Lawmaker says he & members of the public were excluded from yesterday’s proceedings
In response to Governor Chris Christie’s call to convene a session of the Legislature today at 2 p.m., Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) released the following statement:
“I will not be attending the session called by Governor Christie today, just as I was not allowed to attend as a member of the public on Saturday.
“Yesterday, as I tried to enter the Senate Gallery to listen to Governor Christie’s address, I was turned away at the door by the Sergeant-at-Arms. Since I wasn’t carrying my credentials, I tried gaining access as a member of the public. Notwithstanding, myself and many others were refused access as public citizens to hear our Governor speak about a budget that impacts all of our lives in fundamental ways. This was in a building and during a proceeding that should have been open to the public.
“Governor Christie has taken a page out of the Trump playbook – speak to a room of adoring fans, and thereby drown out the chorus of valid criticisms coming from just outside the door. He has become so insulated in an echo-chamber of conservative politics that a vengeance-driven raid on Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, which will undoubtedly hurt the insurer’s 3.8 million policyholders, seems like a good idea. He is so disconnected from what it means to be a resident of this state that he is unwilling to listen to the thousands of men and women from all walks of life, and from both sides of the aisle, that condemn this move as foolish and destabilizing.
“I take issue with much of what Governor Christie has done during his time in office, but the last 72 hours definitively prove what many members of the Democratic caucus and I have been saying for years: we are not dealing with a man who cares about the best interests of New Jersey, but rather with one whose primary goal is to bully us into accepting a radical, immoral agenda that serves to enrich his cronies. He and his legislative cohorts are holding our budget negotiations hostage and doing so away from the public eye in an attempt to obfuscate corrupt backroom deals.
“Just as the public cannot, I will not attend Chris Christie’s session. If he has something significant to say, he can say it to everyone, or he can keep it to himself.”