Friday, March 23, 2007

Roadblock to democracy

Remember when Rep. J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., was speaker of the House (before he got tied up in the Rep. Mark "I like boy pages" Foley, R-Fla., scandal) and made his outrageous policy announcement that only "the majority of the majority" would rule from that day on? That meant the American people and their representatives be damned, the 26 percent or so "majority of the majority" carrying water for George Bush would smother any measure Bush didn't want in committee so the rest couldn't even use their power to override a presidential veto.

Well, New Jersey's leadership is starting

to look like the same "majority of the majority." Gov. Corzine's re-assignment today of Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri to head the Turnpike Authority puts on the green light, whether he admits it or not, for "monetizing services." The Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike is a done deal, as far as this state's "majority of the majority" seems to have decided behind closed doors. I find this whole thing Mafia-esque, same as when "Denny boy" Hastert and Co. did it.

Even though the Republicans looooved the strategy when Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and her GOP majority did it in selling our public Motor Vehicles Services as "privatization," Republicans in this Legislature hate Corzine's Turnpike idea because, well, it's Corzine's idea.

Most of the Democratic voices and all of the public we've heard from on this also oppose the idea to lease road management, because it's, well, stupid.

To make profit, a corporation will have to raise or add tolls, let roads deteriorate and/or bust the labor abuses, all of which Corzine could do himself if he had the political guts. In the end, the corporation won't get something without us getting nothing. Those CEOs don't buy nothing to give something.

Is no one thinking of simply adding a 50/50 to the state lottery exclusively for paying that debilitating debt Whitman and Gov. James McGreevey sunk is into? New Jerseyans loooove 50/50s.

Wayne Madsen at Wayne Madsen Reports offers a novel proposal of his own on our dilemma.

If the privatization of the PA and NJ Turnpikes goes forward, let me offer up a civil disobedience idea. The day those toll booths become private, hundreds of thousands of motorists, including truckers, should run them through the barricadeless EZ-PASS lanes. Enough is enough and Rendell and Corzine don't have enough cops to stop that kind of mass (and easy) protest. They can only react by closing the turnpikes, at a tremendous loss in profit for the new owners. That is what is called a successful protest.

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