Monday, January 31, 2005

New Jersey Governor's Race -- Meet the Candidates

The Jersey GOP Blog had a piece a few days back asking if six Republicans could beat one Democrat. Reading that, I realized I didn't really know enough about each candidate.
Here's the first in a series of pieces I'm putting together about our Republican candidates for governor. In this table, just some basic facts about each announced candidate, as gleaned from their campaign web sites. Hope you find this helpful!


Paul DiGaetano

Doug Forrester

Steve Lonegan

John Murphy

Bob Schroeder

Bret Schundler

Contact Info


DiGaetano for Governor
PO Box 9216
Lyndhurst, New Jersey 07071

Forrester for Governor

29 Emmons Drive C-10

Princeton, NJ 08540

Lonegan for Governor, Inc., P.O. Box 280

Ridgewood, NJ 07451-0280

John Murphy for Governor
1719 Route 10
Suite 123
Parsippany, NJ 07054

Elect Robert Schroeder Governor, Inc. P.O. Box 2005, Washington Township, NJ 07676

Schundler for Governor

187 Mill Lane
Mountainside, NJ 07092


201-896-0108 fax


609-452-0008 fax



973-267-9020 fax


908-379-2434 fax






No email on site


Current Elected Position

Assemblyman, District 36, 8th term.

Mayor, Bogota

Morris County Freeholder, 3-term

Washington Township Council (since 1991)

Previous Elected Position

Former Majority Leader in the Assembly

Mayor, West Windsor

Mayor, Morris Township

2 term Twp Council President, 3 term VP

Republican nominee for Governor, 2001

Other Government Experience

Assistant State Treasurer

Mayor, Jersey City, 3 terms (92-01).


President, Paul J. DiGaetano and Sons, Construction & Development firm

Benecard Services, Inc.

Custom Homebuilder

Financial Services Industry. Partner in Morristown Financial Group.

President, API Distributors

Finance, Salomon Brothers and CJ Lawrence

Organizations & Leadership

Mercer County Republican Organization

State national finance VP for NFIB

Volunteer firefighter since 1982. Former Captain, Fire Company President, Volunteer Fire Chief. Others.

Volunteer firefighter for over 25 years


Notre Dame, Aerospace Engineering

BA, Business Admin, Wm Paterson College

MBA, Farleigh Dickinson Univ

BA, Business Admin, Gettysburg College

Farleigh Dickinson Univ (1982)

Harvard University



West Windsor



Washington Twp

Jersey City


Wife Yvonne, 3 sons age 8-16

Wife, Andrea

3 grown children

Wife, Lorraine, teenage daughters Brooke and Katharine

Wife, Jennifer, 3 children (Caitlin, Megan and Jack)

Cute kids.

Married, two young children

Wife, Lynn

Daughter Shaylin, son Hans Otto III








For the candidates and their campaign staffs: if I have inadvertantly misread something on your website, I'll gladly correct it. Also, I'll take any additional information to fill in the blanks.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Weekend Reading at the Daily Demarche

Smiley at the Daily Demarche points to a policy paper written by Condoleeza Rice, and invites readers to comment on whether her views have changed in light of 9/11 and the war in Iraq. Since my comments wouldn't fit on their site, I'm posting them here. Maybe, someday, someone will read them.

Dr. Rice's paper from 2000 clearly demonstrates the United States' foreign policy as executed over the first term of the Bush administration. She gives the roadmap early, in the section headed "The Alternative."

American foreign policy in a Republican administration should refocus the United States on the national interest and the pursuit of key priorities. These tasks are
* to ensure that America's military can deter war, project power, and fight in defense of its interests if deterrence fails;
* to promote economic growth and political openness by extending free trade and a stable international monetary system to all committed to these principles, including in the western hemisphere, which has too often been neglected as a vital area of U.S. national interest;
* to renew strong and intimate relationships with allies who share American values and can thus share the burden of promoting peace, prosperity, and freedom;
* to focus U.S. energies on comprehensive relationships with the big powers, particularly Russia and China, that can and will mold the character of the international political system; and
* to deal decisively with the threat of rogue regimes and hostile powers, which is increasingly taking the forms of the potential for terrorism and the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The rest of her paper clearly supports this relatively simple statement of policy.
Over the intervening five years, Dr. Rice's views have not changed. Look at the opening statement from her confirmation hearing:
First, we will unite the community of democracies in building an international system that is based on shared values and the rule of law. Second, we will strengthen the community of democracies to fight the threats to our common security and alleviate the hopelessness that feeds terror.
And third, we will spread freedom and democracy throughout the globe. That is the mission that President Bush has set for America in the world and is the great mission of American diplomacy today.

