Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-15) punched back a few hours after Gov. Chris Christie berated her publicly at a town hall meeting in Hamilton. Christie again identified Watson Coleman’s fingerprints on legislation that sprang early release inmates from prison and, he said, allegedly led to murder.
“The governor can rant and rave all he wants and try to blame me for two murders, but then he must take responsibility for the 71 percent increase in Newark’s homicide rate and overall 21 percent increase in Newark’s crime rate that followed his state aid cuts last year,” the assemblywoman said in a release.
“My legislation was meant to save taxpayer dollars and improve lives. Unfortunately, the administration hasn’t been able to supervise parolees properly. The governor’s budget cuts, on the other hand, were patently irresponsible and designed to destroy the progress made in many of our great cities. But don’t worry – people in our cities may fear for their safety under Gov. Christie’s budget policies, but millionaires are at least enjoying their Christie tax cut. The governor’s tirades are tiresome and cowardly. It would be nice if he decided to act like a leader once in a while and engage in an adult conversation about the issues. This governor’s behavior demeans our state and the office he holds.”
Today, Christie, as he has previously, said that the assemblywoman bears some responsibility for two homicides allegedly committed by two early release inmates because she supported the program that led to their release.