Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Great Dining Value: Three-Course Menu, $16.50!

Pressure Builds In NJ For Bail Reform

“Time To Overhaul N.J.’s Bail System”
Ahead Of The Special Legislative Session, Voices Across New Jersey Continue To Urge The Legislature To Act On Bail Reform

“We must act now, in the public interest, to protect our children and our communities from the most serious criminals who, under current law, must be set free if able to post even a fraction of the bail set by a judge. Together we can take action on this crucial matter of public importance. The security and stability of our communities demands that we take this action now.”
– Governor Chris Christie, Letter to The Legislature, July 29, 2014

Bishop Reginald Jackson: “I urge the State Senate to pass this legislation on Thursday, and for members of the Assembly to also return to vote on the legislation that it may be placed on the November ballot.” (Press Release, 7/30/14)

·         “Bail reform is long overdue in New Jersey, and has been called for by many for many years. To delay this matter from a vote now would be irresponsible.”

·         “I urge both chambers of the State Legislature to act on SCR 128 by Monday. This is not hard to do, but it is hard to understand why what a majority wants can’t get acted on. In the words of Spike Lee I urge all parties to, ‘do the right thing.’”

Former Governor Jim McGreevey: "I strongly support bail reform. The poor ought not to be denied freedom merely because of their inability to afford bail. The bail reform legislation is on the side of the angels." (Press Release, 7/30/14)

Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd: “I strongly support the efforts of Senator Norcross to address a flawed bail system that treats those accused or charged with non-violent offenses the same as individuals charged with violent offenses.” (“Redd and Moran state support for bail reform,” Politicker NJ, 7/29/14)

·         “If we are serious about keeping our communities safe from the real violent criminals, then it is critically important that we focus all of our efforts on making sure that the true lawbreakers – murderers, drug dealers and other hardened repeat violent offenders – are the ones that remain in jail.”

Camden Council President Francisco Moran: “The current bail system is antiquated and unfair to the poor and minorities on petty offenses and really only benefits the bail bondsman at the expense of struggling families.” (“Redd and Moran state support for bail reform,” Politicker NJ, 7/29/14)

Rev. Vanessa Wilson of Pemberton"Scripture commands us not to take advantage of the poor or cheat them in court.” (Editorial, “Wrong role for SCLC,” Inquirer, 7/30/14)

Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-7th of Palmyra: “For those men and women who are incarcerated for no other reason because they are poor, this is an opportunity to move forward.” (David Levinsky, “Christie calls for special legislative session to pass bail reform,” Burlington County Times, 7/29/14)

Brick Township Police Chief Nils Bergquist Jr.: "It's an incredibly noble intent, what they're trying to accomplish here.” (Michael Symons, “Christie wants quick action on bail reform,” Asbury Park Press, 7/29/14)

·         “A small percentage of the people arrested in this state end up languishing in jail unnecessarily because they don't have means. This would put everyone in jail for a period of time, regardless of their means. ... Focus on that small group — everyone who's still in jail after 48 hours, take a good close look at."

Asbury Park Press: “We applaud the governor’s action. Now is the time to get this done.” (Editorial, “Time to overhaul N.J.’s bail system,” Asbury Park Press, 7/29/14)

·         “If the legislature does run out of time, all it is doing keeping presumably innocent poor people in jail, where all they have is time. The reforms are not outrageous.”

·         “[T]he bill is a fine start and should be passed.”

·         “The costly unfair bail system is broken. Let the bill pass, giving the poor the same shot at justice as the well-heeled. Let’s give voters the right to decide…”

Star-Ledger: “This is too important an issue to abandon because of summer slump.” (Editorial, “Chris Christie comes to the rescue of N.J. bail reform,” Star-Ledger, 7/29/14)

·         “Now it's up to legislators to do the responsible thing and push this legislative package through - in the name of protecting both public safety and the poor.”

 The Record: “His decision to call for a special session of the Legislature on Thursday is a smart, decisive example of a governor using his executive power effectively.” (Editorial, “Bail reform,” The Record, 7/30/14)

·         “Reforming a bail system skewed to favor the middle and upper classes should be a high priority.”

·         “The governor, by calling a special session, has made this a high priority issue. And it is.”

Inquirer: “Any changes must keep intact defendants' rights to a speedy trial. But that goal is possible if legislators don't become distracted by the bail bondsmen's hired guns.” (Editorial, “Wrong role for SCLC,” Inquirer, 7/30/14)

Wolf And Obama: Cap 'n Trade War On Coal?

