New Jersey is famous for corruption in politics. Our current elected officials, at least at the state level (and in most places at the local and county level as well), are all pigs at the trough, with two or three show and no-show government jobs, double and triple dipping into the state provided benefits pool, sucking whatever money they can from “the system”. It is no surprise that NJ is one of the highest taxed states in the country, and that a recent survey indicated over 50% of those asked would move out of NJ (myself included – although not asked) as soon as they could.
The only way to change our situation is to literally vote the bastards out. Thus G.R.I.P., which urges us to vote against any politician, regardless of party, seeking to keep his current seat or office.
For us residents of Hudson County, with an even bigger reputation for corrupt politics than the state, this means voting Republican, which I will do for all positions except County Executive. The Republican candidate is (the?) Agha Khan – and the Democratic incumbent, Tom DeGise, is not as bad as he could be.
Years ago I used to be paid to be a Republican. I worked for the Board of Election at a local polling place in Jersey City on election days, as did my parents. I think we were paid maybe $50.00 for the day. I got the “job” because, although quite liberal at the time, I was a registered Republican - a rarity in Hudson County. And I was a registered Republican so I could get paid for working on the polls on election days.
Also running for County Executive is perennial opposition candidate Herb Shaw, under the excellently named banner “Politicians Are Crooks”. He has been running for something for as long as I have been able to vote.
My mother was Herb’s Sunday School teacher (before I was born). And Herb and I briefly sat on the same jury panel years ago. His knife set off the metal detector while attempting to enter the Administration Building and it was confiscated and held while we were in court. I remember that he wrote a letter to the editor at the time complaining about the abuse of his right to “bear arms” or something to that effect. During the campaign to lower the voting age in NJ some 35 or so years ago Herb loaned us his sound truck, which he used to drive around the county at election time proclaiming that “Politicians Are Crooks”.
Let’s hope there are a lot of G.R.I.P. supporters going to the polls in New Jersey tomorrow.