Your humble recording secretary here with the latest dispatch from the NRO Chris Christie Fan Club.
Today it’s a two-parter.
Part One: Monday saw a record-breaking anti-Christie rally in Trenton led by union hacks and their activist enablers, enraged by the governor’s plan to restructure the state’s untenable wage and pension system. There was much sound and fury, and precious few elected Democrats — whom rally leaders branded as “accomplices” to Christie’s fiendish plan to balance the budget – in attendance.
In fact, Democratic state senate president Stephen Sweeney, himself an ironworkers union official, said the protests did organized labor a “disservice.”
“Instead of showing the public that we’re in it together, they’re showing them that they still don’t get it,” Sweeney said Saturday. “We’re not accomplices. If anything, we’re trying to fix the state with him.”
Asked by reporters what he thought of the protests, Christie shrugged and said they had “absolutely no effect on me.”
The Republican governor said he hoped the 30,000 to 35,000 protesters “had a good time, and I hope that it helped to spur Trenton’s economy.”
The crowd, mostly from public worker unions and other progressive groups, flooded the capital on Saturday to rally against Christie’s proposed budget cuts and property tax proposals. Speakers, including New Jersey Education Association president Barbara Keshishian, said the protest was also a warning to Democrats — who have traditionally received backing from organized labor — not to serve as Christie’s “accomplices.”
Asked about the warning, Christie said “good try” and disappeared into his office without taking further questions.
Part Two: With the effects of the recession still lingering and after years of public sector gluttony fed by cannibalizing the tax base, state officials are predicting an $800 million tax revenue shortfall over the next two years.
Uh-oh, that means more painful and unpopular spending cuts, right? And probably tax increases, to boot.
Not so much. Governor Christie plans ahead:
“We’re very confident we’ve been able to close the additional budget gap in (fiscal year) 2010 and in (fiscal year) 2011 we’re going to be able to solve that problem without any new taxes at all and without any real significant cuts,” Christie said.
Skipping the “fiscalese,” what happened was the budget freeze imposed by Gov. Christie when he took office generated more savings than expected, enough to cover much of the lost tax money.
“I think we’re going to be fine,” Christie said.
Strangely enough, I’m starting to feel the same way.
UPDATE: Via Allahpundit, great video of Christie explaining his style:
UPDATE II: At a town hall in Rutherford (where I used to work as a reporter), the governor brought along some muscle — Vincent Curatola, best known for playing John “Johnny Sack” Sacramoni on The Sopranos.