Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I Wonder if He'll Include Bridge Toll Revenues?

Chris Christie will make his first appearance in front of the state legislature of New Jersey this afternoon in the wake of the explosive Bridgegate scandal [ed. Note: his State of the State address was just before the shit hit the fan]:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will propose a budget Tuesday afternoon with no tax increases but a slightly smaller pension payment than the state is obligated to make—a proposal that could set off strong pushback from Democrats.

The Republican governor will deliver his fifth budget message Tuesday afternoon in front of the state Legislature, one of his first major acts of governance since a scandal overshadowed the administration last month.

Mr. Christie faces a tight fiscal situation this year, and alluded to tough choices facing New Jersey during his State of the State address last month.

The administration’s proposed budget is set to include a pension payment next fiscal year of $2.25 billion, an amount Mr. Christie will frame as a record amount, according to prepared remarks released ahead of the speech.

Christie has a history of Democratic cooperation, but as the Bridgegate scandal has exposed (and kudos to Steve Kornacki and the crew at MSNBC for being diligent in this story), that cooperation was more along the lines of the Five Families of Mafia fame than a spirit of communal bliss.

You may recall that challenger Barbara Buono was mocked for her concession speeches in which she chided the state party leadership for selling her upriver. Turns out, she has the last laugh.

For instance, Essex County executive Joe DiVincenzo was an early supporter of Christie. DiVincenzo was mentored by Stephen N. Adubato…well, let Steve Kornacki explain the relationships. It’s not pretty. And Buono is partly vindicated. It really comes off as oily behavior all around.

And does explain why Corey Booker didn’t challenge Christie last year as many hoped he would.

I don’t expect Christie to be heckled the way a certain black President is heckled during his addresses to the opposition, but it would be nice if someone called him on this in chambers.