While Thousands Of People Go To Trenton, Christie Hides At The Race Track

Suburban News / NJ.com — Tuesday, May 25, 2010

By John D. Atlas

Following New Jersey Senate president's recent tough stance against Chris Christie's recent termination of Supreme Court Justice John Wallace, on Saturday May 22, 35,000 people, showed up at a demonstration in Trenton condemning Chris Christie's efforts to balance the budget by slashing programs for the poor and less powerful, as well as hurting teachers, cops and firemen. At the same time he's protecting millionaires from a tax increase. Last week after the legislature approved a bill to restore the income tax surcharge on those making $1 million or more, the Governor quickly vetoed it helping his very rich supporter, including those who benefited from the federal taxpayer's Wall Street bailout. The millionaires' tax would have raised an estimated $600 million, helping to ameliorate the need for cuts and reduce the state's deficit.

Christie's veto was symbolic of how Republicans always reward their base. The rally was led by the unions and organized by the Better Choices for New Jersey budget campaign, a coalition of 120 unions, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Policy Perspectives, Housing and Community Development Network, seniors and community groups and the New Jersey Tenant Organization (NJTO). Matt Shapiro, president of NJTO said his group's biggest concern is the elimination of the Homestead Rebate for senior and disabled tenants. "It's provided up to $860 to seniors that they often use toward rent," said Shapiro. "When you look at the low-income seniors — and they're paying market rents — and you see what a squeeze it is to make the rents ... a lot of them are going to lose their homes." Calling the governor's veto of the millionaires tax "heartless" Shapiro added, "this rally demonstrates our desperation, to speak to the governor with one big voice and to speak to the Legislature ... and say: You can't do this to us."

"We're sending out an SOS today — save our schools, save out students, save our state," said William McNary, president of USAction, a national group that advocates for social issues. This demonstration occurred only a few weeks after the New Jersey Senate President stood tall against Governor Chris Christie recently terminated Supreme Court Justice John Wallace, a moderate and professional jurist, and replaced him with Anne Patterson, a lawyer who has largely devoted her life to defending big, arrogant corporations.

The demonstration, the largest in state history was the equivalent of a 1.5 million person demonstration in Washington D.C. Christie, as cowardly as most bullies, got out of town that day, choosing instead to spend his time at Monmouth County racetrack. Funny thing—even there he couldn't outrun the boos from the crowd.

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