You know what, punk? I’m tired of you, too. I’m voting for Buono.

ChristietiredI am voting for Barbara Buono to take New Jersey back from the “bipartisan,” billionaire-funded coalition of bullies, punks and cowardly sycophants  who are using the state as a testing ground for a future national assault on the welfare of the poor, working people, and  the middle class. That makes voting for Buono Tuesday an essential act of  patriotism.

I am voting for Barbara Buono because she acts with dignity and treats people with respect. Frankly, without those qualifications, I don’t care much about the rest. Despite the snarkiness of main stream media and stand-up comics—including those holding public office—I am tired of depictions of Jersey residents as crude, coarse, and stupid—depictions confirmed by a governor who is crude, coarse, and stupid. Or thinks he can gain votes and national attention by acting that way.

I am voting for Barbara Buono because she acted with courage and poise when other Democrats either ran from the Bully-in-Chief out of fear or sucked up to him for what they could gain.  She was repeatedly stabbed in the back by party colleagues who care more about their own insignificant futures—where do you think you are going in Christieland, Joe D?—than they do about the future of the state and the nation.  I am tired of Democrats who behave like obsequious little fawns whenever the Big Boy is in town.

I am voting for Barbara Buono because she respects those who believe in the life of the mind. Every governor in the past—Republican and Democrat—has supported the efforts of public school teachers to educate our children. But, now, teachers have been bullied, verbally abused, mocked and ridiculed by a man who is a poster boy for how not to behave. Buono sponsored New Jersey’s anti-bullying law—and, now, for all of us, she is the anti-bully.

Cause I gotta tell you–you know what, punk? I’m tired of you, too.

I am voting for Barbara Buono because, if she is governor, collective bargaining will continue to be the way in which disputes are resolved. Because, if she is governor, millions of dollars won’t be spent on religious voucher schools. Because, if she is governor, the headlong rush into charter schools will be stopped so that our neediest children are not warehoused and segregated in the least-supported schools.

I am voting for Barbara Buono because the residents of New Jersey need an independent state supreme court. Have you forgotten Christie removed the only African-American from the court? Have you forgotten he has promised to shape the court in his own image as if he were some sort of Old Testament godhead whose wisdom surpasses those of all others?

I am voting for Barbara Buono because she supports what I—and most Democrats– believe in:

Support for public schools.  Fair housing policies that will begin to end the disgrace of racial isolation and segregation throughout New Jersey.  A minimum wage.  Fair taxes that lower the property tax burden and increase taxes for millionaires. Independence and academic integrity for Rutgers University. Good health care. Pre-school.  Women’s rights.  Human rights. Strong unions to protect wage earners against the depredations of corporations that already have extraordinary protections.  Concern for the environment.

I am voting for Barbara Buono because I know she wants to be governor and  only governor. She is not using this position to become president. I fear for my country to think Chris Christie will be catapulted to national prominence by the results Tuesday.  I genuinely believe he will use the instruments of government—as he did when he was US Attorney—to move against his political enemies. The Koch brothers want to change our country in frightening ways and, as David Koch said, “Chris Christie is our kind of guy.”

I am voting for Barbara Buono.

(A note about the ad. If you click on the Garden ad and then go to promotions, you’ll see a coupon for 15 percent off. I’m usually there on weekends. Ask for me–Bob)

  1. Bravo…and thank you, Mr. Braun!

    1. Thank you Bob, for your refreshing voice of reason.

    2. This is why I cancelled my Ledger delivery – Forever !

  2. Finally, someone in the media with the guts to stand up to the governor.

    1. Just exercising my First Amendment rights. While I have them.

      1. I can’t see that anything will be happening to them any time soon. We do have a constitution.

  3. Thanks for a great article!!

    1. Thank you.

  4. Amen! We’re stronger than the Bully-in-Chief! Thank you for standing up for what is right!

  5. Oh, my friend, I love you and stand with you. Is this column going to be in the StarLedger tomorrow? If not, it should be! I looked all over mainstream media for that photo and it’s nowhere to be found except on blogs and Facebook. News12 skipped right over this segment. I really hope that the teacher doesn’t face any problems due to her actions. Christie is vindictive and I can see him twisting some arms to punish those that dare to cross him. Presidential material…bull%#*€!!

    Bob Braun: I no longer work for The Star-Ledger. I work for Bob Braun’s Ledger. I like the editor here better. Thank you for your kind note.

  6. Thank you Bob for expressing how we feel as educators in the public schools of New Jersey. Someone needs to hold this man accountable for his actions. What he did over the weekend to Melissa is inexcusable

  7. This guy is a total fool. Get this teachers we are tired of paying more and more for your benefits and salary. You finally started to pay like the rest of us in the private sector and all I hear is whining. This picture and incident has been pushed by the NJEA. I respect this Gov for sticking up against this hideous monster of a union. They have the tax payers for all to many years it is about time they get what is being dished out. Here’s to another 4 years of heading in the right direction. By the way I am an independent. And lots of Independents feel the same way I do. Besides at least 30% of Democrats as well. Buono is clueless she can’t run a campaign never mind the state. We will tell the NJEA one more time to stuff it! We are done! Christie – 4 more years!

    Bob Braun: The ellipse shows where a word with a strong sexual connotation was used. I deleted it because I was offended by it and this is my blog.

    1. Marcey, I see why you dislike teachers so much – you never had one who taught you punctuation or how to use to/too/two correctly…

      1. Maybe that’s true Maureen,

        The teacher who never taught Marcey about punctuation is, 1) Probably still on the job, 2) Maybe retired with full benefits, 3) Is protected by a Union that would never let that teacher be replaced because they have worked the required number of years and have protection from being fired. This is not about getting bad teachers out of positions. Its about fairness. How many jobs today do you retire from with full benefits? And as far as raises – Stop whining, most people over the last few years have received no raises, most have been furloughed 1-2 days a week on a regular basis, many have lost their jobs completely, and no one I know does not pay into the benefits they receive. I am tired of teachers throwing in our faces that cuts are hurting the students they teach. How much funding do you need to teach? How much is a piece of paper and a pencil cost? Because when I went to school that’s what you had. Overcrowded classrooms? If you can teach 10 children – you can teach 30, if you do it right. No one is saying all teachers are doing bad jobs. What they are saying is the benefit package and the way teachers are paid needs to change. No one should get a raise because they have worked for many years, and no ones job should be protected because of time of employment. They should be getting raises because they excel at the job they were hired to do. The days of retiring with full benefits and cushy pensions are over, the days of not paying for your own benefits are over. We need to get back to rewarding people for doing a good job and not rewarding them for doing a so-so job because they have been doing it that way for a set amount of time. Much of the blame needs to go to the Union itself for the monster it created. Unions were great when they were formed, even necessary. Unions today are not protecting good workers – they are protecting all workers – good or bad, because that teacher in the next room who leaves at the last bell and does not care about their students, who took the job for summers off and cushy packages is making the same money as the teacher who stays and works with those students who are having problems, who takes the time to layout classes at night for the next day, who goes that extra mile because they took the job for the love of it. This is not about standing up to the Governor – its about fairness – that the day has come when we can no longer pay for your benefits through our taxes to take care of your retirement and that you need to kick in money for benefits while you work, that no one should get increases on time employed but rather on the way you perform your job. So stop whining!

        Bob Braun: Clearly, I don’t agree with a lot of what you’ve written here but I understand why you are so resentful. I started writing about schools 50 years ago and clearly remember how people scoffed at those who wanted to become teachers because the positions paid so little. Critics said teachers were trading income for benefits and security. Teacher salaries lagged far behind those in private industry. Much of this teacher-hating began during the crash of 2007-2008 when, suddenly, good salaries and security in the private sector disappeared. But, Nancy, that’s not the fault of teachers. You may disagree with me but you should be aiming your resentment at the corporations that turned on their own employees. You probably should have thought about getting your own union if that were possible. I am sure others will want to respond to you as well but try not to be so angry at people who–I suspect, like you–are trying to hold on to their middle-class status with their fingernails. Teachers and other public employees didn’t create that problem. They’re hurting, too. Thanks for writing.

        1. “Many have lost their jobs completely”… You realize that many teachers lost their jobs when Christie initially cut many school budgets? First year teachers with no seniority, that had great evaluations (such as myself) were RIF’ed after fighting hard to get their first position in the first place. Luckily, I was able to land another job until my principal had a position where he could hire me back. Certainly not the case for everyone. I just want to point out that jobs lost included many teaching, teacher’s aide, and support staff positions because funding was cut and districts could not afford to pay for the appropriate numbers of staff. School were affected tremendously .

      2. Maureen,
        Two bad , you be to retentive too me. Did not know this was Sesame Street or an English class.

    2. Marcy, I don’t know about you, but 4 more years of Christie will ensure I leave NJ due to the rising property taxes.

  8. Thank you Bob… from a parent without any ties to education– I am sick and tired of his bullying. We are trying so hard to teach our kids the right way to act and treat others and Christie just blows it all the time. I am sick and tired of him saying “That’s how we do it here in NJ”…no it’s not. I was born and raised in NJ and I do not recall any of that nonsense in my 50+ years. I worked in Corporate America, and if I or any of my colleagues spoke to one another that way, they would have been fired long ago — it’s time we fire him. HE DOES NOT REPRESENT NJ!!

