For the first four year Christie had his moment in the NJ sun: With Republican Assemblyman John Amodeo’s concession yesterday that he lost his 2nd District seat to Democrat Vince Mazzeo it is now official that the Democrats retained their 48 of 80 seats in the Assembly. Democrats also retained their 24 of 40 seats in the Senate. Gov. Christie won the gubernatorial election with 60% of the votes, and Democratic legislators won by capturing 60% of the seats in each house. Governor Christie may think he has a mandate, but the Democratic legislators have every reason to assert that they have just as much of a mandate. With Christie casting his vision nationally, some of his flaws becoming increasingly apparent, and his support for Republican campaigning legislators almost nonexistent, now is the time for our Democratic legislators to step up their leadership. Christie has had his moment in the New Jersey sun, but his recent failed attempt to remove Republican Senate leader Tom Kean from his post, ongoing unrest from Sandy victims, the current contretempts with the Port Authority, his continuing poor performance regarding jobs and the economy all suggest his power may be starting to unravel and that his shtick is wearing thin on New Jerseyans.
On the Portfront: Deafening silence from Gov. Christie: During the recent legislative hearings it became apparent that Christie appointee to the NY/NJ Port Authority David Wildstein ordered the “aberrant” and “illegal” lane closures. Cedrick Fulton, Director, Tunnels, Bridges & Terminals, testified that Wildstein said he would notify the Port Authority Executive Director and Fort Lee officials about the matter, as routinely required. Christie Appointee Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni testified he knew in advance about the action. Nonetheless, Executive Director Patrick Foye said neither individual informed him about the closures. Why did they fail to notify the ED and Fort Lee officials? It may have seemed humorous when Christie last week said, “I worked the cones actually,” but the results were chaotic and Christie was just trying to sidestep the reporter’s questions. It was his appointees (Baroni and Wildstein) who caused the problem, hid it from others, and attempted to obfuscate the matter. In the meantime there is deafening silence from their boss Chris Christie. He bears responsibility for what happened. So what’s up Gov?
Call for President Obama to stop deportations: Eight protesters were arrested yesterday (International Human Rights Day) in a civil disobedience action in Elizabeth showing solidarity with detainees and their families. The U.S. has deported over 1.5 million people under the Obama administration and roughly 1,000 people continue to be scheduled for deportation each day. When will Republicans agree that protecting our borders is no more important than protecting human rights?
Gov. Christie: In Vermont to speak at the Republican Winter Gala fundraiser.
Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Courage to Connect New Jersey: 10:45am, news conference to call for simpler state laws and initial-study seed funding to encourage municipal and school district mergers, Statehouse’s Room 209.