Tag Archive: Michele Brown

Will Chris Christie Sarah Palin himself to TV?

This afternoon, Mark Bonamo at Politicker has a tip from a source who says Gov. Chris Christie will stay in the 2016 White House race until the New Hampshire primary, then take a job in TV. Sarah Palin did something like that, leaving her duly-elected job (that she sucked at) to be a FOX News contributor and even a reality show.

Christie jumps to TV …So what would that look like?

Have You Heard About My Tough-Love Mama?

Christie interviews Heartland Republicans about the Wisdom of their Mothers. Catholic Television Network

It’s My Mendham – with Chris & Mary Pat

LIVE Q & A from the Mendham Starbucks. Each week, the Christies answer questions from new residents on how to hire a pool boy, equestrian wear and more. Local cable.

My Wingwoman

Hijinks and the high-life as a famous fictional governor, played by former Gov. Chris Christie travels the country on private planes to 5-star hotels. Along for the ride his favorite “aide,” played by former NJ Economic Development chief Michele Brown in her first publicly co-starring role. TV Land

Adventures in School Reform

Current affairs discussion. Live from a Undisclosed Location in Newark and under heavy security, where Christie reminds viewers each episode he was born, leading lights of the school reform movement brought from New York by limousine are interviewed. Topics range from counseling out autistics, how to rig student test scores, and the pros and cons of smart offshore investing. FOX News

So You Think You Can Govern?

Advice show with humorous edge. Each week 3 new mayors discuss problems their residents bring to them, and Gov. Christie tells them how to tell their constituents to go fuck themselves. FOX TV

Project Chris’s Way

Orange sweaters. Statement ties. Pin-striped suits. Fledgling designers compete for top prizes by designing menswear for the active average-sized American man. Sponsored by Londoners of Livingston. BRAVO

Political Apprentice

Spin-off from executive producer Donald Trump. NBC

Who Wants to be a Millionaire

Wealthy Republican voters & GOP governors seek advice from the former NJ Governor on how to teach the poor to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps. Subscription only

Wait, Wait, Sit Down and Shut Up

Premiere offering in NPR’s effort to expand their listenership to more conservative Americans. Host: Chris Christie. NPR

Batman

Spin-off of Gotham crime drama based on characters from the DC Comics Batman franchise. Christie plays Gotham City’s hard-nosed prosecutor. Not yet cast: Loretta Weinberg as Catwoman. FOX TV

Jersey Shore II

The return of MTV’s popular reality show updated to focus on the boisterous fun of the Garden State’s posh set. In the first episode, Mantaloking, Just Looking, , argument erupts over martinis about dunes, with guest star former Gov. Chris Christie playing himself, making the argument for high, well-built dunes to protect oceanfront properties. Richard Stender plays himself. Production delayed until federal investigation of NJ handling of Hurricane Sandy funds is resolved.

Anger Management II (Working Title: Fantasy Football)

Spin-off of popular Charlie Sheen series about a one-time minor league baseball player beset by anger issues. Here, it’s a football player in his first NFL year. Starring Nick Lachey as the troubled Charlie Badson, with Chris Christie as Coach, teaching him an explosive personality can be useful in the gridiron sport. FX

19 Indictments and Counting

Former Assemblyman and unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor John Wisniewski hosts this documentary series recreating the cover-up to the scandals that brought down former Gov. Chris Christie, now serving 4 years in federal prison. With John Goodman as Christie, Richard Schiff as David Wildstein, Amy Poehler as Bridget Kelly, Tina Fey as Dawn Zimmer, Alec Baldwin as Mark Sokolich, Glenn Close as Kim Guadagno, Ralph Fiennes as Michael Drewniak, Kathy Bates as Loretta Weinberg, James Cromwell as Wisniewski. And the late Vincent Gardenia as the “late” David Samson.

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Michele Brown, Why do we so often find you in the middle of Chris Christie’s malarkey?

We already know that if Chris Christie doesn’t like the rules, he won’t follow them. Scandals under investigation by both federal and state officers (including a federal grand jury investigating possible criminal charges) are looking at possible gross violations of ethical conduct, abuse of power and possibly even illegal acts that may have been committed by Christie or by his close operatives in an administration we know he holds the reins tight. Today we find out – poof! – rules everybody else has to play by have been pushed aside so yet another friend of the Governor’s can rake in the cash. And once again, who do we see right in the middle of it? Michele Brown.  

