Corporate Welfare melodrama NOT limited to South Jersey

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The spirited debate over corporate welfare that’s engulfing they New Jersey Democrats has officially arrived in Union County. It was probably there already but WMYC’s Nancy Solomon brought it all into sharp relief in her compelling multi-part series about the New Jersey Economic Development Agency’s billion-dollar tax subsidy scheme.

My advice: listen at the gym and let all that rage fuel the best work out of your life.

But in the meantime, let’s bring it back to Union County, population 555,758, and home to NJ’s 20th legislative district, currently represented by Senator Joe Cryan who recently replaced the redoubtable Raymond Lesniak.

Cryan and his predecessor Lesniak were both serving in Trenton in 2013 when these EDA subsidies were supercharged by the state legislature. A subsequent audit of EDA was unsparing and Governor Phil Murphy vowed reform.

“First off the governor is correct in terms of his description (of EDA’s troubles,)” NJ Senator Joe Cryan told WNYC.” And secondly, it was a rushed 48 hour process where that bill changed, went through two committees in the assembly and the senate. There was no time to even read it thoroughly nor obviously vet it.”

Raymond Lesniak, has very different views about the agency dispensing lavish tax-payer subsidized tax breaks like it’s going out of style.

“The facts are very simple,” Lesniak told WNYC. “Without these tax incentives, we don’t lose revenues. People who have criticized these tax incentives don’t understand simple math.”

First of all, it’s almost comforting knowing that, even in