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Re: Corzine Signs First Major Tax Reform Bills
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Does anyone know what percentage of real estate taxes are used to fund the schools?

Part of this discussion should focus on the education piece.

Jersey City officials (and Newark, for that matter) have proven time and again their utter inability to run a school system.

Another part of this bill that must be sending shudders up the spines of our otherwise spineless politicians:

"Impose mandatory prison and forfeiture of pension and retirement benefits for public workers and officials convicted of corruption crimes."

And, seriously, let's put convicted criminals on the school board. That outta fix things.

-M

Posted on: 2007/4/3 19:40
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Re: POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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Bread and circuses.
Smoke and mirrors.

Corzine endorses Hillary.
Corzine signs tax relief bill.

Politics as usual.
We'll all pay for it later.

Posted on: 2007/4/3 19:35
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Re: Corzine Signs First Major Tax Reform Bills
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Lets merge with Hoboken and pick out the best council guys from the two cities.
I would run naked around the town hall if this happened, and I believe this is a step in the right direction for our corrupt or mismanaged city. I've wanted this to happen for a long time and this would give honest politicians a bigger pool to get votes from - white collar professional, who I hope understand the importance of voting and selecting an honest and transparent administration.

Posted on: 2007/4/3 19:18
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Re: Corzine Signs First Major Tax Reform Bills
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Here's a new article on wnbc.com about the property tax relief which was signed into law today.

http://www.wnbc.com/politics/11511331/detail.html?dl=mainclick


I am being naive by thinking that my property taxes in Jersey City will go down?

Posted on: 2007/4/3 18:45
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Corzine Signs First Major Tax Reform Bills
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Corzine Signs First Major Tax Reform Bills

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Voters will be asked to merge towns, a new watchdog will investigate government spending, and corrupt officials will face mandatory jail and lose pensions under the first major property tax reform bills signed into law by Gov. Jon S. Corzine.

Corzine on Thursday signed the key pieces of the Legislature's seven-month effort to cut America's highest property taxes, but not the plan to cut property taxes by 20 percent for most homeowners. He said he will sign that bill in the coming weeks.

The laws he signed will:

Create a 22-member commission to ask voters annually to merge municipalities to try to cut local government costs. New Jersey has 566 municipalities, the most per square mile of any state. The panel's first report is due within two years of it being created.

Impose mandatory prison and forfeiture of pension and retirement benefits for public workers and officials convicted of corruption crimes.

Impose new school spending restrictions, including new rules on travel reimbursements (Ed: I suggest everyone start calling these the "Epps Rules" ); barring districts from redoing administrator contracts without public notice; giving the state power to revoke an administrator's certification if accounting practices aren't followed; and requiring the state to approve contract buy-outs for administrators.

Create a state comptroller to ferret out wasteful spending that critics contend promote high property taxes. The comptroller will be nominated by the governor for a six-year term and confirmed by the Senate.

Critics contend the final bill was watered down, but Corzine praised it Thursday.

"It gives us a lot of authority to do the things we need to do,'' Corzine said.

The office will have broad authority to conduct financial audits of all state agencies, local governments and school boards, along with ability to monitor and halt large contracts.

The office will cost $9 million to create. The governor said his staff is gathering names of potential nominees, but no job offers have been made.

TM & ? 2007 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries.

Posted on: 2007/3/16 3:27
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In today?s, January 20th, ?Political Insider? column by Agustin Torres, (not online yet) there is a small paragraph which he pinpoints perhaps our elected officials opposition to the Governor?s plan on property taxes (and benefit to JC citizens). Duel office holding is just a drop in the bucket (though symbolic), this is big dollars....

?They also are not happy with the 4 percent annual tax levy cap, which they call unrealistic if it does not provide for the increase of tax ratables, usually through development?

Posted on: 2007/1/20 15:17
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Re: POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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Let your legislators know how you feel - call, write, email. It makes a difference.

PS: I've always had a hard time finding contact info for our state legislators in one place, so I compiled the list below. If someone can correct any errors or add email addresses for these people, it would be appreciated.

