Thursday, February 22, 2007

And Now, So Is the Governor!

We posted a few days ago that the Legislative Leadership was trying to sidestep a basic question involved in the Budget imbroglio -- transparency on what they have done. Now, Governor Corzine has stepped up to take a swing at the budget issue, but conveniently forgets that he allowed it all to happen last year when he signed the budget bill without redlining out what he didn't think was appropriate to approve. It's a "news update" today by Bob Schwaneberg of the Star-Ledger.

Gov. Jon Corzine today called on lawmakers to "put an end to the midnight spending sprees" and adopt a more "open" process of adopting state budgets.

"We have tough choices coming,'' Corzine said, "and the public needs to trust we are working for them - not ourselves, not our friend, not anyone else."

Corzine said he is sending a letter to the Democratic leaders of both houses "outlining further steps to build accountability." They include deadlines so both the public and governor will have time to review the budget before it is finally passed.

If adopted, those reforms would radically change past patterns of late-night budget sessions in which lawmakers decorate the proverbial "Christmas tree" with hundreds of millions of dollars of pet projects.

Not only was his left foot out of the box on this one, he popped up to short!

Please check with your new Chief Counsel, Governor. He'll explain to you that you have this power to redline appropriations from the budget that you don't like. You could have done that last year, and you chose NOT to demur, probably for purely political reasons. So, what are you talking about, chiding the legislature for sending you all the reportedly personal pocket-loading add-ons? You approved them when you signed the budget!

There are only two possible conclusions one can arrive at about that -- the Governor either knew exactly what he was signing, or he got rolled!

The only difference between what Corzine did, and what his immediate predecessor, Senate President and Acting Governor Codey did the year before, was that Codey had two complete sets of staff to warn him about what was going on -- the Senate staff and the Governor's staff, while Corzine only had the Governor's staff to cue him in. And they both opened up the till.


At 3:30 PM, March 03, 2007, Blogger Enlighten-NewJersey said...

Corzine knew exactly what he was doing. Here’s a list of “Christmas Tree” grants he eliminated upon approving last year’s budget legislation from the official document. He left in $378 million last year.

At 5:05 PM, March 04, 2007, Blogger Trochilus said...

Here is the Quote of the Day post from Politicsnj on the subject this past Friday.

Quote of the Day

"How do I know?" -- Gov. Jon Corzine, asked if any budget items sent to him in the final bill at 6AM on the day he had to sign it to reopen the government were inappropriate. "Some of these look like they didn't deserve to be there, or seemed more frivolous than others. That's why the process is bad. It should never occur this way. We know that," Corzine said. (The Record, 03/02/07)

"How do I know?" We'll have more to say about this!

At 10:25 AM, March 12, 2007, Blogger J. Joseph Rivera said...

"How do I know?" I think we just found the new state slogan!

At 8:49 PM, March 16, 2007, Blogger Eric said...

Its unfortunate that the press doesn't investigate the christmas tree grants. On that note, I thought I'd let you know that a conservative nj blogging community has been formed at


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