Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28) said Senator Nick Scutari (D-22) should pay a severe penalty for the way he addressed state Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28) in public on Thursday’s session conference call.
“Senator Scutari should resign,” Caputo told InsiderNJ.
He also called on Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) to censure Scutari.
Caputo serves as Rice’s district-mate.
The pair ran on opposing slates in 2007 and later forged peace and later a real alliance.
“He is the most authentic person in the New Jersey Legislature and a person of great integrity,” Caputo said. “How dare he say what he said about Senator Rice. It was absolutely disgusting.”
In response to Rice criticizing Scutari over the marijuana legalization bill, Scutari yelled the following at Rice:
“You haven’t done a thing for the communities we represent. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. …You haven’t done a thing for your community.”
There was some context to the scrap.
Rice and Scutari had to be separated in the caucus room in September after the two men intensified their public spat over marijuana decriminalization.
Senator Troy Singleton (D-7) pulled Rice away from Scutari after the two men went nose-to-nose.
The senators exchanged words at close range.
They amounted to the following:
“Why do you continue to hold the bill down?” the senator from Newark wanted to know.
Rice’s bill was interfering with what Scutari is trying to accomplish, the Union County senator shot back.
There’s bad blood there, and Scutari reminded Rice of that fact.
In a Sept. 4th letter to Senate President Sweeney, Rice suggested that the Senate Judiciary Committee chair be replaced by a member willing to advance marijuana decriminalization bill S-2535 to immediately correct blatant social injustice in New Jersey.