Seventeen New Jersey legislators – all Republicans – have been designated “Champion of the Taxpayer” by Americans for Prosperity-New Jersey – which will be worn as a badge of honor among those legislators running in conservative-leaning legislative districts.
AFP-New Jersey released their scorecard today on fiscal issues during the 2016-17 legislative session. The group pushed for occupational licensing reforms to help remove barriers to opportunity for thousands of New Jerseyans and supported efforts to protect taxpayers from what they called burdensome tax hikes.
For one Assemblyman, Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains), it gives him something to tout in his campaign for the GOP nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th district. Webber is already calling his primary opponent, Antony Ghee, a liberal.
Webber scored 110.5% — the third highest score in the Legislature — which will likely help Webber raise money from conservative groups and donors. Two other Morris County Republicans, Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Township) and Anthony Bucco (R-Boonton) scored even higher than Webber: Carroll was at 115.4% and Bucco was at 113.9%.
State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis), considered the most conservative member of the Senate Democratic caucus, scored 50%. To put that into some perspective: Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg had a score of 0%.
On the other side, don’t be surprised to see congressional candidates Mikie Sherrill and Tamara Harris raising money from Democrats off Webber’s AFP-NJ ranking.
“New Jersey has the highest taxes in the nation and a host of important fiscal challenges that need to be addressed. If we’re going to solve these problems, the people need to know what their legislators are up to in Trenton and this guide will help them do just that.,” said AFP-New Jersey state director Erica Jedynak. “We looked at the largest bills affecting taxes, as well as policies that put up barriers to opportunity for New Jerseyans to be able to go to work, provide for their families, and lead meaningful lives here.”
Republicans who supported the gas tax – like State Sens. Chris Brown (R-Ventnor), Steve Oroho (R-Franklin) and Bob Singer (R-Lakewood) lost points in the AFP-NJ scoring. They are now labeled as an “Ally of Big Government” – the same level of State Sen. Nia Gill (D-Montclair).
AFP-New Jersey calculates their scores based on record votes on specific bills they consider as priorities. Each vote gives a legislator a point, with additional half-points earned for prime sponsorship of key AFP-New Jersey’s bills.AFP-NJ Taxpayer Scorecard