Thursday, June 04, 2009

Post Primary Musings

Thank you for your calls and letters. I'm fine. Business kept me from posting yesterday. and statcounter tell me you kept checking in for my post primary comments. Thanks for waiting and coming back today.

The Primary

No surprises here with Christie and Corzine winning.

Lonegan's showing with 42% of the vote is respectable. Christie's 13% margin of victory was significantly smaller than Quinnipiac, FDU and Monmouth/Gannett predicted. Rassmussen, who has Christie leading Corzine by 13% in a post primary poll, came closest of all the pollsters, predicting 11%.

Steve's showing and the fact that Christie had to fight as hard as he did, especially after sweeping the conventions, sends a message that I hope the GOP establishment, both nationally and in NJ hear and heed.

The message is not a question of conservative vs moderate. Rather, it is a call to produce a smaller and less wasteful government that serves the people, not a government that serves career politicians, government workers and special interests. The GOP failed to deliver that the last time it controlled Trenton and the last time it controlled Washington. Now we must deliver. That is the message.

The Acceptance Speeches


Fortunately, Chris Christie got the message. In his speech, which can be viewed in three parts on youtube, Chris promised to tackle the problems facing New Jersey head on and produce results, where others have worked around our structural problems and made them worse.

I was very pleased that Chris chose to highlight education, and his commitment to making New Jersey's education system work in his speech. I hope he makes it the highlight of his general election campaign.

Patrick Murray's Monmouth University/Gannett poll indicates that New Jersey voters' #1 concern is property taxes. The property tax problem will not and can not be brought under control without fixing education. New Jersey voters know this.

Since the Abbott decision, billions of dollars have been flushed in to 31 school districts for salaries, construction and overtime to school bus drivers for the time spent charging their cell phones. The dollars are making school administrators, teachers, construction companies and other interests wealthy, but they are not educating the kids.

The residents, parents and children of the former Abbott Districts know this to be true. Suburban parents and property tax payers know it to be true. The disparity between urban education funding ( it is not aide, it is funding) and suburban education funding is at the point to where it is putting the quality of education in suburban school districts at risk.

By transforming the measure of "thorough and efficient" from dollars spent to kids learning, New Jersey can create a bright future to families and children who are now weeping when they win the charter school lottery. We can also solve our statewide property tax problem. Chris Christie should make such a plan to cornerstone of his campaign. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is smart politics.


Then only thing surprising of note about Corzine's speech is that the state workers unions held a gun to his head for a sweetheart deal by threatening to picket the event. Vice President Joe Biden reportedly told Corzine that he wouldn't cross a picket line to give his endorsement speech. Rather than to continue to negotiate, Corzine caved to the unions and promised no layoffs. How can anyone take the right to layoff workers off the table in this economic environment? That was a completely irresponsible concession. The unions agreed to a wage freeze and 10 furlough days.

Corzine and the Democrats made it clear during the primary that they don't want to run against Chris Christie. They did that by spending $1.2 million to try to derail Christie's nomination.

Corzine still doesn't want to run against Christie, so he is going to run against George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft (a reference to the Deferred Prosecution Agreements that Christie award while he was U. S Attorney).

President Obama and Vice President Biden will be in New Jersey lots to help Corzine.

Corzine will make abortion, and somewhat surprisingly, gay marriage, an issue in this campaign.

Christie wins the abortion issue by calling for the ongoing reduction of abortion and the prohibition of late term abortions. That is now the mainstream popular position.

He wins the gay marriage debate by calling for equal rights for all people, but distinguishing marriage as between one man and one woman. Corzine will have a problem with this issue as Christie's position is closer to Obama's than Corzine's is.

On his record, Corzine doesn't stand a chance. However, this will be a race and Christie is the underdog because of the Obama factor and most importantly money.

Corzine will spend as much as he has to in order to create the public perception that Christie is an out of the mainstream Bush/Cheney clone who is ethically challenged. Corzine's ego can't stand the thought of being fired from both Goldman Sachs and not re-elected Governor. He will spend what ever he thinks he has to.


MikeGSP said...

"The property tax problem will not and can not be brought under control without fixing education. New Jersey voters know this."

They do? I'm not sure about that, Art. If they believed that why didn't GOP voters vote for the guy who would have really done something about it?

I didn't watch Christie's speech, but did he say he was now for spending on a per pupil basis? If not, how can he or anyone for that matter claim he's going to reduce property taxes? And even if he did say it how can we believe him?

Art Gallagher said...


How long will it take you to finish licking your wounds and get on board?

Yes, Steve talked about reforming education funding, which I am all for. But only Christie talked about the "moral failure" that the Abbott system has been.

Fixing the funding without deliverying the goods to the kids still leaves us with a tragic situation, albeit a cheaper tragic situation.

As the song says, "Come together, right now."

MikeGSP said...

Art, I am on board with ideas, not men. Christie must earn my vote.

Lonegan was also for vouchers that would have addressed failing institutions and helped provide kids with a chance.

By the way, 'Come Together' is not one of my favorite Beatles songs. Perhaps, 'Here, There and Everywhere' more befits Mr. Christie, though!

Anonymous said...

Earn your vote? Has Corzine earned your vote? Has Corzine earned you not voting for the person running against him which in essence would be a vote to keep him in office?

Give me a break pal. If you are going to cry in your Cheerios for the next 6 months and not vote for Christie than you are not a real Republican. There I said it.

This election is all about the ABC's. Anyone But Corzine

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