One of our legislators who scores high marks in all those categories is Senator Barbara Buono. I spoke with her yesterday on a number of issues including the power of the governor, the art of compromise, the level of civil discourse in the state, the reaction to unlimited funding of elections by corporations, the environment, ways to reinstate the millionaire's tax, and the prognosis for our urban areas, specifically Camden - the home of the South Jersey Democratic bosses. We also talked briefly about the possibility of the Senator moving down the hall in the State House to the Governor's office in 2013.
Barbara Buono is the antithesis of the persona that Chris Christie presents to the public. She cares about the middle class and poor. She cares about the environment. She advocates for those groups that don't have expensive lobbyists on State Street. Even when she vehemently disagrees with her colleagues, she respects them as people and she respects their office, and doesn't use derogatory terms like "idiot" or "jerk."
Whether or not she runs for governor next year, Senator Buono reflects a side of New Jersey that puts our state in a positive light. That's the face of New Jersey that I'd like to see become the norm.