Several New Jersey legislators and Italian-American special interest groups are asking Governor Chris Christie to block a tax credit that could pay for Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino’s GTL routine. For the tragically unhip, GTL stands for “gym, tan, laundry.”
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) approved a tax credit on Wednesday for the production company of the popular MTV show “Jersey Shore.” The funds will cover part of the expense of the show’s inaugural season in 2009. The handout was part of the first round of approvals since Gov. Christie suspended the program in 2010 in an effort to balance the state’s budget.
Defenders of the Snooki-subsidy, including the mayor of Seaside Heights where the season was filmed, say the program attracts vital tourism dollars to the Garden State.
Not everyone agrees, though. “As if they can make a show called ‘Jersey Shore’ anywhere else,” said Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlan sarcastically, in a statement to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Still others object to state taxpayer dollars paying for a show that reinforces stereotypes of Italian Americans by focusing on hard-drinking, fake-tanned, steroid-juiced “guido” characters.
“It is disparaging to Italian Americans. He should veto it, ” state Sen. Joe Vitale told the Star-Ledger.
Ultimately, the decision may be out of the Gov. Christie’s hands.
Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said: “The Governor cannot veto EDA action that is in compliance with non-discretionary, existing law. … The bottom line is that the governor has not been in favor of this tax credit, and this and other applications were in the pipeline from the prior administration.”