In this episode of Wine, Women, and Revolution, Heather sits down with former candidate Alex Law to talk about his David and Goliath battle against the Norcross Family.
Alex Law made his decision to run because he saw the “defacto coronation” of Donald Norcross play out across the political scene in South Jersey. For instance, within 24 hours of Norcross announcing his candidacy, every democratic leader in each town had endorsed him. Alex was shocked at the level of graft and corruption her saw in his community.
Contracts Up For Grabs
In South Jersey, there is system of what Alex refers to as uncompetitive bidding. Companies owned by the Norcross family and their friends receive lucrative contracts in towns throughout the area. This drew Mr. Law’s attention to the “Economic Opportunity Act”, which Donald Norcross sponsored. Later, it became a law.
Alex calls this act “the single biggest piece of graft in the history of the United States”. This act transferred over a billion dollars of NJ taxpayer money directly to the Norcross machine and their affiliates. However it created next to no new jobs. Companies received over a billion dollars in sellable tax credits. These tax credits were sold, by the state, for 90 cents on the dollar to bigger corporations (like Exxon or Apple) to offset their tax bill. Then the companies got to pocket the extra cash. As a result of all this, Alex Law knew he had to run.
In the meantime, no appreciable good appeared in Camden. The communities were still suffering while the waterfront thrived. There is no social or economic infrastructure in the city for the citizens to receive the benefit of these billions of dollars. People drive in from Cherry Hill or Vorhees they stay on the gated campuses, and then drive back to Cherry Hill at the end of the work day. They are not spending their money in the city. In fact, things have gotten more difficult for the average resident because of mega corps buying up property and displacing residents.
Alex Law Plan Of Action
Alex knew he had to work with the residents of Camden to help them empower their community. Above all, taking on the Norcross party boss system required a strategic plan.
His plan involved a few steps:
1) Figuring out how many votes he needed
2) Deciding how much he would spend per vote.
3) Operating with the greatest efficiency possible.
Whenever a volunteer signed up, they immediately incorporated them into the structure of the campaign. He developed a different model for every town. Although they didn’t win, they met their vote total goals and did it with an unparalleled efficiency.