Tag Archive: Adam Gordon

Deconstructing Christie’s 1st Post-Scandal “Town Hall”: Fair Share Housing’s Adam Gordon on MSNBC

Just a few weeks ago, Chris Christie was still riding high off well-received response to the devastation in his state of an awful hurricane that destroyed the shore of New Jersey, which is both a source of revenue for the state and hundreds of small businesses, and also its emotional heart. The Jersey Shore, where rain and wind left families homeless, boardwalks ripped and a summer showplace needing to recover. To anybody watching him on TV, his pitch was perfect then. He was sleepless governor, rushing to comfort old ladies and scared little kids, too busy to change out of his storm fleece, an equal measure of get-it-done

determination, promises, and real empathy.

This is the kind of thing you can build a White House run on, and he was well on his way to doing that. And then came complaints from some of those same Sandy victims, evidence that Sandy funds were diverted away from qualifying families, discrimination was in play. And thereafter, emails and texts that tied scandals right into his inner office.

Yesterday, Christie returned to comfortable ground with his first town hall since watching his poll numbers plummet. Covering it, New York Times and Charles Stile both picked up the same

What’s Happening Today Tue. 02/04/2014

More evidence piles up that our fleece-clad super hero of Sandy may have fleeced (or over-rewarded) a number of Sandy-damaged towns and people for political reasons, discriminated against Latino and African-American applicants and renters, received large contributions from contractors through the RGA, and mishired and then had to fire a major Sandy housing contractor which had contributed to the RGA. And let’s not forget the no-bid, over-priced AshBritt debris removal firm whose lobbyist held a $3,800 per person fundraiser for Christie, with AshBritt later forced to return some of the money it overcharged municipalities.  

A shadowy figure behind Christie’s Sandy recovery program is “Czar” Marc Ferzan, who (unsurprisingly) used to work for Christie in the U. S. Attorney’s Office. Ferzan is a  powerful senior Christie staff member but seldom seen or heard. It would normally be unusual for such a high ranking official with a critically important job to hide from the public and speak through teleconferences. Of course Christie wants to take all the credit, but recently there has been increasing blame. Ferzan held one of his press teleconferences yesterday where he said, “Politics has played absolutely no role in disaster recovery.” Given past (and likely future) information, he would have a difficult time defending that position at an open give-and-take press conference. See why below the fold.

What’s Happening Today Thu. 09/12/2013

The stink lingers from AshBritt’s Sandy debris removal contract Christie initiated: Initially we learned from the NJ Comptroller’s report that AshBritt debris transport mileage calculations were over-estimated and over-billed to NJ municipalities. Based on investigation of only 8 towns the overbilling amounted to $328,942. Now we also learn that the U. S Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General’s office is “questioning Christie administration officials over how they awarded a no-bid contract to a politically connected contractor to haul the mountains of debris left by Hurricane Sandy.” Between over-billing in other municipalities and findings from Homeland Security, do not expect the stink to disappear. Maybe there will be more damning information before the gubernatorial election.

Stockton Polling Institute poll indicates that Democratic State Sen. Jim Whelan leads Republican challenger Frank Balles, the Atlantic County sheriff, by 12 percentage points in the 2nd Legislative District. Republican incumbent Assemblymen John Amodeo and Chris Brown hold leads of 4 to 6 percentage points over Democrats Vincent Mazzeo and Nick Russo.

Fair Share Housing Center (FSHC) sues the State for its failure to provide the most basic documents on why thousands of families have been denied assistance in rebuilding after Sandy. “What is the big secret around why some of the most impacted victims of Sandy are getting turned down for rebuilding money?,” FSHC Staff Attorney Adam Gordon said. “The documents that the Christie Administration are using to evaluate who gets money and who does not should be public. No more excuses, no more secrets.”

Public Schedules:

Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: 10:00am, Barbara Buono: FSCME Council 71 & Council 73 Convention, Caesar’s Atlantic City, 2100 Pacific Ave., Palladium Room, Atlantic City; Barbara Buono: 11:35am, Dom Giordano Program, WPHT 1210AM.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: 10:15am, Gov. Christie, groundbreaking for the Turtle Back Zoo Education Center, West Orange. Activists opposed to fracking may be there. 6:00pm, Christie tours a training facility and addresses members of Plumbers Local 24, West Caldwell.

NJ Senate: 1:00pm, voting session, Senate Chambers, State House, Trenton. Bills include agreeing with Christie’s conditional veto on the economic development incentive programs and allowing horse racing on the Atlantic City beach.

Senate Education Committee: 10am, Room 6, State House Annex, Trenton. Bills on loan forgiveness programs for teachers, a pilot program encouraging minority men to teach in failing schools, and allowing charter schools to limit admission to students with substance abuse problems.

NJ Transit Board Meeting: 9:00am, NJ Transit Headquarters, 1 Penn Plaza East, Newark. See today’s Record article about how the board has kept lawsuit payouts from public view.

Blue Jersey Focus – Adam Gordon on Affordable Housing

Recently, Governor Christie decided to re-appropriate funds for affordable housing to the general fund in order to help balance the budget and justify tax breaks for the wealthy. Along with the New Jersey League of Municipalities, the Fair Share Housing Center took the administration to court and won a partial victory. Before the governor can steal the funds from the municipalities, the court ordered that an appeals process needed to be followed.

It’s a complex issue, and to better understand it, I visited Fair Share Housing Center Staff Attorney (and Blue Jersey writer) Adam Gordon in his Cherry Hill office to help sort things out.