In 2014, Doherty wrote a letter endorsing the work of Foward New Jersey, a coalition of unions and other special interest groups who will collect the $2 million per mile construction costs that the $.23 per gallon gas tax will fund. Forward New Jersey has been lobbying for the gas tax increase for almost two years and is waging a social media campaign to counter the grass-roots opposition to the tax increase as you are reading this article. Doherty’s letter can be found here.
Doherty was an easy get for Forward New Jersey. Check out the address and phone number on their website. The contact info is identical to that of Maggie Moran’s lobbying and political consulting company, Kivvit’s, Asbury Park office. Moran and Doherty are married.
The gas tax increase is not the first time Moran has cooperated with Doherty’s BFF, Governor Chris Christie, to pick the pockets of New Jersey drivers.
In 2012, prior to starting her own firm, Moran was the Director of Business Development for Liuna! (Laborers International Union of North America). In that capacity, Moran helped Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo push through a massive toll increase on the Port Authority of NY/NJ’s Hudson River crossings, according to The Bergen Record.
Maggie Moran, then an employee of a large regional labor union led by a Port Authority commissioner, helped mobilize hundreds of union workers who flooded public hearings that were scheduled at times and places that made it difficult for the general public to attend. Drawing from scripted messages, laborers wearing orange T-shirts spoke favorably of the toll hikes at the hearings, providing Christie with a talking point.
LIUNA is the labor union employed by EPIC Construction, the company that rebuilt Belmar’s boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy and that is building the new pavillions and safety building on Belmar’s beach. Robert Epifano, one of the owner’s of EPIC, is on the Board of LIUNA.
Of course these are all just coincidences. Just like Belmar’s firing a local Sandy clean up contractor and hiring AshBritt, the company that Maggie was working on behalf of was a coincidence. Don’t take our work for it, Matt will tell you the same thing.