TRENTON – Democrats on their way to Florentine Gardens for a gala tonight go with a spring in their step after Gov. Chris Christie’s budget proposal on Tuesday, according to state Sen. Bob Gordon (D-Fair-lawn) – while Bob Yudin, chairman of the Bergen County Republican Organization, said he heads to his party’s convention tonight with no less vigor.
“The tide has turned because of the proposed school aid cuts and the proposal to end the Blue Law. From a political standpoint, this is energizing the Democratic Party in Bergen,” said Gordon, who like everyone else in the political arena senses frontline statewide implications in the re-election drama of Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney, who’s being challenged by GOP County Clerk Kathleen Donovan.
“People in Bergen are overwhelmingly opposed to it, they want a day of peace,” Gordon added. “I think this is a case of inadequate analysis by the governor’s office.”
Christie’s budget lists $65 million in assumed state revenue by repealing Bergen’s Blue Law and allowing Sunday shopping.
“The additional revenue they would get does not make up for the incremental costs – police and traffic, yes,” Gordon said. “You’re talking about 300,000 people on a weekend shopping day.”
Then there’s Christie’s proposed five percent cut to school aid.
“What I hear is Bergen is losing over $100 million,” said Gordon. “We’re the county that provides the greatest resources in terms of taxes, and we’re losing the most. As an alternative, we would say look at the millionaire’s tax.”
Bergen County Republican Chairman Yudin said he supports a Blue Law ban – only if there’s a referendum before the Bergen voters and they support it.
“If they can’t do it before the budget, then the matter should not be part of this budget and should be postponed,” Yudin said.
But that was the only item he would give Gordon, whom he proceeded to excoriate.
“As far as the school aid, I support the governor completely,” said the GOP chairman. “You’ve got the naysayers, a la Gordon with their doom and gloom – these are people who gave eight years of Democratic power, which has bankrupted us. Senator Gordon is as responsible for the state of New Jersey as anyone. The governor made it clear when he was running that there was going to be shared pain all over.
“We’re in the circumstances now because of Senator Gordon’s inability to say no. The man is a hypocrite.”