This morning was more than a typical conversation with New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. She comes into our New Jersey 101.5 studios every other Thursday for a special segment called “#DigginInWithKim”. Today she told me that the segment should be renamed, “Sparrin’ with Spadea”. Guess she’s been listening over the past two weeks as I’ve been very critical about the lack of leadership, particularly among Republicans in NJ to oppose the largest tax increase since the 1990’s. At one point during the discussion Kim mentioned that electing more Republicans will help solve the problem. But I countered by reminding her that it was due to the Republicans cowering under pressure from GOP Governor Christie and Democratic Senate President Sweeney that enabled the tax to be passed in the first place.
Earlier in the show I played the clip from the conversation between my Chasing News colleague Diana Blass and Governor Christie from Wednesday. The Governor in a very dismissive and arrogant way attacked the premise of her question by saying “congratulations, you found the one person in 8.9 million”. The question was regarding a caller to my show who Diana interviewed named Vincent. Vincent is preparing to leave NJ along with countless others who look at the gas tax as the straw that broke the camel’s back. Just another piece of proof that the politicians in Trenton only have their own interests in mind.
The Governor elaborated the point by saying that there was tax relief in the sales tax cut and the estate tax phase out. Of course Vincent will have to die to realize the “Tax Fairness” of the estate tax cut and will have to spend tens of thousands in taxable purchases in order to offset the higher cost of gas. For the average family in New Jersey they will see their gas costs rise by nearly $200 a year and would have to spend more than $40,000 on taxable items to achieve the “Tax Fairness” touted by the Governor.
The good news from today is that Kim was strong in her answer regarding the gas tax. In the first public break on policy with Christie, she stated an unequivocal “No” when I asked her if she supported the tax. I’m sure that the “Front Office” isn’t gonna like the message and tone of Kim’s conversation with me today, but maybe the rest of the GOP in New Jersey will start to get the message that we are tired of the disingenuous, insincere public commitments to making NJ more affordable. They had an opportunity this time, with the help of some courageous Democrats including Senators Ray Lesniak, Jeff Van Drew, Shirley Turner and Nia Gill. Unfortunately for middle and working class New Jerseyans, they blew it…we will certainly #remeberinnovember