New Jersey's new Republican Gov. Chris Christie is not amused by an internal memo from a Bergen County teachers' union official, which "prays" for his death.

Here is the passage in question, in a memo sent to thousands of teachers by union head Joe Coppola:

"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."

Coppola says it was a joke and wasn't intended to be public. The memo was leaked to the press.

"Obviously, it's inappropriate. I would never wish anybody dead," said Joe Coppola, who is President of the BCEA. Coppola signed the firey memo which also encourages union members to "get some dirt" and "go public" with attacks on Christie and the state's Education Commissioner, Bret Schundler.

When speaking to CNN, Coppola was more contrite, saying the incident was "inappropriate, it was in bad taste, and it was definitely in poor judgment."

Christie expressed his displeasure, but adopted a calm tone, declining to call it a "threat."

"We can have honest disagreements about policy," the governor said at a news conference Friday. "But I am sure there are teachers all across New Jersey when they learn about this today who are going to be ashamed."

He added, "I wonder what the children of New Jersey will think when the leadership of the teachers union is praying for their governor to die."

Just a data point for when our friends on the left lecture us once again about the need to raise the tone of dialogue. If Coppola doesn't pay a price for the death wish, surely he'll pay a price for the prayer, right? I mean, these are public school teachers, for goodness' sake!

New Jersey unions are going nuclear on Christie because he wants them to contribute a part of their salary to pay for their health care and accept wage freezes and cuts to help save New Jersey from its fiscal crisis.

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