Republicans Must Govern Responsibly

Russ Vaughn
New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, is rightfully garnering much attention from conservative news sources and blogs as he tackles the seemingly insurmountable budget deficits created by the Democrat Party's long-time control of his state. Standing up to such budget-busting organizations as the teachers' and other public service unions, Christie is leading the way in the fight this nation must win to regain its fiscal sanity.

And Christie is not alone. Little noticed outside his home state, the newly-elected Republican mayor of Albuquerque, Richard Berry, is taking a knife to the incredibly generous contracts entered into with various public service employee unions during a quarter century of Democrat rule, particularly by his predecessor, Democrat Martin Chavez, who in 2008 blithely agreed to a police union demand which allowed rookie police officers to increase their starting pay by 47% in three years, an astounding 16% per year. That's not too shabby when one considers that the starting wage is now $52,000 a year for a rookie officer with another year to run on that contract.

Thursday, Mayor Berry cut pay for fire union members by 2.47% and for non-union city employees in amounts up to 3.5% for higher-level workers and 5% for himself and other city leaders. At the same time he announced that all city employees will pay a larger percentage of their health care costs.

On Friday, as reported in The Albuquerque Journal, (subscription required) Berry refused to honor a 6% pay raise that was to go into effect July 1st and instead cut police pay by 2.41% under a provision which allows such reversals of contractual agreements in times of budgetary constraints. In spite of these actions, Albuquerque police officers still earn 5.1% more than when Berry took office seven months ago and the average officer makes 15% more than he did just two years ago thanks to Democrat Chavez' irresponsible vote-buying.

If more Republican mayors and governors will follow the leads being set by leaders such as Berry and Christie between now and November, perhaps the electorate will open its eyes and see just which party stands for responsible fiscal public policy. Until then, the Republican Party should emphasize at every opportunity that Republicans Will Govern Responsibly. Emphasizing responsibility in these troubled times will surely generate a positive response from the responsible citizens in the American electorate.

And they are the folks who vote in off-year elections.

New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, is rightfully garnering much attention from conservative news sources and blogs as he tackles the seemingly insurmountable budget deficits created by the Democrat Party's long-time control of his state. Standing up to such budget-busting organizations as the teachers' and other public service unions, Christie is leading the way in the fight this nation must win to regain its fiscal sanity.

And Christie is not alone. Little noticed outside his home state, the newly-elected Republican mayor of Albuquerque, Richard Berry, is taking a knife to the incredibly generous contracts entered into with various public service employee unions during a quarter century of Democrat rule, particularly by his predecessor, Democrat Martin Chavez, who in 2008 blithely agreed to a police union demand which allowed rookie police officers to increase their starting pay by 47% in three years, an astounding 16% per year. That's not too shabby when one considers that the starting wage is now $52,000 a year for a rookie officer with another year to run on that contract.

Thursday, Mayor Berry cut pay for fire union members by 2.47% and for non-union city employees in amounts up to 3.5% for higher-level workers and 5% for himself and other city leaders. At the same time he announced that all city employees will pay a larger percentage of their health care costs.

On Friday, as reported in The Albuquerque Journal, (subscription required) Berry refused to honor a 6% pay raise that was to go into effect July 1st and instead cut police pay by 2.41% under a provision which allows such reversals of contractual agreements in times of budgetary constraints. In spite of these actions, Albuquerque police officers still earn 5.1% more than when Berry took office seven months ago and the average officer makes 15% more than he did just two years ago thanks to Democrat Chavez' irresponsible vote-buying.

If more Republican mayors and governors will follow the leads being set by leaders such as Berry and Christie between now and November, perhaps the electorate will open its eyes and see just which party stands for responsible fiscal public policy. Until then, the Republican Party should emphasize at every opportunity that Republicans Will Govern Responsibly. Emphasizing responsibility in these troubled times will surely generate a positive response from the responsible citizens in the American electorate.

And they are the folks who vote in off-year elections.