Scutari ‘Bewildered’ By Opposition To Amendment

NJ's Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards dismissed a complaint filed by Linden Mayor Derek Armstead against state Senator Nick Scutari. The complaint alleged that a Scutari ally had intimidated Armstead's allies, tried to deny their civil rights and attempted to force them out of a Democratic County Committee race.

Saying in his opening statement that he’s ‘bewildered’ by the opposition to the redistricting amendment of which he’s a prime sponsor, Senator Scutari urged the public to read the amendment instead of jumping to conclusions, and decried ‘fear-mongering’ statements made by the amendment’s opponents.

Taking questions from Senate State Government Committee members during this morning’s hearing, Scutari in his opening statement said people should ‘stop throwing around words like gerrymandering, saying he ‘simplified what’s in the bill’.

He added that many of the coalitions now in opposition were in support of an almost-identical version in 2015, saying it had unanimous support from progressive groups.  “Other than the opposition to the change for who makes the selections to sit on the reapportionment commission, and I just can’t for the life of me think that you would be against giving elected officials the opportunity to make those selections rather than what you would call party bosses’.

‘I have read the bill, and I’m a lawyer, and it took a while to figure out what the heck is going on’, said one GOP Senator.

Several opponents of the amendment responded that they have read the amendment, with Dena Mottola Jaborska of NJ Citizen Action saying Scutari’s statement was ‘insulting’.

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