Last month, NJ Governor Chris Christie has slashed funding for schools by $820 million, dismaying many. And when a Bergen County representative of the New Jersey Education Association sent a memo basically hoping for the new governor's death, Christie wasted no time in slamming the memo, “I’m sure there are teachers all across New Jersey who … are going to be ashamed. I wonder what the children of New Jersey will think when the leadership of the teachers union is praying for the governor to die?”
The memo, which the Bergen Record reported on earlier in the week, closes with, "Dear Lord … this year you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, and my favorite salesman, Billy Mays. … I just wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor." The memo was signed by Bergen County Education Association president Joe Coppola, who said the joke was never meant to be public, "Obviously, it's inappropriate. I would never wish anybody dead."
Still, One Republican lawmaker said Coppola should resign, but Coppola told the Record that he's not quitting and he's been trying to apologize to Christie. He added, "My [89-year-old] mother said [to me] you’re lucky your father is not alive." And NJEA president Barbara Keshishian also said, "I really think this is being blown totally out of proportion. It’s a very unfortunate incident.… I don’t believe that NJEA members will consider it anything to be ashamed of, especially when they know their state organization has issued a formal apology."