Worst New Jersey Governor's Race in Modern History
2005 election was the worst New Jersey Governor’s race in modern history. Two multi-millionaires
spent over $72 million to throw mud at each other rather than discuss serious
issues so the voters could help fashion a mandate for the eventual winner.
That is why the turnout was a paltry 46%, the lowest vote for Governor
since women got the right to vote 85 years ago.
Senator Corzine’s victory, the Democratic Party is in solid control of state
government: both houses of the legislature, with the Senate under the leadership
of the former Acting Governor Dick Codey; it is obvious that the Democrats have
been given a clear mandate to act on the serious budgetary and economic problems
facing the voters.
Senator Corzine’s 1,150,687 votes are just 23.8%
of the registered voters. This
means that, as a percentage of registered, of all the winning and losing
Republican and Democratic candidates for Governor of New Jersey since women got
the right to vote in 1920, Senator Corzine ran 43rd out of 48, the
lowest of any victor.
like the poll tax and literacy tests in the 1950’s was designed to
disenfranchise black voters in the South, negative campaigning is designed to
disenfranchise unaffiliated voters everywhere.
It is the way the Democrats and Republicans, who together do not command
the support of the majority of the voters, can maintain a monopoly on political
power. If the Republican and
Democratic Parties were private, profit-making corporations, they could be
indicted for illegal collusion in restraint of trade.
The only problem with this system is that administrations that emerge from negative campaigns are unable to govern. Not surprisingly, less than 2 weeks after the election, which was waged primarily on the issue of cutting real estate taxes, it turns out that the state of New Jersey is facing a $5 billion budget gap for next year. Similarly, the fear mongering that resulted in a second term for George Bush has yielded an impotent administration.
So, here we have 2 multi-millionaire businessmen candidates who spent $72 million of their own money smearing his opponent and touting cuts in real estate taxes, without once mentioning the elephant in the china shop, a gapping deficit that will be very difficult to close. It's enough to make one wonder how they made their money in the first place.
The negative campaigning by the two party system is why the same office holders win election after election, but the policies never change and the problems grow worse.
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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf