This latest agreement typifies Corzine's pattern of addressing budget shortfalls by stopping well short of what needs to be done to put the state back on a firm financial footing. Underlying it is the hope the economy will recover sufficiently to offset the obligations imposed by his deferred-pain fiscal strategy and the mistaken notion that New Jersey will be just fine once the recession ends. New Jersey was in dismal shape before the economy turned south. Corzine's half-measures have made things worse — today and well into the future.
Strangely, the APP did not address why Corzine folded when he held all the negotiation cards -- to prevent a CWA picket line at his campaign rally with Vice President Biden. At least Bob Ingle addressed the politics of the Corzine cave.
Also in the APP editorial pages today, Doug Forrester's 2005 campaign director, Sherry Slyvester, is still justifying Forrester's loss to Corzine. George Bush and Corzine's money are to blame. It had nothing to do with "30 in 3" or the last minute use of Corzine's scorned ex-wife warning New Jersey voters about what a bad guy Corzine is.
Sylvester does a nice job telling us what we already know--that the only thing Corzine has going for him is his money. She reminds us that in the last two weeks of the 05 campaign that Corzine spent $1.5 million a day to convince NJ that "40 in 4" was better than "30 in 3."
Corzine got his money by taking Goldman Sachs public over the objection of his partners. That got him fired from Goldman. There is no question that he will spend $20 or $30 million to try to keep his current job.
For better or worse, New Jersey's campaign finance laws will prove to be as ineffective as they are ill advised in the upcoming campaign. As we saw in the primary, both sides will spend lavishly on unregulated "issue ads" funded by Washington, DC based partisans who are not subject to NJ ELEC restrictions.
It won't matter how much Corzine spends if he doesn't turn his poll numbers around by September, because he won't be on the ballot. He'll be the U.S. Secretary of Toll Roads, Ambassador to Kenya, or White House Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of Teleprompters.