Gov. Chris Christie is once again putting his political ambitions and partisan agenda first, this time disrespecting the memory of those lost in the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Last week he launched, then retracted, then relaunched a slickly produced but very misleading video attacking public employees’ pensions and attempting to ignore his failure to uphold the law with regard to pension funding. The video, which is filled with sound bites by the Governor intercut with violent imagery, does not disclose that while public employees have done everything required of them under the pension law he signed in 2011, Gov. Christie has flagrantly broken that same law by refusing to make even the minimum payments required of the state.
Now, Gov. Christie is promoting the “first showing” of his attack video at an event in Bayview Park on Long Beach Island. Bayview Park is home to a brand new playground funded and built by the Sandy Ground Project. The Sandy Ground Project was initiated by the NJFMBA and strongly supported by NJEA and other public employees and their unions. Its purpose is to build playgrounds in communities that were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. Each of the 26 playgrounds is being built in the memory of one of the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The playground at Bayview Park was built in memory of Lauren Rousseau, a teacher at the school, and dedicated earlier this year on Mother’s Day. Labor, materials and other support for the project were provided through the generosity of New Jersey public employees, who intend for each of the parks to provide hope and healing in the wake of two different but devastating events.
It is unconscionable for Gov. Christie to choose that location to continue his dishonest, taxpayer-funded attacks on those same public employees. His willingness to promote what his Twitter feed calls a “summer flick,” but what is really political attack disguised as a parody, is disheartening to those public employees who attempted to make that park into a place of memory and reflection, and who intended for it to showcase the good things we can accomplish when we work together.