Thursday, June 9, 2005

Pick Your Poison

Once again, traffic made me late for work - and I never get to find out what causes this traffic, by the way. Volume? Who knows. This means that I was in the car at 7:30 instead of at my desk. And that means that I switched stations at 7:30, because I still hate phone scams. They're still mean.

So I found myself listening to New Jersey 101.5 again. I expected it to be the usual, they give me facts before spouting off with an opinion I don't agree with, but this morning was different. Today, Jim Gearhart went off on some sort of (mild) cynical fit. For a few brief moments, part of his brain opened up and spilled out for all of us to hear.

He expressed the opinion that it doesn't matter if you're Democrat or Republican in NJ, because there's just very little difference. Both candidates have plans to reduce the property tax, and neither one is any good. They both talk about ending corruption in Trenton, but it's all talk. No one is going to change how government works, he said, it can't be done, not by anyone. He quoted Jesse Ventura (!) as saying that government is like a big wheel, you think you can stop it by throwing yourself in front of it, but it just runs you over and keeps on going.

It was cynical, but somehow really refreshing!

I mostly agree with him that nothing will ever completely stop the corruption, but I do feel like it can be reigned in. Life in NJ is getting so expensive that it's insane. I have a friend who makes more than $30k a year. You'd think that would be enough to live modestly on, but I assure you, it is NOT. My friend cannot afford a one-bedroom apartment near her work at Rutgers. That's crazy! I make a bit more than that, and I know that I'm going to have to do some crazy lucky investing in order to be able to afford a house of my own. I may not ever be able to do it. The price of running New Jersey in its current mode is bleeding the residents dry.

So, no, maybe we can't fix it all, but we can fix some of it. And we have to have a governor, that doesn't change. There are 2 main people running for the office this year, Forrester and Corzine. I like Corzine's Senatorial voting record. I like his plans, and his staff. I'm throwing my support behind him. I'll leave you with something that he says on his web site that I like addressing a problem in New Jersey development:
Stopping "Fast-Track" Decisions That Harm the Environment In recent years, New Jersey adopted a wrong-headed policy that 'fast-tracks' developers' permits without allowing for a smart review of environmental considerations. Jon Corzine believes this is bad for our natural environment and will only contribute to sprawl.

Jon Corzine has made clear that this 'fast-track' law can't stay the way it is. The law treats a permit for building next to a drinking water reservoir, and a permit for building in a downtown urban area, the same way.

Jon Corzine will replace this law - allowing a streamlined permitting process for urban areas, but guaranteeing discussion and fact-based review before we build on precious lands. With sprawl and pollution eroding the quality of life in our state, the environmental community and the public must have a seat at the table in these decisions about land use.

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