Governor Chris Christie’s post-election attempt to replace Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr with Senator Kevin O’Toole was not a matter of Christie doing Senate President Steve Sweeney’s bidding, as has been widely perceived, but the culmination of a months long battle over differing strategies over how to wage the legislative campaign.
That Christie was unable to persuade Senate Republicans to dump Kean as their leader in favor of O’Toole was viewed by the media and political observers as a shocking act of defiance of the governor by the caucus viewed as obedient followers. But insiders say the united Republican front portrayed to the public masked an ongoing dispute between Kean’s and Christie’s political teams that resulted in Christie’s landslide reelection yielding no pick up of seats in the Senate.
Over the recently-concluded Thanksgiving holiday, Save Jerseyans, you might have missed it when District 2′s Assemblyman Chris Brown stirred up some controversy on Turkey Day Eve.
While visiting Harry Hurley’s radio show, Asm. Brown had the audacity to say that Chris Christie and George Norcross had an understanding that included Christie ignoring down-ticket candidates in South Jersey, particularly when it came to fundraising, an imbalance which Brown believes made a decisive difference on November 5th.
The reaction was predictable. Hurley immediately rebuked Brown. The Republican leadership backlash was swift. Brown quickly backtracked. District 8′s Assemblyman Chris Brown (no relation) issued a statement clarifying that he was not the Chris Brown who criticized Chris Christie’s campaign strategy. The Governor even personally chastised both Brown and his vanquished running mate John Amodeo by name during Monday’s presser.
I am here to defend Chris Brown. Not his own campaign strategy or that of his running mate, but specifically his observation concerning a lack of engagement in South Jersey’s legislative races from the top of the ticket.
His current Chief of Staff Kevin O’Dowd will serves as N.J. Attorney General pending approval of the State Senate. The position has lacked a permanent chief since Jeff Chiesa left Trenton to serve as Frank Lautenberg’s interim replacement in the U.S. Senate.
Regina Egea, Director of the Authorities Unit, will replace O’Dowd. Amy Cradic, a senior policy adviser to the the Big Guy, will now serve as the new Deputy COS for Policy.
His other major front office players are remaining in place for now.
Governor Chris Christie stumping in Iowa during Election 2012.
Pass the 2013 mashed potatoes, Save Jerseyans, and the put the 2014 jello mold on ice. Your 2016 course is already warming and ready to be served this Thanksgiving day whether you’re ready for it or not.
We had two new Election 2016 polls hit this week and both contain conditionally good news for the New Jersey frontrunner.
“Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are the 2016 leaders to Ohio voters, locked in a statistical tie,” said Peter Brown, director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute; its latest poll showed Chris Christie performing the strongest against Hilldawg in battleground Ohio, losing by 1-point (42% to 41%). “Ms. Clinton easily defeats a bevy of other potential GOP aspirants. Interestingly, when voters are asked whether she would make a good president, more say yes, than say they would vote for her. Conversely, Vice President Joseph Biden is not presidential material in the eyes of Ohioans. Only 28 percent think he would be a good president.”
He’s off to a very Jersey start! We’d expect nothing less…
After enduring a snide “welcome” column from a former Democrat chairwoman in the state’s paper of record the Union Leader, Matt fired back with a guest editorial of his own at the invitation of his new Granite State antagonist:
Governor Chris Christie was expected to sign a New Jersey version of the DREAM Act if it passed the legislature, Save Jerseyans, having reversed himself on the issue before Election 2013.
Now the Governor is saying what we already knew: the Democrat Senate bill is unacceptable in its current form (the Assembly version is different). He would not, however, rule out signing the final Assembly version.
“They’re overreaching and making it unsignable,” said Governor Christie on last night’s edition of NJ 101.5′s Ask the Governor monthly radio program, referring to the Senate bill. “Not only are there technical problems that need to be fixed, but they’re making the benefits richer than the federal program, the federal Dream Act and, um, that’s simply not acceptable for me.” Christie continued on to say that he wants ”tuition equality” but believes the Senate bill would turn New Jersey into a “magnet state.”
Back in 2011, responding to a DREAM Act question at a Sayreville town hall meeting, Christie declared “I can’t favor that, because we need to have an immigration system where people follow the rules, and I can’t in a difficult time of budget constraints support the idea that we should be giving money in that regard to people who haven’t followed the rules, and take that money from people who have.”
Governor Christie discusses his take at the 50 minute mark: