Even Dems in New Jersey backing away from budget-destroying public sector unions

Chris Christie is turning out to the most pleasant political surprise in years. He’s taken a wrecking ball to special interests in the state. Now things have gotten such that even New Jersey Democrats are starting to get on board his program, by distancing themselves from greedy public sector unions:

Gone is Gov. Jon S. Corzine, who regularly sided with unions. In his place stands Gov. Christie, a Republican who has sharply criticized labor’s influence, leadership, and benefits.

Public labor unions have found no refuge among Democrats, their traditional allies. Democratic labor leaders in the Legislature have been among the most vocal supporters of cuts to government benefits, saying taxpayers can no longer afford the perks.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester), business officer for an ironworkers’ local, made cutting public employee pensions and health coverage his first priority as head of the chamber. Fellow Democrats, sensing unease with high taxes and public resentment toward government workers’ benefits, joined behind him and the governor.

Even Sen. Donald Norcross (D., Camden), president of the Southern New Jersey AFL-CIO, rose to speak in favor of a series of pension and benefit cuts that won overwhelming support in the Senate and Assembly and were signed into law last month. More than three of every four lawmakers voted for the measures. Both the Senate and Assembly are controlled by Democrats.

“People in the labor movement feel like Democrats are abandoning their friends, are being intimidated by the governor’s attack on public workers, and are failing to articulate a clear defense of the workers who provide the education for our kids and the services that the people of the state depend on,” said Robert Master, the Communications Workers of America’s regional political director. “It’s very disappointing.”

Dissapointing? Boo-hoo.

(via Kaus for Senate)

Game 4 preview: Warriors seek clean sweep over Mavs, but without Otto Porter, Jr.

Key reserve out for Game 4. Golden State focused on turnovers and rebounding to beat Dallas

Meet Shahid Buttar, Nancy Pelosi’s symbolic competition

The Stanford-educated lawyer’s campaign is a benchmark for progressive San Francisco

Meet the local artist painting The City’s first on-street mural

Public art installation coincides with the opening of downtown’s newest pedestrian plaza