Governor Chris Christie’s Remarks on Court Ruling from Today’s Press Conference

  • Friday, May 7, 2010
  • Tags: Other
Trenton, NJ - Please see below a partial transcript from today's press conference:
 
QUESTION: Governor, do you have any reaction to the court ruling this morning regarding union donations....
 
GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: Well listen, I haven't had a chance to read the entire 70 page opinion but I have been briefed on it and listen - I think the encouraging things from the opinion are that it very strongly supports the very, I think they said, robust authority that the Governor of New Jersey has in order to execute on executive orders and also, they talked very extensively about - this is a public policy issue that needs to be debated and discussed. And so what have we put our fingers on from this thing? Obviously, you know, the executive order was struck down so I'm not happy about that, but when you look at the opinion it says things about the robust authority of the executive. It says that this is a public policy issue of real public concern. And we have to figure out a way to get in touch with this. Now in the end, the way I understand the ruling is that they believe it conflicts with an existing statute, the codification of one of the McGreevey executive orders and that it's solely on that basis, because it's at conflict with that, they believe that if this is going to be done, it would need to be done by legislation - not by executive order.
 
Now we're going to take a look at that. I'm going to read it and we have until July 1st to make a decision about whether we want to appeal that to the State Supreme Court, and that's something that we are going to consider as an option. And I'm also going to consider any other options that are at my disposal to accomplish what I want to accomplish here, which is to level the playing field. I don't think that there is one class of speech that should be regulated and another class of speech that should not be in the political realm. And so, that has always been my concern. I think that for those of you who heard me in the campaign and we talked about this issue, that's what I've always said. This is not about favoring one group of folks over another, from my perspective. This is about having everybody being regulated in the same way. And so we are going to look at all of our different options as we go forward and I'll get the opportunity to read the entire opinion over the weekend and then I'll have counsel's office and others give me advice on what they think our next step should be. The court has given us until July 1st to do that and we'll decide what we think the best course of action is to achieve the policy that I wanted to achieve. Because remember, the executive order was about achieving a policy objective and that is to level the playing field so that no one has a greater advantage over the other because of their money.  It should be only because of the power of their ideas. And that's the way I'd like to see this work from now forward. We've gone through a period in New Jersey where money has been an extraordinary driver of political discussion in this state and I'd like to get to a point where the ideas are the drivers, not just the money.

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Michael Drewniak
609-777-2600

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