Friday, December 25, 2009


Sussex County Tea Party Committee Announces Campaign to Recall Senator Robert Menendez

A "Committee to Recall U.S. Senator Robert Menendez," sponsored by the Sussex County Tea Party has announced plans to launch an effort to recall Senator Robert Menendez from his position in office. Helping to lead the charge is New Jersey Tea Parties United, the state's grass-roots coalition of county and regional Tea Party groups representing several thousand members in support of fiscal responsibility, individual liberty and limited government. The Committee filed a formal Notice of Intention to Recall with the Secretary of State's office on September 25, 2009. While the office of the Secretary of State acknowledged receipt of the Committee's Notice of Intention to Recall in a letter dated October 5, 2009, it has since provided no further communication. NJ state law requires that administrators respond either with an approval or with a notice of non-compliance stating the reasons within three business days of receiving the Notice, which was October 4, 2009. Since no response had been received, on November 25, 2009, the Committee filed a civil complaint in the Essex County Superior Court of New Jersey against Nina Mitchell Wells, Secretary of State and Robert F. Giles, Director of the Division of Elections, demanding that the defendants be ordered to immediately and forthwith comply with state law by issuing a response to the Committee’s Notice of Intention. To date, the Secretary of State has ignored the Notice and the Complaint in violation of state law and the Committee is awaiting a decision from the court. For up to date information, go to:,, or .

Once the notice is approved by the state or by court Order, the Committee to Recall along with NJ Tea Parties United will spearhead a large coordinated petition drive to collect signatures in support of a special recall election. NJ state law requires a minimum number of signatures equivalent to at least 25% of the prior general election's registered voters in order to grant a special recall election.

Appointed to a special one-year term by Governor Jon Corzine in November 2005, Robert Menendez was subsequently elected in 2006 during the mid-term election and has served in the US Senate for just over four years as a Democrat representing New Jersey. His term isn't scheduled to end until January 2013. The Recall Committee and New Jersey Tea Parties United believe that Senator Menendez has sided with rigidly partisan politicians in his repeated votes for cloture on a variety of key bills, stifling public debate in the Senate and denying New Jersey citizens transparency. For example, the Senator voted down an amendment that would have prevented Medicare from being raided for new entitlements[1], and another that would have limited the government's control over the health care of American families[2]. During this difficult financial period when Americans are cutting their own budgets and trying to save every penny, Senator Menendez voted down proposals to remove from spending bills a number of extravagant, excessive multi-million dollar projects that offered little or no short-term economic benefits[3]. When an amendment was proposed to transfer some of the country’s funding for the United Nations contributions to help offset the costs of providing assistance to family caregivers of our disabled veterans, he voted against it[4]. And in one case, Senator Menendez voted against allowing each member of Congress and the Secretary of Defense to simply review the allocation of certain taxpayer funds[5].

One NJ Tea Party member put it this way, “When NJ voters came out to the polls in November of 2008, they voted for the transparency and accountability that was promised. Rather than believe his own constituents who have desperately been trying to convey their wishes to him on health care reform without a government run option, he chooses to dismiss us, making public statements on the senate floor that our concerns are all nothing more than the greedy insurance companies lobbying to protect themselves.” It is statements like this that have convinced the Committee, NJ Tea Parties United, and other tea party members that Senator Menendez is one of many elitists in government that are more concerned with promoting their own careers than doing what is right for the American people. Those spearheading this effort hope that this will be the first recall of many throughout the nation and that the Constitutional government of the United States can be restored to the American people, to whom it belongs.

[1] Vote 368: H R 3590: Gregg Amdt. No. 2942
[2] Vote 360: H R 3590: Thune Amdt. No. 2901
[4] Vote 310: H R 3326; Vote 285: H R 3288; Vote 284: H R 3288; Vote 283: H R 3288
[5] Vote 310: H R 3326: Coburn Amdt. No. 2565

Sussex County Tea Party contact:
RoseAnn Salanitri, Founder (Branchville, NJ)
Phone: (973)948-8553, Email:

Alternate Contact:
Michele Talam, NJ Tea Parties United

Legal Contact:
Dan Silberstein, Esq.
Phone: (732) 388-8600, Email:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Health Bill Is Scary

By Senator Tom Coburn -

I recently suggested that seniors will die sooner if Congress actually implements the Medicare cuts in the health-care bill put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. My colleagues who defend the bill—none of whom have practiced medicine—predictably dismissed my concern as a scare tactic. They are wrong. Every American, not just seniors, should know that the rationing provisions in the Reid bill will not only reduce their quality of life, but their life spans as well.

My 25 years as a practicing physician have shown me what happens when government attempts to practice medicine: Doctors respond to government coercion instead of patient cues, and patients die prematurely. Even if the public option is eliminated from the bill, these onerous rationing provisions will remain intact.

For instance, the Reid bill (in sections 3403 and 2021) explicitly empowers Medicare to deny treatment based on cost. An Independent Medicare Advisory Board created by the bill—composed of permanent, unelected and, therefore, unaccountable members—will greatly expand the rationing practices that already occur in the program. Medicare, for example, has limited cancer patients' access to Epogen, a costly but vital drug that stimulates red blood cell production. It has limited the use of virtual, and safer, colonoscopies due to cost concerns. And Medicare refuses medical claims at twice the rate of the largest private insurers.

Section 6301 of the Reid bill creates new comparative effectiveness research (CER) programs. CER panels have been used as rationing commissions in other countries such as the U.K., where 15,000 cancer patients die prematurely every year according to the National Cancer Intelligence Network. CER panels here could effectively dictate coverage options and ration care for plans that participate in the state insurance exchanges created by the bill.

Additionally, the Reid bill depends on the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in no fewer than 14 places. This task force was responsible for advising women under 50 to not undergo annual mammograms. The administration claims the task force recommendations do not carry the force of law, but the Reid bill itself contradicts them in section 2713. The bill explicitly states, on page 17, that health insurance plans "shall provide coverage for" services approved by the task force. This chilling provision represents the government stepping between doctors and patients. When the government asserts the power to provide care, it also asserts the power to deny care.

If the bill expands Medicaid eligibility to 133% of the poverty level, that too will lead to rationing. Because Washington bureaucrats have created a system that underpays doctors, 40% of doctors already restrict access to Medicaid patients, and therefore ration care.
Medicaid demonstrates, tragically in some cases, that access to a government program does not guarantee access to health care. In Maryland, 17,000 Medicaid patients are currently on a waiting list for medical services, and as many as 250 may have died while awaiting care, according to state auditors. Kansas, the home state of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, faces a Medicaid backlog of more than 15,000 applicants.

Other unintended consequences of the Reid bill could wreak havoc on patients' lives. What happens, for instance, when savvy consumers commanded to buy insurance realize the penalty is the de facto premium? It won't take long for younger, healthier Americans to realize it's cheaper to pay a $750 tax for coverage instead of, say, $5,000 in annual premiums when coverage can't be denied if you get sick.

OMB Budget Director Peter Orzsag's belief that mandatory health insurance will become a "cultural norm" is bureaucratic naivete that will produce skyrocketing premiums and reduced care for everyone. My state's own insurance commissioner, a Democrat, recently confirmed this concern to me in a letter noting that "the result will be higher insurance rates due to a higher percentage of insured being higher risk/expense individuals."

But the most fundamental flaw of the Reid bill is best captured by the story of one my patients I'll call Sheila. When Sheila came to me at the age of 33 with a lump in her breast, traditional tests like a mammogram under the standard of care indicated she had a cyst and nothing more. Because I knew her medical history, I wasn't convinced. I aspirated the cyst and discovered she had a highly malignant form of breast cancer. Sheila fought a heroic battle against breast cancer and enjoyed 12 good years with her family before succumbing to the disease.

If I had been practicing under the Reid bill, the government would have likely told me I couldn't have done the test that discovered Sheila's cancer because it wasn't approved under CER. Under the Reid bill, Sheila may have lived another year instead of 12, and her daughters would have missed a decade with their mom.

The bottom line is that under the Reid bill the majority of America's patients might be fine. But some will be like Sheila—patients whose lives hang in the balance and require the care of a doctor who understands the science and art of medicine, and can make decisions without government interference.

The American people are opposing this bill in greater numbers every day because the facts of the bill—not any tactic—are cause for serious concern.

Dr. Coburn, a physician, is a Republican senator from Oklahoma.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Code Red Rally

Videos from the CODE RED RALLY in Washington, DC
December 15, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Obama's Jobs Summit: The Invisible Hand of SEIU and ACORN

by Liberty Chick -

As President Obama concludes his first jobs summit, almost a year into his presidency, the nature of the guest list hints at a deliberate initiative that's been underway for over 15 years - and it's not one of the obvious presumptions that most would make. Notice that of the list of leaders invited, the majority are labor union leaders, leaders of businesses with government contracts, or leaders of businesses that operate on partial public funding. There is a common element across most of the businesses represented: in one capacity or another, even if they are private sector businesses, most on the list benefit from some form of public money.

