The taxpayers of New Jersey have a fighter. Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan will soon file suit in Bergen County Superior Court to stop Governor Corzine’s reckless and unconstitutional plan to borrow $3.9 billion for new school construction.
Lonegan’s suit will challenge several of the Governor’s reasons for borrowing money without voter approval. Lonegan will argue that the schools are not crumbling and that the towns that these schools are in can afford to pay something for construction.
Lonegan correctly argues that the pressure to build new schools comes from unions. Unions are an adjunct of the Democrat Party and Governors who are at 27% in the polls and facing re-election in a little over a year cannot afford to tick off organizations that provide healthy campaign contributions and loyal campaign foot soldiers.
While there are pure politics involved with the Governor’s decision to borrow money without voter approval, there is also a deeper, uglier motivation behind this decision. This is about centralized control over the school system. Beginning with the Abbot decision, the state government and the courts have declared all out war on localities making any sort of decisions regarding their school systems. This is eroding a principle New Jerseyans have long held, home rule.
Fortunately, New Jersey has concerned Republicans like Steve Lonegan who will stand up to powergrabs when they see them and fight for the citizens of New Jersey as opposed to the centralized government.