The only difference is in a slightly narrower focus and a change in priorities. Driven by the advent of the global war on terror, it has become more important to deal with the last point of the 2000 policy statement. The other points have not been neglected, but they have not been as heavily emphasized as they would have been in a peaceful first term.
Later in the opening statement, she provides examples of how the administration has executed or will execute these lesser priorities.

Promote economic growth and political openness:
Implementing the DOHA Development Agenda and reducing trade barriers ... standing with the freed peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan ... spending billions to fight AIDS and tuberculosis and malaria ... joining with developing nations to fight corruption, instill the rule of law and create a culture of transparency ... heartened by the refusal of the people of Ukraine to accept a flawed election and heartened by their insistence that their democratic demands would be met.

Renew strong and intimate relationships with allies who share our values:
Our first challenge is to inspire the American people and the people of all free nations to unite in common, to commonly solve problems that confront us. NATO and the European Union and our democratic allies in East Asia and around the world will be our strongest partners in this vital work ... Alliances and multilateral institutions can multiply the strength of freedom-loving nations ... Japan, South Korea and Australia are key partners in our efforts to deter common threats and spur economic growth ... with our close neighbors in Latin America, we are working to realize the vision of a fully democratic hemisphere, bound by common values and free trade.

Focus U.S. energies on comprehensive relationships with the big powers, particularly Russia and China:
we will continue to make clear that protection of democracy in Russia is vital to the future of U.S.- Russian relations ... We are building a candid, cooperative and constructive relationship with China that embraces our common interests but recognizes our considerable differences about values ... The United States is cooperating with India, the world's largest democracy, across a range of economic and security issues.

To deal decisively with the threat of rogue regimes and hostile powers: ('nuff said).

America is well served to have Dr. Rice as Secretary of State. Her vision, and consistency in executing that vision while adjusting priorities to fit the situation, mark her as a true leader. I envy the Foreign Service for the opportunity to serve under her leadership.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Inaugural Address has an interesting mini-liveblog from the Inaugural address.

I think that the most interesting thing in President Bush's Inaugural address was a call to service for the youth of America.

Today, I also speak anew to my fellow citizens:

From all of you, I have asked patience in the hard task of securing America, which you have granted in good measure. Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill, and would be dishonorable to abandon. Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom. And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it. By our efforts, we have lit a fire as well - a fire in the minds of men. It warms those who feel its power, it burns those who fight its progress, and one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world.

A few Americans have accepted the hardest duties in this cause - in the quiet work of intelligence and diplomacy ... the idealistic work of helping raise up free governments ... the dangerous and necessary work of fighting our enemies. Some have shown their devotion to our country in deaths that honored their whole lives - and we will always honor their names and their sacrifice.

All Americans have witnessed this idealism, and some for the first time. I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs. Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself - and in your days you will add not just to the wealth of our country, but to its character.

He essentially asks for your support incontinuing to execute the vision from his 2001 inaugural. In that address, he said:
The enemies of liberty and our country should make no mistake, America remains engaged in the world, by history and by choice, shaping a balance of power that favors freedom. We will defend our allies and our interests. We will show purpose without arrogance. We will meet aggression and bad faith with resolve and strength. And to all nations, we will speak for the values that gave our nation birth.

I think there is no more important cause than this. In the service of that cause, here are some pointers for all you "youths" out there:
or any of hundreds of other options. The choice is yours -- make it!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

State rethinks housing for troubled kids: The Columns II

I had missed this article in researching my previous post. It lays out the story pretty well, and includes a quote from State Senator Allen.

At Tuesday night's hearing before the Land Use Board, state Sen. Diane Allen, R-Edgewater Park, sharply criticized the state for failing to become more involved in child placement.

Noting that the state Department of Human Services owns some 1,100 buildings, many of them vacant, Allen said that "it's the responsibility of the state to care for these youngsters, not little Delanco."
Also, I noticed that in all of the Burlington County Times articles, Mr. Josephson is referred to as a "former state attorney who also represents Capital Academy." At the Courier Post, he doesn't get the former state attorney tag. Is the BCT trying to confer some kind of authoirty on Josephson by consistently mentioning his past affiliation?

The Columns: Helping the "Children"

Here in little Delanco, NJ, there's a big issue in the news. A contractor for the state wants to take over an old mansion on the Delaware River and turn it into a "Residential Child Care Facility" for up to 36 boys aged 15 and over. These boys are "troubled" in that they have, according to the contractor, been "abused, neglected or abandoned."

The coverage of this story (primarily found in the Burlington County Times) has been rather interesting.

