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Tag: hurricane sandy

Second Sandy Contractor Sacked

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

WNYC reports that a second Sandy contractor, URS, is history this morning after being fired by the Christie Administration, Save Jerseyans.


Another contractor, Hammerman & Gainer Inc., was sacked without ceremony last month.

Clinton and Christie Talk Sandy

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Love them, hate them, but you can’t deny that they’re the two greatest communicators of the past 20 years in American politics. It’s a must-watch discussion for politicos of both parties, Save Jerseyans, particularly since the man on the right (and the man on the left’s wife) are the likely frontrunners for their respective parties’ nominations in 2016:

Christie Watch for 3/18/13

N.J. Governor Heads to Ocean County Today

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Home DepotGovernor Chris Christie has just one scheduled public appearance for Monday, Save Jerseyans, at a Home Depot retail showroom grand opening ceremony in Seaside Heights.

The festivities begin around 10:30 a.m. at 201 Sumner Avenue if you’re in the area and want to stop by. 

It’s all part of the Governor’s extended efforts to accelerate the Jersey Shore’s post-Sandy recovery with Memorial Day Weekend little more than two months away. There’s still plenty to do. Approximately 60% of Seaside Heights residences and 200+ businesses were damaged by the storm.

Is This Really About Aid?

House Prepares to Pass Bloated Sandy Package. Are the Best Interests of Shore Residents Really What This Bill is About?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

capitol buildingOur U.S. House is expected to vote TODAY on the remaining $50.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package.

And unsurprisingly, my dear Save Jerseyans, the intense lobbying for a “vote without questions” continues.

A group of Jersey Shore Republican legislators issued a joint statement earlier today, arguing that “[w]ithout the funding being considered today, there will be severe human consequences for hard working, tax paying Americans who should be able to count on the government they support in times of crisis. We encourage all Members of Congress, from all political stripes, to do the fair, moral, and compassionate thing and vote in favor of this aid package.”

“Fair” to whom? The beneficiaries of the pork? The politicians who get to brag about accomplished something (for a change)? Or might there have been a much better and superiorly efficient way to do this? A way that wouldn’t compound the debt load on our citiziens and, in turn, the ultimate tax burden on Shore residents and businesses as they struggle to recover?


Shore Residents Sleeping in Cars

Displaced residents being evicted from temporary housing for weddings. Sleeping in cars for weekends

By Art Gallagher |

Hurricane Sandy SurveySea Bright Mayor Dina Long told MMM that the residents of her community that have been sleeping in cars are people who have been put up in hotels by FEMA who are evicted by the hotels on weekends in order to accommodate wedding guests.

“When hotels have weddings or events, people get evicted for the weekend,” Long said via twitter, “I just learned of people sleeping in cars because of this and I’m hopping mad.”

Long said that FEMA’s response has been, “Well, when that happens the people should call us.”  Yet, when people do call FEMA’s 800 #, the FEMA employees who answer the phone are dropping the ball or don’t know what to do.

Long said she trying to reach her displaced residents in this situation to coordinate weekend housing through Sea Bright Rising and other charities. ”FEMA knows where my people are, I need their help in locating them.”

Continue Reading…


Odd Couple Sweeney and Doherty Team Up to Fight for Free Beach Access

Politics makes for strange bedfellows, Save Jerseyans.

For example, New Jersey’s highest ranking elected Democrat (Steve Sweeney) and the state’s most libertarian Republican senator (Mike Doherty) are teaming up to push an extremely controversial agenda item:

Free beach access.

“It is likely that state and federal taxpayers will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to repair and replenish New Jersey beaches that were washed away during Hurricane Sandy,” opined Doherty in a rare joint press release. “Considering the massive public resources that will be directed at rebuilding many New Jersey beaches, it only seems fair to ensure that everyone have the opportunity to enjoy free access to the beaches they will support and help rebuild with their tax dollars.”

The Doherty/Sweeney bill mandates that municipalities receiving public aid for post-Sandy beach restoration would no longer be allowed to condition beach access on the purchase/use of beach tags; the same communities would also be required to provide free public restroom facilities. between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

“Where taxpayers are paying for beach restoration, they shouldn’t be taxed a second time just to walk on the sand,” added Sweeney. “As New Jerseyans, we are all in the recovery and rebuilding process together. That means we should all be able to enjoy the reopening of our state’s greatest natural resource together, too.”

S-2368 will now how to work its way through committee and, ultimately, the strenuous objections of legislators from Shore counties whose coastal municipalities heavily rely on beach tag revenue to keep property taxes in check.


