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Monday, November 6, 2017

Please, I don't want to hear any excuses, just get out and vote in race for governor

The Bergen County Board of Elections in Hackensack is where thousands of mail-in ballots cast in Tuesday's election are recorded and counted. In the past few weeks, I hand carried our three mail-in ballots to the board office on the 3rd floor of the Bergen County Administration Building.




I still get sick to my stomach when I remember that millions of Democrats sat out the 2016 presidential election a year ago, allowing a con man, liar, racist and sexual predator to be elected to the highest office in the land.

Not the mention the tens of thousands of millennials and other Bernie Sanders supporters who actually voted for Donald J. Trump, and made the difference in three swing states.

There is no excuse for not voting, especially when President Trump and the Republican-led Congress are determined to destroy our democracy and our way of life.

On Tuesday, voters in New Jersey get to decide who will replace Chris Christie, a Trump crony who has been the worst governor in state history.

The choice for governor is between Democrat Phil Murphy and Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, a Christie clone whose ads have used Trump-like lies and distortions.

Sheila Oliver is running for lieutenant governor, and other Democrats are seeking to be returned to the state Senate and Assembly, and the Bergen County Board of Freeholders.

Public questions

The first ballot question on Tuesday asks for approval of $125 million in bonds to provide grants to public libraries.

The second question, if approved, would prevent the governor from using monetary damages or fines from those who contaminate the environment for any other purpose than repairing, restoring or preserving the state's natural resources.

Get-out-the-vote efforts included reminders placed on front doors in Hackensack's Fairmount section.

Campaign coverage

In The Record of Woodland Park, my local daily newspaper, coverage of the Murphy and Guadagno campaigns has been poor.

Most of the reporting has been from Staff Writer Dustin Racioppi, whose objectivity is questionable in view of his permanent assignment, covering Christie.

Racioppi has repeatedly used Guadagno's description of Murphy as a "liberal," which amounts to a smear in our highly charged political atmosphere, and done little if any fact-checking when regurgitating GOP attack ads.

His final piece on the election appeared on Sunday's front page -- "Final push toward Election Day" -- where his first paragraph declared, "Times up."

Of course, it wasn't. Voters have today, as well, to decide who to vote for and how to vote on the two ballot questions.

But there is no election coverage today; for some reason, The Record remains silent on the day before an election.

Voter apathy

In the last gubernatorial election, The Record endorsed Christie over the Democratic candidate, then-state Sen. Barbara Buono.

Yet, turnout in 2013 was the lowest for any election for governor in state history.

Of course, the news media rarely reports on voter apathy, because they would have to examine their relentless focus on politics instead of issues as one of its main causes.


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