Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Although there is much going on everywhere, the second part of today's Madman focuses on the New Jersey Governor's race and this evening's debate between Senator Jon Corzine, the Democrat and Benecard Services Chairman and Chief Beneficiary, Republican Doug Forrester. The New Jersey's Governor's race is important to New Jersians, but is also important to the United States as a whole. Although New Jersey is a "Blue State", it has more voters who identify themselves as "Independents" than either "Democrat" or "Republican". This race promises to be, at the very least, an interesting contest between an "advocate of the people" and a "friend of 'G'lobal 'W'arming Bush." -NG



Rumor has it that if there is an outbreak of avian flu around Thanksgiving, Bush directed the military to quarantine all turkeys to the White House grounds. The birds will be right at home with the current occupants of the people's house.

-Robert Scardapane

PNAC Exposed by The Downing Street Memos

The Downing Street Memos imply that intelligence being fixed to make a case for war. Even more shocking is the revelation that Iraq is seen by Bush as a first step in a broader project. Is there any doubt that Bush is playing out the Project For New American Century (PNAC) game plan? Even Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, nations regarded as "friends", are mentioned as a potential targets!

-Robert Scardapane

Return of the WHIGs

The White House Iraq Group (WHIG), which came together in August 2002 to push for war in Iraq are the main people being questioned in "Traitor-Gate" WHIG was founded by Andrew Card, the Bush Chief of Staff, and present foe of Karl "The Traitor" Rove. It operates out of the office of Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney. Even if we don't attempt to connect the dots, let's, at least, look at the dots:

The WHIG'S members included Deputy White House chief of staff Karl "The Traitor" Rove, Bush advisor Karen "The Mouth of the South" Hughes, Senior Advisor to the Vice President Mary "I Still Can't Believe I lost with an Incumbent President to James Carville, and then Married Him" Matalin, Deputy Director of Communications James Wilkinson, Assistant to the President and Legislative Liaison Nicholas Calio, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and I. (the "I" stands for "Indictment") Lewis “Scooter” Libby - Chief of Staff to the Vice President and co-author of the Administration's pre-emptive strike policy.

This is a "Who's Who?" of those who have testified before Patrick Fitzgerald’s grand jury.

These are the "salespeople" for the corporations who are making a "killing" off of OUR TAX DOLLARS that are thrown into the black hole known as Iraq. These are the people responsible to "advise" the president.

“Formed in August 2002, the group, which included Messrs. [Karl] Rove and [Lewis] Libby, worked on setting strategy for selling the war in Iraq to the public in the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion. The group likely would have played a significant role in responding to [former Ambassador Joseph] Wilson's claims” that the Bush administration twisted intelligence when it said Iraq tried to acquire yellow-cake uranium from Africa."
-The Wall Street Journal

Guess who chaired this group's meetings. C'mon... guess.

That's right. Karl "The Traitor" Rove, or "Bush's Brain."

Time for a brain transplant.

-Noah Greenberg

Helen Thomas Vs. Scott McClellan
Is it still a battle of wits when only one has them?

McCLELLAN: Well, Helen, the President recognizes that we are engaged in a global war on terrorism. And when you're engaged in a war, it's not always pleasant, and it's certainly a last resort. But when you engage in a war, you take the fight to the enemy, you go on the offense. And that's exactly what we are doing. We are fighting them there so that we don't have to fight them here. September 11th taught us --

THOMAS: It has nothing to do with -- Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

McCLELLAN: Well, you have a very different view of the war on terrorism, and I'm sure you're opposed to the broader war on terrorism. The President recognizes this requires a comprehensive strategy, and that this is a broad war, that it is not a law enforcement matter.

McCLELLAN: Terry (attempting to change the subject by changing reporters)

TERRY MORAN (ABC News): On what basis do you say Helen is opposed to the broader war on terrorism?

McCLELLAN: Well, she certainly expressed her concerns about Afghanistan and Iraq and going into those two countries. I think I can go back and pull up her comments over the course of the past couple of years.

MORAN: And speak for her, which is odd.

McCLELLAN: No, I said she may be, because certainly if you look at her comments over the course of the past couple of years, she's expressed her concerns --

THOMAS: I'm opposed to preemptive war, unprovoked preemptive war.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- she's expressed her concerns.

-Forwarded by many sources

New Jersey's Gubernatorial Debate - October 18, 2005

An Immediate Summation

I found that the inclusion of the 2 minor party candidates were a waste of time and resources. I know that it was a requirement of law (who wrote that law) that these two candidates were included in the debate. We all wanted (or at least, most of US) to know the differences between Senator Jon Corzine and Benecard services owner Doug Forrester. What we got instead was a whole lot of nothing. Very little in issues. Very little in substance. But when there was a question, we could look forward to answers like this:

(Please pardon the paraphrasing during this whole piece. I did the best I could.)

