TRENTON – They scrapped publicly yesterday, in emails and news headlines.
Today, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno (in her role as secretary of state) and state Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D-Meuchen) jabbed daggers through diplomatic grins at each other during the Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing.
“You are one heartbeat away from being governor of New Jersey, don’t you think you should be ready to answer questions on the budget?” Buono asked.
“Absolutely, we need to be transparent,” Guadagno said. “But we also have a Constitutional obligation to decide how the people of New Jersey want their lieutenant govenror to act. I don’t believe any governor has ever appeared before this committee – any committee.”
“Let us help you define it, lieutenant governor.”
Discomfort pervades the atmosphere.
“It’s a fascinating political science issue, I just don’t believe it belongs in this room,” Guadagno says.
“I completely understand why you’re averse to talking about this budget,” says the senate majority leader. “It’s an extremely painful budget.”
Guadagno later hearkens to the women’s battle yesterday over Guadagno’s Red Tape Group, which Buono couldn’t approve, citing elimination of public comment.
The lieutenant governor laments Buono’s inability to join the group to “look at the recommendations closely.”
“Are you suggesting I didn’t look at the recomendations closely?”
“No, I’m not; I apologize,” Guadagno says.