Road Warrior Newsletter

June 18, 2010


Dear NJGCA Membe:


In Trenton a common strategy to get laws passed that may be offensive to one segment of the population is to sneak them thru the legislative process under the radar screen when those that may scream in opposition are distracted or focused on something else.

At this time of the year, the media, citizens, and even legislators themselves are fixated on the State Budget.  Even I am focused on the important matter of negotiating with legislators and Governor Christie in order to save Safety Inspections.  This makes a perfect opportunity for a silly or harmful piece of legislation to squeeze thru a crack in the door and find its way in to about 100 bills that will be voted on at the same time as the budget…probably in the middle of the night besides.

Below Cost Selling.  The sound of that phrase should make you sit straight up and pay attention!  As you may recall, nearly two years ago, NJGCA went to Trenton with a number of our members to stop this bill from being voted on the floor of the Assembly.  Thankfully we were able to get the bill stopped and you can read more about it by clicking HERE

Thankfully our friends at the Fuel Merchant’s Association of NJ are acting as a second set of eyes and alerted me that Assemblymen Wiesnewski and Runpf have introduced A-2932, which will abolish existing laws that prohibit selling gasoline below cost.  I mentioned several weeks ago that Senator Lesniak a similar bill  S-484.

I warned you they’d try it again – and so they have.

Feel good legislation like Below Cost Selling is one of those things that happens under the radar when everyone is focused on bigger issues.  As we speak, the Legislature and the media are almost entirely focused on taxes and hammering together a budget – keeping lots of distracted spectators from noticing that the Below Cost Selling bill is once again being considered.  The powers that be are hoping that you’ll be so absorbed by the budget process that they’ll be able to squeeze this kind of harmful legislation through in the wee-hours unnoticed. 

We are keeping an eye on the official committee calendar in Trenton to make sure they don’t hold public hearings on this bill.  Why?  Because the bill can’t be voted on by Legislators unless it first gets through a public committee hearing.

If that happens, we’ll need you to turn out like you did last time to help us fight Below Cost Selling!  But that doesn’t come without its own complications since we’d be fighting a war on two fronts: Keeping Below Cost Selling from becoming a reality and preventing the elimination of Safety Inspections.   Anyone remember Germany and Japan???

I’m hoping that we can use all our resources in Trenton to prevent this from being heard until next fall at the earliest. Still, I need you to be prepared to take action if necessary and know that I’ve got my eye on this.

On the positive side, there is good news about diesel taxes.  Many of you have complained for years about the difficulty filing a monthly tax return with your remittance of the previous months tax that you collected.   Let’s be honest here: at best it’s a cumbersome process and an utter nuisance.

However, that’s about to change.  After years of pestering the previous administration and the Department of Taxation to change these regulations, it seems Governor Christie is sympathetic to our dilemma.  I expect the budget proposal that is passed in the next two weeks will include a provision to have the diesel tax collected at the rack so you will pay for it on your invoice when the diesel fuel arrives.  That means, just as in gasoline sales, the process is streamlined and you WILL NOT have to remit anymore of those silly tax returns or manage the funds that you collected from month to month.

Ironically, the very same budget that is giving us some positive news also continues to threaten us with changing the Motor Vehicle Inspection Program.

On Tuesday, I sent out a special Wildfire Alert with pertinent information and details.  I'm going to insist that you follow those instructions and CONTACT GOVERNOR CHRISTIE.

You can read the Wildfire Alert by clicking HERE

PLEASE NOTE: We sent out a revised set of instructions shortly after we launched the original Wildfire Alert.  Many of you called telling us that the Governor’s Contact Webpage no longer has ‘Commerce’ listed in the drop down menu.  We have since learned that ‘Commerce’ has been replaced by ‘Economic Growth’.  The rest of the instructions are the same and are as follows:

1. On the first page (under 'Step 1 of 2') select "Economic Growth" from the drop-down menu and click  "CONTINUE".
2. On the next page (under 'Step 2 of 2') select "Small-Business" from the sub-topic drop down menu. 
3. Then please complete the rest of the form and include all your contact information.  Make sure to fill in the 'message' area asking Governor Christie to KEEP SAFETY INSPECTIONS and tell him why it is important to your small business.  You may CUT AND PASTE the form Wildfire Alert link above into this space!
4. Once you have finished, please remember to hit "SEND YOUR MESSAGE" to submit your request.

