Some of us here are fresh off a blogger call with Gov. Jon Corzine. My impression is he’s getting his game face on:
I hope you are all as convinced as I am that progressive politics is on the ballot.
Corzine named the stakes:
Marriage equality …collective bargaining …the Death Penalty stays repealed …we expand health care at the state level … close achievement gaps at the state level.
Two factors, he says, combine against him. First, our economic and budgetary problems, though he pointed out that the state cut $4.5 billion from its 2010 budget and mixed news we’ve gained 13,000 new jobs last month, despite higher unemployment rates.
Corzine also points to the political corruption story dominating the news. Corzine sees the underbelly; politicizing the US Attorney’s Office, pursuing mainly Democratic politicians, connecting money-laundering rabbis with politicians through a single informant, the internal investigation of the department. And possible violations of the Hatch Act in Christie’s political relationship with Karl Rove.
But, Christie’s narrative has always been easy to grasp:
New Jersey is broken and I can fix it. I am law enforcement and I know how to stop corruption, and get the worst offenders out of government.
I’m paraphrasing, but that’s essentially it. The longer we get to know him, of course, the more shot with holes that elevator speech is. But understanding that is a function less of simple declarative sentences, and more a thing that requires paragraphs of explanation, to tell the story of how Chris Christie’s career as United States Attorney – the only thing in the world he has to run on – is in fact, a troubling history. Corzine spoke of pattern:
They have this RGA [Republican Governors Assn.] ad: Watch what he does, not what he says about me. But it couldn’t apply more appropriately to my opponent. Gave out no-bid contracts while he chastises them, in pay-to-play gave out plenty as county Freeholder, there’s his own failure to report on taxes, the Hatch Act maybe violated… there’s a rubric, doing the opposite of what you preach.
Follow me to the jump for Corzine on Chris Daggett.