Stagnation in the Halls of Power: Assembly Dems Go Behind Closed Doors

Senator Jim Whelan (D-2) talks to reporters today at the Statehouse. Photo by Carina M. Pizarro.

Senator Jim Whelan (D-2) talks to reporters today at the Statehouse. Photo by Carina M. Pizarro.

TRENTON – There was no movement on the floor of the General Assembly as the allies of Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) roamed the halls with game face grins.

It looked over. It looked as though South Jersey and its allies had succeeded in derailing Speaker Vincent Prieto’s (D-32) Atlantic City bill.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15), by contrast, looked grim. He was one of those Democratic lawmakers committed to giving a vote to the speaker’s bill.

But Prieto lacked the votes as Democrats stalled in the caucus room.

On the other side of this contentious issue, Sweeney ally state Senator Jim Whelan (D-2), for his part, hardly appeared to be in endzone dance mode as reporters crowded around him in the hall between the senate and assembly chambers.

“There are no good options,” a weary Whelan said. “I’ve said that all along.”

The longtime Atlantic City brand name, a former mayor, lamented the drawn out process, which worsened the crisis in Atlantic City, he said; the consequence of Governor Chris Christie vetoing an early bill backed by Whelan and then Prieto’s bullish attempts to get the assembly in on a resolution with a bill that today looked to be headed for the dustbin of history.

Bankruptcy won’t help the public sector labor leaders who favored Prieto’s bill over Sweeney’s, said Whelan, who saw bankruptcy as the entropy of a finally disappointing process..

 

Stagnation in the Halls of Power: Assembly Dems Go Behind Closed Doors