Chris Christie

In 2016, Vision Matters More Than Experience

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/The_Bosses_of_the_Senate_by_Joseph_Keppler.jpg

Though it seems this election season started the morning after the 2014 midterms, last night marked just the second state to have cast votes for a presidential nominee. Historically, Americans have rarely chosen senators as their presidents, turning instead to governors (or generals) with a leadership record that can be examined. But this is no ordinary election year.

On the Democrat side, the only remaining candidates (not that they had many in the first place, with the DNC telegraphing a coronation) are former Senator (and Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton, and sitting Senator Bernie Sanders. On the Republican side, the current frontrunners are casino mogul Donald Trump, and Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio (though the last is a huge question mark after a disappointing fifth-place finish in New Hampshire).

If You’re a Gun Owner, and You Live in New Jersey, I Have One Suggestion: Move

keepandbeararms

New Jersey, or New Germany, as my friend from the Garden State likes to call it, just ruined another innocent man’s life. Steffan Josie-Davis is the latest victim of New Jersey’s archaic gun laws.

Steffan was just a young man trying to make an honest living. In 2013, Steffan was working as an armed security guard. As you might expect, the security company provided him with a handgun – a 9mm Smith and Wesson - for work.  

According to the article, Steffan was in his garage inspecting some of his gear before work when his 6-year-old sister came into the garage. Not wanting her to see the gun, Steffan placed it in his glove compartment. However, before he left, Steffan forgot to remove the gun from this glove compartment.

Shortly after he left his apartment, Steffan was pulled over by the police for suspicion of an expired registration. When Steffan went to retrieve the registration from his glove compartment, he found his gun. He immediately informed the officers of the situation. The officers took his gun, gave him two tickets for the vehicle, and then informed Steffan that he could pick up his gun at the police station the next day.

When Steffan went to retrieve his gun from the station, he was promptly arrested by officers and charged with felony possession of a firearm – a crime that carries a five-year minimum jail sentence.

Let that sink in. This young man was subject to a five-year jail sentence for just possessing a firearm. Unfortunately, this type of nonsense is to be expected from the unjust New Jersey justice system.

It’s happening: Republican campaigns prefer Rand Paul in 2016 over Jeb Bush and other establishment candidates

Rand Paul 2016

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul tops another list of popular 2016 Republican candidates in an unscientific survey by POLITICO.

More than 25 Republican campaign managers and strategists working on races this year named Paul over Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and others as their top pick for President.

From the story:

POLITICO put the question in recent weeks to more than 25 GOP campaign managers, strategists and aides in competitive races across the country. Though it was not a scientific survey, their responses offered clues about which potential presidential hopefuls have the most cachet with down-ballot Republicans right now — and why.

Operatives mentioned Paul more than any other prospective 2016 candidate. Christie followed — despite the fallout from the so-called Bridgegate traffic scandal — thanks largely to his continued fundraising prowess. In the next tier were Walker and Ted Cruz, whose diverging styles each appeal to segments of the GOP. After them, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio each got multiple nods. It all speaks to the rowdy selection process that lies ahead for the party in 2016 – and, in the meanwhile, the menu of prominent supporters available to candidates on the 2014 map.

Senator Paul’s grasp of the issues, fundraising prowess, and Senate profile are all reasons cited by strategists and staffers — anonymously in most cases, so as not to isolate themselves and their respective campaigns from other potential 2016 contenders.

Ted Cruz picks a winner in Paul-Christie spat

After harsh words were exchanged between Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Gov. Christie, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said in an interview that not much has changed since Rand Paul’s historical filibuster: he still stands with Rand.

“I disagree with Chris Christie when he said that the protections of the Bill of Rights and the privacy of the American people are esoteric and academic,” Sen. Cruz told National Review Online. “I am proud to stand with my friend Rand, I don’t think the protections of the Bill of Rights, I don’t think individual liberty is an esoteric concept.”

According to the Texas Republican, Gov. Chris Christie has been doing a good job in a state that was never historically too friendly to Republicans but that alone doesn’t mean Cruz and Christie agree on much else.

When asked if he would be on Christie’s side if he decided to run in 2016, Sen. Cruz declined to answer by claiming it’s “far too early to be speculating on 2016 presidential candidates.”

Governor Chris Christie Delays Signing Medical Marijuana Bill

Chris Christe

UPDATE: Today, Governor Christie sent the bill making changes to New Jersey’s medical marijuana program back to the legislature.  Christie has said he will sign the bill if changes are made that will require both a physician and pediatrician to sign off on the prescription, and that edible forms of medical marijuana will be made available only to qualifying minors.

Medical marijuana is legal in New Jersey. Former governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine, signed a medical marijuana bill into law on his last day in office, in January of 2010. Incoming Gov. Chris Christie delayed implementation of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program until July 2011 in order to put in place a regulatory structure that many claim is too strict and overly complicated.

In addition to the complicated existing structure for legal medical marijuana imposed by Gov. Christie, he is sitting on a bill passed in June to allow use of certain low THC strains of medical marijuana to be used by children, along with loosening some of the unduly restrictive regulations for adult use.

The bill, which passed both New Jersey legislative Houses with bipartisan support, would make several changes to the existing program. It would reduce the number of doctors required to recommend medical marijuana from three to one, and remove the requirement that (one) needs to be a psychiatrist. It would allow edible forms of medical marijuana to be made available for children. Lastly, it would remove the restriction that only three strains of marijuana be grown in New Jersey for medical purposes.

