New Jersey governor offers Californians hope

By Steven Greenhut

TAMPA – Californians typically embrace the notion that their state is so special that the normal rules here don’t necessarily apply. With population centers far from other states, and a climate and geographic variety unmatched throughout the nation, California residents don’t often seek political or other advice from beyond their borders.

As writer John McFarland put it, Californians “make few friends with their catalogues of grandeur: the economy that outranks Italy’s; the kitchens in which popular culture is cooked up and the skills at orchestratingnational trends, all of this privileged by an asserted immunity from the demands history makes on more mundane beings.”

Yet the demands of history – a struggling economy, a comingwave of municipal bankruptcies, dysfunctional government services, and a union-dominated Legislature that has resisted, until this week, any semblance of pension reform – are taking their toll. It’s the rare Californian who denies that the state is gripped by some level of fiscal crisis, even if it’s even rarer to find widespread agreement among Californians on how to fix the problems.

The situation has become so dire that on Monday morning, at the St. Petersburg, Fla., hotel where California’s Republican delegation is staying through this week’s GOP national convention, a large crowd boisterously applauded as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie assured us that we should cling to hope here in the Golden State.

What a bizarre turn of events. I grew up in Morrisville, Pa., across the Delaware River from New Jersey, but close enough to the Garden State to smell its factories. A main bridge across the river still sports alarge sign with these words, “Trenton Makes, The World Takes.” We all thought the sign was ironic given how rough a town Trenton was in the 1970s, and how little the city now makes.

New Jersey isn’t nearly as bad of a state as critics make it out to be. But while Californians define our locales by, say, proximity of our homes to the Pacific Coast, the redwood forests, the Mojave Desert or the Sierras, New Jerseyans refer to their community by the number of the exit they live off of from the Garden State Parkway.

And there Gov. Christie was offering us hope.

“My message to California is, ‘There is hope. There is hope.’”

Christie, known for his budget toughness in the face of union opposition and commitment to reforming New Jersey’s bloated pension system, told the assembled Californians that the state is indeed governable despite the evidence to the contrary. California continues to face large budget deficits and the final weeks of the legislative session in Sacramento are putting a spotlight on the dysfunctional nature of state leaders who believe that the answer to Californians problems is higher taxes rather than governmental reform.

“When I became governor of New Jersey they said the same things to me that I heard people in California say when I went out there to visit recently: We don’t know if it can be fixed,” Christie said. “The problems are too big. The challenges are now too grave. Maybe we just gave California away to the public-sector unions, to the masters of big spending and huge government.’ But it doesn’t have to be that way.” He mentioned that New Jersey is as much of a Democratic bastion as California.

Christie told the story of California Gov. Jerry Brown confronting him at a governor’s meeting. Brown told Christie to stop saying that Brown wants to raise taxes. Brown said he wanted merely to put the tax measure on the ballot and let the people decide.” “That’s leadership!” Christie mused. Christie was introduced by Meg Whitman, the Republican gubernatorial candidate who was defeated by Brown in 2010.

The rest of the talk was a stump speech for the GOP’s Romney/Ryan ticket.

But whatever one’s views about the national Republican candidates, there’s no question that Christie was on point – California’s leadership has failed to address the serious fiscal crises that are undermining public services and eroding California’s economy.

There’s much to be hopeful for, few problems that can’t be fixed, but only if our state’s voters eventually choose a reform-minded group of leaders.

AUGUST 28, 2012

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  1. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 28 August, 2012, 12:31

    hmmmm rex poodle— don’t see you out on CP anymore?


    Reply this comment
  2. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 28 August, 2012, 12:36


    Brteaking news!! Congrats to the Gov on reaching a great pension deal! Good for California!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  3. us citizen
    us citizen 28 August, 2012, 13:15

    I would vote for Christie in a heart beat………..bring him on over to run!

    The reason CA govt screws around so much is they dont and wont have the melons to cut anyone or any union or any pension. THAT is their problem. Spending and taxing doesnt work. When are they going to learn that.

    That goes for BO and his band of thieves also.

    Reply this comment
  4. Queeg
    Queeg 28 August, 2012, 13:16

    Anyone who buys into ” hope” is a candidate for supervised living.

    Reply this comment
  5. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 28 August, 2012, 13:27

    Teddy, too bad, so sad you were booted at CP!

    I will put in a good word for you w/Ed! 🙂

    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 28 August, 2012, 16:31

    I have a plan for christie that offers hope. A “”DIET PLAN””!!!! What a big tub of lard! This guy has the face like that old twilight zone episode where all the people had pig looking deformed faces!! Go back to the ghetto jersey shore fatboy!!

    Reply this comment
  7. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 28 August, 2012, 17:24

    He is a bit chubby— I sort of think he has a personality to go with it—- what a wreck!

    Reply this comment
  8. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 28 August, 2012, 18:18

    NTHEOC, such child like name calling, you are as bad as Tedy. NJ has NO MORE BUDGET problems, or at least none compared to CA 🙂

    Reply this comment
  9. Bob
    Bob 28 August, 2012, 18:57

    How about a trade?

    Colliefornia will give up Jerky Brown, Porky Perez and Darrell Stinkbug for Christie?

    Reply this comment
  10. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 28 August, 2012, 19:43

    Rex the Wonder Dog! says:
    NTHEOC, such child like name calling
    Oh alright rex! Btw, didn’t christie throw down some name calling on JB yesterday?

    Reply this comment
  11. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 28 August, 2012, 22:24

    Yes, he called brown an old retread. Well, I know one thing. I bet Brown is healthier than Christie and will live a longer life.

    Reply this comment
  12. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 28 August, 2012, 23:17

    Clown does not have a balanced budget-Christie does. Game over 😉

    Reply this comment
  13. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 29 August, 2012, 08:51

    Hmmmm the Poodle Rex can’t post over at Cal Pensions anymore? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Reply this comment
  14. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 29 August, 2012, 08:52


    Reply this comment
  15. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 29 August, 2012, 10:11

    I’d rather be healthy!

    Reply this comment
  16. JLSeagull
    JLSeagull 29 August, 2012, 12:04

    You can slam Christie for his weight, but oh we should be so fortunate to have him move to CA and run for governor.

    Reply this comment
  17. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 29 August, 2012, 16:05

    Hmmmm Teddy and the Sock Puppets can’t post over at Cal Pensions anymore? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Reply this comment
  18. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 29 August, 2012, 16:06

    seesaw, you’re not healthy, emotionally or physically 🙂

    Reply this comment
  19. Queeg
    Queeg 29 August, 2012, 17:38

    Oh…….Dr. Jekyle telling us about sanity…..

    Where are the barf bags!

    Reply this comment

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