Why am I asking you to do this?  Because not only is the battle not over, but there is a lot going on behind the scenes you don’t know about.

It is important for you to understand that there currently is a negotiation going on between leaders in the Legislature and the Governor’s Office to adopt my proposal. While I cannot divulge all the facts right now (I can't trust whose hands this email may fall into outside of our members) I can tell you that the Governor does, in fact, agree with our plan.

However, for technical reasons best left explained at a later date, the Governor has chosen to eliminate Safety Inspections instead of my proposal in order to save desperately needed funds for state coffers.

I am currently working on a solution to these technical obstacles.  That means it is incredibly important for the Governor to hear from you to illustrate our collective and adamant support for the NJGCA Plan!

In the Wildfire Alert, I outlined three important points.  Use them and repeat them when contacting the Governor’s Office! 

Again, you can see the recent Wildfire Alert by clicking HERE

I’m already hearing from a number of you who have received the Wildfire Alert asking what else can be done.  To those who have called and responded, THANK YOU.  To everyone else, I’ll tell you the same thing I told them: After you call and email (or fax) the Governor’s Office, tell your employees to call from their personal cell phones, give their names, and their home addresses.  Trenton must understand that the elimination of Safety Inspections doesn’t just affect the driving public or small business owners, but the men and women they employ!!

This process is incredibly fluid and we have a long way to go before the budget is set in stone.  That means the war hasn’t ended; the ship is not sunk; check-mate hasn’t been declared. No matter the euphemism the point is clear: KEEP FIGHTING -- IT AIN’T OVER!

Stay tuned for further instructions in the week ahead and be sure to check your email/fax frequently.  When you receive a communication from us, please expressly follow the details that I’ve outlined.  This is TIME SENSITIVE, so do your share and act accordingly.

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director 

 IN THIS WEEK’S NJGCA ROAD WARRIOR                                    

•Added All PIF and Diesel classes below!!

•Participate in the NJGCA PAC today and help us keep our Agenda rolling in Trenton!

Legislature tries to override Governor’s veto on the millionaire’s tax
DEP Chief: Oil from BP spill unlikely to reach New Jersey
Governor orders emergency state shutdown planning if budget fails
Opinion: Excessive administrative costs are a big part of the budget problem

 ON THE NJGCA HOMEPAGE                                                           

Check out all of our MBPs and Programs designed to SAVE YOU MONEY!

Looking for something? Take a look at our list of useful links!

Find all our communications and search for old e-newsletters. Take a look!

Need to catch up on events?  Want to see what's going on?  Find out here!

 KNOW YOUR TERRITORY MANAGER!                                           

Henry Darden: Territory Manager for Middlesex, Union, Part of Essex (Southern Half)

Cell: 973-477-0057

Jack Leli: Territory Manager for Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, Salem
Cell: 732-995-1637

Bob Quirk: Territory Manager for Bergen, Hudson, Part of Essex (Northern Half)
Cell: 201-214-8836

Frank Stewart: Territory Manager for Morris, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Passaic
Cell: 973-234-7403
Don Stohrer: Territory Manager for Monmouth, Mercer, Somerset
Cell: 732-539-2955


ETEP Re-Certification Classes
NJGCA is offering the ETEP course that your ERT’s need in order to re-certify their license.

Our Course includes:
•New Jersey State Specific Information Course
•ETEP Section 6 “OBDII Monitoring Failures”
•Section 7 “Light-Duty Diesel Vehicle Technologies and Testing”.
Everything your technician needs to Re-Certify his ERT license!!!


PLEASE NOTE: We are always in the process of putting together additional classes. If you are interested in taking classes in this time period, please call NJGCA and let us know so we can add you to the list.

Call Debbie Hill to enroll in the classes at or call 973-376-0066.


Ensuring our friends in the legislature are re-elected and advocating for our agenda in Trenton are of utmost importance to the agenda of NJGCA.

It is for this reason that your Association has established the NJGCA PAC.

For too long, the weight of funding our Political Action Committee, the arm of the Association responsible for political donations, has rested upon the shoulders of a few.  This is not fair to them, and it is not fair to many of you who are relying on the benefits of good legislation being passed in Trenton.

To truly understand the importance of fundraising for our allies, let’s look back upon the overwhelming successes of the last year:

NJGCA successfully lobbied against BELOW COST SELLING. If approved, BELOW COST SELLING would have cost each of you thousands of dollars and put many of you out of businesses.  NJGCA leaned on some of our friends in the Assembly and literally had the bill pulled off the floor on the day it was scheduled to be voted on.  Our friends in the Legislature helped us get this accomplished.

NJGCA made history and led the charge to pass the most comprehensive protection of franchisees in decades with FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL legislation.  FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL passed only because NJGCA and dealers throughout the state were able to lean on several friends in the Assembly and the Senate.

NJGCA has been rallying support for RIGHT TO REPAIR over the last two years among key legislators.  This would end the practice of car manufacturers denying you the codes necessary to complete the repairs you make on your customers cars.  Every state has tried to pass RIGHT TO REPAIR and no state has even been able to get the legislation out of committee.   Because of our friends in the Legislature, NJGCA has been successful in getting this bill passed by the Assembly and now awaits a vote in the Senate.

I am asking some of you as individuals to make a contribution and attend a fundraising event sponsored by one of our friends in the Assembly.

However, we will not be able to host events for all of our friends, so the NJGCA PAC will have to make contributions.  You will be receiving letters soon from the NJGCA PAC asking you to make contributions. 

If every member contributes just $100.00 we will be able to provide the help necessary to ensure victory for our allies.

66 Morris Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081
Please make your donation payable to NJGCA PAC

I understand that times are tough for all NJGCA members, but this is just as important as any battle we have fought in the past.

We have made great progress in Trenton.  I hope that you will answer the call. 


Legislature tries to override Governor’s veto on the millionaire’s tax
Political observers anticipate that the Governor will square off with the Democrat-controlled legislature next week in a showdown aimed at reviving the millionaire’s tax.  The income tax hike, which would hurt small business owners, was vetoed by Governor Christie last month.  The Legislature needs a two-thirds vote to reverse the Governor’s veto.

DEP Chief: Oil from BP spill unlikely to reach New Jersey
With the nation’s focus on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico intensifying, many environmental activists are beginning to question if any of the oil will make it to New Jersey.  Bob Martin, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, says the chances of any of the slick reaching our shores are remote and extremely unlikely.  While the news is welcome relief for the state’s $40 billion tourism and seafood industries, Martin did say that a contingency plan was in place incase the slick eventually becomes a threat.

Governor orders emergency state shutdown planning if budget fails
While a few weeks yet remain for state officials to produce a budget by the constitutional deadline of midnight on June 30th, Governor Christie has ordered his Cabinet to begin planning for a government shutdown in case budget negotiations should prove unsuccessful.  The order, which was delivered last week, directs each Cabinet member to identify essential staffers and functions that must be carried out during a state government shutdown.

Opinion: Excessive administrative costs are a big part of the budget problem
As budget woes continue to mount for the state’s 600+ school districts, as startling report has found that the number of public school administrators making more than $200,000 has increased seven-fold over five years.  As of October, 92 administrators were making over $200,000 compared to 12 five years ago.

Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist