I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Meet The New Boss...

I've put this graphic up a lot:

Maybe it comes across as kind of whimsical, but I really do believe that it is one of the best ways to understand the mind of Chris Christie.

Remember: this man was part of the Bush administration's Justice Department. He became a US Attorney on the strength of his fundraising for Bush. So he had a front row seat at the politicization of the Justice by Gonzales and Rove.

Apparently, Christie learned his lessons well. First:
Yvonne Smith Segars, the state public defender, says Gov. Chris Christie "violated New Jersey law" by interfering in her office. In a letter emailed to Christie’s office, Segars wrote:
"Over the last several months, you have violated New Jersey law as well as the state and federal constitutions. Because I have insisted on a lawful transition and resisted your illegal conduct, I have been summoned to your office, suffered veiled threats, been pressured to resign, have had interference with my agency’s operations and now fear being physically removed from my office. Your bullying tactics amount to violations of law."
Segars’ job is protected by a law giving her a five-year term. Once the term is up — as it was in 2007 — she doesn’t need to leave until a replacement is confirmed. Christie named a replacement — her assistant, Joseph Krakora — but he’s not likely to be confirmed soon by the Democrat-controlled Senate. So, says Segars, Christie’s aides are trying to force her to resign by, among other things, blocking her personnel decisions.
She characterized the interference as "a stunning abuse of power" and said her office would go to court to stop the governor.
TRENTON — In the middle of Gov. Chris Christie’s battle with public employee unions, a veteran attorney for the commission that resolves disputes between the state and its workforce was abruptly ousted, prompting an outcry from commissioners and labor attorneys.
Ira Mintz, who was hired in 1985 when a Republican was in office, served as a staff attorney and general counsel to the Public Employment Relations Council until January. In his 25 years with the commission, Mintz said he never saw a career staff member fired without cause.
"I have been told there will be seismic change," Mintz said. "I would have been an obstacle because I’m a professional and I think cases should be decided on the facts."
Christie’s office said politics was not part of the decision.
In the governor’s first year in office, PERC sided with employee unions when Christie tried to void an agreement they had made with former Gov. Jon Corzine to get the day after Thanksgiving off for working Lincoln’s Birthday. 
While no one has confirmed it publicly, PERC Commissioner Pat Colligan, a labor representative on the committee from the Police Benevolent Association, suggested the Black Friday decision contributed to Mintz’s termination.
"To see him get fired — they’ll call it a retirement, but he was told he was being terminated — that is a real disgrace," Colligan said.
As far as I'm concerned, the press has given Christie far too much credit for the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission scandal. PVSC is despicable, and Christie is right to take them down, but that doesn't give him carte blanche to populate every other state office in Trenton with his cronies.

As I've written about before, his Education Effectiveness Task Force is a joke. Christie is not interested in rooting out cronyism; he just wants to replace old cronies with his cronies. That's how the kleptocracy works.

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