(TRENTON, OCTOBER 17) - Republican gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler today issued the following statement on the steps of the Statehouse in Trenton:
“Anyone who collects antiques should pick up some Garden State Parkway tokens before January. Those tokens are going to be valuable collectibles one day -- because the Parkway tolls are coming down within nine months of my taking office.
“Every toll barrier on the Garden State Parkway is a barrier to safer, cleaner and more efficient transportation in the state of New Jersey. There’s no reason we can’t give New Jersey drivers a better road at a lower cost. However, it will take a governor with the courage to say ’NO’ to the special interests in Trenton, who want higher tolls and higher taxes to pay for more government spending.
“My plan to eliminate Parkway tolls will reduce revenues to the government by approximately $135 million per year. That’s less than ½ of 1 percent of the state budget. On the other hand, Jim McGreevey wants to spend at least $1.5 billion more of your tax dollars each year to establish 62 new government programs. Think about that for a moment. I want to save you the time, cost and aggravation of tolls. Jim McGreevey says we can’t afford to take down the tolls, but we can afford to put in place 62 new government programs that will cost billions in higher taxes. I can’t think of a better way to show New Jersey why we need to change the way Trenton works.”
Connecticut Governor John Rowland and leaders of the anti-toll army, Citizens Against Tolls, joined Schundler at the rally in Trenton to support his efforts to eliminate tolls on the Garden State Parkway. Governor Rowland echoed Schundler’s comments:
“Connecticut eliminated its tolls and the result has been tremendous. Our roads are safer and in good repair. New Jersey’s roads won’t suffer if you take down the Parkway tolls. I am proud that Bret Schundler has taken a strong leadership role on this issue. New Jersey’s drivers will be lucky to have him behind the wheel as their next governor.”
Schundler says New Jersey’s drivers deserve action from its leaders, not talk.
“When I first announced my support for eliminating Parkway tolls, Jim McGreevey and all the Trenton insiders said it couldn’t be done. My, how times have changed. Now Jim McGreevey says he wants to end tolls, but he will only commit to doing so in less than ten years -- TEN YEARS. In politics, ‘ten years’ means ‘one day less than NEVER.’ If Connecticut was able to eliminate its tolls in six months, I think we can eliminate New Jersey’s parkway tolls in nine months. All it takes is the courage to say ‘NO’ to the special interests and change the way we do business in Trenton.”