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Doug Forrester

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Doug's Two Plans: Playing Bait and Switch with Property Tax Relief

By: Matt Stoller October 15 at 11:45 AM EST

I wrote earlier about Forrester's corrupting influence on the New Jersey Office of Legislative Services. To make a long story short, his Republican allies asked the OLS to use bad assumptions in calculating the costs of a property tax cut, and then pretended that those numbers came from non-partisan 'experts.' This is the scientific equivalent of doing experiments with your conclusion already written - a serious no-no for anyone who cares about competence.

Well it turns out that even manipulating the numbers wasn't enough for Forrester - he actually has to lie about the faulty report itself.

To understand this, you have to realize that Forrester actually came out with two property tax plans. The first came out during the Republican primaries when he was running against right-wingers, and the second came out as the press held his plan up to scrutiny and he subtly changed the details. While both plans are both called '30 in 3', they are in effect different plans with different numbers behind them.

The tainted memo from the OLS came out in April, and justifies the first 30 in 3 plan. According to that document, the first Forrester plan will cost only $3.2 billion by its third year in service. Since the report came out, however, Forrester has changed his plan because the details - specifically the removal of rebates - came under fire in the media.

A Thank You to Jon Corzine and a Wake-up Call for Progressives

By: bertinlefkovic October 14 at 6:00 PM EST

I'm promoting this from the diaries. Comments - especially from DFAers - are welcome.

After several weeks of legal manuevering and controversial special elections, the 37th District has a new State Senator in Loretta Weinberg and a new State Assemblywoman in Valerie Vainieri Huttle.  This was a huge victory for progressives in the 37th District and throughout the state because it gives us all hope that when "Big-D" Democrats in blue counties stop running the party and the government in a "small-d" democratic manner, progressives can challenge and defeat them.

However, this hope would not exist if we did not have a U.S. Senator and gubernatorial candidate like Jon Corzine who had the guts to stand up to Joe Ferriero, one of the toughest party bosses in the state, stand up for Loretta Weinberg, the most progressive elected official in the state, and make a commitment to take the Democratic Party in New Jersey out of the 19th Century with regards to the opportunities that it affords women to run for elected office and serve in leadership positions in government.

So what are progressives still waiting for?

If you are one of those people who think that this is just a race between two multi-millionaires, you're at least half-wrong.  It is true that Doug Forrester has not done much more with his life than enrich himself, very often at the expense of others.  However, forgetting a moment how Jon Corzine revolutionized corporate life at Goldman Sachs in a myriad of progressive ways, all you need to know to rest assured than he is not just another multi-millionaire is his voting record since joining the United States Senate in 2001.

The OLS Report: Forrester Politicizing Intelligence

By: Matt Stoller October 14 at 4:59 PM EST

In the background of the Governor's race has been a rather arcane debate between the two camps on how to calculate the costs of property tax cuts.  We think that Forrester is promising a free lunch - tax cuts that apparently cost nothing.  Forrester counters this by saying that he is relying on numbers from the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services.  And he has a memo which he says validates his numbers.

Well, I've posted the memo (it's a PDF) from the Office of Legislative Services.  While the analysis is done by a nonpartisan group, here's the key sentence:

"Lastly, you asked that OLS assume property tax bills rise by 3% annually."

What Forrester isn't telling you about the memo justifying his plan is that it was requested by Republican Assemblyman Alex DeCroce. As that sentence shows, DeCroce didn't just ask for the memo, he also apparently dictated to the OLS what assumptions to use when coming up with the cost estimates of the property tax plan. The cost estimates for the plan assume a rise in property tax bills by 3%/year, while property tax bills have actually risen by 6.5% annually for the last twenty years.  And this estimation was done this way because a Republican partisan asked the OLS to do it this way.

In other words, a Republican put pressure on a nonpartisan government agency to come up with faulty politicized numbers, and Forrester is now using those numbers to sell a plan that makes no sense.  Where have I heard this story before?  

I Call It Common Sense

By: Matt Stoller October 14 at 1:52 PM EST

In the Bergen Record, there's an article which talks about Jon Corzine's voting record in the Senate.

With Republicans in control, Corzine was on the losing side of a lot of votes last year.

For example, he supported spending an extra $2.7 billion on veterans' health care (defeated 44-53); increasing the top tax rate on the wealthy to pay for military operations in Iraq (defeated 44-53), and eliminating $80.6 billion in proposed tax cuts over the next five years (defeated 47-52).

He sponsored an amendment to allow police officers shot in the line of duty to sue gun makers "who participate in arming criminals" (defeated 38-56); voted to expand restrictions on armor-piercing ammunition (defeated 34-63), and opposed several conservative nominees for federal judgeships.

Corzine has also consistently opposed President Bush on the war in Iraq. In addition to voting against the original resolution to use force in Iraq in October 2002 (approved 77-23), he voted last year to support criminal penalties against military contractors engaging in profiteering (defeated 46-52) and supported requiring the secretary of defense to allow the media to cover the return of coffins from Iraq (defeated 39-54).

