Speaker Prieto, Democrat or Stack Stooge?

     I don’t know much about Speaker Prieto.  When he became the Speaker I had mixed feelings.  

    I certainly wasn’t sad to see Sheila Oliver leave the post as I felt she was not that effective.  I’m willing to cut her some slack.  No speaker has has had the type of pressure that she had to tolerate with the  corrupt thuggery of the Christie gang leaning on her.

    I have to admit that I automatically assumed that coming from Hudson County and given the horse trading that goes on behind the scenes to become Assembly Speaker, that Prieto would be a Stack stooge with affiliation to the Adubato, DiVincenzo, and Norcross gang.  It’s hard to gauge character from the outside looking in.  Prieto was one of the few democrats to vote no on the 2011 Pen/Ben bill.

    For me, his first test came when he allowed the Transportation Committee to retain their subpoena power.  He could of exercised his authority and stopped that committee and its investigation in its tracks.  I wonder what type of pressure he received to kill that committee?  That would be an interesting discussion to have.  Maybe he has some value as a witness in the GWB scandal?

    The arbitration bill that the assembly left on the floor is another interesting example.  Christie is back to preaching things that made him popular in the first place, which mostly has to do with bashing public employees.  When the original arbitration bill was scheduled to sunset, Christie seized that opportunity to bash public employees and embarrass the legislature into voting his way with a new arbitration bill. It ended up with Christie line item vetoing nearly the whole bill.  The Senate voted so fast on the LIV bill that I doubt they had time to read it.  The assembly stayed in session late into the afternoon and left the LIV bill on the floor, allowing the original arbitration bill to sunset.  Maybe the whole thing was scripted theatre.  Regardless of your opinion of the arbitration bill,  I’d like to think it was the assembly and Prieto being defiant and not letting the governor roll over them like he had in the past.  

    So far, I like what I see.  Christie is weakened by scandal and maybe that has something to do with it.  It doesn’t matter.  It seems the assembly is acting like a independent body that is not hooked by umbilical to the governor’s office.

Comments (2)

  1. marshwren

    Senate only by the grace of Norcross’s stable of Christie-crats.  So far, the only tangible ‘benefits’ for South Jersey have been a One-Newark scorched school campaign to replace public education with taxpayer-funded vouchers for charters in Camden (like the one that proudly bears King George’s name); and a $90M Rockefeller Group/Wolfe&Samson naturally fracked gas pipeline through the Pine Barrens.

    I also know the Norcross/DiVincenzo machines conspired with Christie to have Oliver banished to the back bench, no doubt in the hope of allowing Norcross to consolidate his control over the Assembly as well as the Senate, so one can only hope Prieto a bit more “maverick-y” than his Speakership sponsors imagined.

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