Promoted by Jason Springer: A very candid take from Senator Weinberg on the race that was. Thank you for the shout out and for running.
Let’s get the negatives out of the way first: We lost! Property taxes, unemployment, property taxes, property taxes. That was it in a nutshell.
To some of my colleagues whose egos might be a little out of control: Ray, was it really necessary to trash the Governor within 24 hours? Perhaps if you had joined us just once on one of those 18 hour days on the campaign trail, we might have gotten a couple of more votes out of your home base. Dick, did you have to share that White House anecdote? We could have saved that one for “the book”. How about the party officials who couldn’t join us for a very graceful concession. And how about that Jeff Tittel? He seemed to go out of his way to be mean and condescending. The Sierra Club endorsement is one thing – your meaness of spirit another altogether. Jeff, it’s not ALWAYS about you!
Now to some of the more positive recollections: Our stars who were always there in full force. Thank you to Assemblywomen Annette Quihano, Linda Stender, Grace Spencer, Milla Jassey, and Nellie Pou, Senators Theresa Ruiz, Nia Gill, and Mayor-elect of Camden Dana Redd and to Mayor Colleen Mahr of Fanwood, Mayor Wilda Diaz of Perth Amboy, Mayor-Elect Toni Ricigliano of Edison (who must be related to half her constituents), the “WeDo” women of Passaic County, the Demo women’s groups of Bergen County and of Essex County and so many more. To our Congressmen Frank Pallone, Steve Rothman, Donald Payne and Bill Pascrell who joined us many times on the campaign trail. Another “shout out” to our two Senators Lautenberg and Menendez.
Of course, our President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton gave us so much of their time and insight. I’ll tell you in my next posting what he suggested to me to follow up. Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Shultz and Loretta Sanchez joined us on the campaign trail and made women elected officials very proud. Fran Adubato runs a great progam in Newark. The labor community could not have done any more to help us. Charlie Wowkanich, Laurel Brennan, Ray Pocini and the building trades and my personal favorite, Buzz Dressel, were fully involved. The labor
bus with “the painter and insulator guys” was not a bad way to get around.
The campaign was energizing and I thank the Governor for giving me a wonderful opportunity to travel the great state of New Jersey, to meet many terrific NJ citizens, and for giving me a statewide voice to talk about the family values we share. I wouldn’t change a moment of it…..oh yes, except the losing part!
I have so many anecdotes to share and hope to do that over the next few weeks. Jason Springer and Jay Lassiter along with those brave breast cancer survivors met me at the street fair rain and all. So we used pink umbrellas and carried the hand-colored pink Corzine/Weinberg signs right up the street.
The various Garden State Equality headquarters were always filled to the rafters and their members worked tirelessly. DFA came through for the Governor and me with a resounding endorsement. Rosi sent emails of encouragement. That picnic in Willingboro where I met 92 year old Miss Lizzie who is still actively engaged in civic life and their wonderful Mayor Jackie Jenkins. All those unairconditioned headquarters where folks worked in the heat of summer and never gave up. THANK YOU.
My friend and colleague, Rocco Mazza, put more than 12,000 miles on his trusty car. Rocco, the GPS and I traveled together for three months sometimes 14 or 18 hours a day. The only thing I got tired of was the voice in the GPS! My own campaign protectors Tory Singleton and Cecelia Fassano, made me feel comfortable every step of the way. Sometimes, there was a little too much “hovering” from the staff, but hey – it was great being part of an effort which had common goals.
Would I change anything? Perhaps better communication on the really good things Jon Corzine did these last four years. Perhaps one or two positive ads spelling these out a little more clearly. But that’s all hindsight. I thank Governor Jon Corzine from all of us for working his heart out for New Jersey’s residents.
Let’s now join together with a newly installed Assembly, a newly organized Senate and figure out what the voices of our party should sound like; how we address the people’s mistrust of their elected officials; how we make sure we have together taken a strong stand against corrupting influences in our body politic; and how we work with a Republican Governor on the things necessary to improve the lives of New Jersey residents.