With Casinos (and More) in the Balance, Prieto Delivers Stinging Retort to Sweeney

Prieto, far right, and Sweeney, second from left, in happier times.

Prieto, far right, and Sweeney, second from left, in happier times.

“It’s worse.”

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) digested with no visible pleasure the words of Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), who a short time ago noted that he – and not Prieto – has the votes in domain to get his version of a casino bill done.

“I’m not interested in boastful press conferences and pointless votes. I’m interested in compromise,” Prieto said in a statement, after the senate president urged him to post the senate alternative and not his own.

“If the Senate president cannot understand that the Assembly bill is the best for the entire state, then he must at least deal with reality,” said the speaker. “The Senate president’s bill does not have support to pass the Assembly, and the Assembly bill he referenced is no longer identical to what he’s proposing.”

The two men have brawled for a month over whose bill is better while much of the rest of the state has either picked a side or wrung hands on the sidelines.

A source yesterday told PolitickerNJ that lower house lawmakers in Middlesex County were prepared to sit on their hands when Prieto’s bill goes to the assembly for a full vote. Another source said South Jersey has sufficiently bent the ears of Republican leadership in the assembly.

But the speaker – an ally of Sweeney’s 2017 gubernatorial rival Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop – zeroed in on Sweeney.

“I have compromised significantly to get this done while the Senate president engages in overheated rhetoric and blame,” the speaker said. “Check the bills and see who has compromised the most. The facts speak for themselves. I challenge the Senate president to spend less time preening at press conferences and more time truly working together on what is so obviously needed at this point – a compromise that will pass both houses with enough votes during the next session.”

With Casinos (and More) in the Balance, Prieto Delivers Stinging Retort to Sweeney