Tag Archives: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

The Political Maturation of Chris Christie

Bookmark and Share  Recently socialist political news analyst Jonathon Alter declared that Chris Christie was preparing for a run for President.  This revelation was based on sources which told him that Christie began using focus groups to prepare for the run.  As it turned out the reliably unreliable Jonathon was, as usual, wrong.  Alter is a personality from MSNBC, or which I commonly refer to it as, the Mostly Slanted News Bias Corporation.  So it is not surprising that he would get yet another political scoop wrong.  However, at the same time, it is easy to assume that Christie might run.

Even after months of denying a run for President and going so far as to say that the only thing he could do to really convince people he was not running was to commit suicide, the prospect of his presidential candidacy is still not out of the question.  Christie’s name still sits at the top of the list of names of those who people would like to run and he has continuously been courted by business groups and political leaders from across the nation.  The most recent pitch was made by a mix of business leaders from Iowa, the state that holds the first presidential nominating contest. 

Saying that one will not run for President, even adamantly saying so, does not mean they won’t run.  Texas Governor Rick Perry swore that he had no interest in running and was not considering it until last month when he changed his mind.  But with Chris Christie it is probably true that he is not running.  Not now or ever.  But he is keeping his options open and recent subtle moves to moderate his image….his image, not his positions…….have proven that.

As exhibited in the clip below, Chris Christie has been hit the point where he is politically maturing. 

His recent definition of leadership demonstrates that political maturity and it is both ingenious from a strategic political perspective as well as a managerial perspective.  In the clip, you will see how Christie justifies his often hard stances and blunt talk.  It a justification that directly appeals to Independent voters, a New Jersey voting bloc that no Republican can win elected office without substantial support from.

Christie’s remarks in the clip below are the type of thing that Independent voters on the national level would appreciate and the type of statement that could even ease the tension of those who may disagree with Christie by making them believe that at least he means what he says and says what he means.  That type of respect really does cross Party lines and it is also not often seen in politics.

And Christie knows this.  That is why he promoted the clip below in his own twitter when he tweeted the following:

“[VIDEO] I think people in this state like leaders regardless of their party. Leading is not a political strategy:”
 
Chris Christie is most likely not running for President, but there is absolutely no reason why he couldn’t and between his actions, his image and statements like the one below, maybe one day he actually should run.  As for now though, I know that we could use him in New Jersey, so hopefully he will  not give the idea any serious consideration until after he has completed his second consecutive term as Governor.Bookmark and Share

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New Jersey Republican State Chairman Jay Webber Abruptly Resigns

Bookmark and Share   Assemblyman Jay Webber, the Chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee, has resigned from his position as Chairman. The announcement was an unexpected one which seems to have partially been the result of a number of small disagreements between Webber and Governor Christie. In addition to the Governor being unsettled by a letter concerning the budget of the upcoming State Reapportionment Commission,  the Assemblyman is said to have also  been frustrated with  a level of secrecy surrounding the operations of Reform Jersey Now, a fundraising entity created by Governor Christie’s closest confidants and was uncomfortable with the lack of assistance provided by the Governor on state G.O.P. fundraising efforts during the summer, when the Governor was traveling across the country to campaign for fellow Republican gubernatorial candidates. 
As for the disagreement over the letter that Webber sent out regarding the Reapportionment Commission budget, earlier  today, Assemblyman Webber released the same letter on his Facebook page, leading some to wonder if  he was reinforcing his position despite the Governors sentiments.

In a statement to the press, Webber called his resignation “bittersweet” and stated that the only reason for his early departure was due to his commitment to the once in a decade redistricting process, a process that redraws the new congressional and state legislative districts through a reapportionment commission of which Webber is the Republican delegation’s Chairman to and his commitment to responsibilities in the Assembly as a member of the Labor and ever important Budget Committees.  The Assemblyman felt that now was the most appropriate time for him to step aside as State G.O.P. Chairman, focus on his other important responsibilitiesm and allow for the next NJGOP Chairman to get a head start in giving the critical pre-2011 election operations the attention that they deserve and require in the months ahead.

