November 3rd marks a day when the voters of NJ said ENOUGH and summarily dismissed John Corzine and the 12 years of democratic rule that preceeded him. Chris Christie presented himself as the “Not John Corzine” candidate and was able to win with little substance or specifics.
I want to focus not on why he won, but how. Chris Christie won due to an unprecedented swell from the suburban counties of Monmouth, Sussex and Ocean as thoroughly analyzed in this article. The democratic strongholds of Essex, Hudson and Camden not only didn’t elect Christie but went even more strongly for the incumbent.
In physics as in politics for every action there is a reaction and the voters who elected Chris Christie are set to be the benefactors of his policies while those who did not will suffer. Does this mean Christie will ignore the needs of the most populous counties in the state? Will the urban centers be spited for the appeasement of the suburbanites? Will reduction in services and property taxes disproportionately impact Newark, Jersey City & Camden? Maybe…
One thing for sure that can be taken from Chris Christie’s background is a proven record for going after corruption. As shown in the recent arrests in Jersey City, corruption abounds in the urban centers and low income neighborhoods of the state (not that the rich suburbs are immune). Corey Booker has fought against corruption in Newark with some success. A zero tolerance of corrupt officials statewide will be a big win for the State of NJ’s inner cities and should be a benefit of having Governor Christie.
As far as programs and funding the answer is most likely a yes. The suburban voters who elected Christie are fed up a rising tax burden due to expanding welfare, wasteful spending on education, and ineffective social programs with little to no provable results. There will certainly be a sever reduction in these types of funds.
On the bright side the Republican party of today has changed from the days the days of President Ford leaving the City of NY to twist in the wind. The examples of Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg show that inner cities can become Republican strongholds, economic engines, and areas to score big political points. Hopefully Governor Christie has learned from their example.
The exodus from the cities that occurred from the 1970’s through the late 1990’s is over. Suburbanites are fed up with suburban sprawl and have been reclaiming urban blight. Waste in the state is mainly due to the corruption and mismanagement of our inner cities. Revitalization of Newark, Jersey City & Camden is the key to making NJ a place where people want to live and business want to do business.
Essex, Hudson and Camden may not have voted for Christie but they hold the key to his political future.