New Jersey Re-Districts Pitting 2 Incumbents: Advice to Avoid a Nasty Campaign and Win

The ongoing loss of population to warmer tax and business climes has caused New Jersey to re-district its congressional lines.  A commission has just announced the new districts which could wind up having veteran incumbents from each party vying for a seat: Democrat Steve Rothman against Republican Rep. Scott Garrett.

The idea of having an incumbent actually have to earn (somewhat) her or his seat is refreshing as most federal and state incumbents have over a 90% re-election rate.  The way that these 2 candidates may try to retain office, though, is somewhat alarming, if not depressing.

“It’s two incumbents squaring off against each other,” said Brigid Harrison, a professor of political science and law at Montclair State University. “It’s going to be a nasty, pitchfork fight.”

It’s not shocking that politics, as with anything else in the Garden State, is done “Sopranos style.”

But to understand why this possible “clash of the titans” is occurring could both avoid an unseemly fight as well as help focus the worthy candidates on what truly matters: jobs.

The 2010 census revealed that people are migrating from New Jersey, and the northeast, to warmer climates.  Such climates are not only measured by the thermometer but also by the tax and regulatory burden that each state imposes on its citizenry, businesses as well as individuals.

Regularly listed as a state with one of the highest tax burdens, New Jersey is cited by the Tax Foundation as having the country’s highest property tax per capita. It is also has one of the highest marginal income tax rates at 8.97% and is one of only 14 states to tax Social Security income.

The regulatory obstacle course is no less burdensome with, amongst other business-crushing initiatives, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection always trying to outdo the federal EPA and even the People’s Republic of California when it comes to safeguarding Mother Earth from human existence.

Furthermore, the 2 middle classes that New Jersey has, private sector (wealth creation) and public sector (government worker [wealth transfer]) is an inevitably combustible situation, both fiscally and politically.

So if Mssrs. Rothman and Garrett wish to have an inside track on how to win this congressional seat that both now find themselves competing for, perhaps a rigorous platform on job creation, via less taxes and regulation, would be a great place to start, instead of a “nasty” campaign.  After all, good policy is ultimately good politics.

Not only would such help their constituencies, but it would prevent they and other fellow politicos from waking up one day and finding their districts gone because of voter flight due to their bad policies.

-I.M. Windee

No Comments so far.

Leave a Reply