Burn it all down

From the Philly Inquirer:

N.J. task force: Norcross-linked firms benefited from behind-the-scenes lobbying

A special task force appointed by New Jersey’s governor to investigate the state’s multibillion-dollar tax-credit programs released an extensive report Monday evening, finding that two powerful brothers – lawyer and lobbyist Philip Norcross and South Jersey power broker and businessman George E. Norcross III – enjoyed outsize influence over the tax-break legislation and its financial benefits.

Conner Strong & Buckelew, the insurance brokerage headed by George Norcross, and two other firms that partnered with the company to build an office tower in Camden collectively were approved for $245 million worth of tax credits in 2017. The report found that the Economic Development Authority’s “failure to investigate the red flags in these companies’ applications could have resulted in over $70 million in improperly approved tax-incentive awards.”

The law firm led by Philip Norcross, Parker McCay, and its clients “appear to have had a significant impact” on the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, investigators found, pointing to draft copies of the legislation and internal email exchanges the task force obtained.

The law expanded the Grow New Jersey tax-credit program, which has directed about $1.6 billion to companies pledging to invest in the long-struggling city of Camden.

As a result of influence by “special interests” during the legislative process, the report found, the law was “structured to favor certain parties while disfavoring others in certain respects.”

This is the first report the task force has issued during its ongoing investigation. Among the companies the report examined was Cooper, which was awarded about $40 million in incentives in December 2014 to move office jobs from existing locations in Cherry Hill and Mount Laurel to Camden.

he task force said it found evidence suggesting that Cooper was never seriously considering relocating jobs out of state. Had the EDA calculated the award based on Cooper’s initial representation — that no jobs were at risk of leaving the state — the company would have won just $7 million in tax breaks, the report says. Cooper filed an updated form within a few days of its initial one, mentioning an alternative site.

Investigators pointed to a Nov. 25, 2014, email sent by a Cooper executive to a real estate broker that said Cooper needed a term sheet — a document outlining terms of a business agreement —for an office location outside of New Jersey to include in its application for tax credits.

“I need a credible location that is LESS expensive than L3” (a building on Federal Street in Camden), wrote Andrew Bush, Cooper’s vice president of real estate and facilities, to Jon C. Sarkisian, executive vice president at the real estate firm CBRE. Cooper ended up moving to L3.

Bush asked if the broker could secure a term sheet for 120,000 square feet of office space, suggesting the Centre Square building at 1500 Market St. in Philadelphia.

“No probability of us moving to Center Sq, so I don’t want to make too much noise,” Bush wrote.

“The obvious reference is that Mr. Bush was asking Mr. Sarkisian to provide a sham term sheet that could be supplied to the EDA as evidence of its bona fide intent to relocate outside New Jersey, when in fact Cooper Health had no such intention,” the task force report said.

EDA ultimately calculated its award for Cooper based on Bush’s representation to an agency underwriter that the company was considering relocating to Philadelphia, the report said.

This entry was posted in New Development, New Jersey Real Estate, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

91 Responses to Burn it all down

  1. grim says:

    Big question is, is any of it true? Or is it just a bullshit political hit piece?

  2. grim says:

    For example, because this reads pretty damning, from Cooper:

    Under the 2013 amendments to the law, Growth Zone applicants investing in Camden did not need to demonstrate that any jobs were “at risk” of leaving New Jersey. Applicants only needed to demonstrate that the award of tax credits was a material factor in their decision to move forward with the project.

    Cooper’s certification and application were clear and consistent with the new law. Cooper was moving 372 employees into a Camden facility. When asked on the application if any jobs were “at risk” of moving out of state, Cooper answered, “No.” Cooper’s CEO certification similarly did not state that any jobs were at risk of leaving the state, only that the tax credits were a material factor in Cooper’s business decision to make a capital investment and locate in Camden.

    So what is the controversy about? Apparently, it is about an internal EDA staff memorandum that incorrectly states that Cooper certified that it planned to move its jobs out of state. Cooper neither wrote nor approved this memorandum, which is plainly wrong. Cooper’s certification and application are public documents and they clearly contradict this EDA memorandum.

