Sunday, January 25, 2015

No to Chris Christie for President

Republicans can be tough on crime without electing the jail keeper.  Mr. Christie came to prominence as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey during the middle of the last decade.  He prosecuted the Hudson County executive, Robert Janiszewski (D).  He prosecuted the Essex County executive, James Treffinger (R).  He prosecuted the democratic leader, John Lynch, Jr., and Newark mayor Sharpe James (D).  He prosecuted more than 100 public officials.

I feel an important topic is the overreach of prosecutors.  Society needs prosecutors.  John Ashcroft, for instance, was a great prosecutor.  But too often, in 2015 America, prosecutors are using their incredible power to target people and to make a name for themselves.  I am more impressed by a prosecutor who knows when not to prosecute a case than someone who gets their name in the newspapers by putting an elected official in prison.

A county executive should be able to award a contract to the most capable firm without fear that he might spend 10 years in federal prison if he later accepts a campaign contribution from them.  But that is the world that prosecutors such as Christie have created.  A mayor, or a public official should be able to appoint qualified professionals to fill job openings, without worrying they will spend 5 - 10 years in federal prison for "creating a no-show job" or "rewarding a crony."

A well-known New Jersey columnist, Paul Mulshine, wrote that Christie had "better hope he doesn't face a prosecutor as ambitious as he once was."  I feel that prosecutorial overreach should be a much more important topic for this country than police cases like Ferguson.

Conservatives support an originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.  It is no stretch to look at the original intent of other laws as well.  America passed laws against political corruption, but the goal was to prevent Tammany Hall.  The goal was not to put a public official in prison because he gave his friend a job as a barber at a state hospital.