by James J. Devine
For the second time in a decade, Jon Corzine has been fired for being irresponsible with other people’s money. About ten years ago, Corzine was ousted as CEO of the Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs because he poured investors’ money into a hedge fund that lost $4 billion.
It appears that pollsters accurately measured the opinion of New Jersey voters who consistently said that Corzine did not deserve to be re-elected but reported survey anomalies suggesting a closer race are easily explained.
Early on in this year, I repeatedly stated that Corzine could not have survived a serious challenge in the Democratic primary. I also noted that it has been 20 years since a Republican has captured 50 percent of the vote in a statewide election.
No Democrat stepped up to call out Corzine’s money machine in June, and that is a shame, but it turned out that the independent candidacy of Christopher Daggett enabled GOP nominee Chris Christie to score without a majority.
As opposed to opinions registered among voters surveyed, undecided ballots were cast by people who would have voted Democrat staying home and in a run for polling places by those breaking for the GOP.
Now it is time for Democrats, most of whom stood by quietly as the party of the people was bought out by a Wall Street billionaire, to justify themselves with a renewed Democratic populism.
Too many Democrats had allowed corrupt power brokers to rule the nominating process, control campaigns and dictate over government itself.
It is time to address the structural incompetence in New Jersey government and the institutional corruption that pervades our public institutions.
As Gov. Chris Christie attempts to lead the state against the tide of public opinion, strength and determination are going to be needed by rank and file Democrats.
Without a grassroots demand for action, crooked power brokers will simply wheel and deal their way to accommodations with Republican Party insiders, leaving real Democrats out in the cold.
An early indication if this movement will manifest itself will be if the state Senate allows itself to be bullied into replacing Richard Codey as its president.
America cannot afford the luxury of that kind of inaction and error.
As we have seen in Washington, D.C., the wealthy, corporate special interests and political insiders will drive aside attempts to produce real change if given any opportunity.
We need more and more open primary elections in New Jersey, along with an end to double-dipping at taxpayer expense, term limits, public campaign financing and an infusion of new energy for the political process.
With hundreds of thousands jobless amidst a greater economic peril than we have faced in our generations, and myriad problems such as education, taxation and health long awaiting responses, the time for real action is upon us.
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