Bill Brennan (activist)

William J. Brennan, known as Bill Brennan, is a former firefighter, lawyer, gadfly and activist. He was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor of New Jersey in the 2017 election.

BackgroundEdit

Brennan worked as a firefighter in Rochester, New Hampshire and became a Teaneck, New Jersey firefighter in April 1993. He was elected Secretary of Teaneck Firefighter's Association, Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Association, Local #42 (FMBA) in 1993 and president in 1994.[1] Brennan filed numerous lawsuits against Teaneck's government and fire officials regarding firehouse closures and other budget cuts, among other things, including harassment. Brennan won a $3 million judgment against left its fire department in 2006.[2]

Brennan attended Caldwell College and Seton Hall Law School.[3] He is not a member of the New Jersey Bar.[2][4] He has since been active in northern New Jersey politics and legal system.[5][6][7] In 2010, he began producing "New Jersey Civil Circus," a program on a local public access TV channel broadcast by William Paterson University, and later cancelled by them. He was awarded damages.[8]

Political office candidacyEdit

In 2011 he made an unsuccessful bid to represent the 40th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly, winning about 18% of the vote.[9]

On December 5, 2016, Brennan announced his intention to seek the nomination as Democratic candidate for the New Jersey gubernatorial election of 2017, the primary for which took place on June 6.[10] The general election takes place on November 7.[11][12] In June 2017, Governor Chris Christie said he had "admiration for everyone of them that's in the race, except for the knucklehead from, you know, where is he from, from Wayne, I think, or, whatever", referring to Brennan, who took the comment as an endorsement.[13] Brennan garnered 11,061, or 2%, of the vote.[14]

PositionsEdit

  • Increase state income tax by 2 percent on income over $750,000 to raise $600 million to $700 million in additional tax revenue.[15]
  • "Reduce dependence on public assistance" by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
  • Legalise marijuana to "generate revenue and reduce the burden on our criminal justice system while generating new employment opportunities."[16]
  • Target municipal costs associated with public employees for reductions, including removing from federal Social Security program and divert these contributions to the state pension system and to an employee-controlled retirement accounts
  • Support wind power development in NJ[17]
  • Proposes NJ Transit with a mix of additional funding sources such as marijuana sales tax revenue and what he calls a "CEO pay inequality surcharge" on executives making exponentially more than their lowest-paid employees. He wants to convert Madison Square Garden, which sits above New York's Penn Station, into an integrated Port Authority bus and train terminal by at the end of lease.[18]
  • Focus on "green" infrastructure. He says, "All new infrastructure will incorporate a renewable energy component. Bridges will harness hydro power from the rivers they cross, covered roadways will incorporate solar panels, high points on infrastructure will generate wind energy and deep borings will include geothermic capacity."

Official misconduct citizen's complaintsEdit

Brennan filed a complaint in September 2016 in the Fort Lee municipal court, alleging official misconduct by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in regard to the Fort Lee lane closure scandal. The complaint specifically said that Christie had failed to stop the closure then in progress when, according to Wildstein's sworn testimony, Christie heard about it from Baroni and Wildstein on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, the third day of the closure. The complaint alleged that Fort Lee and its mayor "were deprived the benefit and enjoyment of their community as a consequence of this intentional evil minded act."[19][20]

On April 4, 2017 Brennan filed a citizen's complaint in Newark municipal court against David Samson, former Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey who resigned on March 28, 2014 in the aftermath of the lane closure scandal.[21][22] and later pleaded guilty to extortion and bribery charges. He stated that Samson's confession to extortion and bribery was "ancillary to official misconduct."[23] Essex County Judge Marvin Adames said will decide on April 24 if there's probable cause to issue a criminal summons for Samson to face possible state official misconduct charges.[24] On April 24, the complaint was dismissed because the presiding judge found that Brennan had no standing because he was far removed and suffered no direct damage.[25]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "William J. Brennan v. William Norton, Individually and As Chief of the Teaneck Fire Department; John Bauer, Individually and As Deputy Chief of the Teaneck Fire Department; Joseph Palazzola, Individually and As Deputy Chief of the Teaneck Fire Department; Robert O'neill, Individually and As Captain of the Teaneck Fire Department; Gary Saage, Individually and As Town Manager of the Township of Teaneck; Township of Teaneck, a Municipal Corporationgary Saage; Township of Teaneck, Appellants in 01-1648 & 01-1898william J. Brennan, Appellant in 01-1740, 350 F.3d 399 (3d Cir. 2003)". Retrieved 25 May 2017. Brennan began working as a firefighter for the Teaneck Fire Department on April 19, 1993, and soon became active in Local 42 of the Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Association ("FMBA"), the firefighters' union. He was elected Secretary of the FMBA in November of 1993, and in 1994 he was elected to a one-year term as the FMBA's President. He was not reelected in 1995.
  2. ^ a b Kelly, Mike (November 29, 2016). "Kelly: The man who wants to send Christie to jail". The Record. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  3. ^ "Kelly: The man who wants to send Christie to jail". Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  4. ^ "5 things to know about anti-Christie Bridgegate crusader Bill Brennan". Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Activist who went after Christie sues county over shirt ban". Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  6. ^ "District 40 Candidate Wants Show Put on the Air". 21 October 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  7. ^ "William J. Brennan v. William Norton, Individually and As Chief of the Teaneck Fire Department; John Bauer, Individually and As Deputy Chief of the Teaneck Fire Department; Joseph Palazzola, Individually and As Deputy Chief of the Teaneck Fire Department; Robert O'neill, Individually and As Captain of the Teaneck Fire Department; Gary Saage, Individually and As Town Manager of the Township of Teaneck; Township of Teaneck, a Municipal Corporationgary Saage; Township of Teaneck, Appellants in 01-1648 & 01-1898william J. Brennan, Appellant in 01-1740, 350 F.3d 399 (3d Cir. 2003)". Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Wayne Gadfly Awarded $75,000 Settlement In Lawsuit Against Township And University". 16 May 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Official List, Candidate Returns for General Assembly for November 2011 General Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Bill Brennan seeks to put Christie behind bars, become N.J. gov". Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Activist who filed complaint against Christie to run for governor". Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  12. ^ "N.J.'s governor candidates just disclosed their sources of income. Here they are". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  13. ^ The Auditor (June 4, 2017). "Christie actually respects the governor candidates (except for that 'jerk')". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Updated results: Primary elections for N.J. governor's race 2017". The Star-Ledger. June 7, 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Your property taxes are sky-high. Here's what N.J. governor candidates would do about it". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Christie says legalizing pot is stupid. Here's what N.J. governor candidates would do". Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Bill Brennan for NJ Governor: Offshore Wind development NOW !". Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Every candidate for N.J. governor has a fix for NJ Transit. Here they are". Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  19. ^ Rosenberg, Eli (October 13, 2016). "Criminal Complaint Against Gov. Chris Christie in Bridge Case Can Move Forward". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  20. ^ Ax, Joseph (October 13, 2016). "New Jersey citizen's 'Bridgegate' complaint against Christie can proceed: judge". Reuters. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  21. ^ Santora, Marc (28 March 2014). "Port Authority Chairman Resigns, Christie Announces". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  22. ^ Rizzo, Salvador (March 28, 2014). "Christie announces that David Samson resigned as Port Authority chairman". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  23. ^ "N.J. activist pushes for Christie ally David Samson to face jail time". Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  24. ^ "Judge considering Samson misconduct complaint that's been blasted by Christie". Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  25. ^ "Christie mentor Samson won't face jail as judge rejects citizen's misconduct complaint". Retrieved 25 April 2017.

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