Wednesday, October 21, 2015

NJ Watchdog: Assembly incumbents run from $194 B debt

With an election for New Jersey Assembly two weeks away, the numbers don’t look good for the fiscal reform desperately needed in Trenton.

The staggering $194 billion debt for public employee pension and health benefits is seldom debated in campaigns for the 80 Assembly seats up for grabs on Nov. 3.

The status quo is a 47 to 32 advantage for Democrats over Republicans with one seat vacant – a balance not likely to change much. The incumbents have outspent challengers $10 million to $2.2 million – according to a report by a New Jersey election commission.

Even more lopsided, the incumbents enjoyed a 10-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage – $5.2 million to $496,000 – over their opponents, as of Oct. 2.

That big edge in campaign finances helps them run for re-election while running away from their failure to solve New Jersey’s deep debt dilemma. The Assembly has been in recess since June – a spell approaching four months.

None of the New Jersey Senate’s 40 seats are on the Nov. 3 ballot. The next statewide election will be in 2017, when Christie's second and final term expires.

The complete story is online at

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