By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
First of all my condolences to the family of US Senator Frank Lautenberg. He was truly a great man. I met him on several occasions during the time I resided in Jersey City. It was Senator Lautenberg who recommended Glenn D. Cunningham to become the first U.S. Marshall from New Jersey. It was also Senator Lautenberg, along with Jon Corzine, recommended and backed Cunningham to become the first Black mayor of Jersey City. Mayor Cunningham, unfortunately, died suddenly of a heart attack in 2005, and Jersey City, just like New York City, can't seem to get its act together to elect another viable Black man (or woman) to that office. Hmmmm .... the Hudson River - could it be there's something debilitating in the water?
Bear with me, folks, I'm making a point here: Chris Christie was also a friend of Glenn Cunningham. They were aligned through their coinciding roles in law enforcement. And frankly, I never knew, until he ran for governor, whether Chistie was a Democrat or Rep-ugh-blican. Of course I found out later - kind of disappointed, if you know what I mean.
Up until Hurricane Sandy most of us had considered Christie somewhat of a buffoon - a tool for the rep-ugh-blican party - one who could be easily manipulated. But that fateful day in October changed things considerably - it appears Christie found his manhood. It appeared he realized, once and for all, what was more important - not political affiliation, but the welfare and needs of his constituency.
It was clear to Christie, that had there been a Rep-ubh-blican president in the White House, the people of the state of New Jersey might have been waiting until hell froze over for help. He also realized that President Obama walked his walk, and was sincere about his desire to have a bi-partisan American government. So he took the step seen round the world and asked for help. And he expressed his gratitude in a way that only a real human being could - he hugged the President -on camera - in front of the whole rep-ugh-blican world - you could hear the combinations of cheers and jeers around the world.
Now, with the demise of Senator Lautenberg, the Rep-ugh-blicans were looking for Governor Christie to appoint a rep-ubh-blican to his unexpired democratic seat. There was much debate on radio and TV. Much speculation about what he would do; what it would mean to the party; how it would affect Obama, yada yada yada...
I got into a debate with an associate of mine as well - and I'm happy to say that I WAS RIGHT***! (Damn! I spoke too soon - it appears - as per Corey Platt of the DGA - see below)
I knew Christie could not in good faith put a rep-ugh-blican in Lautenberg's seat - not if he wanted to win re-election as governor of New Jersey. There was no way. And he couldn't appoint a Democrat either. The only way he could do it, and look as if he was concerned about the wishes of his contituents, would be to hold an open election for Lautenberg's seat. ***
And no, rep-ugh-blicans (and Democrats)- IT'S NOT (just) ABOUT THE MONEY. People do have a say, and they deserve to be heard; and to be represented by people they feel will act in their best interests. If Christie had put someone in that seat without public input via the ballots, it's a sure cinch they would also see him as someone who did not have their best interests at heart. Whether he does or not is another story - but the fact that he's smart enough to make it look that way probably means he'll be around for another 4 years. Though he's no Jon Corzine, he's better than what you've unearthed so far. So unless you have another candidate - viable candidate, not symbolic - to run against him; this seat is his to lose.
You need to make sure you concentrate on getting a first BLACK MAN/WOMAN DEMOCRAT to run for Lautenberg's seat PRONTO!
Stay Blessed &
***Now for the CAVEAT EMPTOR:
Corey Platt of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) to me :
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had two options for filling the Senate seat vacated by the late progressive hero Senator Frank Lautenberg: hold a special election on November 5th, the date of the 2013 general election, or appoint a placeholder and hold the election as regularly scheduled in November 2014.
Christie stunned the country by doing neither, instead calling a special election for October 16th, just three weeks prior to the general election. Christie’s decision will cost New Jersey taxpayers $24 million, by one estimate.
Wasting $24 million of taxpayers’ money is bad, but that’s not actually the worst part.
You see, October 16th falls on a Wednesday—not a Tuesday like nearly every other election held in the United States. Holding an election on a Wednesday is bound to confuse many voters, and Governor Christie knows it.
Christie’s move is one of the most brazen attempts to suppress Democratic votes in recent memory. Unfortunately it’s part of a larger effort by Republican governors to make it difficult for Democrats to cast a ballot by limiting early voting, limiting acceptable forms of ID, and changing the rules without warning.
Stand up to Chris Christie and Republican governors. Sign our petition demanding that Republicans stop all attempts at voter suppression.
When New Jersey passed early voting, Governor Christie vetoed the bill, calling it a waste of taxpayer money.
Now Christie is wasting $24 million in taxpayers' money to make sure that as few people as possible vote in both the October special and regular November 2013 general elections, when Christie himself is on the ballot.
The Star-Ledger newspaper called it “a shameless move that will…risk the integrity of the vote.”
Join us and call on Republican governors to stop voter suppression, right now.
I thought I had seen every voter suppression trick in the book, until Governor Christie invented a new one. Let’s show him we see through his bald-faced political power play.
Democratic Governors Association" ***My Response to him is:
What makes it so bad is that I kinda paid him a compliment - by saying that at least he didn't put a rep-ugh-blican in a Democratic seat. The cost of course is a consideration; the date may be offputting, but we can combat that. I'm more concerned that he at least looks as though he was trying to make it possible for Democrats to elect a replacement. We ought to be smart enough to outsmart him and have someone who can step up and step into that role - regardless of what day of the week it is. Let's rise to the occasion and let him know that we're more than equal to the task - I shudder to think what we'd get if we didn't have a voting date at all.
Besides, he's a rep-ugh-blican, Corey - what do you want? It's as close as you will ever get to equanimity.
If we get our base prepped - we will emerge with someone as good as Lautenberg - and I think, at this point, this is what we need to be concentrating on, as opposed to griping abour Christie and the money. Who do you have in mind that we need to be backing - that's the big question.