I read your article, "Codey leaves much for Corzine to deal with" in today's Times of Trenton early this afternoon and, frankly, I'm still going over it in my head, even at this late hour. Let me see if I can explain why.
First, let's start at the very beginning- that's a very fine place to start.
Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, one of the most popular chief executives in state history, is about to put the 211th New Jersey Legislature to bed without making the deals that might have reformed property taxes, cleaned up the state's corrupt image and launched a new era of embryonic stem-cell research. Perhaps that helps explain why he showed little enthusiasm for the proposal of a new state slogan declaring New Jersey as the state where you can get a "real deal" and why incoming Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine's main job might be getting his Democratic legislators to play ball on the same team.
Now, I see why you're all upset about Acting Gov. Codey not reforming property taxes, cleaning up the state's image or starting his own stem-cell research facility because these were all things he had campaigned for governor on- OH, WAIT, he didn't campaign for this job, right? That's why he's Acting Gov., not Gov. We didn't get a lot of promises not kept; we got someone stuck holding the bag, a big ol' bag filled with corruption, the skeletal remains of scandals, screaming citizens angry about property taxes- and with a massive budget hole in it to boot. He had to do his best to move the state forward, with some dignity. He sure did that.
(Suddenly being Acting Gov.) has given Codey all the clout of an elected governor, plus the rights of a Senate president with power over all legislation and political nominations. ...
In theory, Codey could do almost anything he wanted. But he soon discovered that the Assembly considers itself a separate but equal entity to the Senate.
Did I miss something here, where Codey had an "oh, I could've had a V8" smack on the head when he realized he wasn't omnipotent? No reason he may have known there was an Assembly before- Oh, wait, except his four terms in it, ending in 1981. While he was in the Senate he might have been tipped off, too. I think Codey has some knowlege of the Assembly and its role as a government body, Jim.
You go on to discuss rivalries between Codey and Assembly Speaker Albio Sires and Assembly Majority leader Joseph Roberts, and how they showed in the Acting Gov.'s term by the Assembly not voting on some of Codey's proposals, most notably the stem cell research bonds. I won't go into whether or not there are rivalries in Trenton, there undoubtably are. But if you're going to suggest that the Assembly didn't consider a valid proposal on such a controversial issue because of a schoolyard squabble between boys, I wish you'd offer something more than:
Some call it revenge. Others say it was just a matter of timing.
You go into a discussion for the second half of the article about the challenges facing Jon Corzine- and there will be many. But what I'm angry about is the title of the article, and the first half, insinuating that Codey acomplished nothing while he was governor. From the Star-Ledger's article and interview:
He negotiated a deal for a new stadium for the Giants and the Jets, raised the state's minimum wage, cracked down on teen steroid use, delivered a budget that won the state's first credit upgrade since 1976 and enacted a series of ethics reforms.
"He'll go down in the history of New Jersey for restoring integrity to the governor's office," said Senate Minority Leader Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon).
He said his biggest accomplishments were in the area of mental health. Despite budget problems, Codey invested $200 million in housing for the mentally ill and provided $40 million for other programs. He also went along on surprise inspections of mental hospitals to push for improved conditions.
Codey had limited time in the big chair and may not have achieved massive property tax reform, which should be the biggest goal of any politician in Our Fair State. He may have not achieved complete unity of purpose and harmony between all Democrats in New Jersey. He may not have been all-powerful in passing any legislation he wanted. However, he made a difference in the lives of many New Jerseyans, and brought some integrity back when we needed it. According to the interview in the Star-Ledger, Codey said he wants to be remembered "as someone who in a very tough time came in and did a decent job." You bet, he gets that. As he returns to the Senate, I believe his time as governor will be remembered as a lot more than the guy who left much for Corzine to deal with.
As I return to my regular life, I'll remember you as the guy whose headline ended with a preposition.