Daily Archives: November 5, 2009

The Governor Thanks His Supporters

I received the following email last night from the Governor Corzine. It was sent to all of those that supported him and his campaign this year. I thought that I would share it with you all:

You’ve stood by this campaign through thick and thin, and I wanted to take a few moments to thank you for all your support and encouragement throughout this campaign.

We may not have prevailed in the vote count, but we stood up for our common commitment to making this state the kind of place where all of our kids and grandkids can grow and prosper.

For that, I am truly grateful to each and every one of you.

Whatever our political differences, I believe that Chris Christie is going to work hard for the people of this state, and I wish the Governor-Elect success, patience, and good fortune as he leads our state forward.

I got into public life because I truly believe that government can be a force for good, and I am proud that we focused on the issues that matter most to working families like jobs, education, health care, and economic security.

Thank you for the privilege of serving as your Governor, it has been the high honor of my life.

Jon Corzine

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New Feature -Politics and Faith; The Christian message is a political one that is both complex and straightforward

I am happy to announce a new feature to this blog, from time to time there will be a column about how faith and politics or often interlinked.

The columns will be submitted by a dear friend of mine that many in the Northern Monmouth County area know well, former publisher of the Courier, turned Baptist minister, Mr. Jim Purcell.

I hope that all will find Jim’s addition to this blog insightful and at times inspirational. Let me know how you feel about it.

His first colum is titled: The Christian message is a political one that is both complex and straightforward.

There is politics within the message of Jesus Christ, and it is the stuff of powerful controversy. Born a poor Jew within Roman-occupied Palestine, God made a choice to introduce Himself physically into the history of mankind in a purposeful, guided way.

He did not decide to arrive as an earthly king, or a noble of Rome or even as a clergyman locked away from other people. Christ arrived where He was needed most – to people who were desperately in need of salvation and, above all, redemption.

During the 1st century AD, Palestine was expecting a savior, but not exactly the kind that appeared. Many occupation-weary Jews hoped the savior would come from the model of the Maccabees, the militaristic Jewish family that led a rebel army and vanquished the Seleucid Army during the 2nd century BCE. Upon victory, the Maccabees went on to found the Hasmonean dynasty, which was in power from 164 to 63 BCE. So, the experience many Jews had with salvation was not of the kind that Jesus brought. Prior to Him, salvation was seen in militaristic, even nationalistic ways.

Then came Jesus, and His message of peace, tolerance, good will and the work of God. He did not ever say He was here to found a new religion. Commonly, Jesus instructed upon reforming the Jewish Law, and informing perspectives about the will of God.

He had politics and they were amazingly simple, and hard, all at once: Love God, care for the widows and the orphans, heal the sick, feed the hungry, look after the poor, welcome the stranger, care for your neighbor as you would yourself, and liberate one’s self and others not with violence and war but with peace, love and determination.

The God that Jesus spoke of did not believe in creating earthly empires, nor of watching people oppressed and left to cruel fate or, worse yet, being exploited by others. Jesus informed us that each of us has a personal relationship with our Creator, and that He is our link – our bridge – to God the Father.

Where’s the controversy in this? Simple enough: No one was ever killed, harmed or even berated for preaching war. War is the easiest thing to preach, because the orator can wrap him or herself within a flag and play a catchy tune and the crowds do tend to love that show. Yet, to speak of God and His intent in a way that runs counter to the music and the great speeches by allegedly honorable men and women is seen as a so-called “perversion of religion” because God doesn’t have a team, a flag, a nation or even a favorite football jersey.

Peace is a political problem. War is an activity that people seem intent to engage in, and try to rationalize it and discover the God in it. But there is no part of God in it.

Just as controversial are ideas about giving voice to those who are marginalized, even oppressed by the politics of hate and derision.

If there is a Devil, it does not seek the physical, psychological, spiritual or social health of humans or their communities. It would revel in dissent, epidemic, social stratification, exploitation of peoples and the demonization of groups for the sake of division alone. And, this is the state of politics today.

The common ground that is needed in government and politics is not the agenda or platforms of parties, but rather the agenda of God as made apparent in the Word. And, that agenda is caring for the health, welfare and physical/spiritual development of not a few people, or some people, but just people. It involves tolerance and, dare I say, something better than is being commonly offered by or to each of us.

God is neither Republican nor Democrat and favors nor advocates for either party, and for good reason. But, as community leaders and allegedly people of conscience, it should be the business of people to adjust their agenda to faith and not use faith to market what is not about faith –greed and evil.

If God is to bless America, it will not be because that saying is emblazoned upon a bumper sticker in red, white and blue, but because it is America that observes its alleged relationship with God. That begins not at political rallies but with long looks in the mirror.

(Jim Purcell is a former journalist who is a licensed Baptist minister. His book, “Faith Outside the City,” is available for purchase on Amazon.com for $14.95. He also operates a website focused on Christian faith at: www.FaithOutsidetheCity.blogspot.com.)

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It’s The Day After, The Day After And the Sun Still Came Up This Morning

That’s right ladies and gentlemen the sun still rose and a new day has dawned. It’s time to forget about what happened Tuesday night and move on.

There is no need to feel sorry for ourselves or cast blame on others, the bottom line is that people were / are upset at the direction the State has been heading and they wanted a change in course.

It’s unfortunate though; that those at the bottom of the ship were drowned while many of those who are steering the ship survived the tsunami of disaffection.

Many things can be said about how poorly Jon Corzine ran his campaign but why bother at this point? It was no secret, everyone knew that the governor was going to have a hard time getting re-elected. Many supporter cut their loses early and jump ship before the boat pulled away from the dock, others bit the bullet and stood by his side, hoping beyond hope, that by November 3rd the ship would have righted its course. I admit, I was one of them.

Do I regret my support for Jon Corzine? No I don’t, as I wrote in earlier pieces Jon Corzine best represented the values that I believed in; early childhood education, universal healthcare reform and fiscal responsibility are just a few that I believe in.

People mocked me when I spoke of the last one, but it’s true Jon Corzine kept the growth of property taxes to just 3.7 percent in recent years and this year, the school tax levy was 2.65%, the lowest it has been in over a decade. He also provided $7 billion of direct property tax relief to the residents of New Jersey, more than any other in history.

Unfortunately those accomplishments were not enough to convince the residents of the Garden State to give him a second chance. Voters were angry at his failures, both personal and professional, from Karla Katz to his 800% toll amortization plan. When you put that on top of the current economic realities of the state like unemployment and the prospect of an $8.billion budget deficit for next year, the people had had enough.

When you further consider the election results it seems that the candidates at the bottom of the ticket, the local candidates, the ones on the frontlines, where the ones that took the biggest hit for Corzine’s failures and not the members of he State Assembly, where it looks like only one seat changed hands.

In the local Monmouth and Ocean Counties races, on both the County and Township level, from what I can see, you can count on one hand how many democrats were elected or re-elected in Monmouth but not one democrat was elected in Ocean County, many good men and women were defeated and Democrats in those counties are angry. They are angry because the governor did not put any time or resources into these counties and it showed on Election Day. The Governor lost each county by more than 60,000 votes each and it would seem that Corzine lost the election due to his apathy for the angry residents in Monmouth and Ocean, an anger which than carried its way towards local candidates, and Democrats are not happy about it.

I have heard that there is a groundswell of anger beginning to come to ahead and changes are underway to shake up the leadership in both the Monmouth County and Ocean County Democratic Parties because of it.

I say that while change may be needed there is no need to act hastily. Democrats need to step back and understand that while these loses hurt and may have set the local parties back a few years, their loses were not necessarily caused by bad or ineffectual ideas or practices on their parts. All this means really, is that they need to work harder in the future and not take anything for granted.

After all, the world did not end Tuesday night, the sun still rose in the morning and challenges still need to be faced. All that has changed is the day, we still need to make the best of it.

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