So after a little phone tag I finally had an opportunity to sit down with Steve Lonegan and talk the campaign ,Chris Christie ,Governor Corzine and the New Jersey Supreme Court .What stuck me the most is that behind the visions of a tough veteran campaigner is a very passionate man that cares a lot about people .Our interview in the midst of a long day on the campaign trail was only interrupted by a call from his mom.
So I started with something that always bugs me How can a guy running against government subsidies ,take matching funds to run a political campaign ? You see ,he said and i paraphrase ,Corzine can reach into his pocket and take out $60 million bucks but my own mother can only give me around $3400 so either you have to lift the limits or I would be at a huge disadvantage in not take the matching funds.
I pressed him on why he thought he could really cut state spending and he assured me that cutting down and consolidating the number of departments in the state was very doable . He also reminded me that Pennsylvania one of the states New Jersey residents have been fleeing to ,has a flat tax so there was no reason we couldn’t do it here. He pointed me to his record running Bogota and how he enacted similar cuts .The difference being on a state level you had to add more zeros .
This moved our conversation to Bogota and that it had only 8000 residents and I wondered if he thought that was a fair comparison to Trenton ? Again he reminded me and I know this to be true from running this blog ,that in Trenton you have a lot of room to hide but at a local level you are looking people in the eye everyday who you might be dramatically effecting their lives.
This moved us to an other issue it seems Steve has his work cut out for him not only does he have to compete against the deep pockets of Jon Corzine and the Democratic machine but he also has to fight the “chosen one” every Republicans favorite son Chris Christie and the extremely liberal Republican party in this state .
Abbott and COAH were next on the table for discussion and changing the extremely redistributive almost socialistic NJ Supreme Court (my words ). Steve once again reminded me that as Governor he will have the opportunity to appoint 4 new justices and he assured me that the there is a pool of traditional constitutional defending judges.
Finally he stated that he is far more optimistic in the future than I and that the chief threat to New Jersey’s economy are the policies of Jon Corzine and in particular the very destructive policies of Barack Obama .
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