Saturday, October 31, 2009

comments on the NJ governor's race

So I haven't been blogging much lately, but again real life got in my way :-) That and the fact that we in New Jersey don't have off year elections. We're in a very ugly race for governor, and Jon Corzine needs all hands on deck to get him re-elected because God knows what the batshit crazy Karl Rove protege Chris Christie would do to this state. We also have all of the state assembly up, and one freeholder in this county up. I'll be relieved when it's all over on Tuesday, but I'll be even happier if we can get at least one (of the 6 in the county) Assembly seat, freeholder, and governor.

I just wonder if that the campaigns have done all they could. I have a few major gripes with the Corzine campaign, as well as the assembly in my district. First I'll gripe on the Corzine campaign.
Corzine brought President Obama here to NJ to campaign for him in July, last week, and again tomorrow (yay I am going!). Now President Obama had some brilliant campaign strategies that should have been also used for Corzine. First of all if you're bringing the president into town, you are going to get a high turnout. The venue for President Obama's initial visit was changed, and ultimately was moved to one that held about 17K. The campaign should know that he could pack the house for a larger crowd. A better venue would have been Rutgers football stadium which holds at least three times that amount.

I also would have put strings on the tickets for the Obama (and VP Biden and President Clinton) events. Last year President Obama brilliantly gave away tickets for his DNC speech in Denver (video's here if you would like to watch) to people who were willing to volunteer for his campaign. Governor Corzine's campaign could have easily done the same thing, and would have had teams of canvassers, phone bankers, etc.

I also have issues with the way he handled my county. It's one of the larger counties in the state, and has a very diverse population-- demographically, economically, and politically. Naturally the wealthier areas lean Republican and the working class areas and inner cities lean Democratic. Corzine's done events in areas where you could count the number of registered Democrats on one hand, yet has largely ignored places like AP and LB, that has a high ethnic population who voted in large numbers for President Obama last year. It almost makes me sad that the campaign wrote off M county because even though we probably won't win (it's a very purple county that Obama lost by 3 points last year). But unlike a presidential election where states have a winner take all electoral vote policy, that does not work in statewide elections with the various counties. So even if you can't carry the county, look at the cities and municipalities within the county and see what you can realistically carry, and maybe stage a rally in one of those towns.

Ultimately I like Corzine. He's a very liberal guy, and I don't understand why everyone hates him. Unlike his predecessors, he did not push problems under the rug, and actually dealt with them. Some of the solution to these problems included finding ways to pay for them (such as raising taxes) but he's working on a long-term solution to the problems instead of a quick fix. Do I think that the Democrats would have had a better chance if Corzine had been primaried? Yes. But am I going to not vote just because the candidate at the top of the ticket is unpopular? HELL NO!! The stakes in this election are too high. A win for Chris Christie (R) would mean that NJ will probably not have the public option for healthcare, our schools privatized, our treasury (whatever's left) raided to give out tax cuts to the rich and corporate handouts. Besides the GOP is becoming such a marginal party now (and I am loving every minute of it), and I really don't want them to use this race as momentum for 2010 and 2012.

Get out and vote everyone.