Sources: Sweeney leans on Oliver to get his version of PLA bill done in the Assembly
By Max Pizarro | February 11th, 2013 - 6:59pm
| More

Get it done, or else.

That's the message from Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) to Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34).

The ironworker Senate president who felt dissed by the Laborers wants Oliver to post his Project Labor Agreement (PLA) bill without amendments that would make the bill more favorable to the Laborers union; and if the members in Oliver's caucus don't want it, they can expect their legislation to die in the Senate.

Sources opposing the bill say Sweeney is blinded by his desire to punish Ray Pocino and the Laborers in response to their endorsement late last year of incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Christie. But others praise Sweeney for going on offense with a political maneuver that could put Christie in a labor rundown.

At least one source said Sweeney was wounded when the union group did not wait for Sweeney to formally declare his decision not to run for governor this year.

Pocino backed Christie without first hearing Sweeney rule out a run.

The Senate president’s bill is payback time.

A3679/S2425 expands the application of project labor agreements to include road and bridge projects, a no-brainer according to Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-14). Opponents, including Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19), worry that the bill would unfairly punish the Laborers Union by opening up projects to a broader range of trade labor bidding.

Sweeney and DeAngelo allies insist Democrats have the lower house votes, but Wisniewski and others want pro-Laborer amendments.

In recent days, Sweeney has called Oliver and told her to budge on his bill; no watered down or fudged versions. Oliver chafed, pointing out that some of her caucus members – mostly those close to the Laborers – don’t want to support Sweeney’s version without making the bill more favorable to the Laborers.

Sweeney said no way, sources said.

The Senate president told Oliver that those members blocking the bill could expect the same treatment when he doesn’t support their bills in the upper house, two sources told PolitickerNJ.com.

“Most want to have peace but Steve Sweeney is pushing hard - some say threatening,” a source said speaking on condition of anonymity.

At least one source interpreted Sweeney’s play as not just punishment of the Laborers, but a warning shot fired at the rest of the Building Trades unions.

Multiple sources say other Building Trades unions are prepared to join the Laborers and back the sitting GOP governor. It’s not a question of if but when, say sources close to the process. Two sources told PolitickerNJ.com that ongoing discussions between Team Christie and the unions at this point include questions about endorsement press conference details.

Despite the air of inevitability around those endorsements, Sweeney’s S2425 lower house force-feed could present at least a political entanglement to Christie, if not outright play havoc with the governor’s veto pen.

Only the Laborers vociferously oppose Sweeney’s version of the PLA bill. The other building trades want Oliver to post it ASAP. If Christie vetoes the bill, as sources say he will, he protects LIUNA while denying the other Building Trades unions readying to endorse him.

A source told PolitickerNJ.com that Christie’s veto could make some Building Trades members – already irritated at Pocino for throwing a wrench into Sweeney’s bill - less enthusiastic about stepping forward to back the GOP governor’s re-election.

The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

Op-Ed

Paterson can flourish with a second chance

By ASLON GOOW, SR. I have spent the past three decades raising a family, building a business, and working to improve our Paterson communities.  I am proud of those accomplishments.  In 2002, I spoke at an expungement... Read More >

Contributors

(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

- PolitickerNJ.com

Poll

Was Frank X. Graves of Paterson New Jersey's best mayor?:

Resources

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources