Christie Criticizes NJ Lawmakers During Sayreville Town Hall

Gov. Chris Christie

SAYREVILLE – Gov. Chris Christie blasted state lawmakers again on Wednesday for failing to advance his legislative agenda when he visited the Sayreville Senior Center for his second town hall meeting of the week.

Just as he did at his Union Township town hall meeting on Monday, Christie focused on a series of ethics reform proposals that were put forward last year, only to languish without receiving attention in the Legislature.

The bills that Christie is championing would put an end to politicians holding multiple offices, require lawmakers to disclose more of their own personal financial information, and prevent public officials convicted of crimes from receiving pensions. The governor is also pushing to have pay-to-play limitations extended to labor unions and to re-define the conflict of interest standard for legislators.

The governor mocked lawmakers for not working over the summer and told attendees that the Legislature should act on his ethics proposals before the November election.

Before Christie’s town hall meeting began, Assemblyman John Wisniewksi, who is also the chairman of the state’s Democratic Party, issued a statement welcoming the governor to his hometown while criticizing him for reducing property tax rebates, municipal and school aid awards.

Christie disparaged Wisniewski during the meeting for putting out “nasty press releases” every day. He also criticized state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), who introduced a bill this week to require the governor to notify the legislature when he is leaving the state. That legislation was inspired by Christie’s trip to meet influential GOP donors in Colorado earlier this summer that was not publicly disclosed until a secretly-made audio recording came to light.

Wisniewski issued another statement in response, saying, “I have disagreed with the Governor’s policies and make no apologies for airing that debate. I think that’s a debate the public is entitled to hear. I’m sorry if the Governor would prefer that I just salute and say ‘yes, sir’, but that’s not the way government works. He still hasn’t adjusted to the shift from being Prosecutor to being Governor; he still bullies people as if they were hostile witnesses and still insults people. I think that’s a shame.”

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