December 19, 2004: Delanco residents want info. News breaks that Capital Academy has plans to move into our town. An attorney for Capital Academy makes an innovative claim:

Josephson contends the youth program is an allowed use under an existing approval granted by the township in 1999 for a "residential care facility." That approval did not specify the age of the facility's occupants.
He also maintains that because the program provides services to children under the care of the state and the program is subject to state oversight, "this facility is a state government facility that is not subject to local land use powers." [emphasis added]
I'm not quite sure how a private business, on private land, qualifies as a government facility simply by virtue of the fact that they do work under contract to the government. If that were the case, then companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing could claim to be federal agencies and not subject to local control. This company apparently believes it is above the law, and has little regard for the citizens of the township in which it wants to operate.

December 21, 2004: Proposal for youth facility rankles neighbors. The township starts to react to the proposal.

"I have a 14-year-old daughter, and I have to work," Cox says. "This is a very emotional issue for me. One of these kids can walk out of the back door and be in my backyard in 10 seconds."

The company proposing the use, Capital Academy, owned by Restorative Programming Inc. of Mercer County, plans to place youths ages 15 to 18 "who have emotional difficulties stemming from difficult life and family situations," often from abusive situations.

Residents such as Cox and her husband, Bruce, say they fear the youths could have violence or sex offenses in their past.

Capital Academy would be under contract with the state Department of Human Services to place the youths there.

Joe Delmar, a department spokesman, said the teens faced "severe emotional and behavioral issues" and were placed with state programs by the courts.

He said that he did not know specifically the backgrounds of youths who might be placed in Delanco, but that youths of similar backgrounds could have violent pasts. He said he did not know about sex offenses.

The lack of detailed knowledge about the backgrounds of those who might live there angers local residents.

"Our beef is that these kids have a history of violence and they plan to put them in an unsecured residential area 35 feet away from houses in a 100-year-old building with 65 windows and seven or eight doors," said Bruce Cox, a 43-year-old painter. [emphasis added]

December 27, 2004: MSNBC - Special Delanco meeting is Jan. 11. Restorative Programming sent a late afternoon fax to the township notifying them that they would be moving ahead.

The issue peaked last week when the agency notified the township that two boys would be housed at the mansion over the Christmas holiday, even as rumors swirled in the community that the agency was planning to bring in violent teenagers and sexual offenders.

Ultimately, the boys were not taken to the facility, but the township pursued a court order to keep the mansion closed to all the boys. Lawyers for both the township and the agency argued for well over an hour yesterday before Sweeney issued his ruling calling for an expedited decision by the land board.

December 28, 2004: Judge formally halts teen housing. The Philadelphia Inquirer's reporter covers the same essential facts, with one additional point:

A state judge yesterday temporarily barred a business from housing and treating emotionally disturbed teens at a waterfront mansion in Delanco.

Judge John A. Sweeney also ordered the township's Joint Land Use Board to hold a special hearing Jan. 11 - a week earlier than scheduled.

"I have to decide what's happening to a group of kids who were adjudicated and can't go home," Sweeney said. "What happens to those kids?"

His action in Superior Court in Mount Holly formalized an order he gave by phone Friday, when courts were closed. He called the matter "one of the most difficult cases before me in some time."

Restorative Programming's notification to the township was not on just any afternoon, but right at the beginning of the Christmas holiday. The township was forced to go to court on Christmas Eve to prevent them from executing their plans. Restorative Programming has demonstrated their arrogance and disdain for Delanco Township again.

January 03, 2005: New Jersey's youth treatment centers face problem with overcrowding. "Advocates" for "the children" have their say in the paper. About 1/4 of the children needing this type of treatment are placed out of state.
"If there are 250 children out of state, that's 250 too many," said Mary Lynne Reynolds, executive director of the Mental Health Association in Southwestern New Jersey. "Clinically, we have the expertise here, so why not keep the funding here and let the children be closer to their families."
Here's my question -- if these kids were abused, abandoned, or neglected by their families, why would they want to be closer to the source of that abuse or neglect?

January 12, 2005: Hundreds attend Delanco meeting. I was among those hundreds. I thought that the meeting was conducted in a very professional manner, and that the citizens (about 20% of the township's population) were quite restrained in their reactions. Here are the essential arguments made by Restorative Programming:
  1. The proposed use is consistent with the previous use.
    At issue before the board at the court-ordered hearing was whether a 1999 zoning variance given to the previous owner to operate an elder-care facility extends to the operation of a state-licensed "child-care facility."

    The 1999 variance was issued for a "residential health-care facility."

    Mercer County-based Restorative Programming Inc. has leased The Columns, an old mansion overlooking the Delaware River, for its Capital Academy program for boys ages 15-18.

    Restorative Programming attorney Thomas Carroll spelled out the agency's case to the land board by going step by step through a number of use variances and resolutions for the property going back to 1982.

    "In a nutshell...while it is not the same use, the (agency) use is significantly similar," he told the board.
  2. We are a state facility and not subject to local laws.
    Paul Josephson, a former state attorney who also represents the agency, has said it is his client's contention that the agency is immune to municipal rules because it is acting as an agent of the state by carrying out court-ordered treatment programs.
  3. These kids are not "bad" kids.

