Tag: Jon Bramnick

Bramnick on ‘Meet the Leaders’ [video]

Source: Meet the Leaders / Cablevision [video] -

As the New Jersey State League of Municipalities held its 100th anniversary Conference at the Atlantic City Convention Center, Meet the Leaders host Jeff Henig sat down with the leadership of the New Jersey Assembly, Speaker Vincent Prieto and Minority Leader Jon Bramnick. The show focused on the recent Assembly election results, as well as the Transportation Trust Fund, the pension debate, and numerous pieces of legislation vetoed recently by Governor Chris Christie. The discussion clearly shows the differences of opinion between the Democratic and Republican parties.

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Bramnick, Rumana discuss transportation funding

Source: Excerpted from NJBiz -

Here’s a surprise to no one: At last week’s 100th annual New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City, the Transportation Trust Fund was on the tip of many people’s tongues.

Just like it was last year, and for some, the year before that as well.

It started with a panel last Wednesday featuring the state’s legislative leaders. Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) referred to the TTF crisis as the No. 1 priority heading into the upcoming lame duck legislative session.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Secaucus) mostly agreed with him, adding that while the much-discussed gas tax solution may be politically unpopular, it’s inevitable and necessary.

Republicans didn’t refute the need for some sort of a tax hike to help restore the TTF, but, as they have repeatedly done in the past, brought up the need for some sort of correlating tax decrease, such as an elimination of the estate or inheritance tax.

Jon Bramnick

“At this point, I will settle for any discussion for a lower tax, right here, right now,” Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) said.

Quipping that he is beginning to feel like “Bernie Sanders on the right,” Bramnick said that without some sort of decrease, he’s concerned with what type of message New Jersey is sending to the rest of the country by continuing to hike taxes.

“Why don’t we talk about some tax that we can lower? … People are running for cover in this state,” Bramnick said.

Sound familiar?

While legislative leaders are now agreeing to work together on a fix, most of last week’s rhetoric ended there. Sure, they all hope that a solution will be realized quickly, but no one is ready to say the state won’t be pressing up against next year’s June deadline, searching for an eleventh-hour deal.

Sources within the business community say that’s unacceptable, especially given the prolonged nature of the TTF debate over the last two years.

A more desired deadline? By budget season, sources say.

The following day at the conference, a sparsely attended morning panel also debated the issue, again offering more hope that a solution will be reached as opposed to details on how one would be achieved.

Scott Rumana

“At the end of the day we have to find a solution and we’re committed to doing that,” said Assemblyman Scott Rumana (R-Westfield).

Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) did mention his proposal of raising the gas tax by 25 cents per gallon, an idea that was met with some audible groans from the audience.

But the Republican-favored notion that a gas tax increase should be tied to a decrease somewhere else in the budget is one that is lost on Wisniewski.


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Bramnick to Dems: ‘Don’t Get Cocky’

Source: PolitickerNJ -

Despite a turbulent Election Day that saw New Jersey’s Republican Party lose four seats on the General Assembly, Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick wants the state’s Democrats to know that Republicans will not go down without a fight.

Jon Bramnick

“Send the message back to my friends in other parties: We are coming to get you next year,” said Bramnick during a League of Municipalities event at the Borgata. “Don’t get happy. Don’t get cocky. Don’t get confident.”

The Borgata event—which was hosted in the honor of statewide Republicans—was co-hosted by Bramnick, Assembly Republican Conference Leader Dave Rible and Assembly Republican Whip Scott Rumana. The event was well attended by Republican leadership from all over NJ including Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblyman Parker Space and Assemblyman Anthony Bucco Jr., among others. Attendees also included a number of Republican Mayors like Springfield’s Denis McDaniel and Fair Lawn’s John Cosgrove, and party county chairs.

“I think the Democrats have to be very careful about being too confident,” Bramnick said. “I am proud of all the Republicans who are here tonight and I am convinced that when it comes to policy long-term, we are right on the issues.”

Former LD38 candidate Mark DiPisa was also in attendance at the event despite the fact that his campaign combusted when it surfaced that his running mate Anthony Cappola had written a book containing language that was insulting to minority and religious groups. Like Bramnick, DiPisa said he thinks that the future of the Republican Party is bright despite losses in districts like his. DiPisa also said that he is “interested in continuing to help the party” but isn’t yet sure what his future role will be.

In addition to being the first day of the League of Municipalities conference, Tuesday also marked another special day for Bramnick: his wife Patricia’s birthday. To celebrate the special occasion, Bramnick brought out a cake dedicated to his wife and had her blow out the candles at the event.

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Bramnick discusses legalizing cannabis – on agenda at Senate committee hearing


Given all that it took to get a medical marijuana program up and running in New Jersey, you might think that the idea of legalizing recreational use of cannabis would be low on the list of agenda items for lawmakers here. But, with states like Colorado and Oregon showing that legalization can prove to be a big budget boon without – so far – a terrible downside, New Jersey lawmakers are planning to at least start seriously talking about it. Senator Nick Scutari will hold a committee hearing on the issue Monday.

Scutari has been down this road before. He says legalization would create a billion dollar cannabis-based industry, from retail operations to agriculture employment. Pointing to Colorado, which saw $2 million in sales tax revenue in the first month of legalization, Scutari says the state would be irresponsible not to consider it. But most everyone acknowledges that there is one major impediment to a legalization bill.

The federal Narcotics Act of 1970 lists Cannabis as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse, lacks accepted safety standards and has no currently accepted medical use, despite the fact that 38 states now have some sort of medical marijuana laws. These are a few of the other drugs that are listed as schedule I by the federal government. It’s a pretty hard core list, but there are still some people, including the governor, who insist that cannabis is a gateway drug.

Ultimately, this is a political issue that the state’s next governor will have to deal with, so where do some of the would-be next governors stand on legalization? We talked to a few and the answers were – hazy.

Jon Bramnick

“My goal now is to make sure that small amounts of marijuana, with these people who are charged with these drug charges, don’t have criminal records,” said Republican Assemblyman Jon Bramnick. “That’s what I’m willing to work with Senator Scutari on, but open sales of legal marijuana, I don’t think we’re quite ready for that in New Jersey.




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Bramnick Statement on Observance of Veterans Day

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, Morris and Somerset, issued the following statement on Veterans Day, as the United States remembers those who served our country:

Jon Bramnick

“Today, we honor those who answered the call to serve in defense of our freedom. The sacrifices made by these brave men and women are the reason we continue to enjoy the liberties we hold so dear. We owe all our veterans a debt of gratitude. Thank you for your service and patriotism.”

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Route 53 dedicated as Alex DeCroce Memorial Highway

Daily Record -

Want to get from Denville to Morris Plains? Just hop on the DeCroce.

Nearly two years after Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill to rename Route 53 after the late Assemblyman from Parsippany, several New Jersey legislators and other dignitaries attended a ceremony Tuesday to formally dedicate the state highway as “Alex DeCroce Memorial Highway.”

A bill approving the name change was unanimously passed by the state legislature in 2013, and signed by Gov Chris Christie in January 2014.

The ceremony took place during a cloudy, rainy morning outside of Verdi restaurant, followed by a celebration luncheon at the eatery on Route 53 in the Mount Tabor section of Parsippany.

DeCroce, the Assembly’s Republican leader from 2003 until his death on Jan. 9, 2012, was a longtime Parsippany resident and businessman who represented the 26th District from 1989 until he died after collapsing in the Statehouse. He was 75.

DeCroce, who partnered with the late U.S. Rep. Dean Gallo in a Parsippany real estate office, also served as a Morris County freeholder from 1984 until 1989, when he was appointed to fill a vacant Assembly seat. He was elected in 1989 and re-elected 11 times, and was scheduled to be sworn in for his next Assembly term the day after his death.

