anne_mikolay_120I like Jon Bon Jovi. I like the Jersey Guys from 101.5 FM Radio. When Bon Jovi's sings, I listen. When The Jersey Guys talk, I listen. Put them both together, and you've got food for thought.

The Jersey Guys' topic of conversation on Friday, June 5th, was Bon Jovi's appearance the prior evening at a re-election benefit concert for Governor Corzine. According to news reports, Bon Jovi performed three songs at the concert before 2,700 people, and successfully helped raise $2 Million dollars for Corzine. According to Ray Rossi and Casey Bartholomew, aka the Jersey Guys, Bon Jovi rose to the occasion for his friend, Governor Corzine, yet refused to play at the upcoming New Jersey 101.5 Big Joe Henry "Welcome Home" event for New Jersey's National Guard 50th Infantry Combat Team. Casey Bartholomew was highly critical of Bon Jovi's political affiliation with Corzine, who has, in Bartholomew's opinion, done so little for our state. Rossi, equally critical, pointed out that Bon Jovi's behavior doesn't jive with the rocker's "Jersey boy" image. Both radio hosts chastised Bon Jovi for dissing the troops, and questioned why Bon Jovi was paid $19,000-plus to appear at the Corzine benefit and praise the Governor. Clearly, the Jersey Guys have no love for the Jersey boy.

Am I disappointed that Jon Bon Jovi has passed up an opportunity to support our troops? You bet. Do I think Jon Bon Jovi really dissed the troops? I doubt it. The Jersey Guys claim Bon Jovi refused to play at the 101.5 benefit for the troops because he preferred to record in Los Angeles. Let's face it. Bon Jovi is a busy man. Perhaps he has to record at that time because it is the only date available on his crowded calendar to do so. Bon Jovi has always supported the United States and our communities. He was there to lend support after 9/11. He has an active hand in Habitat for Humanity. He has personally delivered much needed school supplies to children in financial need. The man can't do everything, and he can't respond favorably to every solicitation for his aid.

That said, he's not off the hook completely. It didn't really unnerve me when the Jersey Guys reported that Bon Jovi declined to appear at 101.5's benefit for the troops, but it did give me pause when they revealed that Bon Jovi is incorporated in Tennessee, rather than New Jersey, and thus cleverly avoids paying New Jersey's crazy taxes. Who can blame Jon Bon Jovi for avoiding New Jersey's economy? Who can blame him for skirting around New Jersey's insane taxes? But as a businessman who has taken his business elsewhere, Jon Bon Jovi has no place publicly lauding the works of Governor Jon Corzine, who has made life difficult for the "regular" businessmen and the middle class homeowners in New Jersey.

Bottom line? Jon Bon Jovi is a philanthropist - and a savvy businessman -  who didn't intentionally diss the troops. It's just the way things worked out. He still has a part-time home here in Middletown, so there must be something he likes about our state - even if it isn't our economy.