    As to the boys who would live at the academy, Restorative Programming Vice President Donald Christiano said, "No sexual offenders or those with any aggravated assaults or similar type crimes would be permitted into this program." [note - Christiano repeated this assertion nearly verbatim at least three or four times]

    "We do not take in sexual predators," he said. "We will not take in any kids who will pose a risk to ourselves, our program or the community."

Unfortunately, the limits of publishing a dead tree news source prevented the BCT from including the counter arguments presented by attorney Denis Germano, representing a group of concerned citizens. Mr. Germano very effectively skewered points 1 and 2 of Restorative Programming's arguments.
On point 1, he presented testimony from a township resident who had worked at the Columns when it operated as a home for senior citizens. The Columns at that time was literally a home, and not a health care facility. They could not provide even as simple a service as changing the dressings on a wound. The facility had one employee at night, and only a few during the day. Residents came and went as they pleased (and were able). He then called the director of the proposed facility, and elicited testimony to the degree of health care services to be provided, the activities to take place, and the staffing levels expected at the facility. One striking example of a difference -- while the senior citizens home had one staffer at night, the proposed child care facility would require one "youth worker" per seven residents at night to provide security and supervision of the boys.
Following his presentation of this testimony to show a essential difference in usage, Mr. Germano then presented documentation to the board concerning the variance it had issued in 1999 for expansion of the Columns to allow an assisted living (i.e., health care facility). For whatever reason, the operators of the Columns never acted on that variance, which would have allowed a significant expansion and additional services similar to those proposed by Restorative Programming. Under the zoning ordinance in effect at the time, any variance not acted upon within nine months expired. Mr. Germano showed that even if the proposed use was similar to that 1999 variance, the approval for that variance was no longer operative.
Mr. Germano also showed that an earlier claim by Restorative Programming was incorrect. In the article cited from December 19th, Mr. Josephson claimed that no age had been specified in prior approvals for the facility. Germano showed that in 1980, approval for a "prior non-conforming use" as an old age home was specifically granted to the owner of the Columns.
On point two, Mr. Germano was even more effective. Citing the same decision used by the applicant to claim his immunity from local zoning regulation, he pointed out their selective quoting to make them appear to be total fools. The decision cited had found that a private contractor, who was burning trees to clear land for a highway under a state contract, could not be prevented from doing so by the local township. What Restorative Programming failed to note in that decision was that the restriction on township action was limited to a contractor performing a state function on state-owned land.

In addition to presentations by the lawyers, the floor was opened to public comment. Both State Senator Diane Allen and State Rep. Herb Conaway (a Delanco resident) made their feelings known. Senator Allen noted that she had drafted legislation to prevent this type of thing from happening in the future. Rep. Conaway acknowledged that while the needs of the children are important, the needs of the township are equally important, and that this facility needs to be somewhere other than Delanco.

After more than five hours of testimony, lawyerly argument, and political statements, the board finally voted. Their attorney advised them to break their decision into five parts.
  1. Whether or not the previous variance applied
  2. Whether or not the proposed use was similar to the previous variant use
  3. Whether or not Capital Academy is a government agency
  4. Whether or not a government facility would be permitted in the residential zone
  5. Whether or not to grant a site plan review (without prejudice)
The board voted unanimously against the applicant's arguments on all points.

January 13, 2005: Columns decision headed back to court. Not surprisingly, Restorative Programming doesn't agree with the board's decision.
"We'll see them in Superior Court," Restorative Programming Inc.'s attorney Thomas Carroll said as he packed away his papers seconds after the board made its decision. "We've anticipated that this would ultimately end up being decided in court."

[description of the decision rationale elided]

Paul Josephson, a former state attorney who also represents the agency, said yesterday afternoon he wasn't surprised by the denial or the extent of the board's decision.

"I think the board's attorney was trying to be complete and not have it come back," Josephson said. "I was surprised by the total lack of deliberation by the board before making its decision."
Naturally, the people of Delanco don't want this facility. In a town of about 2500, an influx of 36 troubled youth could have a significant impact. Our small town has about 150 high school aged kids. Assuming about half are boys, these 36 kids would double the number of teen boys in town. A small town like Delanco simply cannot handle such an influx. Even if these boys are as closely supervised as the contractor claims, they will pose an unacceptable risk to our community.

Additionally, the arrogance demonstrated repeatedly by this company show that it has no interest in protecting the community. Restorative Programming's Capital Academy should look elsewhere. The citizens of Delanco will not stand for this type of treatment.

Places I've Been

This is really a waste of space, but I haven't had anything to say for over 6 weeks.

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