This Tuesday, June 2, 2009, is the Gubernatorial Primary. The projected Republican winner is Chris Christie. Jon Corzine, current NJ Governor, is running unopposed. New Jerseyians are not happy about the state of the economy in NJ. I cannot blame them for being upset. There is a great deal of talk about ousting Jon Corzine in hopes that a new leader can get things out of the red.
I was just saying to a friend at work the other day that maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to elect a new governor. Can it really get any worse? Maybe someone new might just have the answers. However, the more I read about the Republican candidates, the less likely I am to vote against Jon Corzine.
I do not blame Jon Corzine for the budget problem in NJ. Almost every other state in the US is facing budget deficits. The entire US economy is in turmoil, although it appears things may be getting better. Other states have had to take drastic measures to balance their budgets. NJ is in the same boat. I do not like the fact that Corzine seems to be trying to solve the State's budget problem on the backs of state employees, most of whom are suffering with the economy just like everyone else. State employees are facing further "temporary layoffs" (unpaid furlough days), a wage freeze and possible permanent layoffs. But is Chris Christie the answer?
Chris Christie has already stated that he would cut the State workforce to help solve the budget situation. It's not the "workforce" that's the problem. It's the "non-workforce," the political hacks that exist in State government, every party's appointees that never leave, that is part of the problem. Chris Christie has said over and over that he will cut NJ's taxes, increase employment, and make NJ a better, less expensive place to live. However, Christie has offered very little specifics on how he will achieve these goals. It's very easy to say what you're going to do until you're actually in office trying to do it! I can make the same promises Christie has made, even though I have no idea how to get it done.
On a more important issue for me personally, Christie has already said he would veto any law allowing gay marriage. Corzine, on the other hand, has supported gay marriage rights. NJ has come so far in granting equality to same-sex couples that NJ should not take two steps back on this issue. NJ has to move forward and grant total equal rights for gay couples.
So do I really think NJ needs a new leader? I am not so sure at this point. I truly believe Jon Corzine does have NJ's best interest at heart. I do believe he supports State employees and I know he supports gay rights. It is going to be a very interesting next few months in NJ politics.