----------------------------------

Jersey City - District 31
Ward A, Greenville, Voting Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35
Ward B, West Side, Voting Districts 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 31, 35
Ward C, Journal Square, Voting Districts 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28
Ward E, Downtown, Voting Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 15, 21, 23
Ward F, Bergen-Lafayette, Voting Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35

Senator: JOSEPH V. DORIA (Democrat)
District Office: 1738 Kennedy Blvd., Jersey City, NJ 07305 (201)-451-5100

Assemblyman: CHARLES T. EPPS (Democrat)
District Office: 1757 Kennedy Blvd., Jersey City, NJ 07305 (201)-200-1820

Assemblyman: LOUIS M. MANZO (Democrat)
District Office: 107 West Side Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07305 (201)-309-0770


Jersey City - District 32
Ward B, Westside, Voting Districts 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 26, 27, 30, 32, 33, 34
Ward C, Journal Square, Voting Districts 1, 3, 17, 18, 19, 30, 31, 32
Ward D, Hudson City, Voting Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35

Senator NICHOLAS J. SACCO (Democrat)
District Office: 9060 Palisade Ave., North Bergen, NJ 07047 (201)-295-0200

Assemblyman: VINCENT PRIETO (Democrat)
District Office: 1249 Paterson Plank Rd., Secaucus, NJ 07094 (201)-770-1303

Assemblywoman: JOAN M. QUIGLEY (Democrat)
District Office: The Hamilton Park Foundry, 242 Tenth Street, Suite 101 , Jersey City, NJ 07302 (201)-217-4614


Jersey City - District 33
Ward C, Journal Square, Voting Districts 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, 29
Ward E, Downtown, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22

Senator: BERNARD F. KENNY (Democrat)
District Office: 235 Hudson Street, Suite 1, Hoboken, NJ 07030 (201)-653-1466

Assemblyman: BRIAN P. STACK (Democrat)
District Office: 3715 Palisade Avenue, 3rd Floor, Union City, NJ 07087 (201)-330-3233

Assemblyman: SILVERIO A. VEGA (Democrat)
District Office: 303 58th St., West New York, NJ 07093 (201)-854-0900

Source: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/

Posted on: 2007/1/19 20:11
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Re: POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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I like Lou Manzo.Idon't know who is advising him but he is coming off as a shill for the HCDO.By being point man in favor of dual office holding he is ruining his reputation as a reformer.

Or he just wants to run for Mayor in 2009 and still stay on as our assemblyman.Either way he's just gone down a few notches in my book.

Posted on: 2007/1/19 16:38
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Re: POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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Quote:

DanL wrote:
Here is a thought and I am not sure if I am understanding it correctly-

If tax revenues are capped at 4% increases annually and,

Jersey City municipal tax revenues increase by more than the 4% due to new development coming on line and tax abatement agreements disproportionatley funneling more revenue into the city,

Could the cap effectively push down the taxes on Jersey City conventionally taxed properties?

In effect, is this not a spending cap, while revenues should grow?

Would this scenario, now actually change the tax abatement arguements (for the positive?) , though other Hudson County municipalities may really scream now.



I thought about this too the other day. If property taxes are cut for non-abated properties, will the taxes on PILOTs reduce also? or are they stuck at a higher rate regardless of what others are paying?

Posted on: 2007/1/19 15:19
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Re: POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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Steve Fulop

Thanks for posting the Star Ledger next to this Jersey Journal article (I dated the Jersey Journal wrong that too is from today -- I blame lack of coffee)

I am very happy to see much needed reform come to NJ. I am very interested in this story and I think consolidation of services is something that is really needed all over New Jersey, though I am a little worried how it will play out here in Hudson County but obviously statewide something has to happen!

Best,
GrovePath

Quote:

StevenFulop wrote:
GrovePath.
This the article that is referenced from Thursday and directly linked to the article you posted. The issue is not really clear if you just post one of the articles.

Posted on: 2007/1/19 15:16
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Re: POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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Here is a thought and I am not sure if I am understanding it correctly-

If tax revenues are capped at 4% increases annually and,

Jersey City municipal tax revenues increase by more than the 4% due to new development coming on line and tax abatement agreements disproportionatley funneling more revenue into the city,

Could the cap effectively push down the taxes on Jersey City conventionally taxed properties?

In effect, is this not a spending cap, while revenues should grow?

Would this scenario, now actually change the tax abatement arguements (for the positive?) , though other Hudson County municipalities may really scream now.

Posted on: 2007/1/19 15:01
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Re: POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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I like it when anyone, politican or otherwise, starts a sentence with any of the following phrases:

"Honestly,"

"To be honest with you,"

"In all honesty,"

"Frankly,"

Because then I know, for ONCE in their life, they are telling the truth. Whenever anybody opens with a phrase like this, to me, everything that has preceded is suspect.

Posted on: 2007/1/19 14:52
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Re: POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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Of course, Manzo and the other cronies are just protecting their interests. Why aren't the crooked politicians ever thrown in jail. Get them off the streets as well as the other thugs.

Posted on: 2007/1/19 14:38
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Re: POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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Quote:
ending dual office- holding -- all of that, they argue, means the demise of local control.


How does ending dual office holding mean the demise of local control?

This issue is important enough to stand without adding it to the Hudson Co reform mentioned.

Steve can you give your public view on the two separate issues (dual office & tax changes/state oversight)?

Posted on: 2007/1/19 14:38
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Re: POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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"They're protecting dual jobs," he said. "Reform to the Hudson County delegation is like Kryptonite to Superman. It's deadly."

Steve clearly has the best line in this debate...and he is right.

Personally, I think real reform just might invigorate the state's urban centers and, by any measure, the status quo has produced little to brag about (vide Newark, Trenton, Camden, Elizabeth).

Posted on: 2007/1/19 14:25
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Re: POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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Interesting stuff. I can see why a lawmaker would be against a cap on tax increases. Hopefully they never need it and could even reduce taxes, but it's nice to have the flexibility in case something happens. I couldn't agree more about the issue with holding multiple offices. I know I couldn't do my current job to the best of my abilities and another similar job. How do these clowns get off claiming to do so?

Posted on: 2007/1/19 13:45
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Re: POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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Quote:

StevenFulop wrote:
GrovePath.
This the article that is referenced from Thursday and directly linked to the article you posted. The issue is not really clear if you just post one of the articles.

------------------------------------------


Hudson legislators block tax reform
Emphasizing need for local control, nine Democrats insist governor going too far too fast

Thursday, January 18, 2007
BY DEBORAH HOWLETT
Star-Ledger Staff

They don't want the state telling towns how much they can raise taxes. They don't want a state comptroller or county school superintendent second-guessing local officials. And they see nothing wrong with holding more than one taxpayer-funded job.

The greatest impediment to many of the property tax reform ideas backed by Gov. Jon Corzine may well be the nine Democratic legislators from Hudson County. [...]


Thanks for posting this article Steven as it puts things in persepective.

As Pogo said:
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Posted on: 2007/1/19 13:32
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Re: POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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GrovePath.
This the article that is referenced from Thursday and directly linked to the article you posted. The issue is not really clear if you just post one of the articles.

------------------------------------------


Hudson legislators block tax reform
Emphasizing need for local control, nine Democrats insist governor going too far too fast

Thursday, January 18, 2007
BY DEBORAH HOWLETT
Star-Ledger Staff

They don't want the state telling towns how much they can raise taxes. They don't want a state comptroller or county school superintendent second-guessing local officials. And they see nothing wrong with holding more than one taxpayer-funded job.

The greatest impediment to many of the property tax reform ideas backed by Gov. Jon Corzine may well be the nine Democratic legislators from Hudson County.

They were in the bull's eye Cor zine targeted in his State of the State address when he called on lawmakers to set aside parochialism and personal interest in favor of the "common good."

But the Hudson nine -- four of whom are also mayors and seven of whom hold tax-paid jobs in addi tion to elected office -- insist the Democratic governor has asked for way too much, way too fast.

