30 Issues Day 4: The Corzine Years

Thursday, September 24, 2009

On Tuesday, we examined the Bloomberg record. Today, we take an in-depth look at the incumbent in the New Jersey gubernatorial race, Jon Corzine. Michael Aron, senior political correspondent and news director at NJN Public Television and Radio and Eugene Sonn, former statehouse correspondent for WBGO, assess the Corzine years and what's at stake in this fall's election.


Michael Aron and Eugene Sonn

Comments [16]

Calls'em As I Sees'em from "McLean, VA"

Corzine is another oligarch who planned to run for President after being a Senator for a while and a Governor for a while. Those were just stepping stones to build his resume to run for President. His desire for power was derailed by his car crash. He cares not a wit for the people of New Jersey. He is another megalomaniac corporate statist Democrat who feels that “Papa” knows best -- all those Dems want to rule your lives. Heck, he was going to sell the Jersey Turnpike to a private company - “nuff” said. Is there one humble man or woman left in the Democrat Party?

Sep. 24 2009 12:32 PM
Kitov from Jersey City

Corzine has an under-appreciated record of accomplishment. One of NJ's major challenges is affordability. Corzine has actually made positive steps on a problem which has been intractable for more than a generation.

Two of the top things: reform of the school funding formula, and the reform of the Fair Housing Act which eliminated the outsourcing of affordable housing.

The major challenge to further progress in addressing property taxes and NJ's structural funding problems is the legislature and factured nature of NJ politics, rooted in the status quo home rule of 566 municipalities and more than 600 school districts.

Gov. Corzine has actually taken real steps to begin the change process, something no other NJ governor or political figure has been able to do. Any would be governor or legislative leader should be able to make specific commitments about actions they would take to address this immense problem.

Sep. 24 2009 11:44 AM

Given all thats been said is it fair to say the major point of contention in the election is Corzine's pursuit of spending programs in a state where a structural deficit that was near crisis proportions before the meltdown now appears insurmountable.

Sep. 24 2009 11:31 AM
John from Bergen County NJ

Another high cost of NJ taxpayer - police services
Too many State. county, local
Too high costs Salary & pension & healthcare benefits.
Each 40 year old cop will cost taxpayers for additional 30 to 40 years - Taxpayers can not afford to do this.

Sep. 24 2009 11:27 AM
Farideh from Fort Lee

I am happy with what Corzine has accoplished. He was out of commission for a long period due to the accident. I agree with the comment above that the high property taxes are due to too much municipal government.There are at least 6 to 8 towns bordering on Fort Lee and each has a full complement of Municipal services and managers: a boro hall, a mayor, a town clerk, superintendent of educ., a fire chief, a police chief and so one. With each muni. govt. comes patronage jobs and sinecures and corruption. The best thing Corzine did was to cut support to small towns, trying to force them to consolidate. I thought this was brilliant. He could never have gotten the politicians to vote themselves a reduction in empire. The problems of NJ are huge and longstanding. There is no way anybody is going to do magic overnight. I believe his heart and his objectives are both right.

Sep. 24 2009 11:26 AM
John from Bergen County NJ

Hey Michael Aaron - Watch you every week on NJN on your friday panel discussion. Keep up the good work!

Sep. 24 2009 11:24 AM
Merlin from Jersey City

Did the former councilman from Asbury Park just quote Bon Jovi?

Sep. 24 2009 11:23 AM
Jim from NJ

Corzine has done OK. He's held the state from sliding much further than it otherwise had with his business acumen.
I think a big part of the reason he ran out of steam has a lot to do with his serious car accident

Sep. 24 2009 11:23 AM
John from Bergen County NJ

Neither Corzine nor Christie can fix NJ. We the voters keep re-electing people who are so entrenched that they will never do the right thing.
Corzine has a slightly better chance since the Dems are in the majority.
Christie has no chance for any sort of change. An Obama like leader he is not.
Corzine is stuck with the 556 fiefdom's that want THEIR way for THEIR children and that is why property taxes are so high. Until we consolidate towns and spread costs there is no hope of lower property taxes.

Sep. 24 2009 11:22 AM
Linda natanagara from ocean, NJ

I don't believe you've addressed the corruption in NJ . I don't exactly understand how much corruption "costs", but it would seem to me that Corzine's inability to root out corruption is part of what keeps things very expensive here. If I'm on the wrong track, educate me, please!

Sep. 24 2009 11:21 AM
Daniel from Hoboken

and he likes texting behind the wheel and rolling his vehicle.
But major props for being the only Gov. with a beard so gets my vote again!

Sep. 24 2009 11:20 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

You might think the so-so performance of Corzine would take the wind out of the sails of the "Bloomberg is great because he's good at business" crowd. But nope.

Sep. 24 2009 11:20 AM
Edward from NJ

How effective can ANY governor of New Jersey be? It seems like a very weak office, especially in comparison to NYC mayor as in Brian's introduction to this segment.

Sep. 24 2009 11:20 AM
Karen Haskell from Belleville, NJ

This may not be a big issue for many voters, but NJ has the highest rate of autism, and the highest number of vaccines given to kids under 5 years old. Corzine approved the increase in vaccines, and I never hear him address reducing or curing autism disorders.

Sep. 24 2009 11:19 AM
Dan from NJ

Any discussion on this topic is completely adrift without a recognition of the fact that the state's finances have been a complete mess since the misbegotten administration of the disgraced Cristie Whitman.

Please correct this failure in the discussion so far.

Sep. 24 2009 11:17 AM
hjs from 11211

I know someone is going to whine about their OH SO HIGH property taxes. this complaint should be directed at county and municipal officials.
"... and why New Jersey became a state with 566 municipalities. There are far too many and they are far too small for New Jersey to be a place that is governed efficiently. One of the results is that in return for our penchant for "home rule" we pay the highest local property taxes in the US."
this book also points out one reason these 100's of municipalities were created was to separate the races. so NJ pays for this segregation with high property taxes. keep that in mind next time you ask trenton to support and subsidize this inefficiency.

Sep. 24 2009 09:45 AM

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