The Dismantling Of Christie’s “Bi-partisan” Reforms

photo credit: Tim Larsen/Governor's Office

photo credit: Tim Larsen/Governor’s Office

It’s beginning to look like Governor Chris Christie’s Boulevard of Compromise is a dead end.

The 2% property tax cap is under attack, as the Trenton Democrats are on the verge of passing an “extension” of the Interest Arbitration Award Cap that eliminates the cap on most arbitration awards and increases the cap on the remainder of the potential awards by 50%.

In my piece last night about the Interest Arbitration Cap, I raised the hope that published reports that Assembly and Senate committees cleared an identical bill that guts the cap were inaccurate because Senator Mike Doherty was co-sponsor of the Senate bill and because of Senate President Steve Sweeney’s comments about the cap at his Town Hall Meeting in Keansburg last week.  It turns out that was wishful thinking. MMM has learned the bills are identical and, inexplicably, Doherty is a primary sponsor of the Senate bill, giving Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto “bi-partisan” cover.

Doherty has yet to return our call for comment.  We’ve been told his attitude about the bill he is sponsoring with Sweeney is “a bill that will pass is better than no bill.”

Doherty has a point, albeit a minor one.  If no bill passes by April 1, there is no cap on Interest Arbitration awards at all.  If the bill that cleared through committees yesterday passes the full legislature and is signed by Christie, there will be a 3% cap on a minority of municipal government labor contracts for the next few years.  If Christie vetoes the bill, even conditionally, there is no arbitration cap.  Either way the property tax blaze is about to be reignited and/or the pain inflicted upon municipalities will be so great that consolidations and mergers will be forced indelicately.  The backdoor destruction of municipal governments appears to be Sweeney’s undeclared plan.

This morning we learned that a key element of Christie’s cost containment on education spending is also under attack by the Democratic legislature.  Sweeney and Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, Jr are pushing legislation that would overturn Christie’s cap on school superintendent salaries.

Early on in Christie’s governorship it was said that Christie was playing three dimensional chess while the Democrats were playing checkers.  It sure looked that way. But now it looks as if the Democrats caught on and now they are catching up. They appear to be dismantling the reforms of Christie’s first term, piece by piece.

What we are witnessing is the consequence of Christie’s no coattails reelection.  It is beginning to look like Sweeney and his mentor George Norcross have played Christie like Putin playing Obama.   They watched and smiled last fall as Christie ran up the score on a election he was assured of winning while he appeared with smiling Democrats, including Sweeney, on the campaign trail.  The Democrats and their union backers have lots to smile about now.

 

Posted: March 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, George Norcross, NJ State Legislature, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

7 Comments on “The Dismantling Of Christie’s “Bi-partisan” Reforms”

  1. Nate said at 10:58 am on March 25th, 2014:

    Christie needs to pick up the phone and call Obama and get Eric Holder to sand out Indictments on RICOs, racketeering, harassment, civil rights violations, election fraud, misappropriating funds, money laundering, drug dealing, murder etc. these guys need to go down

  2. @Nate said at 11:01 am on March 25th, 2014:

    That will never happen. If Christie made such a phone call, that broad net may scoop up Christie as well.

  3. Sam said at 11:09 am on March 25th, 2014:

    Christie needs to get Eric Holder in the state to issue indictments and roils on George Norcross

    If he is with Norcross and Sweeney then he will go down with them. If not, he needs to fix the people these two thugs ruined.

    Norcross and Sweeney are evil thugs

  4. I Hate Being Right About This | The Save Jersey Blog said at 1:48 pm on March 25th, 2014:

    […] friend Art Gallagher touched the point with a pin on Tuesday after it became painfully clear that Trenton Democrats, as ever in the pocket of Big […]

  5. Mike Harmon said at 2:57 pm on March 25th, 2014:

    One of your best pieces Art. In particular, I consider the following brilliant and a bit terrifying…

    “…What we are witnessing is the consequence of Christie’s no coattails reelection. It is beginning to look like Sweeney and his mentor George Norcross have played Christie like Putin playing Obama. They watched and smiled last fall as Christie ran up the score on a election he was assured of winning while he appeared with smiling Democrats, including Sweeney, on the campaign trail. The Democrats and their union backers have lots to smile about now…”

  6. When will we ever learn? said at 4:51 pm on March 25th, 2014:

    There is NO such thing as “bipartisanship,” in dealing with Democrats- they never give in on their agenda, never speak ill of their fellow Dems, while we throw ours to the wind, for a few cheap wins/ thrills.. A la this last Nov.. Then,of course, even that short- lived victory gets torn apart by the arrogance of being in-charge, for once!.. maybe you can”work together” a little,at a local level, like for the Memorial Day parade or the school bake sale but certainly never on the state or national scale! Until and unless the RINO’s who think dumbing down to meet them at their level makes us better, smarter, stronger, finally wake up, they will be laughing at us, all the way to their emboldened next versions of camps and gulags!

  7. Proud Republican said at 5:25 pm on March 25th, 2014:

    Absolutely right. Bipartisanship is a joke. The Democrat policies are destructive and wrong – why compromise with that? The sad part is, the Democrats are wrong on the issues but fearless, the Republicans are right on the issues but weak and stupid. As a result, we have New Jersey. The Republicans better wake up and shout from the rooftops about this insanity to let the 2% cap sunset. There have to be a few registered democrats with enough intelligence to know that if this ship sinks, they go down with it.