By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Governor Chris Christie will deliver his second-to-last ‘state of the state’ address on Tuesday, Save Jerseyans, four weeks to the day before the February 9th New Hampshire primary that is certain to either save (or doom) his presidential candidacy.
Things are a little less uncertain here on the home front.
Who am I kidding? A LOT less uncertain. We’re in it deep, folks.
For the fourth consecutive year, New Jersey has yet again ranked last nation-wide in the 39th annual United Van Lines’ National Movers Study with the highest outbound migration rate (67%) of any state in the Union. In 2015, property taxes also increased at their fastest rate in four years. There’s no doubt among those of us actually paying attention as to who deserves the blame. Governors have come and gone but the Democrat legislative majority – the one constant since 2002 – is strong and getting stronger.
Bad bouts of redistricting sealed the deal. An extraordinarily un-democratic redistricting amendment from the Democrat leadership will now seal the state’s doom as a third world one-party state if voters phone it in this November.
The Governor isn’t actively in the fight these days. His only headline-generating intervention in state politics as of late has been in support of the Machine-backed casino constitutional amendment bill, continuing a trend that has perplexed many of his biggest fans and long-time chroniclers (I’ve fallen in to one or both categories at any given time over the past 7+ years).
I get it. He’s busy and ambitious. But if the latest polls are accurate, winning the GOP nomination is still a long-shot and securing a veep slot is probably unlikely. A cabinet post? The calculus is complex. We have to assume that the most likely outcome is two more years in Trenton. I could be wrong but we need to assume the polls are accurate.
Why not leave a legacy worth remembering? Heading into Tuesday, the temptation will be to focus on his “record” – Sandy relief, drug addiction programs, first-stage pension/benefits reforms and carefully-packaged economic stats to bolster the narrative of a Governor who has made progress notwithstanding a hostile Democrat legislature’s constant push back. That would be a mistake.
All of the Governor’s early major reforms like the property tax cap were statutory. The Democrats are currently moving to turn New Jersey into a permanent one party state by abusing the constitutional amendment process like they did with the minimum wage. The bottom line? The Democrats’ changes will last a lot longer than Chris Christie’s reforms unless we check their latest power grab. This state is moving in the wrong direction (see the Movers’ study above) and there’s no utility in insulting people’s intelligence by pretending otherwise.
My recommendation: rather than deliver a canned hour-long traditional ‘state of the state’ speech, Governor Christie should CONDEMN, in the strongest possible terms, SCR-188 and its backers with a direct 15-minute speech followed by a coordinated walkout of the entire GOP caucus.
Yes, I’m serious. Think about it… democracy is on the line in New Jersey, and by the way, any attempt to spin his record is thinking small and will inevitably invite critics to focus on the negatives of the Christie years.
Hammering home opposition to an issue in dramatic fashion where the GOP and the media/academic establishment are in agreement?
Assembly Leader Jon Bramnick, who regularly preaches the value of civility, said Democrats have “gone too far” this time. This claim is only credible if the Republicans respond accordingly.
It’s his best chance to rally the public AND get some positive press for himself. That makes this a no-brainer in my mind, Save Jerseyans. Do it! And give everyone something worthwhile to remember…