Gov. Chris Christie is proposing pushing back pension payments to help reduce the state’s budget deficit. Sen. Richard Codey told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that Christie’s budgets have never met revenue estimates and that is New Jersey’s biggest problem.
Codey said that the Christie’s playbook of blaming other people is getting old. He said that Christie signed into law a bill saying that he had to make the pension payment and now he is saying that he is not going to make it. He said that in Christie’s first year in office he did not make any pension payments.
Codey said that when he was governor, his budget did not get any downgrades, it got an upgrade. He said that Christie has never gotten an upgrade and the state’s ratings from Wall Street fall constantly. He said that the budgets Christie submits never meet revenue estimates — not even close — and that is New Jersey’s biggest problem.
Republicans see the George Washington Bridge investigation special committee as the Democrats angling to get back into the governor’s mansion. Codey said that the investigation is about what happened and getting to the bottom of it. He said the real story will be told.
When asked if Codey thought Christie knew about the lane closures, he said, “He has people in his staff saying that they told him about it. He is saying that he does not recall those conversations. I’m not going to get into that. We will see the real story when the U.S. Attorney’s Office takes action or if they don’t take action, it’s as simple as that.”
When asked about Ras Baraka, who was elected as the mayor of Newark, Codey said that he felt good for the people because they deserve elected officials who are independent of political bosses like Joe DiVencenzo and George Norcross and who do what they think is right and not what the bosses tell them they want them to do. Codey said that Baraka is clearly an opponent of the bosses and that is great for the city of Newark.
Codey said that he thinks that there needs to be people in the Democratic Party who are free of the bosses. He said that moving forward, people need to vote from their conscience and not who the political bosses tell them to vote for. He said that he does not think that the bosses are done, but there are dark clouds above them.
“I am the greatest example of one day in politics is a lifetime. The governor’s election is three years away and who knows what I will be doing or anybody else in three years,” said Codey.