NJ – Land of Grifts and Drifts

John Willard
Published: 05/21/2021

As a lifelong NJ resident, I know how wonderful and frustrating this state can be. And I continue to learn.

My wife and I joined the Pinelands Preservation Alliance a couple of years ago, after enjoying an enchanting day of canoeing in the Pinelands, one of NJ’s real gifts. I recently learned from the Alliance that the Pinelands is the largest forested area between Maine and the Florida Everglades. Here in NJ? Cool! Well worth preserving.

This info came from a note the Alliance sent asking support for their efforts to get Governor Murphy’s nominations to the Pinelands Commission which he submitted in March 2020, approved,.

Why the stall? A little bit of grift that’s unique to NJ called “senatorial courtesy,” an unwritten rule that allows state senators to block nominees from the districts they represent. It basically means that one senator can hold the entire state hostage if they have a beef with a nominee. Doesn’t sound too democratic, does it? But even Murphy thinks this unwritten rule should remain. Power likes power.

Murphy’s commission nominees are committed to preserving the Pinelands, and not crisscrossing it with gas pipelines, as the current legacy Christie commissioners are managing to do. Let’s get the nominees approved so we can protect our natural gift. And let’s abolish the grift of “senatorial courtesy.” I see the harm it does. I don’t see the good.

Topics: Phil MurphyPinelands Chris Christie