Tom Kean’s Voting Record
Tom Kean's voting record in Trenton belies his 'independent' claim. If you haven’t read it, you should and be sure to review the list of key votes Jackson cites to undermine Kean’s claim.
According to Jackson’s list, voting ‘no’ on a bill to relax ticket scalping laws is a key vote and one that proves Kean lacks a spirit of bipartisanship and independence. As were the highly partisan ‘yes’ votes Kean cast on measures that passed by margins of 77-0, 76-1, 22-0 and 39-0.
Particularly telling in Jackson’s opinion were the ‘no’ votes Kean cast against the majority on tax measures. Kean voted against bills that: increased state fees (approved 43-26), increased the state income tax (approved 25-13), increased the state sales tax (approved 22-18) and increased state borrowing to balance the budget (approved 42-34). Worst still, according to Jackson, was the fact Kean voted against every state budget since 2002 - budgets with an unprecedented 35 percent increase in state spending.
Then there are the three “maybe votes”, as Jackson describes them, relating to stem cell research. All three measures were approved, one with and two without Kean’s ‘yes’ vote. This seeming contradiction has been explained numerous times, but apparently Jackson doesn’t get, or perhaps he doesn’t want his readers to find out, the difference between funding construction projects in Newark and Camden and funding actual research. Kean voted for the stem cell research funding and against the construction projects. In the end it doesn’t matter how anyone voted. Democrats killed the construction projects and the stem cell research funding bill, preferring instead to spend $670 million, in just the past two years, on ‘Christmas Tree’ grants for themselves, their cronies and constituents.
Tom Kean has said he’s an independent thinker, willing to disagree with his party and work with people from across the aisle to find solutions that are in the best interests of the country, the state and his constituents. He never said, nor has anyone suggested, that he’s insane, which is what he’d have to be if he voted regularly with the likes of State Senators Wayne Bryant and Sharpe James – both under criminal investigation for misuse of taxpayer funds and corruption.
Agreeing to have your constituents pick up the tab for programs designed to line the pockets of Bryant, James and their constituents is not bipartisan, it’s nuts. Failing to vote with Democrats to spend New Jersey into bankruptcy is hardly proof Kean has not and will not buck members of the Republican Party when he believes it is in the best interests of the nation and New Jersey. Learn about Kean and his position on the issues, and then decide for yourself.
* We should clarify Herb Jackson is supposed to be a reporter for the Record and not a pundit or editorialist. Based upon his recent articles and blog posts, we assume Jackson has also taken on the role of adjunct campaign spokesman for Bob Menendez.