Two Central New Jersey daily newspapers went in different directions today in their endorsements of candidates for the State Assembly in the politically competitive fourteenth district: the Trenton Times backed the Democratic incumbents, Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) and Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton) for re-election, while the Home News Tribune endorsed the two Republican challengers, businessman Rob Calabro and attorney Bill Harvey.
The Times praised Greenstein for her sponsorship of the Party Democracy Act, designed to break the control exercised by some county political bosses over their organizations and candidate selection, and sais that DeAngelo "is a reliable supporter of constructive policies" and focuses on job creation and green technology.
The HNT says that Greenstein, first elected in 1999, has "had a seat at the legislative table throughout all of the missteps and failures of the Gov. Jon Corzine administration and the aborted term of Jim McGreevey before that. She has signed on to countless measures along with the rest of her party colleagues, sharing some of the responsibility for the costly direction of the state."
Greenstein, the editorial said," is also too much of an apologist for the slow pace of reform. She acknowledges that some lawmakers can't be trusted, and yet seems apathetic to trying to change a governing process obstructed by such unworthy characters. She claims to be dissatisfied with Trenton's culture but in the end seems most concerned with protecting her own power." They say that Greenstein "at least acknowledges that some problems do exist in how Trenton operates."
"But if she won't do anything about them, does it matter?" the newspaper wrote.
The newspaper views DeAngelo as "little more than a loyal Democrat mostly toeing the party line. There'd be some value in that if the current leadership knew what it was doing, but it doesn't."
"It's not enough to be willing to express unhappiness with elements of the status quo. And a true reformer has to do more than take the occasional independent stand," the HNT wrote. "If Greenstein and her running mate, incumbent Wayne DeAngelo, don't want to fight harder for a new culture in state politics, others need to be sent into the battle.
"Calabro and Harvey will provide some fresh faces and, we hope, a more aggressive approach to reform," the newspaper wrote.