make Your Voice Heard





Public transit plays a key role in NJPP's vision of a better New Jersey.


It's a New Jersey where many more people use trains, buses and light rail. It's a New Jersey with cleaner air and a stronger economy, with even more vibrant cities and less congested streets. It's a New Jersey where tickets and fares are affordable - where riding public transit is not a luxury item for some and a heavy burden for those who have no other options.

That's why we, along with our friends at Environment New Jersey and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, have put together a new broad-based coalition: to bring a renewed focus and new sense of urgency to the critical need to adequately invest in public transit.

The coalition, New Jersey For Transit, launched last week and has been all over the Garden State this week, bringing folks from our 19 member organizations to protest NJ Transit's latest plan to raise fares and cut services at the agency's public hearings.

We're speaking out against the fare hikes, asking lawmakers to fix New Jersey's broken transportation-funding structure and insisting that the state devote more resources to public transit.

If you, like us, think that reliable and affordable public transit is essential to New Jersey's economy, its environment and its everyday working people, join us.

Tell NJ Transit to stop this fare hike and tell your legislators to devote adequate resources to public transit.

The time to weigh in on NJ Transit's plan is running out; the public comment period ends tonight at midnight. Click here to make your voice heard (follow the link for "Online Contact Form").

Click here to find us on Twitter, here to read about what we're doing and why, and email me if you'd like more information. Thanks.

Sincerely,

Jon Whiten
Deputy Director


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pallone Questions CPSC on Dangers of Crumb Rubber, Gets Commitment for Federal Efforts

Questions Follow Concerning Reports of Potential Connection between Cancer and Crumb Rubber in Synthetic Turf Playing Fields

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, at the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee hearing, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Ranking Member of the committee, questioned Elliot Kaye, Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), on the risks of using recycled rubber tire crumbs in synthetic turf fields. With Chairman Kaye’s response, Pallone got clarity that a 2008 statement from CPSC that fields filled with crumb rubber are “OK to install, OK to play on” does not reflect the current views of the Commission, and a commitment to continue their work with federal agencies to review the issue.

There have been concerning reports regarding young athletes who have played on synthetic turf athletic fields containing crumb rubber being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and other blood cancers. While the compiled lists of cases in the reports are acknowledged not to equate to a scientific study, the potential link is disconcerting and requires further investigation.

“The reports of children who have blood cancers who have also been playing on fields containing crumb rubber shout for the need to ask questions and increased research into this potential link,” said Congressman Pallone. “I am glad that in today’s hearing I was able to get clarity from the Consumer Product Safety Commission that they too believe more research is necessary and that they are committed to continue working to ensure youth athletes playing on these fields are protected.”





This past October, Pallone wrote to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to ask the agency to conduct an official study to examine whether synthetic turf athletic fields increase the risk of lymphoma, leukemia, and other blood cancers. The text of the letter is available HERE. In the agency’s reply they stated that they are supporting efforts by the CPSC in this area.


NJ Vietnam Veterans' Memorial To Host Memorial Day Ceremony, May 25



Holmdel, N.J. (May 19, 2015) — The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation will hold a Memorial Day Ceremony Monday, May 25 at 11 a.m. The Vietnam Era Museum and Educational Center will be open to the public free of charge from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Maj. General (USAF Ret.) Clark Martin will preside over the Memorial Day Ceremony. The program will include a presentation of wreaths by various area organizations, music by The RockNRoll Chorus, a presentation of colors by the NJ National Guard Medical Command, an invocation by Joe Formola, Chaplain of the New Jersey State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America and Dylan De Simone, grandson of Alfred De Simone who is honored on the Memorial, will recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

During the ceremony, the New Jersey Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Foundation will award two scholarships to high school seniors from New Jersey who plan to further their education either at a college, university or trade/technical school. This year’s scholarship recipients are Ian Lettire of Phillipsburg High School and Allison Smith of Newton High School.

