Since the fights he’s picking are with an unbeatable foe………………….reality.
The state filed a motion in the pension payment case yesterday where it argued:
“The constitution makes no provision for judicial participation in the annual budget process, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly warned that the judiciary lacks power to direct the Legislature to make an appropriation or the governor to recommend or approve one….The trial court, however, departed from this historical practice and precedent and impermissibly thrust itself into the annual budget process as a super-referee and permanent player.”
Remember, it will be judges who will be deciding whether the judiciary has a role in interpreting laws relating to the budget process. If it has no role then how can it decide that it has no role since the decision to allow the executive branch free rein in budget decisions constitutes a role in itself? You can’t win.
Then there was the town hall meeting in Kenilworth the same day where we had….
According to the story on nj.com it continued:
Shortly after the first question was asked, a half dozen student-aged protestors from Communities United NJ began repeatedly screaming, “Arrest Christie!” and handing out faux arrest warrants “charging” the governor with giving “sweetheart deals to environmental polluters like Exxon” among other assertions, before being hustled out by police officers.
Christie, clearly annoyed, told his next questioner — who’d paused as the protestor chants subsided — “I think it’s unlikely I’m gonna be arrested, so why don’t you ask me the question.”
She did. Kathy Mooney, a high school English teacher in Roselle Park for the last 27 years, asked Christie why he hadn’t made a more aggressive deal with Exxon, instead of, as she put it, “favoring the affluent” and “kicking state workers under the bus,” to buttress a badly listing pension system.
Mooney argued that the “platinum plus” level health benefits that she was counting on receiving in retirement shouldn’t be shorn away because teachers like her had worked for modest salaries for years. But when she suggested Christie had made a bad deal with Exxon Mobil for taking a much-criticized $225 million pollution settlement after the state asked for as much as $8.9 billion to settle a decade-long lawsuit, saying “I know that you could have gotten more money, on the dollar,” Christie bristled.
“Do you?” Christie retorted. “You do know that? Really? You know that?”
“Governor,” interjected Mooney, but she was cut off by Christie.
“I mean: Do you know that?” Christie pressed, sounding annoyed, “I wanna know how you know that. Because you’re a teacher, and you’re standing in front of students every day, conveying to them, facts – things that they need to learn. So I would like to understand your analysis of how you know that in a ten year long, court case, that you have enough detail to know …
“Can you please enlighten me,” asked Mooney, who was interrupted by Christie yet again.
“Well, no. Because I’d like to know what you know,” Christie shot back, “Because you started off by saying, ‘I know you could have gotten more money …'”
“That’s what I had read,” replied Mooney, before Christie silenced her again.
“Could you please enlighten me,” said Mooney. “I’m not here to be bullied.”
Christie wouldn’t yield.
“By the way, you’re not being bullied,” the governor said. “You’re asking me questions. I get to ask you questions back. If you’re going to make an assertion of fact, as a teacher, whom people in the community respect as a truth-teller, then I’d like to know where you get your information to say to this entire group: ‘I know you could have gotten more money.'”
Mooney said that she had read as much in the newspaper, and that a more aggressive settlement with Exxon could have been used to shore up the pension system.
Christie, a bit flushed in the face, would calm down enough to rebut her assertions point by point for several minutes arguing he’d made $4.2 billion in payments to the pension system in the last five years — $800 million more than the previous five governors over 15 years.
No sooner had he finished that tense exchange and turned to a question about why he killed the ARC tunnel when a second lone protestor began screaming that Christie “wants to separate immigrant families.” She, too, was escorted out.
Christie, clearly seeking a friendlier line of inquiry, eventually called on two young Girl Scout Brownies, who asked him his favorite color (blue) and favorite dessert (ice cream — though no flavor specified.)
Does it look like any of this is being thought out?