promoted by Rosi
In New Jersey there is a lack of accountability for officials occupying high level positions in every layer of our government. There is no popular vote for our Attorney General or State Auditor. Our county prosecutors, State Treasurer, and Supreme Court justices are all appointed positions. Their decisions and policies aren’t influenced by the will of the popular electorate; they are shaped by the wills of one person: the Governor. We are promoting a system where high level officials aren’t shaping policy in the best interest of their constituents. Instead, they are tailoring their actions to best assure re-appointment within the ideological spectrum of the administration.
Instead of the public weighing in on the credentials, experience, and education of an official through a popular vote, deals are cut in the back room to pay back loyal members of your party or a generous donor. Now this is not to say we are faced with prosecutors in New Jersey who don’t deserve their office; I’m saying they need to be accountable first and foremost to the people of their counties, not the Governor’s office.
On the county level we elect a clerk, a surrogate, freeholders, executives (in some places), and sheriffs. Like the Attorney General on the statewide level, we do not elect county prosecutors. This never made any sense to me. How can we elect people to issue passports and deeds, but not a person to implement criminal policy? In my opinion a clerk or surrogate are largely non-partisan positions, whereas a prosecutor from the two parties can espouse very different views on how to attack poverty, crime, and social justice. The people should be given a voice to pick who that person is in their county. New Jersey needs more accountability, not centralized power in the executive branch.