After receiving four election mailers paid for by the New Jersey Democratic State Committee this past week, I was reminded that the Nov. 8 election is less than a month away. These mailings pointed out, among other items, that in the Fourth Legislative District, state Sen. Fred Madden, Assemblyman Paul Moriarty and new Assembly candidate Gabriela Mosquera are “working for” the seniors and middle-class families.
Flier No. 1 advises not to vote for Republican candidates Giancarlo D’Orazio for the Senate, and Pat Fratticcioli and Shelley Lovett for the Assembly, because they belong to the Trenton group that gave the tax breaks to millionaires.
Flier No. 2 promoted the Democrats candidates with promises to us of tax relief, increasing private sector jobs, cracking down on corrupt politicians, etc. Fliers No. 3 and 4 encouraged people not to vote for Lovett because, before her election to the Gloucester Township Council three years ago, she allegedly promised not to raise taxes, but actually voted to raise them four times.
These fliers suggested that the Democrat candidates want to relieve senior citizens and the middle class from the state taxes. That is not keeping with past history.
During the 60 years since my Navy family moved from Norfolk, Va., to Gloucester City, the economic and political climate of New Jersey has dramatically changed. In the 1950s, private-sector jobs were plentiful. Now, manufacturing has all but disappeared. New Jersey’s public-sector employees, paid for with taxes, receive among America’s highest compensation for such workers. As a result, New Jersey property taxes are the nation’s highest, about 20 percent higher than second-place New Hampshire.
Thus, the public-employee unions became a primary source of contributions to the Democrats, who increased state taxes. It should not be a surprise that the Democrats can afford more expensive campaigns in New Jersey than the Republicans.
With a strong representative government, each party needs to have integrity, a fair and balanced news media, relatively equal finances and a process through which major issues are decided on by the voters. Backroom discussions of the issues are important, but such issues as tax increases need to be approved by the voters — and not by one party.
Finally, and especially for those retired on fixed incomes, property taxes should be frozen at about age 65.
Donald C. Dunn