    The task force and Mr. Moran also focused on emails just days before the award related to properties in Philadelphia. The emails clearly show that the EDA, not Cooper, initiated requests for comparable leases of Philadelphia properties as part of their due diligence. Cooper merely complied with EDA’s request. No reasonable person could conclude from those emails that Cooper was intent on moving jobs out of New Jersey.

    Why did EDA ask for out-of-state locations? That is a question for the EDA. At one task force hearing, its lawyer, Jim Walden, explained there was confusion within the EDA itself on what the new law required, and “two schools of thought” on what to ask of applicants. This internal confusion within the EDA might explain the request to Cooper for information that, per the statute, was not legally relevant.

    The bottom line is simple. Cooper never certified that any jobs were at risk of leaving the state, and the law did not require it to do so. Whoever wrote the EDA memorandum stating otherwise was simply wrong.

    Defaming Cooper due to a careless and incorrect EDA staff memorandum is wrong. Cooper acted properly and the tax credits it received were appropriate, justified, and legitimate under the law.

  3. grim says:

    NJ’s minimum wage makes it’s big jump, up $1.15 an hour to $10.00, in two weeks.

    Followed by another $1.00 an hour 6 months later.

    That’s ~25% increase in the minimum wage in a year, 28% from 2018.

    Should be interesting to watch the jobs numbers and UE over the next 2 years. Likewise, rents at the low-end will be very interesting.

  4. grim says:

    Given the tight job market, I suspect the small employer holdback is going to backfire.

    Small employers can keep minimum wage at $8.85 in July, compared to large employers that go to $10. This was intended to shield small business for a short period of time. Instead, I suspect you’ll see employees leaving for higher paying jobs in the short-term. It will also make it impossible for small employers to re-hire at the lower wage.

    Realistically, small employers might as well jump on July 1st, it might just save them money.

  5. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Based on the opening article, I don’t think murphy is backing down.

    You guys cry about murphy, but do you understand that Norcross is boss tweed? Whatever happened in this state over the past 20 years was because of Norcross. He is more powerful than anyone in this state. He holds back nj to his benefit, esp north jersey.

    GdBlsU45 says:
    June 17, 2019 at 3:30 pm
    Sweeney and co know that Murphy hired alvarez. He’s hiding that which weakens him. It’s the same way the bridge gate weakened Christie. Bridge gate effectively ended Christie as politician.

    Sweeney and co have gone from negotiating aggressively With Murphy to challenging and repudiating him openly. Murphy is finished.

    And is there a more a more intentionally clueless person than Loretta Weinberg? She’s eatched the state go down the shltter right in front of her eyes and appears baffled every time corruption is laid bare. She can effectively pass transgender indocrination legislation for 9 year olds however. That apparently makes her believe in some circles.

  6. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Why are we using tax credits to move businesses around in south jersey? This is bs. Just get rid of the program. If this is true, Cooper didn’t do anything wrong legally, but ethically, come on man. WTF do taxpayers have to subsidize your business to the tunes of millions. Let them leave at this point, let capitalism correct the market on its own, go through the hard times and come out stronger in the end.

    Nj is an expensive market for business to enter, and it’s a very challenging market, but my god the rewards are bountiful. Real capitalists can’t resist this. Let them f’ing leave and stop holding the taxpayers’ hostage with their tax breaks, and let real “hungry” capitalists with the ambition and fight to make their business work in this state. Stop giving them handouts, and let them earn it.

    grim says:
    June 18, 2019 at 5:44 am
    For example, because this reads pretty damning, from Cooper:

  7. Libturd, can't say I didn't warn you. says:

    It’s all political bullshit. End tax incentives and PILOTS. End PACs. Enable real campaign finance reform. In Costa Rica, if you can get something like 2% of the vote, the government will reimburse your campaign costs. No businesses can donate to a campaign.

