Chamber lauds passing of airport growth zone bill

The Greater Atlantic City Chamber commends the New Jersey State Legislature for passing Senate bill S2872 and its companion Assembly bill A4510.

The legislation, if signed by Gov. Christie, would establish the area surrounding the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center and Atlantic City International Airport as a Garden State Growth Zone. The bill expands tax incentives and benefits available under the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 and expands the EDA Grow New Jersey program to the area encompassing a one-mile radius surrounding the airport, in addition to Passaic, Paterson, Trenton and Atlantic City.

The chamber has advocated strongly on behalf of this critical legislation for a long time. There is no question that this will be a catalyst for much needed economic growth and diversification in both Atlantic City and Atlantic County.

We also want to acknowledge the hard work done by the Atlantic County Economic Alliance, the Atlantic County Improvement Authority and our local legislators, including the late state Sen. Jim Whelan, now-former state Sen. Colin Bell, Sen. Jeff Van Drew, Sen. Chris Brown and Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo. Their efforts, along with those of Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assemblyman John Burzichelli, were instrumental in getting this legislation passed.

We look forward to the swift signing of this legislation by the governor and to continuing to work with our partners in both the public and private sectors to facilitate the important economic development that will result from this.

Joseph Kelly

Atlantic City

President, Greater Atlantic City Chamber

Trump could have won running as a Democrat

Political parties have hurt America. Ever since Harry Reid opened the door to the nuclear option, the parties have become completely polarized. Democrats are the current holdouts and are looking completely silly.

Enter Donald Trump. He has beaten both Democrats and Republican operatives at their own game. I believe that he would now be president even if he had run as a Democrat and with a Democratic Senate to boot. In the same manner that he categorized and labeled his Republican opponents, he would have easily done the same to Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or even good old Uncle Joe Biden. He is a born-again Republican utilizing Democratic tactics to achieve America-first principles that both parties should be adhering to.

He would have accomplished nearly the same goals as a Democrat, only with bipartisan and media support. Obamacare would now be repealed at the willing hands of Democrats with a replacement suitable to America’s needs.

There is much work still to be done, with infrastructure, immigration, NAFTA, the UN, Iran and North Korea. His Republican foes have seen the light; maybe it’s time for the old-time Democratic Party to get on the Trump train before it leaves the next station. America first, last and always.

James M. Spickard

Little Egg Harbor Township