Wednesday, October 12, 2005

NJ Gubernatorial Debate 2005 Number 2

This time, radio.

I went to what amounted to a listening party at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick. It was, in fact, a benefit for Corzine, with commentary done by Al Franken. It was interesting to learn, by the way, that live commentary at a debate that you're actually trying to listen to works very badly. I did enjoy Franken's words before and after the debate, but perhaps that exact format isn't something that should be repeated.

In fact, I missed quite a bit of the debate because of my irresistible urge to chat. It's like I've got a problem, or something. I did have a few favorite moments, and I'm recalling them mostly by reading the live blogging recount by Juan Melli at BlueJersey.

I loved the bits where the moderator would correct statements that were just wrong, like this one:
Email question: both wealthy individuals. Why take low-paying job? Will you take only $1 in salary?

Corzine: I haven't taken pay in Senate except for health benefits. Will accept a salary of $1 annually. Want job to make sure there is equal pay for equal work. All children insured.

Forrester: will donate salary to charity.

Moderator: taxpayers won't save $180,000 salary.
There was also a lot of "Is that a yes, or a no?" from Eric Scott, the moderator. That's very refreshing, really, because I really hate when the answer to a question gets lost in the cotton wool that they try to wrap their actual opinions in.

Surprising bit: both candidates said that they would sign a bill legalizing medical marijuana if it got to their desk. I'm in favor of that! I am *not* in favor of using controlled substances for recreation, but I'm absolutely in favor of allowing people in excessive pain to use prescribed drugs for relief. How is marijuana different from say, dilaudid in that manner? In my mind it's not.

Weasely bit: Forrester would *not* say the word "embryonic" when the stem-cell research issue came up. Kept hammering that he was in favor of stem cell research, but absolutely refused to say that there was a difference between adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells, even when Corzine asked him that directly.

I grudgingly admit that Forrester sounded good bit: on the question about whether or not the candidates support a new hockey arena in Newark, Forrester went in to a spiel about how doing that would be a gross misuse of Port Authority funds, and how with so many other obvious problems staring us in the face in Newark, the arena is a terrible idea. True, Corzine agreed with him, but I thought Forrester sounded good on this one.

Bit where I thought "finally!": Eminent domain came up pretty fast, with a specific question about Camden (Cramer Hill), and Forrester tried to link it to Petty's Island. Corzine actually got to state clearly that Petty's Island is not the same as the situation in Camden, it's a dump site for an oil company (Citgo), and *not* people's homes at all. Whether or not you support the project to redevelop Petty's Island, none of it involves ousting people from homes that they own.

Bit where I can't believe I didn't get it: Corzine suggested securitizing the tolls collected by the toll roads for a few years to create more profit, and I couldn't figure out what "securitizing" meant. It was as if I'd never heard the word before. It wasn't until I was driving in to work this morning when all of a sudden my brain yelled at me, "Securities! Get it, now?". Oh. Yes, I get it now.

In the end, I remain a strong Corzine supporter. I really feel that he's good at his job, and that he tries to make the country a better place to live, a great place to live. I like his work as Senator, and I believe that this would translate into me liking his work as Governor as New Jersey.

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