Tag Archive: Christ Christie

What to expect and not expect from tomorrow’s budget address

I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard me say is not what I meant. – Alan Greenspan (former head of the Federal Reserve)

While Gov. Christie’s most challenging  budget decisions were probably when he presented his first budget address in the midst of the Great Recession, his sixth address scheduled for tomorrow is equally difficult. Our economy and job growth are poor, and our credit ratings have tanked with the result that anticipated state revenue is below reasonable expectations placing a severe burden on meeting obligations. Major cost contributors to the  budget are unresolved including Pen/Ben, Transportation Trust Fund, and the Atlantic County crisis. Foreclosures, affordable housing, environmental needs and Sandy recovery remain unsolved.

By the time Christie presents his sixth budget one might have expected we would be in a better place, but his conflict of wanting to appeal to a conservative presidential primary base while meeting legitimate needs of his constituents only makes matters worse. We cannot expect any change in progressive or just reasonable issues such as women’s health or a tax surcharge on the wealthiest residents. Some of his language may skew more toward what the far right likes.

Newark Student Civil Disobedience: An Important Moment

Hector Maldonado, Treasurer of the Newark Students Union, gave a superb 2-minute speech at the press conference after the occupation ended:

“We fought for our rights… the fight is not over… Cami Anderson, you  need to show you can be accountable for your actions. Will you stand on the right side of history?”

NJTV captured the speech and you can view it here. It begins about 3 minutes into the video.

Kudos to the committed youth activists fighting for an important goal and facing tough odds against an implacable foe.  

“It is, it is a glorious thing

to be the Jersey King.” (Pirates of Penzance reinterpreted)

His retinue hues close to his orders and can ignore all others. But methinks the king is losing some of his authority and these youths are exposing the cracks in his armor.

A caring, sensitive governor would pay heed. However, a governor who is running for federal office may feel it too demeaning and embarrassing nationally to give in to students and admit he supported an incompetent superintendent. A governor who is in the pocket of education corporations may also feel it’s unwise to slow the progress of his wealthy donors.

Newark is beleaguered city, but the youth are playing a crucial role. Their future depends on a better education system. This was an important moment.  

Christie Hiding Behind the Fleece Coat

The fleece coat Gov. Christie wore during Sandy was a nice touch, but in the past few months and in his State of the State address Christie has failed to enunciate a vision and specific plans that might move us forward. In the past two months Christie thanked Obama, alternately pleaded and denounced Congress, walked on beaches, attended fund raising events, appointed a Sandy Czar from whom nothing has been heard, and spoke out loudly about the plight of those affected. A review of his statements issued through his press office include an announcement of FEMA releasing funds, but there is almost nothing in the way of policy recommendations or action plans. The fact is that we are relying on FEMA, other federal aid funds, insurance pay-outs and individual efforts to rebuild our damaged state.

Although Christie is limited in what he can do about Sandy, he could have staked out positions –  suggesting policy recommendations, new regulations, priorities, and deadlines regarding infrastructure improvement, transportation rebuilding, flood area management, communication networks, and more. More importantly, he could have spoken out about his plans for dealing with a host of other problems which confront our state.

The coat was nice, but hiding behind it is pointless. Today we listened to recent NJ history according to Christie. The first 10 of 12 pages of his speech revisited the past, primarily Sandy. There was much that was missing. In the speech these are some of the words that were not mentioned: revenue projection, energy, mortgage, foreclosure, housing, fire arm, gun, Atlantic City, safety net, homelessness, minimum wage, marriage equality, Medicaid expansion, health exchange, the poor, middle class, women’s health, halfway house, and highways. He mentioned jobs and the economy in terms of past accomplishments. Also missing was the discarded “Jersey Comeback.”

In terms of his goals for the future he spoke in generalities: “Rebuilding from Sandy,” “Restoring our economy,” and “Reclaiming the promise of New Jersey for future generations.” In a nutshell, he told us nothing. He did say, “Adults are now in charge,” but adults one would hope have a plan. He does not seem to have one or he just wants to assuage us with his vision of the past.

We need a more substantial response from Christie. He claims Sandy as his top priority but his control over what happens is limited. In his speech he failed to convey a vision of New Jersey post-sandy and lacked the guts to address tough, controversial reconstruction issues. Furthermore he was using Sandy to evade New Jersey’s crisis in jobs, the economy, property tax, private business, safety net, foreclosures, and more. Governor Christie holds a commanding presence on the New Jersey stage. However, we should not be fleeced by fleece.  

State Police Chief Says Christie Helicopter Denied Homeland Security and Training

OK, so he didn’t quite say that, but in trying to defend Chris Christie using a state police helicopter to go to his son’s baseball game, then to go to a political meeting about running for President with fundraisers from Iowas State Police Chief Rick Fuentes did say this:

It is important to understand that State Police helicopters fly daily homeland security missions, and use flight time for training purposes, more so lately as we acclimate our pilots to the new aircraft. These are flight hours that would be logged in any event.