Jay Webber is probably one of New Jersey’s greatest political assets. He is an outstanding voice for conservatism, an unusually outstanding one for a state like New Jersey. He is additionally a dedicated and responsible representative of his legislative district. He is one of those rare political leaders who emanates a genuine sincerity of purpose and ability to boot. As such, he has been entrusted with the stewardship of many important tasks and therefore does indeed have much on his plate. So Webber’s claim to focus on such things as the ever important state budget and the critical redistricting that will effect elections for the next decade, is quite palatable. But seeing him resign his post as State Party Chairman is a loss and the Governor’s willingness to let Webber leave the post is a disappointing one.

During his less than two years in the position of Chairman, the NJGOP experienced its first statewide victory in 12 years, regained the 3rd Congressional District seat, won over 52% of the Congressional votes statewide in 2010; gained a State Assembly seat and a net gain of 22 countywide seats, regained control of the Bergen and Monmouth County Freeholder Boards; implemented an historic Victory program in 2009 that made over 2.3 million volunteer phone calls, knocked on over 170,000 doors, and recruited more than 3500 volunteers, raised over $4 million for candidates and party operations; and registered more than 42,000 new Republican voters.

While Chris Christie and the nationwide political trends against Democrats, Webber was surely not solely responsible for all of these successes but he most certainly was instrumental in maximizing our gains and organizing the means to take advantage of positive Republican prospects.

Webber’s replacement is expected to be Saddle River Mayor and Christie confidant, Sam Raia.

For his part Raia issued a statement crediting now former Chairman Webber with great success and vowing to build upon that success and to take back the legislature in this year’s elections.

To do so, Raia will have a lot of work to do. For now, considering the big shoes that he has to fill, he will need the support of Republicans throughout the state and the full cooperation of Governor Christie.

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Fire Nancy Pelosi Bus Tours Campaigns In New Jersey

Bookmark and Share   With five days remaining in the 2010 election cycle and all the trends and voting patterns set in stone, each side of the political aisle is now focused on only certain races with laser-like precision. Gone are the days where that hope for just a little more money to pull candidates in over the finish line. Gone are the chances for creating new strategies to win voters over and convince people that your guy or gal is the better candidate.

At this point in the campaign, all the cards are on the table. This year, for Democrats, that means, do all you can to cut the losses and focus on saving what competitive seats they still have a chance of maintaining, like long term incumbents Barney Frank of Massachusetts and John Dingel of Michigan. For Republicans it means, nail down those races that are toss ups and produce the gains that will take back the House and possibly even the Senate.

That’s why top Democrats like President Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden and even President Obama himself have had to stomp in the states and districts of incumbents and hit the trail for people like Barney Frank, or Virginia’s Tom Periello. These are seats that should be shoo ins, yet voter anger has them even at risk unless they can stop the hemorrhaging. But for Republicans, the story is quite different.

For Republicans, big names like Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint, Chris Christie, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and others are out on the campaign trail for people like Sean Bielat, Harold Johnson, Randy Hultgren, Sean Duffy and John Runyan, all virtual unknowns who are about to take down some of the biggest names in Congress.

Most of us live in the 400 or so , so-called “safe” districts where there is little if any race going on. As someone who has spent my life in the blue states of New York and New Jersey , I have usually resided in such safe districts, but this year, the Republican Rejuvenation of these midterm elections is bringing competition even to these states.

Case in point is New Jersey’s 4th congressional district. Incumbent Democrat John Adler is facing a race in an atmosphere that has him swimming  against the tide and Republicans are doing everything possible to insure that the tide beats him.

In those towns within the 4th district that are strongest for John Runyan, the local, state and national G.O.P. has been relentlessly gnawing away at Adler’s support and feeding a relentless cycle of energy that is electrifying the already enthused and exciting those who are normally not even involved in the election process. In just this week alone, popular Governor Chris Christie has attended two jam packed rallies for Runyan, he has taken part in two special teleconferences to address the hundreds of volunteers at different campaign headquarters who are manning the phones and providing the walking sheets for an army of more volunteers whom are going door to door. In fact, as residents of the 4th CD, Governor Christie’s own parents, are manning phones out of a local Mount Holly headquarters, leaving the governor to recently quip that his Dad is working harder for John Runyan’s election than he did for his son.

Today, in an unprecedented event, Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, even stopped by the district to campaign for Runyan.

The event which was part of the RNC‘s “Fire Pelosi” bus tour produced a standing room only crowd and fired up an already energized electorate.

Even I was moved by Chairman Steele’s words, and that says a lot, for although I had liked Mike Steele before he was RNC Chairman, I have found myself disappointed by his job performance as Chairman. Yet his performance today was exemplary.

