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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

New Jersey Decides "Separation of Powers" is a Good Thing, Texas Decides Homosexuals Must "Live in Sin"


Yesterday, while electing Senator Jon Corzine as the 52nd Governor of the State of New Jersey, citizens of New Jersey also approved a measure that would authorize a Constitutional Amendment to create the office of Lieutenant Governor. It's important to understand that we don't have a Lt. Governor yet, we've only authorized the State Lege to act on the matter.

This is important for two reasons: First, we have to understand that no one is waiting in the wings to take the position - so lay off the favoritism charges on this one. Second, the criticism that the ballot measure did not spell out the responsibilities of the Lt. Governor is simply unfounded. New Jersey will have to approve the actual Amendment in a future election after the State Lege nails down the exact description of the position.

It isn't perfect - the measure allows the Governor nominee to chose his Lt. Governor running-mate after the primary is locked up. That will allow the Lt. Gov. to bring some weight to the ticket. I expect the person who finishes second in the primary will tend to be the Lt. Gov. nominee i most cases. That means this year's election would have put Doug Forrester and Bret Schundler against Jon Corzine and...well, we don't know since Corzine was unopposed. Probably Dick Codey, but there's a whole slew of possibilities. Forrester and Schundler would have been much more difficult to beat than either one alone.

I'd like to see the Lt. Gov. have the power to apoint independent investigators. Currently, the NJ Governor appoints an Attorney General and Secretary of State, then those two positions become locked for the term. Not only should the Governor be open to investigations, but so should the AG and Sec. of State. Giving the Lt. Gov. power to launch those investigations would be a good step towards making government in New Jersey more open as well as actually creating a position that someone might actually want.

I'd also rather see the Lt. Gov. run independently, rather than as the Governor's running-mate, and for the election to be held mid-way through the Governor's term. That would keep the position from being just another boot-licker-in-training position. The Lt. Gov. would have to stand for election on his or her own merit and would truly be in a position to act independently from the Governor. Very suddenly, the most power Governor in the country would have a strong check to his or her power and the executive branch in New Jersey would have some balance.

Just as another idea - the Lt. Gov. could act as the official "taxpayers advocate" for the budget process. Why create anther office when this one could do the job nicely?

To no one's surprise, the voters of the State of Texas overwhelmingly approved Proposition Two. Prop 2 will prevent the State of Texas, or any lesser government within the State of Texas, from recognizing any marriage that isn't made up of one man and one woman. That great sucking sound you hear is Rick Santorum Rick Perry breathing a sigh of relief. He managed to rally the Religious Right to his side so he can look like a great leader next year when he stands for re-election. Among them was my mother. I'm disappointed at her stance, but not surprised. At least she did vote, though.

Philly.com also reports that Intelligent Design supporters were ousted from the School Board - which should save the Supreme Court from ruling on at least one case with this idiotic issue.

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