An “In Memory” program will honor those who served in Vietnam and returned home, but later died as a result of their tour. This year, six names will be inducted: Frank C. Moranz of Jersey City, NJ; Francisco T. Primiano of Old Bridge, NJ; John L. Patryk of Mt. Ephraim, NJ; Franklin A. Re of Cranford, NJ; Frank Tarantino, Jr. of Roselle Park, NJ; and Frank Farrell of Freehold, NJ. Visitors can also see the newly installed pavers on our Memorial Walkway and Huey Plaza. Any pavers purchased within the last year are now installed.

The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial is located at 1 Memorial Lane in Holmdel, NJ (Exit 116 PNC Bank Arts Center). For more information, visit www.njvvmf.org.

About New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation
The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation offers a meaningful and engaging experience that recognizes the sacrifice, courage and valor of Vietnam Veterans and encourages and fosters a thorough understanding of the Vietnam Era including the political, historical, social, cultural and military aspects, which affected the United States, and especially New Jersey.

The Foundation operates and manages the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial and the adjacent Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center located at 1 Memorial Lane off Exit 116 (PNC Bank Arts Center) in Holmdel, NJ. The Memorial honors all those who served our country and state during the Vietnam War, especially the 1,563 New Jerseyans who did not return home. It is a powerful and fitting tribute to their sacrifice. The Memorial is open 24 hours, seven days a week. The Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center is the first educational center and museum of its kind in the United States. Dedicated in September 1998, the Museum is devoted solely to gaining an understanding of the conflict in Southeast Asia and the surrounding political strife in America. For hours and directions, visit www.njvvmf.org.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Thorne Middle School To Honor Local Veterans For Memorial Day

For Immediate Release:
5/19/15


To honor local veterans for Memorial Day, the staff and children of Thorne Middle School will gather at 9:00 AM on Thursday, May 21 for a traditional Memorial Day ceremony.

Following the ceremony, there will be a special performance tribute to the history of the USO inside and a screening of a touching video about Edith Thorne Lentz Nowels, who died in April.

Nowels was the sister of local World War II hero Corporal Horace “Buddy” Thorne, for whom the school was named in 1962.

“Edith was instrumental in the school receiving the Battle of the Bulge monument from Fort Monmouth. She was a driving force behind everything that Thorne has done to honor Veterans past and present,” says Thorne Middle School Principal Tom Olausen.

Before she died, Nowels was busy working on a new project, researching to find all Thorne alumni who lost their lives while serving in the military so a second monument to honor them could be placed at the school.

One such hero was Army First Lieutenant Dennis Zilinski, 101st Airborne Division – Thorne Class of 1996. Lieutenant Zilinski was killed during combat operations in Iraq in 2005.

The Zilinski family will be on hand this Thursday when the school announces the plan for a future monument.

Lt. Zilinski’s family is thankful to Nowels. “I know Dennis would be honored to be remembered alongside Corporal Thorne and other local heroes,” said his mother Marion Zilinski. “Dennis loved his country, and he loved his home town. We are very grateful to the Edith and the school for keeping his memory alive and making the sacrifice of our local veterans relevant for generations to come.”

Lt. Dennis Zilinski II grew up in Middletown, NJ.

All veterans are welcome to attend the event.

