Gov. Christie has been unable to silence or undermine one of his harshest critics, Sen. Loretta Weinberg, who ran against him on the ticket topped by Corzine. Weinberg, godmother to the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, not only hasn’t backed down in the face of Christie bluster that has cowed legislators younger, stronger and taller than she is, she’s unimpressed by that bluster. Since Weinberg ran against Kim Guadagno, Christie’s LG has shrunk from view, relegated by the Governor to low press-interest meetings with business leaders and a red tape commission helpful to businesses looking to offload pesky regulations. But Weinberg, the loser in that election, has emerged as a woman of august years and considerable experience who nonetheless has zero trouble challenging him on his spending priorities, including defunding access for women to health centers and the federal dollars that go with it, and defunding New Jersey’s public schools.
How to shut Loretta Weinberg up? Christie picked an issue he thought he could play gotcha on – Weinberg just started collecting her pension for earlier work (that she was eligible for nearly 15 years ago) while also taking her part-time salary for representing the 37th District (she broke that news at Blue Jersey). In a temper tantrum Wednesday, Christie crossed a line, urging the state house press to “take the bat out” on the Senator, who is 76. In a governor known for bluster, for pugilism, the raw aggression, frustration and violent language was way over the line. Here’s the senator Thursday night on The Ed Show: