Perth Amboy Councilman Ken Balut, a retired police officer and former president of PBA Local 13, is preparing to challenge Jon Corzine in the June 2 Democratic primary election.
For a host of reasons, Jon Corzine should not be re-elected and I believe most Democrats agree with me on that. That means New Jersey needs a Democrat to challenge the former Wall Street CEO, but unfortunately his money has scared away some of the people who we might expect to make this effort.
Just as Barack Obama told America last year, this election is not about me, it is about you. Somebody has to stop the corruption that is hurting every resident of this state. Somebody has to make our tax system fair, assure every child a quality education and keep our community hospitals open. Somebody has to represent the core values of our Democratic Party, the party of the people.
If Jon Corzine will not use his power to do good for the people of New Jersey, then we must nominate someone who will. I will be running a grassroots campaign, the kind for which real Democrats are best known as opposed to the self-funded propaganda methods used by the incumbent.
I do not believe Mr. Corzine's obscene wealth, nor his flagrant use of that Wall Street money to buy the support of special interests and power brokers, should be a primary topic of discussion in this campaign.
What New Jersey needs to know is how we turn around the economy for millions of middle-class working people; when we are going to do the right thing by fully funding public education; and who has the courage to stand up against organized crime and power brokers that have intruded on our public resources and robbed our tax dollars.
I am asking my supporters to help me gather the required petition signatures and reach the donation threshhold for public financing. That means collecting 10,000 donations of $34 or 1,000 contributions of $340 or even 100 gifts of the maximum $3,400.
Regardless of amount, I welcome every contribution and realize that it is a sacrifice in these troubled times but if we qualify for public financing, your donation will be tripled! The state will provide $2 for every $1 donated by a New Jersey resident, organization or business and we will have sufficient funds to get our message across to Democrats who care about New Jersey's future.
If we can let Democrats know they have a choice in this election, then we will no longer need to endure a governor who is out of touch with the average person's needs and either incompetent at leading an honest, effective administration in Trenton or simply unwilling to do so.
It may be difficult to accomplish all this, but if you ask me if we are able to make this happen, you know I am going to say: "YES WE CAN!"