Monthly Archives: March 2009

New Jersey’s Other Election: What Will our New Lieutenant Governor Do?

Despite its historic nature, the contest to become New Jersey’s first lieutenant governor has yet to generate much statewide attention from the general citizenry.

What we have heard – from Trenton insiders and in State House news reports – have been the names of potential candidates whose qualifications appear to have more to do with their value to balance a ticket than with their ability to step in and run the state effectively. Continue reading

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Has the Internet Made Debates over Privacy Moot?

By refusing to hear an appeal of a lower court decision that kept emails between Governor Corzine and the former head of a state employees union private, the New Jersey Supreme Court has effectively put an end to a long debate over whether the messages should be publicly disclosed.

But even if we have heard the last of this particular saga, privacy issues are likely to remain a hot topic — not only for public figures, but for the general citizenry as well. Continue reading

Reality and Our Accounts of It

For all of the new dimensions and innovations he has brought to the worlds of politics and government, Barack Obama still recognizes the value in some tried and true practices that have proven successful over the years.

Case in point: Say something over and over enough times and it will start having an impact on public perception. It’s a strategy that has worked before in New Jersey, and it could be a factor in this year’s campaign for Governor. Back in 1997, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim McGreevey barely uttered a sentence without mentioning that New Jersey had the highest property taxes and auto insurance rates in the nation – and he nearly defeated the incumbent Governor in what would have been a stunning upset. Continue reading

It’s Time to Update the Budget Process

Year in and year out, New Jersey begins its annual budget process with a formal address from the Governor, detailing his or her proposal for the Legislature, the media and the public. The immediate response is predictable. The minority party, be it Democrat or Republican, will be critical. The party in power will be supportive, although there may be a few who do not buy in, usually because of some component of the proposal that negatively impacts their particular constituencies.

Regardless of which side you come down on for Governor Corzine’s Fiscal 2010 budget proposal, most of us would agree that the process that New Jersey uses to enact the state budget is ripe for improvements. Continue reading

Strange Bedfellows in the State House Press Corps

Of all the many changes taking place in New Jersey’s news organizations over the past 12 months, perhaps none carries more significance than the decision by The Star-Ledger and The Record to merge their State House bureaus.

Up until now, the layoffs, cutbacks and consolidations have taken place within the confines of individual news organizations. The merger of the Ledger/Record bureaus marks the first time that two of the state’s competing news entities will be combining forces.

The decision is not without some precedent. Continue reading