Saturday, November 05, 2005

Nasty Race Just Got Bitter

Just when you thought the race for New Jersey's Governor couldn't get worse, it does. On the heels of a new poll that claims that Forrester is only 2 points behind Corzine (a statistical dead heat), someone leaked a bogus report that Forrester had an affair with a beauty queen in an attempt to undermine the family values campaign that Forrester has been waging.

Corzine denies that he had anything to do with that story, but even the beauty queen thinks that it was someone from within the Corzine campaign that was involved in making the allegations.

For starters, I'm not quite sure how accurate that poll is considering that many of the other polls from the last week have been giving Corzine a considerable lead. This may be an outlier, but then again, it might be a real reaction to the Forrester ad that highlights Joanne Corzine's comments from the New York Times that bashes her ex-husband Jon for not being right for New Jersey. The FDU poll shows a statistical dead heat, but the WNBC/Marist poll shows at least a 4 point spread, which is narrower than it has been.

From the Bergen Record:
Republican Doug Forrester and Democrat Jon Corzine offered staunch denials in front of a media swarm dominated by television crews. They blamed political henchmen for the escalating personal attacks, which earlier had been an aggressive behind-the-scenes whisper campaign by both parties.

Some political analysts wondered openly if voters would be turned off by the sleaze, which caps a barrage of hostile, negative television ads.

"This is one of the most sophisticated, highly educated, most populated states in the U.S., where we have major issues of concern, everything from property taxes and health care to terrorism, and four days before the election we're talking about extramarital affairs," lamented Ruth Mandel, director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. "I really don't think it's a service to the voters to have a discussion about an angry ex-wife and somebody's extramarital affairs."

Both candidates have failed to ignite significant voter interest with their promises of property tax cuts and bigger rebate checks.

Together they have spent nearly $70 million and nearly all of it on television ads that in the final days of the campaign became increasingly negative.

Forrester defended his decision to use damning quotes from Joanne Corzine while repeatedly insisting that he himself never had an extramarital affair. Forrester said the rumor, which was reported in a New York tabloid's gossip column, was peddled by Corzine's staff.

"It's one thing for Jon Corzine to try to blow up his family, but I'm not going to let him blow up mine," Forrester said at a morning news conference.
Instead, both candidates are trying to blow off the electorate with their shennanigans. I would hope that most New Jersey voters are interested in stopping the corruption and lessening the tax burden, but those issues apparently haven't resonated with anyone. Why? Could it be the messengers and not the message?

And this is troubling as well:
The questions came after the rumor was printed by a New York Daily News gossip columnist, who cited as his only source an anonymous e-mail. Forrester was nevertheless repeatedly pressed to deny the charge, which he did.

"The answer is that they're false allegations," he said. "It is wrong. It is despicable. It is an example of the kind of campaign that Jon Corzine has been running from the beginning."

At one point during the press conference, Forrester campaign director Sherry Sylvester interrupted to reprimand a reporter for citing information attributed to anonymous sources in a blog on the Web site, which is written under the pseudonym "Wally Edge," the name of a former New Jersey governor and senator.
So we've got some anonymous blogger making the allegations, and it was picked up by the Daily News columnist? Or, was it the other way around? Or, did both the blogger and the columnist get the information independently?

Actually, while the origin of the story may ultimately not be important for the governor's race, it should be important if you want to get your news and information from various blogs.

Enlighten NJ has more.

You know things are getting bitter in New Jersey when Drudge makes the race the top billing on his site. This time, we're talking about accusations that Corzine had another affair, one that ended with an abortion. Corzine denies the claims, but this stuff is completely out of control. It's beyond the pale, and it makes me wonder if anyone interested in getting into politics would do so knowing that this is the kind of stuff you're facing.

And there's no reason to believe that any of this stuff being accused is true. With only a few days til the election, a rumor of this kind might be enough to sink a campaign that can't get its message out.

Once again, the New Jersey voters are getting screwed.

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