Weinberg, Senate President Respond to Governor's 'Take the Bat Out' Comment
Governor's spokesman calls response a "ridiculous and over-the- top distortion."
State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Sen. Loretta Weinberg both issued statements Thursday blasting Gov. Chris Christie for asking reporters to "take the bat out" on Weinberg for what the governor said was her hypocritical comments in a newspaper article.
“Most disturbingly, Governor Christie used the words ‘take a bat out on her,’ in his admonishment of the press corps to make hay over my pension. Frankly, considering I’ve devoted my entire legislative career to fighting for the rights of women – including battered women – I think his words continue to show the level of insensitivity and poor judgment that the Governor has demonstrated on women’s issues since getting elected," Weinberg, of Teaneck, said in a statement posted online.
Christie’s harsh words came after an April 3 Star-Ledger article quoted Weinberg as saying the governor has a double standard in criticizing his political allies. The article focused on Christie’s silence when political allies, namely Democratic powerbrokers, conduct business in ways the governor has attacked when done by others.
Weinberg, who is 76, revealed in a post on liberal blog BlueJersey.com that she collects a pension from a job she held with county government and a salary as an elected official. In the blog, Weinberg said it had been suggested that she start collecting her pension after suffering a "major financial setback" by investing with Bernie Madoff.
"To clarify, I’ve never attempted to ‘hide behind Bernie Madoff,’ as the Governor suggested in yesterday’s temper tantrum." Weinberg's statement said.
"Enough is enough. Residents rightly expect more from people in public office than horribly inappropriate statements, embarrassing temper tantrums and over-the-top bullying. It's time the governor started acting like a grown-up,” Sweeney, the West Deptford Democrat, said in a statement.
Christie Press Secretary Michael Drewniak dismissed the statements.
"It's a ridiculous and over-the- top distortion to deflect from Senator Weinberg’s pension double-dipping, and that's all," Drewniak said in an e-mail.
Political news website PolitickerNJ.com speculated Sweeney's comments could help unify the state's Democratic party.