On Thursday, Republican members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee bucked Chris Christie. They helped move an Atlantic City assistance bill proposed by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto out of committee, and onto the Assembly floor for a vote.
They did this in face of the Governor’s bluster and bullying. Christie commanded the Assembly to follow his script regarding Atlantic City’s financial problems -- exactly! He ordered that they pass the bill he favors “without changing a word.”
Prieto did not accept Christie’s “my way or the highway” bombast, and proposed a compromise bill. Democrats and Republicans on the committee unanimously ignored the Governor’s arrogant ultimatum and accepted Prieto’s plan.
Tom Moran sees this as a sea change in the attitude of GOP lawmakers to Christie’s strict control. He thinks Christie’s recent stumbles have caused them to reassess their hitherto blind adherence to his commands.
We’ll see how far this goes. Prieto’s bill comes to the Assembly floor for a vote next month. Will other Republican lawmakers like our own Assemblyman Parker Space and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus ignore Christie’s orders or will they continue to succumb to his bullying and bluster?