  9. Thank you for the well-written article. I hold all the Democratic powers responsible for providing little or no help to Barbara Buono in this election, so the Governor Bully will likely get a huge victory and think he has the support of all New Jerseyans. I also shudder at the thought of a President Christie.

    1. I believe most of the Democratic dollars went to the race in Virginia.

  10. Great comments, Bob. You lay it out here. Thank you.

  11. Bravo, Mr. Braun! I have read your column for years and was always impressed with the increased understanding you bring to any situation. Your words here could not come at a better time. VOTE BUONO!!!!

  12. you’re an idiot. people like you bring this country down
    Bob Braun: Great argument.

  13. Thank you for this article. Hoping against all odds enough people see the light before Tuesday.

  14. THANK YOU, BOB BRAUN!! I have trouble putting my thoughts down on paper; thank you for doing it for me today. Thank you for standing your ground! Thank you for making me feel more proud than ever of being a Jersey-American! ****
    Bob Braun: Thank you for your kind words.

  15. Well done, Mr. Braun. It is about time someone in the media has the courage to speak honestly about Mr. Christie. He is a bully and a coward.

  16. Bob: If I can get letters-to-the-editor printed in the print media, surely you can. It’s really sad how (I’m going to write it) STUPID the voting public has become. Like lambs to the slaughter. The most shocking endorsement of Christie was my political idol, Bill Bradley. Really? The kids in Newark are marching tomorrow to protest insufficient funding. Good luck to them.

    Bob Braun: I changed “old” luck to them to good luck to them. I don’t think The Star-Ledger would print a letter from me.

    1. public school teachers to educate our children….How about students educating themselves instead of diving into Iphones and Ipads. Teachers are blamed for student outcomes, it is time that the teachers stood up and blame the students, lack of elder oversight for poor performance. How much money should be spent/sent to poor performing districts….is there number out there that would satisfy anyone ?

  17. Bob – another great job. We need people with superb writing skills speaking truth to power!

    I vote for Buono for many of the same reasons, but not expressed so eloquently.

    I think Christie is an authoritarian bully, a “conservative without conscience” (read John Dean’s superb book of that title).

    I think he has grossly abused executive power an d rarely if ever has been called on it by the career minded sycophantic journalists and cowardly democrats that populate Trenton these days.

    I think Christie has been worse than a disaster on the environment and in fact has created a destructive slogan based model for a corporate funded rollback agenda for our regulatory protections o public health and the environment.

    Pufferfish also has done the energy industry’s bidding – worse than any climate denier because he has been effective and managed to create the false appearance that he is a moderate on global warming/climate change, while dismantling existing climate related programs and blocking needed reforms.

    This is one dangerous demagogic model.

    1. Thank you, Thank you, thank you, Mr. Braun! You have the courage to stand up for what is right and to speak about Senator Buono as she should have been depicted throughout her campaign. I have not been able to understand why the media has not stepped up to show Christie for what he is. I feel it is because they look forward to covering a colorful presidential election — they forget what he will do to NJ in a second term, or worse yet, what would happen to our country if he did become President — God Help Us!
      Christie is the king of spin — he talks and feels if he says the same lie over and over and over and over, people will believe it. He has NOT lowered taxes, he just SAYS he lowered them. He has NOT put more money into education than ever before, when you factor in the $1.6 BILLION he removed before he replaced it with $1.6 Million, or whatever that figure was (It certainly didn’t come close to replacing the $1.6 BILLION he removed!)
      What about the money he lost in the education grant because he wouldn’t listen to the teachers who had the correct data? What about the tunnel that would have put so many NJ workers to work? What about the no-bid contract for Sandy to his friend, and the out-of-state people hired to do cleanup, instead of NJ residents who are struggling? What about the $24 MILLION for the special election? How may teachers or cops could he put back to work with that stupid expenditure? What about the sale of the lottery to plug a budget hole? The Lottery is a money maker — he wants to privatize everything, even if the people wanting to buy are not even from the USA! He is disgusting and deserves to be fired on Tuesday. Please vote for Buono — I am!
      Mr. Braun — you are the best — thank you for telling the truth!
      Charlene Martucci

