By now, much of the civilized world knows that NJ Governor Jon Corzine was seriously injured in an automobile accident on NJ's Garden State Parkway. He was en route to a brief photo-op meeting with Don Imus; to be followed by a hard day's work in the capitol.
They also know he was (Gasp !) not wearing his seatbelt at the time !
The media has piled on this topic with gusto. My local newspaper(The Home News Tribune),for example, had a banner headline:
CORZINE WAS NOT BELTED IN
Governor Still in Critical Condition
Depite the fact the Governor is in an ICU, with a ventilator tube crammed down his throat to help him breathe, a huge media firestorm is raging over a $46 seatbelt violation. Will the Governor get a ticket ? Who will be deputized to issue it to him ? How about the Trooper who was driving ? Will he get a ticket for failure to insure all passengers had seatbelts fastened ?
Well, how about the other Trooper: the Governor's bodyguard ? He was badly injured too, and still in the hospital.
Media response: Who ? What other Trooper ? Oh. Him. We're not interested in him - not when the Governor of NJ was in violation of the seatbelt law !
New Jersey is a strange state, and I often wonder why Jon Corzine gave up his prestigious seat in the United States Senate to become Governor of our overcrowded , problem-plagued peapatch !
For example, NJ is a "corridor" state , whose roadways join North and South - and host more traffic per square foot than any other state. Some of the traffic is a variant of the old "three cornered trade" : drugs flow into the Port of New York, and are sold to gangs from Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Weapons are bought or stolen in the Southern states, and sold in New York, Connecticut,and Massachussetts - sometimes in partial payment for drugs. Sooner or later, this undesired traffic - and the gang members who practice it become part of NJ's problem.
Taxes are another headache. NJ residents have an all-consuming lust for more and more government services - coupled with a childish belief it won't affect their taxes. Administration after administration has fostered this belief: quite often by issuing bonds to pay for "must have" services. This increasing bonded indebtedness drives up the cost of government even more ; but nobody dares point this out: not in the face of continuous howls for tax relief !
In September, for example, the state will probably send me a rebate on part of the property taxes I paid last year. The only thing I have done to "deserve" this largesse (which will be paid for by other taxpayers) is to have lived a long time , and to be on a fixed income which "meets the guidelines". Everybody knows the real purpose of this handout is to make me feel warm and fuzzy towards the administration on Election Day; and it is almost embarrassing to take the money...but I will !
We have been cleaning up our environment a bit; but the only thing that seems to grow faster than crabgrass is new housing projects. Given the pace of things, the Garden State will soon be a wall-to-wall crazy quilt of Mc Mansions, soon-to-be-slum-property apartment complexes,older houses,and roadways so crammed with cars people can't even drive any more.
This is what Jon Corzine wanted to be Governor of : proving you should be very careful what you wish for - because you might get it !
Just a couple of footnotes for some of the more vociferous partisans of this and that.
- The Governor was going to meet Don Imus - not "the race-baiters" some of you worried about.
- The driver of the red pickup truck-whose erratic driving probably caused the accident-has been tracked down and identified. He was NOT (I repeat) NOT an illegal alien : just your basic Jersey Driver. He didn't even know there had been an accident behind him (was probably grooving to some tunes on his Satellite radio) and he will not be charged with anything...this time.
Stay tuned to future developments ! Seatbelt-Gate : Did the Governor finally get a ticket ? What took so long ? Will he pay the fine or contest the issue in court ? Was Karl Rove somehow involved in this burgeoning scandal ?