Through the Education Lens

How NJ Gov. Chris Christie "Did His Homework"

CJ Westerberg, January 4, 2011 10:36 AM

Chris Christie.jpg

Orig. posted The Daily Riff February 25, 2011

Two Videos Below
"Morning Joe" & Viral Heckler

Big story coming in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, "How Chris Christie Did His Homework" by Matt Bai.  An excerpt:

Like a stand-up comedian working out-of-the-way clubs, Chris Christie travels the townships and boroughs of New Jersey , places like Hackettstown and Raritan and Scotch Plains, sharpening his riffs about the state's public employees, whom he largely blames for plunging New Jersey into a fiscal death spiral. In one well-worn routine, for instance, the governor reminds his audiences that, until he passed a recent law that changed the system, most teachers in the state didn't pay a dime for their health care coverage, the cost of which was borne by taxpayers.

And so, Christie goes on, forced to cut more than $1 billion in local aid in order to balance the budget, he asked the teachers not only to accept a pay freeze for a year but also to begin contributing 1.5 percent of their salaries toward health care. The dominant teachers' union in the state responded by spending millions of dollars in television and radio ads to attack him.

"The argument you heard most vociferously from the teachers' union," Christie says, "was that this was the greatest assault on public education in the history of New Jersey."  Here the fleshy governor lumbers a few steps toward the audience and lowers his voice for effect. "Now, do you really think that your child is now stressed out and unable to learn because they know that their poor teacher has to pay 1 and one-half percent of their salary for their health care benefits? Have any of your children come home - any of them - and said, 'Mom.' " Pause. " 'Dad.' " Another pause. " 'Please. Stop the madness.' "

At the time of this post, there were already 800 comments to the article online.

Two videos below:
#1 - Christie Confronts a Heckler - over a million views - under a minute
#2 -  Morning Joe visit - February 23

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