During the American Revolution, as our fledgling nation fought against the British, local committees in the major cities mobilized support for a government based on the will of the people. The committees exposed profiteers who viewed the Revolution as a chance to line their pockets. They protected the public interest, enforced standards, and set the ground rules for democracy.
Centuries later, we feed daily on news of contemporary profiteering — corruption by way of self-dealing, for example, and running interference for special interests. So, we could really use a fresh infusion of revolutionary spirit and regard for the common good.
Why not start in New Jersey, a state with a reputation for corruption, where contending political parties align to do favors for special interests and even the “good guys” look the other way and others hold their noses and go along? This is not what we mean by bipartisanship. But it is what seems to characterize many of the decisions made by the Economic Development Authority — the subject of task force hearings and investigations after the state comptroller reported inadequate oversight and potential abuses in the awarding of some $11 billion in tax breaks.