Sunday, February 13, 2005

GOP Candidates For NJ Governor Respond To The Record

Enlighten has the scoop on how each candidate has responded to the following questions from The Record:
1. Why are you the best candidate?
2. What do you think is the state's most pressing problem and what would you do to address it?
3. What would your first executive order be?
4. What would you do to combat high property taxes?
5. How would you balance the budget? Which, if any, taxes would you raise? Which, if any, spending would you cut?
6. How would you replenish the Transportation Trust Fund?
7. What would you do to improve state government's image in terms of ethics and campaign financing?
8. What would you do to end the bitter partisan fighting in New Jersey and the nation?

1. I haven't included Todd Caligurie in my previous postings. I really should go back and correct that oversight.
2. Bob Schroeder manages to work his "Saving NJ Seniors" plan into four of the eight responses.
3. Neither Steve Lonegan nor John Murphy specifically said, "no tax increases" in response to question five. I believe that's what they meant, but it could be open to interpretation.
Overall, I found this format somewhat disappointing. The questions didn't really lend themselves to distinguishing between Republicans. They did, however, set up the contrast between the eventual Republican candidate and Senator Corzine. Doug Forrester was the only one to seize that opportunity. In his response to the transportation trust fund question, he says:
Sens. Corzine and Lautenberg have failed to ensure that New Jersey gets its fair share of transportation funding. As governor, I will fight for the federal dollars we deserve while making sure that our funds are being used to pave roads rather then line the pockets of politically connected contractors.
Given the lack of real distinction between the candidates on these (and many other) questions, the race is going to hinge on two things:
1. Can you communicate your vision in a manner that will bring out the moderates / independents in June, and keep them through November?
2. Do you have the political will and capital means to compete with Senator Corzine?