Monday, November 29, 2004

New Jersey's inside baseball (via email) 

I'm listening to a Trenton political insider tell a small group of people
about NJ politics. Key points:

1. Jon Corzine may announce his candidacy for the governorship as early as
Thursday of this week, but soon in any case.

2. Acting Governor Richard Cody may run as well. Corzine's fortune is
daunting, but Cody is not afraid of it. He shouldn't be, insofar as he has
his hands on both the Senate and Drumthwacket.

3. McGreevey has left the state with a $5 billion structural deficit
(notwithstanding TigerHawk's twelve percent marginal state income
tax rate), and Cody's management of that problem will signal his intentions
for next fall.

Most of this is pretty obvious, I suppose, if you follow New Jersey
politics, which I only do in passing.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Nov 29, 01:25:00 PM:

Thanks for the NJ Update. Here are a few things to consider:

1. It's Codey, not Cody, and he probably doesn't have that much of a chance, especially if Corzine spends some of his huge fortune on the race (he spent about $60 million on his Senate run, leaving such a bad taste in some Democrats' mouths that they actually voted for his moderate Republican opponent, Bob Franks).

2. A wild card in the Democratic primary is Congressman Rob Andrews from South Jersey. If Codey and Corzine run, they could split the north, and Andrews could get the nomination by taking from Trenton south. Andrews probably will run.

3. The Republicans cannot blame the Democrats for the fiscal mess without taking some of the blame themselves. Tom Kean left Jim Florio a mess, and Christie Whitman left Jim McGreevey a mess. Some of the mess, then, is indigenous to NJ. It's a bipartisan problem.

4. The Republicans don't have a candidate yet. They had hoped to coax the United States Attorney, Christopher Christie, into running, but he's not interested. They are desperately trying to get a good moderate to run, fearing that if they cannot find one then Brett Schundler, the one-time mayor of Jersey City, will get the nod. He upset Franks in the primary the last time around, and McGreevey routed him in the general election. Look for Bob Torricelli's opponent, Doug Forrester, to try to take the Republican nomination.

So, believe it or not, it could well be that the Democrats keep control of the governor's mansion, if only because a Tom DeLay Republican will not wash in NJ.

Mr. Jersey Tomatohead  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Mon Nov 29, 07:30:00 PM:

Thanks for the added detail -- I wish I knew so much about New Jersey politics (frankly, I can barely make myself read the local papers). As an ex-corporate lawyer, help on spelling is always appreciated. Your thoughts on the divisions within the Republican ranks are also quite interesting. Do you think that any of them have a chance against Corzine?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Nov 30, 02:43:00 PM:

I think it's possible that Corzine can lose, because of three potential backlashes, one against the Democrats in general for the legacy of the McGreevy administration, one against the Democrats for taxing jobs out of the state and therefore putting the average voter's job on the line and one against Corzine for trying to buy the seat. That means, though, that the GOP opponent will have to raise enough money to attack Corzine and isolate him as one of those really rich people who can afford all of the social entitlements he may seek to thrust upon NJ but who really is out of touch with the average voter, who cannot afford to fund those entitlements. If they can nominate someone other than Schundler, the Republican Party will have a chance.

Mr. Jersey Tomatohead  

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