Millionaires’ tax, budget debate means partisan message men at the ready

TRENTON – Today is prized fodder for the message-makers, the partisan wordsmiths who will use the inevitable outcome of these floor debates to fashion slogans for November’s general election.

Given an opportunity via Facebook to say how he would package the Republican argument based on Wednesday’s events, veteran operative Ed Traz said, “Off the cuff, how about, ‘We can’t spend what we don’t have?’”

Republican operative Tom Fitzsimmons, a Matawan councilman engaged this year in the 12th Legislative District, said as Democrats pressed their attack on the millionaire’s tax, “Many of the people you’d be taxing are small businesspeople who don’t actually ‘make a million or even half a million dollars. It’s a jobs killer.”

No less attentive at their inkjets, Democrats similarly readied for the word jousting.

“The Chris Christie agenda is wrong for the state,” said veteran Democratic Party mailman Pat Politano.

“The agenda is jobs, jobs, jobs,” he added. “Everybody is still terrified of this economy and we are participating in a scape-goating of public employees. They’re not the problem. We’re absolutely foolish if we think this is helping us with voters. When he escaped the tunnel project we should never have let up on that. The problem is candidates and campaigns controlling the terms of debate usually win the debate.”

But Politano also conceded that his party has allowed Christie to make the message.

Millionaires’ tax, budget debate means partisan message men at the ready