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Would You Buy A License if the Funds went Entirely Into N.J.Saltwater Fishing

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After Reading Seeker2's Post About Paying For
A Salt Water Fishing License this morning.....
Let's put up a "POLL"
to see how everyone feels about this subject....

Vote Away.......

Thanks,,,
 

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I vote No! I have purchased firearm, archery and freshwater license in this state for 36 years now. (Oh god I'm getting old!) Just to see the state raise fees, add permits and stamps and get nothing for it. You need to purchase a stamp to hunt pheasant and a stamp to hunt quail on state land that was purchased with license money and sporting goods taxes that were already collected. The State stocked Turkeys with that same money and you have to buy a permit to hunt 6 days along w/your firearms license. The deer herd is too large so we have to purchase permits for extended seasons to "trim the herd". They stock trout that are not native to most of our waters only to die off and have to buy a stamp. too top it off they don't always stock all the fish they said they would stock. (ie. the Hammonton Lake never recived it's last stocking that was posted on NJ F&G web site.

If the license fee was used properly I would not have a problem. NJ F&G's management and many of it's officers leave a lot to be desired. Generally they treat you like criminals and give you that complex that comes with a gun & a badge. Some of them are dedicated and OK but most of the ones I have met want-to-be cops that couldn't make the grade! They call themselves conservation officers but are nothing more than meter maids that write easy tickets. When was the last time you saw a major sting on poaching? How much poaching do you know of that goes on? Thier stomachs are fat. As long as we buy licenses, permits and stamps they will write the easy tickets and go through the motions because it comes too easy.
 

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Bgsdad > I do not want to pay for another thing either, however, after reading your post your answer should have actually been yes. The poll states that the funds would entirely go into N.J. saltwater fishing. Sort of like the PA Sate Game Commission. We see our money come back to us in the form of State Game Lands and Shooting facilities and many other perks.
 

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Yes; Only if the money goes to the N.J. saltwater fishing for things such as installing public launching ramps and such.
 

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Do like Florida does, if a resident, don't need license, but if from another state must purchase a license.

That seems fair. If Florida could get away with it, I guess we could. What a bunch of bulls----!

I know the monies would be funneled for more drones doing nothing for the fisherman.

I know that would really go over big with all the Philly dudes.

Maybe when we have to purchase a license they will enforce the ''DOG DONUTS ISSUE ON THE SEA ISLE BEACHES!'' Under Surf Fishing Articles see my article on DOG DO-DO!!!.

[ 06-22-2004, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: lazzman ]
 

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Steve,

Interesting wording in the poll question. I said "yes" because I would buy one if I had to. But, I wouldn't want to buy one if I had the choice. IF the funds go only to fishing related expenses, then I wouldn't mind buying a license as much.

Capt. Ed

RFA, JCAA
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, Thats The Key Here In N.J. Capt.Ed,,,
I have found that whenever a Fee is proposed
for anything,the number one concern is if the
money is going to go towards what its intended
for....The States Track Record is exactly the
reason... Look at the Money being Generated
down at Corson's Inlet State Park these days
since they started charging Launch Fee's at
the Free Boat Ramp.. Nothing Is Being Done
with that money to Improve that area or facilitys.

[ 06-22-2004, 02:42 PM: Message edited by: NIGHTSTRIKES ]
 

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Steve,

I don't think anyone that fishes saltwater would have a problem with a license "If" the entire fee went back into our sport. I'd rather not have to pay a fee to fish, but I realize there is a cost for everything. I rather the state reallocate the taxes they already claim from us fishermen, but I'm not holding my breath for that to happen.

I voted yes to the poll question. But then if the state invoked a fee for SW fishing and the funds went elsewhere I probably still would buy the license, because I love fishing. I wouldn't like it and would become politically active in removing every loser politician that is associated with the fee.

I?m curious how a SW fee would be enforced? Cops at every boat ramp checking for licenses of anyone with a fishing rod? USCG or State police checkpoints for all boaters leaving a marina or inlet, or the dreaded ?spot check??

Talking about a SW fee is one thing, enforcing the license is another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Flattop
I don't think anyone that fishes saltwater would have a problem with a license "If" the entire fee went back into our sport.
I hear You Bud,,I Thought So Also.But Looking
at the early results of the POLL,29% is not in
favor of buying a license at all...Will See...

Flattop
Talking about a SW fee is one thing, enforcing the license is another
Another Good Point,It would be interesting to see
how this can be done,especially during the height
of Tourist Season....
 

