In this case New Jerseyans may as well have two dead candidates on the ballot. As it is, I have firmly concluded that both are brain dead.
In one corner we have incumbent Jon Corzine. He came into office as a financial genius. He was a Wall Street wizard who accumulated a personal fortune in excess of $400 million dollars, bought himself a seat in the United States Senate and then decided to buy the Governor’s Mansion. In just his first six months in office he increased taxes in New Jersey by almost $2 billion dollars. And after promising to “control spending”, not only did he raise taxes at the beginning of his term, now at the end of his term he created a budget deficit slightly larger than the total amount of revenue he raised in tax increases when he first came to office. On top of that Jon Boy increased tolls in the state and tried to pass a plan that would put tolls on roads that do not currently have any and more than triple the ones that currently exist.
He has also raised the state sales tax and created new taxes on everything from gym memberships to landscaping. And let us not even get into the business and corporate taxes that he raised. His assault on business in New Jersey drove them out of the state and is in large part, the reason why unemployment went from 4.3% at the beginning of his term to above 9.3% at the end of his term.
Throw in some of the most crushing state mandates in the areas of housing and other areas of social engineering and scandals involving him, his girlfriend, secret state contract negotiations and the union thathis girlfriend was the head of and Corzine has just been a disaster. He has captained the ship of state and taken us for a ride, a ride on the Hindenburg.
Now faced with a record of ruin, Jon Corzine really does not know what to run on. What does this man have to point to as a reason for why he deserves a second term? Is it because we like a decreased quality of life? Maybe it is because we hate jobs and the businesses that create them? Or maybe we like to have a Governor who seems to be as corrupt as New Jersey is reputed to be?
The bottom line is that Jon Corzine has nothing to point to that would give anyone a reason to reelect him. Nothing except a state strewn with the wreckage of political liberal policy initiatives that terrorize life in New Jersey and has gutted business out of the state and emptied the change out of our pockets.
So what is a failed politician to do when trying to get reelected to a job he doesn’t deserve? Well in the case of Jon Corzine you point to anything other than yourself.
Since 45% of the people have a favorable opinion of the Governor and 52% have an unfavorable opinion of him, he needs to associate himself with someone who is liked. For Democrats who else could that be other than the messiah himself, President Barack H. Obama.
Ever since the race for Governor began in earnest in June, all Corzine has done is associate himself with President Obama. He has tried to do everything but darken his skin and change his name to Jonnie Obama, in an attempt to make this election a referendum on anything but himself and hisdisasterous record as Governor.
There has been no campaign ads discussing the Governor’s plans for our future or his successful efforts of the past. There have been no references to more jobs or economic growth. There has only been references to President Obama and attempts to morph his opponent, Chris Christie, into George Bush.
The fact that Corzine has nothing to run on has been quite obvious to me from the beginning, but then, the other day, I was driving in new Brunswick. As I was going down Hamilton Street, there it was, lo and behold, right before my eyes was one of the first campaign signs I have seen in the race for governor. It was a humongous billboard and it featured President Obama prominently placed front and center with the words “KEEP IT GOING“. And to the right of the President stood none other than Jon Corzine. Astonished, I had to back up and pullover. I stared at this monstrosity in utter amazement. My first thought was, “what an ass”. My second thought was, “keep what going?” High unemployment? Socialism? Taxes? Tolls? What should we keep going? After a few moments I snapped a picture, got t over my shock and Corzine’s gall, and continued to drive on, knowing more than ever before, that the Governor’s reelection effort is pitiful and truly embarrassing.
But not as embarrassing as his opponent in the other corner though.
Republican Chris Christie had it all. He was one of those rare candidates for statewide office in New Jersey who had excellent name ID. In a state where it is truly tough to get yourself known, Chris Christie was well known. After eight years as the state’s federal prosecutor, he had a perfect record that cracked down on one of the most important issues that concerns New Jersey residents. Corruption.
But after winning the Republican nomination, due in large part to that reputation, Chris Christie has run a campaign that can only best be described as terrible. To put it in plain English, his campaign sucks. There is no coherent theme to it and thus no clear reason why people should vote for him. Just as Jon Corzine is hoping that by making his name synonymous with Barack Obama will get him reelected, Chris Christie is simply hoping that his name not being Jon Corzine is enough to get him elected.
Quite pathetically, the strategy could have worked. For months Chris Christie was ahead of Jon Corzine by double digits. But unfortunately Christie was forced to open his mouth as the campaign progressed. In doing so, people discovered that he really has nothing to say. When pressed for details on anything he says such as “I will get property taxes under control”, Christie stands their as if he does not know what the word “details “ means. Like Jon Corzine, Christie has no clear plans for New Jersey’s future either. As a result Chris Christie’s once double digit lead is now down to 3%. So close is the race between the comatose candidates that the relatively small percentage of votes that independent candidate Chris Dagget is promising to get, could just be enough to keep Jon Corzine in office.
Like Jon Corzine, Christie’s numbers were once good but now they are upside down. 46% of state residents have a favorable opinion of Chris Christie while 50% have an unfavorable opinion of him. In both cases more people dislike Christie and Corzine than like them. What kind of choice is that for voters? And what kind of optimism does that demonstrate from New Jerseyans? To have to choose between two people that we do not like is not exactly something to be enthusiastic about. But that is what happens when neither candidate can come up with a good reason to vote for them. The apathy so far seen in this election is mainly the result of two men who have done nothing but show themselves to be unworthy of governing.
In the meantime, this week, things finally heated up in the race for Governor. I know because I actually heard it on the news. The race for New Jersey Governor had finally been important enough for mention on the major news networks from the other cities that New Jersey relies on for its news . The topic of discussion was heavy. I mean it. It was really heavy. It dealt with Chris Christie’s weight. Christie’s feelings were hurt over what he saw as Governor Corzine’s attempt to portray him as being overweight.
He is overweight, but Christie accused Corzine of trying to use his weight as an issue in the campaign. From my point of view, in a campaign where no issues are being discussed, any issue is a welcome one. But Chris Christie does not like the issue of his excessive weight. Apparently he doesn’t like the issue of taxes, regulations or what he would do as Governor either but this one he really did not like. Of course Governor Corzine denied ever making the rotund Republican’s tipping of the scale an issue. He said, no candidate ever likes the way that the opposition depicts them.
After hearing about this controversy, I could not help but wonder if this campaign was not actually a Saturday Night Live skit being played out for months now. I mean first of all, Jon Corzine has no right to make fun of anyone, especially when it comes to looks. He has been in more than a few embarrassing situations himself and is not exactly the cover model for Mens Health magazine. As for Christie, he is overweight but if his fattiness is a topic that bothers him, as a potential governor I would hope he knows how to solve that problem. Lose a pound or two off of his fat ass! That might help. Put down that pizza pie and cheesecake, run a lap around your campaign bus and pick up a good read about how a real tax deduction plan can be formulated for New Jersey. That might help you to a pound and come up with some details that could give meaning to your attempt to become a Governor.
But really, at this point what difference does it make? Both Corzine and Christie are lightweights when it comes to leadership and problem solving. As for New Jerseyans, well, we are just screwed because between the fatheads of both tweedledumb and tweedledumber there is no hope.