Saturday, May 18, 2013

Another Sort-Of Democrat For Another Sort-Of Governor

It's hardly a tsunami, but is another bad sign for Barbara Buono, the bold state senator who has chosen to take on New Jersey governor Chris Christie in November's election.   During Friday's visit by Governor Christie to a small Burlington County municipality

“I am still that liberal, but my job is to do what’s best for the residents of the City of Burlington and in doing that, I have to maintain the support for Governor Christie,” Burlington City Mayor Jim Fazzone said today. “We need him to lead the state.”

Fazzone is the fifth Democratic mayor to endorse the Republican governor’s bid for a second term. Christie will likely face state Sen. Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, in November.

Christie said Fazzone’s endorsement is of particular importance because Burlington City is in the 7th Legislative District, which is represented by Republican Sen. Diane Allen and Democratic Assemblymen Troy Singleton and Herb Conaway. It’s considered one of the few legislative swing districts in November.

Fazzone said he got to know Christie during superstorm Sandy and admired his “organizational and administrative skills.”    Blue Jersey blogger vmars writes

A liberal doesn't back someone for Governor who opposes a woman's right to choose over another candidate who supports it.
A liberal doesn't back someone for Governor who wants to reign in worker's rights to organize over another candidate who supports these rights.
A liberal doesn't back someone for Governor who proposes tax cuts for rich people while reducing aid to schools and towns over someone who wants to increase aid with a millionaire's tax.
A liberal doesn't back someone for Governor who vetoes same sex marriage for purely political reasons against someone who voted for the same bill.
A liberal doesn't back someone for Governor who wants to deny bail to people indicted for any violent offense against someone who doesn't.
A liberal doesn't back someone for Governor who delays implementing medical marijuana laws against someone who voted to legalize medical marijuana.
A liberal doesn't back someone for Governor who wants to use public funds to private schools with no government oversight over someone who doesn't.
A liberal doesn't back someone for Governor who backed out of the RGGI in the face of science against someone who supports greenhouse gas reductions.
A liberal doesn't back someone for Governor who takes money from affordable housing to fill a budget gap (while proposing tax cuts) against someone who opposes such raids.

Sure, Christie threatened to “take the bat out on” 77-year-old state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck), called Democratic Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle "a jerk,"  publicly called a reporter "an idiot," called a 34-year old man (whom he wasn't aware was a Navy Seal) an "idiot," and, aiming to set the public against devoted government employees, accused teachers of "using the students like drug mules."  But Governor Christie's belligerence, and hostility against anyone who would question him, is more a question of character- which the governor singularly lacks- than policy choices he has freely made.

Vmars notes Christie's opposition to reproductive freedom, but he has gone beyond opposition to abortion rights.  Joshua Henne, described as "co-founder of White Horse Strategies, a communications and political consulting firm, and spokesman for One New Jersey," last year explained

In 2010, with the stroke of a pen, Gov. Christie eliminated a $7.4 million budget line that provided basic reproductive health services. This money helped support critical care and cancer screenings for more than 135,000 patients. It covered clinical breast exams and Pap tests. When cutting this line item, Christie said it was necessary for “fiscal discipline.” Yet, research shows family planning saves taxpayers approximately $3.75 for every $1 that’s invested. So, when Christie eliminated the funding, it myopically meant New Jersey taxpayers could essentially be on the hook for an additional $28 million in Medicaid spending.

Always a trendsetter, Christie was ahead of the curve by putting reproductive rights on the chopping block. Last summer, when the Legislature approved a budget that included restoring women’s health funding, he again slashed $7.5 million in family planning services. Christie even had the temerity to say his budgets provide full funding for women’s health. Apparently, the governor’s dictionary fails to include Planned Parenthood or other reproductive health-care providers in its definition of women’s health.

But, it’s not just about whether Christie believes in a woman’s “right to choose.” It seems he doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to ... well ... anything. Last year, Christie cut $486,000 in grants to Hispanic Women’s Resource Centers and another $450,000 from a postpartum education campaign. He also slashed funding for the Paid Family Leave insurance program, saying it was overfunded. The state has still failed to spend the money mandated by the Legislature to advertise the program and provide outreach. All the while, Christie refuses to even contemplate a millionaire’s tax and has given tax breaks to mall and casino developers even as he claims the state coffers are bare. It’s clear where his priorities lie.

The argument against the re-election of Chris Christie is easy to make, and will be made by Buono, to anyone who will care to listen.  Unfortunately, the sound of Democratic mayors willing to sell out their constituents may be more impressive to a media which continues to be entranced by the New Jersey governor.

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