Skip to main content

I live in Burlington County, NJ. So I was both pleased and angry when I learned this week that the State of New Jersey will be sending $1.2 million to the County Board of Elections to pay for the special U.S. Senate election to fill the remainder of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg’s term.

I was pleased because the money for this special election would not strain the county’s fragile budget and impact much-needed infrastructure projects and other county-run services. The county government has been dominated by Republican leaders who emulate Governor Christie’s one-shot fiscal gimmicks in order to keep the budget balanced. (For example, last year, they sold a well-run county hospital to a for-profit company in order to show a balanced budget.) At least, now they don’t have to pull this same rabbit out of their hat to pay for a special election.

I was angry, because half of the $1.2 million expenditure is unnecessary.

The money we pay for running elections is a price we pay for democracy. It is necessary and good. But we could have saved $600,000 in Burlington County alone (and $12 million statewide) by holding the general Senatorial election in early November instead of mid-October as Governor Christie decreed. Why hold two statewide elections within a few weeks? There’s only one reason – Chris Christie’s ego. If he had opted to hold the Senate election in November, the gubernatorial race and Christie’s name would be second on the ballot – below the names of Cory Booker and Steve Lonigan – the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees. And one thing Christie abhors is playing second fiddle to anyone. He wouldn’t answer his party’s call to be Mitt Romney’s VP, and he won’t do the fiscally responsible thing and save $12 million on a special election. Just so he can be on the top of the ballot and won’t have to compete with Cory Booker for media time.

What could Burlington County do with the $600,000 that Chris Christie is pissing away? We could hire a half-dozen teachers to help alleviate overcrowding in our schools.  Or we could fix the repetitive flooding of some county roads. Or we could bring the pay scales of our prosecutors in line with the rest of the state.

Christie’s policies have raised taxes on the middle class and the poor. Now his ego is also costing us money. It’s time for a change in Trenton. It’s time to elect Barbara Buono as governor.

A version of this diary was originally published on

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site