In Your Opinion: Daryl Kipnis Makes His Case For State Senate

By Daryl Kipnis.

A wise New Jerseyan by the name of Albert Einstein once said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

Another wise New Jerseyan, Rev. DeForest “Buster” Soaries, a former Secretary of State of New Jersey, profoundly said at a recent Affordability Summit held at First Baptist Church in Somerset that “solutions come TO government, not FROM it.”

You may have seen my opponent’s signs out there that say “Keeping New Jersey First,” and that is a testament to just how out-of-touch the Trenton establishment really is to the day-to-day struggles of legions of long-suffering New Jerseyans to afford life in a Garden State. We haven’t just seen the headlines, we’re LIVING them: NJ is first in the nation in average property tax bills, first in millennials living at home with their parents (47 percent of all New Jerseyans aged 18-34, in fact), first in distressed mortgages and foreclosures, first in average tax incentive dollars handed out for fewest jobs created ($161,000 per job), which have all led to New Jersey becoming first in people leaving the State – approximately 18,000 per month – and since 2004, NJ has lost approximately $20 billion in income tax revenue due to outmigration. All the money we invest in the education of our young people, and all that they can put back into our economy as a result of that education leaves the state when they do.

With a status quo so undeniably grim, who wants to be kept first in any of those things? Nobody, that’s who! New Jersey is simply unaffordable to live in, and those who created the crisis of affordability cannot be entrusted to fix it, especially when their “solutions” invariably involve raising taxes on the most-taxed people in the nation. The most emblematic example of all that is wrong in Trenton was the 158 percent gas tax increase last year, for which my opponent voted and Governor Christie signed into law. The reason cited by those who supported it was that it “had to be done” for the “roads and bridges” because the Transportation Trust Fund had been nearly bankrupted. But why did that last part happen? Decades of mismanagement of our state’s finances by the same career politicians who are quite content to kick the proverbial can down the road because they only look ahead to the next election cycle, not the next generation! Committing $300 million in bonding to renovate the Statehouse (which could end up costing taxpayers closer to $750 million when debt servicing is factored in) when so many people can’t even afford to put food on the table or places to live is equally unacceptable – and so was my opponent’s silence when our Governor put that plan in motion, when other legislators in both parties took action to stand up for their constituents and challenge it.

Simply put, the old ways AREN’T working for anyone but the “old guard.” We The People must therefore profoundly change the character of our state Legislature by electing members of the community who are 100 percent committed to delivering only the highest level of service to EVERY SINGLE ONE of their constituents, rather than re-electing the hand-picked fixers of lobbyists, big money campaign donors, and party bosses, that may happen to be members of the same political party as you, but don’t actually represent your interests. Ask yourself: why should the same old career politician who has repeatedly made it MORE expensive for you to live in this State be ENTITLED to your vote so that they can be re-elected only to do it again and again, when you can give someone completely new who is running to make NJ affordable the opportunity to EARN your vote instead?

Nobody came to me with a truckload of special interest money and said, “Daryl, we want you to be our guy in Trenton, here’s your campaign fund.” As a 37-year-old husband of 11 years and father of three children, Emma (8), Sophia (6), and Ethan (2), and an experienced trial attorney and small business owner in Franklin Township who is running for public office for the first time, I came forward myself because I want to be EVERYONE’S guy in Trenton.

There is no question that I will bring first-hand understanding of the very real difficulties New Jerseyans face on a daily basis to raise their families here, and everyone’s voices along with me.

I am running to give an opportunity to people in Franklin, Milltown, New Brunswick, North Brunswick and Piscataway to cast a vote in favor of rejecting the political division and polarization that has unfortunately driven so many of us apart. If we are to make New Jersey the very best place in the country – and the world – in which to live, get an education, go to work, raise a family, and retire, we simply MUST do it together. It is time for unity. It is time for inclusion. It is time for equality.

That’s why I want to make one of my signature pieces of legislation an omnibus Jobs and Tax Reform package that will eliminate some of the most burdensome taxes and regulations to enable businesses of all sizes to thrive, while also incorporating quality-of-work life reforms such as paid sick leave, paid family leave and predictive scheduling while also addressing income inequality. That isn’t a pure Republican or Democratic solution – it’s just one example of a practical solution I have in mind that will go a long way towards making our state a better and more affordable place to be. I believe in a resurgence of open discourse and a marketplace of ideas that will move our state forward – and I hope you do too.

Special needs families have a near and dear place in my heart, as I work with them in my law practice to help get them the services that they need for their children. I want to enact legislation to assist them in obtaining those services without unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape. I also want to require cameras on all school buses in New Jersey to protect our children.

I am also highly concerned about agencies that have recently been reported to have wielded the power of the state irresponsibly and improperly without being held accountable for extended periods of time, notably the New Brunswick Housing Authority and the NJSPCA, and I will fight abuses of the public trust wherever they exist.

This election is not about party or politics as usual, it’s about bringing a positive resolution to the very uncertain future of the State of New Jersey and its people. A vote for me is a vote for someone who will represent you and your family in Trenton with a passion that you thought impossible from any elected official. We’re New Jersey, and impossible is what we do. I’m not in this for money. I’m not in this for glory. With all my heart and soul, I’m in this for YOU.

I therefore respectfully request YOUR vote on November 7th, so that we may Bring the NEW Back to Jersey – TOGETHER!

Daryl Kipnis is the Republican Candidate for state Senate from the 17th Legislative District.

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