Question: Name one mistake you have made that you regret and which you could take back.
The Jon Corzine answer, which reflected the feelings of the 2 minor party candidates: I wish I would have spent more time with my children when they were younger. You never get that time back
The Doug Forrester answer: One of the things I did wrong, after I was the mayor of my town when I was 26-years-old, I resolved not to be involved in politics until my children were grown.

What was Forrester's answer? Was he sorry about being mayor at the age of 26? Since he held no office after that, was he sorry that he spent time with his kids and didn't get involved in politics until after that? Or was "Dougie-Boy" merely repeating the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople philosophy of never making a mistake? Let's face facts here: the average family n in NJ can't spend the time that they want to spend with their children. Most working families have both mom and dad in the work force, due in part to the rising price of home heating, gasoline and the loss of good paying jobs, all made worse under the administration of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush, a supporter of Doug Forrester.

On Property Taxes

"If you pay 3000 now, you'll get a rebate of 1800,"
-Doug Forrester explaining his thirty percent tax scheme

How out of touch is Doug Forrester? Well, I live in Sayreville, a working middle-class town. I live in a modest home with my wife and two children, in one of the least taxed municipalities in New Jersey. My tax bill is well under the state average at about $4,300 per year in property taxes; on a home that is worth about $325,000, well under the New Jersey State average.


Doug Forrester has no clue as to what real New Jersians are paying in property taxes, much less on how to fix it.

On Appointing Justices

"I want to make sure we have someone very wise, very independent as a justice"

"The other problem for Forrester is that while he says he is "pro-choice," he is not convinced that having a 'pro-choice' position is essential to future nominees to the US Supreme Court. According to Forrester, 'I think it is inconceivable that someone would indicate a determination about how he or she would vote on a particular matter (such as Roe v. Wade) coming before the Supreme Court. If they were to so indicate, I would probably vote against them on the grounds that they were pre-judging a case.'"
-Steve Adubato, Ph.D. and Emmy Award-winning anchor on PBS (and the New Jersey Network)

Well we now know what Forrester REALLY THINKS. How can a person who says they are "pro-choice" also not absolutely support Roe Vs. Wade? Call it a flip-flop; call it playing both sides of the fence; whatever you call it, you must also call it dishonest.

On Pay-To-Play

"End pay-to-play. End no-bid contracts."
-Jon Corzine

When Forrester answered the question about "pay-to-play", he talked about standing with some GOP state legislators and Former Governor Tom Kean (remember, although Forrester and Kean are "friends" and Tom Kean, Jr. is working hard for the Forrester campaign, Former Governor Kean wouldn't even endorse his "pal" Dougie-Boy against the likes of Brent Schunlder in the GOP primary). Forrester blamed Corzine for 5 years of being in office and siding with the "wrong people". Funny how "Dougie-Boy" failed to mention the laughing stock that the latest Republican Governor, Christie Whitman made of our state when she left US with the "revolving door of governors in 2000" to become a "Bush crony". It's also funny how Forrester failed to mention how he stood tall with Whitman during her two terms in Trenton. Some of US might remember that when Whitman came into office, blaming her predecessor Jim Florio for everything from taxes to a Giants losing season, that NJ had a budget surplus prior to her entering the State House. Whitman did a Bush and made it into a deficit. Funny how Forrester failed to mention that.

On Support and More Pay-To-Play Stuff

"Just as you stand with George Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove..."
-Corzine in response to Forrester's question about sharing a podium with then-Governor Jim McGreevy

Why wouldn't Forrester stand with Bush, Cheney and Rove? They are cut from the same cloth.

"You gave 60,000 to Republican bosses in Burlington County. In return your company, Benecard got no-bid contracts for drug cards. Would this be legal under your program for pay-to-play?"
-Corzine to Forrester

After tap-dancing for awhile, Forrester didn't answer the question of his contributions to Burlington County GOP bosses and whether this would count toward pay-to-play, under his proposal.

-Noah Greenberg

Forrester Facts

Forrester engaged in direct pay-to-play in Burlington County for more than $3 million in contracts for his company.
Forrester paid Republican County leaders to perform work for his company Benecard.
Forrester won't release his tax returns after refusing to release them in April.
Forrester said 80 percent of his business is through no-bid public sector contracts. He will not release details of the contracts.
Forrester is politicizing the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services.
Forrester claimed the fraud lawsuits against his company were dropped, even though they weren't.
Forrester used people indicted for embezzlement in his ads railing against corruption.
Forrester had a business relationship with both Charles Kushner and George Norcross, party bosses he lambastes on a regular basis.
Forrester first denied, then admitted his insurance company is located in
New Jersey.
Forrester changed his property tax web calculator four times before removing it from his web site completely because the details of his plans kept changing.
Forrester selectively edited news articles on his site to make himself look more favorable.
Forrester took money from an event headlined by Karl Rove, even as Rove is being investigated for damaging national security for partisan purposes.
Forrester released his 30in3 property tax plan, and then, under fire from the media, changed the details substantially without acknowledging it.

