Sunday, June 07, 2009

LG Choice Is Historic Opportunity

Chris Christie's choice of Lieutenant Governor candidate is an historic opportunity for New Jersey and for the GOP.

So far the rumoured short list misses the opportunity. The Star Ledger reports that Christie's short list is comprised of Bergen County Clerk Kathleen Donovan, state Senator Diane Allen, Congressman Frank LoBiondo, Assemblyman Jay Webber, former Congressman Mike Ferguson, and state Senator Joe Kyrillos. They are all fine people, but none of them would be a bold choice that would transform the gubernatorial race or the GOP.

Christie should appoint a minority leader to be his running mate. An accomplished black or hispanic Republican.

That there is not a deep bench of black or hispanic Republicans is an indictment of the NJ GOP. We have surrendered a large voting block because we didn't think we could compete with the Democrats who throw money at the minority community but do nothing to improve their education or employment opportunities. On the contrary, Democrats success in the minority community is a function of keeping those communities dependent on government largess. We haven't offered Republican solutions to our failing cities and schools. Shame on us and it is about time we did.

If Christie is going to make urban school choice and expanded charter schools a hallmark of his campaign, he will need a credible messenger for those communities to win their votes, and to gain their cooperation in reforming the system after being elected.

This is the right thing to do. It would also be good politics. A credible minority leader campaigning for urban reform would weaken Corzine where he is strongest. Making New Jersey's urban school districts actually educate kids while eliminating the wasteful spending will divide another of Corzine's core constituencies, the NJEA. The suburban educational establishment is hurting as a result of Corzine's waste in the Abbotts. Christie can win a significant portion of that constituency.

Last month I suggested Buster Soaries. That suggestion alarmed Corzine so much that he put the good pastor on his own short list.

Leonard S. Coleman, Jr, may be an even stronger candidate.

Mr. Coleman is the former president of The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs. Mr. Coleman signed on with Major League Baseball in 1992 as executive director—market development.

Previously, Mr. Coleman was a municipal finance banker for Kidder, Peabody & Company. Prior to joining Kidder, Mr. Coleman served as commissioner of both the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and Department of Energy, and chairman of the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. He was the vice chairman of the State Commission on Ethical Standards and a member of the Economic Development Authority, Urban Enterprise Zone Authority, Urban Development Authority, State Planning Commission and New Jersey Public Television Commission. Mr. Coleman also has served as president of the Greater Newark Urban Coalition.

From 1976 to 1980, Mr. Coleman worked in Africa in mission service for the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, providing management consultant services in health care, education and church and community development in 17 African countries.

Mr. Coleman received an undergraduate degree in history from Princeton University. He also earned a master’s in public administration degree and a master’s in education and social policy degree, both from Harvard University.

Mr. Coleman serves on the board of directors of The Omnicom Group, Cendant Corp., Aramark, Churchill Downs and Electronic Arts. He also serves as a director of a number of other organizations, including the Children’s Defense Fund, The Metropolitan Opera, the Schumann Fund, and Little League Baseball.

Mr. Coleman is chairman of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. He is a former chairman of the board of trustees of the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief and the United States chairman of the Bishop Tutu Scholarship Fund.

I don't know if Soaries or Coleman would even accept the position. However, these are the types of people that Christie should be recruiting as his running mate, into his campaign and to serve in his administration.


Anonymous said...

Love both, though Coleman may have passed his time: we kept losing, so he had nowhere to go, really..agree on "bold" (oh, please, NOT Joe K.), but if Corzine stays in, and picks Newark's Mayor Corey Booker, just fold up the tent, and it's then,everybody else under Christie, for him or herself!.. sad, but true.. this will NOT be a walk in the park by any stretch, and those still in happy-primary-nirvana-time, better snap to it, and QUICK!!

Art Gallagher said...

Coleman is 60. Hardly past his time, assuming he is healthy.

Booker won't be Corzine's LG. He could be his replacement.

Anonymous said...

don't mean age, mean political life-span, which can be short: not too many left who remember those halcyon days of actually having a gov., a majority-legislature, actual, qualified cabinet-level appointees, etc..if Booker's the replacement, please, start buying cars from Mr.Curley, and FEAR Director John( AlGore) D'Amico!

ambrosiajr said...

Its a national problem for the GOP Art, not just one for the NJGOP. At your convention last year, there were 36 African-American delegates out over 2000. That's just disgraceful. Then, to counteract the election of our first African-American President, you come out with Steele as the head of the GOP. Not too transparent there, is it.

I like Coleman. He's a decent man.

But you can't just trot out an African-American for the election. How do you plan on getting that block to vote for you? What can you offer as solutions to the inner cities? School choice and Charter Schools can only go so far. And, you would still have to get it past the legislature. (As you know, I am a proponent of school choice and of charter schools).

Art Gallagher said...

Its a national problem for the GOP Art, not just one for the NJGOP./

Agreed Rick. But I have the NJGOP's ear. Not so much the nation. Why not start here? Especially this year when we have their attention.

But you can't just trot out an African-American for the election. How do you plan on getting that block to vote for you?

Again agreed. I'm not talking just politics here. I really want solutions.

School choice and charter schools are a huge first step. We will also need adult education. We need to create an environment of opportunity and incentives. Not handouts.

We need to recruit center-right blacks and hispanics into the party and empower them to come up with solutions. They know that problems and the players a lot better than us white folk.

And, you would still have to get it past the legislature. //

That is why the politics is so important, and why it will take time. The GOP needs to compete for the hearts and minds of the minority community.

stopthesocialists said...

Guys like ambrosiar crack me up. Typical left wing drivel blaming the GOP for the lack of blacks in their ranks. Why not look at it from another perspective. What does it say that most blacks gravitate toward a party that specializes in income redistribution, government handouts, government dependency, perpetuation of poverty, discouraging personal responsibility and on and on? Why is it that many, so-called "black leaders" denigrate such brilliant black Republicans like Thomas Sowell, Ward Connerly, and J.C. Watts? The Republicans choose a respected, capable person like Michael Steele to head the RNC, and ambrosiajr derides that. If they didn't pick Steele, he'd be whining, "the Republicans picked another white guy, blah blah, blah." I think blacks should give the Democrat Party a patented Art. G. GFY for keeping them mired in poverty for all these years and helping to destroy the once solid black family unit. The only thing the GOP is guilty of is not selling their superior platform to blacks, not for excluding anyone.

ambrosiajr said...

Well, Art...there's one problem.

Art Gallagher said...

Only one?

ambrosiajr said...

Oh no, there's plenty more..but people like STS are part of your problem, like MoveOn is part of ours. With that kind of mentality, its not a wonder why you are having such trouble reaching out.

Thanks for not giving me the ol' GYU Art.

ambrosiajr said...

That should be not giving me the ol' GFY...geez...

Art Gallagher said...

Good For You, Rick.

What did you guys think I meant?

stopthesocialists said...

C'mon ambrosiar stop with the snide, superior one-liners and respond to my earlier post. Why do you "tolerant" liberals bash guys like Sowell and Steele? Better yet, show me where I am wrong in my post WITH SPECIFICS!

ambrosiajr said...

Funny how you denigrate "most blacks" because in your eyes...they "gravitate toward a party that specializes in income redistribution, government handouts, government dependency, perpetuation of poverty, discouraging personal responsibility and on and on?" ..yet defend the few that you feel are conservative. Even though in California, it was shown that the black vote was responsible for Prop 8. Does that not show that the black family is still alive and well with some conservative principles? Please explain to me what your party has done to cultivate a minority base. Bet you can't, because you haven't. And stop me if I'm wrong STS...but it was you who mentioned the word "superior", not me. Not to mention you hide behind such a stupid moniker that its almost laughable. Must be easy to say whatever as long as you can hide. Maybe you should man-up and start using your real name now. Oh, yeah, like that will happen. You'll just keep ranting and raving instead of having a discussion, all the while using a fake name. And then you expect to be taken seriously? What a joke.

Tom Scarano said...

How insulting. When will we stop playing race politics and just pick the most qualified person?

stopthesocialists said...

I thought so ambrosiar - you have nothing. Prop 8 has nothing to do with the black family unit. I'm talking about something around 75% of black babies born out of wedlock, chronic absentee fathers, one in four black males, indicted, on trial, or in jail, etc. all thanks to the "progressive" policies of your beloved Democrat party. Still waiting for the end of poverty due to LBJs Great Society, too. Why do you say that it is denigrating to point out that most blacks vote Democrat - a party that has perfected taxing and social spending? It's a fact, not a "denigration." The sad part is, many blacks have been so conditioned to vote Democrat over the years, they don't realize that they are exacerbating the problems in the inner cities, not addressing them. The GOP has the REAL answers to those problems - all they have to do is articulate it through people that you write-off, like Steele, Sowell, Rpy Innis, etc. But the liberal media sees them as a threat to the Democrat monopoly, hence, the silencing through marginalization. And btw, I like the web name - it encompasses my mission in life. Feel free to adopt "perpetuatethesocialists" as yours. You have my blessing.

Art Gallagher said...

When will we stop playing race politics and just pick the most qualified person?/

When race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation is no longer a consideration for voters.