New Jersey is living in desperate times. Our schools are being attacked, our jobs outsourced, our wages slashed. For too long politics in New Jersey have favored wealthy, corporate interests and party cronyism. The people have put their faith in political parties that promise change and promise to fight for the middle class, to fight for the working family, yet never deliver. New Jersey has arrived at a dangerous place. The corporate agenda is as pervasive as ever, taking complete control over one party. The other party has always promised to stand up for workers against corporate interests; yet, leaders of this party are writing the corporate legislation! We feel this is unjust.
NJ-CAN's goal is to bring about true democracy and accountability in New Jersey. We reject the corporate interests and party bureaucracies. We work to campaign for candidates who support a truly progressive platform. Our aim is to get people involved and get representatives of the people, not corporate interests, elected. We also work to hold politicians to their promises, using our democratic rights to unseat those who betray the interests of the people. We work to make our democracy more democratic, our state more prosperous for everyone, and to prevent the voices of the people from being drowned out by corporate cash.
In June 2011, Senator Sweeney and Speaker Oliver betrayed the core principles of the Democratic Party by passing the Pension and Health Care “reforms” without obtaining even a single concession from Governor Christie on the Budget or the Millionaires Tax. Thus, they handed Governor Christie a tremendous victory at the expense of the core constituents of the Democratic Party and of the People of New Jersey, that he never could have obtained without their help. Sweeney and Oliver were able to do this because they take our support for granted and believe that we have no where else to go with our political support because they are the “lesser evil.”
We need to prove them wrong. We need to show the Christiecrats that they cannot remain in office as the two most powerful Democrat elected officials after their shameful betrayal of all that the Democratic Party purports to stand for. The fact is that Republican leadership would not have been any worse in terms of the final outcome of the budget battle than what happened under their control with Democratic majorities in both the Senate and the Assembly.
As Democrats, we are deeply ashamed. If we sit still for this, we will be akin to those suffering from “battered spouse syndrome” – unable to summon the courage to break away from an abusive relationship despite knowing that we must end it for our own good.
It is therefore time to unseat Sweeney and Oliver from their leadership positions. How can the Democratic Party look itself in the mirror if we continue to allow ourselves to be led by those who have betrayed our core principles?