-Forwarded from the Corzine Connection by Robert Scardapane

Question and Answer Time

Hi, Noah,
I, along with countless others, am not happy with the choice of Governor candidates. Is there anyone out there other than Corzine or Forrester running that is worthy of running the state? If so, who? If not, can you tell me anything that would help me in HAVING to choose between these two?
-Sue Sica

Madman Answers,
You're not happy, more than likely, because of all the negative advertising. The problem with negative advertising is also the benefit of it... It Works.

For example: When Forrester's ads say he is for stem cell research and a woman's right to choose he is misleading. Forrester has come out for adult stem cell research only, saying (at the first debate) that there are enough fetal stem cell lines to work with. This is, in fact, a lie. There are not 80 viable stem cell lines, only 6. There might be as many as 23, but that certainly isn't enough. As far as adult stem cells are concerned, he stated that these are "better" than fetal stem cells, when in actuality, they are not nearly as effective as fetal stem cells (according to any legitimate scientist in the world) We are falling behind in research to countries like Sweden

Regarding a woman's right to choose, Forrester has said he is "unconditionally for a women's right to choose", but backs Bush's court nominees (including the lower court nominees who all are against Roe vs. Wade).

The 30% tax break Forrester talks about will only last 3 years, then he will have to either raise them back or increase another tax. Let's remember there is a $6 billion NJ budget deficit (which started under Whitman and has grown). (See more info below)

But here's the reason I won't vote for Forrester: (From a previous Madman)

Perhaps (Forrester) could explain why he loved the GOP so much that he repeatedly gave its members too much money in donations. In fact, maybe Dougie-Boy could explain why he had to take back two separate $1,000 donations to the Republican party. Maybe Forrester could explain $11 million in campaign contributions from his Insurance Company to his New Jersey Campaign, which is against the law. Dougie-Boy's excuse that the insurance company is based in DC, even though it does the lion's share of its business in New Jersey just doesn't wash.

"Although Forrester's Heartland Fidelity Insurance Company was not regulated by the state, it did business with Mr. Forrester's other company, Benecard Services, which sells pharmacy benefit insurance and is therefore considered part of an industry regulated by the state." It was "also determined that both Benecard and Heartland did business in New Jersey."
-New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance's Acting Commissioner Donald Bryan, as reported in The New York Times, September 1, 2005

Now, on to Senator Jon Corzine:
Forrester continually accused Senator Corzine of corruption stemming from a loan to his girlfriend who is a CWA president. From the Imus in the morning Show:

"Well he can't help it if he fell in love,"
-Don Imus to GOP candidate for NJ Governor, Doug Forrester, referring to Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ)

"Well then he shouldn't be running for public office."

Senator Corzine forgave a loan to his ex-girlfriend, but he also paid the taxes on it and reported it on his income taxes. When Forrester claimed he bought the CWA's support, he seems to forget that no labor union supports him (Forrester). Every CWA supported Senator Corzine before (the two) dated and after. Senator Corzine, like me, is very pro-union. Forrester isn't.

I met Jon Corzine and I instantly liked him. I have also seen him in crowds. He seems to take the time to talk to anyone and everyone who is able to get his attention in a crowd.

And most of all... Jon Corzine isn't endorsed by Dick Cheney and GW. Right now NJ has very tough environmental laws that exceeds the federal government's. What do you think would happen if Forrester gets into office to those pollution laws.

-Noah Greenberg

Today's Quote

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.

The analysis is done by a nonpartisan group (The Office of Legislative Services), 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?
-The Corzine Connection Web Site

Well, that explains it. The New Jersey Republican version of fuzzy math.

More from Senator Jon Corzine

“If ever the hypocrisy of my opponent needed greater clarity, it was provided in full measure by today's revelations by the Philadelphia Inquirer that Mr. Forrester was practicing pay to play and has taken no-bid contracts. And the value of those contracts was not insubstantial: $3.4 million from the Burlington County Special School Districts.

“Mr. Forrester won these no-bid contracts by charging the highest prices relative to three other vendors, to provide prescription drug benefits, and won them after giving over $60,000 to county Republicans. In fact, the price of these contracts went up 37% from 2004-05 while the national increase was less than 11%.

“Not a day goes by in this campaign when my opponent doesn't condemn these very practices, and now we learn yet another time that he engages in them himself. He (Forrester) runs on a campaign platform of ending pay to play and eliminating no-bid contracts at the exact same time that he getting wealthy doing both.

“And he has been quoted multiple times singing the praises of his company and contending that they always get their contracts in exchange for offering the best price, and today we read vivid evidence that it just isn't true.

“So, how are we to believe Mr. Forrester when he says he intends to change the very system of which he is a part? He preaches one thing, and practices the opposite. “

-Senator Jon Corzine

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-Noah Greenberg