He entered the Atlantis Ballroom of the Toms River Holiday Inn to thunderous, almost rock star-like applause, and from then on he had the crowd eating up every word with a mix of ideological fervor, commonsense logic, and a degree of humor that even had the reporters covering the event laughing out loud. (I saw you Zach Fink).

Steele’s remarks not only drove home the importance of defeating Democrats in this election, but he assured the crowd that the GOP has learned their lesson. He embraced and thanked the TEA Party movement for reawakening us to the principles we strayed away from, and promised that the Grand Old Party has come to understand that we can no longer compromise on spending or the size of government and that no type of big government is acceptable, not even “big government Republicanism”. He even credited the new class of freshman of Republicans for turning the Grand Old Party into the “Great Opportunity Party.”

Steele also reminded the New Jersey audience that it was they who has started this electoral revolution. He reminded the audience that it was the election of their Governor, Chris Christie, which helped set in motion the trend for the type of less government, less spending leadership that voters all across the nation are demanding this November 2nd.

The event gave a campaign that is already slightly ahead in the polls, an injection of unbridled enthusiasm, the type of enthusiasm that is needed to motivate the forces in the tiring days of a long campaign, the type of energy that Democrats and the forces of John Adler are lacking in their uphill battle.

Gone for the Adler campaign are the appearances by heavy hitters with star power. Gone for Adler is the expectation of making the over half a million contacts that the Republican volunteers for Runyan have made. Gone for Adler is the final injection of money from the Democrat National Campaign Committee for attacks ads against Runyan.

And if today’s rally was not enough, the same area of the district Christie and Steel have campaigned in, will be experiencing a major GOTV rally on Sunday as the TEA Party Express bus stops in Toms River with one of the biggest stars of the 2010 election, Sarah Palin.

As someone who has been assigned to work on targeted races in the past, I can honestly say that I have never quite seen the level of intensity that some of the most hotly contested races, like Runyan in NJ4 are seeing in 2010. It is all the culmination of Democrat leadership which has lurched so far to the left and demonstrated all the aspects which people hate most about politics and the process, that the electorate has become polarized to the point of seeing the choices as not being between the ‘left’ or the ‘right’ but rather between right or wrong.

For these reasons, all over the United States, unknowns like John Runyan will be taking control of Congress this January. The only question now is how much in control will they be in. Three weeks ago POLITICS 24/7 saw the GOP on a trajectory that provided them with 62 seats in the House and 10 or 11 seats in the Senate. On Friday, POLITICS 24/7 will release its final predictions along with an election night schedule that will help you understand what trends some of the earliest results will be pointing to.

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Chris Christie’s Bold Budget Makes Him A Leader, Not A Politician

Bookmark and Share   “Today, we begin doing what we promised we would do. The defenders of the status quo have already begun to yell and scream. They will try to demonize me. They will seek to divide us rather than unite us. But even they know in their hearts, if not yet in their minds it is time for a change.”

That is how New Jersey Governor Chris Christie introduced his first annual budget message to the state legislature.

In its entirety, the stated goals and planned path to prosperity in his proposed budget, stunned me as he spoke in words that I never thought we would hear come out of a politicians mouth.   As such, I found myself, for the first time, proud of a New Jersey Governor and even more surprising, proud of the the kind of Republican New Jersey has leading us.

In both the tone and content, Chris Christie’s speech was a shock to the political establishment that is certain to make him public enemy number one of special interest groups and the political class which feeds from the trough of special interests.

After confirming that New Jersey is both the highest taxed state in the nation and the state with the highest budget deficit in the nation, Christie hammered home the fact  that high taxes are obviously not solving any problems. In making this point, the freshman governor proceeded to unveil an in depth analysis of the problems that brought the Garden State to one of its lowest points in history and the way in which he intends to turn it around. His budget speech revealed a plan that did not use a scalpel to finesse the financial ruin that New Jersey lies in. Instead he proved to be  pulling out not just an axe, but rather a budgetary blowtorch that will scorch the earth that political excess, government waste, abuse, and out of control government growth, stands on.

Chris Christie’s budget slashing plan has no sacred cows and it contains no partisan focus, for even his own Party was called out when he accused both Republicans and Democrats of steeling $4.7 billion from the trust fund that was set up for state unemployment insurance benefits but spent for other purposes.

From there, Governor Christie proceeded to not just touch all of the third rails in politics, he grabbed them with both hands and ripped them from their deeply rooted foundations.

