EDITORIAL: As if Jersey doesn’t get enough abuse: Many said our first lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, would carve out the role of the state’s second-in-command during her term. So here we are in the middle of a statewide snow emergency, with Chris Christie away with the family in Orlando, and where is she? On holiday, as well.
Yes, separation of powers was a major concern when voters five years ago approved the constitutional amendment creating the position following two quickie resignations: Christie Whitman’s, to join the Bush Administration as EPA administator, and Jim McGrevey’s, amid shame and scandal (I’m feeling polite today).
But there are administrative matters that require executive leadership, such as … oh, I don’t know … blizzards, maybe.Jerry DeMarco Publisher.Editor
To his credit, State Sen. President Steve Sweeney — who’s filling the role until Friday — isn’t making hay of it (although he did mention a quite puzzling, if not disturbing, inability to ring up Christie to discuss affairs of snow).
His job is to do what needs to be done, Sweeney said, even if it means personally fielding calls from stranded motorists, which he did.
It is not, he said, to monkey with the controls or crack wise on personal decisions by Kimberly Ann McFadden Guadagno, a former federal prosecutor and Monmouth County sheriff born in Waterloo, Iowa, 51 years ago, who is now vacationing in Mexico on a $141,000-a-year salary.
NOTE: After this column was published, NJ.COM‘s Paul Mulshine predicted the end of Guadagno’s career, before she’d even had a chance to consider contesting Bob Menendez’s Senate seat in 2012:
” The biggest error is failing to take advantage of the first opportunity she had to show she could govern effectively, ” Mulshine wrote. ” If the lieutenant governor had been serious, she would have been touring the state checking out all those roads covered with snow in the very towns that gave Guadagno and Christie their biggest pluralities.”
Ironically, people have called the lieutenant governor’s post a possible stepping stone to the real job, an opportunity to build a statewide image of leadership and of dedication to serving the citizens of the Garden State.
Write your own Jersey joke here.
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