WOODBRIDGE- Following comments made by New Jersey Governor and Presidential candidate Chris Christie that attacked New Jersey State PBA President Pat Colligan and also lied about his record as New Jersey’s Governor, Colligan released the following statement:
“The Chris Christie the people in New Hampshire saw today is the same one our members have been dealing with for the past six years. This is a man who has proven time and again he will say and do whatever it takes to claw his way to the next political position. Six years ago, in his first campaign for governor, he sent a letter to rank and file officers throughout New Jersey promising that he would never harm their pensions. That was a lie.
“The sad fact is that Chris Christie has been representing himself as a qualified lawman to the people of New Hampshire when the reality is that he was simply one of the biggest money bundlers for George W. Bush before he was appointed to be U.S. Attorney. Now he thinks that putting together a press event, attacking me and lying again about his broken promises on our pensions will somehow convince police officers across the country that he has their best interests at heart. He does not. Over the past six years, the policies implemented in Trenton have driven thousands of officers to retire, led to hundreds of officers being laid off and left thousands of officers in danger in understaffed and underfunded departments throughout New Jersey.
“Unlike the governor, I was on duty today in New Jersey and, like most days, I was wearing a badge and a gun. Also unlike the governor, I will work a full career, never miss a pension payment, and never fail in my oath to preserve and protect the Constitution and the public. Through his name-calling and lies, Chris Christie showed once again today that he can’t make that same statement.”
Background: Transcript from “Law Enforcement For Christie” in Concord, NH
REPORTER: “The head of the police, PBA union in New Jersey has been pretty vocal, as I’m sure you’ve heard in the past couple of weeks…”
CHRISTIE: “Yeah, well listen, Matt…”
REPORTER: “Well let’s just ask why.”
CHRISTIE: “It’s because he’s a pension pig, that’s why. That’s all it’s about and you know that. That’s exactly what it’s all about. He’s a pension pig. That’s what it’s always been about. It’s about feeding at the trough as much as he possibly can. That’s what they’ve always been about. Rank-and-file law enforcement men and women have voted for me in overwhelming numbers in both my elections in New Jersey. And they’ll vote for me again as Governor because they know that in the things that matter the most to them—the things that matter the most to them—that I stand up with them. The fact is, I’ve also been the person who’s tried to repair their pension system for them, as well after years of neglect and mismanagement and broken promises. Right now, the police and fire system in New Jersey, since we made the reforms, are now approaching over 70 percent fully-funded, which would allow them to return to giving themselves cost-of-living adjustments, if that’s what they choose to do. That would not have happened if not for the reforms that we made in 2011. Listen, never be fooled by that union leaders necessarily represent the points of view of their members, and that’s particularly true in New Jersey, when those guys spend more time in Trenton and in the Statehouse than most legislators. The last time that guy strapped on a gun and tried to defend somebody was quite a long time ago. If he wants to be a politician, that’s fine, he’ll be treated like a politician.”