With the use of a very timely analogy, Christie told New Jerseyans and their legislative representatives;

“We have the worst unemployment in the region and the highest taxes in America, and that’s no coincidence. Is the way to fix that problem to make our taxes even higher? This has been their prescription for the last ten years and the job market in New Jersey is near death”

He continued……

“You changed doctors in November for this very reason now it is time to change medicine, too. Off the temporary high that comes from higher taxes and greater spending. Back to the hard, difficult medicine of fiscal discipline, lower spending and less debt which in your heart you know will lead to the greater long term health of our state.”

Where he powerfully discussed generalities, Christie made it clear that there was a new sheriff in town and that things will in fact be different. But in specifics, Chris Christie sounded as though he was keeping his promise to govern as if he planned on being a one term Governor unconcerned with winning the favor of the power brokers and the political establishment.

In that vein, the Governor proceeded to aim his words at every leading figure of every leading group that is draining the life out of New Jersey. And with sniper like precision, his words struck those entities right between the eyes.

To the state senators and assemblymen gathered before him in Trenton, Christie said;

“Ladies and gentlemen, I was not sent here to approve tax increases; I was sent here to veto them. And mark my words, if a tax increase is sent to my desk, I will veto it. It is time for the tax madness to end. The point is, we have tried that route. And it has failed. Previous administrations and legislatures have raised taxes 115 times in the last eight years alone. Raising taxes again on the people of New Jersey, the highest taxed citizens in the country, would be insane.”

To members of his Cabinet and the heads of state agencies, the Governor said;

“Every single department of state government will be reduced: Agriculture, down 24%; Banking, down 12%; Children and families, down 4%; Community affairs, down 35%; Corrections, down 7%; Environmental protection, down 2%; Education, down 8%; Health and senior services, down 6%; Human services, down 4%; Labor, down 6%; Law and public safety, down 7%; Military affairs, down 2%; The public advocate, down 25%. State, transportation and treasury, down 11, 3, and 39%, respectively.”

Those measures will close the existing budget gap by 2.9 billion dollars in savings.

In reference to state workers and unions, there too, the Governor failed to tip toe around their desires and demands and stated that in his budget…..;

“$3 billion in savings results from recognizing that our pension system must be reformed before we can or should fund a broken, out of control system. The pension system has been so generous that it has created a flood of liabilities. From 2002 to 2008, pension payments to retirees grew 56%, triple the inflation rate. Our benefits are too rich, most public employees contribute too little, and the taxpayers have had enough — enough of out of control pensions to public sector unions while they are losing their own jobs, enough of losing their homes, and then being told by the union bosses that they must pick up the tab for rich pensions at the same time.”

Christie even directly addressed one of the states biggest union, the teachers union.

In no uncertain terms he accused them of setting up two classes of citizens in New Jersey “those who enjoy rich public benefits and those who pay for them.” But he did not stop there. He continued to give the all powerful teacher’s union, a long overdue reality check and tongue lashing as he publicly put them on the spot;

“Political muscle fueled by intimidation tactics, political bullying and smears of public officials who dare to disagree. This conduct has set up an unfair system. Is it fair to have any public employees getting 4-5% salary increases every year, even when inflation is zero %, paid for by citizens struggling to survive? It is fair to have New Jersey taxpayers foot the bill for 100% of the health insurance costs of teachers and their families from the day they are hired until the day they die? Is it fair that teachers have a better, richer health plan than even state workers and pay absolutely nothing for it?

I believe rank and file teachers know this is not fair and that we can no longer afford to burden our taxpayers with these costs and runaway taxes. The union bosses will tell you, as they always have each time their empire is threatened, that they are protecting our children. This tired song has grown old and inaccurate. Is the way our children learn affected by whether the union gets free family health insurance for life for its members? Does a child learn more if the union gets 5% taxpayer funded raises every year for its members? This is nonsensical and self-serving and we all know it.”

 The scathing remarks prompted television cameras to scan the audience in the assembly chambers balconies and focus on the President of the New Jersey Education Association union president. Once fixed on her, the shaking of her head to the left and right and a tight lipped grimace were clear signs of her discontent with the Governor’s remarks.

But the Governor’s words rang true and they were perhaps the most brutally honest and aggressively critical language that any elected official has ever extended to any of the states over inflated wings of organized labor. They were the words of a leader not seeking political favor from special interests, but seeking to do what is best for the people who are abused by special interests.

