Thursday, December 14, 2006

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine To Sign Civil Unions Bill

I'm not fond of New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine. It bothered me when he muscled his predecessor Richard Cody out of the way because he was bored with the Senate. Cody is an honorable public servant and did a credible job after replacing the hapless and corrupt Jim McGreevey. I was especially impressed with Cody's committment to mental health issues. Overall Cody's interim tenure was defined by the public interest over the politics of expediency.

Jon Corzine however was bored with the Senate and decided he wanted to buy the governor's mansion in Trenton. Cody was advised Corzine would challenge him in the Democratic primary and leverage his fortune to obtain what he wanted. Cody correctly realized he had no chance and returned to his role as leader of the New Jersey Senate.

Meanwhile, the Democrats potentially could have lost their New Jersey Senate seat to Tom Kean Jr. in the mid-term elections. I like Senator Robert Menendez and believe the corruption charges against him are largely fabricated. Nevertheless, Democrats were forced to spend money in the state because Menendez was vulnerable and that potentially might have cost them Senate seats elsewhere. Put it all together and Jon Corzine doesn't imbue me with warm and fuzzy feelings.

I must express appreciation however for his willingness to sign into law a civil unions bill passed today by New Jersey's state legislature. This will make New Jersey the third state, after Vermont and Connecticut, to offer civil unions, which extend to gay men and lesbians all the rights state law affords married people. Sadly the bill does not recognize gay marriage.

I don't blame homosexuals for wondering: "Why can't we be granted the same status?" They're right to feel that way and it's a disgrace gay marriage is regarded with such vehemance. For the time being, homosexual couples will at least have the same rights as married couples in New Jersey. Hopefully, that is something to build on.


Anonymous said...

i've seen you post on the fix wapost site. if i remember correctly, you have some interesting things to say.

it sounds like you are turned off by corzine spending his own money (a lot of it) to win political office. my question to you, is it any worse then the traditional fundraising process? at least this way he's not beholden to any special interests. he and mike bloomberg have both been independent, forward thinking, and 'do the right thing' pols because they were self-financed.

i know not all self-financed pols will be nice guys and i agree that there is a worry, but i think because the campaign money process is ugly anyway you look at it, i don't think that's a reason not to like corzine. i'd rather he finance his own campaign, instead of a bunch of multi-national corporations and unions and other special interests.

you're a proud liberal and i think the real meaning of that word is, open minded, tolerant, and instinctual desire for social justice. you're not letting the demonization of that word prevent you from using it. corzine is the most honestly and proudly liberal pol in the democratic party. he prefers the word progressive but hasn't shied away from calling himself a liberal.

in 2k1 he turned down an invitation to the DLC because he felt that they had shifted away from their original intentions and strayed away from core progressive values.

' I am absolutely convinced that, standing on the foundation of fiscal stability that Democrats have built and to which the DLC contributed, we now have to fight for our convictions. If we begin to negotiate from the middle, the end result inevitably takes us to the right of where I believe our nation should be'

let's not forget that his bio and track record is top notch. he was a farmer, he went to a state school and walked on to be a point guard of a big ten bball team...he was a marine reservist, went to biz school on scholarship, rose to the top of goldman sachs which is one of the best companies in the world, largely because of what he did as ceo. his record as a politician is second to none:
- voted against the war
- brought a bill to the floor 3 years ago to stop genocide in darfur
- brought a bill every year he was a senator to try and force chemical companies to guard their plants and use less harmful chemicals. was of course defeated by do nothing congress and legal bribery of republicans
- has been a stud for poor people and the environment
- got money for port security

as governor he got civil unions passed, stem cell funding, fiscal reform, ethics reform, and most likely property tax reform, all within 1 year.

he appeals to every demographic because he's a straightforward and honest guy, who knows how to say sorry if he f-ed up, and holds himself accountable.

he's forward thinking, hard working, risk taking, and a born leader. i hope he's our next president, because if anyone can clean up the mess, it will be him. we have the fake ceo president right now, but he could be the real part, is that he's great at showing people on both sides of the fence that liberal and progressive ideas also make economic as well as moral sense.

ross_horowitz said...

Pardon my ignorance, but if civil unions offer the same rights as marriage, how is it not the same status?

Is it just the name?

I think the status is up to the public at large. There will be too many people out there who disapprove of homosexuality at all for there to be gay marriage for some time.

There are gay couples out there who are already deeply dedicated to one another. Do they need the state to bless their union? What they need the state to do is give them the same rights that other couples have. Remarkably, New Jersey has stepped up and done that. I don't really care what they call it.

A rose by any other name...