The choice of New Jersey’s next governor–will we make the same mistakes?

Phil Murphy--crowned already?
Phil Murphy–crowned already?

2017 is an election year in New Jersey. We will be electing a governor.

What has the catastrophic 2016 election taught us?

Not much, apparently.

While it’s not clear who the Republican candidate will be, Phil Murphy, a former Goldman-Sachs executive, already has all but bought the Democratic nomination. The same way Jon Corzine, another Goldman-Sachs alumnus, bought the nomination in 2005, thereby helping to give us Chris Christie four years later.

I supported Hillary Clinton and voted for her, but only after Bernie Sanders lost. While I have no special insight into the catastrophe of Tuesday night, it’s been clear for a while that voters have been suffering from the perceived lack of options. Voters clearly were looking for change.

I agree electing a woman president would have been a revolutionary change, as Clinton said. But, to many in the Sanders camp, electing another Clinton, like electing another Bush, electing another neo-liberal whose “third way” policies went out with Bill Clinton and Tony Blair,  was just too much of the same thing.

My great hope was that, with the Republican Party crumbling into a pit of racism and xenophobia with its unhinged candidate, Sanders, a self-avowed socialist, could have been elected. My great fear was that, with the Democratic Party only pretending to hear the Sanders message, Clinton would lose to a certifiable maniac–someone now just two months away from the nuclear codes.

But that’s all over now, baby blue. Donald Trump is the president-elect and, if he doesn’t incinerate us all in a fit of pique, he has promised to resurrect the idea of massive block grants to the states. It’s more important than ever to keep state government away from Chris Christie’s corrupt Republican Party.

I don’t think another neo-liberal from the elitist center-right wing of the New Jersey Democratic Party is what the state’s people want or need, even if he wins.  Buying the support of county leaders of the Democratic Party is hardly a new beginning for the state.

I am not promoting anyone else. Many potential candidates ran away from Murphy’s money–sweeping the field the way Corzine brushed aside Dick Codey more than a decade ago. Murphy already has the endorsement of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), granted without much of a debate among union members–and we saw how the NEA’s and AFT’s instant endorsement of Hillary Clinton over Benire Sanfers helped.

But can’t we at least have an illusion of democratic procedure before Murphy is crowned? Just so last night wasn’t totally in vain? Or repeated?

  1. On the contrary, last night’s election results may serve as a precedent.

  2. Calling Frank Pallone.

  3. Yeah, I’m not happy about this. Phil’s fine, but his move to subvert the democratic process by buying the election is very, extremely, messed up.

  4. We don’t have much luck with governors here in Jersey land. All that being said, with Trump in charge, we do not need another GOP governor. Enough already.
    Hillary won the popular vote by a little over 200,000 votes (59,938,290 to Trump’s 59,704,886). Nearly 60 million Americans thought it would be a good idea to have Trump as president?!

  5. The only thing that is sure is that Guadagno allowed Christie to run roughshod over the statehouse and state government and never opened her mouth until she saw an opening to run for governor. Her tacit approval of Crooked Chris Christie speaks volumes about what kind of governor she would be and don’t forget she has some scandal baggage of her own, she is no friend of the middle class or unions and must not be elected governor!

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