So if Christie weren’t traveling to watch his son play baseball and to be courted by rich Republicans at the tax-payer funded Governor’s Mansion, that helicopter would have been flying homeland security missions and training state police personnel.


The Bully is a Coward

Like most “courageous” and “tough” members of the current GOP, Governor Chris Christie is unwilling to or incapable of stand up to the lunatic fringe of his own party.  Lately it’s been the Tea Party causing fear in the hearts of the Republican leadership, but here’s a return to the idiocy of the religious right bullying our own cherished bully:

While charming a town hall audience in Manalapan Wednesday, Gov. Chris Christie called on a woman who had an unusual question for him. She asked what he thought about creationism being taught in schools along with evolution.

The governor paused and took a sip of water, quipping, “That’s a new one.” It was also a tricky one for the governor of a moderate state whose conservative credentials help make him a GOP star. …

“I think it’s really a dangerous area for a governor who stands up from the top of the state to say you should teach this, you shouldn’t teach that,” Christie said.

No, Governor, it’s not a tough one.  Here’s what your answer should be: “Science should be taught in science classes, and religion should be taught in Sunday School.”

It ain’t rocket science, though maintaining your “conservative credentials” in the face of lunacy appears to be.

Christie: I was wrong

It’s interesting to see that after the swagger of the campaign, Chris Christie is realizing he has to honor contracts after all. You see, when unions agreed last year to take unpaid furloughs and put off a raise for 18 months, they obviously had to get something in return. That something was a “no layoff pledge” with teeth:

Christie said he was “wrong” in previously claiming that he would not be “bound by” the contract struck between unions and former Gov. Jon Corzine last June. The agreement called for 10 unpaid furlough days while deferring a wage increase in exchange for a no-layoff pledge through December 2010. It means two 3.5 percent wage increases are scheduled to take effect in the upcoming budget year, one in July and one in January.

No doubt Christie will try to drive a very hard bargain on the next contract, but Corzine did a good job in re-opening an existing contract, where he had traded pay increases for state workers having to pay for health care. When Corzine then wanted to take away the pay increases, he saved the state money while properly negotiating with the unions. Josh Zeitz puts it more unkindly:

“Chris Christie should be thanking Jon Corzine for saving him money,” Zeitz said. “It’s not Jon Corzine’s fault that he doesn’t understand the job … He should try negotiating.”

Another question is whether Christie knew he was wrong all along? I bet he did, his budget stories never held up to scrutiny, but after all, it worked. For unkindness and hilarity, let me go this time to conservative Rick Shaftan:


Christie Not Running As a Republican?

Promoted from the diaries – – by Rosi

The Chairman of the Republican Party – the Grand Ol’ Party – is reported to have said that Chris Christie is not running as a member of the party.

Richard LaRossa in PNJ reported that he has multi-sourced a comment by a frustrated Jay Webber (the bold is from the original):

According to multiple sources familiar with the meeting, an exasperated Webber blurted out: “This doesn’t help Chris Christie because Chris Christie isn’t out there running as the Republican candidate.”

Jay Webber is the hand-picked Republican state chair of Chris Christie, and also is someone who ran against an incumbent Republican to get his Assembly seat.  And he says that Christie is not running as the Republican candidate.

Now, from a strategic perspective that’s probably the right move.  Republicans are a significant minority in the state, and haven’t won in a long time.  The positions of the Republican platform are unpopular in the state, so running an honest campaign and telling the voters of New Jersey what he actually intends to do would be a loser.

Christie cannot — and Webber admits this — win a campaign by telling the truth about what he wants to do as Governor.  He has to stick to platitudes like “end corruption” and “cut taxes” without telling anything about his real plans.

Which is why he won’t tell us his real plans.  It’s why he won’t say what parts of the budget he will cut, how many employees he plans to lay off, what departments he intends to gut, what policies he wants to pursue.  

All he will do is stand there and say, “I put people in jail!  Cut taxes!”

Because telling the truth, for Christie, is a loser.

Terrorist Tried To Turn In FBI Informant — For Terrorism!

When I first heard of the Fort Dix Six terror bust I was suspicious.  The Bush administration doesn’t have an excellent record of announcing big terror news and having it stand up. 

There’s the repeated political use of terror alerts, which suspiciously stopped right after the 2004 election. 

There’s the “home grown” Florida terrorists who the government claimed wanted to destroy the Sears Tower in Chicago but had no plan, no weapons and the only contact they had with al Qaeda was with the FBI informants. 

Now we have an amazing new twist to the Fort Dix Six where one of the “terrorists” Chris Christie arrested this week: he tried to turn in the FBI informant for plotting to attack Fort Dix!

Also, one of the men, Tatar, called a Philadelphia police officer in November, saying that he had been approached by someone who was pressuring him to obtain a map of Fort Dix, and that he feared the incident was terrorist-related, according to court documents.

Did Christie and the FBI know that one of their terrorists was trying to foil the terrorist plot?  And did the FBI or the US Attorney General tell the Philadelphia Police to back off?  It’s another couple questions some enterprising reporter should ask him.