    Next year, all energy generated in CR will be from Green sources. President pledged to begin ban on ICE cars.

  8. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I’m sick of the baby “red team” business owners always playing the tough game with workers, but being puzzys with their business. The nerve to tell a worker to step up if they don’t like it, but then not take their own advice. Put your big boots on, and stop complaining about taxes and regulation, and instead get creative and adapt the business to the market. Just want it so easy, god forbid owning a business is a challenge. I mean that’s how they get rich, right? You take on a high-risk challenge and are rewarded beyond belief if it works. So why all the crying and complaining about how tough it is to do business here? STEP UP! Plenty of money to be made in this state market.

  9. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Amen. It really is as simple as that.

    Libturd, can’t say I didn’t warn you. says:
    June 18, 2019 at 9:04 am
    It’s all political bullshit. End tax incentives and PILOTS. End PACs. Enable real campaign finance reform. In Costa Rica, if you can get something like 2% of the vote, the government will reimburse your campaign costs. No businesses can donate to a campaign.

    Next year, all energy generated in CR will be from Green sources. President pledged to begin ban on ICE cars.

  10. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Why would you allow anyone to contribute to a campaign? What do you think you are going to get? What is the end result of this behavior every single time? Yet, we can’t eliminate this from our country…damn, they have total control of the system in place.

  11. 3b says:

    It’s ironic so many union members are afraid of Bernie.

  12. The Great Pumpkin says:

    F u Norcross. Thank you, Muphy for having the balls to take this on even if it probably meant political suicide. Thank you.

    “Frankly the public interest is to allow the task force to report,” Jacobson said. “The public has a right to know.”

    In a late evening statement, a spokesman for Norcross called the decision disappointing.”

  13. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “But in court filings, Norcross argued that the task force was an illegal exercise of the governor’s power. He has stated publicly that Murphy’s targeting of the EDA was nothing less than a politically inspired attack as part of an escalating feud with the governor.

    The judge was unconvinced by the arguments to shut down the task force.

    “Frankly the public interest is to allow the task force to report,” Jacobson said. “The public has a right to know.”

    In a late evening statement, a spokesman for Norcross called the decision disappointing.”

  14. Grim says:

    It would be wise for NJ commercial and industrial property owners to fund groups pushing for higher minimum wage in PA.

  15. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Murphy, cleaning up the swamp! Lib, hate the guy all you want, but he just did this state a huge service.

    “Vote Democrat they say, the Republicans only care about the rich they say, meanwhile Norcross splits 11 billion between his buddies and has the gull to get his right hand man Sweeney to offer up legislation that takes food out of the mouths of teachers and middle class public workers? Let’s see how far they dig into Norcross, i’m convinced he has a couple bodies on his belt, that Sheridan murder suicide looked awfully suspicious.”

    “And those who doubted the validity of this report before it was allowed to be made public are enjoying a nice helping of crow. The EDA was negligent and those fake applications for tax incentives were truly fraudulent.”

    “It doesn’t matter because they hate Murphy just that much that they are willing to look the other way on these Matters.”

  16. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I wonder what wage they’ll be paying at the Ping Pong Palace?

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  17. Mächïne says:

    Everyone with something to lose is afraid of Bernie.

  18. Libturd, can't say I didn't warn you. says:

    If the DNC backed Bernie instead of attacking him, he would win in a landslide. But they won’t. Mostly, due to the fact that no one in the DNC is willing to yield any power.

  19. 3b says:

    Lib he would and it would be great! Not because I believe in his policies if I mention the S word I get dumped in moderation, but because he would scare the crap out of the bought and paid for politicians on both sides as well as the vested interests. Perhaps then we could focus on real problems facing the country.

  20. 3b says:

    Trump turning his anger now at the ECB.

  21. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    It would be kind of funny if Facecoin does to Bitcoin what Facebook did to MySpace.

  22. The Great Pumpkin says:

    lol…yup.

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    June 18, 2019 at 10:52 am
    It would be kind of funny if Facecoin does to Bitcoin what Facebook did to MySpace.

