By Lauren Wanko
Today 75 elected members of the Communications Workers of America crowded around the Democratic candidate for governor and promised CWA boots on the ground leading up to the November election.
“I’ve been in the legislature a while as you know and CWA and I haven’t always agreed on everything but one thing is for sure — when we walk away from our discussion whether we agree or agree to disagree, we always treat each other with mutual respect and that is key. That’s leadership,” Sen. Barbara Buono said.
Buono told her supporters she was honored to have the CWA’s endorsement. The union represents more than 70,000 working families in New Jersey — both private sector and public workers. Buono called the CWA the backbone of the middle class.
“Tuesday the governor gave his budget address. His focus is not working families. The governor made clear that his scapegoating of public employee workers and his refusal to make our tax code more equitable and his focus on pandering to the Republican right is what has driven him. That in conjunction with the governor’s attack on collective bargaining is just making matters worse,” Buono said.
“She needs to be in the governor’s seat. She needs to be in charge because this is totally ridiculous. We are not going to survive in New Jersey,” said Marion Cuttino of CWA Local 1022.
“Twenty six thousand workers in state of New Jersey lost their job since Gov. Christie’s been governor for last four years so we’re saying today enough is enough,” CWA 1039 member Alturrick Kenney said.
The governor was here in New Brunswick yesterday to accept the endorsement of the Latino Leadership Alliance. The group backed Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine four years ago. We asked Sen. Buono her reaction to the endorsement.
“We’re all gonna have our share of endorsements. This is a meaningful endorsement to me and I will tell you this — that I am going to stay focused on this issues that are important to lifting up middle and class working poor families in New Jersey and I’m not going to be distracted by any chatter that’s going on,” Buono said.
But Christie supporters say the governor is almost unbeatable this election with a 74 percent approval rating. CWA New Jersey Director Hetty Rosenstein disagrees.
“This is a big giant bump from Hurricane Sandy,” Rosenstein said. “Look, it’s going to be very hard. I don’t want to say something other than that. This is going to be very, very difficult, but we have a good candidate here and our members are very happy to be supporting her.”
The next stop on the senator’s campaign trial? The Ridgefield Mayor’s Ball tonight followed by the Belmar St. Patrick’s Parade Day this weekend.