Cross posted from my blog at Epoch Times
The Exxon Deal
Like many New Jersey residents, I was appalled to find out that Gov. Chris Christie’s Administration interfered in the Exxon pollution lawsuit and prevented what would have been an incredible windfall for New Jersey, by cutting a secretive deal that would not even cover the costs of the gigantic cleanup that was at the heart of the $8.9 Billion court case.
So Many Questions
Did the Governor do it to pay back Exxon for donating half a million dollars to the Republican Governors Association which helped Christie, then head of the RGA?
Did he do it to bolster his boast in Iowa a week later that he spent the last five years dismantling the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection?
Did he do it to protect his claim to the Nero Award, an award I just invented for leaders so narcissistic that they basically fiddle while their state burns down financially, or gets poisoned by the Emperor’s friends?
Did he do it because he needs an enemy and if the Pension problem goes away because NJ just got enough of a windfall to pay for that, he won’t have a union to fight to make himself look better than Scott Walker?
Did he do it because of what Naomi Klein dubbed the Shock Doctrine? Would a large award have interfered with Christie bringing NJ to its knees so that we would blame any scapegoat he threw at us – teachers, cops, firefighters, or environmental regulations, and allow him to do anything that he promised would help us, like more tax cuts for donors to his presidential campaign?
Did the Governor, for short term and short-sighted gain only, settle at 3 cents on the dollar because he just wanted to avoid raising taxes so he could brag about that – the very same reason he soaked every commuter traveling across the GWB for tolls rather than raise taxes to fund our empty Transportation Trust Fund?
Did he do it just because it was other people’s money, and like he always orders the most expensive steak or chooses a five star hotel on someone else’s dime, or brings his entire family along when he gets a free trip somewhere on a private jet, or spends $82,000 on snacks at football games, he didn’t care.
Did he do it simply, like when he killed the ARC tunnel after years of planning by others, so he could raid that pile of money to plug holes in the budget? (I can’t help but think Christie, enamored of private jet travel, didn’t mind killing mass transit because East Coast City Dwellers who tend to vote Democrat appear to prefer trains to the pickup trucks of rural Iowa voters.)
Did he look at the short term settlement the same way he views the hard earned pennies saved by NJ state workers who dutifully paid parts of their salaries into the pension system – as a pile of money he can steal for other purposes at the very same time he insults those very same workers whose sweat he is profiting off of by handing over millions of fees to his hedge fund donors?
Did he do it because he loves pollution caused by the energy industry? NJ certainly won’t be able to clean up the mess Exxon left with the paltry settlement that Christie plans to raid for other purposes. After all, he had the law changed to allow said raid and the settlement includes other contaminated sites throughout the state.
Did he do it because offering prime publicly owned real estate like Liberty State Park to private interests can only be done if NJ is short on cash?
Did he do it just to appeal to the Republican base, like he did when turning down Federal matching funds for women’s health care? Or to appeal to his donors?
Or was it all of the above?
I am starting to see a pattern here, and I don’t like it.