I love Senator Ray Lesniak. He was a warrior in the fight for marriage equality from the beginning. He’s for gun safety. He’s a fellow Rutgers graduate who’s always promoting our alma mater. He’s an unabashed liberal.
But I’m disappointed in his reluctance to support his legislative and party colleague, Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula for a post on the state’s Board of Public Utilities. If the reporting in PolitickerNJ is true, Lesniak is waffling on that support because Chivukula had the temerity to throw his hat into the ring for the seat that’s being vacated by Rush Holt. Lesniak was supporting another candidate. Lesniak is practicing petty politics at the expense of the people of New Jersey.
Chivukula is an engineer by trade and chairs the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee. He would bring a unique set of skills to the BPU position. He understands both the technical and regulatory morass that influences the BPU’s energy policies in the state. He’d be an excellent addition to that board.
But he’s not some wide-eyed anti-corporate liberal. Chivukula is quite capable of balancing the needs of the consumer while understanding the constraints that a for-profit utility must operate under. I can’t think of a better person to work these tough issues than Upendra Chivukula.