Take it from Steve Kornacki: New Jersey politics are unique.
In a virtual conversation with Rowan University’s Ben Dworkin, the national political correspondent for NBC and MSNBC said that Garden State’s political landscape eclipsed even that of such ancient states.
“I grew up, like I said, in Massachusetts, and of course you hear all the stories that grow up there about the rich political tradition of Massachusetts, especially Boston. I grew up on it, “he said.” I thought I knew something about a rich and colorful political culture, and I didn’t know until I got to the New Jersey.”
The main difference, he said, comes from the control of contracts awarded by local and county officials.
The money that these contracts provide helps state brokers, even at the local and county level. It also promotes the politics of the machine that New Jersey is known for, Kornacki said.
“They’re relics in every other state, and I think they’re in long-term decline in New Jersey, but you still have these local, county, and city political machines out there, but they’re obsolete elsewhere. “, did he declare. noted. “Where you have strong political machines, you have a whole hierarchy that people in politics have to navigate, have to contend with. It’s just something that doesn’t exist in other states.
These machines have been the target of progressives on the Democratic side. They have so far had little success, and the design of online party ballots in New Jersey, which allows county party leaders to give preferred candidates an advantage, has shown little effect. signs of reflux.
But challenges like these mean Democrats are showing up in primaries where they don’t just go through motions.
In other words, it saves them money and avoids grueling primaries. During the Democratic primaries of 2005, agents of power and party leaders chose Jon Corzine to run for governor rather than acting governor. Dick Codey and Representative Rob Andrews.
“Where I grew up and in most other states, that would be solved by having a primary. The candidates would come forward and play television commercials, ”Kornacki said. “In New Jersey and on the Democratic side of New Jersey, we answered with how are the different political machines, the political bosses, the main regional political leaders, how are they going to align? How are they going to negotiate behind the scenes?
Governor Phil Murphy won the 2017 nomination in a similar fashion. In February, he declined to say whether organizational lines should be removed, as his progressive supporters want.
Full Disclosure: The New Jersey Globe is a shameless, enthusiastic, and dedicated fan of Steve Kornacki. He worked for Globe Editor-in-Chief David Wildstein at PoliticsNJ.com from 2002 to 2006, and journalist Nikita Biryukov worked as a production intern at MSNBC Live with Steve Kornacki in the 2016 general election, then as a reporting intern. digital to NBC News in 2017.