Northfield, Linwood, Somers Point Memorial Day Parades– Monday, May 28 at 8:00 A.M.
1. For several years, we marched in the Memorial Parades of Northfield, Linwood, and Somers Point. We meet at the home of Dennis Mahon at 7 Twelve Oaks Lane in Northfield for coffee at 8AM.
At 8:30 AM we drive to where the Northfield parade starts at 9AM. We put on sashes of red, white, and blue, and walk in the about 1/3 of a mile in the Northfield parade carrying various symbols of liberty—our “Liberty and Prosperity.org” banner, the American, New Jersey, and “Don’t Tread on Me” flags—and our symbolic wooden pikes draped with the red liberty cap like the one that appears on the New Jersey state flag. These were important symbols of the American Revolution—if you don’t know why, go to http://www.
At the end of the Northfield parade, we drive to the Linwood parade that starts at 10AM. Then we walk in the Somers Point parade that starts at 11AM. We then return to the home of Dennis Mahon in Northfield for lunch, beverages, and conversation.
We are in these parades is to not only honor the dead on Memorial Day, but to do what Abraham Lincoln wanted us to do at these events. To also dedicate we, the living, to their unfinished work of protecting and defending liberty today.
In the past 12 to 16 of us walked in these parades. This year, we would like to have 20 to 30. We also hope to have 14 year old Matt Lewis of Estelle Manor beat the drum for us—as he did last month at Bayfest. We can also use one or two other drummers. We are offering a stipend of $50 for drummers who walk with us in all three parades this Memorial. If you can join us in any capacity, please contact Seth Grossman at 609-927-7333 or email@example.com.
2. We are happy that Republican Governor Chris Christie finally vetoed the state law that would have started ObamaCare in New Jersey. We are not happy that he waited until the last possible day to do it, and acted only after conservatives lobbied hard for him to take that action. If Governor Christie were a real conservative, he would be leading, not following.
3. If conservatives have no real political power in New Jersey, we have nobody to blame but ourselves. The Declaration of Independence says that we are endowed by our Creator with certain “unalienable rights”. But it is up to us men and women to institute governments to secure them. In a democracy, that means holding public office and helping others win elections to hold public office. That takes certain knowledge, skills, discipline, sacrifice, financial commitment, and work.
4. Here in South Jersey, we are only aware of two “Tea Party” conservatives running serious campaigns for public office. In Northfield, Tea Party conservatives organized a “New Republican Club” and are supporting Jim Travagline for city council in the June 5 Republican primary election against the candidate endorsed by establishment Republicans. In Millville, Clay Mikolasy was appointed as the Republican municipal leader after running candidates for Republican County Committee against the established Republican organization two years ago. If anyone else is running, please let us know.
5. Hopefully, next year will be a different story. All 80 members of the New Jersey state assembly will be up for election, along with at roughly half of the State Senate and many county freeholders. So far, it looks like the only Tea Party conservatives who ran serious campaigns for state or county-wide office were Steve Lonegan for Governor, Senator Mike Doherty, and Assemblywoman Allison McHose in North Jersey, and Dr. Bob Villare and Ron Brittin in Gloucester County in 2009—and the re-election of Doherty and McHose in 2011. With 40 state election districts and 21 counties in New Jersey, that is not very good.
6. If you are serious about becoming an effective and winning candidate for State Senator, State Assembly, County Freeholder, or local office next year—or the manager of an effective an winning campaign for someone else—now is the time to prepare. Get involved this year on a campaign for the most conservative candidate you can find in any race that is close to you and get some training and experience. But find out how to get the training, contacts, exposure, and practice you need right now. We will be spending a lot of time and energy at our movie nights and Saturday breakfasts—and in projects with other Tea Party groups, prepare ordinary citizens to be extra-ordinary candidates. If you have the knowledge and the talent, please come forward and use them. Otherwise, nothing will change.
7. BIG STATE GOVERNMENT DOUBLES DOWN ON “SAVING” ATLANTIC CITY. The $1.2 billion Revel Casino did nothing to improve the Atlantic City economy. Casino earnings for the town were down another ten percent last month. The Revel Casino is the government-run and paid for version of General Motors. The Revel Casino project was, bailed out with more than $400 million of state government borrowing (without voter approval), tax breaks, zoning breaks, state government subsidies of salaries, special approvals, government funded advertising etc. The State Government take-over of Atlantic City did nothing to make the town cleaner or safer. The shootings continue. Ordinary taxpayers were crushed with another big tax hike as local government spends more, while casinos pay less. So what are Republican Governor Christie and Democrat Senate President Steve Sweeney doing? A massive $150 million government funded advertising campaign to tell everyone how great things are in Atlantic City!
