Christie Can’t Win

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….
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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?

26 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on April 1, 2015 at 10:04 am

    It’s better than what we’re doing, with some additional concessions supported by a constitutional amendment for ARC dedicated revenue stream, $90B anticipated unfunded pension & benefit liability @6/30/15 over 40 years (ignore The Great GASB, and politically motivated actuarial assumptions they’ve contributed to this debacle) is $2.25B/year SLM, abolish SAVER, no tax increases, problem solved!

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 1, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      I see 2 obvious problems with what you stated:

      (1) If I recall correctly, Mr. Bury has suggested that the figure is more likely $250 Billion not the $90 Billion that you stated (although the $250B may also include the retiree healthcare shortfall).

      (2) Even if your $90 Billion was the correct pension shortfall, (since it’s ALREADY a “present value”) that FULL $ AMOUNT is needed in hand TODAY (not received over 40 years), and if spread over 40 years, the ANNUAL amount to amortize that $90 Billion is MUCH greater ……. not $2.25 Billion (as you stated … and simply derived from $90B/40), but $4.4B, $5.6B, or $7.0B annually assuming 4%, 6%, and 8% interest rates respectively.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Anonymous on April 1, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Political BS aside you can’t have it both ways, either the law is legal and ARC must be made OR it’s illegal and retroactive COLA, refund of health care premiums, as well as reinstating previous service/age eligibility. Milk OR cookies but not both, sorry children!

    Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on April 1, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      You must be new at this Christie can have your cake and eat it, too.

      Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on April 1, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Seriously, they probably can have it both ways.

      Normal logic does not apply.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 1, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      Perhaps, but he still doesn’t have the money.

      Reply

    • Posted by George on April 6, 2015 at 7:01 am

      “either the law is legal ” The question is if the state is bound by the same rules as the people who it governs? Answern: No the state of NJ is not, but the federal government could impose a solution.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on April 1, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Chris Christie and TL, perfect together, in fantasy land!

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 1, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      “Fantasy Land” is believing that NJ’s promised Public pension & benefits (as currently structured) will be paid in full and on schedule.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on April 1, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    John, why is there no room for honesty in politics? I guess that is what you get when just about every politician is a lawyer. What was it Shakespeare said about the lawyers?

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 1, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      If politicians were honest (and ETHICAL) your promised pension & benefits would likely be 1/3 as rich (and costly) as currently structured, and NJ would not be in this mess.

      Too bad (for YOU) that your Union’s mantra has always been …. a BIG “unfunded” promise is better than a SMALL “funded” promise.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Tough Love on April 1, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Quoting …………

    “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? ”

    What (if any) enforcement options does the judge have (after affirming her prior ruling the Christie must put in the higher level of pension contributions) if Christie refuses … by simply re-asserting that the judge lacks to authority to insist upon making such payment ?

    Putting that aside for a moment, wouldn’t the judge’s affirmation of her earlier decision mean that not only must Christie do so for THIS year, must then must also do so (per the 7-year grade-in to full funding) in each future year. Clearly the State will not have the revenue for such escalating payments. When that problem is fairly thought through, Christie’s position that the judiciary has no roll in the “budget process” makes quite a bit of sense.

    Reply

    • Of course the judiciary would have no role in a budget process if Christie is allowed to ignore their rulings. Though I don’t remember seeing it used against politicians recently I’ve heard tell that judges do have some enforcement powers if their rulings are ignored. Jail comes to mind.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on April 1, 2015 at 8:47 pm

        A “Contempt Of Court” summons to a sitting Governor would be VERY interesting …… especially with the underlying “Budget Authority” issue.

        In fact, Christie might even go that route, betting that no one would dare jail him under such circumstances … perhaps shifting the matter’s determination to a federal Court.

        Reply

  6. Posted by Anonymous on April 1, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Ask a tough question and you’re belittled and thrown out, what a guy.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Anonymous on April 2, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Shut up TL, you are such a moron. In the spirit of free speech, TL will not ask John to ban me from the blog, showing her true colors. No wonder she is very fond of Christie, he believes in complete and utter censorship of anyone with an opposing view. On second thought, TL may respect me more than every now that I have called her a moron and told her to shut up, after all it is very Chris Christie-like!

    Reply

  8. Posted by Anonymous on April 2, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Is that all ya got, maybe you arent Christie material after all. Maybe its too early in the day, once you get past the hangover, you may be more of a menace.

    Reply

  9. Posted by Anonymous on April 3, 2015 at 1:18 am

    I guess you started drinking first thing this morning.

    Reply

  10. Posted by Anonymous on April 3, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Once when TL was lost she saw a policeman and asked him to help her find her parents. She said to him, “Do you think we’ll ever find them?” He said, “I don’t know kid. There are so many places they can hide.”

    Reply

  11. how much does mooney make
    BOARD OF EDUCATION PINELANDS REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL Mooney Kristen
    12
    $66,842 School Counselor

    Details UNION Roselle Park Board of Education Roselle Park High School MOONEY KATHLEEN
    28
    $80,944 English Non-Elementary
    6

    Reply

  12. Posted by Anonymous on May 24, 2015 at 9:02 am

    TL and devout followers; individuals presenting a right wing conservative perspective based on half-truths and lies.

    TL continual posts repetitive misinformation citing sources with extreme ideology. Yet sumarial dismisses other posts with conflicting opinions and sources.

    Specifically, purposely misstated the tax status of public pensions in the following post; https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/christie-curses-out-nj-media/#comments When called to task tried to double talk their way out of it. Standard operating procedure for most of their commentary.

    Fair and equal for all is the mantra. Fair enough, but not when I suggest Federal workers and members of our beloved Armed Forces be part of the bigger conversation. The response, they’re different. But why, because they risk their lives like first responders at home. Their DBP are paid with Federal tax dollars as opposed to State or Local. Everyone knew the job risks when they accepted employment. But they also knew what their salary, pension, and benefits were supposed to be.

    To blame and demonize public workers for the current situation is unfair and untrue. Do politicians make “deals” with unions that don’t always have the taxpayers best interest? I think everyone knows the answer to that is yes. But politicians are always making “deals” it’s what they do. Just ask the various segment market corporations; defense spending (lucrative contracts), farming (subsidies) and the list goes on and on.

    Your bully tactics and demeaning attitude only motivate me more to push back your parties ridiculous vision for NJ and America. Yes I’m sure John knows all of our IP address, so you and your business name can be exposed as well.

    The purpose of continually posting this comment is to allow the counterpoint perspective to be heard. I will no longer personally engage your comments tit for tat.

    Reply

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