Monthly Archives: June 2009

For NJ: Nothing Finer When Compared to Carolina

First it was New York, where bickering lawmakers have been unable to decide who is in charge of the State Senate. Now it’s South Carolina doing its part to make New Jersey look good in comparison to the other 49 states.

For this we can thank South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford whose whereabouts were a mystery for a few days. Continue reading

Don’t They Know It’s Christmas?

In his announcement that New Jersey’s tax amnesty program has generated $400 million more than anticipated, Governor Corzine made it clear that he wants the windfall used for property tax relief – not for budget add-ons commonly known as Christmas Tree items.

“Today is June 18th not December 25th – we will not be buying a Christmas tree,” the Governor said.

To some, however, Christmas may not be so far away.

David Reneke, an Australian astronomer, charted the positions that the stars would have been in 2000 years ago and found that a bright star actually did appear over Bethlehem, but the date was not December 25; it was June 17.

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A New York State of Mind Could Impact NJ

When I worked in the Governor’s Office, one of the strategies we employed during difficult budgetary times was to show that things were even worse in other parts of the country.

One year, I authored an op-ed article pointing out that Arkansas was eliminating scholarships to state colleges, Arizona was closing parks, Maine was raising its gas tax, and Kansas was doubling franchise fees for companies conducting business in the state.

On paper, demonstrating that the grass is not always greener on the other side sounded like a good strategy. But in practice Continue reading

Looking for Balance in All the Right Places

Are New Jersey’s candidates for governor overlooking an important factor as they search for lieutenant governor running mates?

To date, it appears that the candidates have been seeking to balance their tickets by choosing a running mate whose ethnicity, gender, ideology and/or geography brings balance to the ticket.

But one important factor that has been absent from the discussion about balance is age. Continue reading

The Race for Governor: A Few Suggestions for the Candidates

Now that the New Jersey’s primary election is complete and the candidates for governor are official, here is my advice for Chris Christie and Jon Corzine as they plot strategy for the upcoming campaign.

Campaign Recommendations for Chris Christie:

1. Pack your schedule with events that show how state government frustrates and angers New Jersey citizens. The problems may not be Jon Corzine’s fault and some may even be beyond his control. But as the man in charge, he is the face of state government.  The more you can remind people they are unhappy, the more likely they are to vote for change.

2. Build on your strongest asset – your record as U.S. Attorney – to reach a broader audience. Continue reading