Cory Booker: The Drug War Is “Big Overgrown Government At Its Worst”

Cory Booker

Newark Mayor Cory Booker has made headlines in recent years for his dedication to responding to citizen complaints via social media, for rescuing a neighbor from a house fire, and for assisting one of his bodyguards in helping a car accident victim.

Indeed, his heroism become the subject of an amusing video with Governor Chris Christie that was part of the state’s annual political correspondents dinner. This past weekend, however, he made some headlines for what many people will likely consider controversial comments about the War On Drugs:

Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker took to Reddit Sunday to criticize the war on drugs, saying it was ineffective and “represents big overgrown government at its worst.”

“The so called War on Drugs has not succeeded in making significant reductions in drug use, drug arrests or violence,” the Democrat wrote during the Reddit “ask me anything” chat. “We are pouring huge amounts of our public resources into this current effort that are bleeding our public treasury and unnecessarily undermining human potential.”

Booker then called drug arrests a “game.”

“My police in Newark are involved in an almost ridiculous game of arresting the same people over and over again and when you talk to these men they have little belief that there is help or hope for them to break out of this cycle,” he wrote.

Here’s exactly how Booker put it in his Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session:

Chris Christie - The War on Drugs is a ‘failure’

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the latest in a slowly growing number of politicians who is admitting what millions of Americans already know - that the policy of incarcerating millions of drug users is extremely illogical and counterproductive.  Christie joins fellow Garden State politician Cory Booker who recently took to Twitter to decry the so-called “War on Drugs,” which, by any reasonable standard, is a war that has been a utter disaster.

In Christie’s view, the state of New Jersey would be far better off providing treatment for drug abusers than it is “warehousing addicted people.”  By the Governor’s math, incarceration costs the state $49,000 a year as opposed to $24,000 for treatment.  While one can debate whether taxpayers should be footing the bill to provide such treatment, it’s surely a significant improvement over a mindset that sees abusers as felons to be punished, rather than patients who need help.

Christie is remarkable for being one of the few Republican figures to criticize the War on Drugs.  GOP nominee Mitt Romney has expressed his intention to fully continue the War on Drugs, even amp it up.  Newt Gingrich famously praised Singapore’s draconian policy of executing drug smugglers.

For many years, it is has been something that was hardly discussed by mainstream leaders.  So it is indeed encouraging to see more and more of them come to the understanding that the War on Drugs is doing immense harm.  We’ll see if this actually has any impact on policy.

Profiles in Liberty: Steve Lonegan of Americans for Prosperity - New Jersey

Steve Lonegan runs the New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity and is a former three-term mayor of Bogota.

During Mayor Lonegan’s time in office, Bogota’s municipal spending remained constant for all 12 years.  Lonegan stood up to powerful public sector unions while keeping debt and tax increases far below inflation, despite massive state mandates and aid reductions. Lonegan set the model for how conservative mayors across the country should govern.

In addition, Lonegan ran for Governor twice and was defeated in 2009 by current Gov. Chris Christie.

You can follow Lonegan on Twitter @lonegan.

Steve Lonegan

Matt Naugle: I first learned of you when you were Mayor of Bogota, New Jersey from the hilarious political documentary Anytown, USA. Did you like how you were portrayed in the movie and should people watch it on Netflix?

Steve Lonegan: This film gets a big “thumbs up!”

The moviemakers apparently intended to portray me as some kind of villain who was supposed to lose.  Instead I won a massive victory as a conservative Republican in a town that several years later gave Barack Obama 64% of the vote.  It shows that the way to win is to stand up for what you believe, not change your views based on what some pollster or political consultant says.

It should be required viewing for the Republican Party leadership.

MN: How did you become a conservative?

Chris Christie, NOOOOO!

Fudgeknuckles. You can never be happy with politicians as a libertarian—just when they look like they’re on the path to true limited government, free markets, and individual liberty, they come out with something stupid like this:

“I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman,” Christie said. “I wouldn’t sign a bill like the one that was in New York.”

That sound you are hearing is my head slamming into my desk at Warp Six.

I admit, I was becoming a fan of Chris Christie. The way he was socking it to the parasitical public unions in New Jersey was inspiring. Sure, he was not perfect—he probably could have cut back more in some areas—but considering political inertia, he was doing a tremendous job.

Naturally, while I’m feeling really great about this guy, he throws a social conservative curveball just to keep me a grumbling libertarian.

The article does state that he will push for civil unions in New Jersey, as if, “Well, he’s not so bad.” But it is, in fact, horrific: what Christie is saying is that he supports discrimination based on sexual orientation, a boundary that says “You are not like us, you cannot be like us, you cannot have the same rights and privileges as us.” That’s a very disturbing thought. What I don’t understand is how it meshes with the small government ethos of most conservatives. Let’s end regulation and meddling in the economy, let’s make government smaller, cheaper, and more efficient—but then try and wedge it into the bedroom?

Today in Liberty: Rand Paul targets nominee over drones memo, young Millennials offer hope for GOP

— Busy week on Capitol Hill: Republicans will hold a vote on a contempt resolution against disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner as well as hold a vote to call for a special prosecutor to investigate the tax agency’s targeting of conservative groups. The lower-chamber may also vote on a measure to establish a select committee on Benghazi. The Senate, however, is likely to vote on some sort of measure to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the only question of which is whether it’ll be binding or a nonbinding “Sense of the Senate” resolution.


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