Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pulling for Daggett

I realize that, barring an act of divine intervention, Chis Daggett is not going to win the New Jersey gubernatorial race. But I really do hope that he garners a reasonably large share of the vote.

Daggett is clearly the best candidate. He's also the only one who could introduce any real reform. I agree with this Star-Ledger endorsement of Daggett (follow-up here):

The lamentable fact is that the two parties are, themselves, little more than narrow special interests. Their competition for short-term political and/or monetary gain has jeopardized the state’s long-term economic health and left it with a tarnished national reputation. Where the major parties have differed, their differences have been inconsequential. Where they’ve been the same, their similarities have been destructive.

They have contributed equally to gross overspending in Trenton by consistently pandering to the pay, pension and retirement policies demanded by powerful public employee unions. Democrats have financed the spree with tax hikes, Republicans with borrowed money, and both with pension-fund raids.

How do we now signal them that this has got to stop if not by rejecting their anointed candidates? How if not by electing Chris Daggett?

I would also second David Frum's comments:

I interviewed Daggett this past weekend, and I can attest – this independent too is a much more attractive candidate than his official Republican rival.

His proposals for balancing the state’s books are detailed and workable. He’d extend the state’s 7% sales to cover services as well as goods. He’d end the hodge-podge of property tax rebates. He’d then use the money gained to finance an across-the-board property tax cut and also reductions in corporate income taxes. (A fuller statement of the plan can be read here.)

Daggett emphasizes New Jersey’s most important environmental issue: the preservation of open spaces from urban sprawl. He’d use state funds to buy and preserve open land. He favors major ethics reform to try to clean up New Jersey’s notoriously corrupt political culture.

Like most New Jersey Republicans, he is unexcited by social issues, accepting the status quo on abortion, guns, and gay rights. (On that last, he says he’ll leave the issue to the legislature. If they pass same-sex marriage, he’ll sign it.) And make no mistake: Daggett has been a Republican almost all his life. A protégé of former Governor Thomas Kean, he was appointed as state Environmental Protection Agency administrator by Ronald Reagan.

Daggett would make a very good governor.

Sometimes the two-party system can be so frustrating . . . .

Update: Chris Christie is the projected winner. It doesn't look like Daggett made much of a dent in the end.

Kind of depressing.

Update II: In hindsight, maybe I should've voted for Gary Stein for governor. Check out his awesome ballot statement (pdf).

1 comment:

MediaMaven said...

The overall election day results were depressing, too.