Senate President Steve Sweeney told his colleagues on the floor of the Senate today that his nay vote on the marriage equality act was the worst mistake of his legislative career.
Sweeney was explaining his reasons for standing up in favor of pension and health reforms that have proved to be unpopular among public employee unions and even among members of his own caucus.
"I made a decision based purely on political calculations not to vote in support of marriage equality," Sweeney said. "I failed in my responsibility as majority leader of this house of government to actually lead. I was wrong. To my fellow colleagues, to staff, and to those watching upstairs, let me tell you: never, ever again will I allow that to happen."
Steven Goldstein, Chairman of Garden State Equality, said he was touched by Sweeney's comments.
"I welcome Senator Sweeney's pronouncement today with open arms," he said. "There is no question that because of Sweeney's support and the changing sentiment of others in the Senate that we would pass marriage equality in the Senate today," he said. "Do we have enough votes to override a veto? We do not."
"I find it very impressive that a politician should be so introspective and nobody is putting a gun to his head. He did it on his own and that means a lot to us, it really does."
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"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
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