Month: June 2016
This morning I had an opportunity to spar with Governor Christie over his proposed gas tax. It took a bit of an ugly turn… Take a listen!
Just after midnight Monday, legislators passed a 23-cent gas hike. It also voted to lower the NJ sales tax to 6 percent. Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle asked Assemblyman Vincent Prieto to post the gas tax bill. Within 14 minutes, the Assembly passed the bill.
Late night, closed door meeting in Trenton. Can’t be good. And it wasn’t. Governor Christie saved the Democrats from themselves by giving them an opportunity to pass a tax on gas that will supposedly fund the Transportation Trust Fund. Well, it’s ain’t gonna be that easy.
First of all, the tax on gas will raise the cost for NJ commuters by $0.23 per gallon. This will potentially cost you hundreds of dollars every year in additional money just to get back and forth to work. If you’re a delivery truck operator, commercial fishing captain, landscaper or any other business in the Garden state, the cost will be much more.
Had a great opportunity to help congratulate and send off a brave, patriotic young man over the weekend as he prepares to depart for Parris Island, South Carolina. Our friend Jax’s little brother Matt is headed off to the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot. He’ll go through the full training as a US Marine recruit before heading to Ole Miss as a freshman in January. Although I suspect he’s got his eyes on more than just reserve status in the USMC, but that’s a discussion I’m sure he’ll be having over the next few months with his drill instructor and his parents.
Had a great conversation with New Jersey first Lt. Governor today, Kim Guadagno. We discussed the latest proposal to raise the gas tax, the Governor’s bold idea to reduce property taxes and a little Star Wars…
The Star Wars conversation was in reference to the ‘Lightsaber’ I brought into the studio courtesy of our Chasing News Senior Producer Jason M. Rosenberg. It was part of my message this week pushing back on #DarthOroho, the Republican State Senator pushing for a higher gas tax. Oroho has been using scare tactics about the financial depletion of the Transportation Trust Fund and the ‘imminent danger’ facing commuters from NJ’s infrastructure. Of course, as is typically the case in politics, much of what is being used to justify a huge burden on working and middle class families is an exaggeration.
It only comes once a year but when it’s here you gotta celebrate. Our executive producer Jerry Burke has a birthday today. Thought I’d spend a minute sharing a bit about the guy who has served as a mentor, friend and leader for the past few years as I made a dramatic transition out of a stable, successful corporate career into the chaos of media.
Jerry is a friend, a mentor and what we refer to in the TV business as my ‘Rabbi’. Arguably one of the smartest, most creative and most clever talents I’ve ever had as a boss. Jerry is the Executive Producer for our nightly news show, Chasing News. He’s been in the TV business for a long time serving as as producer on Inside Edition, A Current Affair and as the daytime head for Fox New Channel. He’s worked directly with TV legends like Roger Ailes and has a wealth of experience and talent that he’s eager to share with up and coming talent in the business. It was Jerry who took the risk hiring a politician/real estate executive to host a new show on Fox TV that would be disruptive enough to change the way news is delivered into viewers homes.
You don’t often remember the first words a person says to you when you meet for the first time. I saw Jerry across the room making a bee-line for me as I entered the ramshackle, sort of studio at the Dow Jones building in Princeton. I planned to head into my day job late that day so I could stop by and interview with a reporter for a new show that probably would never air.
In the second Star Wars movie (Episode V actually) there’s a scene where Darth Vader explains to Lando Calrissian that he’s altered the original deal and he should pray he doesn’t alter it any further…
Kinda how it felt when Senator Steve Oroho came into our NJ 101.5 studio and explained that the people of New Jersey should understand that in order to create lower taxes overall they would have to accept higher taxes on gas. Hmm. I was skeptical of course but heard him out. Turns out at the time of the interview last week, the increase in the per gallon gas tax on NJ commuters would be $0.23. After some digging and analysis of the actual plan two things happened between last week’s interview and today. First the gas tax increase may be as high as $0.375 per gallon AND the income tax deduction that would’ve helped offset the higher cost of working families disappeared.
Tell Senator Oroho our answer is simple. #NOGASTAX
Spent the better part of the week on the air hoping to shed some light on the outrageous attempt of several legislators in Trenton to raise the gas tax in New Jersey $0.23 per gallon. Currently the tax stands at $0.145 per gallon so the increase will put the total government take at close to forty cents on every gallon of gas.
The proponents will tell you that the roads and bridges in the Garden State are falling apart and it’s only a matter of time before we have a Minnesota-style collapse here.