Castriotta files appeal

Roxbury school board member Maureen Castriotta today appealed her censure by the school board to the state commissioner of education ….
The appeal contains interesting tidbits of info about the behind the scenes plotting that led to the censure … This point summed it up the best …

“Like excited children Rossi and Swanson exchanged drafts of letters they wrote in e-mails scheming how to silence a board member who possesses political views in opposition to their own.”  That would be superintendent Mike Rossi and high school principal Jeff Swanson.

The bottom line here remains _ the censure of Castriotta was an attempt to intimidate a board member who had/has the termerity not to go along with the majority.

Tea Party line up a little thin

Yep, the Morristown Tea Party meets again this Saturday on the Morristown Green. 
The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Here is the list of speakers:
Charles Payne – Chief Executive Officer and Principle Analyst of Wall Street
Strategies; Tom Adkins – executive publisher of;

Michael Cutler – Retired INS Agent;

Nick Rago – The Morristown Tea Party Small Groups coordinator;

Robert Bonelli – NJ Tea Parties blogger;

William Lyon;

Manly Rash – Blogger at;

Sherwood V. Marlowe – Citizen speaker; and Deacon Alfredo – who will be

giving the invocation.

Unlike past times, the list of speakers includes not one elected official. But it does include a nom-de-plume. That would be Manly Rash, a character I met during last year’s Steve Lonegan campaign. That is not his real name. .Manly generally dresses up like a Revolutionary War soldier from New Jersey, complete with sword.

Your team on your plate …

You see that in addition to the budget, the state Legislature passed a bill that would allow N.J. drivers to put logos of their favorite sport teams on their license plates … Increasing the number of personalized license plates that are available is designed, quite obviously, to make more money.

So maybe we’ll see the governor’s SUV driving around the state with a Mets logo on its plate. Unless, of course, he wants to be obnoxious and hype his favorite football team _ the Dallas Cowboys.

Carroll says he's sick ….

When I reached Mike Carroll today, he said he was “throwing up.”

I wondered if he drank too much after last night’s lengthy budget session.

Nope, he was sick over his “yes” vote on the state budget. Carroll says he changed his mind from “no” to “yes” because his no vote would have increased the budget.  If he voted no, Gov. Christie would have needed more Democratic support and the Dems would only give it if the budget was increased to include more money for programs they like.

So, Carroll voted yes.

The DEP goes from private to public

The DEP is holding a series of “stakeholder” meetings regarding the state’s Highlands Act. Sort of. The first two were private meetings with municipal officials and environmentalists. Now there is a meeting scheduled for Tuesday night at CCM in Randolph for landowners. 
 And this one is public. But that news was not made public _ if you excuse the pun _ until today. That was rather late in the game.

How simpler it would be to have all meetings public !


Carroll and McHose falling in line

It seems that the governor’s office and other Republicans did what they had to do to convince Assembly members Michael Patrick Carroll and Alison McHose to support the state’s budget.
McHose has said she would vote yes and indications are that Carroll will as well.

This is more than inside politics … If Republicans McHose and Carroll voted against the budget, Democrats may have used the divided GOP as an excuse not to back the budget. Democratic votes are needed to pass it.

If that happened, Christie’s first budget could have failed and the culprit would have been Carroll, who is not only a Morris County Republican _ like the governor _  but an assemblyman representing Christie’s district.

You kind of get the impression that the governor’s office impressed upon Carroll the fact that he was threatening to hold up the whole works.

Carroll and Christie

It is interesting that Assemblyman Mike Carroll is threatening to be one of maybe three Republican votes in Trenton against the state budget — the first proposed by Gov. Chris Christie …

Pols with long memories will recall when Carroll and Christie tangled the first time; that was in the 1995 Republican primary for the Assembly in the 25th District. The winners were Carroll and Anthony Bucco. Christie, who was then a freeholder, had teamed up with Rick Merkt. The most interesting fellow in that race  _ Frank Zanotti, the owner of a go-go bar in Mine Hill, the Rest-A-Bit.