In the second part of his sit-down interview with NJToday Managing Editor Mike Schneider, Sen. Richard Codey argues against Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed income tax cut and rails against the influence of party bosses.
Shortly after Christie delivered his budget address, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services criticized the governor’s budget, finding it to be structurally unbalanced and overly optimistic about revenue projections.
“I can’t remember the last time, if ever, a ratings agency came out after an introduction of a governor’s budget with such harsh, harsh criticism … very unusual,” said Codey.
He says S&P’s analysis should give lawmakers pause about the soundness of Christie’s proposed budget.
“A ratings agency already before we’ve passed it has really slammed it. So we got to take a step backward and say we got to look at this thing and is it realistic?”
He goes on to say that Christie rules the Republican party with an iron fist and that lawmakers within that party are reluctant to contradict the governor.
“You could call it leadership but I believe dissent in your own party is not necessarily bad.”
When asked if he himself ever felt betrayed by the Democratic party, Codey deflected by saying that it was the party as a whole that was betrayed.
“Not only me but the party itself they betrayed by letting this kind of influence by party bosses dictate so much what goes on in Trenton. That’s very, very sad.”
According to Codey, a handful of individuals in the state are essentially controlling the way government operates through fundraising, blocks of votes, job connections and contracts.
When asked to identify the handful of individuals of influence, Codey said he was “talking about the Norcrosses, the DiVincenzos, maybe Adubato.”
“Those people who are not members of the Legislature should not have undue influence in the Legislature and it shows up in many, many ways that most people cannot pick up,” said Codey.