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Politicians and money, taxes, fees and saltwater fishing licenses equals more graft, corruption and payouts to fellow politicians.

Bad idea!!!!
 

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Seeker, I realize what the question was but I am so skeptical about F&G I could never begin to imagine the money would flow where it was intended to. Maybe I should say where they say it's intended to. I am so skeptical about what they do and what there real intentions are. I believe they hipe everything and the money in reality goes where intended but they don't spell out their real intentions.

I think that F&G needs a new admin to come in and give that dept a real face lift and start giving back.

1) Start writing tickets and arresting real poachers, polluters and other offenders. Give a guy that is basically a good guy a break once in awhile. Honest people make mistakes sometimes and a little good judgement can go a long ways in PR.

2) Let's give the Sportsman in NJ something back. Deleware has a fine shooting facility offering trap, skeet, sproting clays, rifle, pistol & archery. Some of the Fishing niceys were mentioned in Seeler2's thread. That would be spending $$$ properly!

3) How about stocking lakes with fish that can thrive and cleaning up lakes in NJ instead of sacrificing farm raised trout. Look at the condition of some of the lakes like Makepiece in Hamilton Twnshp. That could have been a fine pickeral & bass lake that is going to waste.

4) Fix up some of the boat ramps and only have a nominal fee from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on weekends.

5) Rebuilding Bridges to make them Fishing friendly.

6) How about this. Really doing something about the infected fish we be seeing!!!!

I'm sure there are a lot of good ideas out there. If the people that were paid to do this and administrated funds properly made things like this happen maybe people would not mind paying fees!!! Right now I'm from Missouri so "Show Me!" first.
 

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The way the politics in this state work they will always find a grey area to spend the money as they see fit and not spend it as it was intended.

What we would need is a sportfishing council (5 or 7 member) to appropriate the funds. Projects should be given to them and they would vote on the best projects to support OUR sport.

I for one would love to donate my time to that council.
 

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no, i do not think so, this is just the begining if McGrevey has his way, he has already started a commite to ban all sport hunting in the state,yea thats right, next it will be sportfishing, think it can not happen, do a little deep research and you will see that it will happen if McGrevey has his way!!!!!
 

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I would not support a salwater licence at this time. The article below explains why I don't support a SW license. We have to be realistic here. You will never see 100% of the fees returned to the saltwater fishermen. I agree with Flatop. The saltwater license would not be enforced. They can't even enforce the fishing regulations. We may have 50% of the anglers buying a license. It would be like auto insurance fraud. Those buying a license would be paying higher fees for those not buying a license. We pay enough now. We should be fighting to get our fair share returned to us. Corson's Inlet Park is just one example.


As lawmakers ride the gravy train, state's residents pay the freight

Published in the Asbury Park Press 9/21/03
Patronage, fat pensions, other perks all permitted

By PAUL D'AMBROSIO
INVESTIGATIONS EDITOR

The New Jersey Legislature has become a personal money machine for many lawmakers who parlay their public service into private gain, a Gannett New Jersey newspapers investigation found.

Gov. McGreevey delivers his annual budget message early this year to a joint session of the Legislature in the General Assembly chamber in Trenton.

Lawmakers have used their connections to land multiple government jobs, obtain lucrative no-bid contracts and fatten their state pensions, the investigation found.

Call it legislated greed.

It's all legal.

And it's bankrolled by you, the taxpayer.

New Jersey's laws, regulations and patronage practices provide state lawmakers with a grab bag of financial rewards, Gannett found.

And while many lawmakers exploit their positions to help themselves, their families and their businesses, the Legislature has rigged the state's political system to discourage good-government reforms, the newspapers found.

With all 120 members of the General Assembly and state Senate up for re-election in November, the Asbury Park Press and the six other Gannett New Jersey newspapers have spent the past five months investigating conflicts of interest, profiteering, pension-padding and nepotism among them. The investigation found that:

A third of the 120 lawmakers hold at least one other public job, from mayor to county employee. A quarter of all legislative spouses also have publicly funded jobs. Holding multiple government jobs inflates the pension that lawmakers will collect, enabling some to pocket $100,000 or more a year when they retire.

Legislators who hold full-time government jobs can legally skip work to go to lawmaking meetings, which can take up to more than two months.
Legislators are paid $49,000 a year for what is considered a part-time position. But state lawmakers legalized low-show government jobs for themselves two decades ago. A lawmaker who has a full-time job with a county, school district or municipality is legally entitled to leave that job at any time to go to his state job -- and still receive a full day's pay. At least a dozen legislators can take advantage of this law.

Behind the scenes, powerful unelected political bosses from the Democratic and Republican parties -- many of them beneficiaries of millions of dollars in government contracts -- work to re-elect their legislative allies and maintain the status quo in Trenton. These bosses raise multimillion-dollar campaign war chests for state legislators.

The $10 billion to $20 billion borrowed by government in New Jersey each year fuels both parties' political machines. Select lawmakers and politically connected law firms are routinely granted no-bid contracts, collectively worth millions of dollars, to handle the bond sales. The firms can then plow part of the proceeds back to the political parties through campaign contributions.

Nepotism is not only legal in New Jersey, it is practiced by almost one in five lawmakers who have put family members on their payrolls. For example, Democratic Assemblyman Gary L. Guear of Mercer County hired his wife to a $55,000-a-year job to run his district office. Nepotism is banned in Congress and 19 states.

A third of the lawmakers gained their seats through political appointments to fill vacancies, rather than an election. The power of incumbency is so strong in New Jersey that about 85 percent of all incumbents who seek another term are re-elected.

Lawmakers operate almost free of ethical scrutiny because there are virtually no laws to prevent conflicts of interest in the state Senate or Assembly. A member who could profit from a bill can absolve himself by simply sending a note to the secretary of the chamber saying he can still cast a fair vote. All the notes are tucked away in paper files in Trenton, which are beyond the reach of public inspection by all but the most determined voters. The lawmakers' own ethics oversight committee has been called a "damage-control" board by its former chairman.

The public financial disclosure forms lawmakers are supposed to fill out each year are so vague they get an "F" from the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit government watchdog group. The forms, approved by the Legislature, are riddled with loopholes that allow members to hide their business clients -- and even the names of spouses on the public payroll.

User fees that have been raised in state parks, including Island Beach State Park in Ocean County, will help fund lawmakers' pet projects.
"I am gravely concerned about (the use of New Jersey) government as a rainmaker. It is a bipartisan problem," said Rep. Robert E. "Rob" Andrews, D-N.J., who unsuccessfully sought his party's nomination for governor in 1997. "It is endemic to New Jersey in a way I don't think is true in other places. . . . It is the deliberate and systemic use of public entities to create business opportunities for private individuals."


Why this happens
It doesn't have to be this way.

Other states have taken steps to hold their lawmakers to higher standards and to remove the profit from public service.

California has banned lawmakers from holding other government jobs. Washington state has created tough financial disclosure laws overseen by an independent commission. And Kansas has an ethics commission that works independently of the lawmakers.

To understand why the state Legislature is a money mill, consider the financial dealings of some of its most powerful leaders:

State Senate co-president John O. Bennett III, R-Monmouth, a lawyer whose billing practices in Marlboro are being investigated by federal and state grand juries, has made millions of dollars for his law firms over the years through dozens of no-bid public contracts -- many of which paid him a personal salary.
Because he has held so many public jobs through his private law firms, Bennett's state pension will likely top $100,000 a year -- nearly twice what he is paid as a senator -- when he retires.

Sen. Wayne R. Bryant, D-Camden, co-chairman of the powerful Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, which helps determine how $24 billion of your taxes are spent, has made a career out of helping himself and his family dip into public funds and jobs. He even sponsored a law that financially benefited his law firm.
Bryant collects $167,000 a year from four taxpayer-supported positions. His wife, his son, two brothers and a sister-in-law earn another $518,000 from government jobs.

Bryant sponsored a law that forced large cities to alter their budget cycle. The resulting switch compelled the cities to seek long-term loans, or bonds, to cover the cash shortfall, lest they go bankrupt. Some cities hired Bryant's law firm in the 1990s to handle the legal paperwork for the budget switch, which netted his firm more than $79,000.

Assemblyman Joseph J. Roberts Jr., the Democratic majority leader from Camden, drafted a bill and saw it signed into law, enabling a company run by his political mentor -- former Gov. James Florio -- to win a no-bid contract from Camden. The contract could be worth millions of dollars in fees if Florio's company collects $103 million in back property taxes from Camden landowners.
Not all lawmakers turn their positions into a for-profit venture.

"Most Legislators use the power that they have for appropriate purposes and do not use it for their own enrichment," said Assemblyman Joseph R. Malone III, R-Ocean. "That's the story that never gets out."

But Malone said that when one legislator does "something stupid" the media gives voters the impression that "everybody must be doing something stupid."

Twenty-five of the Legislature's 120 members have eschewed other jobs and dedicated themselves to working full time at their legislative duties. But the Gannett investigation found that these members are among the least-effective at getting legislation passed.

