You gotta give this guy credit. When it comes to intellectual honesty, few politicians can be beat. Steve Lonegan, the former Bogota mayor who is running for Governor in the Republican primary said at a State House Press conference Thursday that the “collegiate” relationship between Republicans and Democrats would end under his tenure.
Lonegan offered his list of five laws that need to be repealed because they are hurting the business climate in New Jersey and inhibiting economic growth. they are paid family leave, binding arbitration in labor disputes, the card check law which enables workers to unionize more easily, project labor agreements which require all government contracts to use union labor – Lonegan says that has increased costs everywhere by 30% – and finally the corporate business tax.
According to the candidate, ALL of these bills were passed with Republican support. And that he says is precisely the problem with bi-partisanship.
Asked first if he was anti-labor, Lonegan said “no.” He went on to say that unions don’t work in the public sector but do work in the private sector. When pushed about whether he thought the UAW had somehow been reasonable these last 70 years whereas CWA in NJ has not been…Lonegan backtracked a little. He agreed that UAW and the automakers may not be a shining example of a good worker-employer relationship. However, he also took issue with CWA’s ” leadership” here in NJ.
Most people thought Chris Christie would be a formidable opponent for Governor Corzine if he could only get past Lonegan in the primary. But it’s been Christie who is surging in the polls and locking up key organizational and County support.
Asked if perhaps New Jersey had moved too far to the left in the 12 years since any Republican has won statewide, Lonegan said “NJ is not a hopelessly liberal state.”
Maybe not. But folks here may not be ready for his brand of Republicanism either right now and might just be lining up behind Christie because they think he is a Repub. who can actually win.