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Michael J. Doherty is fighting to preserve religious vaccination exemptions.
Michael J. Doherty is fighting to preserve religious vaccination exemptions. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe.

Americans for Prosperity grades New Jersey legislators

Doherty and Bucco get highest scores; 11 Republicans lost their A grades

By David Wildstein, March 22 2019 7:00 am

Five New Jersey legislators – all Republicans – received an A grade by Americans for Prosperity – New Jersey, but eleven Republicans saw their grades since last year.

Every Democrat in the legislature earned a failing grade.

AFP-New Jersey released their scorecard today on fiscal issues during the 2018-19 legislative session.  The group graded legislators on bills that would reduce taxes and spending, limit occupational licensing, energy regulation and government assistance to private corporations, reform labor unions, and for the first time, support of criminal justice reform.

Michael Doherty (R-Oxford) and Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville) were the only members of the State Senate to get an A.   Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton) got the highest score in the Assembly, followed by Parker Space (R-Wantage) and Bob Auth (R-Old Tappan).

Four assemblymen dropped from an A to a B: Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Township), John DiMaio (R-Hackettstown), Erik Peterson (R-Franklin) and Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains).

State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver), Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale) and Assemblyman Gregory McGuckin (R-Toms River) fell from an A to a C, while State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) and Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Middletown) went from an A to a D.

Assemblymen Ned Thompson (R-Wall) and David Wolfe (R-Brick) plummeted all the way from an A to an F.

The two Republican legislative leaders, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-Westfield) and Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), received failing grades.

Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin received scores that were under zero.

The lowest score of any legislator was State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus), who got a -50%.  Lagana had points deducted from his score for prime sponsorship of bills AFP – NJ opposed.

“Americans for Prosperity-NJ strives to support principled public policy which will transform New Jersey.  New Jersey should be an affordable, prosperous and safe place to work and live,” said Erica Jedynak, the state AFP-NJ director.

Jedynak said her organization seeks to “tear down barriers to opportunity for all New Jerseyans.”

“Through implementing true criminal justice reform, more people will be empowered to rejoin society and families will be reunited, improving our communities,” Jedynak said.  “We aim to break the cycle of poverty and support endeavors which will unleash true economic freedom.”

Americans for Prosperity New Jersey 2019 Taxpayer Scorecard

Click here to view the 2018 Americans for Prosperity – New Jersey report card.

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