Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time. The gloves had to come off and the true colors had to come out. The differences on this budget are just too stark. You saw flashes of it during the confirmation hearings of Hal Wirths and Janet Rosenzweig ( who withdrew her nomination late Friday afternoon ). And you saw evidence of volcanic activity just below the surface during Bret Schundler’s testimony before the Senate Budge Committee. Then of course there was the dust-up between DCA’s Lori Grifa and Assembly Budge Chair Greenwald.
But there was a particular brand of unraveling that began this week. It all started When Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono did not sign onto the recommendations of the much ballyhooed Red Tape Review Group. Then the Repubs circled the wagons when an AP report accused the Christie Administration of boosting payroll in the Executive offices ( btw – I’m not sure this had anything to do with the Democrats but it certainly didn’t help foster a climate of peace and reconciliation ). And then Tuesday, the gloves came off during budge hearings in the Senate. First Chairman Paul Sarlo squared off with LT Gov. Kim Guadagno. Then Buono and Guadagno went back and forth about the budget ( although they also exchanged barbs over Red Tape Review ). Then Senator Bucco tried to defend Guadagno who then turned around and accused him of arguing with Sarlo. So, it was a bit of a three-ring circus…although I must admit an unusually entertaining one ( I’ve actually always hated the circus…I find clowns to be a bit sinister. And yes, I have seen “Killer Klowns From Outer Space” – that terrifying B movie…although Dean Wormer from “Animal House” plays the cop, which is kinda awesome ).
Anyway, it was bound to happen…even if it’s enough to make your head spin. After all, elected officials of both parties are realizing that they are going to make their constituents very unhappy no matter what. That is not a recipe for bi-partisanship…or perhaps it should be?
Programming note – the title comes from the original ’80’s hit by the band “Dead or Alive.” The song’s ( hehe ) chorus was recently co-opted in a remake by “Flo Rida.” And I give credit to my friend Josh who once asked the brilliant rhetorical question ‘how did it take any Florida-based rapper this long to come up with the name “Flo Rida?”‘