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>Angry New Jersey unions see few options

>Angry New Jersey unions see few options
Published: Monday, June 27, 2011, 1:45 AM

By Chris Megerian and Matt Friedman
Statehouse Bureau

It felt like a bad breakup, complete with angry tirades and tearful pleading.

Special to the Sunbeam/Patty Irwin
Public worker unions have lashed out at Democrats who backed the pension and health benefits cuts.

New Jersey Democrats have spent years locked arm-in-arm with unions, but the historical alliance frayed last week as the Democrats who control the Legislature pushed through a plan to cut public worker benefits.

Now unions, like scorned lovers, are promising payback at the ballot box.
“You screw us today, we’ll screw you in November!” one union member shouted during last Thursday’s Statehouse protest, the first of three that drew thousands to Trenton.

But it’s unclear what, if anything, unions can do to retaliate against Democrats this fall, when all 120 seats in the Legislature are up for election. After spending generations as a feared political force in Trenton, they may be only a paper tiger come election time.

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