Precinct 333

Saturday, August 14, 2004

McGreevey Must Go Now

By now the whole world (except for maybe a few stone-age tribes people hiding in the depths of the Amazon rainforest) knows that New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey is gay. My response to his orientation? Compassion for his family and friends, sadness for him, and outrage that he is playing politics with his resignation date.

I mean, let's be honest here -- his sexual orientation is irrelevant to most of us. Even those conservatives who support an amendment to ban gay marriage have, for the most part, no real objection to a homosexual in public office. What we have an objection to is any politician having a sexual relationship with a subordinate and making hiring/promotion decisions based upon that relationship, as McGreevey has apparently done. That is, ultimately, the reason that the governor announced his impending resignation.

A resignation of this sort contains the implicit recognition that an officeholder is too damaged to continue in office. McGreevey's delayed resignation leaves the people of New Jersey witha damaged, ineffective chief executive for three months, until November 15. On what basis, then, does McGreevey delay that resignation for over three months? The answer is POLITICS. If he resigns now, there will be a special election to fill the remainder of his term as governor. Polling data shows it likely that a Republican would win, which would also negatively impact the Kerry campaign in the state. And so McGreevey, who was the mastermind behind the illegal replacement of Bob Torricelli as senate candidate in the name of offering the people of New Jersey a "choice" wants to deny those same people any role in selecting their governor before the fall of 2005, leaving them with a governor who has never faced a statewide electorate for 14 months. That is simply wrong. Jim McGreevey must go now.


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