There is a legal precedent over 15 years old that is the pervasive push behind such a premise, one that was the product of ACORN and labor union coalitions. And judging by Change to Win / SEIU’s Anna Burger’s plan for today’s jobs summit, it’s evident that this precedent is in play as we speak.

It’s no coincidence that in the wake of America’s economic crisis, some lawmakers have been pushing for infusions of public funds into the private sector. No, we’re not just talking bank and insurance company bailouts. We’re talking about tax credit and incentive programs, health care reform proposals, green jobs programs, energy efficiency initiatives, and even real estate development companies. As the conservative accusations of socialism have begun to sink in with progressive leaders -especially with union leaders, who are especially sensitive to being perceived as public spenders – the language has been changing. Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” doesn’t sound so scary when it’s wrapped in the glove of words like “co-ops” and “public-private partnerships” and “national service”, which are now quickly being mainstreamed into the rhetoric.

To the observant reader, one can look at the list of Jobs Summit invitees and know what the outcome will be, and why. The goal is not to create jobs. The goals are to create public-private partnerships and to create union membership opportunities.

In 1994, when ACORN and its community and labor union allies won the first Living Wage fight against Baltimore’s Inner Harbor development project, a national movement was underway. It was not only about Living Wage, but the premise itself opened up the door for a broader, more creative initiative.

The premise of Living Wage: any private business that benefits from public money can be controlled in part by government policy, and in this particular case, must pay their workers a living wage. While minimum wage is a standard national and state guideline across the board, living wage is different in that it calculates the income an adult with the average family of two must make in order to live comfortably in the middle class bracket for that geographic location.

The premise of today’s broader movement: create more opportunities for private businesses and individuals to benefit from public money, and the government can then intervene to dictate anything it wants – labor regulations, wages, health benefits, and much more.
As we see in SEIU’s campaigns to unionize home child care workers and UAW and AFSCME’s campaigns to do the same, any trickle of state or federal subsidies creates an opportunity for government and union entry, which drives up taxes and stresses the economy. And SEIU is applying the same logic to home care workers, nursing home workers, cafeteria workers, and the like.

We see this premise of control via public subsidy in action most obviously today with TARP and the bank bailouts. Conveniently for unions and community organizers, the bailouts outraged many – even constitutional conservatives. Hence, why SEIU especially seized upon the opportunity to channel that collective rage and turn it instead into a marketing tool to create anti-capitalist hype. (Note that SEIU selectively excludes the Automaker Bailouts from its manufactured rage). Bashing capitalism and the free enterprise system has become a favorite pastime for some. It seems just downright trendy these days to equate greed or corruption with capitalism and use it as a basis for throwing out an entire economic system, doesn’t it? When in your lifetime have you stood in line at the grocery store and overheard everyone from your postal carrier, to the elementary school’s janitor, to your neighbor’s college student son, all offering their theories on the evils of capitalism? You don’t even have to know anything about economic theory or the important role of Capitalism in the founding of America to participate in this latest fad. (After all, in a study of the Ability Of College Freshmen To Identify Adam Smith And Karl Marx, only 26.6 percent could identify Adam Smith as the “father of Capitalism”).

By the way, if you want to argue the positive aspects of Capitalism, just watch Steve Forbes put SEIU’s Andy Stern in his place on the issue in this video from the The Federalist Society, where it presented a panel discussion on Redistribution of Wealth at the 2009 National Lawyers Convention. (full panel video on C-Span)

Keeping in mind the consequences facing banks that have received public funds, let’s look at all of the private sector areas in which SEIU and other labor and community organizing coalitions have been gaining unionizing strongholds, based on the same precedent initially set by the living wage laws 15 years ago:

  • Child care workers who have customers that receive public subsidies through welfare programs
  • Home care workers who serve patients who receive Medicare, Medicaid, or other public health care benefits
  • Using unionized workers to drive public weatherization and energy efficiency initiatives that receive public funds
  • Private schools and universities with students who receive public grants or loans
  • Private companies that do business with the government in any capacity
  • Private companies that have received public grants or loans
  • There’s even a push to regulate private companies that have received loans from any banks that have received public funds
  • The future focus no doubt will be on creating regulations related to anyone who receives public health care benefits

Unions have been unable to successfully grow membership in the private sector; therefore, SEIU has focused on growing its public sector opportunities by organizing typically private sector independent workers as mentioned above. In addition, it has focused on acquiring, often by force, other unions, and on creating political policy that will create public sector jobs in their realm of union membership, such as with health care. Lastly, the SEIU conducts repeated corporate campaign attacks on organizations that support free markets and that oppose forced unionism. Simply look at their attacks on non-unionized hospitals like this one and this one, and groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (which coincidentally was left off today’s jobs summit invite list).