Limiting the growth of property tax levies; consolidating local governments; refiguring state aid for public schools; ending dual office- holding -- all of that, they argue, means the demise of local control.

Others have been critical of Cor zine on those points, too: the League of Municipalities, the School Boards Association, teacher and state worker unions, some legislators in both parties.

None, however, has been as openly disdainful.

Assemblyman Louis Manzo called the governor "clueless" about local politics in Hudson County -- never mind that Corzine lives in Hoboken.

"He doesn't understand urban New Jersey," Manzo said. "His policies are out of touch. He knows more about Darfur, or wherever he goes, than he does about kids on New Jersey streets."

Corzine dismissed the comment: "I don't want to get into hyperactive language. We'll let the public decide on that."

But, he said, "We're not trying to say the governor is the genius of all times. We're trying to bring together smart people to try to accomplish the principle of breaking this rising cost of property tax."

Hudson Democrats frequently feud among themselves, but when they unite as a bloc, they have considerable influence on state politics. Their 48-square-mile county is the most densely populated in the state, with 610,000 residents. The population includes large numbers of immigrants and unfailingly votes Democratic. Municipal politics dominate, as they have going back to Jersey City Mayor Frank "I Am the Law" Hague.

Emboldened by a split between Corzine and legislative leaders over pension and benefits reform last month, the Hudson alliance intensified efforts to stymie much of the rest of the tax reform package.

"The train is rolling through the Statehouse, right from the governor's office to the Assembly floor," Manzo said. "If somebody doesn't slow down the train, we're going to continue to hit local government."

Not all the Hudson lawmakers are as adamant as Manzo, who has taken the point in the insurgency. But they don't disagree with his logic.

"All of these issues are foremost in the minds of Hudson legislators," said Senate Majority Leader Bernard F. Kenny Jr. "We have a very astute delegation. We always have. ... You have ground-breaking legislation on several fronts that changes the status quo and there's genuine concern that comes from that."

The Hudson nine support the plan for tax credits to homeowners -- but then, it's hard to find a legislator who would say a tax cut in an election year is a bad idea.

The hard part -- what Corzine called the "tough sledding" in his State of the State address -- is how to pay the $2 billion cost of the tax relief plan. Corzine has ruled out increasing other taxes and suggested "monetizing" state assets, like toll roads or the lottery, by turning them over to private operators.

But Manzo said cashing in on assets is short-sighted. Raising the income tax is a better idea, he said, because a penny increase on each $1 or $2 earned, depending on in come, would generate at least $2.7 billion a year.

"The governor needs to be penny-wise," Manzo said.

Assemblyman Brian Stack, who is also mayor of Union City, said the governor's insistence on cap ping property tax levies is an exer cise in public relations that will produce little new savings.

"He is well-intentioned ... but he's misinformed," Stack said.

The influence of the Hudson Democrats was clear during last week's roller-coaster ride over a bill to establish a state comptroller as a watchdog over public spending.

As Assembly Democrats met before Monday's voting session, the six from Hudson stood up to op pose the comptroller bill (A2), ar guing fervently even when it was clear that their colleagues were ready to move it to the Senate.

The six, and their three Senate counterparts, were then sum moned to the governor's office. "We had a good talk," Manzo said. "He listened, but we got nowhere."

The Hudson six were the only Democrats to vote "no" as the bill sailed through 59-18. But in the following days, Kenny and Sen. Joe Doria, who is also mayor of Bayonne, said they negotiated "revisions" with the governor's office.

On Thursday, a new bill was introduced. "We think we have a bill that will engender broad support among Democrats," said Kenny, its sponsor.

The changes didn't sit well with all Democrats. Sen. Barbara Buono from Middlesex County said the bill had been gutted and removed herself as Kenny's co-sponsor.

Hudson lawmakers also have led the fight against other pieces of the package, what Manzo referred to as "bells and whistles" that produce little cost savings.

Sen. Nicholas Sacco and Assemblyman Charles Epps oppose a bill to give county superintendents authority to veto school budgets, and another to move school budget elections to November, when more people are likely to vote.

