STATE—Senator Raymond J. Lesniak was sounding a lot like Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie while advocating a bill approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee this week.
Christie has asserted that New Jersey was struggling before the international financial crisis hit, and argues Corzine and former Democratic Gov. James E. McGreevey damaged the economy with a tax-and-spend agenda.
“While the nation and the world have been in a recession for a year, New Jersey’s economy has been lagging behind for years,” said Lesniak, a Union County Democrat who is among the three power brokers who effectively rule the Garden State.
“Our nation’s economy expanded from 2003-2007 with private-sector jobs growing by 6.5 percent. During the 2003-2007 period, New Jersey’s private sector job base grew by only 2.3 percent,” said Lesniak, while Christie claims Corzine’s failure to make budget choices resulted in creating 15 government jobs for every private sector job over the past five years.
“Clearly, New Jersey needs a change of direction, not only to climb out of the recession, but to lead the nation in job creation,” said Lesniak.
The change New Jersey needs, according to Christie, is to get rid of Corzine.
Fifty-six percent of voters say Corzine should not be re-elected this year, the lowest job approval ratings he has ever received.
Corzine promised four years ago to change the way Trenton worked, but his budget uses billions in one-shot gimmicks.
“This kind of haphazard governing by chance just doesn’t cut it when we’re facing 8.8 percent unemployment, skyrocketing property taxes and real pain for all middle class New Jerseyans,” Christie said.
Christie says that Gov. Jon Corzine is to blame for the state’s poor fiscal health and lagging economy, and that the governor failed to live up to his promises as a Wall Street wizard who would free government from the oligarchy dominated by Lesniak and George Norcross, a South Jersey power broker.
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