Thursday, October 15, 2009

And You Wonder Why Voters Are Apathetic?

"Substantive debate of the issues equals quality governance."

The New Jersey Governors race has been a classic street fight that defines the electorial process in the Garden State. At times it plays like a cable stations' reality television show, and as the "Jersey" saying goes, "You just can't make this stuff up."

State Democratic Party Chairman, Assemblyman Joe Cryan, during a rally the other evening, was performing his role as party cheerleader for incumbent Governor Jon Corzine when he decided to take on GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie's weight as a campaign issue. I'm not going to go into full detail of his comments, so let's just say that Cryan made mention of Christie's weight in an unflattering manner, and tried to tie it into his ability to lead as Governor.

It is no secret that Christie is a large man and, as with many of us, has fought the battle of the bulge for most of his life. His performance as a United States Attorney for New Jersey was certainly not hampered by his weight as he locked-up every crooked politician he could get his hands on to the tune of over 100 - regardless of party affiliation.

A candidate's weight doesn't tell me how they will reduce my taxes or improve the schools in my district.

A candidate's weight doesn't tell me how they will improve the quality of life for our senior citizens, or provide top-notch, affordable healthcare for my family.

A candidate's weight doesn't tell me how they will provide the leadership, creativity and discipline necessary to govern our state back to fiscal prosperity.

The last time I looked, I saw people of all shapes and sizes living in our great state doing wonderful things, both in private and public venues. These folks run the socioeconomic gambit - from blue collar to white collar; they are mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers and sisters.

I wonder if Assemblyman Cryan, who would never be mistaken for a small man, has any relatives that fall into any of the above categories? Is he less proud of them or treat them as unfit in their life roles because of their weight? I sincerely doubt it.

So Assemblyman Cryan, yes, lead your party into the election battle as is expected of the state chairman, but be careful which stone you choose to throw first in your glass house - maybe you could drop a few pounds yourself.

Friday, October 9, 2009

What Is Really Important

"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints". Psalm 116:15

Wednesday was a surreal day for me. I was participating in a golf outing to benefit charities of a father of a teammate on my youngest daughters' soccer team who died two years ago, while I was still digesting the news I had received that morning of the death of a mother of a teammate on my youngest daughters' basketball team.

What struck me, were the similarities of these two people - both religious, family-oriented, fun-loving, kind-hearted, respected and loved by all who came into contact with them.

Both leave behind spouses with young children; one who has had the passage of time to learn to cope with loss; the other still trying to find their way as they prepare for the funeral service.

Both have children who are bright, kind, and full of courage in their own right, who understand that the suffering of their mother/father is now over and that "God took them home to suffer no more". Their words, not mine.

Both have family and friends who will see them through this time of sorrow, and others who don't even know them that well, but want to help because of what others told them about the way they had lived.

These two families - one white,one black - have so many similarities, and the one that stands out the most as I think of them, is a quote from Galatians 5:14 "Love your neighbor as yourself".

Both of these families do just that. They should be an example for all of us to follow.