APP EDITORIAL: Don't scrap full-service gas stations


Show of hands, who wants to pump their own gas?? I sure don't and the editors at the Asbury Park Press feel the same:
A bill will be introduced in the state Assembly next month that would lead to the elimination of full-service gasoline within three years. The bill's sponsor, Declan O'Scanlon, R-Monmouth, says the bill would eliminate inconvenient waits at the pump.
Drivers in New Jersey may soon be pumping their own gas if a bill to be introduced next month by Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon, R-Monmouth, becomes law. 
Show of hands: How many of you would prefer to have an attendant fill up your tank for you, particularly in lousy weather? If you raised your hand, you're in the majority. A 2012 Fairleigh Dickinson University/PublicMind found that 63 percent of New Jerseyans want to keep full-service pumps. 
Under O'Scanlon's proposed bill, which would be similar to self-service legislation introduced by state Sens. Gerald Cardinale and Paul Sarlo, the act of pumping your own gas would be decriminalized and self-service islands would be authorized. Gas stations would be required to operate at least one full service gas pump island for three years, and gas retailers would be allowed to charge a lower price at the self-service pumps. 
The main reason cited by O'Scanlon for changing the law is that it would eliminate inconvenient waits at the pump. Others supporting a change say it would help reduce gasoline prices — a claim that has not been born out by the 48 states that have self-serve. 
If long waits at the pump are a problem at some service stations, the solution is a simple one: take your business to a service station where you don't have to wait. Gas stations aren't monopolies. Consumers have plenty of choices....
Continue Reading...

Open Letter to Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon : Pump Your own Gas



Dear Assemblyman O’Scanlon:

I recently read an article in the APP by Larry Higgs about your proposed bill to end self-serve ban. It quoted you as saying, "it is the right thing to do". Why is it the right thing to do?

I was under the impression that one of NJ's main goals was to create jobs and keep its residents employed. Once you take these jobs away they will not be recovered.

Below are just a few questions that I have for you. I would like to get your answers to these questions so that I can understand why “it is the right thing to do”.

What jobs have you created for the tax payers?
Wouldn’t it be a more efficient use of your time to work on creating jobs?
What will happen to these employees once you toss them on the unemployment line?
Will they go to State paid job training because you took their jobs away?
What will happen to our seniors and disabled who may be forced to pay the higher price?
How have you conducted research to determine that the citizens want to see this happen?
Why are you taking away a business owners right to conduct business the way he or she see’s fit?

I believe this is wrong for New Jersey and am looking forward to your answers to the above questions and your rationale as to not leave well enough alone.

Respectfully,

Inathe M. Saliani
Middletown, NJ

FEMA Begins Flood Insurance Review Process Stemming From Fraud Reports



Notification Process Follows Pallone Letter Calling for Notification to Flood Insurance Policyholders

WASHINGTON, DC – The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) today announced that it has begun a process requested by Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) to review flood insurance claims filed by policyholders affected by Hurricane Sandy. In March, Pallone sent a letter to FEMA requesting that it establish a process allowing homeowners to easily file an appeal if they believe they have been a victim of an intentionally altered engineering report.

Allegations surfaced earlier this year that private insurance companies denied the flood insurance claims of thousands of homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy because of fraudulently altered engineering reports. In addition to the letter, Pallone recently met with Brad Kieserman, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance at FEMA, to discuss the allegations. In the meeting, Pallone stressed the importance of FEMA establishing a notification process in a timely fashion and the need for adequate staff to address corrective action.

“I am pleased that FEMA has moved forward to inform Sandy victims about the widespread fraud related to engineering reports connected to flood insurance claims and to ensure the victims get the resources they are rightfully owed,” said Congressman Pallone. “Sandy victims have already suffered enough, and I thank FEMA for responding to my letter with swift action.”

FEMA will send a letter to all NFIP policyholders who filed flood insurance claims pursuant to Hurricane Sandy. Policyholders who incurred losses from Hurricane Sandy from Oct. 27, 2012, through Nov. 6, 2012, and want their claim reviewed may contact FEMA. Letters will be sent on a rolling basis in the coming weeks.

As of May 15, 2015, 74,052 NFIP claims had been filed in New Jersey stemming from Sandy damage. Many Sandy victims are suing their insurance companies for perceived underpayments or denials, but the vast majority of those who have filed NFIP claims are likely unaware of the recently uncovered fraud in which engineering reports have been intentionally doctored.

The letter Pallone wrote to FEMA in March can be read HERE.

