Assemblyman Parker Space and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus have ginned up a public relations machine to tout bills sponsored by them in the New Jersey Assembly. They serve up an impression of legislative leadership that’s simply political spin.
Strauss News published a press release that credits Phoebus with sponsoring A2514, a bill that authorizes New Jersey municipalities to share services with nearby federal facilities. The release implies that Phoebus and Space had a major role in enacting this legislation. Actually, they were only two of 10 sponsors of the bill, a majority of whom were Democrats. You might remember: Months ago Phoebus said that the same Democratic members of the Legislature were a group she was going to straighten out with a piece of her mind when she got to Trenton.
Also, the same publication touts Space as one of two Republican legislators who sponsored A3025, a bill that encourages schools to share excess food with groups that feed the poor. While it’s true that Space and the other GOP legislator he singles out sponsored the bill, but so did 20 other members of the New Jersey Assembly, fully one quarter of that body. And, the vast majority of those sponsors were Democrats.
While the hype published by Phoebus and Space to bolster their legislative accomplishments is technically accurate, it certainly lacks candor, and is misleading. As a matter of fact, a review of the facts surrounding A2514 and A3025 shows that their touted legislative accomplishments are, so far, underwhelming.
So, where are Space and Phoebus on promoting measures that actually help the residents of Sussex County? For example, have they proposed a funding source to compensate landowners in the Highlands for loss of development rights? Have they moved forward the construction of extra lanes to alleviate the twice daily gridlock that ties up Route 15 (The Robert Littell Memorial Highway) from its intersection with Route 181 to where it meets White Lake Road? Are they taking any actions to reopen the myriad of closed bridges blocking otherwise serviceable roads in Wantage, Sandyston, Frankford and other municipalities across the county? And so forth.
It appears not. It appears that in lieu of results – i.e., measures that actually help the residents of Sussex County – we instead are subjected to puffery that seeks to cover up the lack of effective representation our county suffers in Trenton.