Bullying can seem like a good tactic, but if you’re actually on weaker ground it’s a risky strategy. Chris Christie decided to divert the ARC Tunnel money to other uses, and cost the federal government $271 million dollars. Then he rejected any deals, such as the one our Senators worked out where half the money would have come back to New Jersey. Secretary of Transportation — and Republican — Ray LaHood still wants his money back, though he said will accept a payment plan over time. So far Christie’s strategy is a complete failure. As our Senators said in a joint statement today,
“This is an unfortunate situation. We worked hard to get the parties to negotiate a fair resolution of this conflict. However the state’s outside lawyers pursued an all or nothing approach, which brings substantial risk to New Jersey taxpayers. Given the high stakes involved in this matter, we hope the state’s approach is ultimately successful,” the Senators said.