MEET NEW JERSEY STATE SENATOR ED DURR
Ask FAIRtax advocate and supporter Jerry McManus, pictured left (the Senator is in the middle, and I’m on the right), how he got a meeting with New Jersey State Senator Ed Durr. Durr, a truck driver, made national news by upsetting the top New Jersey Democrat in 2021 with a shoestring campaign budget. Earlier reports indicated that Durr spent $153.31 on his campaign, but later reports indicate that the sum was $2,300.00 – still a minuscule amount.
Jerry, a realtor from southern New Jersey, is a networker and is active in his political party, often as a donor. Jerry called in some favors for us and arranged a meeting on August 7, 2022, with Durr's Chief of Staff, Tina DeSilvio. Jerry and I sat in the conference room, and the Senator himself walked in instead.
We presented him with a packet of materials showing first that New Jersey is Number One – in net outbound moves. We linked that fact to New Jersey’s high taxes. We included a two-page overview of the national FAIRtax, a list of states with no personal income tax, a sample state resolution passed in Florida supporting the national FAIRtax, and a copy of an earlier version of the Alabama Economic Freedom Act – the Alabama version of the FAIRtax. The last enclosure answered the Senator’s question of whether there can be a stand-alone version of the FAIRtax at the state level.
We don’t want to disclose too many details of the meeting because we want the Senator to feel confident that he can speak with us freely. But we think you should know that the Senator, half-jokingly, remarked that the revenue-neutral feature of the FAIRtax brings in too much money to the government. We think he understood that the FAIRtax needs to be that way to get it over the finish line.
The Senator came into the meeting as a flat tax fan. So, we tried to stress that evasion would plummet under the FAIRtax, and that a flat tax would not stay flat for long. We hope those two arguments registered with him. Jerry’s salesmanship paid off. He knew how to peg the Senator’s responses and jump in when I might have been losing him.
We got a response to our post-meeting thank-you email. In it, Chief of Staff DeSilvio indicated that the Senator is very much interested in our proposal. Of course, we would be thrilled to get another meeting, but we plan to let the dust settle for now.
Jerry and his wife, Jennifer, live in Berlin, New Jersey, a Philadelphia suburb. Jerry and Jennifer have five children, three boys, and two girls. One of the children works with Jerry in his real estate business at Keller Williams in Washington Township, New Jersey. Jerry formerly was a youth minister.
I would love to hear about your efforts with your elected representative, state or federal.
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