And so in the Christie budget proposal school district employees will be required to pay for a reasonable portion of their health care costs in a way that according to Christie, is “just like every other New Jerseyan.”

He punctuated his proposal by stating;

 “If we do not end this dual system, state and local government will have to raise taxes endlessly to pay for it. Teachers are not the problem, they get it. Trenton special interests are the problem and we must stand up to them.”

There were many more powerful, verbal punches thrown by New Jersey’s new governor. But what they all amounted to was a budget for the fiscal year that does something that the budgets of few, if any other political leaders in America, do………..it stops playing politics with numbers and the state treasury and starts adding the numbers up responsibly and using taxpayers dollars sparingly and wisely.

Chris Christie’s budget and his budget speech confirmed something that he said when he took office just eight short weeks ago…..“change has come to New Jersey.” He promised that his time in office would not be business as usual, and so far, it is easy to see that he was not lying.

The Christie budget seeks to cut $445 million dollars in various forms of municipal, a proposal made after he told municipal governments to “get [their] acts together” because the state will no longer reward irresponsible spending. The Governor made it clear that only those municipalities that are showing transparency and cutting their budgets will be receiving state aide. All others will have to suffer the consequences of their own wasteful spending.

On this note, the Governor not only proposed a budget that addresses the immediate fiscal problems facing New Jersey, but also the long term problem. His contention is that the out of control spending and growth of state and local government got us to this point and to help curtail the problem from repeating itself, Christie proposed a “toolkit to protect taxpayers from property tax increases”.   That tool kit includes what he referred to as Proposition 2½ — a constitutional amendment to cap the growth of property taxes at no more than 2½% per year and also contains a constitutional amendment that caps the growth of state spending at 2½ percent per year.

Here, Christie put the Democrat led state assembly and senate on the spot again and urged them to pass these amendments so that the people could vote on them.

Christie’s presentaion was fearless and his lack of fear never dissipated at anypoint during his address. His budget speech called for civil service reform that will give all levels of local government, the choice to opt out of civil service. “That tool alone will save an untold amount of taxpayer dollars and make management of our towns better and more professional”, said Christie.

Among the governor’s other bold moves are the creation of a privatization board that will eventually take New Jersey state government out of the business of running things like the parking garages it currently owns and operates and turning its state run New Jersey television network (NJN) into an independent, not-for-profit network. Other goals include achieving savings by identifying other state operations that can be contracted out to “competent” outside firms.

Additional cost saving measures include the implementation of electronic benefit transfer cards instead of paper. A measure that would, among other things, crack down on Medicaid fraud, and in the case of state employee salaries reduce the cost of the process by going to a direct deposit system.

By the time Governor Christie finished his address, there were no stones left unturned and no government entity, state subsidized institution or old school economic political practice that was spared from his call for government to tame itself and for special interests to realize that the well is dry.

Chris Christie’s first major plan of action for New Jersey was a far cry from politics as usual. He did not try to ingratiate himself with powerbrokers or indicate to state lawmakers that he will not govern by trying to go along with them  to get along with them. He made it clear that the economic crisis that confronts us, leaves no time to play political games and leaves us with no opportunity to put off what must be done today, for another day.   Christie made it quite obvuiuosit that today is New Jersey’s day of reckoning and unlike state leaders of the past, this Governor did not place the burden on the people. He placed the burden on the people’s government.

In his budget, gone are the politics gimmicks that rob from Peter to give to Paul. And gone are any traditional attempts to continue pumping an unsustainable, unethical, illogical, and inappropriate, bloated, government by resorting to taxing the most overtaxed people in the nation even more.

Governor Christie proved himself to be just what New Jersey, as well as the nation needs. He stepped up to plate and showed himself to be not a politician but instead, a true leader.

His brand of fiscal leadership represents all that I as a Republican understand more Republicans must adhere to. It was more than just ideological economic policies. It was true fiscal responsibility based on true fiscal facts, not theory. The Christie budget plan adds and subtracts real numbers. Numbers untainted by political favors or promises or cloaking tactics.

The blunt and brutal truth underscored in Christie’s remarks amounted to a profile in courage of a an elected official who has finally decided to be a leader, not a politician. And in the end, it offered a ray of hope to those who have lost faith in government and come to believe that there are no longer any people of true character, courage and leadership, who are willing to challenge the political establishment.

