Not really a debate

What happened in Somerset County today was no debate.

Rather, the four gubernatorial candidates simply had about 5 minutes to state their cases.  It was a good program. but it was a shame there was no opportunity for any give and take, or even questions from the audience.

Rick Merkt drew the biggest cheer when he vowed to end COAH — the Coalition on Affordable Housing — by “driving a stake through its heart.” There’s some rhetorical flourish, for you.

The morning marked one of the first times the acclaimed frontrunner for the nomination, Chris Christie, spoke about his gubernatorial bid. He said that the public should not be fooled into thinking that the state can not cut spending. And he faulted Gov. Jon Corzine for putting too much blame on local towns for high property taxes.

That was a fair point, but no one should let local towns and school districts off the hook. After all, they are the ones who raise and spend property taxes, not the state.

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About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

5 Responses to Not really a debate

  1. Fred, Thank you for the report.You have to admit that at least there will be a race in November.
    The voters who really want some change, may have a chance to get some.
    For too long the people in NJ have been brainwashed into thinking that they “old way” is the only way.That may not be so anymore.
    Did you see in PA, where Gov Randell is talking about doing some new things in his budget.Our leaders down in Trenton should take some notes!

  2. Isla says:

    Hi, Fred

    The words ‘acclaimed frontrunner’ and ‘Chris Christie’ together make an oxymoron. His speech was lack-luster and the only thing he could come up with is that he would only run for the first term. He couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Something about a basketball game. (The parents in our family usually “team” on this one)

    Rick Merkt is ok if you like a mixed Republican candidate. Current legislator=part of the problem in Trenton.

    Levine may need a little more time in public speaking — he had trouble with the word “success”… it came out as “sex” and got a great laugh. He had some ideas on the budget but only counted his being a CPA as the way to bring NJ out of its fiscal mess.

    The only real clear candidate is Steve Lonegan. Steve arrived early to meet and greet. Best presentation without notes, fully covering where NJ is, the issues du jour, and a full-throttle approach to the future of New Jersey and the taxpayers who fund it. Steve showed that he is ready to hit the ground running. His commitment [and successful campaigns against pork-laden bills on the last state ballot] for the taxpayers of NJ these past few years show that he knows exactly what we need.

  3. Morris County Native says:

    Rick Merkt has always been willing to stand apart from the other legislators. He is one person in Trenton who has consistently worked to solve problems, not to go along with the crowd. He is brave enough to walk out on a Corzine speech, and also has fought against COAH. I think he is the best candidate for governor. Lonegan and Levine only have local governing experience. Christie may have a large reputation (no pun intended), but he was a very lackluster freeholder.

  4. Kelleher says:

    I love your article! Thank You. roulette software

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