  18. Well put! I am hoping to find out more about your opinions on matters important to me. I hope you can share your feelings in response to a few of these concerns of mine.
    I think the current religious nut – I’m atheist so I believe in freedom FROM and much as freedom FOR (that’s what “freedom” means, anyway) religion – is a despicable example of a colossal sense of being Divinely Correct. How can anyone charge him with human rights abuses when he carries the love of Jesus in his heart?! Ugh. How do you feel about his manipulation of others using religion?
    I noticed you didn’t address this head-on nor has any other commenter (if I missed it, forgive me) but what is your opinion on gay marriage? Of course, my feeling is that those against it should ABSOLUTELY not gay marry. Just as those not facing a terrible decision and who are carrying a much-wanted and will-be-cared-for infant NOT abort that baby. How do you feel about the moronic supreme Grandmaster in Texas removing the rights of women to have access to free or cheap healthcare simply because they bear the name Planned Parenthood (never mind that abortions are only 3% of what they do and government funds can never be used to pay for abortions)? Do you think that government should be in charge of uteruses? If you are the champion of well-educated children, are you also the champion of schools that are free from religious dogma that taint our curriculum with their Christianity? Should our schools be addressing ALL religions and learning about all cultures in this ever-shrinking modern world? I’d also like to ask how you feel about the Pledge of Allegiance and the New Format which includes the “under god” line. It was, of course, only changed to read that way in 1953 as yet another government official pandered to the then-majority: the Christians.
    Are you for all these freedoms? I hope so! Educating children requires NO agenda and Chris has done nothing but infect our government with his dogma, theories and wishful thinking.
    Good luck.

  19. Who cares?!? Your vote means nothing! Landslide victory for Christie in a historically blue state! Yea Id have my panties in a bunch like you too!

  20. CC has as much chance of becoming President as I do of becoming an Astronaut. He is another GOP Jobber just like McCain and Romney who will lose in 2016. I am a Ron Paul Republican, voting for BB, simply because the current Governor has done a deplorable job and needs to be fired.

  21. Thank you for putting so succinctly yet pointedly exactly how I feel.

  22. Think governor Biff Tannen. Think governor Greg Stilson. Think Broderick Crawford in All the Kings Men. Thats Crisp Crispy!

  23. Beautifully stated! But, apparently, you’ve been misinformed. This (I kid you not) is what Christie had to say this weekend about Buono, as reported in The Star-Ledger: “I’ve never seen an angrier candidate, somebody who is yelling and screaming all the time, coming up with new names to call people every day,” Christie said of Buono at a rally with around 100 supporters in Mount Holly. Huh??!! (I’m not an expert, but I continue to maintain that he has serious mental health issues.)

    1. That comment by Christie is misogynism at its worst. He characterized an intelligent and powerful woman as hysterical, a word with the Latin root for uterus. Mr. Christie is the modern equivalent of Macchiavelli’s prince. Much of what defines us as human does not change, but the capacity to evolve is also inate. Thank goodness!

      1. It also strikes me as projection since he’s attributing his own offensive traits to someone else. (This isn’t the first time he’s done this.) Projection, volatile behavior, the inability to tolerate criticism, and the propensity to blame others for everything would all seem to signify a serious personality disorder…or worse. (Am I the first to suggest this?) Even more frightening is the fact that we’ve given him power.

  24. Great piece of journalism. Who are the democrats that act as”…obsequeious little fawns…”
    Bob Braun: I’d start with Joe DiVincenzo and Brian Stack.

  25. […] by Bob Braun | November 3, 2013 | reprinted from the Bob Braun’s Ledger. […]

  26. Glad to see someone stand up and say that CC does not represent N. J. His behavior is an embarrassment to the citizens of the state. I was always taught that an intelligent person does not need profanity to get his point across and because a person speaks louder does not make what they say more important. This governor does not represent me or the people I know. I still remember his trip to Disney World while those of us here at home fought a dangerous snow storm. All of this after the election of a Lt. Governor who was also out of the state. In any business the people incharge would never schedule vacation at the same time and expect business to go on without problems. We are should all make sure to go out to vote in this election so we can’t complain about the outcome after the fact.

  27. Bob, You are just another one of the liberals who thinks public funds are an limitless. Pandering politicians in cahoots with adulating journalists are not considering the future. They borrow endlessly and sack the future generations with a mountain of debt. In a growing economy, that wasn’t an issue. Given the economic stagnation of the Obama presidency, we can no longer enjoy unlimited spending. You and your constituents preach “Shared Sacrifice” but refuse to pay a fair share. So to mimic your words, “Hey Punk, I am glad you retired and your out of touch with reality.”

  28. Almost as disturbing, btw, is the look of glee on his wife’s face…..

  29. Throw out the New Jersey throwback!

  30. I spoke with a woman after leaving my polling place today. She was in her 70’s and is a lifelong Democrat. She told me she had voted for Chris Christie. Why? Not because she liked him as a candidate, but because she knew so little about his opponent. Under those circumstances, how could anyone expect him to be defeated? Shame on the NJ Democratic organization for giving Barbara Buono so little respect and so little support.

  31. Maybe he should play for the Miami Dolphins. He certainly has the size and temperament.

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