  23. The Great Pumpkin says:

    You nail it.

    He has the masses backing him, but we all know the minority run the show. They are getting scared, I’ll tell you that. This movement hasn’t died as they thought it would, and bernie never gives up. It has only been growing stronger as the decade has progressed. Wonder what will happen down the road…

    Mächïne says:
    June 18, 2019 at 10:21 am
    Everyone with something to lose is afraid of Bernie.

  24. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Bernie Sanders is just your run-of-the-mill fu.cktard.

    1. He doesn’t have much to say about bringing down millionaires anymore, now that he is one.
    2. Putting the word “Democratic” in front of anything makes it good? S0cial1sm leads to poverty, despair, and death, but Democratic S0cial1sm is somehow good? Does the same go for Democratic AIDS? Democratic Ebola? Democratic AIDS?
    3. Like the other Dems, Sanders’ mind is way off the rails if he thinks Americans would be “delighted” to pay higher taxes to forward his policies concentrate even more power in Washington.

  25. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Democratic genocide?

  26. The Great Pumpkin says:

    What’s scary now….the people with nothing to lose far outnumber the people like ourselves with everything to lose. I was yelling and screaming to do something about this inequality for close to a decade now. Hope the greed at the top doesn’t take me down the toilet with them. I worked hard to get where I am and it’s a punch in a gut to lose it all to greed at the top.

  27. Mächïne says:

    I think Bernie is carrying a lot of juice in his saggy balls and exPat wants to mïlk it.

  28. Libturd, can't say I didn't warn you. says:

    Ex.

    Bernie will not get elected. Not unless Trump straight up endorses him and then steps down.

    Dems will back Creepy Uncle Joe the whole way to Trump’s reelection.

  29. Mächïne says:

    You only use 10 percent of your brain. Eating carrots improves your eyesight. Vitamin C cures the common cold. Crime in the United States is at an all-time high.

    None of those things are true.

    But the facts don’t actually matter: People repeat them so often that you believe them. Welcome to the “illusory truth effect,” a glitch in the human psyche that equates repetition with truth. Marketers and politicians are masters of manipulating this particular cognitive bias—which perhaps you have become more familiar with lately.

    President Trump is a “great businessman,” he says over and over again. Some evidence suggests that might not be true. Or look at just this week, when the president signed three executive orders designed to stop what he describes—over and over again—as high levels of violence against law enforcement in America. Sounds important, right? But such crimes are at their lowest rates in decades, as are most violent crimes in the US. Not exactly, as the president would have it, “American carnage.”

  30. The Great Pumpkin says:

    You know how history works. When you take too much, the group will eventually fight back, and they will take it to the extreme. So right now we get to experience cheap taxes and high profits, but next, we will get destroyed by extremists swinging the pendulum the other way with ridiculous takes from the rich. If Bernie gets into office, it’s over for people like myself…

    His ideas will be taken to the extreme…you can bank on it.

    Here I am asking for moderation from both groups. Rich need to produce better jobs and take care of the community by investing in infrastructure and education or risk losing it all. The poor have to understand that the rich don’t have enough money to carry the entire nation. They can only invest in the economy and grow it, but the poor worker must do their part by making these investments work by going to school, getting an education, learning a skill, and applying what you learned by excelling in the economy.

    It really is that easy, but greed from both the top and bottom never let it happen.

  31. 3b says:

    Lib I agree.

  32. 3b says:

    Ex I don’t disagree with you just simply saying it would scare the krap out of the corrupt politicians and there masters and something worthwhile might actually be accomplished.

  33. PeckerMill says:

    Mächïne thinks exPats gay rage is fueled by his microDick.

  34. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    That’s how I see it. Anything else, Trump will just come back and win again in 2024, with his new slogan, How you like Dem Apples?

    Dems will back Creepy Uncle Joe the whole way to Trump’s reelection.

  35. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Mine is only three inches.
    Some girls like ’em that wide.

    Mächïne thinks exPats gay rage is fueled by his microDick.

