I have not posted about the still unfolding political scandal in New Jersey, where 44 people, including current elected officials have been arrested (43 of those are Democrats). Stuart Rothenberg is pronouncing this scandal to be the final nail in Democrat Jon Corzine’s gubernatorial reelection bid:
Corzine’s ethics are not the issue, of course. His major problem is the state’s economy, which includes the budget.
But after the raid, Garden State voters are now more likely to kill two birds with one vote – expressing their disappointment with the governor’s economic performance while also finally making a statement about ethics, corruption and good government. That’s exactly what happened in Louisiana in 2007, when Bobby Jindal (R) was elected governor.
During the July FBI raid, authorities arrested a number of former and current officeholders, including Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano III, Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini and Jersey City Council President Mariano Vega, all Hudson County Democrats. Ocean County Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt was the lone Republican arrested in the sting.
For months, polls have shown Christie holding anywhere from a 6-point to a 12-point lead over Corzine, who served five years in the Senate before winning the governorship in 2005. Polls have shown the governor draws 38 percent to 41 percent in ballot tests, a sign of his weak position, and he is losing too much support among blue-collar Democrats and independent voters.
If Corzine is defeated in a blowout, New Jersey politics may be changed for at least a few years. We can but hope.