BettyLou DeCroce

BettyLou DeCroce

His widow, BettyLou DeCroce, was appointed to succeed him and last week was elected to a second full term in the Assembly.

 “It was an honor for our entire family to see the kind of respect people had for him, and still do,” she said. “I said when the bill was passed that Alex would have pitched a fit over this because he was not one to flaunt his accomplishments. He just wanted to get the job done for the people of his district and the state. Alex was a huge supporter of transportation issues. To have Route 53, which runs through his hometown and district, named for him is truly a great honor to his legacy. And as a former freeholder, it was so very appropriate.”

DeCroce added people at the ceremony were jokingly attributing the inclement weather to her late husband because everyone was making such a fuss over him.

“He was a modest man,” she said. “He didn’t live by his title, but for the people of New Jersey.”

Jay Webber, who also represents the 26th in Trenton, joined DeCroce at the ceremony, along with Assemblyman Anthony Bucco from the 25th. Sen. Tom Kean Jr., who represents Chatham and Long Hill in the Morris County portion of the 21st District, also attended, as did Assembly GOP leader John Bramnick.

Christie, who postponed his State of the State address after DeCroce’s sudden passing, praised his friend, who he described at the time in remarks to the legislature as a “close friend and mentor for almost 20 years.”

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Bramnick, Ciattarelli discuss election results with Michael Aron on ‘On the Record’ [video]

Source: NJTV News -

Host Michael Aron interviews Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick, Assemblyman Joseph Lagana and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli about election day results.

Jon Bramnick

“The Republicans, in order to try to effect changes in respect to taxes and costs for the average person in the state, we took on some very dangerous issues. We took on pension reform, and the NJEA came out swinging with millions of dollars in a low turnout year. They were motivated. They were passionate against any reforms, and, unfortunately, the base, the basic voter who is concerned about taxes, really didn’t come out,” said Braminick.

“The bottom line is, when you get people really mad, when you touch these third rails, you’re going to have an over-reaction. And that’s what happened in these districts. Mary Pat Angelini, Donna Simon, Caroline Casagrande, these are incredible assemblypeople and candidates. But overwhelming negative ads day in and day out and big money [made the difference],” Bramnick continued.

Jack Ciattarelli

“Those of who know the district (LD #16) know it is a very, very competitive district. And the lower the turnout, the more competitive the district. There are more registered Democrats than Republicans. When you say ‘no one expected that,’ that wasn’t in the inner circle,” Jack Ciattarelli noted.

“This is not the old 16. The old 16 was all of Somerset County. This has five Hunterdon Country towns, Princeton and South Brunswick, South Brunswick being the largest. When you take a look at the numbers, especially in a low turnout race, this is a very competitive district,” said Ciattarelli.

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Bramnick a player in the ‘ultimate lame duck’

Source: NJBiz -

The midterm ballots had not even been counted (not that it took long this year) when our political insider offered his thoughts on the next two years.

Jon Bramnick

It may be the ultimate lame-duck period of New Jersey politics.

“I’m operating under the assumption that the (Gov. Chris) Christie administration is already over,” our insider said. “If he comes back to Jersey, is he going to get anything done with Steve Sweeney, who is running for governor? There’s no way. I’ve been saying this forever. It’s over.”

Hard to imagine the administration of one of the most noteworthy governors in state history, one flying so high as a Republican winning so convincingly in a blue state just two years ago, could be at the end of its run. One that seemingly has as much chance at winning the White House as Barbara Buono had of moving into Drumthwacket in 2013.

Why? It’s because of 2017.

“Sweeney has to cut to the far left to take on (Jersey City mayor Steve) Fulop,” the insider said. “And he’s in purgatory with the unions for siding with Christie on the pensions, so he has to now curry the favor with them again. He’s here, Christie’s there. We’re done. They’ll do some wheeling and dealing because they have to and get some things passed.”

