Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) said that today’s failed effort to override the Governor’s conditional veto of S-1761, the “PANYNJ Transparency and Accountability Act,” exposes the hypocrisy of New Jersey Senate Democrats.
“During debate prior to the override vote, I tried to make the point that the New Jersey Senate already has a significant oversight role with regards to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that majority Democrats have continually ignored when convenient for their political goals.
“The Senate’s power of advice and consent, the power to block nominees to roles at agencies like the Port Authority, is a significant form of oversight that often isn’t employed to hold nominees accountable.
“When I noted, for example, that Democrats essentially rubber stamped the reappointment of long time Port Authority commissioner Ray Pocino, I was declared to be out of order.
“Pocino, who had already served at the Port Authority for a decade and had voted for all of the toll increases and wasteful spending that Democrats suddenly claim to abhor, should have been given a tough hearing. He wasn’t.
“When Republicans on the Senate Judiciary attempted to question Pocino during his reconfirmation hearing, Democrats on the Committee quickly shut us down. There was no interest among Democrats on the Committee, or in the full Senate, to use their constitutional power of advice and consent to hold a flawed nominee accountable for his record.
“It’s clear that Democrats only care about transparency and oversight when they can try to use it to embarrass a Republican governor. When it comes to using their existing oversight powers to examine one of their own nominees, the open book they proclaim to want quickly closes. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.”