"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Todd Caliguire Responds To The Record

Todd Caliguire: Why I should be governor as reported in the Northern New Jersey Newspaper – The Record

1) Why are you the best candidate?

I am the only candidate with a record of fighting for reform, even against the interests of my own party. As a Bergen freeholder, when the county was under Republican control, I fought to award contracts competitively, not on the basis of political favoritism. It was the right thing to do then - it is right now.

2) What do you think is the state's most pressing problem and what would you do to address it?

New Jersey residents pay too much in taxes - we have too much government at every level, and it operates in the era of gray metal desks, not the Internet. We need a 21st-century government that does the basics well, including ensuring that children under its protection are not abused like those kids in Newark and Camden.

3) What would your first executive order be?

My first executive order would ban the awarding of government contracts to political contributors at every level of government. No loopholes.

4) What would you do to combat high property taxes?

First, we should cap state spending at the inflation rate and return any excess revenues to taxpayers as property tax relief. Second, we should use county government as a vehicle for sharing services between towns and school districts. If county government does not do this effectively, we should consider eliminating county government.

5) How would you balance the budget? Which, if any, taxes would you raise? Which, if any, spending would you cut?

Taxes should not be raised to balance the budget - they are already too high. The answer is to cut spending. Every program and department should be subjected to a performance audit. Waste and inefficiency must be eliminated, and spending prioritized based on the real needs of New Jersey residents.

6) How would you replenish the Transportation Trust Fund?

Too much money from the Transportation Trust Fund has been siphoned off to pay for administration, consulting fees and interest. The fund should pay for transportation projects, not bureaucracy and politically connected consultants. Additional monies for the fund should be earmarked as a priority from existing revenues, with more projects done on a pay-as-you-go basis.

7) What would you do to improve state government's image in terms of ethics and campaign financing?

If we prohibit all trading of government contracts for political contributions, strictly limit the amount of such contributions, eliminate pension abuse by politicians, impose term limits on elected officials and ban dual office-holding, we will improve the state's image.

8) What would you do to end the bitter partisan fighting in New Jersey and the nation?

The way to end the bitter partisanship is to end the personal attacks that have become so commonplace in campaigns. It has been said that if airlines competed the way politicians do, no one would fly. Is it any wonder that the number of people who vote continues to decline?




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