It is becoming more and more evident that Chris Christie is such a person.

Click here to view the entire Christie budget address.  You will be impressed.

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New Jersey Democrats Take Gays For A Ride

Bookmark and Share    In a vote of 14 to 20, yesterday the New Jersey State Senate failed to pass civil rights legislation.

The entire episode was an exercise of disgusting political chicanery. It demonstrated several truths about Democrats in general, and also about the type of leader that Democrats have elected to be the next Senate President.

Democrats have been in control, total control, of New Jersey since disgraced former Governor Jim McGreevey was elected in 2001. In what turns out to be quite ironic, McGreevey had outed himself in a speech announcing his resignation which was prompted by financial irregularities and unethical conduct.  The admission that he was gay was simply done to distract from the charges that were about to bring him down. But during his time as Governor and since then, the state has been driven into utter despair, seen unions hold the state hostage and break the budget, seen the size and scope of government grow exponentially along with taxes, tolls and all other expenses, while businesses fled, unemployment skyrocketed and the quality of life plummeted. The bottom line is that Democrats have done nothing but make things worse while playing games and offering lip service.

Part of that game has been the exploitation of homosexuals.

In the last eight years of their stranglehold on New Jersey government, Democrats have done nothing but offer the gay community lip service. Year after year, on the issue of gay marriage, the homosexual community has been told ‘now is not the time for a vote on that issue, but next year we will take it up for sure’. Each of the eight ‘next years’ came and went as Governor McGreevey, Acting Governor Dick Codey and inept Governor Corzine neglected to make the issue a priority.

Yet in the final weeks of their monopol-ike control of Trenton, as a newly elected Republican Governor is about to come to town, now Democrats in the State senate finally acted.

 But why?

 The answer is that the Democrat Party could care less about the gay community and simply exploit them for support at election time.

If this were not the case, if Democrats sincerely believed their rhetoric, gay marriage would have been passed at any point during the last past eight years. If their was any sincere motivation behind Democrats supposed support for the gay community, one of the best and most appropriate symbolic times for them to have taken the issue up would have been shortly after disgraced Governor Jim McGreevey tried to distract from his political scandals by announcing that he was a “gay -American”.

But Democrats were afraid that thier hold on power was tenuous. So they refused to rock the boat on gay marriage. Instead they made promises and claimed their undying desire to see same sex unions be called “marriages

In coming Governor Chris Christie has made it clear that he would veto any attempt to redefine marriage as a union between anything but a man and a woman. That made it essential for Democrats to act now.

Even though Governor-deject Corzine failed to move any gay marriage initiative, he said he would, unlike Christie, sign such an initiative into law. So it was now, or if not never, at least not for many years, before gay marriage in New Jersey could sail through the legislative process and become state law.

Previously, Senate President Codey failed to put it at the top of the Senate agenda and several different Assembly Speakers also left the issue on the back burner. And even though the closing days of a Democrat administration that was supportive of gay marriage was upon us, they still hesitated to deal with the issue and cancelled and delayed hearings and votes on the issue.

So why was there suddenly a vote in the State Senate?

Revenge!

Quite unceremoniously, long serving Senate President and often on again and off again Acting Governor Dick Codey, was voted out of his position as Senate President in coup that was orchestrated by State Senator Stephen Sweeney from South Jersey.

Sweeney’s senate district is not quite as safe for Democrats as is Dick Codey’s is  North Jersey district  for him. So even though Dick Codey lost his position as Senate President, his chances of getting reelected to the senate are greater than Sweeney’s. So a vote by Dick Codey for or against gay marriage is not as pivotal to Codey’s reelection chances as it is to Sweeney’s. So while in his final days as Senate President, Dick Codey finally called a vote on gay marriage. He was essentially putting Sweeney, the man who dethroned him, between a rock and a hard place before he assumed leadership of the Senate. Codey was setting up Sweeney to start off his Senate presidency as damaged goods by forcing Sweeney to either offend gay voters and the their well organized political lobby machine or a vast number of voters in his district.

As was expected from the get go, gay marriage failed in the senate with only 14 votes for it and 20 votes against it.

But that final tally adds up to 34 votes.

There are 40 State Senators.

17 are Republican and 23 are Democrats. One seat is vacant and Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington), was absent for health reasons and Sen. Andrew Ciesla (R-Ocean) was absent for unknown reasons.

