So….drum roll please…I am about to give you a sneak peek at my tax return from 2015. It’s the news that everyone has been waiting for. My family income was a whopping $60,000 in 2015, plus my taxes were assessed on an addition 40% of that salary (the amount necessary to assess for a church-owned parsonage). In the world that I move in $60,000 plus a parsonage puts me in a stable financial position in New Jersey. We are not wanting, my kids have what they need and we have no complaints. I would also say that most of the people with whom I live and work in New Jersey make less money than I do, and without the parsonage they are in a significantly more trying position.

Let me compare myself, for a moment, to Democrat candidate Phil Murphy. He announced, yesterday, that in 2015 he brought in 7.3 million. Most of that was purely earnings from investments.

I accept that we live in a world where some people are rich and some are poor. It bothers me that the discrepancies are so gigantic, but I accept it. What I cannot accept, however, is to see our state government continually run by people (the candidates and/or their funder buddies) whose world is shaped by a level of personal wealth that puts them totally out of touch with the people of New Jersey. Somehow, year after year, we allow ourselves to be mesmerized by rich people who made their wealth in a sector of the economy that has continually hurt the people of New Jersey, rather than helped it.

I have to admit I laughed out loud the night that Murphy’s tax return was released, when I got a robocall from him saying something like, “we need to stand up for Main Street instead of Wall Street.” Does he really think the people of New Jersey are so unaware that they won’t see that it would be hard for a man shaped by Wall Street, with a mansion so big that it generates over $200,000 in property taxes, to understand anything, really, about Main Street?

This idea that personal wealth somehow equals great brains for civic engagement and commitment and societal transformation is just not at all a proven fact.

It is hard to believe that New Jersey Democrats could so quickly jump on the Phil Murphy bandwagon. I can’t think of anything less becoming, at this moment, than a mega-rich candidate who plays the same old game of trying to convince liberals that he will actually push an agenda that helps people in the middle class.

I invite you, during this season of giving, to make an investment in my campaign. It is my goal to raise $430,000. That’s what it will take to get into the debates with Murphy and whoever else is still standing. I’ve hardly made that amount of money in my entire working life. Please consider joining me in a very serious attempt to start with the last, instead of the first. I think it’s the direction that could allow this state to fully flourish for everyone.

Peace, Seth