The Democratic Governors Association is planning to spend millions of dollars in the NJGOP gubernatorial primary this spring on negative ads attacking front runner and establishment favorite Chris Christie.
Ordinarily this shouldn't be a problem. However Christie's opponent, Steve Lonegan, is a reactionary bigot and homophobe who recent polls show is beginning to catch fire among disaffected middle class whites. Recently Lonegan campaigned with "Joe the Plumber" whose homophobic and neo-fascist comments speak for themselves.
There is a real danger the DGA attacks on Christie may backfire and enable a Lonegan victory. Democrats are making a huge mistake if they think Lonegan will be easier to beat than Christie. There are an awful lot of bitter, disaffected white voters in New Jersey who may have voted for Obama because they were angry with Bush and who would just as easily vote for Lonegan because of their anger with Corzine.
Does the Democratic Party really want to be associated with aiding and abetting a primary victory for a xenophobic racist whose claim to fame a few years ago was based on his call for a national boycott of McDonalds because they advertised in Spanish? A former mayor who tried to establish English as the official language in his town? How would Democrats react if Louis Farrakhan was running in the Democratic primary for Governor and the GOP spent millions of dollars to defeat Corzine and enable a Farrakhan victory?
Don't assume that Corzine can outspend Lonegan. A Lonegan primary victory would give him and his followers national recognition and legitimacy. Wingnuts and rich reactionaries across the country would send him millions of dollars to further his campaign and promote his neo-fascist philosophy.
The DGA needs to reconsider its plans. If Christie wins the primary there's plenty of time over the summer to soften him up. If Lonegan wins, especially with DGA help, it will reignite a reactionary backlash with enormous national repercussions.