Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chris Christie Outfoxes New Jersey Democrats...

...which, granted, is not saying much.  But still so much fun to watch. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, usually a union thug, now a gay lover (as in a lover of all things gay, especially same-sex marriage), said publicly he would not consider Christie's appointees for the New Jersey State Supreme Court unless they were minorities. Spending most of his time surrounded by like-minded fellows and reading the Newark Star Ledger, Sweeney made almost an understandable mistake: he assumes that all blacks and gays were liberal Democrats, and would vote thusly.

How's that nuanced line of thinking work out for Sweeney? Ah..not well:

On Monday Christie nominated Korean-American Phillip Kwon and Bruce Harris, the openly gay black mayor of Chatham Borough. Kwon, who worked with Christie when he was U.S. attorney, is currently First Assistant Attorney General for New Jersey.

Christie delivered a body blow to Democrats prepared for a fight over high-court nominees. It puts Democrats on the defensive and gives Christie latitude in bringing more conservative voices to the court. Democrats wanted minority candidates, and they have them

First Assistant Attorney General Kwon's resume is stellar:

Prior to joining the Office of the Attorney General, Mr. Kwon served for more than ten years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. As part of the Criminal Division, he focused on prosecutions involving drugs, gangs, counterfeiting, white-collar fraud, and immigration fraud. Mr. Kwon also served in the Special Prosecutions Division where he worked specifically on corruption cases and trials, including those involving Robert Janiszewski, Nidia Davila-Colon, William Braker, Zachary Turner. Mr. Kwon was also a prosecutor on the trial team that convicted Sharpe James and Tamika Riley in their federal corruption case.

In 2005, Mr. Kwon was named as the Chief of the Violent Crimes Unit where he supervised the Office’s gang prosecutors. In 2006, Mr. Kwon was named as the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division where he directly oversaw the Commercial Crimes Unit, the Terrorism Unit, and the Violent Crimes Unit.

Tough on crime, tough on corruption, and a minority. How are the Democrats going to fight that, and simultaneously keep the state's substantial Asian vote in 2012?

Admittedly, Bruce Harris' record is a bit less clear:

Age: 61
Hometown: Chatham, Morris County
Party: Registered Republican
Education: Graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 1973; graduated with honors from Boston University Graduate School of Management in 1979 and from Yale Law School in 1992.
Professional experience: currently of counsel at the law firm Greenberg Traurig, and previously at Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland and Perretti, with a focus on lending, real estate and construction financing and bond transactions.
Political experience: Elected mayor of Chatham Borough in 2011; appointed to fill a vacancy on the borough council, and elected to two terms, making him its longest-serving councilman
Other activities: served on Chatham Planning Board, Environmental Commission, Historic Preservation Commission; former member of the Morris County Open Space Preservation Trust; trustee of the UMDNJ and the New Jersey Health Foundations; trustee of Eric Johnson House Inc., a transitional housing program for people with HIV/AIDS, including five years as president.
Family: partner of 32 years, Marc Boisclair
Honors: New Jersey Super Lawyers 2005-2007
Quote: Stuart Lederman, a partner at Riker Danzig who is president of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, said Harris "brings an intellectual curiosity to the bench, but balancing that with an understanding of issues facing government and individuals."

Seems like a guy who has tried to balance the concerns of the community with the needs of business. Although certainly not a "constitutional originalist", He's worked closely with Christie in the past, and the governor likely knows his way of thinking.

Of course, the timing is sweet and well-planned. As the New Jersey legislature works to pass laws legalizing gay marriage, it now becomes harder to paint Christie as a hateful bigot, which was likely the primary reason the Democrats were pushing the same-sex marriage bill so hard.

So those so-much-smarter-than-thou Democrats are now in a box of their own making. They can't oppose Christie's nominees without confessing it's not minorities that matter to them, it's liberal ideology (and how honest and refreshing would that be?). They can't paint Christie as a gay-basher, not with the Harris nomination and his declaration that the gay marriage issue should be decided at the ballot box by statewide referendum and not by a small majority of lawmakers.

The Democrats are screwed and will likely have to submit to Chris Christie's will.

Just imagine what this guy would have done to Barack Hussein Obama...

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