Monday with Doug Gov. hopeful Forrester spends day in UC

The gubernatorial showdown between Democratic nominee Jon Corzine (who lives in Hoboken) and Republican nominee Doug Forrester (who lives in West Windsor) will be Nov. 8.

The candidates are wasting no time on their campaign trails, as promotional ads flood the radio and TV, with special attention being paid to the Hispanic American Community.

“It’s time to take back New Jersey from the rampant corruption and outrageous taxes that are hurting businesses as well as some of the most vulnerable residents of our state,” said Forrester. “Jon Corzine cannot change the status quo in Trenton. I can.”

Despite being a dominantly Democratic state, Forrester has been gaining a strong following across New Jersey. In Hudson County, the Republican Party and fellow candidates have been working tirelessly to keep Forrester’s name prevalent in the voting community.

Union City support

Forrester recently paid a visit to Union City on Monday following a luncheon event hosted by Hudson County Republican Party (see p. 3). He spent the afternoon in the city to meet with residents, hear their concerns, and get a sampling of the great cuisine and shopping on the famed Bergenline Avenue, also know as the “Miracle Mile.”

“We are working hard to make everyone in New Jersey know that we are family,” said Forrester. “I consider you all as part of my family and this is going to be my focus in Trenton.”

Starting off from La Amistad Restaurant on 41st Street, Forrester and fellow Hudson County running mates, including Assembly candidate Richard Valdes and freeholder candidate Mirta Cairo, took to the avenue with other supporters, stopping in stores along the way.

“[Forrester] will bring the change and family values that have not been seen in [places like Union City] in a long time,” said Julio Fernandez, a Democrat for Forrester.

Also joining Forrester were municipal Board of Commissioners candidate Jose Falto, Chairman of the Hudson County Republican GOP Jose Arango, and Senator Mel Martinez of Florida.

“Walking the streets in [Union City] makes me feel like I am at home – as a matter of fact I wasn’t sure if I was here or in Hialeah,” joked Martinez. “It still has that great hometown feel.”

Every vote counts

Martinez is the first Hispanic to hold a seat in the U.S. Senate after serving in local positions for Florida’s governmental body. He reminded the residents of Union City that every vote counts and that his campaign served as a prime example of what voters and the party can do by working together.

“They all went out into the streets to work for me, and you can make a difference even within the closing days of an election,” said Martinez.

A longtime friend, Martinez came to show his support for Forrester, who was a member of his Senate campaign during this election season. Martinez has strong ties to the Union City community as many of Union City families either moved to Florida or have relatives living there.

“He’s a great person and I feel he will make a great governor for New Jersey,” said Martinez.

“[To succeed] you have to bring a team of people with you who will endorse your campaign and move it forward,” said Martinez. “I am very proud to represent not only Florida, but the entire Hispanic community in the U.S. Senate.”

Forrester spoke to the small and longtime business owners along Bergenline such as Che Café and Waterloo Men’s clothing store. “We want to help small business; we want to help you grow,” said Forrester, who also mentioned that New Jersey is now ranked 44th in the country in business competition.

Forrester and Martinez even made a stop in Gift Plaza on 44th Street and bought New Jersey T-shirts that they wore out of the store.

A little about Doug

During the early luncheon at La Amistad Restaurant, Forrester touched upon his humble beginnings. Forrester said he is the son of hardworking parents; his father never finished high school and his mother was born in a one-room house with a dirt floor. Despite their trials, they prospered and taught their son the values of hard work, responsibility and honesty.

Forrester and his wife have lived in New Jersey for 30 years, raised their family and ran successful businesses there, and are longtime members of the Mercer County Republican Organization.

Forrester served as mayor of his hometown of West Windsor, and brings an extensive fiscal background from serving as assistant state treasurer in Governor Tom Kean’s administration and as pension director for New Jersey’s $500,000 pension and healthcare systems.

Democrats have asked questions about the self-financing aspects of Doug Forrester’s campaign, in light of state law forbidding insurance company owners (of which Forrester is one) from contributing to campaigns. Forrester has said that his company is based in Washington D.C. It does, however, do business in New Jersey with another Forrester-owned company.

Plans for the state

One of Forrester’s main focuses is to reduce the state’s high property taxes through his engineered 30 percent-in-3 plan.

“We need to make sure that people can afford their homes,” said Forrester. “This idea of robbing Peter to pay Paul has got to stop.”

New Jersey residents have been complaining over the last few years about the escalating property taxes. The Office of Legislative Services estimated that the average 2004 residential property tax bill in New Jersey was $5,592. Forrester has attributed this to the wasteful spending and corruption among New Jersey’s current elected officials.

Forrester recalled a trip he took with his family and the contempt people would express after finding out they were from New Jersey, “We have got to clean up our reputation here in New Jersey. I am tired of being embarrassed about the state that I’m from and I know you are too.”

His plan to alleviate this financial burden from New Jersey residents is known as the “30 percent-in-3 Guarantee,” which is meant to set up a permanent, direct 30 percent reduction in property taxes every year. Upon initiation of the plan property, taxes will be cut down at least 10 percent in the first year, 20 percent the following year, and 30 percent in the third year and in every year after that – and having the state make it work financially. There would be an automatic rebate appearing as credit on a homeowner’s tax bill.

Forrester also claims that 30 percent-in-3 will help control local government costs, ban pay-to-play, and prevent wasteful local spending and government corruption through the creation of an independent elected auditor general.

“Government corruption is a hidden tax that costs every person in New Jersey and creates an unhealthy business climate,” said Forrester. “I will lead the fight against the corruption, high taxes and over-regulation that takes money out of your pocket and takes jobs out of our state.”

Forrester visited the non-profit Save Latin American Organization, where he spoke to community leaders before departing.

“Union City is wonderful; it’s just such a friendly place and together we can solve the problems [facing New Jersey],” said Forrester. “What inspires me are these hardworking people that want to make the American dream their own.”


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