Republicans see monetization in Gov’s staff change

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District 12 Republican Assembly candidates Declan O’Scanlon and Caroline Casagrande sense asset monetization in the Governor’s appointment of Bradley Abelow as his new Chief of Staff.

“Apparently the governor has made the sale or lease of the toll roads his number one priority”, said Casagrande in a press release. “Why else would you take the State Treasurer-a former Goldman Sachs colleague whose expertise is in finance- and make him your chief of staff, a job which has nothing to do with finance?”

As state treasurer, Abelow studied the prospect of leasing state assets, including toll roads, to raise money needed for other projects. Last month, in response to Assembly Minority Leader Alex Decroce’s request that mayors across the state introduce resolutions opposing monetization, Abelow sent out letters to the mayors urging them not to oppose the plan until Corzine released it.

“This is the same guy who sent a thinly veiled threat to local governments not to oppose the sale of the toll roads, and now he’s the Governor’s right hand man. I think that’s pretty telling,” said O’Scanlon.

Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck, who’s running for state Senate on top of O’Scanlon and Casagrande’s ticket, introduced an amendment to the state budget that would have stricken preparatory monetization language from it. The amendment was tabled by Assembly Democrats.

The Governor’s office did not offer comment.

Republicans see monetization in Gov’s staff change