November 13, 2004


Incoming Governor, Under Spotlight, Promises Fast Action (LAURA MANSNERUS, 11/13/04, NY Times)

As he moves into the governor's office, Richard J. Codey, never one to advertise himself, does not have to. The politically interested are studying his every move for clues about what his 14 months in office will mean for them.

Mr. Codey, who will become New Jersey's acting governor Tuesday, promises a barrage of executive orders and legislative proposals in his first few weeks. In an interview, he said he planned new ethics and campaign finance restrictions, expanded state aid for stem-cell research and an ambitious remake of the sports complex in the Meadowlands.

But Gov. James E. McGreevey, still making his slow-motion exit, has left much unfinished. The state is in deep debt. Republicans are clamoring for more campaign finance controls, while many Democratic Party leaders are not. Everyone is clamoring for property tax relief.

Although he will remain the Senate president, effectively controlling two of the three power centers in the State House, Mr. Codey, a Democrat, must negotiate with Democratic Party bosses who have tried for years to get rid of him. And he must consolidate support in the event that he decides to run for four more years in the governor's office - a nomination that otherwise seems likely to belong to United States Senator Jon Corzine.

As if Democrats hadn't already turned the Garden State into a banana republic, can they really let him hold both offices simultaneously?

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 13, 2004 8:49 AM

An uninspired low-wattage West Essex hack is going to bring reform to NJ? No, I don't think so.

A Wall Street sleazeball who still has refused to comply with Federal election law concerning the disclosure of his tax returns, citing his separation agreement with Goldman Sachs, is going to bring reform to NJ. No, I don't think so.

A former Jersey City mayor up to his eyeballs in cahoots with the sleaziest elements in America's crookedest city that doesn't have great Creole cuisine is going to bring reform to NJ. No, I don't think so.

A hanger-on from the old striped-tie GOP Whitman-Edwards crowd which has proved to be no less crooked than the Democrats is going to bring reform to NJ. No, I don't think so.

What can do it? Nothing short of Lee Kwan Yew and martial law.

Posted by: Bart at November 13, 2004 10:49 AM

Bart --

What have Schundler and Franks been doing? Are they viable? Will Forbes ever throw his hat in the ring?

Posted by: Moe from NC at November 13, 2004 11:56 AM

After Gov. Whitman left to take the EPA position, the then Republican State Senate president also was acting governor for some time. It's an odd law that lets it happen.

Posted by: John Thacker at November 13, 2004 12:00 PM

Franks has disappeared as if he's in the witness protection program, which given NJ politics is not unlikely.

Schundler is planning a run, but the striped-tie crowd is behind Doug Forrester, a rich guy who held a mid-level cabinet position for Witless and is willing to spend lots of money and not change anything about the way things are done in NJ. He lost to Lautenberg.

Forbes is running his magazine. Would you give up the bright lights of Manhattan for Trenton?

Posted by: Bart at November 13, 2004 12:04 PM