Dems spent NJ into debt

Public pensions and the $100,000 club are two of the main reasons New Jersey is in so much debt. We have over 1,800 people making over $100,000 with the highest making almost $200,000. If you are in the middle class, your salary doesn’t come near $100,000.

How did all this happen? It’s not the police, firefighters or judicial officials who caused this to happen, it’s politicians that created this mess. This liberal state run mostly by Democrats created this. God help us.

Michael Tourigian

Brigantine

Union opposes Kennedy

I am very disappointed that Amy Kennedy has lowered herself to haul out tired stereotypes and clichés about labor unions. I think she was trying to score points with South Jersey voters, get her TV sound bites and attract donations from far outside the 2nd Congressional District. No candidate for office, and certainly not a Democrat, should bash organized labor.

As legendary labor leader John Sweeney once declared, “Where labor has no role, democracy has no future.” There would be no middle class without unions. Unions created the middle class and unions maintain it as champions of American values. Because of unions, protections for workers have been written into state and federal law. Workers are paid fair wages for a fair workweek. Children are in school, not toiling on sweatshop floors. This is why organized labor participates in U.S. democracy.

Improvements to working conditions through collective bargaining benefit all workers. We negotiate union contracts that enable our members to maintain a decent standard of living through agreed-upon wages, safe working conditions, health care, pensions and work schedules. Families are strengthened when a mother or father can come home in time to share a meal, check homework, coach a youth team, or participate in local school or civic activities. Union advocacy for shared American values makes this possible.

We campaign for and elect union members who know firsthand working-class struggles. We poll members for consensus on candidates who best represent the beliefs that unify us, and then select and endorse them through a democratic process. That is why, through union support and on behalf of those who do not have union contracts, our labor candidates in the state Legislature passed paid family leave, a higher minimum wage, pay equity, a guarantee that mental health and addiction care are equal to care for physical ailments, the nation’s first Panic Button law for hotel workers — especially important in Atlantic City and other N.J. resorts — and many other pro-worker laws.

Getting pro-labor candidates elected reinforces the values that built America. We believe South Jersey voters are smart enough to recognize this.

Donna M. Chiera

Fords, Middlesex County

President, American Federation of Teachers New Jersey

Trump rules Justice Dept.

I am watching the country slowly morph into one I no longer recognize. I believe the man in the White House, President Trump, has hijacked the Department of Justice and meddled in cases in which he has a personal interest. If you are a crooked crony or a perceived enemy of Trump, you either get his benevolence or wrath. I was always taught the Justice Department was not a political tool and subject to the whims of a president. I hope voters are paying attention because they may regret the future they are leaving to the next generation if things continue to go unchecked.

Peggy Caccia

Ocean City

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