Sacco is assistant superintendent of North Bergen schools (as well as the mayor). Epps is the state-paid superintendent of Jersey City schools. Neither returned phone calls seeking comments about the legislation.

Stack has worked against a bill to ban dual office-holding. It was written to allow current dual office- holders to keep both posts, but not if they sought election to another office.

Stack is expected to announce this week that he will run for Ken ny's Senate seat, according to three prominent Democrats, while Kenny is expected to retire. Under the bill, Stack would have to surrender his mayoral seat to serve in the Senate. Last week the bill was shelved until after the November legislative elections.

Manzo acknowledged that the Hudson delegation pushed for changes in many of the bills, and wasn't about to apologize. Without the revisions, he said, local government would have suffered.

"None of this would have been seen by regular legislators," Manzo said. "It just points out why it's so important to have a mayor's voice in the Statehouse."



Deborah Howlett may be reached at dhowlett@starledger.com or (609) 989-0273.




? 2007 The Star Ledger
? 2007 NJ.com All Rights Reserved.

Posted on: 2007/1/19 12:54
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POWER PLAY? "This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said - Fulop is not so sure.
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POWER PLAY?
Hudson pols flex muscles with gov - 'It's all about policy'

JASON FINK - JERSEY JOURNAL CITY EDITOR - Jan 12

Is it an example of a legitimate public policy debate or powerful politicians trying to hold onto their fiefdoms?

This is among the questions raised by the strong - and surprisingly public - rebuke that Hudson County legislators have sent to Gov. Jon Corzine. In a much-talked about article in yesterday's Star-Ledger, local lawmakers lashed out at Corzine's ideas for property tax reform.

The criticism focused on proposals to consolidate local government services, reconfigure school aid, create an office of state comptroller and, perhaps most notably, ban dual office-holding, a practice near and dear to the hearts of many Hudson politicians.

While Hudson County officials are not alone in trying to protect home rule, the bluntness of the criticism of Corzine, a fellow Democrat, was unusual.

Assemblyman Lou Manzo, D-Jersey City, was probably the most vocal, saying the governor "doesn't understand urban New Jersey."

The ideas on the table - particularly a proposal to cap at 4 percent the amount municipalities can increase their local tax levies - will cost Hudson County millions, Manzo argued, citing a study commissioned by the delegation that estimated Jersey City alone would lose $23 million.

"This would kill urban areas like Hudson County," Manzo said in an interview yesterday.

Manzo is not one of the four Hudson legislators who holds an additional elected office, but he said the near-unanimous opposition to Corzine's proposals is not about dual jobs or political posturing.

"Honestly, it's all about policy," he said.

But Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop, a frequent critic of the local Democratic Party, said he is not so sure.

"They're protecting dual jobs," he said. "Reform to the Hudson County delegation is like Kryptonite to Superman. It's deadly."

In addition to Manzo, Assemblyman and Union City Mayor Brian Stack came out swinging against Corzine's plans, and both state Sen. and North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco and Assemblyman Charles Epps, who also serves as Jersey City's state-appointed superintendent of schools, oppose many of the ideas that have been floated by the administration. The six Hudson Assembly members were the only Democrats to vote against the comptroller bill.

The most glaring exception to this opposition is, curiously enough, the Hudson Democratic chairman, state Sen. Bernard Kenny of Hoboken, who said he "essentially supports the governor's initiatives."

Kenny, who likely faces a challenge from Stack, is clearly trying to walk the middle of the road.

"I'm not going to comment on what another legislator has to say," he said yesterday when asked about Manzo's comments. "I think this interaction is normal and beneficial."

The Hudson delegation, by making its opposition so public so early - the proposals at issue are mostly in the very preliminary stages - is also, of course, flexing its muscles.

Hudson is heavily Democratic and delivered Corzine a 60,000-plus vote plurality in 2005.

Ingrid Reed, director of the New Jersey Project at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, said concerns over the Corzine proposals are legitimate, adding that it is logical for the delegation to throw around its political weight.

"What they think, whether it's policy-oriented or political, they want it taken into consideration," she said. "I think it's probably principled on their part."

Posted on: 2007/1/19 11:26
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