Pallone Statement on Limiting Military Surplus Equipment Transfers to Police Departments





WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today made the following statement on President Obama’s announcement regarding the limiting of military surplus equipment transfers to local police departments. Pallone called for the effectiveness and negative impacts of this program to be looked into when it first became clear how widespread it had become.
“President Obama’s move to limit the transfer of surplus military equipment to local police departments is an encouraging and much-needed reform. When weapons are used by local police that were designed for our military to fight terrorists, it will antagonize more than it will build trust, which is what we need a lot more of right now. We are clearly at a crossroads where building trust and easing tensions between law enforcement and minority communities can help positively define American policing going forward, and I applaud the President for taking us in that direction.”

Saturday, May 16, 2015

President Obama's Weekly Address 5/16/15: Creating Opportunity for All

In this week’s address, the President highlighted the importance of expanding opportunity for all Americans -- a principle that has guided his work throughout the past six years. This past week, the President attended a summit at Georgetown University where he discussed issues like poverty and inequality, and what we can do to ensure everyone gets a fair shot. We’ve seen real results in this area, but there is still more that can be done. And lack of opportunity is not the only barrier to success. That’s why, on Monday, the President will travel to Camden, New Jersey to visit with local law enforcement, meet with young people, and hear directly about efforts to build trust between the police and the community in a city that has faced one of the highest crime rates in America.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Looking for answers for eroding Women’s Rights….

By Retha Onitiri, PMP
Chair Monmouth County Democratic Women’s Caucus

We’ve all heard the expression, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Yet, the Republican-dominated U.S. House recently attempted to overturn the pragmatic Reproductive Health Non Discrimination Act (RHNDA), an amendment to the Human Rights Act of 1977, which was enacted to protect women in the District of Columbia from being fired for their choices to use birth control, in-vitro fertilization or abortion.

Last week’s House Committee vote on HJ Res-43 was a “resolution of disapproval”—and the first time in 23 years that members of Congress had gotten this far in the process of trying to overturn this local D.C. law. HJ Res-43 also applies to another “resolution of disapproval” on the Human Rights Amendment Act (HRAA) which protects LGBT student groups from discrimination at religiously affiliated schools. Most of us agree….this is a whole lot that “doesn’t need fixin’.”

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, criticized the House for passing HJ Res-43 saying, “RHNDA is a common-sense bill passed unanimously by the D.C. City Council years ago to ensure that bosses cannot intrude upon decisions made in their employees’ exam rooms....just as politicians in Congress should not be intruding upon the District’s efforts to enact it.”

“Yielding to pressure by right-wing caucus members and outside groups who claim that RHNDA limits religious liberty suggests that GOP lawmakers are hypocritical for voting to overturn this law, given their party’s stance on reducing big government in favor of local control,” stated Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D—D.C.) She added that “the resumption of the war on women by Republicans, combined with the overturning of a local law by the House, will not be lost on the public.”

In addition to the overturn of RHNDA, which would result in more unplanned births, we cannot dismiss the fact that aggressive Republican budget cuts put low and middle income women in the crossfire of how to use their meager incomes to provide substantive healthcare, child care and education for those children.

Clearly, there is a great chasm in our country. We must ask WHY? If we are allowed to plan workdays, holidays and vacations but not allowed to plan Parenthood, we must ask WHY? If men and women cannot determine when and how many children they can afford, taking into account their personal resources, we must ask WHY? If a woman is required to answer to her employer in regard to her reproductive health decisions and a male employee is not, WHY? A doctor/patient relationship has always been protected, but women’s rights are now under siege, WHY?

Busy fixin’ women’s reproductive healthcare, our GOP lawmakers not only waste the time, energy and resources that brought them to Washington in the first place, but also impede the efforts of other elected officials from resolving some of the nation’s looming crises—income inequality, lack of job training programs, high college tuition debt, racial violence in our cities, immigration reform, inexcusable lack of good gun sense, global warming, to name a few. Could this distraction become so overpowering that real problems remain unfixable? Most of us agree…..there is a whole lot that
“does need fixin’.”

