Tag Archive: 2013

How do you spell hypocrisy? C-H-R-I-S-T-I-E

This Governor is truly stunning with his hypocrisy.  Remember just last week he said this about his own time as Governor in New Jersey, what happens next and what’s relevant:

“It erased the blackboard Absent Sandy, the speech would be totally different. But once Sandy came, I can’t imagine that there’s anything else that’s relevant as governor to talk about.”

Ok, some may not agree with that.  But he can have that opinion.  Until he comes up with this nonsense last night on a taping with Steve Audubato:

In the video clip, he says:

President Obama “executed very well on leadership during the storm.  That doesn’t in any way change my view of his failure to lead in the first three years of his administration on a whole wide variety of issues.”

Talk about a different standard. So the President can be held accountable for what happened before, but Christie can’t?  Oh come on.  As Rosi noted in her diary, here is what Senate Democrats had to say about the situation:

“Apparently, the governor does not feel that 9.6% unemployment, the second highest foreclosure rate in the nation, a shrinking middle class, or an increasing poverty rate are relevant.  Perhaps he should look in the mirror if he wants to attack someone for their “failure to lead in the first three years of his administration on a whole wide variety of issues.”

It seemed like Governor Cuomo in New York was able to walk and chew gum with his State of the State yesterday, but Christie seems to be stuck in his own hypocrisy and as Assemblywoman Watson Coleman noted, was only able to give a state of the storm. Talk about hypocrisy.

What’s next for EPA Chief Lisa Jackson?

Promoted by Interested Observer: Will she throw her hat in the ring to challenge Christie? Would you support her if she did?

NYT reports she is in fact stepping down as head of the EPA.

E.P.A. Chief to Step Down, With Climate Still Low Priority

Will she come back to NJ? Run for Governor? U.S. Senate?  Congressman Pascrell’s seat if he runs for Governor?

I know a lot of the Big E environmental groups are not particularly enamored of Lisa Jackson’s tenure as either EPA Chief or NJDEP Commissioner.

But I saw her speak in Louisiana when I was running state communications there for Repower America.

I walked away extremely impressed, she spoke from the heart about her experiences with environmental waste, toxics, cancer and the impact of these threats on communities and families.

And as someone who grew up in the heart of Superfund country near the Arthur Kill, I can tell who really bleeds green and who doesn’t very very quickly.

Christie Whitman bleeds green for instance — but that’s a story for another day.

Lisa Jackson gets it, she knows what the environmental realities are and she knows what the political realities are. I’ve never bought the naysaying about her commitment to environmental protection.

Jackson grew up in Louisiana not far from cancer alley and spent her career with the EPA in Region 2 overseeing Superfund and toxic cleanup programs. Degrees in Chemical Engineering from Princeton and Tulane.

You can’t have those experiences and not be committed to environmental protection and reform.

If politics is not in the cards for Jackson, I hope one of the Big E environmental groups pick her as their next President, Chair or ED.  

Wisniewski won’t run for Governor

In a statement just distributed by New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Wisniewski, he makes clear that he will not make a run for Governor in 2013:

“I am announcing today that I will not seek the 2013 Democratic nomination for New Jersey Governor. The decision has not been an easy one, but after much discussion with supporters, friends and family, I have come to the conclusion that it is not the right time for me to pursue a statewide campaign for full-time public office, and that my obligations to my family and business should take precedence. I will, however, seek to remain in public office by seeking re-election to the New Jersey General Assembly, so that I can continue the fight on behalf of New Jersey’s middle class families and in support of issues I consider important to the future of our state.

So the Chairman says he will seek his Assembly seat again, but his decision doesn’t mean he’s ok with Chris Christie:

I make this decision confident that there are a number of talented New Jersey Democrats capable of mounting a strong challenge to Governor Christie next year and firm in the belief that Democrats are fully capable of recapturing the Governor’s office in 2013. While the incumbent has recently earned praise for his response to Hurricane Sandy, the fact remains that his policies have overwhelmingly favored New Jersey’s wealthy at the expense of struggling families and have not represented the values of the people of our state. As New Jersey Democratic Chairman, I look forward to electing our candidate for Governor and returning a Democratic majority to the General Assembly and Senate in 2013.”

So what will be the next shoe to drop in the 2013 version of musical chair, Governor style?

Christie is running again, but is the LG?

Chris Christie held a press conference today to talk about Hurricane Recovery and name a ‘storm czar’ (ironic because of how much Republicans have demonized that position) to oversee the efforts.  

But reporters also wanted to ask him about filing for re-election and he was asked about whether he would be running with the Lieutenant Governor again. The Governor said he hadn’t spoken to her about it yet, but planned to in the coming weeks and that he was pleased with her service.

We know that Christie has filed, but do you think he could replace the LG on his ticket and if so, who would he choose? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

A Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate: Better Sooner Than Later

Governor Christie appears increasingly vulnerable in his re-election bid for a second term. A just-released Quinnipiac poll indicates, Chris Christie has been touted as a rising star in the Republican Party. But even giving the keynote speech at last week’s party convention in Florida hasn’t lifted his approval rating back home. A Rutgers-Eagleton poll, already written about in Blue Jersey here indicated, 47 percent of respondents said they’re ready to re-elect him and 46 percent said it’s time for someone new.

