Thank you for joining this seminar on what it means to be “qualified” to be governor of New Jersey. As you’re probably aware, former Gov. Tom Kean famously says Barbara Buono is a “nice lady” who is “not qualified” to be governor. So we should talk about the men and one woman who served as governor in the last 50 years and see what sort of qualifications they had and compare those qualifications with Sen. Buono’s.
Former Gov. Tom Kean has done a “disservice to every single woman who wants to enter politics,” says Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono. Kean had patronizingly dismissed Buono, a state senator who has served 20 years in the Legislature, as a “nice lady” who is “unqualified” to be governor.
First, the editorial department publishes an endorsement in which it unethically suggests that voters choose a man it clearly believes is unqualified to hold high office because he is a “fraud” and a “catastrophe.” Now, the same editorial department, just a week later, publishes a sickeningly sexist comment by former Gov. Tom Kean in which he pats Barbara Buono on the head and calls her a “nice lady” who is “unqualified” to be governor.
Just as a trial court in Trenton was about to release potentially embarrassing—and possibly explosive—documents about the Christie administration’s involvement in the quashing of indictments against powerful Republican allies, the Appellate Division saved the day for Gov. Chris Christie. And, maybe, saved the election.
What is extraordinary about today’s Star-Ledger editorial endorsing Chris Christie is that it invites readers to follow an immoral—or, at least, amoral—path: To vote for a man its anonymous author points out is “hostile to low income families” by raising their taxes and “sabotaging” affordable housing. The writer asks us to vote for a man who is a “catastrophe” for the environment and “fraudulent” in his budget. The newspaper concedes he is destroying our independent judiciary. New Jersey’s largest daily further asks us to embrace someone who is at least borderline corrupt because he made sure a friend won a no-bid state contract.
Betrayal. That’s what it’s called when people or institutions on which we rely turn against us, deliberately or inadvertently. One story today on the front page of The Star-Ledger illustrates two seamlessly interwoven examples—betrayal by the press, on which we rely for truth, skepticism and independent perspective, and betrayal by members of the judiciary, on which we rely for justice.