ABOUT THIS BOOK
James J. Florio is best known as governor of New Jersey from 1990 to 1994. But his career in local, state, and national government is far more varied, and his achievements as a progressive reformer are more substantial than most realize.
This political memoir tells the remarkable story of how Florio, a high school dropout who left to join the Navy as a teenager, went on to become an attorney, a state assemblyman, a congressman, and a governor. A passionate defender of the environment, Florio played a crucial role in the enactment of 1980s-era Superfund laws, which helped to clean up toxic waste sites in New Jersey and around the country. As governor, he fought for the groundbreaking Clean Water Enforcement Act. But his reforms quite literally came at a cost, as he raised New Jersey sales taxes and income taxes to balance the state budget. Florio reflects upon the challenges of meeting the state’s budgetary needs while keeping his tax-averse constituents happy.
Standing on Principle reveals a politician who has never been afraid to take a progressive stand—including a firm stance against semiautomatic weapons that led gun lobbyists to bankroll his opponent. His story is sure to inspire readers from New Jersey and across the nation.
Published in cooperation with the Center on the American Governor, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University