Out of Control Policy Blog

Corzine on Concessions

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine offered a strong rebuke of opponents of turnpike monitization or privatization.

Flourishing a flier from Republican legislative candidates urging voters to "Stop Trenton Politicians From Selling Off Our Roads," Mr. Corzine lashed out at critics of an idea that he calls asset monetization, but has yet to formally introduce.

"It isn't political courage when somebody says politicians in Trenton are planning to sell the turnpike to foreign corporations – 'for sale, act now,' " Mr. Corzine said, his voice rising. "This is the stuff that's going out. That is not political courage. It's political demagoguery, and the fact is, we need a solid debate on a solid program that gives us the ability to invest in our future, and I'm going to fight for it."

The Governor does add that his proposal is different from other states and not privatization; the details of which are still secret. However, it will likely include a "public-public partnership" with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority maintaining operation.

Corzine's frustration is felt by many, including myself. What's clear is that opposition to new thinking isn't reserved to one party. Corzine's a Democrat and is getting the most opposition from Republicans. Governor Daniels in Indiana, who successfully privatized the Indiana Toll Road just over a year ago is a Republican yet his biggest opposition remains Democrats. In Pennsylvania, Gov. Rendell (a Democrat) faces stiff opposition, well from both parties.


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