On the other hand NJ Democrats are far from united as to their choice for a gubernatorial candidate. Several candidates are clearly interested. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage, former Majority Leader and now Senator Barbara Buono (D-18), former Governor and now Senator Richard Codey (D-27), Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and N.J. State Democratic Committee Chair and Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) are among those mentioned. NJSpotlight writes, While most of the state’s leading Democratic figures were in Charlotte, Sen. Dick Codey brought them thumping back to earth — some say reality — with his comment on the condition of the party in New Jersey: “We’ve got to stop letting party bosses dictate our agenda and enabling Mr. Christie, when he’s wrong, to succeed.”

It may well be that we will not have a clear candidate until after the primary. However, the more protracted and divisive the competition, the more difficult it may be to heal the wounds and achieve victory in November 2013. For me it’s important to reduce party boss influence and to nominate a progressive. While we need not rush to a decision, having a candidate sooner is better than later. Governor Christie may be vulnerable but he is also formidable. Furthermore, he is already in campaign mode. As President Obama has said, “Let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the absolutely necessary.” Defeating Christie is what is “absolutely necessary.”  

Why Christie will be re-elected

If the authors of this analysis are correct Chris Christie should be re-elected in a landslide.

I’ll leave it to others to disagree with this article, but I’m really not surprised. For all his faults on policy and ideology, Christie has shown himself to be a consummate politician and tactician. And while we may disagree about his solutions to New Jersey’s problems, at least Christie acknowledges that the status quo is unacceptable, especially when the issue is failing urban schools despite record amounts of money spent. Ironically, despite his ample physique, Christie has exhibited more energy and enthusiasm than any of his predecessors, especially Jon Corzine. Voters appreciate that, even if they disagree on policy issues.

And to those Democrats who think the solution to urban problems and other issues is to raise taxes and increase spending well, as the article implies, get ready to spend an awful lot of time in the political wilderness.

Does Christie’s budget strategy mean no re-election bid?

As interested observer pointed out yesterday, Christie’s governorship relies on frequent distraction. And it really relies on distraction in this budget season, with a proposed tax cut for millionaires that can only be funded by ignoring the real revenue projections and, now, massive borrowing to fund transportation projects. Christie is on his way to making Christine Todd Whitman and Jim McGreevey look like masters of fiscal restraint.

Does this signify that Christie isn’t running for re-election in 2013? Here’s the storyline: Christie declares “mission accomplished” and bows out. The next Governor (likely a Democrat) is left to deal with the bill that comes due and Christie’s minions and Christie himself spin it as his or her fault for not following the Christie course. Meanwhile, Christie runs a morning show on Fox News and prepares to run in 2016.

What’s the alternative? The bill might not come due soon enough to hurt Christie in 2013. But there’s a real risk that it becomes a total mess soon after – and one he can’t spin away on the Democrats in the Legislature, while unemployment in NJ remains higher than surrounding states and the Governor’s big money in Xanadu goes bust. Even conservative columnists start turning on Christie.

Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have to happen that way. But there’s significant risk there. Maybe enough so that Christie doesn’t run for re-election.

It’s all speculation at this point – and we probably won’t really know anything until after November. And I could very easily see Christie gambling on a triumphant second term buoyed by a national economic comeback that helps fill the budget holes. We shall see.

Ah, the League

The annual League of Municipalities Convention is really 3 things at once – an educational experience on better governance for new and veteran elected officials; a marketing opportunity for existing and would-be public sector vendors; and a networking opportunity for incumbent and future politicians. Having attended this week’s convention in (at least) one of those capacities, here’s a Lucky 7 recap of what I came away with, in no particular order:

1- Yes, the 2013 race for Governor has begun. While I’m not sure it will really take off until Congressional Redistricting is finished, it’s pretty clear who the big 3 potential candidates are right now – Steve Sweeney, Barbara Buono and Dick Codey – each of whom have a solid core of supporters, with little crossover from one to the other. Honorable mention would go to Wiz, who shouldn’t be counted out just yet. But, that’s pretty much it.

Blue Jersey Focus: Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (Part 2)

This past Saturday, I sat down with Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula to conduct a video interview. Part 1 was posted on Blue Jersey here. Part 2 appears below the fold.

Following the interview, I met with the Assemblyman and his press aide for over an hour for an off-the-record discussion of New Jersey politics and other topics.  I don’t know if there’s a word in Hindi or Punjabi for “mensch”, but I came away realizing that the assemblyman from Central Jersey is one. He may not have the pizzazz that some of his colleagues exhibit, but I believe he has a passion for service, both in his legislative life and his “civilian” profession – developing learning software for autistic kids.  He may be the first Indian-American to serve in the New Jersey legislature, but his concerns transcend ethnic boundaries.