My thoughts on the New Jersey Governor race

Okay New Jersey Republicans, you have my attention.

I am a homeowner with 2 kids and I typically vote for Democrats. Your average New Jersey tax payer.

Fortunately, we’re a 2 income household and we don’t have a lot of debt besides our mortgage, but I have a child with a disability so it evens out. I don’t like how high our property and income taxes are, yet I have to wonder just how much of that can be blamed on our Governor in this economy.

I’m not a huge fan of Jon Corzine. I don’t think he’s done a terrible job (he’s no GWB) but I don’t think he’s done a great job either. I guess we should just be happy he wants to keep this job instead of buying another one.

I’m willing to consider change. I’m willing to vote on the other side of the booth for the right candidate.

Now it’s your turn. You are going to have to put some effort into selling me on Chris Christie.

For every attack ad you run against Corzine, it’s less chance that I’m going to vote in your direction. I’ll ignore the millions that Corzine is going to spend of his own money attacking Christie. Instead, I’ll pay attention to what Christie says to sell himself. You don’t have to tell me what’s wrong with Corzine, I already know. Please don’t make the same mistake John Kerry did and assume that public hate against the incumbent is enough to win an election. I would rather vote for Corzine’s re-election than vote in a new candidate I don’t believe in simply because he’s not Corzine.

I took a look at Christie’s website in order to get to know him better and see where he stood on the issues. First the good: I don’t have a problem with what he says about jobs, taxes and economy, and I guess he has a good a plan as any to lower NJ taxes and stop some of the corruption our state is known for. That section and the one on spending and government reform have the most content and depth, obviously because that’s the platform he’s running on. He’s got a great track record as a U.S. Attorney, and this is his strength.

Yes, the state (and the country) is in crisis and that demands immediate attention. But then what?

I care about education. There’s a lot going on in regard to how New Jersey funds its districts. Outside of the cities, what the state doesn’t provide has to be made up by the townships. Christie has 3 short, vague paragraphs about education. That’s it. No specifics or details. That concerns me. Exactly how will he bring about “increased accountability and greater parental involvement”? What about special education? I want to know before I cast my vote.

I have a lot of problems with his shared values. He doesn’t share his values with me, that’s for sure. I want a leader who is guided by his faith, but does not legislate by it. What he believes is right for him and his family should not be the law of the state.

He says:

While, I have no issue with same sex couples sharing contractual rights, I believe that marriage should remain the exclusive domain of one man and one woman. If a bill legalizing same sex marriage came to my desk as Governor, I would veto it. If the law were changed by judicial fiat, I would be in favor of a constitutional amendment on the ballot so that voters, not judges, would decide this important social question.

I find this wrong on so many levels, I hardly know where to begin. Enough for me not to vote for him no matter how bad Corzine is? Yeah, maybe.

Healthcare and insurance reform is another issue that matters to me. Let’s see what Christie’s site says about that. Zip. Zilch. Nadda. According to 2 year old data from Kaiser, 17.6% of New Jersey’s non-elderly population is uninsured, nearly a quarter of those are children. Over 1 million people. I’m sure the number is higher now. And this candidate thinks a constitutional amendment against gay marriage is more important?!?

A couple of days ago, the Chair of the NJ GOP followed me on Twitter. I had tweeted my frustration that Corzine had no real competition on the primary ticket, and I guess he picked up on that. We ended up having a little back and forth, and in response to the issue of healthcare insurance he tweeted back:

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Excuse me? What “choice” does someone with a low paying job have? What “choice” does a small business that can’t afford to offer decent plans and rates have? And let’s not even go into the idea that we can solve the health insurance issue with the same approach and care as if it were car insurance. Consequences? Consequences?!?! Oh no he didn’t seriously use that word. Someone makes a poor choice on car insurance and they walk to work. A poor choice (which is often their only choice) on health insurance and they die.

And when I begged him to “Stop attacking Corzine as a campaign strategy and give us Dems a real reason to go red,” his response was:

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A visual of Donald Trump probably wasn’t the right move at that moment, Tom.

Notice that in this post I didn’t compare Christie to Corzine. That is not what this about. I’m not criticizing Christie to make Corzine look better. I simply want to make an informed decision in November.

I’ll be watching over the next few months, and I will tune out the moment it goes attack, which by all accounts looks like I won’t be getting a lot more information out of the GOP or its candidate.

Shame. This is your chance to win over at least one Democrat. Convince me that Christie is the better Governor no matter who he’s running against. Yes, the new Governor, if elected, is going to have damage to undo. But then he still has to lead and move the state in a positive direction.

If Christie can’t convince me, then the phrase isn’t “You’re Fired!” it’s “The Devil You Know.”

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2 thoughts on “My thoughts on the New Jersey Governor race

  1. Evan says:

    Interesting. During the past two Presidential elections, where Democrats were seeking to dethrone a GOP incumbent, the Democrats went to any length necessary- said anything they could think of (whether true or not) to attack the record of President Bush. The negative attack ads run by the Kerry and Obama campaigns were like nothing ever seen before in modern politics. Now the show is on the other foot in NJ a we have a demand for civility? Hm..

  2. Judi Sohn says:

    Evan, first of all, did I say that I liked Kerry and Obama’s negative ads? Didn’t I say that Kerry’s strategy failed for a reason?

    I voted for Obama because I believed (and still do) that he would make a better President that John McCain based on his own merits. McCain didn’t need Obama to make his campaign look like a joke, he had Palin for that. 😉

    Unlike Mr. Wilson, I do not speak for any Party. I am simply an undecided registered voter. Undecided as in my vote can be swayed. First time in a long time I’ve felt this way. And an answer of, “we’re going to pounce on Corzine as our primary campaign strategy because we think we’re entitled” is not the answer I was looking for to influence my vote in Christie’s direction, sorry.

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