In Pennsylvania, the Corbett-Cawley campaign today released a statement regarding Secretary Tom Wolf’s decision to stand with President Barack Obama and his war on coal as they both support a devastating cap-and-trade tax on Pennsylvania job creators. On Thursday, the EPA will hold hearings in Pittsburgh on their new regulations that jeopardize 62,000 jobs supported by Pennsylvania’s coal industry. 

Today, Governor Corbett joined West Virginia’s Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor for a pro-energy jobs rally in Pittsburgh ahead of tomorrow’s hearings.

Here is the statement:

“Millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf has chosen to stand with President Obama and his job-killing new cap-and-trade tax even though they both jeopardize over 62,000 jobs supported by the Pennsylvania coal industry,” stated Corbett-Cawley Communications Director Chris Pack. “Maybe the availability of family sustaining, middle class jobs and affordable electricity isn’t important to a millionaire like Tom Wolf, but it’s important for job creators and the rest of the hardworking people of Pennsylvania.”

In early June, the Obama Administration announced a cap-and-trade plan similar to the one proposed by Secretary Tom Wolf, where the amount of allowed emissions from power producers is capped and they are required to reduce their emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels. If a company releases more than the allowed emissions, they could be forced to purchase costly emissions credits, install expensive upgrades, or even close power plants, all on the backs of consumers and the families who depend on coal jobs and affordable, reliable energy.

Governor Tom Corbett was quick to stand up against President Barack Obama’s latest attack on Pennsylvania’s coal industry. The Corbett-Cawley campaign also launched an online petition that called on Wolf to withdraw his support for the Obama-Wolf energy tax. To date, Wolf has refused to discuss his support for Obama’s war on coal. According to the Pennsylvania Independent, “[Tom Wolf’s] campaign was silent on the new EPA rule, as a spokesman didn’t return a message seeking comment.” Similarly, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported, “Corbett's Democratic opponent in November, Tom Wolf, offered a measured response...”

Under the ‘Climate Change’ section of Secretary Tom Wolf’s website, it states, “Under Tom’s leadership, Pennsylvania will join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.” It has otherwise been noted by the York Daily Record that “Wolf supports joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, an effort among nine states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” In a PennFuture survey, Wolf said “Additionally, I will focus on reducing our overall greenhouse gas emissions by having Pennsylvania join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.” Corbett challenged Wolf to denounce this cap-and-trade tax he has supported as part of his “A Fresh Start” plan, and to instead support the Pennsylvania coal industry and the Pennsylvania families who rely on this critical industry.

“I am alarmed that President Obama and Tom Wolf would both support a cap-and-trade tax on our energy sector that would jeopardize over 62,000 Pennsylvania coal jobs,” stated Governor Tom Corbett in June. “Pennsylvania is the country’s fourth-leading coal producer, and if President Obama and Tom Wolf had their way, they would be handing out pink slips to 62,000 Pennsylvanians. Our state has come too far over the past four years to go back to these overreaching tax-and-spend policies, and Pennsylvanians have my promise that I will fight these regulations every step of the way.”

Corbett’s support for Pennsylvania’s coal industry earned him the endorsement of Boilermakers Local 154. In endorsing Corbett, Boilermakers Local 154 Business Manager Raymond C. Ventrone touted Governor Corbett’s commitment to the energy industry in Pennsylvania.

“Since taking office, Governor Tom Corbett has kept his promise to fight for Pennsylvania jobs, making our Commonwealth stronger and more prosperous for our members, their families and all Pennsylvanians,” said Business Manager Raymond Ventrone. “We look forward to what the next four years of Governor Corbett’s leadership will hold for Pennsylvania’s future and are proud to stand with him as he seeks re-election this November.”

For more information on the Corbett-Cawley campaign for a stronger Pennsylvania, please visit www.tomcorbettforgovernor.com.

Xfinity Live's FREE Country Fest Debuts Aug. 1

The official Coors Light Country Fest takes over XFINITY Live! Philadelphia with interactive games, drink specials, a special appearance by Florida Georgia Line and an exclusive performance by country star Tyler Farr on Friday, August 1 beginning at 2 p.m.

Festivities include drink specials featuring Coors Light and Coors Light Summer Brew prior to country mega star Jason Aldean’s concert later that evening at Citizens Bank Park. Aldean is bringing his “Burn It Down Tour” to the ballpark featuring country sensations Tyler Farr and Florida Georgia Line.
Coors Light Country Fest is free to the public and will feature music throughout the day including an appearance by American Country star Tyler Farr, known for his hit single “Whiskey in My Water.” Also performing on the XFINITY Live! Stage at Coors Light Country Fest are bands “Shot of Southern” and “Philbilly” best known for their outstanding covers on famous country songs such as Rascall Flatts’ song “Me and My Gang.”
Patrons can also participate in interactive games and contests. Contest prizes include Tyler Farr concert tickets, autographed guitars by Jason Aldean, Tyler Farr and Florida Georgia Line.  

Complimentary on-site parking will be available after 8 p.m.

Christie Video: Finish Job On Bail Reform Now!



New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in Trenton today as he prepares to bring the state legislature back into session to act on bail reform.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Israel VS Hamas: Facts Tell The Story!


Pope Embraces Pentecostal Church; Calls For Unity

Unity in diversity and the plea for forgiveness for the lack of understanding shown by some Catholics towards their Pentecostal brothers were the key themes of the Pope's address at the Pentecostal Church of the Reconciliation in Caserta yesterday, during his meeting with his friend, the pastor Giovanni Traettino, whom he known for many years, both in Buenos Aires and as bishop of Rome, engaged in ecumenism. 

The meeting took place in a cheerful and intimate atmosphere, and was attended by 200 people, mostly Pentecostals from Italy, the United States and Argentina, as well as other countries. “With men like you”, said Pastor Traettino to his friend, Pope Francis, “there is hope for us, as Christians”.

The Pope's address responded to the discourse pronounced by Pastor Traettino, who had remarked that the presence of Jesus and walking in the presence of Jesus should be at the centre of our life. Francis remarked that “walk” was God's first commandment to his people, represented by Abraham – “walk before me faithfully and be blameless” – and added, “I don't understand a Christian who stands still! I don't understand a Christian who doesn't walk. A Christian must walk … because that which is still, that does not move ahead, becomes corrupt. Like still water, which is the first to become stagnant. … There are Christians who confuse walking and moving ahead with moving around. These, instead, are errants who saunter here and there; these are people who lack parrhesia, the boldness to go ahead; they lack hope”.

He went on to cite the story of Jacob who, during a time of famine, sent his eleven sons – ten of whom were guilty of betrayal, having sold their brother Joseph – to Egypt to buy grain. There, they once again found Joseph, who in the meantime had become the vizier. 

“When we walk in God's presence, we find brotherhood”, asserted the Pope. “When instead we stop, we scrutinise each other too much, and we set out on another path, that of gossip. … And in this way it begins, from the first moment the division of the Church began. And it is not the Holy Spirit who causes division! … From the very beginning there has been this temptation in the Christian community. 'I am from this group, you are from that one', 'No! I am the Church, you are a sect', and so on. … The Holy Spirit creates diversity in the Church … diversity, rich and beautiful. But, at the same time, the Holy Spirit creates unity, and so the Church is one in her diversity. To borrow a phrase used by an evangelical, a phrase I love, it is the 'reconciled diversity' of the Holy Spirit, Who creates both of these things: diversity in charisms, and harmony in charisms”.

To offer an image of how unity in the Church could be, Pope Francis first described a sphere, all of whose points are equidistant from the centre. This, he said, was an example of uniformity, and “the Holy Spirit does not create uniformity”. “Let us imagine, instead, a polyhedron: it is an example of unity, but with many different parts, each with its own peculiarity and charism. This is unity in diversity. This is the path that we Christians take, giving it the theological name of ecumenism: we seek to ensure that this diversity is harmonised by the Holy Spirit and becomes a unity; we seek to walk in the presence of God to be blameless”.

Pastor Traettino had also referred to the incarnation of Jesus, and the Holy Father responded that “the incarnation of the Word is the foundation – it is Jesus Christ! God and man, Son of God and Son of man, true God and true man. This is how the first Christians understood Him to be and they fought hard to maintain this truth: the Lord is God and man. It is the mystery of Christ's flesh. … I love the poor, the widow, the slave, the imprisoned. … I love them all, as these people who suffer are Christ's flesh. … It is not possible to preach a purely intellectual Gospel: the Gospel is the truth but it is also love and beauty! And this is the joy of the Gospel!”.

