State Sen. Loretta Weinberg told a small but enthusiastic crowd of Jewish supporters in Woodbridge that they should elect her running mate, Gov. Jon Corzine, because his “core values” were in line with Jewish values.
Weinberg (D-Dist. 37) is running for lieutenant governor with Corzine, who is seeking a second term.
“He reaches out to all the social concerns we as Jews and Democrats support,” she said Oct. 12 at a National Jewish Democratic Council fund-raiser held at the law firm of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer.
Besides, Weinberg pointed out, Corzine’s reelection would make her first in several areas — including being the state’s inaugural lieutenant governor.
“I’m proud to be the first Jewish grandmother running for lieutenant governor and to be able to run for office as Jon Corzine’s partner,” she said.
The NJDC event, which drew some two dozen attendees, was held as rival Jewish outreach groups focused increased attention on Corzine’s close race with Republican Chris Christie and upstart Independent Chris Daggett. The Republican Jewish Coalition has begun advertising in Jewish newspapers and canvassing voters in the state on behalf of Christie and his running mate, Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno (see separate story).
Event cochair June Fischer of Scotch Plains, a longtime Democratic activist, said the gathering was organized to inform the community about the Corzine-Weinberg ticket.
“Jon Corzine is the right candidate for the Jewish community,” she said. “He is pluralistic and supports many issues important to the Jewish community — reproductive freedom, gay rights, keeping prayer out of public schools.”
Another cochair, Larry Stempler of Livingston, said Corzine has a strong stance on ethics reform. “He and Loretta stand for integrity and decency [and] his values are inherently Jewish values of tikun olam,” said Stempler, “Health care is high on his list [along with] stem cell research and divesting from Iran.”
Roy Tanzman of Kendall Park also said Corzine shared Jewish values, saying the governor strongly supports education. “He’s always been there for the Jewish community,” said Tanzman, president of the NJ State Association of Jewish Federations, who attended the fund-raiser in a private capacity.
Weinberg cited the governor’s humble beginnings as the son of sharecroppers who worked as a day laborer to put himself through college, eventually becoming CEO of Goldman Sachs.
“He knows he is privileged and wants to give back to the people of New Jersey,” she said. She drew laughs when she added that while Corzine is Methodist, “he must have some Jewish blood because we share the same values.”
She said the governor was on the right track in guiding the state through a difficult economy by instituting the first statewide stimulus plan, had made strides in education, and had helped to rein in health-care costs through a state and federally funded child health-care program.
Weinberg also stressed Corzine’s strong support for Israel, noting he had made the New-Jersey Israel Commission — of which she is a member — an official entity within the Department of State and increased investment in Israel Bonds.
The NJDC declined to provide the amount of money raised at the event.