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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 77,712

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Ex-cop who drove drunk and killed pedestrian gets lighter sentence during emotional hearing

A Middlesex County judge reduced the jail sentence for a former Long Branch police detective who was intoxicated when he hit and killed a 66-year-old woman with his Jeep as she crossed the street.

Jake Pascucci, 30, pleaded guilty in 2018 to strict liability vehicular homicide and DWI for his role in the death of Karen Borkowski, of Stanhope, who he struck as she crossed Ocean Boulevard at the intersection of Broadway in Long Branch on Sept. 22, 2017. He was sentenced last year to 364 days in jail, but his lawyer appealed the decision.

In handing down a new sentence of 240 days in county jail, Superior Court Judge Michael Toto said Wednesday that he considered a statement from a witness at the scene who said Borkowski sprinted across the street when the light was green for Pascucci. An accident reconstruction report also said Borkowski’s actions were the main cause of the accident, Toto said.

“It’s a factor in this case that the actions of the victim contributed to causing of the accident... That doesn’t excuse Mr. Pascucci from getting in that car and driving," Toto said.

Read more: https://www.nj.com/middlesex/2020/09/ex-cop-who-drove-drunk-and-killed-pedestrian-gets-lighter-sentence-during-emotional-hearing.html

Menendez wants non-partisan commission to investigate nation's pandemic response

U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez (D-North Bergen) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) want to create a non-partisan commission to investigate the country’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“We can never put our country, our communities and our families through this again,” Menendez said. “We need to understand what we did right, what we did wrong and what we can do better to strengthen our public health systems and supply chains, protect communities and vulnerable populations, improve coordination across all levels of government and the private sector, and advance scientific research so our nation is more prepared and able to respond to future public health threats.”

The 10-member panel would be modeled after the 9/11 Commission, with each party appointing half its ranks.

If the bill passes, the National Coronavirus Commission would have subpoena power and wide latitude to explore the nation’s pandemic response, including at the federal and state levels.

Read more: https://newjerseyglobe.com/congress/menendez-wants-non-partisan-commission-to-investigate-nations-pandemic-response/

Sweeney: 'I didn't cave' on millionaire's tax

Senate President Steve Sweeney fired back at Doug Steinhardt after the Republican state chairman claimed he “caved” to Gov. Phil Murphy on the millionaire’s tax

“Listen, I got a lot of respect for Doug. I like Doug. I didn’t cave. I’m living in the realities of COVID right now,” Sweeney said during a press gaggle Tuesday. “It’s basically everyone’s all-in right now. If you’re in it together, you’re better than when you’re on your own.”

After two years of unsuccessful attempts, Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin finally agreed to back Murphy’s millionaire’s tax, a proposal that has become a signature for Murphy come budget season.

Steinhardt — who, like most every Republican in the legislature, opposes the millionaire’s tax — said Sweeney gave in to Murphy during his appearance on the New Jersey Globe Power Hour Saturday.

Read more: https://newjerseyglobe.com/legislature/sweeney-i-didnt-cave-on-millionaires-tax/

Judge block ballot drop boxes in Gloucester County

A Superior Court Judge has blocked Gloucester County from installing secure ballot drop boxes for the general election until she holds a hearing on Monday after Republicans complained that only Democratic election officials decided the locations.

The Gloucester County Board of Elections was ordered to reconvene to determine drop box and polling place locations.

But Judge Mary Beth Kramer stopped short of ordering the county clerk to halt the printing of public notices announcing the drop box locations.

The two Republican commissioners, Carmine DiNovi, Jr. and David Ferrucci, said in affidavits that they were never consulted.

Jacci Vigilante, the Gloucester County GOP chair, alleged that the locations were picked to maximize Democratic turnout.

Read more: https://newjerseyglobe.com/local/judge-block-ballot-drop-boxes-in-gloucester-county/

Kickboxing gym owner's suit seeks compensation for COVID closure

The owner of a Franklin Borough kickboxing studio is suing Gov. Phil Murphy Thursday, claiming executive orders he issued early into the COVID-19 crisis violated parts of the Disaster Control Act.

Darlene Pallay, who operates a CKO Kickboxing franchise in Franklin, charges Murphy’s administration ignored a portion of the Disaster Control Act that requires the state government compensate to owners of properties “employed, taken or used” under the act.

In effect, the suit argues that Murphy needs to pay businesses forced to close by his March shutdown order.

“Beginning on March 16 with Executive Order 104, Governor Murphy decided to use the power given to him by the Act, to order businesses that he deemed ‘non-essential’ to close and to later reopen with severe restrictions,” said Robert Ferguson, one of Pallay’s attorneys. “But he did not follow the law, because he did not order that the affected property owners be compensated, forcing private owners to pay for a public benefit.”

The filing also charges Murphy’s orders breached the New Jersey and U.S. constitutions.

Read more: https://newjerseyglobe.com/governor/kickboxing-gym-owners-suit-seeks-compensation-for-covid-closure/

Van Drew took campaign contribution from N.J. hydroxychloroquine salesman named Joe Pizza

Months before joining President Donald Trump in boosting an untested anti-malarial drug as a treatment for COVID-19, Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) received a donation from a prominent GOP donor who heads a firm that sells hydroxychloroquine.

Joe Pizza — the president and CEO of Interchem, a Paramus-based pharmaceutical sales firm that lists hydroxychloroquine among its products — has given nearly $241,000 to Republican campaigns, PACS and other party organizations since the start of 2019, according to Federal Election Commission data.

Interchem has made small political contributions on-and-off for more than 20 years.

A little more than a month after Van Drew defected to the Republican party after losing support among rank and file Democrats over his opposition to impeachment proceedings against Trump, the former Democrat received $500 from Pizza.

Read more: https://newjerseyglobe.com/congress/van-drew-took-campaign-contribution-from-a-n-j-hydroxychloroquine-salesman-named-joe-pizza/

Trump and Biden Forces Clash Civilly in Atlantic County

SMITHVILLE – In the old days, it was shirts versus skins.

In this apocalyptic version of America, it’s the masked versus the maskless.

The earlier game was played in the street. This game is played on either side of the street.

“The Democrats want to take our guns away,” said one man draped in patriotic grandeur. “It’s too much.”

“Trump… is not any kind of leader for my children and my grandchildren to follow,” said a woman on the other side of the divide.

Read more: https://www.insidernj.com/trump-biden-forces-clash-civilly-atlantic-county/

Murphy Philosophical about Baby Bonds

The state’s pandemic-delayed budget is expected to be adopted on Thursday and the governor is feeling pretty good about it.

“I’m proud of the budget,” Phil Murphy said today.

He said the budget emphasizes “tax fairness.”

For the governor, however, the fairness he envisions doesn’t go as far as he originally wanted.

His plan for “baby bonds” for those being born into low and many middle-income families is not in the budget.

On that, Murphy was philosophical, saying that when it comes to baby bonds, it’s “not if, but when.”

Read more: https://www.insidernj.com/murphy-philosophical-baby-bonds/

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Trump Makes Everything About Himself

Texas begins letting people register to vote online when they're updating their driver's licenses

by Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff, Texas Tribune

When Jarrod Stringer updated his driver’s license address in 2014, the Texas Department of Public Safety website asked if he wanted to register to vote. He clicked yes and thought he was registered. That fall, when he went to vote in San Antonio, he was denied. According to the system, he had never registered. It was past the registration deadline, so he couldn’t vote.

That kicked off a six-year legal battle that included two lawsuits for the right for Texans to register to vote online while updating their licenses.

“It’s traumatic when you can’t vote,” Stringer said. “It’s implicitly saying, ‘You don’t have a voice. You can’t participate in change.’”

On Wednesday, Stringer won that “mind-boggling” fight with the state of Texas two weeks before the deadline to register to vote in 2020. Acting on a federal judge’s orders, the state updated its online systems to allow people to add their names to the voter rolls when they update their licenses.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/09/23/register-vote-online-texas/
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