The New Jersey gubernatorial race is coming up in two weeks. Don't forget to vote on November 5th, progressive Garden Staters!
Earlier today, I got into a discussion with an NJ environmentalist on Twitter, who was expressing his disgust with the big green groups in New Jersey because they have decided to sit the gubernatorial race out.
In what was a seemingly incomprehensible move, back in 2009, the New Jersey Environmental Federation (NJEF) endorsed Chris Christie over Democrat Jon Corzine, who had a far better environmental record.
Chris Christie is a climate denialist who has gutted the state's environmental regulations and withdrawn from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. NJEF has since regretted their 2009 endorsement and endorsed Christie's challenger Barbara Buono, a progressive with the third highest NJEF score in the state senate.
NJEF, which endorsed Buono back in June, is alone, however, among the big green groups in the state. Conserve NJ, the NJ Audubon Society, and the NJ League of Conservation Voters have all decided not to endorse despite the fact that the differences between the candidates on environmental matters could hardly be starker.
During my discussion noted above, I decided to check Buono's website to see what she says on the environment:
New Jersey’s environment is an essential part of our state’s character. From our world famous coast to our rolling hills, our state’s natural beauty is a major contributor to our quality of life and our economy.I then thought, "Why not check out Chris Christie's website, too?" If you remember, back in June, I wrote a diary about how Chris Christie's website had no issues page.
But Governor Christie has repeatedly undermined efforts to reduce pollution and grow our clean energy economy. By unilaterally pulling New Jersey out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that includes states throughout the Northeast, Christie has held back investment in our solar and renewable energy industries and could cost New Jerseyans high tech jobs.
Barbara will restore New Jersey’s leadership in clean energy, attracting solar and wind projects and spurring new hiring. As governor, she’ll put a stop to the Christie Administration’s use of waivers that allow polluters to dirty our air and water and jeopardize public health.
Fun fact: It still doesn't.
He has several bullet points in his "About" page, which I've already torn apart for misrepresentations and falsehoods (See the diary link earlier). However, nowhere on his site does he present an agenda for the next four years. Nowhere does he say what he wants to do, how he plans to use an electoral mandate. His website touts his "strong leadership," but "strong leadership" is only good when used for the right ends. Strength is amoral--it can serve purposes both beneficent and nefarious.
It's quite telling that Chris Christie doesn't want to inform the people of New Jersey about what he plans to do. I'm sure he knows that the public doesn't support his reactionary economic, social, and environmental policies, his agenda for the 1%. But many of those voters think he's the type of candidate with whom you could "have a beer," and they'll set the issues aside. At their own peril.