David’s Memory: Key Questions for Reporters

“His legacy will include all the students he taught and inspired,” noted Joe Cryan, Chairman of the Democratic State Committee on the loss of David Rebovich. Added to those sentiments were these by Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes: "As long as we take it upon ourselves to ask challenging questions and be forthcoming with our opinions, Dr. Rebovich will remain a powerful presence…”

In David’s memory, his last PoliticsNJ.com entry left both a challenge to political reporters and an opportunity to teach and inspire all of us.

David’s Post: “Counting heads in the current legislature, it is clear that at least the elimination of dual office holding for current legislators could have passed both chambers if the bill was posted.”

Reporters’ Challenge: Conduct and publish a head count of the current legislative candidates, both incumbents and challengers, and ask if they would vote for an outright ban on dual office holding without a grandfather provision for current members. Be sure to ask if they would also vote for a floor motion to release a bill from committee without any grandfather provisions.

David’s Post: “And, candidates in both parties are nearly unanimous in their refusal to support any asset monetization plan that entails the sale or lease of the toll roads to a private company.”

Reporters’ Challenge: Just because the Governor won’t discuss his plans, doesn’t mean the candidates vying for seats in the next legislative session should not. So why not pose the question this way: What provisions would need to be included in an asset monetization plan to gain their support? Alternatively, reporters could just ask the candidates how they will finance the looming $2.5 billion deficit and pay for next year’s property tax rebates without asset monetization.

David’s Post: “On the new school funding formula, there is a basic question to ask the candidates. Advocates of financially stressed suburban and rural districts claim that their schools can use about a billion dollars more in state aid. Where is this money going to come from?”

Reporters’ Challenge: For this follow-up David also defined the questions with partisan targets in mind. To Republicans, he would ask: “…the bulk of the savings that Republicans claim they can achieve comes from cutting aid to Abbott School Districts. GOP candidates need to explain where they will find the money if the State Supreme Court does not authorize big cuts in funding to the Abbott districts.” And to Democrats, David had this to say: “Democratic candidates, who may not be interested in trying to cut Abbott funding, need to explain from where they will get a billion bucks.”

David understood that these questions have to be asked and answered – especially during an election cycle when all 120 legislative seats are up for grabs. With his voice now muted, it’s up to New Jersey’s political reporters to help ensure David’s legacy is not silenced. David’s Memory: Key Questions for Reporters