Two days away from the special primary for the special election, which is just before the general election, one would think discussing two Republicans would involve former Mayor Steve Lonegan and Dr. Alieta Eck. In one word, nope! We at the New Jersey Tenth Amendment Center are not involved in that race (we’re not too interested in the Democratic special primary either, for the record).
The first Republican, if you live in New Jersey or any of the other 49 states and have not been in a coma for about five years, you’ve heard of him. That Republican is Governor Chris Christie. Christie, while running for reelection in this year’s gubernatorial race, has been touted as a possible Republican presidential nominee in an election that doesn’t take place for another three years. While he has yet to discuss national ambitions, he has not been shy in discussing national issues and where he stands, resulting in a little tit-for-tat with Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Paul, another Republican (but not THE other Republican in this tale), has also been mentioned as a possible presidential nominee, and took issue with some of Governor Christie’s comments regarding a “dangerous strain of libertarianism” that has been making its way through both parties. Senator Paul’s former Chief of Staff, Doug Stafford, had this to say about Governor Christie’s remarks:
Defending America and fighting terrorism is the concern of all Americans, especially Sen. Paul, but it can and must be done in keeping with our constitution and while protecting the freedoms that make America exceptional.
Senator Paul did not refrain from responding himself in a Tweet:
Christie worries about the dangers of freedom. I worry about the danger of losing that freedom. Spying without warrants is unconstitutional.
Interestingly enough, Christie appears to represent strains of statism and double speak making their way through both parties. One does not even need to look to his connections to the Bush administration for that; his record as governor speaks volumes. In the past week, Governor Christie signed no fewer than ten new gun control bills presented by the New Jersey legislature. This is the same man who, after the shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut, claimed New Jersey’s gun laws (second strictest in the country) were already adequate. The governor also agreed to the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare/PalloneCare/ChristieCare). Under his watch, New Jersey has been one of the more REAL ID compliant states in the union. Not to mention, his willingness to invoke tragedies like 9/11 without debating the merits of government actions fits in well with names like McCain and Graham. Yes, Governor, it’s true we haven’t had another attack that killed as many people as 9/11, but we have had two wars with more lives lost supposedly to fight Al Qaeda, turned Iraq into essentially an extension of Iran, yet we have aided Al Qaeda linked rebels in Libya (who thanked us by attacking our consulate) and Syria, all while nuns, little kids and grandma get groped by the TSA at our airports. That’s much better!
The second Republican in our tale is less well known in New Jersey and perhaps completely unknown to most non-New Jerseyans. She did, however, earn a mention on our state chapter site once last year, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin. Handlin’s tort reform bill, introduced last year, showed an understanding of the proper arena for the health care reform debate, at the state and local level. The New Jersey Assembly Republicans’ Twitter feed featured a link to an article from Assemblywoman Handlin’s desk at the end of July highlighting six bills (A4305, A4306, A4307, A4308, A4309 and A4310) she introduced to the New Jersey Legislature to protect the privacy of our residents. From health records to surveillance cameras to biometric data to personally identifiable information, Assemblywoman Handlin’s bills seek to rein in an increasingly intrusive government in Trenton (Action Alerts to follow). Hopefully, these and other “dangerously libertarian” bills will gain traction, while inspiring us to set our sites on defying the DC machine.
Right now, New Jersey is at a crossroads, as it was in 1776. We’ve had governor after governor in modern times in the mold of William Franklin, loyal to the boot on our throat. This year’s gubernatorial election appears to be a showdown between two of those types regardless which party wins. The legislative races could be where we have the best opportunity this year to challenge the authoritarianism coming from the Governor’s Mansion and the statehouse. Talk to candidates from both parties. Like a good parent, take their hand, tell them to forget the scare tactics of Big Brother Christie, and reassure them libertarianism is not a monster under the bed, but a helpful tool. Let’s get out there and use it.
Benjamin W. Mankowski, Sr. [send him email] is a blogger with the Tenth Amendment Center. He writes from New Jersey.
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This entry was posted on Monday, August 12th, 2013 at 4:00 am. It is filed under Uncategorized and tagged with Alieta Eck, Amy Handlin, authoritarianism, General Assembly, Governor Christie, Gun Control, libertarianism, privacy, Rand Paul, Republicans, Steve Lonegan, William Franklin. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.