A.C. Takeover Fight Unmasks Big Government’s Not-So-Subtle Racism

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

New Jersey’s press corps is largely focusing on the process story behind Trenton’s attempted Atlantic City takeover, Save Jerseyans, and that’s understandable. Our state has an unusually (and lamentably) strong boss structure, and the respective boss’s gubernatorial candidates have decided the fate of casino gaming will be a key battleground in the already underway fight to succeed Chris Christie. Power politics is always engaging.

Far more interesting to your Blogger-in-Chief? How a white Republican Mayor (Don Guardian) stood side-by-side with black Democrat council members on Monday outside of A.C. City Hall to oppose the takeover primarily on the ground of racism:

That’s not something you see every day, right?

A little quick background: a proper A.C. takeover court fight would revolve around competing interpretations of the Voting Right Act which prohibits racial discrimination in voting; a federal lawsuit espousing a similar theory as the one expressed by Guardian and his allies at the press conference is currently being litigated based on highly-publicized events Michigan. 

It’s been used to challenge racial gerrymandering (see the 2006 case League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry which featured Ted Cruz arguing for the respondent). Would a federal court intervene to invalidate a state takeover by challenging our state’s emergency manager regime? 

More fun: to defend their power grab, the Sweeney Democrats would likely need to argue AGAINST an expansive reading of one of the Civil Rights era’s foundational constitutional legacies. Irony abounds! And my inner legal nerd is intrigued.

atlantic cityThe legal outcome is nevertheless a distinct analysis from the political opportunity afforded New Jersey conservatives by the Democrats’ tug-of-war. It’s no secret that the black community has suffered terribly under President Obama with soaring unemployment. The same crowd pushing to takeover Atlantic City is also sponsoring a ruinous $15 minimum wage scheme which will devastate minority jobs for years to come and protecting a school system that dooms far more young lives than it advances.

Liberal Democrat government continues to serve as the single greatest obstacle to minority economic mobility in America. In an interview last summer, NBA legend Charles Barkley (apparently a Kasich supporter) touched the issue with a pin by complaining to an interviewer that “Black people have been voting for Democrats their whole life, and they’re still poor. Republicans don’t do anything for poor people, either.

I don’t know about you, folks, but I’m ready for an “R” to do something by being that voice who’s willing to say the difficult thing.

Trenton Republicans should respectfully look past the Governor’s role in the takeover debate and highlight the Democrats’ failed record forcefully, clearly, and without hesitation. Go down to the Boardwalk Empire and talk to some residents. Walk the streets. Show them you give a damn. Recent GOP inroads in A.C. demonstrate that there are at least some folks who are finally ready to listen. Establish a beachhead! Do the work we should’ve been doing all along.