Chris Christie’s double standard never ceases to amaze! But it’s more than past time that we all take on his “double speak” each time he does it! For instance and I paraphrase slightly: “Why would I put more money into a broke pension system?” Of course, why ask the obvious: “Why is it broke?” Has he contributed to the severe pension problems by skipping state pension payments in this year’s budget? Even Governor Jon Corzine, whom he trashes at every opportunity, managed to pony up a portion of the state’s contribution. By the way, public employees have continued to pay their own share each and every year.
Now to the budget.
Need $7.5 million for family planning centers? Oh, not a priority, according to the Gov. We can’t possibly find that.
Need $65 million to close a gaping budget hole when it was realized that doing away with the Sunday closing laws in Bergen County would make a very serious political problem for Republicans in Bergen? Oh, that was easy. Just say “We’ll improve tax collections”…..and poof, we found $65 million in anticipated revenue.
Need $5 million to buy Senator Doherty’s vote for the budget? Just change another line item.
Gee, a political problem when the Christie budget increased the co-pay for the prescription program for low income seniors. Oh that was easy too, let’s get dollars from the national democratic health care reform money coming to our state. You know, the same program his party has been bad mouthing.The one Republicans worked hard to defeat.
Maybe removing more than 900 folks from receiving life saving drugs is not such a great idea. Got caught short on that one when Senator Joe Vitale and the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Aids brought it to light. Find the dollars by just saying we’ll get better discounts from the pharmaceutical industry and then criticize the Senator “for playing politics” when he wrote to restore these much needed funds. That was really a smooth one Governor! Well maybe those same pharmaceutical companies can increase the discount in the employee prescription program for the family planning centers.
Tax credits (or even bail outs …. Xanadu?) for private business are good ideas if we can keep jobs in New Jersey. No big argument here. So let’s do it to keep Honeywell in Morris County. Oh the TV and movie industry? Gee who cares if Law & Order moved from North Bergen to New York to film their series. Who cares if that part of North Jersey lost jobs and all the small business around who serviced such endeavors? Governor, tell us the difference between the two.
Ok. You all have the idea. We should headline these in Blue Jersey each and every time he does it. Did I miss any? Send them in.
Now back to Family Planning Centers. Every major newspaper in the state has endorsed the restoration of these funds. Organizations like Catholics for Choice, Women’s Political Caucus, Women Advocating for Good Government (WAGG) and The League of Women Voters have already supported this effort and are lining up their membership. I expect to hear soon from the National Council of Jewish Women. The Legislative Black Caucus has also joined the chorus. We cannot let folks get away with claiming this is a budget problem! It is not. The Governor knows it, the Treasurer probably knows it which is why he was afraid to be questioned in public and certainly the Commissioner of Health & Senior Services knows it. And don’t keep repeating that the Federally Qualified Health Centers can take the new patients. They can’t. They’ve said so themselves and their financial reports back them up. And again, don’t repeat that the CEED program can take all comers for mammograms and pap smears. Maybe they can, but where do these women go to get the doctor prescriptions they need to access these services. Stop the myth spinning. Women’s health is too important to continue this cynical endeavor to placate the right wing of the Governor’s party!
The women (and many of the good men) in our state will not let any legislator stand up with a straight face and try to claim this is all about the budget, or that poor women will have access to health care without this funding.
Assemblywoman Stender and I have not yet talked to our legislative leadership to work out the timing of a legislative override. It has to originate in the Senate, since that’s where the bill originated. We’ll let you know as soon as we have an agreed upon schedule. In the meantime, keep letters and emails coming to the legislature. We absolutely need your help on this one. Get your family, neighbors, and friends to join the growing chorus. This is the time for all blue (and even red) New Jerseyans to join together and start with the Senate – your own Senator or any other you know.
Keep your voices heard!