Monday, October 22, 2007


It may not be a case of getting out while the getting is good, but for a few retiring state legislators it seems to be a matter of getting out before the getting gets worse. Last week at a function to honor retiring lawmakers, one Assemblyman said, “It’s really liberating.” He said he was attending a town hall meeting the week before when a citizen stood up and accused him of being a corrupt liar like every other politician. The Assemblyman tells me he said to the man, “You must be confusing me with someone who is running again and cares what you have to say. You’re a creep. Sit down and shut up!” The man apparently said his words were meant with all due respect. The Assemblyman claims he responded, “With all due respect, you’re still a creep. Sit down and shut up!” Another lawmaker saying good-bye claims he’s learned a new word and that word is, “No! It feels great to say that after all these years.”

The lawmakers in question didn’t give me the go-ahead to use their names, so I’m not. They didn’t say I couldn’t, but I didn’t ask them if I could so, I'm playing it safe. If you were at the town hall meeting, you know who I’m talking about. I spoke to four others who were there and claim it happened just as the Assemblyman describes.

“I hate politics!” That is evidently the prevailing sentiment for those running for re-election. I’ve heard that statement a total of nine times in ten working days from nine different incumbents. I suppose it is tough on the campaign trail. If this wasn’t New Jersey I’d say nobody is holding a gun to anybody’s head telling them they have to run again. This is the Garden State however, so I can’t be 100% sure about that.

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