Tuesday, May 26, 2015

With faux movie trailer, Christie dramatizes push for pension changes

Ominous voiceovers, speeding cars and circling helicopters, and wrestler-turned-actor The Rock walking away from a fiery explosion: All are featured in a new video clip from Gov. Christie promoting - wait for it - pension reform

With faux movie trailer, Christie dramatizes push for pension changes

(Video still from YouTube)
(Video still from YouTube)

Ominous voiceovers, speeding cars and circling helicopters, and wrestler-turned-actor The Rock walking away from a fiery explosion: All were featured in a video Gov. Christie released Tuesday promoting pension reform -- then pulled from the Internet without explanation that night.

Spokesmen for Christie did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night on why the video, originally posted on the Republican governor's YouTube channel and publicized in a press release to reporters, was taken down.

The video's yanking, however, didn't prevent another YouTube user from first posting it here. In the video, clips of the governor calling for further changes to the state pension system – the specifics still unannounced – are spliced together with action-movie theatrics and a deep-voiced narrator warning, “Hang on to your seats.”

Christie, who worked with Democrats in the Legislature during his first term to enact changes intended to make the pension system solvent, recently reversed course on the terms of that deal, announcing that the state could not afford to make the full amount of its scheduled payments into the pension system.

For months, the governor has been talking up the issue at town-hall-style meetings, arguing that the prior changes –which required public employees to contribute more in exchange for the state making escalating payments into the system – weren't enough to curb costs that he says threaten to overwhelm the state budget.

Democrats say the system would work if Christie made the full payments. The governor's cuts have deepened the system's unfunded liability, which the state says is $51 billion.

Christie has not laid out a specific proposal for the pension system, and it is unclear when he might do so. The governor was due to hold a town-hall meeting in Long Branch Tuesday, but the event was canceled due to the weather:

A release from the governor's press office Tuesday said the meeting would be “the first of weekly conversations where the governor will make the case for reform and take questions.” Christie will continue to hold events at the Shore during the rest of July and August, his office said.

Inquirer Staff Writer
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