Christie Blasts Dems Blocking Ethics Overhaul

Tuesday, 19 Apr 2011 03:03 PM

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said the Democratic-controlled Legislature has done nothing on proposals to overhaul ethics regulations that he proposed in September.

Christie, a first-term Republican, has sought stricter campaign-finance rules and financial disclosure for legislators, and a ban on holding more than one public job that would end an exemption for existing dual officeholders.

The “do-nothing Legislature” hasn’t had one hearing yet on the ethics proposals, Christie said at a town-hall meeting in Jackson today.

“That’s how much the majority of this Legislature cares about ethics,” Christie said. “What have they been doing?”

Christie, 48, also criticized Democratic lawmakers for not passing his proposals to help towns stay within his new 2 percent cap on annual property-tax increases.

The governor’s September proposals also included measures to scale back public employee pensions, raise health-care contributions, lower education costs and boost economic development.

Christie said he can’t get his measures enacted without the Legislature. He told the crowd to e-mail Senate President Stephen Sweeney and other legislative leaders and tell them to “get to work.”

“This isn’t some ideological crusade I’m on,” Christie said. “I was sent here to balance the books.”

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan said Christie’s comments are "yet another example of the governor behaving like a bully, distorting reality, and blaming everyone but himself.’’

“It is much easier to sit back and rant then to bring people together at the table to reach a thoughtful compromise,” Cryan, a Union Democrat, said in a statement. “It’s always easier to blame someone other than yourself, but then again, that’s the Christie way."

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