FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Gov. Christie v. Teachers’ Union Round 2
Rules for Radicals Edition Rule 4
Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. “You can kill* them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”
On Friday I posted about Bergen County teachers’ union head Joe Coppola’s prayer for Gov. Christie’s death. Today Gov. Christie met with Barbara Keshishian [h/t Ace**], head of the 200,000-member New Jersey Education Association
The standoff between Christie and Barbara Keshishian, head of the 200,000-member New Jersey Education Association, came hours after the governor urged voters to reject local school budgets in districts where teachers have not agreed to a one-year wage freeze — the majority of districts statewide.
“I just don’t see how citizens should want to support a budget where their teachers have not wanted to be part of the shared sacrifice,” said Christie, whose proposed $820 million cut in school aid has districts planning layoffs and program cuts.
But neither the wage freeze nor the budget cuts were up for discussion in the governor’s office, where Christie hosted Keshishian for about 15 minutes.
… enter Rule 4:
The Republican governor accepted her apology for the memo sent by union officials in Bergen County last week, Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said. But Keshishian would not agree to force out Joe Coppola, president of the Bergen County Education Association who signed the memo, which effectively ended the meeting, Drewniak said.
… snip …
“What would happen to a student in any of these schools … if they had sent out an e-mail like that? In all likelihood, that student would be suspended, maybe expelled, subject to court action,” Drewniak said. “If the NJEA can’t as an organization accept that this was egregious conduct and take disciplinary action, I don’t know how we could move forward without that happening.”
Gov. Christie is showing some executive talent here. He skillfully frames the budget shortfalls as a shared responsibility which the Teacher’s Union refuses to participate in. He also shows that the budget shortfalls are occurring in almost all districts.
Then, the professional he is, Gov Christie accepts the apology but requires consequences. “I don’t know how we could move forward without that happening.” That just warms my heart.
Not only is he making his opponents live up to their own standards of conduct, he is leveraging the same against them in his budget and labor negotiations.
It’s enjoyable to see that sort of fight in a State executive. What’s more enjoyable is watching the reactions of the left when they realize the table just turned.
Keshishian’s exit from the governor’s office led to a bit of political theater as reporters trailed her to the NJEA headquarters down the block. She declined to discuss the meeting, first saying she and Christie talked about “the weather” and then calling it “just an initial meeting with the governor.”
Asked whether Coppola would quit, she said, “I have no idea.”
Having more than likely seen her ego get kicked around on the floor of Gov. Christie’s office, Barbara wouldn’t even address the issues of the meeting.
I would probably want to forget what happened in there as well.
Aaron B. Gardner
* Now I mean that in the figurative sense, I can’t speak for Saul though.
** For those still thinking “it’s just a joke” is a valid excuse … read all of Ace’s post.
*** Oddly enough, Rule 5 is Ridicule.