Now that the Presidential election and the Congressional races are over, attention has been turned to the gubernatorial race of 2013. Although our Governor Chris Christie has not yet announced his candidacy, it is assumed by many that he will seek re-election. The Governor has achieved immense popularity since taking office, and his approval ratings continue to rise. He has demonstrated that he has effectively established a rapport with cameramen, as well as the electorate.
Chris Christie has become the political star of the nation. Many consider him to be unbeatable, should he run for re-election. Who is this person and how did he achieve such fame in a relatively short period of time?
First, we must understand that Chris Christie is a true American success story. He has demonstrated that hard work and sacrifice can enable someone to realize the American dream. He started out with humble beginnings, and has risen to be the consummate office holder and public official. The story of Chris Christie and his wife starting out in a one room apartment above a liquor store has become legendary. He certainly did not begin with a silver spoon in his mouth.
His modest beginnings enabled him to attend the University of Delaware and later Seton Hall Law School. He is clearly the product of hard work and sacrifice. He is also a dedicated family man and appears to be an outstanding husband and father. So, how can there be a cause for concern if he serves a second term?
Many may have forgotten by now, but soon after taking office, the Governor refused to re-nominate John Wallace to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Why is this an issue? First, the Governor, himself, never questioned Wallace’s qualifications to serve on the Court. However, the Governor was displeased by Wallace’s voting record. As a result, Governor Christie refused to nominate Justice Wallace for tenure. When Wallace's term expired on May 20, 2010, he became the first Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court to be denied tenure since the adoption of the 1947 State Constitution. In short, Chris Christie “politicized the Judiciary."
Soon after, Chris Christie managed to alienate the teaching profession, and engage in policies that resulted in unprecedented numbers of teachers, policemen and firefighters being laid office. Crime in the inner cities has risen to unprecedented numbers.
He has promised New Jerseyans that he will lower their property taxes. Yet, property taxes have risen every year since Chris Christie has taken office.
The cost of health care has risen every year and lower middle class workers find that they could no longer afford to send their children to college. Currently, New Jersey has one of highest rates of students who attend college out of State.
Yes, Chris Christie embodies everything that we associate with the American Dream. He represents the character in old Frank Capra movies who starts out with nothing, but loves his country and is willing to work hard and make sacrifices in order to make something of himself. He is that All-American dad with a beautiful family. Chris Christie will serve as the subject of future biographies that will extol his selfless, dedicated work habits. However, when he finally leaves office, will we truly be able to say that he made New Jersey a better place to live?
Dr. Salvatore Pizzuro, a disability policy specialist, holds a doctorate in Developmental Disabilities from Columbia University and an advanced degree in Disability Law from New York Law.