  36. Mächïne says:

    “Honestly, Mitch McConnell, you really want to go with that we’ll get to it when we get to it argument for the heroes of 9/11,” he continued, before later noting that the senator was “not good at this argument thing.”

    “Basically we’re saying you love the 9/11 community when they serve your political purposes, but when they’re in urgent need, you slow walk, you dither, you use it as a political pawn to get other things you want,” he said.

    Stewart concluded his argument by noting that “we’ve spent a year compiling bipartisan co-sponsors and advocates for this bill, all in the hopes that when it finally gets to the great Mitch McConnell’s desk, you won’t jack us around like you’ve done in the past.”

    “If you want to know why we’re bent out of shape, meet with them tomorrow, and don’t make them beg for it,” he said. “You could pass this thing tomorrow. If you’re busy, I get it.”

  37. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Nj is changing right before our eyes. Thank you, Murphy. This guy is taking out his own party. Stop telling me he is not a good guy. I was the only one on this blog claiming Murphy is winning this battle, but was told otherwise. Even yesterday, I was told Murphy is done. You sure about that? This guy is smarter than you think. He is no fool.

    Christie made wild claims of cleaning up corruption in our state, but Murphy is actually doing it, and he is hitting the direct source, not the people below Norcross, but the source. NO ONE HAS HAD THE BALLS TO DO THIS IN THIS STATE UNTIL NOW. THIS GUY HAS BIG BALLS THAT’S ALL I KNOW.

    “This is a big old nothingburger. Nothing will come of this. Nobody will go to jail. Nothing will be repaid. Nothing will be revoked. Six months from now NJ will have forgotten all about it. You can’t beat the system, and this IS the system.”

    “Maybe no one will go to jail, but you better believe the power structure in NJ has just changed. Murphy did not get to be a partner in Goldman Sachs by being a fool; Sweeney and Norcross just learned that today.”

  38. No One says:

    Let me help make your writing clearer, Punkin:

    When you work hard and create too much value for the world, the many people who benefit from your productivity but didn’t build that themselves become so envious that they try to direct government force to take it away from you.

    “When you take too much, the group will eventually fight back, and they will take it to the extreme.”

  39. Mächïne says:

    11:33 ummm…🤨…. some of us are at work.
    Not me! But some of us…..

  40. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    ^^^^ First word that came to mind was “ummm”?

  41. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “This report has all the shock value of Captain Renault’s pronouncement that there is gambling at Rick’s Café.

    When you want a deal, you threaten to move. It is called leverage. I am sure Phil Murphy learned that at Goldman and Wharton. I am sure Ted Wells has seen his clients use it effectively over his storied career.

    I have no dog in this hunt. Norcross is sleazy and Murphy is a joke. But, if the state does not want to make deals, shut down the Economic Development program entirely, lower taxes, and get rid of excessive regulations”

    “This is not about making deals. This is a government entity doing the bidding for special interest businesses and it was finally brought to light and hopefully stopped by the Murphy administration. As noted in the story, the businesses committed to staying in NJ a year prior at least and already invested millions in various projects in Camden. One of their lawyers even crafted the draft legislation for NJ Grow. Come on man! Gotta give the Governor some credit on this one. This is something that NJ and it’s taxpayers can least afford, yet those who have been in the legislature for years, as well as our previous Governor, looked the other way. “

  42. Mächïne says:

    11:37 hey i’m Not the one with the link to a limp diiiick!!

    I’d hate to see what else is in your favorites there ru Paul.

  43. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    ^^^^ I’m noticing a distinct theme running through everything you write. Was it Dad, a friend, or another family member?

  44. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Babysitter?

  45. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Looks like I stumbled on a hot button. Was your Dad convicted, like Pumps’ dad?

  46. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    The grammatical misuse of umlauts possibly indicates exposure to German p0rn as a young child.

  47. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    …or a low educational level at the very least. Are you friend, or possibly a split personality, of Pumps?

  48. chicagofinance says:

    Nailed it ping pong, bing bong, ding dong, sing song, zing zong..

