When Christie Wins, See Who Loses

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Look for the enemies of higher minimum wages ... and there you will find the enemy of the working class, the coalition of Dixiecrats and reactionary Republicans who seek to dominate the Congress.

That's a revised version of part of a speech by A. Philip Randolph given 50 years ago during a March on Washington. Joe Madison of Sirius XM's (SIRI) "Urban Views" altered the speech during his radio broadcast this weekend, replacing the original word "Negro" with "working class," as a jab at mostly Republicans who want to kill the concept of minimum wage.

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, New Jersey votes for governor along with several state and municipal offices. The state also votes on legislation that would increase minimum wage by a dollar to $8.25 per hour and tie it to the annual cost of living. The Democrat-led Legislature is bringing this issue to the people after reaching a stalemate with Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who vetoed the increase several times, in favor of an incremental rise over three years.

Also see: 'Barack' de Blasio May Bridge Two New Yorks

Most people have moved beyond discussing who will win the state's gubernatorial race. Polls say it's an easy win for the incumbent. Now his prospects in a 2016 U.S. presidential run are being weighed. His ambitions for the office have been used against him.

"He wants to be president. I want to be your governor," zings candidate Senator Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) in her television campaign.

If New Jersey forgives Republicans for shutting down the government and gives Christie a second term, TheStar Ledger says it will be a great four years -- for the rich. Buono says Christie's policies will be good for those earning a million a year; not so great for public employees, the working class or poor.

Christie plans to fiddle with civil service job acquisitions and promotions as well as end the payouts retiring public employees have long enjoyed. Christie's proposed income tax cuts, corporate tax cuts and property tax reductions are aimed at helping millionaires, critics say.

This "man of the people" after hurricane Sandy is said to be doing little for the thousands in Cumberland County, the second poorest county in New Jersey, far from the tourist stops, shops and summer rentals. On Oct. 27, The Star Ledger published The Forgotten Shore, which shed light on those on the banks of the Delaware Bay, a place still waiting for reconstruction and revitalization money, fed money and business grants.

Buono's economic plan addresses the working class and those struggling to pay bills. She wants to raise the earned income tax credit back up to 25% for the working class; Christie reduced it to 20%, which she says is tantamount to a tax increase on those who can't afford to pay it. Buono would also bring back the millionaire tax that Christie vetoed three times, she says.

Christie's overall ratings remain high, but voters are unhappy with how he handles economy and taxes, according to Rutger's Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling. Though up in the poll, critics say New Jersey is losing jobs and the economy has lagged under Christie. CNN ranked the state 43, with an 8.6 unemployment rate this summer, based on data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As for becoming president, Christie may not be Tea party enough to win the 2016 presidential election. The media says his "in-your face" outbursts may work well in the tri-states, but could hurt his chances for a presidential bid.

Initially it was his health and girth that pundits said would keep him out of the White House; now it is his big personality? There's no lap-band for that.

Meanwhile, Buono faces the opposite challenges, as she was still suffering from name recognition just days ahead of the vote. She has been criticized for having low visibility throughout this campaign. People just do not know enough about her, other than her association with former Gov. Jon Corzine, who lost to Christie in 2009.

Christie blamed Buono, who chaired the Senate's Budget and Appropriations panel for two years under the leadership of Democrat Corzine, for leaving him and the state with billions in deficits.

At any rate, Christie is a tough candidate to beat. His willingness to cross party lines for the benefit of the state, as witnessed after Hurricane Sandy and via his reception of President Obama, has New Jersey Democrats crossing the party line in support of Christie. Apparently he has won over the same coalition that got Obama re-elected -- democrats, Hispanics, African Americans and women, so a second term for Christie looks like a wrap.

-- By Cherella Cox in New Jersey

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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