Voice Of The People: Underrated Buono Is New Jersey’s Best Bet

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Voice of the People by James J. Devineby James J. Devine

Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 700,000 in New Jersey, so no rational person would dismiss Sen. Barbara Buono as a legitimate challenger to Gov. Chris Christie, but much of the media and big money donors are doing just that.

Meanwhile, the incumbent is one person who is taking Buono a much more serious threat than others.

As one example, calling the special election to replace US Sen. Frank Lautenberg in October — at a cost to taxpayers of $24 million — is clearly a sign of desperation by Bush Republican Christie, who hopes to suppress voter turnout in November’s gubernatorial election.

Cultivating a sense that Buono does not have a chance of winning is a calculated political move by her opponent and the well-funded, corporate controlled and crooked establishment.

That is a problem for the 99 percent of Americans who are getting screwed over by an economy that does not work for us anymore.

Denying Barbara Buono credibility as a candidate is a way of fooling voters into voting against their own interests.

Bush Republican Christie is miles away from the majority of New Jersey voters on such vital issues like climate change, jobs creation, abortion rights, gun control, education funding, a minimum wage increase, a millionaire’s tax and marriage equality.

Christie bought a job from President George W. Bush Jr. by raising scads of money for the 2000 election campaign the Republicans stole from former Vice President Al Gore.

Then as governor, Christie bought the favor of notoriously corrupt political bosses on both sides of the fence by handing out taxpayer money and power over such institutions as public television, colleges and hospitals.

Buono does not appear to be doing herself a lot of favors in the way she has waged her campaign but that is not a fair measure of her ability to lead.

Today, money is power in politics and since most of us lack cash it is important for voters to look beyond the fluff and nonsense of campaign advertising and social network stardom.

Christie, like his closet Republican buddy Cory Booker, is more myth than man. His greatest accomplishment is not being blamed for the myriad failures of his first term, such as losing a $400 million federal education grant by playing politics or shutting down the ARC tunnel and 6,000 thousands of jobs it would have created.

The fact that emergency systems did not fail when a natural catastrophe struck the state is hardly a reason to re-elect a Republican who wants to make life more difficult for working families, children and senior citizens but Christie is making Hurricane Sandy a key feature of his campaign message.

The daily slayings due to gun violence, a greater tax burden on working poor people and massive cuts in vital services are not getting attention from candidates even though one of them would do something about these problems and the other has entirely ignored them.

Four years ago, voters had no good reason to re-elect Wall Street wizard Jon Corzine but today, Bush Republican Chris Christie deserves to be fired.

The difference is that New Jersey could really benefit from a new Democratic governor who will shake up things in Trenton and shut down some of the fiefdoms operated by crooked political bosses.

If you do not insure those events because Democrat Barbara Buono is waging a poor campaign, then you are more guilty of what comes next because voters have to take responsibility for what occurs in a democracy.


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