Corzine Ducking Debates & Desperate

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STATE—The governor who challenged New Jersey voters to “hold me accountable” is not going to give the public many chances to evaluate his record in debates against rival candidates and has thus far declined to state what he would do if re-elected to a second term.

Instead, billionaire Gov. Jon Corzine is waging a multi-million dollar smear campaign against the former federal prosecutor who was nominated by the GOP and desperately trying to latch on to the popularity of President Barack Obama.

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Corzine is refusing to participate in two potentially high-profile debates. One hosted by the League of Women Voters would be aired on ABC-TV network affiliates during a prime-time 7-8 p.m. spot, while the other would be broadcast during drive time on Millennium Radio Group’s NJ 101.5 FM, which reaches two-thirds of the state.

The governor has agreed to join in a debate on WBGO, an obscure jazz station that reaches a fraction of the listeners who tune in to NJ 101.5.

Christopher Christie and independent Christopher Daggett will confront the incumbent in two debates sanctioned by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, but Corzine attempted to scuttle one of those forums with a last-minute request to postpone the first meeting.

Observers say it is understandable that Corzine would be shy about explaining his record. Having failed to achieve the top priority of his first term, Corzine represents more of the same in a state rocked by numerous corruption scandals and hard hit by economic challenges.

Amid concerns about public corruption in New Jersey, a devastating economic crisis accentuated by high unemployment and rising property taxes, and a structural budget deficit in the billions, Corzine attempted to sweep problems under the rug with an unsuccessful bid to borrow $45 billion against the state’s toll roads.


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