  49. joyce says:

    grim,
    Time to shut it down.

  50. 3b says:

    Joyce No there is still some good discussions here from time to time. And I have kept my promise!!

  51. Libturd, can't say I didn't warn you. says:

    Me too. For the most part.

    I think, before a final shutdown, we try a month without the village idiot. I swear, he’s the buzz kill hear.

  52. Libturd, can't say I didn't warn you. says:

    “[Insert Name Here], start your day with artisan ham.”

    This is the subject of an email I received from Panera Bread. WTF is artisan ham?

  53. Mächïne says:

    Artisan ham is when expat smothers his 3”incher in pineapple sauce and serves it to ChiFi a la underwear. Of course …. I love Germans….I am Mächïne.

  54. chicagofinance says:

    You are SoCal via Essex Fells….

    Mächïne says:
    June 18, 2019 at 12:50 pm
    ….I am Mächïne.

  55. Fast Eddie says:

    Wait until they pass a tax to pay for their car insurance, too!

    https://nypost.com/2019/06/17/cuomo-signs-bill-granting-drivers-licenses-to-illegal-immigrants/

  56. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Notice how he has now now changed the placement of the umlauts? He obviously suffers from low self esteem on top of his other childhood traumas and educational deficiencies.

    I love Germans….I am Mächïne.

  57. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Probably drives a girls car too.

  58. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    That’s right, the shortage is over and our 100% clean and delicious Artisan Ham is back on the menu thanks to our partner, Niman Ranch®.

    Interestingly, 100% clean is a link in the below Panera web page, but the link goes nowhere. Maybe artisan ham means pre-handled, pre-molested ham except now they wash their hands first? Maybe it was 50-60% clean previously? I wonder if Essex lost his latest fast food gig because he was porking the pork? He was probably caught during the act saying, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll insert my name right here!”

    https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/our-beliefs/artisan-ham-is-back-niman-ranch.html

  59. JCer says:

    Panera is terrible, used to go on occasion when traveling. The original concept seemed better what they serve now is cr@p, no taste, and small portions at high prices. Taste is first and foremost when I go to eat something.

  60. Libturd, can't say I didn't warn you. says:

    Well, Niman Ranch is owned by Perdue. As I drove by the massive chicken farms in Delmarva with the stench of chicken-sh1t so strong that even rolling up the windows was hardly a defense, the word “artisan,” has never crossed my mind. I doubt the pig farms smell much better.

  61. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I can picture Charlton Heston screaming, “Artisan Ham is People!!!”

  62. Mächïne says:

    1:33 I cüm prëpäred.

  63. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Wouldn’t that be a kicker? Undocumented aliens are undocumented food!

  64. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Do you have a special basement room to teach your children what Daddy taught you?

    I cüm prëpäred.

  65. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    ^^^Or was it Mommy strap-on training all along?

  66. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
    While horrors of strap-ons danced in their heads

  67. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    It looks like the only bad place to be today is poor or short.

    Stocks are up.
    Bonds are up.
    The dollar is up.
    Gold is up.
    Oil is up.

  68. Stuart Weissman says:

    Or in Bitcoin

  69. 3b says:

    Any ideas on where to buy beach grass?

  70. Mächïne says:

    2:54 not but we got all different strains of grass here in the Golden State .

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  71. Mächïne says:

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  72. Mächïne says:

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  73. Mächïne says:

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  74. D-FENS says:

    You would make an excellent politician.

    Grim says:
    June 18, 2019 at 10:04 am
    It would be wise for NJ commercial and industrial property owners to fund groups pushing for higher minimum wage in PA.

  75. Mächïne says:

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  76. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Essex might be more fun to play with than Pumps. He’s a very easy toy to wind up. I think it’s that Dad nerve that really got him going this time. Works even better than the girl car/wife made him sell his Harley gambit.

    All I have to do now is probe (pun intended) to find out if his Dad ruined him emotionally, physically, or both.

    Essex, two questions:
    1. Is your Dad still alive?
    2. Did you bury him face down to assume power over him in death like he did over you in life?

  77. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Oooh, ooh! Bad stepfather, maybe? Which did you hate more, what he did to you, or what he did to your Mom?

  78. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Merkel caught Parkinsons from Hillary:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN8iIvkbPlE

  79. Mächïne says:

    3:42 sadly this was dad and I meeting exPat last April:

    https://youtu.be/sr0gNJ090JA

  80. 3b says:

    Well it’s been strange again in here today; must be the rain!

  81. Mächïne says:

    Google says it’ll invest in thousands of new homes in the Bay Area over the next decade, in the hopes of helping many of its employees and other residents find an affordable place to live in one of the planet’s most expensive regions. CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a blog post that Google plans to repurpose at least $750 million worth of land it owns for residential housing. Through this, the company hopes to “support the development of at least 15,000 new homes at all income levels in the Bay Area, including housing options for middle and low-income families.”

    Additionally, Google is setting up a $250 million investment fund for developers to build more than 5,000 affordable housing units in the area. It also plans to give $50 million to nonprofits focused on homelessness and displacement.

  82. Tuesday Machine says:

    Relax People, Trump already won.

    With Democrats like these. Who need Turtle McConnell, at least he’s upfront about hurting you.

    From Naked Capitalism

    Still No Minimum Wage Bill – Not Because Of Trump Or McTurtle – Because Of Pelosi And Hoyer And Their Blue Dogs
    Posted on June 18, 2019 by Yves Smith
    By Howie Klein. Published at DownWithTryanny!

    The Deseret News in Utah is far more conservative than the Salt Lake Tribune. But last week, the paper’s ran an OpEd that one wouldn’t expect to see in a right-wing Republican newspaper, America Has Gone Too Long Without Raising The Minimum Wage. “June 16 marks the longest period in history without an increase since the federal minimum wage was established in 1938. The federal minimum wage went to $7.25 an hour on July 24, 2009– nearly 10 years ago. It remains $7.25 today, amounting to just $15,080 a year for full-time work. When the minimum wage does not go up, it goes down in value relative to the cost of living. The gap between minimum wage and the cost of rent, groceries, medicine, transportation and everything else keeps growing. That matters whether you’re trying to work your way through school, support your child or need a job to make ends meet on Social Security. The buying power of today’s $7.25 minimum is lower than the minimum wage of 1968, which would be $11.96 in 2019 dollars, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator. Our economy has grown considerably since 1968, but not the federal minimum wage, which sets the floor under worker pay.”

    As we saw Sunday evening, Steny Hoyer is willing to put everything on the line to get a raise— for members of Congress. Enough Democrats agreed that– at the very least– this looked out of touch with the economic realties of the country that Hoyer was reigned in by his own caucus.

    There’s no chance a minimum wage increase is going to be enacted with McConnell running the Senate and Trump in the White House, but Pelosi had campaigned on passing a $15 minimum wage, not in her first 100 days as speaker but in her first 100 hours. She hasn’t delivered. On January 16, Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced a great piece of legislation, the Raise the Wage Act (H.R.582). The bill would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. There are 235 Democrats in the House. 205 have signed on as co-sponsors. The last to sign on is a very conservative Blue Dog freshman from Virginia, Abigail Spanberger. The 16 other non-original co-sponsors were virtually all conservative Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party– members like Ed Case (Blue Dog-HI), Seth Moulton (New Dem-MA), Ami Bera (New Dem-CA), Stephen Lynch (New Dem-MA), Mikie Sherrill (Blue Dog-NJ), Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ), Max Rose (Blue Dog-NY), Ann Kirkpatrick (New Dem-AZ), Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN) Elissa Slotkin (New Dem-MI)– but at least they signed on! There are still 30 Democrats– THIRTY– who haven’t signed on. That includes 19 freshmen who are being advised to not co-sponsor a bill that raises the minimum wage. How are they even Democrats if they’re taking that kind of advice from Hoyer and the DCCC? These are the freshmen who are notcosponsors. How do any of them deserve to be reelected?

