By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
I heard a lot of common sense coming from the floor during Monday night’s marathon floor debate, Save Jerseyans.
“We are now placing handcuffs on a legislature that years from now, giving them no flexibility,” GOP Leader Jon Branmick asked rhetorically in his remarks below, criticizing the Democrats’ proposed amendment which, if approved by voters this fall, will constitutionally-mandate annual pension payments. “How can we possibly anticipate what that legislature might find in the economy or revenues? And now, we have mandated an amount of money.”
What I didn’t hear from many of the Republicans who spoke?
Anger, for starters. There were even some calls for Democrats to negotiate in good faith, and in at least one instance, a vocalized assumption that the amendment was well-intentioned (?), but no one said the obvious in direct, passionate terms: there is not a G-dman thing that’s remotely good faith or well-intentioned about any of this bullshit.
Four current GOP Assembly members will be gone very shortly because, as defeated Asw. Mary Pat Angelini explained in a recent guest op-ed, the public sector unions bought the last election.
And they readily admit it. In a celebratory statement released after the amendment cleared, NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Sean M. Spiller said, “These were important votes, but we know we still have a long road ahead of us. We need the next legislature to affirm this action.” He’s confident because his union – through its massive campaign investments – owns the next legislature. Outright, in a brazen manner capable of making Mr. Smith Goes to Washington‘s Jim Taylor blush. Seriously. Vince Prieto can’t use the bathroom without someone from the teacher’s union giving him a hall pass.
Democrats aren’t trying to fix the pension system. This is the political equivalent of a prostitute kicking back to the pimp.
So why are we so worried about adopting a “reasonable” tone when the other side isn’t even hiding its attempts to rig elections? Anyone??
People don’t vote for “reasonable,” by the way, something I’ve been shouting in the darkness for years. Look at the battleground state polls and tell Mr. Trump or Senator Sanders about the electorate’s appetite for sobriety in the public discourse.
A closer-to-home example: in 2009, Chris Christie told the NJEA leadership where to stick it when he skipped their convention and authored a direct letter to the membership. “It’s true that times are tough. But the truth is that Jon Corzine has handed the NJEA and every student a ticking time bomb in this year’s budget. He has funded the new school aid formula with $1 billion in one-shot revenue that will disappear next year,” Christie explained. Every school budget and academic, athletic, and extra-curricular program for our kids is at risk because of the Governor’s reckless, short-sighted policy. Governor Corzine has refused to make the tough decisions required to make sure we make education funding a priority for recurring revenue and to avoid the ticking time bomb.”
Anger is what’s reasonable right now provided its articulate and directed at the right people.
A handful of liberal Republicans, a small army of Machine Democrats, and the fat-and-happy union bosses who own them broke the pension system. Not you, or me, or George Bush and Chris Christie. Victory in 2017 can start with someone, rocking an ‘R’ after his or her surname, who’s willing to call all of this for what it is.
More sights and sounds from the GOP’s floor debate are below the fold…