Today the governor of my state dropped two bombshells.
1. He's gay.
2. He's resigning.
Reaction from the uninformed is exactly what you'd expect - what kind of state is New Jersey where a gay man must resign his office. Isn't that just horrid. To those outside the borders of our small but crowded home, the reaction is expected -- especially when national news organizations cover the recently concluded press conference with highlights of just the announcement itself giving a mere flip of the hand "oh yeah and also . . ." to the rest of the story.
What is scary is that there exist a block of New Jerseyans who take this conference at face value as well. Who shake their heads and look down on their neighbors for being so very close minded as to force this poor man out of office for his sexual orientation.
In the interest of full disclosure I must admit that I am far from a fan of Governor McGreevey's. I didn't vote for him. I wouldn't even consider voting for him when he ran for re-election next November. Its got nothing to do with his party affiliation or his preference for men. My issue with him has always been his record. I could go on for virtual page after page on his tenure as Mayor of Woodbridge, but I won't. Suffice it to say that those in this state shocked that the man wanted to raise taxes almost immediately after removing his hand from the Bible during his swearing in obviously ignored his track record.
In truth today's first bombshell means nothing to me. I hardly think a person's sexual orientation impacts his/her ability to carry out their job responsibilities. When coupled with that, I find his 2nd bombshell incredibly irritating. His resignation with this as his excuse is a disservice to the residents of NJ, as well as homosexuals across the nation. Why this harsh stand - because there's more to the story than just this. . .
Rumors have been swirling all day that a former member of staff is about to file charges of sexual harassment against McGreevey - now the assumption is that this former affliate is the man he's had his admitted affair with. Some will write this off as easily as they did Jones vs Clinton - but the idea of my leader being served with a harassment suit is always mildly unsettling to me.
Still though, there's more. Scandal surrounds Jim McGreevey. Aids and advisors. Fund raisers. People throughout the executive branch of state government are dropping like flies amid charges of fraud or bribe taking. The man himself has been under investigation for both. This is the same man who has had to pay back the taxpayer coffers after being discovered taking the Governor's jet to Ireland for vacation on our dime. Its the same man who's popularity nose dives with each scandalous hit falling throughout the executive branch. To many in our state that actually watch and read the news, his career has been a ticking time bomb waiting to implode.
And so the resignation comes a top a hill of disgrace. It comes at what could likely be come known to be the 'tip of the iceberg.' Or not. We may never know now. The disservice is that he finds a reason to walk out that garners sympathetic head shakes and tsks of the tongue at those that bid him "farewell" with more of a "good riddance" type approach. And in doing so it becomes easy to pull the blinds down over the rest - the mess, the dirt. It shoves a skeleton in the closet - making it easy to ignore the blemish.
Do I think he'd have HAD to resign if this was the only mountain he faced? No. Hardly. I think this was just his last straw. . .