That leaves three votes to be accounted for.

Those final three votes were abstentions cast by three Democrats………Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), Sen. Jim Beach (D-Camden) and ironically, Democrat Senate President-elect Stephen Sweeney of Gloucester.

In what proved to be a profile of cowardice, the incoming Democrat leader of the Senate tried to dodge the challenge that the outgoing Senate President presented to him by avoiding a vote on the issue at all.

By avoiding an official position on the issue, Sweeney may think he outsmarted Dick Codey but all he did was wound himself even more.

The gay community will not forget Sweeney’s lack of support and voters in his district will be leery of him. But more than that, he will now assume office under a cloud of indifference and looking spineless. Not a very good position for a leader to be in during negotiations, an essential part to political leadership.

In the end, this entire tangled web of political gamesmanship has been a ridiculously insincere act that has made a sham of the legislative process. On top of that, aside from proving that the incoming Senate President is a spineless politician concerned more with votes than policies, he has also proven that Democrats simply see the gay community as a voting bloc to be exploited and counted on for votes at election time.

The facts prove it.

Eight years of total control and all Democrats have done is create wedge issues with such things as more severe penalties for crimes committed against homosexuals. The concept of increased penalties for hate crimes simply exists for Democrats to try to make Republicans seem anti-gay by having to vote against bills that are promoted as protection for gays but in reality are anything but more protection. The truth is that increased penalties for crimes committed against someone because of their color, faith or orientation, does not make anyone safer, it simply claims that crime and brutality committed against one person is not as important when committed against another. That is just wrong. But to force Republicans to go on the record and oppose such unfair legislation, allows Democrats to come out and say to the gay community…. ’you see they voted against you’.

Such a claim is untrue but the truth never deters politicians from exploiting an issue or group of people.

In the case of gay marriage, homosexuals were simply used by Democrats.

New Jersey Democrats hemmed and hawed about ever taking up the issue and after being in total control for eight years, they failed to consider gay marriage until it could be used as a way to get revenge. Then and only then did the issue of gay marriage come up.

Part of the problem is the gay community itself.

Gay men and women have placed themselves staunchly in the Democrat camp. Their unconditional support of all Democrats, has allowed them to be taken for granted.

Democrats have come to understand that the gay vote is in their pocket. So aside from using certain gay issues as wedge issues, there is little a Democrat has to do to get the vote of a gay man or woman. They are comfortable in the thought that no matter what they do, homosexuals will not vote for a Republican.

In many ways, the homosexual community deserved being used a pawn in a political game. They blindly support Democrat candidates. In many instances some are motivated more by the prospect of voting against a Republican than they are by the Democrat they end up voting for. But they do vote for that Democrat. No matter what.

This is a mistake.

Most Republicans are not anti-gay. Most…. not all, but most. Most Republicans also do not oppose recognition of same sex marriages with equal legal rights. What many do oppose is simply any attempt to redefine the commonly understood and established meaning of the word marriage.

I for one support domestic unions.

I support maintaining the traditional definition of the word “marriage” as that of a union between heterosexuals and the term “domestic union” as that of a union between homosexuals.

This is not a ‘separate but equal’ position as many liberals have come to argue. There is a difference between the two hereWhen we distinguish one individual as a man or a woman, or a boy or girl, are we promoting a separate but equal policy? When you celebrate Christmas do you call it St. Patrick’s Day? There is a difference between each of the two examples stated. A man or a woman are both human but one is a male and the other is a female. Christmas and St. Patrick’s are both holidays but they are distinctly different type of holidays.

In the end, the distinction between the makeup a heterosexual and homosexual “union” is there. What is not any different is the existing love and commitment that exists. That is something that many Republicans do not deny. For that reason, many Republicans do support equal recognition of both type of unions and equal treatment of both unions under law.

Oddly, one man who has received wide support from the gay community has a similar view.

President Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that he believes marriage is something that is reserved for a man and a woman. This did not stop gay men and women from voting for him in pluralities that approach that of the 94% total of the African-American vote which he received in 2008.

Perhaps, the gay community which accuses the right of being uncompromising, should stop acting hypocritically and refusing to accept same-sex partnerships that are treated equally by the law but distinguished by there make up.

Another thing that the gay community must begin to do is stop being so monolithically devoted to a political Party that is exploiting them and taking advantage of them. The example that New Jersey Democrats have offered them drives that point home.

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