Wednesday, June 01, 2016

And You Think 2016 Has Been Dirty... New Jersey Prepares To Take Center-Stage


George and Chris-- cut from the same cloth

-by Parsippany Pete

One of the screw-ball things about Garden State gubernatorial politics is that the elections occurs in the year immediately following the long, long Presidential campaign. Oh, and it's a microcosm for much of what's wrong with electoral politics: corruption and apathy.

For example, in 2009, many Americans (Democrats in particular) were emotionally moved by the inauguration of America's first black president. So moved that many stayed home the following November to allow for a loutish and nasty right wing authoritarian over-eater, Chris Christie, to win the Drumthwacket residency in deep blue New Jersey, albeit very narrowly (48.5-44.9%)

Similarly, in 2013, after reelecting Barack Obama by a healthy margin (58-41%), many Democrats stayed home (and some due to nefarious deal making) and allowed for Governor Bridge-Ayatollah to be re elected (against progressive champion Barbara Buono) with historic margins (60-38%). How could deep blue NJ do this, you may ask?

Well, mostly, it's all due to corruption. Particularly, corruption on the part of South Jersey Mafia-like boss and Christiecrat George Norcross along with his Essex County and Hudson County junior partners-in-crime, respectively Joseph DiVincenzo and Brian Stack.

Nor cross's ruthless, predatory machine gave rise to the flawed Jon Corzine's governorship because of one thing: Corzine's Wall Street fortune. After years of building heinous credit default swaps for Goldman, Corzine leveraged his cash to buy Norcross's machine-- and first a U.S. Senate seat and then the gubernatorial mansion.

Once Corzine's governance gave him the credibility and like-ability of a used car salesman, it was clear to Norcross that his power play was to get behind the Republican version of Ralph Cramden, corrupt deal-maker Chris Christie. Yes, on paper, machine boss Norcross (and his cronies around the state) claimed he was behind Corzine (and then even behind Barbara Buono) but the truth was, Norcross needed to get his guy into the governorship, and that guy, was pay-to-play tub-o'-lard Christ Christie.

So what does that mean for 2017? Will Norcross find a Republican to get behind? Nope, not this time around!

He will begin-- in fact, already has begun-- to rally behind his legislative creature, state Senate President Steve Sweeney-- best known to Democratic voters as Chris Christie's partner in crime for the last 7 unhappy years.

Sweeney, a former union boss (building trades), is actually a sad fellow to observe. If he were tapped on the right side of the head, he'd look left, and if told to jump, he'd ask how high. Perfect pliant tool for someone as dirty and brutal as George Norcross.

But Sweeney has severe electoral liabilities, particularly in a Democratic primary. For one, even passive Democrats know he's been Chris Christie's willing accomplice, and Christie's statewide approval rating is now at an astonishing 26%! One can only imagine what it is with Democratic primary voters.

Furthermore, there is talk of potential criminal activity in Sweeney-land (not that that's ever stopped a New Jersey politician) so that may cause Norcross to look elsewhere once the rotund and greed-driven Sweeney's already diminished star begins to really start to fade.

Then, there is Phil Murphy, former ambassador to Germany. He is unknown to most voters in New Jersey and recently announced he was launching a gubernatorial campaign with $10,000,000 worth of his Goldman Sachs fortune. Seems all too similar to Corzine, right?

Well, he's certainly recognizing that is the main problem in his way. NJ Democrats remember the Corzine days and don't remember them in a good way. Unless Norcross punts Sweeney down the Delaware River and adopts Murphy-- not impossible given the fact that Norcross could then use his cash down ballot rather than on the gubernatorial race-- it's unlikely that Murphy will do anything other than buy tons of television and the 25% those points that will get him. More so, his votes will come from the less machine entrenched northern part of the state, allowing for Norcross to have an even easier time of sliding someone through.

Then there are candidates like the saddle opportunistic John Wisniewski who is nothing more than a distraction and may not even make it past debate season without being laughed off the stage.

Someone who I still believe could shake things up is Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop. A self made man (and former marine) Fulop worked on Wall Street briefly, and left because he hated it so much. He instead went to go fight in Iraq and then attempted to take out the vile and corrupt Robert Menendez in a failed congressional bid. Steve beat a very entrenched incumbent scum bag mayor in 2013 and has built a very aggressive, very progressive platform as mayor of one of New Jerseys largest cities that he can certainly run on, offering a clear choice to the boss-backed garbage candidates.

Fulop will need to build a strong alliance with the mayors of New Jersey's urban population centers (a process he seems to already have underway) for him to have a prayer. But don't count this guy out.

Mayor Fulop

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