Second to none in the Republican world are the folks from Americans for Prosperity (AFP). These conservatoids march to the beat of a different drummer on their side of the political aisle.
Their leader in New Jersey is none other than former gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan. Now, this time around he was taken a bit more seriously by the Republican powers that be and they actually ran attack-commercials against him touting his 'flat-tax' as a scam to raise taxes on "70% of New Jersey residents" which "Lonegan actually admitted to the Philadelphia Inquirer". Yup, folks---if you're gonna raise taxes on New Jersey residents go out of state to admit it. Now, the flat tax, as I hear tell it would have raised taxes on the lowest level income folks in NJ.
And Lonegan said that was OK 'cause it was "not really that much" (an additional $400 per year or so"), and that the money would be used to help create jobs and stimulate the economy. Now, let me understand this----you're going to help create jobs and stimulate the NJ economy with tax dollars? Is not that what President Obama is attempting to do with federal stimulus money? And Steve is just willing to do it with poor people's money----but not rich people's apparently. Maybe the rich are different. Their money is no good here.
Anyway, the AFP folks included Lonegan, and Joe Schlip (Piscataway Republican Club guy and the guy they chose to introduce their keynote speaker, Curtis Sliwa) who is pro-life to the nth degree, against marriage equality, and told me he believes that Islamists are taking over Europe and if we did not do something in America we would be an "Islamist Republic" in years to come. Well, his exact time frame was 25 years, so I have got 2024 marked on my calendar for the ocassion. Joe, you can pick up your tin-foil hat at the next AFP convention.
It was fun as I got to meet Ryan, the 22 year-old conservative true believer who was staffing a table for the conference. A firece conservative-libertarian, Ryan wants the government out of his life completely----even to the point of not wanting any local zoning boards making sure that an oil refinery could not be zoned next to his house. "My freedom is important to me," he said. "If that means losing the value of my home, that's OK with me." Perhaps Ryan can purchase his home in Joe Schlip's future America from the folks from the future Islamist Republic----and wear his own tin-foil hat during the house closing.
At the AFP Con, I got to meet Curtis Sliwa, who I miss broadcasting with Ron Kuby on WABC in the mornings. Curtis [now on at night] and Kuby [now on Air America, I think] were bumped a year or so by Don Imus. Funny how life works---Imus calls the Rutgers womens basketball team "nappy headed hoes", ---and voila----Kuby ends up in radio wasteland. Love Air America, when I can get it, which is not that often. What goes around comes around, even if it you did not start it.
In my neck of conservative NJ, Lonegan won big---and so did Michael Doherty, edging off Mrcia Karrow---a good legislator who was a good critical thinker most of the time. Doherty, however, will join the other right-wingers from out here in the back rows of the NJ Senate.
So, it goes.