“On this path, many times we have done the same thing as the brothers of Joseph, when jealous and envy have divided us”, he remarked. “That sad story in which the Gospel for some was lived as truth and they did not realise that behind this attitude there were bad things, things that were not the Lord's, an ugly attempt at division. That sad history, in which there are repeated the same things that Joseph's brother did: denouncements, the laws of these people who 'are against the purity of the race'. … And these laws were ratified by baptised persons! Some of those who enacted these laws, and some of those who persecuted, denounced their pentecostal brothers because they were 'enthusiastic', almost 'crazy', who spoiled the race. … I am a pastor of Catholics, and I beg forgiveness for this. I ask your forgiveness on behalf of those Catholic brothers and sisters who did not understand and who were tempted by the devil, and who did the same thing that Joseph's brothers did. I ask the Lord for the grace to recognise and to forgive”.

Pope Francis went on to comment on Pastor Traettino's words, “The truth is an encounter”. “An encounter between people”, he emphasised. “The truth is not made in a laboratory, it is made in life, seeking Jesus in order to find Him. But the greatest and most beautiful mystery is that when we find Jesus, we realise that He sought us first, that He had found us first, because He arrives before us. I like to use the Spanish verb 'primerea' to describe this, meaning that He precedes us, and always awaits us. … That encounter that transforms us: everything comes from that encounter. This is the path of Christian sanctity: seeking Jesus every day in order to meet him, and letting oneself be sought and found by Jesus every day”.

“We are on that path of unity, among brothers”, he concluded. “Some people will be surprised: they will say, the Pope has gone to the evangelicals! He has gone to meet his brothers! Yes! Because – and this is the truth – they came to me first, in Buenos Aires. … And so this friendship began, this closeness between the pastors in Buenos Aires, and here today. I thank you, and I ask you to pray for me, as I need your prayers”.

Following the meeting, in the mid afternoon, the Pope returned to the Vatican by helicopter.

Governor Christie Calls Special Legislative Session

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is calling a Special Session of the State Legislature for this Thursday, calling on the Legislature to seize the moment and pass bipartisan legislation that will keep dangerous individuals off the streets and bring greater fairness to the system. For two and half years, the Governor has engaged the legislature and continually called for this type of reform, beginning with his State of the State Address in 2012.

Now, we are finally on the cusp of seeing action, with broad-based reform supported by the Governor, bipartisan members of the legislature, the judiciary, interest groups such as the NAACP, ACLU, and Drug Policy Alliance, and opinion leaders from across the state.

As the Star Ledger Editorial Board pointed out in an editorial on this very topic this morning, reform is “desperately needed” and at risk of falling victim to legislative dysfunction. From the piece on the reform package and the need to act now:

The only people who win if this reform doesn’t pass are bail bondsmen. And the victims will be the poor, who continue to sit in jail for an average of 10 months for minor offenses, even though they pose no risk to the community.

Rich people who can afford a bail bond simply walk free, no matter how dangerous they may be. This broken system is an economic injustice, a threat to public safety and a drain on state taxpayers. We are warehousing people who don’t pose any danger.

Under the proposed reform, most people arrested for minor crimes would simply be released without bail. Those accused of more serious crimes or thought to be a flight danger would get a risk assessment, and only the biggest threats would be detained.

It’s a sorely needed overhaul, but comes with a short window. If Monday’s vote is delayed, the legislation would likely be passed next year at the earliest, and might not take effect until 2018. And it may never be passed at all: Who knows if legislators would have the appetite to take this on again?


Instead of a system that allows people charged with the most serious violent crimes out on the street, and keeps those who commit minor offenses and just can't afford bail behind bars, this legislation will finally bring common sense and fairness to the system. The legislation being debated includes the following:

·        SCR128: A Constitutional Amendment that would provide necessary flexibility in the justice system to allow for individuals proven to be dangerous or a threat to public safety to be held without bail ahead of trial through a pre-trial assessment.  If approved, this would appear for voter approval on the November 2014 General Election ballot.
·        S946: Legislation that would set the parameters for dangerousness when determining bail eligibility and create bail alternatives for individuals charged with nonviolent offenses.  This would bring fairness to low-income individuals who have not been charged with violent crimes and do not belong warehoused in jails awaiting trail, but cannot afford bail.

BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS ON THIS ISSUE – The moment for action is now, with bipartisan consensus on sweeping reform being reached by the Governor, the Supreme Court Chief Justice, Stuart Rabner and his special commission formed to look specifically at bail reform, members of both parties of the legislature, interest groups as diverse as the NAACP, ACLU, and Drug Policy Alliance, and opinion leaders from around the state.

On B'way, For 'Lady Day,' It's Now All Gravy!

The producers of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, the musical play starring record breaking six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald, are thrilled to announce that the production in now in profits, after recouping its initial investment of $2.6 million.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill previously announced that the production has now extended its limited engagement through September 21st, 2014.

The original cast recording of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, which topped four of the Billboard Charts in its first week of release (#1 in Cast Albums, #1 in Jazz, #1 in Traditional Jazz and #1 in Heatseekers), is now available for purchase from PS Classics. For more information visit www.psclassics.com.

Tickets are available via Telecharge.com, by calling (212) 239-6200, or at the box office of Circle in the Square (West 50th Street, btwn. Broadway and 8th Avenue).

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill began performances on March 25th, 2014, and opened on April 13th, 2014. In addition to Audra McDonald’s Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play, the productions sound designer Steve Canyon Kennedy won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Sound Design of a Play.

“Audra McDonald is a vocal genius!
One of the greatest performances I ever hope to see.”
New York Magazine

MESMERIZING! Pouring her heart into her voice, Audra McDonald breathes life into Billie Holiday’s greatest songs.”
The New York Times

“A SPELLBINDING TOUR DE FORCE!”
Daily News

“The best 90 minutes you’ll ever witness!
Audra McDonald is again AUDACIOUSLY AWESOME.”
NY1

“STUNNING & HEARTBREAKING. The performance of her career!
Get to the Circle in the Square theatre – pronto!”
Huffington Post

“One of the most exquisite & haunting performances of the year!”
Entertainment Weekly

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill recounts Holiday's life story through the songs that made her famous. 1959, in a small, intimate bar in Philadelphia, Holiday puts on a show that unbeknownst to the audience, will leave them witnesses to one of the last performances of her lifetime.  Through her poignant voice and moving songs, one of the greatest jazz singers of all-time shares her loves and her losses.   

Among the songs that are performed: “God Bless the Child,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Strange Fruit” and “Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness.”

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill is directed by Ms. McDonald’s frequent collaborator, Lonny Price.

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Jessica Genick, and Will Trice, who are joined by Ronald Frankel, Rebecca Gold, Roger Berlind, Ken Greiner, Gabrielle Palitz, Irene Gandy and GFour Productions.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill made its award-winning premiere with off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre in 1986.

Great Summer Nights At Jewish History Museum!

Summer Nights at the Museum
As July winds to a close, August heats up at the National Museum of American jewish History in Philadelphia.
Don't miss extended hours, special tours, film, and more, exclusively on Wednesday nights. Keep reading for details about Pay What You Wish Wednesdays, tomorrow night's Field of Dreams screeningpoetry, and Café Conversations. See you tomorrow night!
Every Wednesday through October from 5:00 - 8:00 pm
  
Pay-what-you-wish Museum Admission includes:
  • Access to the permanent exhibition and the special exhibition Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American 
  • Hour-long Chasing Dreams-themed tour at 5:30 pm
  • Complimentary baseball-themed snacks and beer served by the Museum's Pomegranates Café
  • FREE access to special programs such as Café Conversations (more below) 
Summer Cinema: Field of Dreams -- tomorrow night!    
Wednesday, July 30 at 7:00 pm

Join us for our final screening in our Classics & Crackerjacks: Summer Cinemaseries, Field of Dreams, with remarks from longtime film critic for The Philadelphia InquirerCarrie Rickey, and fun, baseball-themed giveaways.Read more...  
Members: click here to purchase tickets and to access special pricing forother upcoming programs. 
 
Special pre-film poetry reading in the Café at 6:15 pm: swing by
the Café before the screening for Growing Up Baseball, a poetry
reading with Jacob Winterstein.
Café Conversation: Laura SilverWednesday, August 6 at 7:00 pm

In the Museum Café - included with PWYW Museum Admission
  
Meet award-winning journalist, Laura Silver, author of Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food, which Joan Nathan has called "truly riveting."
  
Co-sponsored by Temple University's Feinstein Center for American Jewish History
Café Conversation: Neil Lanctot
Wednesday, August 13 at 7:00 pm 

In the Museum Ca
fé - included with PWYW Museum Admission

Sit down for a chat with Neil Lanctot, Ph.D., baseball historian and author of Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campanella, hailed "a rich and thoroughly enjoyable book" by the Los Angeles Times.
  
  
  
Click here for a full calendar of Chasing Dreams programs.
  

The Real Corbett Education Funding Record!

In Pennsylvania, the Corbett-Cawley campaign today formally launched a new website highlighting the record funding for state education under the Corbett-Cawley Administration. The formal launch follows yesterday's press conference at the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association headquarters where Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley, State Senator Scott Wagner and various education stakeholders set the record straight on the Corbett-Cawley Administration's commitment to education. Since taking office, Corbett has increased state funding by $1.46 billion. The campaign also exposed a Democratic political operative who Secretary Tom Wolf’s supporters are using to portray a mother claiming to be “living paycheck to paycheck.”

The campaign’s “Get the Facts about Tom Corbett and Public Education” website includes video testimonial from Pennsylvania public school teachers on Governor Corbett’s commitment to education. The site also features a year-by-year breakdown of state education funding. You can view the website by clicking HERE.

Below are quotes from Monday's press conference.

Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley
“Over the last four years, our administration has increased the state’s investment in our public schools by $1.46 billion to now historic levels. It’s shameful that the teachers’ union bosses continually perpetuate a lie to put their own interests over those of the students and teachers they serve. I am calling on Secretary Wolf to denounce the lies of his supporters and allies who have financed this ad and his campaign for more than $1.13 million. As Governor Corbett and I travel the Commonwealth to stress the need for pension reform and through it, relief for property taxpayers, school districts and communities, these unions and Secretary Wolf stand in the way and ignore our crisis to serve their own interests first. We will continue to stand up to the special interests and deliver real reform and results for the people of Pennsylvania.”

State Senator Scott Wagner (PA-28)

“The public sector unions have for years stood in the way of meaningful reforms for Pennsylvania taxpayers. What’s more troubling is that they have used taxpayer resources to collect their member dues to finance attacks like these, regardless of their member’s individual political leanings. Republican, Democrat or independent, it should be up to the unions themselves, not the taxpayers, to collect their dues if they are going to choose to spend them on such disgusting partisan attacks and lies as those made in this ad and over the last four years. I will continue to work with Governor Corbett, Lt. Governor Cawley and this administration to achieve what’s best for all Pennsylvanians, not the Harrisburg special interests.”

Background on PA Families First Ad

PA Families First, a special interests PAC funded by the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) and national public sector unions, recently began airing an attack on behalf of Secretary Tom Wolf. The ad features a Chris, that the on-screen texts labels as a parent. Chris says she is living “paycheck to paycheck.”

“It’s only fitting that Secretary Tom Wolf’s special interest allies would enlist the help of a professional political operative who donates thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and whose lifestyle as demonstrated on her Facebook page doesn't jive with the living ‘paycheck to paycheck’ claim,” stated Corbett-Cawley Communications Director Chris Pack. “Apparently PA Families First is doing their best Tom Wolf impression by pretending to be someone they are not.”

Below is information on Chris Visco.

-Chris Visco is the owner of PJ’s & Coffee Social Media Marketing

-Among her specialties, she lists “political campaign management” and “political strategist utilizing online marketing strategies”

-Visco is a Democratic political operative who has received thousands of dollars from Democratic candidates for elected office.

Payments to PJ’s & Coffee Marketing:

State Senator Art Haywood (PA-04) for Senate’s Committee (Campaign for Compassion):

$3,150 - 3/5/14

$1,535 - 3/24/14

$700 - 4/1/14

$3,000 - 4/1/14

$524.61 - 4/25/14

$10 - 4/25/14

Friends of Steve Tolliver - Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas:
$2,000 - 4/30/13

$2,000 - 5/20/13

$3,000 - 6/5/13

$3,000 - 7/2/13

$3,000 - 8/27/13

$26.24 - 8/27/13

$3,000 - 10/1/13

$1,000 - 10/10/13

$415.62 - 10/25/13

$3,000 - 10/26/13

$1,000 - 10/29/13

$223.03 - 11/18/13


Individual payments to Chris Visco

State Senator Art Haywood (PA-04) for Senate’s Committee (Campaign for Compassion):

$5,600 - 5/5/14

$500 - 5/19/14

State Senator Arthur Haywood (PA-04):

$2,000 - 1/24/14

$3,263.18 - 2/11/14

Friends of Steve Tolliver - Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas:

$230 - 6/27/13

$146.56 - 7/2/13

$78.92 - 7/15/13

$252.48 - 7/17/13

$184 - 9/9/13

$26.61 - 9/16/13

$101.54 - 9/16/13

$300 - 10/3/13

$46 - 10/17/13

$193.22 - 10/17/13

$215.87 - 10/29/13

$1,000 - 11/2/13

$44.42 - 11/18/13

$609.43 - 11/18/13

For more information on the Corbett-Cawley campaign for a stronger Pennsylvania, please visit www.tomcorbettforgovernor.com.

Restaurant Features Cuban Special T'rrow Only

Christie: Time To Reform NJ Bail System

Reform New Jersey’s Bail System Now
Two And A Half Years After Calling For Common-Sense Changes To New Jersey’s Bail System, Governor Christie Is Calling The Legislature Back For A Special Session To Finally Finish The Job

“We can only improve our quality of life by keeping the most violent criminals off the streets. So, I ask you to approve my bail reform package, which would mirror the federal system. It would keep offenders with a history of violence who are a danger to our communities in jail until the time of their trial, instead of releasing them into society to prey on the public. … This, too, is just simple common sense.”
– Governor Chris Christie, State Of The State Address, January 17, 2012

New Jersey’s current rules for bail determinations for defendants awaiting trial are illogical, dangerous, and fiscally irresponsible. They allow violent criminals back on the streets while defendants who pose no risk to their communities are stuck in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. Governor Christie has proposed commonsense reform to refocus New Jersey’s bail system on assessments of risk and would allow New Jersey courts to keep dangerous criminals off the streets and in jail until trial.

·         The federal government allows for violent criminals, who pose a danger to their communities, to be held without bail, while New Jersey law does not.

·         A study by the United States Department of Justice found that one-third of defendants released before trial ended up being charged with some type of pre-trial misconduct. One-sixth were arrested for a new offense – and one-half of those were felonies.

·         According to the National Conference of State Legislators, 28 states enacted new legislation addressing bail policy in 2011 alone.

This commonsense proposal represents the next step in the Governor’s call to reform the State’s judicial system to better protect New Jersey’s communities from violent offenders, particularly those with a demonstrated record of violence.

VOICES ACROSS THE STATE TO THE LEGISLATURE: FIX NEW JERSEY’S BAIL SYSTEM

“NJ Supreme Court Committee Urges Historic Changes To State's Bail System” (Thomas Zambito, “NJ Supreme Court committee urges historic changes to state's bail system,” The Star-Ledger, 3/20/14)

·         New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner: On Supreme Court committee on the need for bail reform: “If the proposals that have been presented are enacted, we believe that they will make New Jersey’s system of criminal justice better, fairer and safer …” (Thomas Zambito, “NJ Supreme Court committee urges historic changes to state's bail system,” The Star-Ledger, 3/20/14)

American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey Public Policy Director Ari Rosmarin: “The overuse of pretrial detention is the single largest obstacle to achieving our shared goal of ensuring equal justice…bail reform that establishes pretrial alternatives for non-violent low-risk offenders is not only laudable, it is critical and the ACLU wholeheartedly supports such efforts.” (Ari Rosmarin, “Testimony on Bail System Reform – Assembly Judicial Committee,” 12/16/13)

·         Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU of New Jersey Alexander Shalom: "Prosecutors, defense attorneys, civil libertarians, judges and court administrators have joined voices with representatives of the legislative and executive branches to say that the current system of bail and detention promotes neither justice nor public safety. These seemingly strange bedfellows all recognize that a system where hundreds of people are jailed because they don't have a few hundred dollars to post bail unfairly jails the poorest among us not the most dangerous among us.” (Thomas Zambito, “NJ Supreme Court committee urges historic changes to state's bail system,” Star-Ledger, 3/21/14)

Political Action Chairman Of The NAACP's New Jersey Conference Richard Todd Edwards: "New Jersey's bail system is broken. Three-quarters of the people being warehoused in our jails are there awaiting trial, not being punished.” (“Groups tell New Jersey lawmakers to overhaul bail system,” Associated Press, 7/24/14)

Drug Policy Alliance: [B]ail reform is sorely needed in New Jersey.” (“The New Solutions Campaign: Bail Reform,” Drug Policy Alliance)

Cumberland County Jail Warden Bob Balicki: "The way the system is currently set up discriminates against the poor. About 40 percent of our inmates are here solely because they can't pay bail — often just $100 or $200.” (Spencer Kent, “Bail reform legislation in N.J. would slash Cumberland, Salem jail populations,” South Jersey Times, 7/14/14)

·         "We shouldn't just lock people up because we are mad at them," he added. "We should lock people up who pose a danger to society and who are a flight risk."

·         "To house and feed somebody and take care of their medical and dental problems — when, if they had just $100, they could be out on bail and await their next appearance," Balicki said. "We are spending all this money, when these type of inmates do not pose a risk to society or a flight risk."

Salem County Correctional Facility Warden Raymond C. Skradzinski: “…said he is also in favor of the state's proposed measure, saying that it would be more cost efficient and fairer to inmates of lesser financial means…said roughly 20 percent of his 412 inmates could be eligible for parole is the bill is passed.” (Spencer Kent, “Bail reform legislation in N.J. would slash Cumberland, Salem jail populations,” South Jersey Times, 7/14/14)

Gloucester County Freeholder Director Bob Damminger: "I think it's a good idea for nonviolent offenders. When we were running the Gloucester County Jail, it would cost us around $300 to house inmates who were there (for low-level crimes). I think it will greatly reduce costs." (Spencer Kent, “Bail reform legislation in N.J. would slash Cumberland, Salem jail populations,” South Jersey Times, 7/14/14)

·         “He also agrees that the way the bail system is currently set up discriminates against the poor.”

The Star-Ledger: “Bail reform is desperately needed in New Jersey.” (Editorial, “N.J. Assembly Speaker Prieto must do whatever it takes to push bail reform,” Star-Ledger Editorial Board, 7/29/14)

·         “This is legislative dysfunction at its worst.”

·         “This broken system is an economic injustice, a threat to public safety and a drain on state taxpayers.”

The Record: “It's time to reform the process.” (Editorial, “Making bail,” The Record Editorial Board, 3/23/14)

·         “Changing the rules on bail requires a constitutional amendment. This is an important issue to bring to voters, if possible this year.”

·         “These are sensible reforms put together by a diverse group of participants in the criminal justice system who saw the need for changes. We urge legislators to make this a priority.”

Press of Atlantic City: “New Jersey's system of setting bail is one of the most unjust parts of our justice system.” (Editorial, “New Jersey's bail system / Reforms on target,” Press of Atlantic City, 3/28/14)

·         “Giving judges more discretion to hold violent offenders - who might go after victims or witnesses - is a reform Gov. Chris Christie has been seeking for several years. It deserves support, as do the other recommendations in the panel's report.”

·         “We urge lawmakers to get busy and turn these reforms into law.”

Times of Trenton: “[T]he system favors those of means and discriminates against those of color.” (Editorial, “'Freer, fairer and safer' - N.J. bail reform report delivers needed overhaul,” Times of Trenton Editorial Board, 3/26/14)

·         “[T]he panel has provided New Jersey with an opening to fundamentally change a system that’s inefficient, expensive and unfair.”

·         “The overhaul it suggests would also bring about a criminal justice system that is ‘freer, fairer and safer,’ the report says. That’s what New Jersey should strive for.”

South Jersey Times: “What hits home…are jaw-dropping estimates from two county jailers that their daily populations could drop by 20 to 40 percent if the new provisions are enacted.” (Editorial, “Enact sensible N.J. bail reform,”South Jersey Times, 7/15/14)

·         “let's be clear: It's stupid to hold a shoplifting suspect in a $200-a-day cell on the fear that he might shoplift again before his court date.”

Asbury Park Press: “Many of the 27 recommendations in the report require the Legislature to act. It should do so immediately. There are bedrock Constitutional principles at stake. The Sixth Amendment states that, ‘In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial.’ The Eighth Amendment declares that ‘Excessive bail shall not be required.’ New Jersey fails to meet both those standards.” (Editorial, “Move forward on bail reforms,” Asbury Park Press, 3/31/14)

·         “If the Bill of Rights means anything, these reforms can’t be dismissed as merely ‘pie in the sky’ aspirations. They are utter necessities. Lawmakers in Trenton must craft the constitutional amendment and find ways to make sure the state can pay for the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights.”