Other lawmakers have no obvious business interests.

But because New Jersey's financial disclosure laws are among the nation's weakest, it is unclear how many other members serve without conflicts of interest or potential conflicts.

Taxpayers always pay
New Jersey's patronage system has been refined over the years to allow legal, yet ethically questionable, behavior by those who have found novel ways to reap windfalls for themselves, their families, their businesses and the party bosses who helped get them elected.

The negative effects are undeniable.

New Jersey's state and local governments have become bloated, costly and inefficient as they try to support the weight of those taking advantage of the system.

At the same time, a lawmaker getting much of his income from a single municipality may put that town's interests ahead of all the voters in his district or the state.

Who pays for all this?

You do, one way or another.

Take Sen. Bryant, for example. After the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey created a part-time, $35,000-a-year public relations job for him in March, Bryant inserted $2.3 million for his new employer in this year's state budget, which was passed in July.

That same $24 billion spending budget raised user fees in state parks, such as Island Beach in Ocean County, to help pay for the massive spending increases.

Fishermen and visitors to many state parks will have to collectively pay $1.3 million more per year in fees.

"It doesn't shock me," said fisherman Robert DeLeonard, 46, of Seaside Park, who now has to pay $70 more a year for a permit to drive his truck on the sand in Island Beach. "It makes me feel worse about the situation in Trenton."


Recent public opinion polls have placed the Legislature on the bottom rung of government, even below Gov. McGreevey whose administration has suffered several ethical gaffes in the last year.

Just 32 percent think the Legislature is doing a good job, according to a Quinnipiac University poll this summer.

Meleah Rush, director of state projects for the Center for Public Integrity, said it's important for elected officials to disclose their financial interests to the public "because what (citizens) don't know can hurt them."

State lawmakers "hold our lives in their hands," said Rush, who has reviewed legislative disclosure forms nationwide. "They make decisions everyday concerning our pocketbooks, health issues, telecom issues, anything you can think of."

Do party bosses rule?
As Rep. Andrews sees it, New Jersey is not so much a thriving democracy as it is an oligarchy run by a select few party bosses, campaign donors and political leaders.

Andrews acknowledges that his political career was born of the Democratic Camden County political machine now run by George E. Norcross III, one of the state's most powerful fund-raisers and political bosses. After being elected to Congress in 1990, Andrews said he managed to separate himself from the Norcross machine by taking on his own fund-raising activities and building a wide coalition of interest groups, such as labor, education and civil rights.

Andrews said he divides patronage into three categories:

Common and acceptable patronage: A lawmaker hires his campaign manager to run his district office because of the trust that has developed between the two. The state-paid job is necessary, and the lawmaker needs to have someone to turn to for advice.

White collar patronage: Millions of dollars can be squandered when a politician gives no-bid government contracts to campaign donors, such as those from law firms. Necessary work could be done in a competent fashion and at a fair price. But the system also is open to abuse through make-work contracts or inflated prices, Andrews said.

Rainmaker patronage: This is the use of government to benefit private clients or to generate new clients. "It is far more insidious because it is harder to find," Andrews said. "Say I'm in the state Senate; you can't become a judge without me. A great way for you to become a judge is to refer a lot of your clients to me. So, I become a rainmaker for my law firm and you can become a judge.
"That is what has hyperventilated New Jersey politics for the last couple of years," Andrews said.

In a $365 billion state economy, with more than 1,200 independent governmental bodies, the temptation to dive into the vast pool of money from private or public sectors "is irresistible to most people," he said.

Such greed flourishes because New Jersey state politics has been grossly noncompetitive, Andrews said.

Of the 40 legislative districts in the state, perhaps five or six incumbents are in truly competitive races this year. That means for the remaining 85 percent to 90 percent of the seats, the winner already has been decided in primary elections that have low voter turnout and are usually ruled by party leaders, Andrews said.

Rider University political science professor David Rebovich said he sees about five or six districts as competitive, but he views New Jersey as a state of competing interests rather than a place controlled by a few political bosses.


Voters weary, apathetic
It's the perception of special influences controlling candidates that seems to gnaw at voters.

"They see money (spent by big party donors) and draw the lines between the dots," said Rebovich, who is the managing director of the university's Institute for New Jersey Politics. "When they see money and public officials, they assume the process isn't especially representative. The other side of the coin is that people allow this to happen as well."

So, when a lawmaker gets a public contract or another government job, a good number of voters may at first be outraged but then become desensitized.

"People say this is the same lawmaker during the campaign season who promised to work for efficiency and effectiveness in government, claimed that I and my district are his first interests," Rebovich said. "Yet when we see the facts, that this lawmaker and so many of them have turned government into a mini-business or industry for themselves and their families, that is really the killer."

The public sees this as government serving the economic interests of their lawmakers, he said.

"It sort of becomes professional wrestling -- politics as entertainment as well as someone's business and industry, and not necessarily that of the people," Rebovich said. "So they tune it out, lest their blood pressure goes through the roof."

So what happens to the political rainmaking system?

"It continues and gets worse," he said.

The ultimate check and balance on our leaders -- throwing the bad ones out of office -- is muted by political apathy, he said.

"When Democrats and Republicans are part of the industry, this breeds apathy," Rebovich said. "The initial response (from voters is) both parties are the same; what does it really matter? We really can't effectively fight the system."

Assemblyman Jack Conners, D-Burlington, said he has seen apathy firsthand in his campaigns.

"I had some people tell me, 'You're all alike,' " said Conners, a retired banker who was first elected in 1997. "I never understood, when I knocked on doors while I campaigned, why some people wouldn't have time to talk to me. Me and the other 119 other legislators affect the lives of 8.5 million people."

Conners said all legislators seem to suffer for the misdeeds of a few.

"Occasionally there is a bad apple in the barrel, and that is what you hear about: 'If there is one, there must be more,' " Conners said. "Maybe there are."

Michael Vail, a certified public accountant, registered Republican and an active voter from Aberdeen, knows firsthand the discontent brewing among voters.

Rising property taxes, a major issue the Legislature has failed to address over the years, have chewed into his family's income.

He paid $4,600 in property taxes in 1994 when he bought his home. He now pays $6,000 a year.

"In the future, real estate tax charges will exceed the principal and interest on the mortgage on the property," said Vail, who has two young children with his wife.

Lawmakers have failed to address the issue because "it's a 'nothing to gain' situation," he said.

A new and larger home for his growing family may be out of reach since he has seen property taxes top $10,000 a year on other homes, he said. "It's just crazy."

Voters like Vail may be ready to revolt over taxes, but Vail said he's not sure when that will happen.

"I don't know where that point is. But, I am a hell of a lot more aware of it today than I was five years ago," he said. "It would be safe to say we are closer to that point than we were, but we are probably not there yet."
 

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Originally posted by seeker2:
Bgsdad > I do not want to pay for another thing either, however, after reading your post your answer should have actually been yes. The poll states that the funds would entirely go into N.J. saltwater fishing. Sort of like the PA Sate Game Commission. We see our money come back to us in the form of State Game Lands and Shooting facilities and many other perks.
From my reading, the roughly $6 million in funds would boost their budget by 170% and primarily go to doubling existing research and enforcement staff. I have yet to read a state proposal outlining new or significant improvements to existing facilities. Nor has it been clearly explained what benefit the doubling of existing staffing will have. Will we end up with twice the fish, twice the places to fish or just twice the bureaucracy?

NJ state officials know (as Florida realized) that a large part of the saltwater fishing population is non-resident and transient, dropping a couple grand or more a week to go to the shore. They figure what's a few more bucks for fishing licenses. We are already gouging them on sales tax, tolls, parking meters, beach tags and exhorbitant rental rates.

And we have yet to discuss the fines if caught without a fishing license! Who is enforcing the license? Oh, the same folks I just employed by purchasing it. Something fishy there.

Oddly similar to the concept of organized crime protection money if you ask me. Create the problem and then charge folks for fixing it.

[ 06-23-2004, 09:37 AM: Message edited by: sunnydaze ]
 

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No ! Money in the politicians hands means money towards North Jersey pet projects. I don't want to see this money cleaning up streets in downtown Newark when we have concerns in our own bays and offshore sites. We will never see the money go towards what it is meant for.

Pig
 

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R' & D's stir S--T in the same pot. Why give untrust worthy people more of our hard earned money. They wouldn't know the truth if they fell over it. ie: McGreevy stated that he would not sign a pay to play bill unless it covered all three levels of state government. Well guess what happened. Lets buy a license but have the funds generated administered by a group of every day people ( fisherpeople ) who are honest and have common sence. We are the ones who know what are needs are. Not some fool in Trenton who owes everybody and their brother
 

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This is just great. I am sure there is a fat cat in Trenton who is smart enough to register and see the results of the pole. With people voting the way they are the pollticians will be licking their chops. Wake up people.
 
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