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Baroni’s Departure and Its Impact on the Christie Budget

February 21, 2010

Bill Baroni

I must admit at first I was shocked to learn Bill Baroni was leaving the New Jersey Senate.   I thought this was a real blow to winning a  Republican majority in the Senate in less than two years.  However,  the more I thought about it the less surprised I became.  

Let me add to the chorus and say there is no one better than Bill Baroni to be the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  Governor Christie did well in selecting him as there can be no doubt he will excel in the position.  

As expected, since the announcement on Friday, much has been written about Senator Bill Baroni’s  departure from the legislature to become the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.    

  

Much of the coverage has focused on the special election in November and who the likely candidate will be and will not be.  There are no shortage of Baroni stories on PolitickerNJ.com.  

I cannot help but think the real story here is that Baroni’s move is the historical equivalent of the shot heard around the world.   The Christie administration has declared war on New Jersey’s over bloated pension system.  In case you need a quick history review, below is the Schoolhouse Rock  video “the Shot Heard ‘Round the World” 

Democrats and union leadership have been critical of Christie’s proposed budget cuts.  Bill Baroni is from the 14th legislative district which has a great number of union member voters.  Bill was very successful in winning elections in that district in part because he was “Union Friendly” with some of his votes.   Bill is also immensely popular with many Republican voters state-wide.   

Governor Christie  has been clear that he was elected to bring fiscal sanity to Trenton and that includes pension reform.  With Baroni no longer in the legislature the possibility of  vocal Republican opposition to New Jerseys much-needed pension reform is greatly diminished.  This is not to say Baroni would not have agreed with Christie’s pension reform proposals, however, a potential Baroni opposition is no longer part of the pension reform equation.  

Look for Governor Christie to advance full steam ahead with his campaign promise of pension reform.  Union leadership must be quaking in their boots and rightfully so.  Look for Schoolhouse Rock to make its next educational cartoon on how Chris Christie saved New Jersey with pension reform.

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