After reading about Sweeney’s poor leadership in New Jersey, I searched my Google Reader feeds for Sweeney and found this gem that exposes the bizarre rationale he used to justify forging a a bill with Governor Christie’s approval in mind that effectively ended NJ public employee union right to collectively bargain for health benefits.
In a stunning turnaround, New Jersey state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) said his vote last year against marriage equality was the “biggest mistake” of his political career.
So Sweeney, in a state that already has civil unions, acknowledges he voted against the Democratic base preference for marriage equality, in a blue state because he thought it was politically expedient. To make up for that, he promptly decided that he would no longer vote for political gain. So his vote against marriage equality, an issue polling at well over 50% among NJ Dems at the time, became his rationale to craft a budget that destroyed NJ public employees right to collectively bargain for health benefits. Seriously.
The Democrat made the remarks after a floor speech regarding a bill that could overhaul state workers’ pensions and health insurance. He compared the political calculation of this bill to last year’s consideration of marriage equality, adding that he would no longer decide how to vote based on political gains.
Again, the rationale, however stunningly ridiculous, doesn’t really matter in the end. The results do. Democrats in NJ had two opportunities to be at the forefront of protecting workers rights and advancing marriage equality, two core base issues, and both times Sweeney was at the forefront of leading his caucus to failure.