By Matt Rooney | September 12, 2008blog.savejersey.com

It looks like Tom Kean has called Jon Corzine’s bluff.

Yesterday, The Gloucester County Times strongly urged Governor Corzine to debate a state Republican leader on the issue of toll hikes at the Governor’s upcoming community forums. Corzine’s new toll scheme, aiming to triple fares on all three major toll roads, would constitute a severe economic blow for the already over-taxed New Jersey commuter. Gloucester County is a working class commuters area and would therefore be hit particularly hard by the proposed increases. Understandably, Gloucester County’s major paper would like some answers from our chief executive.

Today, Tom Kean stepped up and accepted the paper’s challenge. Governor Corzine, on the other hand, has yet to respond to either the Times’s debate suggestion or the Republican plan to obtain the needed transportation revenue from pre-existing Motor Vehicle Agency fees. So much for the Governor’s alleged commitment to his “core principles”, promising “substantial, open and public discussion in advance of any transaction.”

Heading into 2009, New Jerseyans need to take note of Tom Kean’s bold acceptance and Jon Corzine’s deafening silence.