New Jersey’s Governor

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Dear Editors, While I must assume your letters to editors are reserved for your student body, I send you this email which has a copy of the letter I have been mailing to many editors and commentators in the tri-state area for your consideration of its thoughts. As you will see it puts forth a case for McGreevey staying in office. I also send in addition some relevant comments that I have made along the way. I hope you find time to read and consider it all. As of this date the letter has been printed in abridged versions in the Asbury Park Press’ and Star Ledger’s readers’ forums, at the end of the Philadelphia Inquirer editorial page and online in full in the Atlantic Herald. The Brick Bulletin has asked for and received confirmation as has several other such papers. As I send the letter to you, I continue to mail and email it to others.

McGreevey Should Stay in Office

It would be in the best interest of New Jersey and its citizens for Governor McGreevey to serve out his term of office. While in office the Governor has clearly shown inclinations to champion laws to enhance the welfare of the citizens and state and now, no matter how strange it may seem, he has an opportunity to free himself from political shackles to bond more with citizens, becoming in the end a better, more honest politician and governor.

Since McGreevey has frankly confessed his sexual orientation, he can no longer be compromised by it. Obviously the Governor needs to get hold of his emotions and settle his life properly. But certainly hiding a private life while holding office is not a healthy condition to which this entire matter speaks. On the other hand, the Governor’s supposedly unethical behavior of placing a sex partner in unmerited government positions is of deep concern as are the unsavory connections of some of his campaign associates and political appointments. The only positive in these matters is that they are exposed and consequently less likely to affect future decisions.

While there is something terribly wrong in McGreevey’s actions, there is a bigger picture to examine and to place these actions in a way that helps voters come to terms with them.

In general, politicians hide personal issues on both sides of the sexual equation as well as on more consequential matters. Some like Clinton, Guiliani and Barney Franks to name just a few seem to find a way to weather their storms to remain in office. Many others just keep lying and hiding. So in a strange twist, McGreevey’s honesty is to his credit.

Politicians make unethical and immoral appointments of their favorites. It is a truth that cannot be denied that our political system is rampant with undeserving lovers, as well as friends, families and sponsors who pay to play.

Our state and national elections are frequently bought not won. Politicians good and bad surround themselves with big money contributors, begging the question: does the problem rest with the McGreeveys or with the system itself. Winning office by paying extravagant amounts of money for phony political ads is clearly unhealthy, unwholesome and corrupting for all.

Citizens need to take stock. How do we spend our precious votes in the foggy, unethical and immoral climate that is our present political scene? Certainly we do not want to put into office crooked, unethical or immoral politicians. But let’s be honest. The political world reeks of hypocrisy. It is a world of purchased advertisements where truth is not a premium. Voters, especially those of us who would never consider serving in elected office, have a troublesome responsibility in penetrating this morass in order to make realistic decisions. Priorities are clearly needed.

Republicans, Democrats and Independents must come to know first if candidates will work for the good of all. To me the worse politicians, the most hypocritical, are those who reverse this situation, prostituting themselves to serve powerful corporate or elite interests while camouflaging these connections with strong advocacy of perhaps important but more narrow personal issues.

While I do not try to defend his actions, I do believe McGreevey works for the general good. There are good and bad in all political parties. It is true, but sad, that our country is presently inundated with unethical and downright criminal politics both in and out of political office, most of which are not addressed. At the same time the credibility of anyone serving can easily be compromised by innuendo or by supposition rather than real fact.

Citizens do not have to be told that power in our country is now greatly concentrated and that the United States of America, which for two centuries has inspired other nations and citizens, now stands degraded by the power of money. The real truth behind our American life is that while a vague promise of democracy still exists, our reality is an aristocracy in which the rich get richer, the poor poorer and the middle class evaporate.

Somehow and in some way citizens must separate the wheat from the chaff and come to see the reality that operates beneath the hue and cry of insincere political rhetoric. We must try to put into office and then to keep those who will serve the interest of the many rather than the few. The McGreeveys of our country are far from perfect and deserve to be called on their faults. But the bottom line has got to be whether politicians are for us or against us. I think the Governor is for us and therefore find it important to keep him in office. If he proves to be a better governor, he could even be re-elected. Anything is possible.

One thing is for sure, however. Our fragile, evolving democracy is sliding toward a strong, monopolistic institution. History records democracies conversions: oligarchy, tyranny, empire, and fascism. We often hear pundits say that those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. From what I can see great concentrations of power act as great inhibitors of that learning. If so, it is logical to conclude that if we never find the people power to halt the concentration of our political and economic power, we are doomed to repeat history. Let’s hope America finds its way out of this mess to a creative future. Warts and bruises aside, I think McGreevey’s instincts are democratic and I for one believe our forefathers had it right. Resolution of our dilemma lies first with the people and only then with the politicians.

Barbara Hudson 13 Mahoras Drive Ocean, N. J. 07712 732 493 8162


I have now observed three governors who have apparently been, or attempted to be, taken down around their efforts to restrict development. Cahill, knocked out in his primary, had established the DEP. Byrne, pushing through restrictions of development of the Pine Barrens, nearly drowned in scandals. Now fueled by McGreevey’s personal revelation and bad judgments, government is reaching some kind of fevered pitch as the Governor tries to restrict development in the Highlands. Credibility is a lethal weapon especially in such powerful circumstances

Cipel seems linked to the developer Kushner in more ways than one. A few weeks ago on The Reporters on NJTV journalists mentioned that although Cipel had no money or job he was living in an expensive New York City apartment

I do believe my letter and comments are beyond party politics. Cahill, a Republican, had the courage to establish the DEP which was likely the main reason he lost his primary. Afterward, other signs of real courage came only from the Democrats who paid the costs. With Reagan leading the way, both Kean and Whitman, governors of great wealth, played it safe. Recently I read in a New Jersey paper (which one I can’t remember) a journalist referring to the struggles of our past governors: Byrne with taxes ( sorry but I also don’t remember if he included the Pinelands); Kean with school prayer; Florio with taxes; Whitman with partial birth abortion and McGreevey with the Highlands. If you read my letter you will see that I refer to personal issues, such as school prayer and abortion, as important but not crucial and ones that camouflage rather than confront politics, During the Republican convention Mrs. Whitman expressed on NJTV her regret about New Jersey’s current negative reputation especially after she and Kean had worked so hard to improve it. What Mrs. Whitman omits is the reality of New Jersey politics and needless to say the state continued to be developed as rapidly as ever during both their terms while they made their smooth way onto the national scene.

For citizens like me, the McGreevey issue is beyond party politics and relates to reasons that so many do not vote. We have little or no voice in the media other than responding to polls that seem to frame questions to get particular responses. I note that in the middle of the barrage calling for Governor McGreevey to resign, the Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind poll released on August 16 reported “…when asked whether McGreevey should resign, nearly half those polled — 48 percent — said he should, while 42 percent said it was not necessary, and 10 percent said they were unsure… … With a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points, neither of those results showed a clear majority.” While I believe there is good reason for the Governor staying on, the above poll could indicate a sizable if not majority base for that support, a fact that might be true but is completely ignored.

New Jersey is not alone in corruption. As you are aware, our overall political system is broken and in a strange way we in New Jersey have a unique opportunity. Rumors, accusations, investigations, allegations, suppositions, innuendos and such are not proof of wrongdoing. If McGreevey is truly guilty of something then let him go to jail. But he would go with plenty of company if the bigger fish in both parties went with him. Notice they keep swarming around in politics as freely as ever. I try to express in this letter disillusionment with government that cannot be tied to any one circumstance. These days from top to bottom what continues to be legal as well as what is blatantly illegal is overwhelmingly offensive to citizens who wish to live in a true democracy. Money is the root of our evil so in a real sense a yellow crime tape could be put around all the houses of government.

Another note is to look at our alternatives. With Codey it’s The Usual with Corzine or a Republican it’s We the Rich. What we need and should fight for are candidates and politicians who have true democratic instincts whether they are pink, green or alien. Most of McGreevey’s lust seems to be for politics and not money. All by itself this is quite an exception

Life may have reached some kind of brink here in New Jersey and, like the weather that gyrates back and forth, it is unpredictable. As a bellwether state, we often get a first look at politics and as I say in this letter anything is possible.

Many journalists and commentators are beginning to get set in the sense that they are expecting more scandal and accepting the inevitibility of Codey and Corzine or some Republican. Because the whole range of possibilities is not accepted, this inevitability seems to me manufactured. There is also an irony in our election season filled with religious overtones. By chance if we could get a truly reformed Governor, then a little real Christian forgiveness might be in order.