    • Jeff Van Drew (Blue Dog-NJ)
    • Joe Cunningham (Blue Dog-SC)
    • Kendra Horn (Blue Dog-OK)
    • Cindy Axne (New Dem-IA)
    • Ben McAdams (Blue Dog-UT)
    • Xochitl Torres Small (Blue Dog-NM)
    • Sharice Davids (New Dem-KS)
    • Anthony Brindisi (Blue Dog-NY)
    • Antonio Delgado (NY)
    • Abby Finkenauer (IA)
    • Lucy McBath (New Dem-GA)
    • Angie Craig (New Dem-MN)
    • Colin Allred (New Dem-TX)
    • Dean Phillips (New Dem-MN)
    • Chris Pappas (New Dem-NH)
    • TJ Cox (New Dem-CA)
    • Sean Casten (New Dem-IL)
    • Lauren Underwood (New Dem-IL)
    • Greg Stanton (New Dem-AZ)

    Goal ThermometerOn paper, Pelosi, Hoyer and Jim Clyburn– as well as Blue Dog chair Stephanie Murphy– are original co-sponsors. But if you want to know why there is no bill, look no further than those 4 + Alabama New Dem and corporate shill Terri Sewell (a co-sponsor on paper who is working the hardest to stop the bill from moving). Hoyer, who’s never done anything without a sign-off from K Street, told CNN in mid-May that “We’ll get the votes for the minimum wage bill, but there are discussions about how we can, what actions, if any, should we take to make sure that it is fair.” Fair? Fair to who, the workers who are slaving away on wages they can’t live on? Or fair to Hoyer’s lobbyist buddies’ clients?

    It’s most comfortable for Pelosi and Hoyer and their team to blame the lack of progress on the Republicans but the sad reality is that they can’t even get a $15 minimum wage bill through the House they control. This is a touchy item for them. Conservative Democrats want to please business interests that have always and will always oppose the minimum wage– let alone increases to it– but they’re petrified that if their base voters find out that it’s them who are keeping it from passing the voters won’t turn out for them. Nor should they. Pelosi and her leadership team helped set a record yesterday– a shameful record of not raising the minimum wage for the longest period in history. Congratulations, Speaker Pelosi– the longer you cling to power, the worse and worse your legacy turns.

  83. Tuesday Machine says:

    By the way, look at how many southern NJ Democratic house members.

    All of these are beholden to southern democrat boss, George Norcross. A slicky willy democrat, if there ever was one.

  84. No One says:

    From WSJ:
    An iron law of politics is never to trust a former Goldman Sachs executive who decides to run for elected office. Having made tens of millions of dollars at the financial giant, the former executive will typically have no qualms about raising taxes on others trying to become rich.

    The latest illustration is taking place in New Jersey, where Gov. Phil Murphy, a Goldman alum, wants to lower the threshold for paying the state’s top tax rate of 10.75%. He already won the rate increase on incomes above $5 million in his first budget as Governor last year, and now he wants to hit incomes above $1 million. Mere millionaires now pay 8.97% on top of some of the highest property taxes in the U.S.

    Mr. Murphy says the tax increase will raise $447 million, which assumes no more Garden State residents will flee. The good news is that the Democratic Legislature is resisting this version of Goldman Sachsonomics on grounds that the state budget is already in surplus. Steve Sweeney, the Senate President and a construction union official, is also worried that applying the higher rate to more people will compound the tax hit felt by New Jersey taxpayers from the $10,000 tax cap on state and local deductions under federal tax reform.

    Mr. Sweeney is right, and New Jersey ought to be reducing taxes to attract more high-earning taxpayers the state desperately needs to pay its pension obligations. Leave it to a union official who represents working men and women to understand economics better than a financial industry mega-millionaire.

  85. 3b says:

    Budget surplus but the pension obligations are a crisis. And the states have infrastructure is falling apart.

  86. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Elektro ist und bleibt scheiße.

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