Of Dogs & Shore Ponies
By Invitation Only Senate Sandy Hearings For the Cameras Only
Fear and Loathing On The NJ Shore
The quick and dirty answer to the question I posed yesterday is a resounding ”NO”.
Today’s Ocean County setting and opening hearing was transparently a partisan forum to promote and lionize the Governor, and allow – for the cameras – the Democrats to emulate the empathy and leadership of the Big Dog.
But it remains to be seen whether the Democrats are serious and keeping their powder dry,; or whether they support the Rebuild Now! (TM) camp; or whether they are clueless and simply have not developed a position yet and truly are in listening mode.
I’ll not write about the hearing and instead leave it to the press to fulfill their duty and role to report on today’s proceedings.
But, because I wrote a set up post and drove all the way out there, I feel obligated to post something.
The title of this post speaks for itself.
Although I am an animal lover, I feel that I’ve slandered dogs and ponies.
I tweeted a few cogent points during the hearing – see this.
After the hearing, I asked SBA Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo (D- Bergen) two questions (these are verbatim):
“When will the public interest advocates and critics be given the opportunity to testify?”
Answer: ”We’re working on that.”
“During the opening remarks, Senator O’Toole criticized the Assembly Speaker for criticizing NJ Transit’s actions, while suggesting that any criticism of State policy or the State response was an inappropriate partisan attack on Governor Christie, who O’Toole claimed did a spectacular job.
I am a critic and I deeply resent that.”
“You didn’t hear that from me.”
So, basically it all boils down to 1 issue:
Would you prefer the Shore to look more like this?:
Or like this:
[Update – I left out an important issue:
I think it was the Mayor of Brick who recommended that CAFRA permitting be privatized, like the Licensed Site Professionals (LSP) program for toxic site cleanup.
Environmentalists should take this threat seriously.
Ocean County Republicans have great influence and have been strong supporters of Martin and Gov. Christie’s Barnegat Bay Plan.
DEP already got caught trying to privatize land use permitting in October 2010.
DEP Commissioner Martin already effectively deregulated rebuild permitting for public infrastructure.
It is not inconceivable that the next radical move could be privatization of CAFRA and other permitting.