As first reported by Richard LaRossa on Politickernj.com, Assemblywoman Alison Littell-McHose has been pushed off the prestigious Assembly Budget Committee.
There are a handful of reasons for this, but like most things these days many roads lead back Chris Christie who insiders say was mad at her for staying neutral during the Republican primary this past Spring. The animosity was heightened when she attempted to stop gay marriage by calling out Republicans who were leaning towards supporting the bill. Christie did not want the conservative/Steve Lonegan wing of the Republican party calling the shots. And he wanted the party to speak with one voice.
But it wasn’t just Christie who technically does not decide who sits on what committee. It was Minority Leader Alex DeCroce who replaced Littell-McHose with Assemblyman John Bramnick on Budget.
Apparently the Assemblywoman and the Minority leader had a few run-ins which did not end well. First, she opposed him on the clean election experiment. In 2007 the taxpayers funded elections for a handful of districts where the candidates agreed to participate in the program. Second, she challenged DeCroce on the Party Democracy Act. Littell-McHose was a co-sponsor of this legislation that would have required county committees to post bylaws and members as a matter of public record and require them to hold secret ballots. Sources say DeCroce came under fire from county chairs who opposed these changes, and he made an effort to weaken the bill – particularly the secret ballot provision. The Republicans held a caucus and party chairs were invited to attend. As it was told to me, Littell-McHose “raised hell” about gutting the law which proceeded to fail on the floor of the Assembly. Finally, she opposed the Minority Leader on a COAH bill that would have allowed developers to change age-restricted housing to open development. She accused DeCroce of having a conflict.
Anyway, the fix was in and Littell-McHose is now out. We shall see if there are any further ramifications from this. Because just as Democrats often need their left, the Republicans often need their right.