Patrick Colligan, President
Jeb & Newt... not so 'Perfect Together'
Let me start this month’s message by letting you all know that this is not an “I told you so” article, but rather a “let’s think smart" article for the future of us all.
Somebody a lot smarter than me once said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” No need to get nervous; the governor has reached his term limit here, and I won’t make a prediction about his future in politics. I suspect he is taking care of that all on his own.
What I want to do is remind everybody of those days before the 2009 election, when a majority of Law Enforcement supported (and later voted) for the current governor. Overall, we are a very odd group of voters. As Tony Wieners used to say, we are conservatives with Democratic needs, and I’m not sure there is a better description for us. So we were given this candidate back in 2009 from “Law Enforcement,” and with a “sacred trust” letter to us all if he wins. The rest, as they say…is history.
So now we are looking at a Presidential election in 2016. It’s already down to just a few viable options on the Republican side, and only one option on the Democratic side. My ears are open. I hear what you are all saying and who you seem to like so far, and it doesn’t seem to be the one candidate on the Democratic side.
I had the privilege to meet Brother Timothy Condon from one of our North Jersey Locals at the Collective Bargaining Seminar in Atlantic City during the first week of February. We started to chat about politics. He was kind enough to hand me a 2011 Op-Ed piece from the Los Angeles Times. Written by Jeb Bush and Newt Gingrich, it was titled: “Better off Bankrupt.” It’s a Google search away, so take a peek at the whole thing. But let me give you a couple of the tidbits that Jeb and Newt seem to agree on:
…This approach begins with a new chapter in the federal Bankruptcy Code that provides for voluntary bankruptcy by states, a proven option already available to all cities and towns across America.
….As with municipal bankruptcy, a new bankruptcy law would allow states in default or in danger of default to reorganize their finances free from their union contractual obligations. In such reorganization, a state could propose to terminate some, all or none of its government employee union contracts and establish new compensation rates, work rules, etc. The new law could also allow states an opportunity to reform their bloated, broken and underfunded pension systems for current and future workers. The lucrative pay and benefits packages that government employee unions have received…..
Now, doesn’t that sound like a great idea? What I have discovered over time is that people tend to be a lot more honest than before they become candidates for something. Maybe Gov. Scott Walker from Wisconsin sounds more palatable to you in 2016? I sure hope not!
So thank you Brother Condon. We have to vote smart in 2016, and I hope that Op-Ed might shed some light on one of your early bets in that race. Time will tell, and a single candidate will emerge loaded with promises. I’m just going to remind you once more what that smart guy once said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” because I don’t want to be there, saying, “I told you so.”