The New York Post can be sensationalistic right-wing trash, but it can also identify the most significant issue and not make excuses for people who don’t deserve it. Here’s an article that’s worth a read – “Corzine, Cash & Corruption:”
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine really has no shame.
Just hours after Bergen County’s longtime Democratic machine boss, Joseph Ferriero, was convicted Thursday on three federal felony corruption counts — which could land him in prison for 20 years — New Jersey’s governor proudly defended having written him personal checks totaling nearly a half-million dollars.
That’s right: Corzine, the Wall Street multimillionaire, and his family have funneled no less than $441,600 of their own money to keep Ferriero’s arrogant political machine rolling.
And Corzine claims to be leading the charge of ethics reform in the state.
During Thursday night’s final gubernatorial debate, Corzine claimed — with a straight face — that “when I have written checks to the Bergen County Democratic Organization, it is not to Joe Ferriero.”
Tell that to anyone who knows Jersey politics; Ferriero practically ran Bergen County single-handedly.
Corzine insisted that he “took on Joe Ferriero myself, long before the federal prosecutors.”
Yet, as one observer put it, if taking on Ferriero meant giving him nearly $500,000, feel free to take us on anytime.
Now there’s a ton more about Corzine’s association with corruption that any interested resident of New Jersey can look up for themselves. The Asbury Park Press, in endorsing Christie (whom this blogger is voting for), makes the decisive case against Corzine’s record:
New Jersey continues to have the highest property taxes, second-highest sales tax rate and third-highest top income rate in the nation. Corzine increased the sales tax from 6 cents to 7 cents, raised the top income tax rate to 10.67 percent, increased tolls on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike and watched as the state’s unfunded liabilities — pensions, health care and debt — continued to soar.
All states have felt the impact of the worst economic downturn in more than 70 years — as Corzine likes to remind us. But he has taken no responsibility for the state’s fiscal mess, which he has made worse by rolling over for the state’s public employee unions and squandering two major opportunities to rein in public salaries and benefits.
“Rolling over” doesn’t even begin to describe how much Corzine has done for the unions – his ads only pander to their talking points, and the editorial makes it clear that we do not have the luxury of a weak, ineffective governor:
Meanwhile, the [during Corzine’s term] recession hit and the economy went into the tank. New Jersey, whose unemployment rate reached a 32-year high last month, continues to bleed jobs. Less than a year ago, in November 2008, the state’s unemployment rate of 6.1 percent was well below the national average of 6.8 percent. Today, New Jersey’s rate is the same as the national rate, the highest among neighboring states and the 35th highest in the nation.
Corzine’s failures haven’t been confined to fiscal matters. He has had a disappointing record on the environment, energy policy and smart-growth planning. He has tried to solve the state’s transportation problems by widening its major highways rather than focusing on getting people out of their cars and into mass transit. He has failed to enact important ethics reforms, including strict limits on pay-to-play. He ended the promising experiment with publicly funded legislative campaigns. And he wants to continue wasting taxpayer dollars by expanding mandatory preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds to every district in the state — a plan temporarily slowed by the sour economy.
Funny thing is if you read that editorial, it’s even more damning – it goes through a number of cases in which Corzine specifically failed, and your mouth just drops open at the sheer amount of incompetence. I’m not entirely thrilled with the Press of Atlantic City’s endorsement of Christie, as it pretty much endorses him because Corzine isn’t as adamant about issues that benefit the gambling industry there. The Courier-Post, my local paper, is much more effective in its endorsement:
This election also represents a chance to oust a governor, Jon Corzine, who has shown over four years a surprising willingness, for someone self-funded in his campaigns, to lay down for all the special-interest, mega-campaign donors who basically want everything in this state to stay exactly as it is. The unions that represent government workers continue to think their members should eat caviar on the taxpayer dime when the state can barely afford hot dogs. They are foremost among the groups Corzine has bowed to.
These unions may think New Jersey is just fine as it is, but the rest of us know better. The state is broken, and change is needed. The continual exodus of people and businesses for greener, cheaper pastures in other states is a testament to that. The back-breaking property taxes are a testament to that. The corruption is a testament to that. The perpetually failing urban schools that cost us billions each year and face no real mandates for change are a testament to that.
Only one quibble with the Courier Post: there are lots of people in Jersey who don’t realize that the state is broken; the ones that do realize it are for the most part leaving. A major reason why I’m blogging about how bad things are and endorsing a particular candidate for governor is to show the facts are out there, and they don’t favor Corzine. Yet Corzine’s saturation of the television market with his awful ads – as of October 7th, he was outspending Christie 3-1 overall – has a lot of people who really should know better demonstrating otherwise.