Slightly to the Right in New Jersey

Conservative comments on New Jersey

Chris Christie, from nothing to 51 ways to fix New Jersey in less than three months. (Final 11)

Well, let’s finish up our analysis of Chris Chrisitie’s 51 ways to fix New Jersey.  Hopefully, we can find a few ways that Chris can actually make happen, since up to now, it seems he can’t keep his word on most of these promises.  So getting right to it, here are the last eleven ways:

  • 41. I will eliminate special interest labor union giveaways that increase spending and taxes by ending the use of project labor agreements, which drive up the cost of public construction projects and fail to deliver a public benefit at a time when the economy is shedding jobs and taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet.  Once again, Chris makes a promise here that does not make a lot of sense.  First off, look at the last part of the promises, will he only eliminate these special labor union giveaways when the economy is bad?  Hey Chris, how about when the economy is good?  Further, will you have to have the legislature pass laws that will allow the use of non-union workers on state contracts?  Chris, please explain this promise so we can understand exactly what you want to do here.
  • 42. I will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and expedite key projectsby utilizing innovative procurement methodologies like Design/Build/Operate/Maintain (DBOM).  Wow, save “hundreds of millions of dollars” !  Now that sounds like a real plan.  But, before going further, do you really know what DBOM is?  Design, Build, Operate and Maintain is a great idea, but not one that is possible in most government contracts for capital projects.  Let’s just use one simple area of state expenditures to show how silly this concept is, highways.  Designing a highway is a cooperative effort between the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the contractor who will actually build the project.  Of course building the project is the contractor’s responsibility, with the over site of DOT.  When the road is finally built, no contractor will “operate or maintain” the highway, since this is not their business.  They just are not equipped for this kind of business.  The responsibility for the operation and maintenance will go to DOT, since this is the reason this department exists.  Once again, can you give us an example of where you would apply DBOM and just how you came up with “hundreds of millions of dollars” of savings.
  • 43. I will eliminate the Legislature’s conflicts of interest by strengthening ethics laws to require State Legislators to either recuse themselves from legislative actions that affect their private sector interests, or publicly disclose these conflicts when they occur.  I think you better go back and study how democratic government works.  The governor cannot strengthen ethics laws, that is only something that can be done by the assembly and senate.  You might suggest that they pass those types of laws, but this is another promise you cannot keep.
  • 44. I will fully eliminate dual office-holding by our State’s elected officials by proposing immediate changes to state law.  Once again, this is a promise you can’t keep, since YOU cannot eliminate dual office-holding, only the assembly and senate can do that.  Of course, you can suggest that our elected officials pass a law like that, but that is all. 
  • 45. I will ban the practice of dual public employment, whereby one person holds a full-time government job while also holding a salaried, elected position. This is one item, that I believe is not just unconstitutional, but also un-american.  If a person has a job like police officer, fireman, teacher, department of public works employee, why should they not be allowed to exercise their constitutional rights and run for office.  Why can’t a police officer also be a school board member?  How about a teacher also being a town council member?   These elected offices do carry small stipend or salary, but to deny  a person their constitutional rights only because they are public employees, is just plain wrong!  What should be proposed though, is an elected official cannot then become a public employee in any position in which they would have authority over in their elected office, without first resigning from that office.  For example, a member of the school board, could not become a teacher in that school district until they resigned from the board.  Come on Chris, being a lawyer, you should know better than to step on people’s rights.
  • 46. I will reform New Jersey’s boards and commissions by only appointing those without conflicts of interest, refusing to create boards and commissions where the memberships create new conflicts of interest, and implementing statutory changes (as needed) to remove any current agency members with conflicts of interest.  I do believe this is one thing he can do, since the governor does appoint many members to various boards and commissions.  The only thing I see being an impediment, is the multitude of favors he will owe all of the people who have blindly endorsed him for governor.  Unless there has  been radical changes in how politics are carried out in New Jersey, these appointments are normally given to those who have supported the governor in one way or another.  Only time will tell if Chris will actually keep this promise, since it is one that he could keep.
  • 47. I will hold government officials accountable for their actions by requiring any elected or appointed official convicted of a crime connected to their official position to forfeit their pension benefits.  This promise will require more than Chris holding officials accountable.  Pension benefits are a contractual item.  They can only be modified or denied by negotiation or judicial methods, not by a governor’s whim.  Once again, I feel that this is a promise that Christie won’t be able to keep.
  • 48. I will strengthen our weak “pay to play” laws by eliminating special interest labor union loopholes to ensure labor unions are treated just like any other entities that have contracts with government.  This again is a promise that Christie can’t keep.  Only the assembly and senate can pass a law that would stop this practise.  One has to wonder how much of a chance that would have of passing, since the representatives and senators receive a lot of money from the unions.  One other thing also, will Christie push for a “Play then Pay” law which would prevent accepting campaign money from people who had benefited from contracts that one gave them prior to their seeking office?
  • 49. I will give New Jerseyans a stronger voice in government by amending the State Constitution to create a statewide initiative and referendum process to allow public questions to be placed on the ballot.  Chris, Chris, Chris, listen to what you said, “I will give New Jerseyans a stronger voice” but then you acknowledge that the State Constitution has to be amended.  Again, this is promise you can’t keep.  You can suggest this change be made, but unless the assembly and senate agree to ask for an amendment, this will go no where.
  • 50. I will provide New Jerseyans regularly occurring opportunities to petition for their government for action by amending the State Constitution to include a provision, whereby every 10 years, voters will have the opportunity to convene a popularly-elected Constitutional Convention.  Again, Chris has promised something he cannot deliver!  This would require an amendment to the state constitution.  This can only be done by the assembly and senate, not the governor!  Come on Chris, tell us how you could get this done.
  • 51. I will increase honesty and openness in government by requiring fully search-able and transparent websites for all state and local governments and school districts, providing links to property records and taxes, government payrolls, expenditures, school performance report cards, and other information. All information would be accessible to the public no later than 45 days following the close of each fiscal year.  Once again, here is a promise that he has not chance of keeping, and is just arrogant.  If he wants to do something like this, just stick to the state level.  Let the counties and local governments make their own rules.  The last thing Christie should be worrying about is local government.  In most cases in the state, this level of government is running pretty good, and would run better with less state interference, not more.  Chris, worry about the state, and let local government do what it does best, taking care of the citizens of the towns and cities they serve.

Well, that is a review of the 51 ways that Chris Christie says will fix New Jersey.  The problem I see with them, is that except for a few of them,  most of them are ones that he cannot do a thing about.  Most of them would require new laws, or constitutional amendments.  Others would require larger government, and more expenses, not less.   All of them though, have no example of just what he would do to keep these promises.  One would have more confidence in these promises, if Chris would offer specific examples of items he would change, and just how he would accomplish it.  Well, I for one always want to know if “Promises made” can actually become “Promises kept”.  I guess Chris does not want to have that being held over his head if he should become governor.

christiegovwhopper5

Hey Chris Christie, it is great to have 51 ways to fix New Jersey, but don’t ever forget the most important thing of all, “IT’S TAXES, STUPID”!

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April 17, 2009 - Posted by | Borrowing, Budget, Chris Christie, Christie, Conservative, Corzine, Debt, democrats, Governor's Race, illegal aliens, Illegal Immigrants, Lawyers, Liberals, Lonegan, New Jersey, Pay for Play, Property Taxes, Republicans, Taxes | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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