Then again, maybe not.

With the Democrats picking up four more seats in the Assembly, our insider is not convinced Christie will ever come home to govern again.

“I think there’s a 50-50 chance that even comes back,” they continued. “I can easily see him saying, ‘I’m not coming back to this mess,’ and find some excuse to do something else. With the poll numbers the way they are, I wouldn’t be surprised if we never saw him again.”

Or even another Republican.

“I just don’t see any Republican winning state office again for a long time,” the source said. “I used to say it was once in a decade, but the numbers are just becoming so overwhelming for the Democrats that I just don’t see it.”

Then again, the insider said, the democrats could do themselves in.

“It would have to take a fratricide situation among Democrats that maybe they say, I can’t take that guy, he’s from South Jersey and we’re afraid of a South Jersey takeover so North Jersey people would say, ‘We’ve got to go with a Republican because he’s a workable person, like Assembly Minority Leader) Jon Bramnick.’

“If Sweeney were to get the nomination, I could see a lot of North Jersey democrats saying, ‘I can work with Bramnick.’

“Conversly, I could see the same thing happen if Fulop got the nod. I could see South Jersey people sort of doing what they did with Chris, where they said, ‘I can’t work with (Jon) Corzine, but I can work with Chris.’”

In the end, however, our insider thinks the Democrats will figure out how to come together.

“They want it badly and I think they’ll be solidly together and there will be another eight years until we see another Republican governor,” the insider said.

While many feel the Christie administration has slowed, one longtime political observer had high praise for one of his former top staffers, Michele Brown.

“She’s been the most active Choose New Jersey person yet and you have to admire that for somebody who knows she probably rises and falls with the Chris Christie wave,” the insider said.

Brown, the person said, is going above and beyond.

“She still has a lot of energy with frankly the rest of her old administration being very anemic,” they said.

“She’s still running around as if it’s 2012 and that’s good.”

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In NJ Assembly It’s Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss (video)


Jon Bramnick

Even after falling as deep into the minority as they have been since the 70’s, the Republicans returned leader Jon Bramnick and his team.

“Since my comedy career is not taking off,” joked Bramnick.  “I decided to run again for leader of the Assembly Republicans.”

And, from the tone of today’s press conference, the GOP is planning to stay on message, regardless of how flat the message seems to have fallen on election day, which can be summed up in four words. “What is your plan?”

Republicans say the Democrats – flush off a PAC-fueled victory – are now on the clock. They say they majority party can’t just keep blaming Chris Christie.

“They want to talk everything except their policy proposals,” mocked Bramnick.  “Where is the governor today? Is he in Iowa? Is he in New Hampshire?”

All kidding aside, there are pressing issues facing this legislature, and some on the democratic side say they plan to take advantage of the lame duck session to get some work done on them, including the soon to be broke Transportation Trust Fund.

The Republicans say an increase in the gas tax has always been on the table, even from the governor, providing there’s some cuts to the inheritance and estate taxes. The 800 pound gorilla in the room is Chris Christie and his presidential ambitions. Given the governor’s current rebound, that hope appears to be fading. Democrats say they’re going to need some profiles in courage from the GOP in order to override the governor’s anticipated veto of any bill that smells like it has a tax increase in it.

So, the new party leaders look like the old party leaders, and the issues today sound a lot like the issues from yesterday. Both sides say they want to work together, but it’s hard to see, given the rhetoric today, how that’s going to happen.

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Assembly Republicans Re-elect Bramnick as Leader

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Today, Assembly Republican members voted unanimously to re-elect Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, R-Westfield, as caucus leader. Assemblyman Dave Rible, R-Wall, was re-elected conference leader and Assemblyman Scott Rumana, R-Wayne, as whip.


All three members will serve their third term in these leadership positions.


Bramnick was elected to the Assembly in 2003, and Rible and Rumana in 2008.

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