You know the motto about not talking about religion and politics? Well, it may be a bit of an exaggeration, but if you are not discussing one or the other, I might as well go to sleep. There is nothing more invigorating than a good blow-for-blow political discussion (we’ll leave the religious discussion for another time). So it should not be surprising to learn that I talk politics with many people and one thing has become crystal clear to me during this election cycle: The gubernatorial candidate that is the best choice for New Jersey in this election is Jon Corzine.
The contrasts between the Democratic and Republican candidates could not be more pronounced than they are this year. Be it where they stand on social issues or the economy, the candidates’ positions are distinctly different. I might even compare them to the differences I saw during the 2000 presidential campaign between George W. Bush and Al Gore.
Remember that election? I was working for Al Gore’s campaign as his business leader coordinator for New York state. At that time, everyone in my office knew we had the better candidate. It was obvious. He was smarter and stood on the side of social issues that we all did. When he lost, I silently prayed that Bush would not be so bad. He was. In fact, most people I know would agree that Bush’s presidency turned out to be so much worse than anyone could have imagined. His administration violated the Geneva Convention’s prohibition on torture of prisoners of war, it failed to provide timely aid to Hurricane Katrina victims, and it ignored constitutional guarantees of the right to counsel and habeas corpus. Much of the Bush administration’s failures came as a direct result of cronyism — the president’s filling important offices with incompetent “folks” who were friends of his. Which brings us to Chris Christie — one of those appointments.
I believe a Christie administration would be for New Jersey not all that dissimilar from what the Bush administration was for our country. Christie, like Bush, is against funding stem cell research, a woman’s right to choose, and gun regulation.
Moreover, given the current economic climate, should we elect someone who will not be able to work with our federal government for the benefit of New Jersey? Unbelievably enough, Christie has expressly stated that he would not have accepted the stimulus money from the federal government to help our state climb out of economic strife.
Corzine is well respected by the Obama administration and is working with them to New Jersey’s benefit. Corzine not only accepted the stimulus money, he preceded it with one of his own. He had the first economic recovery plan in the nation, so by the time the federal money was coming in, we already were up and running, able to utilize federal funding effectively. I was excited to see construction workers on my road working to replace the 200-year-old underground pipes. The work came as part of the stimulus package that not only replaced outdated pipes, but in doing so provided jobs to construction workers and to those who manufacture and transport construction materials.
Christie has no record at governing or making the kinds of decisions that affect our state’s relations with Israel and other areas of foreign policy. The Corzine administration has a history of investing in Israel and divesting from Iran. He helped lead the nation in divesting its public funds from any foreign company that was connected to Iran and signed legislation making the New Jersey-Israel Commission a permanent part of New Jersey’s landscape.
Corzine is a friend of the Jewish people and has been successful in supporting Jewish family values, such as expanding health coverage to 90,000 more children in the state and passing legislation for paid family leave. He is the only governor in six decades to reduce the state budget without losing sight of family values. He has vision, integrity, and a moral compass for which we as a state can be proud.
Corzine or Christie? The choice is clear: Corzine, four more years!