So, the Republican membership on the Assembly Budget Committee has shifted yet again. Alison Littell-McHose was taken off ( see earlier post ) and replaced with Conference Leader John Bramnick.
Well, apparently he’s not going to stick around either. He was replaced last week by Jay Webber. Officially, we were told that Bramnick had too many private sector responsibilities to devote the kind of time needed to such an important committee. And I guess he didn’t know that before he joined.
Well, naturally some other theories abound. Democrats were a bit peeved that they didn’t find out about the Webber substitution until the day of last Monday which sent them “scrambling,” and led to some “raising holy hell about it.” But in the end it is the right of the Republican party to choose who serves where.
So…now the juicy part. Some have speculated that Governor Christie wanted his own guy on budget. In other words not only someone who will stridently defend Administration policies but also deliver some intel about what’s going on amongst the committee members. In other words Christie’s very own “Our Man in Havana” ( that is terribly sophisticated literary reference btw ).
Anyway, the word is that Budget Officer Joe Malone was a bit taken aback. Malone, the ranking Republican has never been shy about taking Chairman Greenwald or the other Dems to task during hearings. But still considers the work of budge to be way beyond petty politics. Others want to make sure the legislature maintains it’s identity, and doesn’t get tainted by someone batting for the executive branch.
And yes, the title of this post is indeed from ‘Caddyshack,’ when Brian Doyle-Murray tells Judge Smails that he can tee-off first. ( And I am still a firm believer that Ted Knight should have been nominated for an academy award for his brilliant portrayal of the irritable judge Smails )