Last month, I published a diary expressing my support for Bill Baroni in the 14th District due to his clear and unequivocal support for immediate ethics reform in the face of a stubborn, slow-moving Democratic majority
But this was before “Common Sense America” happened to the 14th District. And tonight, Loretta Weinberg’s comments really got me thinking.
If Common Sense America were true to its word and its true to its agenda, it would be targeting me and my outspoken record of gay tolerance. But they won’t and the reason is because they get their marching orders from the Republican Party.
As much as I want to see some Republicans go to Trenton to keep the bad Democrats out and the good Democrats honest, I cannot vote that way this year. And it’s all because of Common Sense America.
I cannot in good conscience vote for Bill Baroni, Adam Bushman, Tom Goodwin or any of the 14th district Republicans knowing that Common Sense America will use their victory to claim credit for their “values.” It would be much better to have to shame the Democratic majority in Trenton than to have Republicans beholden to the naked emperor that is Common Sense America — no matter how much they profess not to be.
It’s a dilemma for sure. Tom Moran wrote recently that New Jersey is faced with the unfortunate choice of putting the state in worse financial disrepair or handing a victory to those who are anti-stem cell and anti-open space. It’s sort of the same choice we face in the 14th.
Seema Singh has been questioned on her ethics, been derided as an inept campaigner, and repeatedly criticized for her comparisons of Baroni to George W. Bush. The first two points are valid. The third, well …
The unions have come out swinging for Baroni at every opportunity. But I recently had a discussion with one typically nonpartisan, politically ambivalent union member whose local endorsed Baroni over Singh. She told me that when she received a call from her union reminding her to vote Baroni, she told them they should be ashamed of themselves. That sometimes you must look beyond your own pocketbook. That Baroni continues to support this President and an endless war in Iraq and that there are more important things than a going the right way on a few union votes.
Which touches on Singh’s current (albeit too late) campaign theme of ‘Baroni: Bush Lite,’ and the broader point of my protest vote against this group that tacitly supports Baroni. Sure, people like Bill Baroni and he votes favorably on certain issues. But some things are more important, like, say, Iraq to that particular union member.
And so it is with me and Common Sense America. Beating them is more important to me right now than beating a Democratic majority that is too slow on ethics reform. And so I will vote for Singh, Greenstein and DeAngelo this Tuesday.