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A while back Steve Sweeney got himself in a little bit of hot water for a statement — for which he apologized as soon as the words were out of his mouth — that Governor Chris Christie prayed for Hurricane Sandy to come and bring cleanup jobs.
Turns out, based on the no-bid contract Christie gave to AshBritt, Sweeney was quite wrong. Christie didn’t see this as a jobs creator, but a wealth creator.
For weeks, leaders of the Florida-based AshBritt Inc. and Christie have vowed that 70 percent of the subcontractors the firm hired would be based in New Jersey.
… The figures show that New Jersey subcontractors used by AshBritt had received $26.3 million out of $46.1 million in payouts, according to numbers provided by the company to congressional staffers.
The remaining money – about $19.8 million, or 43 percent – went to companies in other states.
If Christie were really seeing this as a way to bring jobs to NJ — something he’s exhibited little interest in since canceling the tunnel to New York — then he’d be ensuring that the companies coordinating and performing the cleanup are from NJ rather than close to half of the cash going out. Instead he appears to be happy to help others create wealth instead of New Jerseyans finding jobs.
Anyone who cares about reducing unemployment in New Jersey should go off the rails at this. Bringing in subcontractors from out of state means transferring that money out of state — and the jobs. There are tens of thousands of New Jerseyans who would be pleased to take a Sandy cleanup job, even if it were temporary. They’d use that money to shop in local stores, expanding our economy and protecting existing jobs while potentially adding new ones.
Some of the contracting needs to come from out of state for the same reason the resources needed to come from out of state — we don’t have everything that’s needed in NJ. Much of the heavy equipment, materials, etc. need to come from out of state.
But there’s no reason that out of state companies should be doing the purchasing, coordinating, hiring and other things needed to restore New Jersey.