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

Monday, July 12, 2010

What, Exactly, Is the Point of the NJ Democratic Party?

Why are they even there (via Blue Jersey)?
The 2% property tax cap passed the Assembly by an overwhelming vote of 73-4....In brief, they [Democrats] support the very popular cause of controlling property taxes, yet they sound weak or foolish, as these selected phrases show:
...McKeon (D-Essex). "But that doesn't mean it's a perfect plan. Without an exemption for special education costs, for instance, this plan will be hurtful and destructive to all the good things we've done to help children with special needs."... 
...this is a far different plan than the governor first demanded, "said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). "The people we represent desperately need real tax relief, so we will continue working to refine this plan and push forward other concepts in the months ahead."
Jasey and Watson Coleman vowed to look into what legislative action could be undertaken to address the issue of special education costs.
I for one look forward to seeing them "refine" the "hurtful and destructive" parts once they "look into" them. (In fairness, Watson-Coleman voted no.)
So, this bill sucks, but rather than fight to fix it, you all rolled over and died. Gee, thanks.

Just so everybody understands: if you don't fix the special education provision here, you are not only impacting the kids who are getting placed out-of-district; you're impacting everyone at the school. How's it going to work out when that kid who is severely emotionally disturbed gets mainstreamed into your kid's class? Think it might have an affect on his classroom?

But I'm sure the governor will fix this later; he's shown such a concern up until now for fixing policy errors...

UPDATE: Another weak-kneed Democrat says:
...Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Princeton) says he would have wanted to get existing contracts exempted from the cap.
"The only misgiving I have is it doesn't cover existing contracts," Gusciora says of S-29. "We're going to have to have layoffs or substantially cut back on services to get below the cap. ...I'm going to vote for this bill, not because I think it's a good bill, but because it starts us down the right path."
Assemblyman, please pay attention. The governor has already made quite clear he has no regard whatsoever for existing contracts. He will bully all public workers, just like he has bullied teachers, into taking wage freezes and paying more for their health insurance (without lifting one finger to bring down costs). That, Assemblyman, adds up to a cut.

If the public workers say no and stand up for their rights to collective bargaining, he will criss-cross the state and vilify those workers until they are completely demoralized. When their contracts are up for renewal, there will be huge political pressure to accept cuts in wages - not slower increases, not freezes, but cuts.

Did anyone really think that the teachers were the only ones who were on Christie's hit list? Did anyone really think the cops and the firefighters and all the other public workers would be exempt?

Existing contracts will NEVER be accounted for by Christie, Assemblyman. And if you hadn't already figured that out, and you aren't going to do anything about it now, then what good are you?

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