More than 1,000 pages of FOIA records-request documents on Bill Baroni released by Port Authority

Today, more than 1,000 pages of documents related to Bill Baroni’s time working for the Port Authority of New York & NJ were released to the public. The docs, obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records request to the PA by progressive PAC American Bridge show meetings with senior advisors to Gov. Chris Christie and expense account records and tickets related to Baroni’s travel in 2013. American Bridge lists NJ and Christie first in a list of issues they’re monitoring.

Review the full 1,000-plus pages of FOIA-requested docs here.

There’s no overt mention in Baroni’s calendar of the GWB scheme. But among items that jump out:  

Federal audit: MWW says, essentially, Bring it on.

MWW, the politically-connected firm that got the multi-million dollar contract to produce tourism ads promoting the Jersey Shore, says its been misrepresented in the press, and that it welcomes a federal audit into how the Christie administration spent federal Sandy recovery funds. An MWW spokesman said (emphasis, mine):

“Given widely inaccurate reporting on Stronger than the Storm, we welcome the Inspector General’s report. It will show that MWW’s proposal included no mention or suggestion of using the governor in the paid advertising campaign. The decision to include the governor was arrived at after the contract was awarded, based on timing, availability, and federal expenditure rules. Assertions to the contrary are simple incorrect.

Well, that’s damned interesting, given that it was Michele Brown that led the bid evaluation process, heading up a 6-person committee charged with making the selection. Michele Brown, you remember, is a former colleague from Christie’s days running the U.S. Attorney’s office. She is also the recipient of considerable and questionable Christie largesse – including a $46,000 mortgage when she was Christie’s employee, and a high-paying job she wasn’t particularly qualified for.

MWW says the Inspector General probe will turn up a lower final proposal – not a higher one as has been widely reported – than the company whose proposal was not chosen.

In case you forgot what it was that we were stronger than …



 

Stronger than the delay

On August 7, the Asbury Park Press requested information through the Open Public Records Act regarding the Stronger than the Storm  ad campaign.  As we approach the new year, they’re still waiting:

To date, none of the transcripts, notes, memoranda, e-mails, texts or minutes from the evaluation committee’s meetings has been made public.

Remember, this was the ad campaign where one company proposed a more costly option putting the Governor in the advertising at a time he was running for re-election, while the other proposal did not. So what has been turned over then in the months since the request you might ask?

The state has provided 179 pages of documents in response to the Press’ records request but many of the pages lack detail or duplicate what was already given to the newspaper after previous requests.

This seems to have turned into standard Christie administration practice. They stall and push deadlines in turning over documents and then criticize people who continue to question why the documents they are entitled to haven’t been provided. Good for the Asbury Park Press for continuing to seek answers.

Christie promotes another former US Attorney colleague – to NJ Atty General

Gov. Chris Christie today nominated his current chief of staff, Kevin O’Dowd as NJ Attorney General. He’s asked the state senate to confirm him during the lame duck session, which ends in just 43 days. Christie also named Regina Egea, now director of the authorities unit, to replace O’Dowd as his COS.

In his first term, Christie has positioned a number of former colleagues from when he ran the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey into positions of influence. Legitimate questions have been asked both about Christie politicizing that office while he had it, in sharp difference from requirements that U.S. attorneys exercise their responsibilities without inappropriate political considerations. And he has made some questionable decisions in promoting some to high government positions they may not be qualified for.

Without question, like most of those promoted from the former ranks of Christie’s U.S. Attorney Office stable, it’s easy to see that loyalty to the boss would be an attractive qualification for Christie in picks like this one. And also without question, O’Dowd is an intelligent and capable lawyer, or he wouldn’t have lasted in the Christie-centric jobs he’s had for 10 years; chief of staff to Christie, deputy chief counsel to Christie, and 7 years as United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, much of it under Christie. O’Dowd’s wife also works in the Christie administration; Mary O’Dowd, is the commissioner of the Department of Health.

With the added scrutiny of Christie’s still-unofficial but ramping 2016 ambitions and some of the debatable staffing staffing decisions he’s made as governor, I would hope the Senate applies some process to such an important nomination. But the quotes below, from the Senate President, Senate Republican Leader and Assembly Republican Leader, it’s unclear where the will for a reasoned examination of O’Dowd would come from in the senate confirmation process to come.  