REPORT: 72,000 New Jersey Properties Damaged or Destroyed by Superstorm Sandy

Last week, the Christie Administration preliminarily pegged its total Sandy-related damage cost estimate at $29.4 billion.

Tonight’s released “total assessment” is higher… $36.9 billion.

The price tag is only one of several staggering numbers associated with this natural disaster. The Christie Administration estimated that “30,000 businesses and homes were destroyed or experienced structural damage, while 42,000 homes were impacted in some other way.”

72,000 properties… yikes. 

Another horrific number?

233,000 New Jersey have already applied to FEMA for individual assistance.


Marc Ferzan Tapped to Lead New Jersey’s Post-Sandy Rebuilding (VIDEO)

Marc Ferzan’s bio courtesy of the Governor’s Office:

Mr. Ferzan will be returning to public service from PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory, where he is a Managing Director in the firm’s investigative consulting practice. He is an experienced manager and attorney who previously worked for and coordinated with various state and federal agencies for more than fifteen years in government practice. Between January of 2010 and June of 2012, Marc served as part of the front office management team at the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General as Executive Assistant Attorney General. There, he was responsible for helping to manage a staff of more than 8,000 employees, and providing legal and policy guidance on a broad range of civil and regulatory matters to the Attorney General, as well as the Governor and Lt. Governor, senior statehouse staff, and executive-level management of all departments of New Jersey State government.”


Why Doesn’t Anti-Generator Mandate Logic Apply to the Minimum Wage, Too?

Here’s a little bipartisan concensus for you this holiday season, Save Jerseyans.

The State Senate leadership from both parties, according to Minhaj Hassan of PolitickerNJ, are opposed to legislation that would mandate the purchase of power generators by all New Jersey gas stations. It’s a measure to avoid future gas rationing like what we saw immediately after Hurricane Sandy battered Northern New Jersey and the coastal region.

Governor Chris Christie is already on the record supporting a similar approach to the issue.

Christie and Sweeney agree that small businesses operate on equally small margins and, therefore, a $10-20k mandate could drive many out of business.

My question: why doesn’t the same logic apply to proposed minimum wage hikes?

Our resident small businessman Ed Sheppard previously broke it down for you, Save Jerseyans. A $1.00 or so per hour hike may not seem like much to the average W-2 employee, but in terms of real accounting, a minimum wage will increase New Jersey small businesses’ annual expenditures by at least the cost of a single generator. The result? Shift cuts, higher prices, and in some cases, empty storefronts/layoffs.

I love hearing Republicans and Democrats rallying around a logical conclusion. My earnest wish is that both sides would apply logic uniformally.


Strategy: Chris Christie’s Run for Re-Election, and Beyond

Cross-Posted at Dan Cirucci’s Blogspot

As far as retaining his position as Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie couldn’t have arranged the stars any better even if he had the power to do so.

Record numbers of New Jerseyans now approve of the job he’s doing. In every poll, he’s scoring a solid thumbs-up of 60 to 70 percent or more. Even all those rabid Democrats in blue, blue Jersey say they like the job he’s doing.

And now a clear majority of voters say he deserves another term and polls show he easily outdistances his strongest (and some say most likely) opponent, Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Yes, Hurricane Sandy handed Chris Christie an opportunity to do what he loves most and often does best: Take the reigns and lead. Wisely, even before the storm hit, he set himself and his administration up to get out in front of the crisis and remain there every step of the way. This is the first rule of crisis communication and Chris Christie followed it.

So, when the storm hit shore the Governor was already front-and-center and met the full impact with the sort of made-for-TV brio that Christie delivers best. With his everyday fleece parka, he became Chief Consoler, Mr. Fix-It and the neighborhood Go-To Guy all rolled into one. And on top of that he added Biggest Bridge-Builder and Champion of Bipartisanship.

Did he get a bit carried away at times? Of course he did. This is after all Chris Christie we’re talking about. Did he stray from gratefulness to gushiness during President Obama’s visit? Yep, that too. Was the crying over his long-sought (and finally granted) recognition by Bruce Springsteen onerously over-the top? Yes it was.

But, here’s the bottom line: In New Jersey, Chris Christie got the job done.


Christie Job Approval Reaches 77% in First Post-Sandy FDU Poll

Thus far, Save Jerseyans, Garden State residents are viewing Chris Christie’s independent streak throughout the Hurricane Sandy as a plus. Today’s new Fairleigh Dickinson University “PublicMind” poll pegs Governor Chris Christie’s approval rating at 77%.

Among those who approve are 67% of New Jersey Democrats. Wow! At 77%, all that’s left on the “disapproval” side are NJ Dem state committee employees, Democrat statehouse staffers and the families/friends/consultants of 2013 challengers. In fact, most of the Governor’s upward movement is coming from D’s.

Click here to view the complete FDU polling report.

A Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released last week showed Christie at 67% among registered votersChristie enjoyed good numbers even before the storm (55% according to Monmouth University).

While it’s very unrealistic to expect numbers this good to persist into an Election year, and we certainly should anticipate many of these blue state Dems jumping ship by next November once a challenge from the Left is on their radar screen, these latest results are undoubtedly giving the Governor’s potential Democrat challengers reason to reconsider their ambitions.

For 2013, anyway.

For some good reads on this topic here at Save Jersey, #ICYMI, check out the extremely insightful musings of our good buddies, Art Gallagher and Dan Cirucci.


Christie Preliminarily Pegs Hurricane Sandy Damage Cost at $29.4 Billion

Black Friday is about to take on a new meaning for the Garden State, Save Jerseyans.

The Christie Administration has just released its preliminary estimate of the cost of Hurricane Sandy-related damage in New Jersey:

$29.4 Billion.

It’s a sum roughly equal to one year of New Jersey’s state budget. “This preliminary number is based on the best available data, field observations and geographical mapping, and supported by expert advice from my Cabinet commissioners and an outside consulting company,” said Governor Chris Christie via press release.

Moreover, for those of your interested in exactly how they’ve arrived at this staggering number, the Administration explains how “[t]he preliminary cost estimate is inclusive of aid received to date and anticipated from federal sources including FEMA and the Small Business Administration. The estimate will likely be refined further to consider and include the long-term impact on the next tourism season, shifts in population, impact on real estate values and other factors.”

You can expect today’s news to further fuel the discussion of post-Sandy tax hikes (and tax relief) in the coming days and weeks… 


Christie Approval Hits 67% Post-Sandy

Whether Governor Christie’s handling of Hurricane Sandy impacts his 2016 primary prospects is one thing. I’m not even 100% sure he cares, Save Jerseyans.

How did his embrace of President Obama affect his 2013 position?

According to the new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, very positively.

In the first public survey released since the storm, Eagleton found “[m]ore than 90 percent praise the governor for his handling of the storm: 69 percent say Christie handled the crisis ‘very well’ and another 23 percent say he handled it ‘somewhat well.'”

Christie’s polling surge is akin to the bump received by presidents during wars.

A full 81% of registered voters in New Jersey though Christie’s Obama embrace demonstrated “needed cooperation and bipartisanship” (including 78% of Republicans) while just 12% felt the Republican Governor “went too far in his praise.”

Click here to check out the full report.


Until You’ve Lived It, You Just Can’t Get It

Christie’s Republican Critics Don’t Get It

Cross-Posted at

In early December of 2005, I attended the annual holiday gathering of the Monmouth Ocean Development Council. This particular party stands out in my memory of the hundreds of such parties I’ve attended over the years because of the entertainment. A jazz band from New Orleans was touring the country to raise money for the Katrina recovery efforts. Their music was fabulous. Their plea for help is what stuck with me. It was deep, personal and profound. The wreckage seen on television four months earlier was a distant memory for me, until I felt a little of the pain in that band’s plea.

The difference between hearing about and watching news accounts of a devastating hurricance and living through the aftermath of such a catostrophic event is like the difference between watching porn and having sex, though not nearly as fun. It’s not fun at all.

Last week I spoke at the Monroe Township Republcian Club’s monthly meeting. As I told the group in my opening remarks, it was good to be away from Monmouth County for a little while. It reminded me of the drive I took to Deptford, NJ in late September of 2001 to visit a customer, but really to escape the pain that Middletown was experiencing after 9-11.

In Monroe it was good to experience a bit a normalcy; to listen to people complain about how long their power was out for and what a lousy job their mayor and JCP&L had done to get the power back on. I started that morning watching the guts of my neighbors’ homes being transferred into garbage trailers. I drove past parking lots filled with Red Cross trucks, utilitiy trucks from the mid-west and laundry trailers from Oklahoma that morning. It was good to see normal life only 25 miles from home. It was a relief to talk politics with like minded people and to forget the devastation at home for a little while.

Like my friends in Monroe and many other inland communities, the national Republicans who are blaming Governor Chris Christie for President Obama’s reelection, Hurricane Sandy is not real. It’s like bad porn. They are getting their satisfaction from complaining and scapegoating their own concerns which are trivial in comparison to what Christie has been dealing with.