Feb 22, 2015

Ragbag Headliners

Americans Question How Neutral ‘Net Neutrality’ Really Is

The Federal Communications Commission is expected soon to adopt new policies that will give it regulatory control over the Internet, although years of legislative and legal challenges are likely.

The national survey of 800 Adults was conducted on February 9-10, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. –Source: Rasmussen Report (The national survey of 800 Adults was conducted on February 9-10, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. )

Christie Now Viewed Unfavorably By Majority Of N.J. Voters

Gov. Chris Christie's job approval and overall favorability has dropped to an all-time low among New Jersey voters as the governor works to woo voters who live outside of the Garden State, according to a new poll.

A majority of New Jersey voters — 53 percent — view the governor unfavorably, and 52 percent give Christie a negative job approval rating, according to Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released today. Christie's presidential ambitions and out-of-state travel, along with lingering resentment over the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal, are taking a toll on how New Jersey voters view the governor.

"As one respondent said, 'Christie visiting different states for the presidential race made New Jerseyans not like him,'" said David Redlawsk, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling and professor of political science at Rutgers University. "Others used words like 'arrogance,' 'rudeness' and 'abrasive' to explain the turnaround from his high flying post-Sandy days. And of course, all manner of mentions of Bridgegate and other scandals were offered."

The survey found only 37 percent of registered voters have a favorable view of the governor - down seven points from two months ago, according to the poll. Only 42 percent approve of the job Christie is doing, which represents a six-point drop.

According to the poll, 20 percent cited Christie's attitude, personality and behavior as contributing factors for their negative outlook. Fifteen percent said the Bridgegate scandal soured their opinion and 10 percent chalked it up to the governor "shunning his current duties to pursue presidential ambitions."

The poll was released the morning after Christie spoke to hundreds of Illinois Republicans in a Chicago suburb. The governor is traveling the country ahead of a likely presidential run.

The poll surveyed 694 registered New Jersey voters Feb. 3-10. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points. –Source: NJ

Americans Trust News Media Less

Even as NBC-TV wrestles with what to do with evening anchor Brian Williams, fewer Americans are getting their news predominately from television, and they trust the news they are getting less than they did a year ago.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 60% of American Adults regard the news reported by the media as at least somewhat trustworthy, but that includes just seven percent (7%) who think it is Very Trustworthy. Thirty-eight percent (38%) do not trust the news media, with eight percent (8%) who believe the news reported is Not At All Trustworthy. –Source: Rasmussen Report

N.J. Ranked Among Top States For Protecting Gay Rights

With anti-discrimination laws in the workplace, an anti-bullying law protecting school children, and a 2013 court decision allowing same-sex couples to marry, New Jersey is one of seven states recognized by the the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization for its record of promoting equality, a survey released today said.

The Human Rights Campaign and the Equality Federation studied the legal protections for LGBT people and determined New Jersey was among the top seven states, along with Washington D.C., that earned the highest recognition for "Working Toward Innovative Equality."

The State Equality Index based the rankings on six areas: relationship recognition, parenting laws and policies, non-discrimination laws, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying laws, and health and safety laws and policies.

New Jersey was also noted for passing a law that outlaws licensed therapists from performing gay-to-straight conversion therapy on children.

"The State Equality Index helps Garden State Equality know how much work New Jersey has to do to be the best state for LGBT justice," said Andrea Bowen the executive director of Garden State Equality, New Jersey's leading LGBT rights organization.

Protecting homeless LGBT youth is among Garden State Equality's biggest priorities, according to the report.

Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have allowed transgender people to amend their birth certificates to reflect their identities, but Garden State Equality said it is pushing the bill again and have found new legislation support, according to the report.

Advocates in New Jersey will focus on fully implementing the state's strong protections for LGBT people and look at targeted protections for vulnerable LGBT communities, including as homeless youth.

"Our movement and organization have done amazingly, but the SEI shows that we have plenty to keep us busy," Bowen said.

"New Jersey is a leader in equality and we intend to keep it that way," Bowen added.

The other high-ranking states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, according to the report.

"Despite historic progress on issues like marriage equality, a majority of states still struggle to reach even a basic level of equality for LGBT people," said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. "Most states lack statewide non-discrimination laws to protect LGBT people - putting countless individuals and families at risk, and creating inequalities in adoption and surrogacy, employments benefits, and youth safety and well-being."
"Even worse," Griffin said, "equality opponents continue to push deeply harmful laws forward, including those seeking to undermine critical protections in the guise of 'religious liberty.' " -Source: NJ

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