Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Christie Unbound

If the thought of Chris Christie being reelected makes you feel woozy, then imagine him reelected and with a Republican majority in the Senate, if not the state legislature. My apologies if you've re-tasted your breakfast. The thought of that possibility is just as noxious to me, especially when it comes to education.

Consider: With a majority in both houses, Christie would get a vouchers bill, end seniority in the public workforce, and cut funding to districts that need to make up for low incomes and a dearth of jobs (remember jobs? His first term was supposed to be all bout jobs.).

It's all laid out in this article, and it reads like a right wing wishlist.

Most educators understand that the Governor would love to make public schools into private schools complete with no unions, lower pay and no job security. That private schools can skim the best students from the admissions list, do not have to administer state tests (this makes absolutely no sense), and have endowments from their wealthy alumni/donors does not seem to make a difference to Christie or his minions. They seem to think that if you repeal all of the rules and strip away bargaining rights then schools will miraculously improve, and so will teachers. After all, we love low pay and high-cost benefits that we have to pay for.

Further, with a Republican Senate, Christie can get two more conservative judges on the state Supreme Court where the school funding formula, indeed all spending on education, would be up for revision, rescission and reassignment. Yes, the suburban districts do need to have all of the funding that was taken from them in Christie's first year returned to them with interest, but the government still needs to fully fund the urban districts that desperately need help. More revenue from top wage earners would be out of the question, so a second term would simply exacerbate the already large differences between the well-off and the rest of New Jersey under Christie II.

And just in case you thought that he is a New Jersey brand of Republicans, please think again. Chris Christie wants to be president in the worst way. He's already had his stomach surgery so he can slim down in time for the 2015 money/policy push, and he's become involved in the GOP's foreign policy debates in a big way, opposing what he sees as a misguided attempt by the libertarians to ease our diligent anti-terrorism policies.

You can look for more right-wing promises on domestic issues too, many of which will be field tested in New Jersey for maximum national exposure. He's certainly on the wrong side of the marriage equality issue, but not if you're a conservative. A referendum might get that done in NJ, but it will also give Christie the opportunity to say that the voters took the issue out of his hands.

There's enough to be wary of in a second Christie administration. That's why it's imperative that all progressives come out and vote in November and make sure they vote on the down ticket offices too. The man is serious about implementing his hard right agenda; it's high time we played serious too.

For more, go to and on Twitter @rigrundfest

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