NJ State Senator Op-Ed: Christie Vetoed My Port Authority Transparency Bill

The Governor loves those vetoes! He CVd the Port Authority Transparency and Accountability bill, prime sponsored by Senator Bob Gordon and me in the Senate, and my colleagues, Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson in the Assembly. He "re-wrote" the bill to include such autonomous agencies as the Passaic Valley Sewer Commission. I certainly can't imagine that this was another very cynical move by Governor Christie. However, I think the Governor knows that any bill to regulate the bi-state Port Authority must be identical to a companion bill passed by the New York Legislature. So, the NY Legislature is not likely to be passing a bill which regulates any of New Jersey's autonomous agencies. Sneaky to say the least. He apparently didn't want to be perceived as having vetoed a transparency bill,  so he found a very cynical way to sink the bill. Tune in on Thursday when the Senate will move to override this CV. Wonder if there are any Republicans who have the gumption to stand up with us against this underhanded move from "Governor Plain Talking"! By the way, the version he CVd is the identical bill working its way through the New York Legislature.

Speaking of transparency, we are getting very close to completing our revisions of the OPRA and OPMA bills and look forward to bipartisan support on both bills. If we can get agreement from both the ACLU and the League of Municipalities, maybe even the Governor will join us.

Tonight I am co-hosting a fundraiser for our President, Barack Obama, along with State Chair John Wisniewski and featuring DNC Chair and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz. She's a real dynamo and hopefully will become an honorary member of our Jersey Girl Caucus.  If you've not yet done so, please check our our Jersey Girl Caucus Facebook page along with the report card on women's issues we've issued to the Governor. We're even urging folks to sign the report card (you know like moms and dads have to do for their children.)

I do believe Mr. Christie deserves a couple of accolades this week for standing by his original "dissing" of Todd Aiken. When asked about Aiken during one of the Sunday talk shows, he said he is not joining the Republican gang rushing to Aiken's defense in his race for the U.S. Senate against Clare McKaskel.  

After listening to some of the male Republicans running for federal office this November, I think we should amend our federal constitution to require anyone wishing to run for Congress must pass a basic biology course with a particular emphasis on how a woman's reproductive system works. Their crazy ignorance is appalling!

October 4th is the 100th birthday of my good friend and equality fighter, Lou Schwartz.  Lou, a Teaneck resident, was responsible for integrating our Little League many years ago. A staunch union supporter and a proud journeyman plumber, Lou is still a wonderful progressive spokesperson. A veteran of World War 2, a former member of the Teaneck Council, he lost his wife of 70 years this past year. He still drives, makes it out to the Teaneck Garden Club and the County Aging Advisory Board. He's a wonderful role model.  Brightside Manor will be honoring him on October 4th, and we'll be hosting a party in his honor on October 10th. May we all live a long and productive life like Lou is doing.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOU!

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