For the past seven years, the residents of New Jersey, our union’s greatest and most educated state, have been made a national laughingstock by their Republican governor, Chris Christie. Since assuming the office in 2010, Mr. Christie has fully committed himself to confirming the worst perceptions of the state’s politics, distinguishing his administration as one plagued by corruption, pettiness, obesity, and empty bluster. Above all, Mr. Christie demonstrated a keen enthusiasm for placing his own self-interests before the wellbeing of his constituents, a tendency that currently has him polling as the least popular governor in the country, with an approval rating of 17%. Now, with Mr. Christie’s gubernatorial term set to end in January of 2018, New Jerseyans have a chance to right seven years of grievous wrongs done to their image, quality of life, and future.
John Wisniewski, of Sayreville, began his political career by unseating a Republican incumbent in the New Jersey General Assembly’s 19th District, garnering a position that he has held for 22 years. He came to prominence as one of the lead investigators of the Bridgegate Scandal, and solidified his standing among New Jersey progressives as the only elected politician in the state to endorse Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign. Considering the current unpopularity of Governor Christie and his proxies, Democrats have a unique opportunity to nominate a transformative gubernatorial candidate, one whose principles and values represent a modern, forward-thinking citizenry. John Wisniewski should be the 2017 Democratic Nominee for Governor.
Mr. Wisniewski’s main opponent, Phil Murphy, a former executive at Goldman Sachs, is part and parcel of the corroded Democratic establishment within and without New Jersey. In the past, Mr. Murphy has advocated for the sale of publicly owned lands, a raising of the retirement age for public employees, and cuts to healthcare and pensions for state workers. A New Jersey superdelegate, he refused to endorse either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in the highly contest 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary, but fundraised and campaigned for Mrs. Clinton in 2016, when she lost the presidential election to Donald J. Trump, an illiterate game show host with zero political experience. With respect to the governor’s race, the Democratic candidates’ educational backgrounds are a strong encapsulation of their political differences. Phil Murphy attended Harvard before earning his MBA from UPenn. John Wisniewski went to Rutgers.
Mr. Wisniewsi is a staunch supporter of the single-payer option, an antidote to this country’s costly, byzantine, and inhumane healthcare system. He believes that climate change is real and man-made and demands immediate, radical solutions. His state policies include increased infrastructure spending, budgeting to address New Jersey’s cost of living crisis, tuition-free public universities, and fully funded K-12 education. On the national level, he supports a woman’s right to choose, the repeal of Citizen’s United, and the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. While this country’s highest office works to install the most retrograde and destructive policies imaginable, Mr. Wisniewski could make New Jersey a model for what an enlightened state looks like in the dark ages of the Trump presidency.
On June 6th, Democrats in New Jersey will face a decision emblematic of their party’s current, untenable divide. As was the case in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary, it’s a choice between an establishment candidate and a grassroots candidate, an advocate for corporate rights and an advocate for workers’ rights, a politician more than content to see nothing change and a politician who intimately understands why change is direly needed. Mr. Wisniewski is, in all ways, the latter candidate. That is why the BPoFD Editorial Board is endorsing John Wisniewski for the Democratic Nominee for Governor of New Jersey, and encouraging the readers of this blog–regardless of their location–to contribute to his campaign before tomorrow’s fundraising deadline. The state of New Jersey will match all donations pledged until then.