How far does Governor Chris Christie's support for Donald Trump go? Does it go far enough for Christie to allow his vassals at the NJGOP to formally adopt the platform of the Republican National Convention that nominated Trump?
If the NJGOP is permitted to adopt the Republican Party platform, it will be the first such action since Chris Christie won the GOP nomination for Governor in June 2009. Shortly after Christie won the Republican nomination, he and the NJGOP were asked by members of the State Committee to embrace the platform of the national Republican Party that was debated and passed at the Republican National Convention in 2008. Christie declined to endorse that platform and the State Party Chairman -- Assemblyman Jay Webber -- promised to put a committee together to draft a "statement of principles" for the NJGOP. That was in 2009. That committee has yet to meet.
Another Republican National Convention came in 2012 and an updated party platform was debated and passed by the assembled delegates. Governor Christie was the keynote speaker at that convention. Nevertheless, he did not endorse or to allow his state party to adopt the platform that was democratically chosen at that convention.
In 2013, the NJGOP went a step further and launched a campaign to defeat sitting members of the State Committee who supported the national Republican Party platform and candidates who said they would do so. They used state party funds, supposedly under the control of the State Committee, to defeat sitting members of the State Committee, without any formal vote allowing them to do so.
One of their chief targets was Gloucester County State Committeeman Rob Eichmann, a conservative who was hospitalized, suffering from cancer, and who was in no position to fight back. The NJGOP ignored pleas to take this into consideration and launched an aggressive and negative campaign to defeat Committeeman Eichmann using the State Committee's own money. Eichmann was defeated along with the other conservatives who supported the Republican Party platform. Rob Eichmann died a few months later, aged 48.
Now it's 2016 and yet another Republican National Convention has come and gone. The NJGOP has still not formally adopted the platform of the national Republican Party as its own. The candidates being recruited to run next year have no guidance as to the principles and policies that inform their party. Without a written explanation of what the Republican Party stands for and what it means to be a Republican, our ability to recruit and train others to recruit new members is limited.
It is time for the NJGOP to declare what it is and what it stands for. If it is informed by the principles of the national Republican Party and the platform of Donald Trump, then say so. If it is not, then please explain what it is that you stand for and the policies that you intend to pursue if elected. Simply having the word "Republican" in your name is not enough.