Governors’ Documentary Hosted by Connell Foley Examines the State’s Position and Powers From the Eyes of Four Former Governors

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The Power of the Governor: Four speak on “41, 21 and one to get anything done” – the balancing act of the bully pulpit in State’s business through a quarter-century

ROSELAND, N.J./May 19, 2011 -- An NJN documentary, facilitated by the law firm of Connell Foley, brings together four of the Garden State’s former governors to shed insight into the role the state’s leader holds and the power this position wields.

Connell Foley offices provided an appropriate venue for the recording of scenes in this important documentary. The program includes interviews with former heads of state, historians, and political experts discussing New Jersey’s history dating back to Colonial times. Since 1947,when the current New Jersey State Constitution was ratified and state government was reorganized, governors have enjoyed four-year terms, and the power in the state’s legislature has been determined by the 40-member Senate and 80-member General Assembly.

The New Jersey governor is elected by residents, on the only ticket voted on statewide, while the second-in-command − the lieutenant governor − is elected automatically on the same ticket. Thousands of executive department officials, judges, commissioners, and authority members are made by governor’s appointment. The purse-strings of the state’s government are controlled by the governor, who not only proposes the budget but has line-item veto. The state’s most senior executive can even change proposed legislation with a conditional veto or make law through executive order.

The one-hour production, "The Power of the Governor," features Brendan Byrne (1974-1982), Tom Kean (1982-1990), Jim Florio (1990-1994), and Christie Whitman (1994-2001), along with reporters, political experts, and administration insiders. The film is narrated by Kent Manahan, former NJN anchor whose career spans three decades with NJN. She has been the recipient of five Emmy Awards and the Scripps-Howard National Journalism Award for her entertaining and insightful interviews of public officials and celebrities.

The show aired on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, and will be rebroadcast on Thursday, May 19 (10:00 p.m. EST) and Sunday, May 22 (11:30 a.m. EST); media coverage has included a review by The Star Ledger, available for viewing here.

Archival NJN News footage incorporated in the film delivers snapshots back in time, spotlighting the current governor’s activities while exercising their constitutional authority, from executive veto to judicial appointment.

Managing Partner Michael X. McBride stated, “Our firm was immensely interested in being involved in some aspect of this production, from both professional and personal perspectives. In the end, the piece produced is remarkable in its achievement of gathering four former governors of New Jersey, to present discourse over the balance of powers and internal workings of our state’s government.”

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