In New Jersey, Chris Christie takes a shot at Jerry Brown
On the day before Gov. Jerry Brown is to give his State of the State speech, he made a cameo appearance in another governor’s annual remarks.
Across the country in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie took shots at Brown’s tax hike proposal while pushing for a cut in his state’s income tax.
“California’s governor has proposed to raise the top rate, already among the highest in the nation, by up to two percentage points,” said Christie, a Republican. He added, “In this environment, the best way to compete is to show a different direction. Let others choose tax increases. We choose responsible tax cuts to give our overburdened citizens real relief.”
Brown, a Democrat, hopes voters choose temporary tax hikes at the ballot box in November. He says a half-cent sales tax increase and higher levies on the wealthiest could bring in nearly $7 billion and help avoid steep cuts in public school and safety budgets.
Asked for comment, a spokesman for Brown didn't take the bait.
"Jersey vs. California. Hmm. I’ll let this one slide," the spokesman, Gil Duran, wrote in an email.
Christie campaigned for Meg Whitman during California's 2010 gubernatorial election, but he hasn’t always been critical of Brown. Christie has sometimes pointed to his Democratic counterparts in other states for political cover when making steep budget cuts in New Jersey.
When talking last year at the American Enterprise Institute about overburdened state governments, he said the problems are “long overdue to be solved and so that’s why you see [New York Gov.] Andrew Cuomo, or for God’s sake, even Jerry Brown in California talking about reducing salaries of state workers."
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photos: California Gov. Jerry Brown, left, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Credits: Ken James / Bloomberg, left, and Jae C. Hong / Associated Press