Kean blasts Sweeney on ‘allowing his emotions’ to get in the way of good policy

Sen. Tom Kean Jr. responded this afternoon to the Senate president’s decision to hack all GOP-sponsored bills out of the Senate agenda.

Kean said Senate President Steve Sweeney is allowing his emotions to get in the way of good policy.

“I’m outraged that the Senate president’s emotions are denying New Jersey residents vital legislation, including measures to boost Superstorm Sandy recovery and close a landfill that is hazardous to nearby families and school children,” Kean said. “Republicans will not be bullied into snap judgments simply because Senator Sweeney made mistakes on his ever-changing gun-control bill.”

Sweeney removed all Republican-sponsored bills from Monday’s committee agendas, which according to three sources, was retaliation for Kean’s blocking of a procedural vote Monday to allow a vote on Sweeney’s bill to strengthen background checks for gun purchases.

According to the sources, Kean refused to provide the Republican votes necessary to call for an emergency vote. As a result, Sweeney’s bill – which was drafted incorrectly – will not be voted on until May 30.

Kean denied that Sweeney had approached him on the need for an emergency vote. However, two sources say Kean told Democratic Senate staffers on the floor that he would not provide the votes.

"I’m an undertaker by trade, so when I bury somebody, they don’t come back."
—Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato