A town meeting for Frelinghuysen

Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, R-Harding, conducted a town meeting today in Montville and not surprisingly, most of the discussion was about health care.

Sure, there was the crackpot who once given the microphone spoke to the audience, not the congressman, in generalities about a loss of freedom, twice quoting Ben Franklin. Then, there was a young man who seemed to think the federal government should not exist at all, condemning what he called today’s “collectivist’ and “fascist” society.

But put that aside; there were two interesting exchanges.
One man, Steve Domnitz, a physcian, complimented the Republicans for supporting tort reform, but also said there is nothing to fear and a lot to gain by a public insurance option. He noted that Medicare and Medicaid insure some of the sickest people among us and manage to keep administrative costs very low .. about 3 percent. He contrasted that to private insurance companies with high administrative costs and lucrative golden parachutes. What is needed, he said, is competition, and a public option could provide that.

Republicans are supposed to like competition, but not with this issue. Frelinghuysen said he feared a public option would encourage private insurance companies to drop people. This has been a standard GOP line, but it is based on speculation, nothing else.

Then, there was a gentleman from Oak Ridge who said he had been ill because he abused alcohol and tobacco. He asked if it would be fair for him to ask the people in the audience to pay for his misdeeds. OK. You see his point. Why should the public pay for a guy who messes up.

One answer is that he is part of society and health care should be a right all people. Many people contribute to their one health problems. Yes, some drink and smoke too much. But others overeat. The bottom line is that society is paying right now for many people without insurance _ and yes, some have done foolish things. But what type of society should we be? If one has heart problems because of lack of exercise, should we self-righteously not treat him because he did it to himself by eating too much pizza? I do not think so. We are not supermen; we mess up. Even if there is universal insurance, people still would have an incentive _ namely the desire for a happy life _ not to abuse their bodies.

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Blame the traffic

Turns out the Kim Guadagno, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, never made it to the Roxbury Diner tonight as planned … A handful of township council members plus Sheriff Edward Rochford were on hand, but the candidate never showed … The traffic __ this is New Jersey, you know _ was blamed.

Guadagno in Roxbury

Turns out that it will be lieutenant governor candidate Kim Gudagno visiting the Roxbury Diner at 6 p.m. today, not Chris Christie, as we reported yesterday.

A delay for the mayor

There were about two dozen people at tonight’s Morristown Planning Board meeting _ and they were there because Mayor Don Cresitello had an application to subdivide his Mill Street property.

But both the mayor and the neighbors will have to wait; the board adjourned the hearing until either late October,or early November. A date was not finalized.

But there were some interesting occurrences. Martin Newmark, Cresitello’s lawyer, asked that Mary Dougherty, the board chairman, disqualify herself. Mary Dougherty’s husband, Tim, beat Cresitello in last June’s Democratic primary.

Matt O’Donnell, the board attorney, said he had to review the matter. In fact, that was one reason why the board put off the hearing.

Of course, regardless of O’Donnell’s ultimate opinion, Mary Dougherty can make her own decision. Stepping aside probably will be the best approach.

Christie in Roxbury

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie is scheduled to drop by the Roxbury Diner Friday night at 6 p.m. … You figure he should be well received in Morris County

Corzine on the attack

A new commercial by Gov. Jon S. Corzine suggests that Chris Christie got special treatment when he turned the wrong way on a one-way street in Elizabeth, struck a motorcyclist, and received no ticket.

In fact, it says that Christie “threw his weight around.” Ouch!

Morris County Democrats ….

are on TV … the Democratic committee has a new show on community access cable TV that starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. … That would be Channel 21 on the Cablevision system.