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Chris Christie unleashed

March 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Governor Chris Christie is pulling no punches in what’s shaping up to be an epic battle between fiscal sanity and the obstinate teachers union. 

As I wrote earlier this week, conservatives nationwide should be paying attention to how the governor is calling out the teachers union and isn’t buying into their sob stories and their constant self-victimization.

Yesterday, Christie landed another jab:

Christie said teachers could avoid layoffs if they reopen their contracts, take pay freezes and pay 1.5 percent of their salary toward their health care. He said students should ask their teachers why they are unwilling to do that.

“They should ask their teachers, if they want to teach free thinking, why they’re in the throes of the dicta from their union, rather than resorting to common sense,” he said. “This is where they abuse their position of trust. Those are our children in that classroom. To be inundated with that type of propaganda – self-serving, self-interested, greedy propaganda – is reprehensible. And they know it.”

It’s so refreshing to see a Republican show some spine and not cave into the same, tired left-wing tactics.  Under the Corzine regime, when the teachers union yelled “Jump!”, the only answer from Trenton was, “How high?”. 

Christie apparently, doesn’t play by those rules.  He’s calling them out for the hypocrites that they are, and provided he himself doesn’t cave, the citizens of New Jersey will be much better off.

UPDATE.  The Washington Times picks up on the Christie story:

Most contentious have been his attacks on teachers and public-sector unions, which are getting a 7 percent pay raise over two years but contribute little or nothing toward health care at a time when one in 10 New Jerseyans are out of work. This week, the governor called on all public school employees to agree to salary freezes for the coming year and to contribute to their health insurance.

Mr. Christie’s budget proposal calls for laying off 1,300 public employees and looks to save $50 million by privatizing some state services.

“The leaders of the union who represent these teachers have used their political muscle to set up two classes of citizens in New Jersey: those who enjoy rich public benefits and those who pay for them,” he said in his budget address last week.

Here in New Jersey, the Christie/public union fight is all we’re hearing about on our local television and radio news.  Jersey is still deep blue, but that voters put Christie into office speaks volumes.  And I hate to rehash the election of 2009, but Christie picked up support in blue precincts and counties, especially in middle class areas, like along the Middlesex County corridor. 

Long story short, this is not a fluke.  Christie is doing exactly what the tax-weary electorate voted him in for.  The teachers union can stuff it!  

I can’t repeat it enough–this story should be getting national attention from conservatives and the Republican party.

[Via Hot Air Headlines]

Rumblings in the Garden State

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Chris Christie, the governor of my home state of New Jersey, is making a name for himself.

How does a chief executive do that?  By standing up to the special interests and public sector unions which have held the state in a financial strangle-hold for years.

Specifically, Gov. Christie isn’t making any friends at the NJEA, the belligerent state teachers union:

All around the state, school districts are planning painful, unprecedented amputations of staff and programs. Local officials are cursing Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed cuts in state aid, but they should be pointing fingers at themselves, too.

When they should have been holding the line on salaries for the past several years, many boards of education instead hugged teachers at the bargaining table and slipped tens of millions of dollars into their pockets with a wink. Now, we’re paying a price.

[…]

This week, the governor called for a one-year pay freeze for teachers, and the New Jersey School Boards Association immediately announced its support.

The Star-Ledger has called for a pay freeze for teachers and all public employees to help drowning taxpayers catch their breath.

But the teachers union doesn’t believe its members should share the pain.

When asked why not, the New Jersey Education Association’s defiant president Barbara Keshishian told a Star-Ledger editorial board recently, “Because we have negotiated contracts.”

[…]

If the NJEA has its way, teachers will watch friends and colleagues get laid off, class sizes increased and extracurricular programs eliminated — rather than reopen sacrosanct contracts and accept a pay freeze. Remember, these are the same teachers who chanted, “Think of the kids!” during their protest of the governor’s proposed funding cuts. Local union chapters should think of the kids (and the suffering taxpayers), defy their militant state leadership and agree to a pay freeze. It’s the right thing to do.

A decade of liberal governance by Democrats like John Corzine and Jim McGreevey have left the state on the brink of financial disaster.  Governor Christie has made it abundantly clear to Jerseyans that tough choices will have to be made to correct our fiscal situation.

In order to do this, concessions need to be made by public workers and their unions, to alleviate the pressure on what is one of the highest middle class tax rates in the country.

But politically, conservatives across the country should learn from what Gov. Christie is doing here.  He’s not afraid to call out the unions and take them to the mat.  He makes it clear that the citizens and the administration have nothing against teachers.  Nothing against students.  It’s about the unions and their radical allegiance to their union bosses instead of educating children.    Christie isn’t afraid to make this distinction.  For too long the radical left has been allowed to use students and teachers as human shields against necessary fiscal action that hurt their pocket books.   Christie is calling them out on it, with success.

The last polls show that Christie has an approval rating of 52%.  As he calls out the unions more, his poll numbers increase.  It’s not about the teachers–it’s about the unions.

As conservatives try to regain their voice on the national stage, as they attempt to take steps back towards fiscal conservatism, they should look here to New Jersey and see how it can be done.

Corzine: You’re all jealous of Goldman Sachs

February 24, 2010 Leave a comment

The former CEO of Goldman and failed former governor of New Jersey speaks:

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the most profitable securities firm in Wall Street history, is unpopular because some people envy its performance, said Jon Corzine, the company’s former chairman and chief executive officer.

“When you’re successful it brings envy,” Corzine, 63, said today in a Bloomberg Television interview. “People are broadly frustrated with the financial institutions, and since it is the leader of the industry and has shown great success over a long period of time, I think it’s more vulnerable.”

Having lived through four, long years of Jon Corzine as governor,  it’s hard to take what he says seriously.  He is your typical limousine liberal.

But seriously, when the game is constantly rigged in your favor, it’s easy to come out on top all the time.  There’s nothing to be envious about.  I think the feeling of most of the taxpayers who helped fund Goldman’s bailout is frustration more than anything.