PolitickerNJ ran a good piece a couple of days ago on the collision of Christiegate with the lack of an organized Republican party in NJ. The Governor’s bulb is dimmed, although I suppose one could say the same about Team Democrat: after all, the NJ troika of George Norcross, Joe DiVincenzo, and Steve Adubato Sr has some role in this rat’s nest.
Anyway, Christie had been perceived as invincible and the NJ GOP, as a result of that perception, never bothered to build up a back bench. This is particularly relevant because the party can’t seem to come up with a plausible candidate to run against Sen. Cory Booker when his term is up next year.
According to PolitickerNJ, the word on the street was that Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick would take on Booker, and that Sen. Mike Doherty was also considering a run. But now they’ve both withdrawn their names from consideration. On Doherty:
The movement conservative from Warren County considered running two years ago,,,
Really? Doherty believed that Christie would “implement” a flat school tax independent of local wealth? Sure, Christie’s no fan of the NJ Supreme Court Abbott rulings that attempt to even out inequities in education between poor and rich districts through financial compensation. He's also no fan of Abbott's (erstwhile) replacement, the School Funding Reform Act. (SFRA only breathes if fully-funded, something that has only happened once.)
He didn’t run on the strength of his belief that the governor would implement the senator's fair schools funding formula. When Christie didn’t, Doherty felt burned.
But Doherty’s “Fair Tax” is antithetical to any kind of plausible school funding formula, mandating a payment of $7,481 per pupil regardless of need. I think that's a bridge that Christie wouldn't cross.
Sure, such a funding scheme is a boon for wealthy residents in, say, Short Hills, who currently get almost no state aid because their tax base is so rich. But it’s a bust for poor communities that rely on the State’s commitment to equitable funding.
If Doherty believed that the Governor either could or would implement an (un)Fair Tax then I’ve got a Bridge I’d like to sell him
Here’s Bruce Baker, by the way, on Doherty’s tax scheme:
Here’s what the Doherty plan would look like. Here, every district gets the same regardless of need or capacity. This is rather like arguing that we should distribute food stamps and other financial assistance to residents of the estates of Far Hills in equal amounts to the distributions in Camden, or that we should pave well-conditioned and little used roadways with comparable frequency to heavily worn, highly traveled ones. When we place Doherty aid on top of 2009 local revenues per pupil, we see that the lowest income districts end up having combined state and local revenue per pupil well under $10,000 and that the wealthy districts now have combined state and local revenue per pupil approaching $25,000.
Labels: Christie, school funding