"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

New Jersey Deserves Better

New Jersey is slated to lose $19 million in Homeland Security money for fiscal 2005, down from $60 million this year, according to state Office of Counterterrorism spokesman Roger Shatzkin. Newark and Jersey City also are expected to receive a combined $13 million less through a federal grant program for cities that sent them a combined $32 million this year. More here.

So what is the reaction of New Jersey’s Senators Lautenberg and Corzine? It’s just as we predicted in our post here. Read on.

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D) was seething after Homeland Security money for Newark plummeted 17 percent, to $12.4 million, while New York City's federal anti-terrorism aid soared 344 percent. Lautenberg said New Jersey got shafted although the stretch of land from Newark's Liberty Airport to the harbor "is the biggest terrorist target in the country. I don't know whether this is a political repercussion of some kind," Lautenberg vented. More here.

Senator Jon Corzine (D), who is running for Governor, said that if elected, he would work with the congressional delegation to fix the funding formula "to make sure that people in Homeland Security all the way to the top understand the exposure [to an attack] we have here."
More here.

We are very disappointed in the performance of our two Senators, Corzine and Lautenberg. They failed to be effective advocates for our Homeland Security funding needs and failed to take personal responsibly for the loss in aid to New Jersey. Both Senators
voted for the bill that cut funding to New Jersey. The time for action was before the bill was passed into law, not after the vote. Instead they hold a press conference where Lautenberg assumes the role of victim, blaming others for New Jersey being “shafted” and Corzine makes a campaign promise in his bid to be elected Governor.

Senator Lautenberg speculates that the reduction in funding may be a political repercussion of some kind. Hinting we suppose, that the Republican administration and Congress are punishing New Jersey because our Senators are both Democrats or because our state went for Kerry in this past election. This doesn’t seem the likely scenario, as New York with two Democrat senators (Clinton and Schumer), went for Kerry in 2004 and managed to secure a 344 percent increase in funding.

Even more puzzling, was Senator Corzine’s response to the funding cut. He promises, if elected Governor of New Jersey, to work with the congressional delegation to fix the funding formula. Mr. Corzine’s statement seems to telegraph his complete lack of confidence in his ability to represent New Jersey as a Senator and any sense of urgency to solve the funding problem. Senator Corzine wasn’t effective as part of New Jersey’s congressional delegation this year, doesn’t think he can solve the problem next year as a member of the delegation, but will get cracking on the issue as soon as he becomes governor in 2006.

We believe New Jersey deserves better representation in the Senate. We also believe the Democrats can nominate a better candidate for Governor than Jon Corzine. Mr. Corzine could have better served New Jersey if he had donated the $62 million he spent on his Senate campaign in 2000 to the state. The same will hold true for the Governor’s race in 2005.



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