In fact, just watch this Campaign for America’s Future video on C-Span, with panelists Anna Burger (Change to Win/SEIU) and Ilyse Hogue (, especially at around minutes 57:00 and at 58:40 when Hogue mentions their joint campaign with SEIU against the US Chamber of Commerce to mobilize 22,000 small business leaders to oppose the Chamber of Commerce under the guise of saving the planet.

Given the observations of all of the above, now examine the highlights from Anna Burger’s plan for creating jobs at Thursday’s jobs summit:

  • Increase unemployment insurance and expand work sharing programs to provide unemployment benefits for reduced hours of work
  • Use TARP funds to increase credit for small businesses
  • Expand federal fiscal relief to states and local governments (to save an anticipated 900,000 jobs?)
  • Create jobs in child care, in-home services for the elderly and disabled, and other community services through a public jobs program
  • Leverage private investment with public dollars through a Green Bank that will promote energy-efficiency and renewables as a major source of job creation; Expand home retrofitting programs begun under the Recovery Act to commercial and public buildings
  • Rebuild schools, roads and bridge; create an Infrastructure Bank to foster public/private partnerships in developing regional and large scale projects
  • Passing health care reform will add “tens of millions of Americans to the healthcare rolls and create more than a million new and different jobs” in healthcare and related industries
  • Pass the Employee Free Choice Act
  • Expand worker training programs on a national scale

Every last one of Burger’s recommendations hinges entirely upon public dependency, both at the business level and the at the individual level. Aside from being one of the most powerful labor union leaders in the world, Burger is a primary participant in today’s summit, and she’s also on the President’s Economic Recovery Board of Advisers. As SEIU Secretary/Treasurer and chair of Change to Win, Burger’s organizations spend the union members’ dues on some of highest lobbying numbers on Capitol Hill for a multitude of self-serving policies.

Today’s jobs summit is not about creating jobs. It seems relatively clear that the goals will be more focused on establishing ways to propagate “public-private partnership opportunities” to all facets of the private sector. “Reformist”, “Social Capitalism”, “Market Socialism” – use whatever terms you want. Most of us know that Capitalism didn’t cause this crisis, because Capitalism isn’t really what we have anymore, which is why the free market needs to be restored. While we may hear what sounds like private sector rhetoric from President Obama, Progressives in Congress, and today’s jobs summit leaders, don’t be easily fooled – beware of Adam Smith’s infamous “Invisible Hand” in the form of the proverbial wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing.

Liberty Chick is an associate member of New Jersey Tea Parties United as well as a contributor to Andrew Breitbart's

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Medicare Tax Increase

by PDR -

Medicare Tax according to Webster's: A tax deducted from employees' paychecks that goes to pay for medical benefits for people over 65 years of age. Medicare tax is paid by both employee and employer.

Medicare Tax was first imposed upon us working Americans in 1966 at a rate of .35 or .70. The current Medicare Tax rate is 1.45% or 2.90%; that is a 241% increase over a 43 year period. Medicare is paid by the employee, yes you the employee and is matched by the employer. There is no wage base for the Medicare tax, you pay it from day 1 and you pay it as long as you are a wage earning American. We already pay too much in taxes.

This tax affects ALL of us adversely:

The young will be paying from the first job they take. They will have no CHOICE but to participate in government sponsored health care. They will this Medicare tax until they are ready to retire at age 65 and collect their and then they will become SENIORS

SENIORS, who have been paying into Medicare are will receive less services by less doctors; higher premiums for MediGap and the government will have direct access to your bank account to obtain payment for services. Medicare already denies more claims than any private insurance plan. HR3962 specifically makes reference to a reduction in Medicare funding, higher Medicare Taxes but less funding and benefits. Is this what we want? NO we do not.

And Small business owners-we know who we are and we know how we are currently struggling under high taxes. We can no longer afford additional taxation. Small businesses combined provide the greater majority of jobs in this country and are always hardest hit by tax increases. Why? Because it is more difficult for small businesses to compete and more difficult for small businesses to increase the costs of goods and services. Colgate Palmolive can increase the cost of a tube of toothpaste 1% to cover this Medicare tax increase and the American consumer will continue to purchase the toothpaste. They can raise the price by 10 or 20% to cover all the additional costs that will be imposed upon us by HR3962 and we will continue to purchase their products. The small business owner who increases his price for goods and services by 10% may be out of business tomorrow.

