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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Make sure to vote today so we don't get another GOP bully like Trump in N.J.

This New York Daily News cartoon -- "GOV THROWING HIS WEIGHT AROUND, EXPECT DELAYS -- captured the pivotal role Governor Christie played in the politically inspired September 2013 lane closings on the George Washington Bridge. But it also exposed how the state's news media largely avoided talking about his weight, even as late-night TV comedians made him the butt of jokes.



I thought I had written a clever headline for today's post on the New Jersey primary election, but then realized we already have a GOP thug in the Governor's Office.

In fact, that's why voting in today's Democratic and Republican primary election to pick gubernatorial candidates is so important:

New York billionaire Donald J. Trump -- a racist, serial liar, con man and tax dodger, among other things -- scored a shocking victory in the Electoral College, because tens of millions of Americans didn't bother voting last Nov. 8.

Voter apathy also guaranteed a second term for Governor Christie in November 2013, less than two months after the George Washington Bridge lane closings, in what was the lowest turnout of any gubernatorial election in state history.

Political conspiracy

It wasn't until the following January that the Record of Woodland Park and other news media uncovered the Christie-inspired political payback behind the lane closings for five days during the morning rush.

And using his skills as a former corruption-busting federal prosecutor in Newark, Christie managed to erase all evidence he had been involved -- even "losing" his phone for two years -- and blamed the conspiracy on his allies, leading to the convictions of three of them.

Still, he was found guilty in the court of public opinion, and the Bridgegate scandal put the kibosh on his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination or as Trump's running mate in 2016.

If like me you didn't open your sample ballot until this morning, you'll find there are a lot more choices for both Democrats and Republicans than what has been reported in the news media.
Polls are open until 8 p.m. today.

Today's election

Every vote today is practice for giving Christie, the worst governor in state history, the boot next January, when his second term ends.

If you're a Democrat, the primary ballot lists six candidates for governor in the November general election, not the four that appeared in The Record's Voting Guide on Sunday, "GOVERNOR'S RACE 2017."

There are five Republican candidates, including Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, not just the two listed in same guide.

On the Democratic side,  there are also uncontested primaries for the state Legislature, Bergen County freeholder and state Democratic Committee.

Those same contests are contested on the Republican portion of the ballot.

Fund raising

The Record has called the Democratic primary for Phil Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and U.S. ambassador to Germany, based largely on his tremendous lead in raising campaign funds.

Another Democratic candidate, Jim Johnson, labeled Trump's first few months in office a "thugocracy," and pledged to protect New Jersey from the president's immigration, criminal justice and other policies.

The Woodland Park daily and other news media have reported there is little interest in today's election, and turnout is expected to be low.

This morning, WNYC-FM, New York and New Jersey Public Radio, even sent reporter Karen Rouse, who once worked for The Record, to a polling station in Edison, which had a population of 97,687 in 2000.

Rouse reported only 20 voters showed up in the first hour.

At around 10:30 this morning in Hackensack, where more than 22,000 people are registered to vote, I saw only two other voters at the polling station in the Fairmount Elementary School, above and below. In May's Hackensack City Council election, roughly 18,000 of the city's registered voters didn't bother to cast ballots. Turnout was even lower in April's school election.