Governor Christie: a lump of coal in union stockings

By: Greg Halvorson

I know, there’s a lot going on, what with this lame cluck Congress tossing pandering bones to every victim class (gays, Hispanics, the class-warfare crowd) imaginable, and Heir E. Reid firming up his national embarrassment agenda. Don’t get me started on the food “safety” bill (17,000 new bureaucrats!), or the trite posturing on the KEY to job creation: unemployment checks—WOO! I prefer to hear the governor of New Jersey (in excelsis conservative!) with my government mozzarella.

So, here’s the Daily Callers’ piece on “da Gov.” Speaking at the Jeb Bush Excellence in Education Summit, the “Round Mound of Union Pound” showed why we love him: he continues to tell it exactly like it is.

Christie: “I am often called impatient by folks in my state and I plead guilty. I plead guilty to impatience,” said the governor when talking about his now infamous fights with the NJEA. “This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, it’s the seminal civil rights issue of our time.”

“I’ve said to those folks in the Democrat party that represent some of the most ill-served children in our state that they’re ignoring the issue. It’s unacceptable. It’s time to do what the teachers’ unions say they do everyday—put children first.”

On the current struggle with the NJEA over superintendent pay caps, Christie continued: “This conspiracy among superintendents is extraordinary. And you’re watching it play out in New Jersey right now because we’ve imposed a cap on superintendent pay. To be the super of the schools—that’s a hard job…. but I’ll tell you this, it’s no harder than my job. And I make $175, 000 a year. So I said, ‘How bout this? You don’t make more than me.’”

When talking about the financial wealth of the NJEA, Christie said, “But what strikes you when you go down State Street as a new governor is that there are all these small buildings, except for two. The State House, and right across the street, the palace built by the NJEA.”

“And I mean a palace—built with $130 million in dues they collect…. $130 million in dues per/year. So you say to yourself, ‘Well, with $130 million, they must contribute to their members’ salaries.’”

“No,” said Christie.

“They must contribute to their members’ pensions.”

“No,” said Christie.

“$130 million a year – all right – they’re kicking it for their member’s health benefits.”

Again, Christie said, “No.”

He went on to say that the NJEA collects $730 in mandatory dues per/ member, per/year. The fee is deducted from teachers’ paychecks by the state of New Jersey, then wired to the NJEA. “Because we want to make this as convenient as possible,” Christie said.

The governor also reminded the audience that teachers in New Jersey who want to opt out of the union must pay an opt-out fee of 85 percent of the $730.

“Now, for people in my generation…. this is like the Hotel California. You can check out anytime you like, but you may never leave.”

He ended on a somber note, pointing out that New Jersey spends an average of $18,000 per/pupil, per/year. Despite that, 205 schools in the state chronically fail. “I am impatient. And it is an obscenity that those who claim to be involved in public education for the kids aren’t as impatient and as upset as I am,” he said.

“I can’t afford to be tired,” he added. “I can’t afford to get discouraged. The people didn’t hire me because of my charm and good looks; they hired me because they know our state’s a mess. Our children can no longer stand the consequences of this conduct.”

Greg Halvorson is the founder of Soldiers Without Boots, and hosts Freedom Warrior Radio on Blog Talk Radio

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