8. Liberty and Prosperity on the Radio. Our Executive Director, Seth Grossman will be a guest on the Larry Trulli and Dan Klein programs on 1020AM WIBG Radio (Ocean City and much of South Jersey) tomorrow (MONDAY) and most Mondays from 8AM to 10 AM until further notice. Grossman also hosts his own program on 92.1FM Radio (Vineland and most of South Jersey) Saturdays from 8AM to 9AM. We also hold a breakfast discussion every Saturday morning from 9:30 A.M. to 10:30AM that is open to everyone who wants to learn more about liberty. It is held at the Shore Diner, Tilton and Fire Roads by Parkway Exit 36 in Egg Harbor Township.
9. IMPORTANT BUSINESS MEETING: THIS SATURDAY MORNING, SECOND SATURDAY OF EVERY MONTH—RIGHT AFTER THE BREAKFAST ENDS AT 10:30 A.M. Many of you are now attending our breakfasts on a regular basis. Why not take the next step and become a voting member—or even a leadership position as an officer or director? If interest, please contact Dennis Mahon, Seth Grossman, or any voting member.
10. BECOME A MEMBER. You can joint as a non-voting, supporting member for $30 per year and attend and take part in all business meetings. Voting members must pay $60, attend 3 business meetings per year, and participate in at least one volunteer project per year.
11. PLEASE REVIEW AND SUGGEST CORRECTIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS FOR PROPOSED SETH GROSSMAN COLUMN FOR THE CURRENT AND GAZETTE WEEKLY NEWSPAPERS IN ATLANTIC AND CAPE MAY COUNTIES. Previous columns are posted at http://www.
“Laws are to govern all alike—those opposed as well as those who favor them. I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.” Republican President Ulysses S. Grant, 1868
Somers Point has a delightful Bayfest street fair on the last Saturday of April each year. The city council makes special laws to close Bay Avenue to vehicle traffic, and to let vendors set amusements and sell all sorts of crafts and food in the street. Platforms are set up for bands to perform open air concerts all day. This year the weather was perfect, and thousands of out-of-town visitors thoroughly enjoyed the day.
But a few dozen visitors to Bayfest got an unpleasant surprise this year when they got back to their cars. They found tickets for violating new Somers Point Permit Parking Ordinance. Since June of last year, only local residents can park on four streets close to Shore Memorial Hospital and various doctors’ offices.
First offenders are fined $25 to $50 and a court appearance or formal plea by mail is needed. That adds another $27 bringing the minimum penalty to $52.
I doubt that any of these people had any idea that they were breaking the law. All of the side streets had barriers manned by volunteers who waved traffic in and out. Every parking space was filled, yet nobody was warned of the parking restrictions. The new law was not there the year before. It was very easy to miss the signs—or assume that they did not apply to Bayfest.
One of the volunteers on the Bayfest Committee told me that no action was taken to suspend these restrictions because nobody thought about it—they were not there the previous year.
The police originally decided not to issue tickets that day unless someone complained. But a resident on Higbee Avenue did complain. He said if he had to pay $5 for a permit to park in the street in front of his own house, nobody else should park for free. And so the police ticketed the car of every Bayfest visitor in the area.
But this “stringent execution” of the law is exactly what Republican President Ulysses S. Grant said should be done with all laws.
It is now up to the legislators—the mayor and council members of Somers Point to re-think whether or not these parking restrictions are “bad or obnoxious” and should be repealed.
If you believe in liberty, you understand that any proposed new law that creates different rules for different people should very closely examined, and adopted only when absolutely necessary.
When laws are simple and treat everyone equally, government is more honest, fair, and less expensive. As the Roman statesman Tacitus observed 2,000 years ago, “The more numerous laws, the more corrupt the state”.
Somers Point adopted these parking regulations ten months ago when some residents complained that employees, patients, and visitors of the nearby hospital and doctors offices were taking up too many parking spaces during the day.
The tax-exempt hospital now has its own garage for its employees, patients, and visitors. Is the parking restriction still needed to keep them off the nearby streets?
As for the doctors’ offices, don’t they pay the same taxes as residential homes? And since most of the residents have private driveways, isn’t it more of hardship for sick, disabled, and elderly patients to park far from the offices—especially in cold and rainy weather?
In these hard economic times, with lots of empty office buildings, should Somers Point encourage doctors to move their offices to other towns where parking is not such a hassle?
If Somers Point council members now find that this new parking law has turned out to be “bad” or “obnoxious”, they should repeal it. At the very least, they should minimize its impact by allowing visitor parking for one or two hours (Atlantic City permits three hours)—and on weekends, like Bayfest weekend, when most doctors offices are closed.
But what about the folks who got tickets at Bayfest this year? If the municipal prosecutor and the police agree that these out-of-town visitors were not given fair and reasonable notice that these restrictions were in effect during Bayfest, they should dismiss the tickets. But if these laws must be “stringently executed”, maybe the Bayfest Committee should pay all or part of the fines. But everyone should be treated equally.