Thursday, January 31, 2013

Educating America About Chris Christie

The American people are being sold a bill of goods. Make no mistake about it - the upcoming New Jersey gubernatorial election is a national event. Not just because Chris Christie is leading the diminishing sane wing of the Republican Party for the 2016 presidential nomination, but also because he will be using his media-induced star power to raise tens of millions of dollars for his gubernatorial race this year.

The problem is that Christie's record is painted by his handlers and the media as a tough-spoken, hard-driving manager who has put New Jersey on the road to economic salvation. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yet, most people outside of New Jersey and even many in the Garden State don't see it that way.

No doubt, the Democrats led by Senator Barbara Buono will work hard to get out the message that the effect of Christie's policies are not much different than those of some of the more extreme GOP governors like Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and Rick Snyder. And if Christie is re-elected, it will embolden him to move even closer to a dictatorship of the wealthy.

Christie is running a national campaign for the New Jersey governorship. This is exemplified by his fundraiser with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his cozying up to the Koch Brothers and their billions of dollars of stealth campaign contributions.

No Democratic candidate would be able to match the GOP's Citizens United juggernaut of campaign dollars. Environmental and gay rights groups can't match the fortunes of the polluters and the education/military/insurance industrial complex.

Because a significant portion of Christie's campaign dollars are coming from outside the state, it's important to educate America about Chris Christie. The nation needs to know the truth about his infrastructure blunders, his anti-equality stance, his dealings with his cronies, his dubious budget manipulations, and his politicizing just about everything from the Supreme Court to the Rutgers Board of Trustees.

We can't stop the flow of right-wing dollars into the Christie campaign, but by taking Senator Buono's message nationwide, we can help to work to mitigate the Christie dollar advantage. Talk to your out-of-state friends about the truth about our governor. Make them understand that this election is not just about New Jersey, but it's for the future of our kids, minorities, and women's rights. Having them send a few bucks to Buono's campaign would be nice, but educating them about the real Chris Christie is essential.

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