By David Madden
MOUNT LAUREL, NJ (CBS) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie held his 96th town hall meeting yesterday, as several hundred people turned out in Mount Laurel to hear his pitch and answers to their questions. There were no real surprises.
Christie promoted his call for lower taxes, changes in sick leave and a push for civil service and ethics reform. Questions ran the gamut, but the Governor suggested in one answer that he’s stymied in his effort to change things by the state Supreme Court. In his view, the panel’s misspending billions on education and keeping property taxes high by controls over affordable housing.
“If elected officials ever did the garbage these guys did, they’d be out on their ears like that. Bang. But we can’t get rid of these folks,” although he’s tried. He’s gotten one nominee on the panel, two others were rejected by Senate Democrats. Christie says he’ll nominate two more people to the high court soon.
He only referred to the ‘Jersey Comeback’ a couple times. These days, the message centers on what the administration calls a ‘middle class reform agenda.’ But the details remain unchanged. They’re cutting spending, trying to cut taxes and get the economy rolling.
Someone asked why New Jersey’s unemployment rate is rising while it’s dropping nationally. Christie wondered the same given the state’s added 20,000 jobs in the last three months.
“For their number to be right in terms of the rate going up, if you just take the number times the number of people in the state, we would have had to been losing in the last three months 603 jobs a day.”
Christie believes the numbers will become less volatile and more realistic after next month’s Presidential election.