Let’s start by sending loud and clear messages to lawmakers who waste our taxpayer dollars. Tell them that finding solutions to the real problems, rather than using partisan tactics to deflect from them, will keep our nation strong. HOW?

Vote in every election and ask your neighbors to vote. Write a letter, even two lines will do! Make a phone call—voice your opinion. There is nothing that we, as American citizens, cannot accomplish when we have the collective will to do it. We owe it to our future generations.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May 4, 2015 Middletown Township Committee Meeting


I haven't  had time yet to review the video from the May 4th Middletown Township workshop meeting, I intent to watch it in full over the next day. However, what I have seen of the video is shameful.

During the public hearing for the ordinance on naming new streets in town after former mayors, Linda Baum questioned whether it was a good idea to name streets after former mayors who were not directly elected by residents.  Her concerns were dismissed in a rather rude and unprofessional manner by both former mayor Tony Fiore and current mayor Stephanie Murray. They both attacked her, calling her objection to the ordinance political before voting to approve the ordinance.

Here is a short description of what else  took place.
  • The Administrator discussed the capital budget for 2015. 
  • Ordinances were adopted to provide new street names consisting of past mayors.
  • Approving new stop intersections by Ideal Beach and 
  • Reorganize the structure of the police department.



As always, you can download a copy of the Meeting Agenda that contains the discussion items and the proposed resolutions and ordinances that were voted on or presented during the meeting. A box around an item is a link, bringing you further into the document to that resolution or ordinance. At the end of the resolution there will be a link bringing you back to the agenda. Attached to this agenda is also the monthly bill list, so that everyone can see how the Township is spending our tax dollars.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Pallone, Menendez Visit Crumbling Bridge in Perth Amboy, Highlight Critical Need for Long-term Infrastructure Funding




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2015

PERTH AMBOY, NJ – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D NJ-06) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today joined transportation advocates and labor leaders to call on Congress to approve long-term, dedicated funding to repair and upgrade the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Funding for critical highway, transit and safety programs will expire at the end of the month, and the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) faces insolvency by summer.

“The sooner Republicans join Democrats to take responsibility for repairing our country’s transportation system the less it will cost to maintain in the future,” said Congressman Pallone. “With thousands of crumbling roads and bridges, the need for renewal of the Highway Trust Fund and a commitment to robust investment in infrastructure is two-fold – a boost to the economy and job creation, along with the long-term safety and health of our transportation system. The time is now for this vital investment.”

“The ability to move people and goods safely and efficiently is critical to our economy and our quality of life,” said Senator Menendez. “We can’t keep pretending the problem is going to resolve itself if we just wait long enough. I categorically reject the idea that we can’t afford to fix our transportation system. We can’t afford not to fix it.”

The federal lawmakers stood along a structurally deficient Rte. 35 Bridge over County Road 624/Rte. 440 Connector in Perth Amboy, one of over 2,300 bridges in New Jersey deemed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to be deficient.

First built in 1960 and carrying 22,000 cars daily, the span is scheduled for full structural replacement by the N.J. Dept. of Transportation in its FY2016 capital plan. However, if the HTF goes bankrupt this summer, reimbursements to states for critical highway repairs and transit projects like this will be reduced or slowed.

Sen. Menendez and Rep. Pallone also stressed the need for greater infrastructure investment in roads, rail and transit, including replacing the two aging Hudson River rail tunnels that also sustained significant damage from Superstorm Sandy.

Attending today’s press conference were: Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex); Joseph McNamara of the New Jersey Laborers Union; Erin Rice of the Operating Engineers, Local 825; Daniel Ortega of the Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative; Janna Chernetz of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign; Dr. Patrick Szary of the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT); Andres Roda of the Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural Testing Lab (BEAST) at CAIT; and Tracy E. Noble and Cathleen Lewis of AAA Mid-Atlantic.


Infrastructure: By the Numbers

Highways/Bridges
· 65% of major roads in America in poor condition
· 1 in 4 U.S. bridges need significant repair
· Highways and bridges face an $808.2 billion backlog of investment needs
· $121 billion and 2.9 billion gallons of gasoline wasted due to traffic

Transit
· Zero access to public transportation for nearly half of Americans
· $86 billion backlog of transit maintenance needs
· $18.5 billion a year through 2030 required to bring transit assets into state of good repair

Freight/Ports
· 52,000,000 tons of goods annually moved across U.S. transportation system
· $46 billion in freight transported across the U.S. each year
· 44 million jobs directly dependent upon U.S. freight industry

Economy/Jobs
· The American Society of Civil Engineers found that the economy could lose almost $1 trillion in business sales and lose 3.5 million jobs annually beginning in 2020 if we fail to build our infrastructure to keep pace with this growth.
· An estimated 36,000 jobs are supported by every $1 billion invested in public infrastructure.

Safety
· 33,561 lives lost in highway crashes in 2012.
· 2.3 million people injured in highway crashes in 2012.
· Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.
· Pedestrian and bicycle deaths have risen in recent years and accounted for 16 percent of the total fatalities on U.S. roadways in 2012.

Source: USDOT


NJ Watchdog: Christie buys $300K of food & booze with expense account




Big appetite: Christie buys $300K of food & booze with NJ expense account

Chris Christie's expense account tells a story of appetite and ambition, one that pits government waste versus the New Jersey governor's waistline.

Christie spent $360,000 from his state allowance during his five years in office. More than 80 percent of that money, or $300,000, was used to buy food, alcohol and desserts, according to a New Jersey Watchdog analysis of records released by the governor’s office.

The full story is online http://watchdog.org/217942/christie-nj-expense-account.

By Mark Lagerkvist | New Jersey Watchdog
Chris Christie’s expense account tells a story of appetite and ambition, one that pits government waste versus the New Jersey governor’s waistline.

Christie spent $360,000 from his state allowance during his five years in office. More than 80 percent of that money, or $300,000, was used to buy food, alcohol and desserts, according to a New Jersey Watchdog analysis of records released by the governor’s office.

In addition to his $175,000 a year salary, the governor receives $95,000 a year in expense advances, paid quarterly by the state. In the state budget, it is listed as “an allowance of funds not otherwise appropriated and used for official receptions on behalf of the state, the operation of an official residence, for other expenses.”

While Christie returns surplus funds to the state each year, Treasury officials say he does not submit receipts or accounting for the public monies he spends. The governor’s ledger, obtained from Christie under the Open Public Records Act, offers a rare, if partial glimpse of a controversial expense account shrouded in secrecy.

Christie’s most notable spending spree occurred during the 2010 and 2011 NFL football seasons at MetLife Stadium, where the New York’s Giants and Jets play their home games. New Jersey’s governor traditionally enjoys free use of luxury boxes for games and other events at the government-owned venue, but food and beverages cost extra.

On 58 occasions, Christie used a debit card to pay a total of $82,594 to Delaware North Sportservice, which operates the concessions at MetLife. The governor’s office did not provide any receipts, business reasons or names of individuals entertained, but defended the expense....

Letter: Make All Food Sold In Public Buildings Vegan & Gluteen -Free

The expressed opinions or views of this letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MiddletownMike blog:


Dear Editor,

To promote a healthier New Jersey, I propose requiring all food and beverages sold on New Jersey K-12, Public College campuses and inside all public buildings to be vegan, gluten-free and produced in New Jersey.

Each packaged food and beverage label should also be required to carry the phone number of a statewide call center for heroin treatment services.

It is time the state steps up to lead by example on better health, fighting addiction and bringing jobs back to New Jersey.



Eric Hafner
Toms River