It's funny, because the article is about how Jon Corzine's voting record is considered 'liberal'.  But then, you have to remember that this stuff is only liberal when you put it against Forrester's patron, George Bush.  I tend to think of health care for veterans, asking the wealthy to pay their share in a time of war, and protecting people from gun violence as common sense.  

Corzine: Standing up for Women's Rights

By: Matt Stoller October 14 at 1:02 PM EST

Planned Parenthood endorsed Jon Corzine on Wednesday for consistently standing up for the rights of women.

"Planned Parenthood is proud to stand with Senator Jon Corzine during this campaign," said G. Lynn Brown, President of the Planned Parenthood Action Committee of New Jersey. "He has been a leader in the United States Senate for reproductive rights. His sponsorship of legislation to expand access to reproductive healthcare and his consistent support of the pro-choice community make him the best choice for Governor of New Jersey."

Corzine has been a consistent advocate for women's issues, vigorously defending the protections provided through Roe vs. Wade and advocating advances in women's health overall. Throughout his Senate career, he has earned a perfect score on Planned Parenthood's legislative scorecard. As Senator, he worked to increase access to family planning services, decrease the number of unintended pregnancies, and reduce the number of abortions.

Corzine also led the Senate effort to require hospitals to inform rape survivors that emergency contraception is available, and ensure they get comprehensive and compassionate medical care. Additionally, Senator Corzine also pushed to mandate that insurers cover the cost of contraception for women. He cosponsored legislation in the Senate to that effect, and supports contraceptive equity legislation at the state level.

Corzine questioned Forrester's commitment to standing up for women's reproductive health, pointing out his deceptions on the issue. "Mr. Forrester has read the polls, and he knows New Jersey residents support a woman's right to choose. Mr. Forrester wants New Jersey voters to believe that he's pro-choice, but his actions suggest otherwise," Corzine said.

It's important to recognize this - Jon Corzine has a long record of fighting for women's rights.  Doug Forrester really has no record on these issues, and in his public statements has gone both ways.  He has courted anti-choice groups, backtracked on promises to oppose pro-life judges, and speaks in right-wing 'coded' language when talking to the Republican base.  At a debate in May, Forrester said that when it comes to matters of:"affirm[ing] life," there was little disagreement between him and the militantly anti-choice Bret Schundler, who was endorsed by anti-choice groups. [NJN Debate, 5/17/05].

The reason Planned Parenthood endorsed Jon Corzine is because they know what he stands for.  But considering that Doug Forrester keeps changing his positions, can anyone really say that about him?

Corzine Endorsed By NJ Environmental Federation

By: Matt Stoller October 14 at 11:18 AM EST

Jon Corzine has a long record of protecting the environment, which is why he was endorsed by the New Jersey Environmental Federation

U.S. Senator and gubernatorial candidate Jon S. Corzine today received a key endorsement from the New Jersey Environmental Federation's Vote Environment Committee. NJEF leaders said Jon Corzine is an unswerving environmental advocate who will bring that same dedication and commitment to pro-environment policies to the Statehouse.

"The result is clear," said Amy Goldsmith, NJEF's state director. "Senator Jon Corzine's environmental record, positions, commitments and vision are more compelling, comprehensive, and reliable than his Republican opponent, Doug Forrester, on the broad array of environmental issues facing New Jersey today."

In the United States Senate, Corzine consistently fought to protect New Jersey's natural resources. He opposed the Bush Administration's efforts to drill off New Jersey's coast, fought to ensure polluters pay for violating our urban centers with toxic spoils, and worked to protect New Jersey's precious resources like the Highlands.

"Senator Corzine understands and takes seriously the tough environmental challenges facing New Jersey," said David Pringle, VEC's campaign director. "His recent environmental speech demonstrated that he takes strong and independent positions on key environmental, land-use and public health issues."

The Forrester Diaries: "It Isn't Easy Being Green"

By: Matt Stoller October 12 at 4:52 PM EST

This is the second day of the Forrester diaries.  Doug Forrester really did write these columns, in the early 1990s.  This one's called 'It Isn't Easy Being Green', and was published on May 16, 1991.

Debate Round-Up

By: Matt Stoller October 12 at 1:19 PM EST

If you missed last night's debate, you can listen to it here on 101.5's web site.

If you want a 'real' recap from reporters, Deborah Howlett and Josh Margolin at the Star Ledger wrote their article.

Scott Shields at MyDD live-blogged the debate.

Juan Melli at BlueJersey did the same.

Frogsdong at BlueJersey has his own recap.

Roberto at Dynamobuzz summarizes the debate from his perspective.

Tami the One True One has her summary.

And frequent commenter Kire wrote a recap on his blog.

Gotta love those internets.  What did you think?

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