QoTD: Bradley Beach Edition

Chris Christie’s heavily-promoted, and carefully stage-managed pre-Labor Day victory lap around the Jersey Shore hit a snag today, when New Jerseyans less inclined to laud the showman governor mixed in with his adoring crowd.

This is what one Asbury Park man, who declined to give his name, yelled at the gladhanding Christie:

“I guess your house was fixed after Sandy. Well mine wasn’t. And I have to sit and watch a $2 million commercial with this guy parading around like he’s done something.”

Actually, he’s wrong. The ads weren’t $2 million. They were more. It was $2 million extra the Christie administration paid, over the lowest bid, for ads that promoted Gov. Christie and his family. And that wasn’t even all people showed up to say to their governor today. Star Ledger has it.

QoTD: Ledger slams Michele Brown’s decision on those #STTS Christie promotional ads now costing you

Today’s Quote of the Day comes from Star-Ledger’s editorial today: Gov. Christie’s shameless $2M self-promotion. Frankly, the whole piece is quotable and right now heavily shared on Facebook. As it should be:

Gov. Chris Christie’s habit of using his public office to promote his presidential ambitions has reached a new low.

We’ve seen him do it before. He closed down six Planned Parenthood clinics to appease right-wing primary voters. He’s dragged his feet relentlessly over medical marijuana and dismissed concerns over climate change for the same reason. This fall he is wasting taxpayer money by holding an election in October, in addition to the regularly scheduled November election, solely to protect the large victory margin he expects for his party.

But this time, he’s outdone himself. This time, he siphoned off money that was intended for victims of Sandy to promote himself in a series of TV ads. That is a new low, one that should play prominently in his campaign for re-election.

But that’s not even what the Ledger is dealing with this morning; no, they’re all about the choice made by Michele Brown – y’all remember her, right? – and her decision to bypass a qualified lower bidder for post-Sandy tourism ads in favor of the politically-connected MWW.

And what did MWW propose for their higher price? Ads featuring Christie (to whom Brown is still making loan payments) and his family. Which, they point out, would be illegal in New York state and should be here. For ads playing here and outside Jersey, where he needs votes to run for president. Ledger:

What makes this so offensive is that the money comes from federal aid intended for storm victims. So the next time the governor visits the Shore to take credit for Washington’s help, maybe the families and small business owners who are still on their knees can ask the governor why he ranked his own self-promotion as a higher priority than their relief.

Boom.

Changes at the Economic Development Authority Will Cost The Taxpayers

promoted by Rosi

After serving over 18 years and Governors of both parties, it was announced the other day that Caren Franzini would be resigning as head of the Economic Development Authority. Also announced, her replacement will be long-time Christie aide Michele Brown.

Ms. Brown’s appointment was recommended by the chairman of the authority’s board, Alfred C. Koeppe, an appointee of Mr. Christie, and was approved unanimously by board members on Wednesday. She will make $225,000 in her new post – a raise from the $140,000 she earns as the governor’s aide.

The Record let readers know what Christie thinks of the EDA:

Brown’s arrival puts a Christie confidante at the head of the EDA, which he describes often as “the state’s bank.”

I’ll have more on her salary momentarily, but first the NY Times had this interesting section about her qualifications for the “state’s bank:”

It was not clear what background Ms. Brown has in economic development. She spent 18 years in the United States attorney’s office and then worked as a white-collar criminal defense lawyer.

In a memo to other board members, Mr. Koeppe described Ms. Brown’s position as being strategic in its focus. The board also created a new post of president and chief operating officer and appointed Timothy J. Lizura, a senior vice president of the economic development authority, to it. The organization is often described as one of the largest state-sponsored development banks in the country.

That basically sounds like she isn’t qualified past knowing Christie, so the job of one person has now become the job of two.  Follow me below for the impact on the taxpayers and what it all means.

Quote of the Day: I’m not going to take a Noah’s Ark approach

After announcing the positions in his administration for Paula Dow and Kim Guadagno, many of Chris Christie’s nominations that followed had been white men. He was asked about that fact at a press conference the other day and here was his response:

I’m not going to take a Noah’s ark approach to filling my cabinet. I’m going to look for the best possible people I can find. Diversity are (sic) one of the factors that you consider in doing that but I’m not going to just look at the class picture and decide what’s missing.

Christie says he’s going to pick the best people he can find. He says the choices will include gender, ethnic, and racial diversity.

To be fair, we should probably wait and see who the rest of his selections are before we pass judgement on the whole lot. He has added additional women to the team since that statement including Michele Brown last night.