DeCroce likens Corzine’s toll road tactics to political extortion

Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCrocetoday issued a release criticizingGov. Jon Corzine's methods of selling his plan to increase tolls,likeningthemto a "political blackmail plot."

"Corzine’s claim yesterday thatproperty tax rebates and tax relief could be in danger unless his 800%toll hike and nearly $40 billion borrowing scheme is approved is tantamount topolitical extortion," DeCroce said.

“The threat also confirms what Republicans have been saying for two years that unless an amendment to the state constitution is approved to guarantee the permanency of property tax relief, promises by Corzine and Democrats to the contrary were meaningless,” DeCroce added.

TheRepublican leadersaid Corzine should also stop promising specifictransportation instrastructureimprovements in exchange for support for his toll hikeplan, according to the release.

The governor's office issued acounter statementthis afternoon.

"The Governor is being open and honest about the scope of the problems facing New Jersey, and about the consequences of continuing the status quo," said spokesman Jim Gardner."He has put forward a financial restructuring and debt reduction plan to break the cycle of financial imbalance and fiscal mismanagement.

Gardner said Corzine believes it's important to inform the public about the benefits of is proposal, which include securing funding for transportation infrastructure for the next 75 years and eliminating half of the state's bonded debt.

"He is presenting his proposal to the public, the Legislature and everyone with a stake in New Jersey's future, and welcomes a debate on any reasonable alternative," Gardner said.

DeCroce likens Corzine’s toll road tactics to political extortion