I urge everyone to oppose HR3962. It is an invasion of our privacy. It takes away our choices. It reduces benefits to our seniors. It increases taxes and costs. And it does not provide coverage for every uninsured American, but it sure does tax every working American.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER? Charges Filed Against SEIU Purple People Beaters...

From the Labor Union Report -

It is said that the wheels of justice turn slowly.
In the case of the SEIU purple shirted thugs who beat a conservative black man selling Gadsden flags at a town hall meeting in August, justice is coming more slowly than usual and the wheels?...Well, in St. Louis, the wheels of justice seem to be nothing more than that of a blue matchbox car.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch, which has a reporter among one of the charged, writes:

Six people arrested in August outside a raucous town hall meeting in south St. Louis County have been charged with misdemeanor ordinance violations.

The six, including a Post-Dispatch reporter, had attended a demonstration outside an Aug. 6 forum called by U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, at Bernard Middle School in Mehlville to discuss health care reform....

The maximum penalty upon conviction would be one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Some bloggers have been writing for months about the lag between the arrests at the politically-charged event and the filing of charges.

County Counselor Patricia Redington insisted it had nothing to do with politics, influence or pressure from any official.

"These charges are like the 90,000 other charges we file each year," she said.
[Emphasis added.]

Interestingly, although the county counselor insists her delay has nothing to do with politics, she seemed much more interested in justice nine years ago when she filed charges against a Republican staffer for pushing a camera away from his face.
Redington was quick to file charges back in 2000, when a staffer for Democrat Richard Gephardt stalked serious contender Republican Bill Federer on a parade route. The staffer, James Larrew, tried to shove his camera into Federer’s face until Federer was forced to push the camera away. The staffer freaked, flagged down a cop and claimed that he had been assaulted. Larrew then called Gephardt’s office and spoke to Joyce Aboussie, Gephardt’s top political adviser, who then contacted Redington’s office. Two days later Redington filed assault charges against Federer, on Columbus Day, a national holiday; after which Redington, Aboussie, and Larrew conducted a media blitz, all arranged for by Gephardt’s office.

Something tells us that the wheels of justice are a bit off track in St. Louis.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reflections on the Status of Marriage

by CH -

The New Jersey Legislature is contemplating a vote on same sex marriage during the lame duck session. Governor Corzine promises to sign this legislation before leaving office.

I am against changing the definition of Marriage. Marriage is the committed relationship between a man and a woman. It is a unique institution and its meaning to society should be upheld and valued. One of the primary purposes of marriage is to procreate and raise the next generation. Mothers and fathers each bring a unique set of attitudes, skills and emotions to the table to help raise their children.

Children need both of these unique sets of tools to become healthy adults. The traditional Marriage relationship has proven to be the best environment possible to create and nurture children.

In addition, I fear that if same sex marriage is folded in to traditional marriage then any religious organization founded on the basis of traditional religious values will be pressured to change or risk losing their tax status, etc. I recently read that a Catholic Church was being challenged in Canada for refusing to rent out their church reception hall to a lesbian couple. A private religious entity should not be forced to do anything that is against the biblical values they are based on.

The slippery slope concept is worrisome. If same sex unions are defined as marriage then why not include multiple partner marriage or marriage with a minor? How far could we eventually go? Once marriage is opened up to a different meaning then people should be able to define it any way they see fit to adapt to their personal lifestyle.

The current recognition by New Jersey of civil unions for committed same sex couples is justified. It could be used to fight for health benefits, pension benefits, etc. But we don’t have to change the meaning of marriage to accomplish these goals. Same sex civil unions can be used as the vehicle to grant couples the benefits and protections that they deserve. We don’t need to retrofit marriage to make it all encompassing. We need to continue to recognize marriage as the loving union between a husband and wife and the best environment to raise children.

I realize my views will be depicted as hate speech and bigotry and that’s too bad. My views are not against same sex couples, what they do in their private lives is their own business. But I must stand up for the special status of traditional marriage. Most Americans agree. Whenever same sex marriage is put to a vote of the electorate, it loses. Voters recognize the unique status of marriage and want to keep it as such. Pushing a vote in a lame duck session in New Jersey not only ignores the recent election results, but takes the vote away from the people.