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Quinnipiac Poll: Corzine leads 50-43; Dems seen as more corrupt

While a new Quinnipiac University poll claims that Corzine’s lead is widening to 50-43 (from 48-44 on 9/28), it’s really just confirming the 6-8 point race that other polls have been pointing to for a while. Corzine’s lead among independents is 50 – 38. Both candidates have seen their favorability ratings fall due to the constant stream of negative ads.

Also, the poll finds that Democrats are seen as more corrupt:

By a 50 – 22 percent margin, voters associate the Democratic Party with corruption, rather than the Republican Party.

There’s corruption in the state. Democrats are in power. Those who don’t act deserve the blame for not doing everything to end the corruption. Unfortunately for the good Democrats, most voters aren’t so discriminating – they won’t check each politician’s voting record. We’re still waiting for a complete ban on pay-to-play at all levels. What are they waiting for? Until they do everything in their power (and they are in power) to end the corruption, they are part of the problem, not the solution.

“We ought to ban it from the schoolhouse right to the governor’s chair,” Corzine said in the debate last night. Why hasn’t Governor Codey taken the same position to ban ALL pay-to-play?

Debate #3 open thread

The 3rd gubernatorial debate will be held at TCNJ at 7PM. It will be broadcast live on WABC-TV and WPVI-TV in New York and Philadelphia, respectively as well as Univision. It will also be on the radio stations 87.7 FM, WABC-AM, WTSR-FM.

Questions for the participants will come from TCNJ students and reporters. The candidates will also get to question one another.

Joining Corzine and Forrester tonight: Libertarian Party candidate, Jeffrey Pawlowski, and by Hector Castillo, of the Education Not Corruption Party.

UPDATE: Video of the debate is now online.

Rush Holt is commenting on the debate over at the Corzine Connection:

A mistake?
When asked to cite a mistake, Doug Forrester refers to his time as mayor for two years in the 1980s (the only office he’s ever held) not to talk about the tax increases he levied, or the suburban sprawl that his successors have spent twenty years trying to get under control.  Instead, he tried to make it an issue of family values.

Ignoring it won’t make it go away

Philadelphia Inquirer (10/17):
Forrester contracts tied to entities that aided his candidacy

Associated Press (10/17-18):
Forrester business contracts tied to GOP party politics (2), (3), (4)

Associated Press (10/18):
Forrester defends his business ties to GOP officials

Star Ledger (10/18):
Democrats repeat pay-to-play charge

The Press (10/18):
Forrester accused of pay-to-play deal involving Gormley’s son

Courier Post (10/18):
Burlco Democrats tout GOP pay-to-play

The Record (10/18):
Pension woes worry candidates (end of article)

Care to explain, Doug?

Nobody’s talking about the real problem

Home Rule.

It might have been a good idea a hundred years ago, but its usefulness is long gone. Yet we’re stuck with this vestige of our past, and we’re paying dearly for it. Literally. “Home rule” is defined by wikipedia as “the granting of powers from central government to government at regional or local level.” Practically speaking, this means that:

…each town is pretty much responsible for everything — everything — that happens in that town. You want your streets sweeped? Each town gets it’s own street sweeper.

The same goes for police, schools and trash collection. New Jersey has way too many levels of government. There are more school districts (611) than there are municipalities (567).

Here in Princeton, we actually have two Princeton’s – the doughnut, Princeton Township surrounded by Princeton Borough in the middle. There are two local governments in an area less than 20 square miles. Luckily, the school district and recreation department are shared between the two. But many other services, like the police forces are not, and that’s a classic example of the problem…

Move On Poll

For those of you who are on various email lists as am I, perhaps you have gotten an email asking for your vote as to wether or not Jon Corzine deserves a MoveOn.org endorsement.

I like MoveOn and am baffled by them even asking us the people if we want them to endorse him.

Senator Corzine’s record speaks for itself.

So why don’t we all take a little time and click on over to the MoveOn poll and say YES! Endorse Jon Corzine.

Loudly, proudly, and next time DON’T EVEN ASK!

Forrester busted in pay-to-play deal

As reported by others, after basing his entire campaign on ending corruption, government waste and pay-to-play, The Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday busted Forrester and his company for wasting taxpayer money through pay-to-play deals:

While running for governor, New Jersey Republican Douglas Forrester has received $3.4 million in business from a Burlington County agency tied to the GOP machine that helped make him the party’s gubernatorial candidate.

Moreover, the government contracts awarded to Forrester’s company were brokered through the son of a powerful South Jersey Republican, State Sen. William L. Gormley, who also played a key role in Forrester’s nomination.

Forrester’s company, BeneCard Services Inc., was chosen by the Burlington County Special Services School District to manage its prescription-benefits program in 2004 and again in 2005. Since 2003, Forrester has contributed nearly $60,000 to county Republican coffers.

The school district selected BeneCard even though other companies offered lower costs for each year, and it renewed the contract this summer despite a 37 percent price increase by BeneCard.

Princeton Packet on Holt visit to Drinking Liberally

(Cross-posted from Princeton’ Drinking Liberally blog)

Holt makes case for Corzine
By: Marjorie Censer, Staff Writer

Speaks before town-gown Drinking Liberally group

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) made his case for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jon Corzine in front of a crowd Thursday at Drinking Liberally, a weekly, progressive event.

 The meeting, held at The Annex on Nassau Street, was the largest yet for the recently formed organization.

 Rep. Holt praised the members of the group for their already active involvement, but said they must do more to ensure Sen. Corzine’s victory in November’s election. He said people initially took for granted that Sen. Corzine would win, but now that his margin over Republican opponent Doug Forrester has narrowed, it’s time to get involved.

 “He won’t win unless we do our part,” Rep. Holt told the crowd of more than 50 people. “I know I don’t need to tell you, because you’re out here, but you need to tell others.”

 Rep. Holt praised Sen. Corzine’s commitment to a grassroots campaign and to his emphasis on involving individuals.

 “If we don’t restore a sense of government by and of the people in the state, a victory on Election Day is pretty empty,” he said. “The reason I’m so excited about Jon Corzine is he gets that.”

 Princeton University students and townspeople alike attended the event. The Princeton Drinking Liberally organization is one chapter of nearly 100 in the national club. It meets weekly at The Annex; its first meeting was Sept. 15.

 State Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Princeton Borough) came to the event to meet with Rep. Holt and the local attendees. He said this was not his first Drinking Liberally event.

 “This is a very important election,” Assemblyman Gusciora said. “It will control the direction of New Jersey the next four years. It’s very encouraging when you see the turnout.”

 Juan Melli, a Princeton University graduate student and one of the chapter’s founders, said he was thrilled with the event. Though the organization typically holds unstructured discussions, he said Rep. Holt did an excellent job of addressing the crowd. Mr. Melli particularly praised his explanation of the campaign.

 “To a lot of people, that was useful,” he said.

 Rep. Holt remained after his brief address to talk with the attendees. During his speech, he asked audience members to talk to their friends and keep them involved.

 “Lapsing into apathy, as too many Americans are doing, will give us the government we deserve,” he said.

Any Bergen County volunteers out there?

Can you confirm or deny this? (from The Inside Edge):

Update: I called the BCDO and they wouldn’t say anything. The person I spoke with gave me the number to Victory 2005. Still no denial or confirmation.

Update 2: In response to an email inquiry, Erin Corcoran, coordinator of the Bergen County Democratic Organization, says that the rumor “is not true at all”.

Update 3: Three sources confirm that Wally Edge’s report is not true. One source was in the BCDO HQ and said that volunteers were making calls that mentioned Jon Corzine.

Taking a dive in Bergen?

Insiders are wondering whether Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero will seek a measure of revenge on Jon Corzine by keeping his army of field workers on the sidelines between now and Election Day. Corzine, of course, hurt Ferriero dearly by backing Loretta Weinberg’s successful bid to replace Byron Baer in the state Senate. A Bergen source now reports that Democratic volunteers in Bergen are being instructed to make phone calls only on behalf of the two Democtratic candidates for freeholder, incumbents David Ganz and Bernadette McPherson. Corzine’s name has apparently been cut from the script. A Bergen loss is a tough pill to swallow for any statewide candidate. It’s the state’s biggest county and has backed every statewide winner, with one exception– Corzine in ’00, who lost Bergen by 5,000 votes. But there’s a potential risk for Ferriero as well. If a poor Corzine showing topples Ganz and McPherson, the Democratic freeholder majority will shrink from 6-1 to 4-3. And that would position Democrat Valerie Vanieri Huttle, who will finish out the last year of her freeholder term even as prepares to enter the state Assembly, to side with the Republicans on votes crucial to Ferriero, in effect stripping the chairman of control of the board.

How to deal with local Democratic cronyism

Ive recently turned my political attention to the local level and I am quite dismayed with the blatant cronyism apparent therein.  What I find most disturbing is that this is under a Democratic administration.

I live in Rutherford in Bergen County.  Our mayor, also a freeholder, and members of her council, have been known to garner jobs/appointments for family and friends.  For example, during the tenure of one such council member, his brother-in-law landed a job in the police force and his sister as a school nurse.  There are also rumors of an illicit affair involving the mayor, but that is hearsay.  

Some citizens of the town tired of the environment and switched party affiliation to run as Repubs.

Is that the best way to deal with cronyism on the local level?  I have been interested in running in town though I would rather not run on a party ticket with any affiliation to Forrester and Dubya.  Additionally, the Democrats in town are riding on the coattails of Corzine which makes it difficult to criticize one and not the other.

Basically, what is the best way to change the local party from within without indirectly benefiting the Repubs?  There is the Green party, but nobody seems to take them seriously.

Jersey’s Illiberal Democracy

Wikipedia lists the absence of democracy, or so-called illiberal democracy, as a condition that is favorable to the development of political corruption.  Can we make a case that New Jersey is an illiberal democracy?  Let me count the ways.

Technically speaking, an illiberal democracy could be any democracy that is not a liberal democracy. However, the term is almost always used to denote a particularly authoritarian kind of representative democracy, in which the leaders and lawmakers are elected by the people, but tend to be corrupt and often do not respect the law.

Well, New Jersey does have elections, so the people do, indeed, elect the leaders and lawmakers.  Well, at least we elect a Governor that gets to appoint a whole lot of leaders.  So we have the first part covered.  Do our leaders “tend” to be corrupt?