His rumor: Chris Christie received $500,000 from the firm of embattled Port Authority Chairman David Samson in 2009.
The truth: Senator Lesniak has every incentive to see Samson’s Port Authority take a hit in the court of public opinion. He’s suing them in real court, too. The conflicts here have more layers than the George Washington Bridge.
If Governor Chris Christie’s presidential prospects have been damaged by the Bridgegate scandal and associated investigations, you wouldn’t know it by the amount of television cameras at the Town Hall Meeting in Port Monmouth this morning. Middletown officials estimate the crowd was about 500 people. There was easily 50 members of the media including reporters, photographers and videographers.
There was no swagger from the Governor today. No fist pumps, no snazzy introductory video, no in your face insults to hostile questioners. Christie dodged the only hostile question he heard. The Youtube moment came not from an idiot or thin skinned reporter, but from a three year old girl who said her house is still broken.
Bridgegate, the controversy over the September lane closures at the George Washington Bridge that has spurred investigations by the U.S. Attorney and a Special Legislative Committee never came up. The people who came to today’s meeting would gladly trade places with the Bergen County residents who were inconvenienced by traffic jams for four days. They been without their homes for 16 months.
As we pointed out after last month’s marathon Bridgegate presser, unlike President Obama, he’s willing to stand in front of constituents for extended periods of time and take the heat… and now he’s doing it with zero media cover:
“We respond as Americans,” Christie bellowed following a congressional adjournment which occurred without a vote, “at least we did until last night… it was disgusting to watch.”
A majority of conservatives were of a decidedly different opinion, ranging from disinterest to feelings of betrayal. Their disgust was reserved for an event that occurred approximately two months earlier, before the Mitt Train officially derailed, when the rockstar GOP Governor embraced President Obama on Garden State soil, a move which public exit polling suggested could’ve helped move the needle in the incumbent’s direction in key 2012 battleground states like Virginia and Ohio. Base political calculation at its worst? Or simply emotions getting the best of an emotional guy?
I genuinely, sincerely hate to say “I told you so,” folks, but I most certainly did. Now look at the mess in which our Governor finds himself heading into Thursday’s much-anticipated Middletown town hall meeting, the first such gathering since Bridgegate and Sandygate changed everything for the inhabitants of Christie World…
It’s ugly. Real ugly. But there’s still a way out.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has turned down a request from the Christie Administration that the rule requiring that reconstruction work on homes damaged by SuperStorm Sandy stop upon the homeowner applying for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) aid, according to an Associated Press report posted on NJ.com and other outlets.
HUD rules require that the plans for all work on properties receiving RREM grants be evaluated and approved by the government. Work done without the RREM approval is not eligible for reimbursement under the program, even if the work complies with all requirements. This process has created a major logjam is funds being awarded and homes being rebuilt.
Governor Chris Christie will likely be tan and relaxed after a holiday weekend in Puerto Rico when he arrives in Middletown for his first Town Hall Meeting since last June tomorrow.
He should be ready for bear.
Christie could get RREM’d tomorrow.
Bayshore residents who overwhelming voted for Christie in 2009 and again last November are ready to give up on giving Christie the benefit of the doubt. The politically connected feel he’s taken Republican Monmouth and Ocean Counties for granted. Those still suffering from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy feel like Christie has ridden their suffering to national prominence while neglecting his self professed “mission” to rebuild the shore.
The powder keg of frustration with Christie was building before the election and certainly before Bridgegate. Sandy victims brutalized by the storm feel further violated by the red tape and false starts peddled by all levels of government, banks and insurance companies.
Believe what you want to believe about the Bridgegate scandal, Save Jerseyans. It’s no skin off of this blogger’s nose.
Some of you insist that it’s more appropriately called “Bridgetgate” with a “t” while others in our audience would prefer the “Christiegate” moniker if they could only get MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to read their unsolicited 3:00 a.m. e-mails.
None of you know for sure because, like 99.99998% of the state population, you weren’t on the e-mail chains. Neither was I. What do we know? As of today? (1) Even the hyper-partisan SCI Chairman John Wisniewski admits there’s still no evidence that Governor Christie knew about the lane closures before he said he did, and (2) this Governor’s major Bridgegate detractors inside New Jersey continue to demonstrate epic levels of credibility-obliterating cowardice.
Governor Chris Christie will try to regain some sense of normalcy on Thursday (2/13), Save Jerseyans, by holding his 110th town hall in Port Monmouth. It’s his first town hall since reelection and the nationalization of the ongoing Bridgegate scandal saga.
The Governor’s official entourage includes Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable, Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin, Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez, and Economic Development Authority CEO Michele Brown.
11:00 a.m. is the start time at VFW Post 2179, located at 1 Veterans Lane. Residents can RSVP to TownHall.Middletown@gov.state.nj.us. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. A “Mobile Recovery Cabinet” will commence immediately following the town hall (around approximately 12:30 p.m.).
Governor Chris Christie came to the bayshore with members of his cabinet yesterday with a sobering message for residents battered by Superstorm Sandy who a waiting for government assistance to rebuild their homes and to comply with new government imposed requirements for those homes.
New Jersey sustained $37 billion in damage from Sandy. Federal assistance to New Jersey will tap out at between $15 and $20 billion, Christie said.
It’s been 15 months since Superstorm Sandy ravaged New Jersey. The first $1.83 billion in relief from the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been spent or is committed. Another $1.46 billion is being applied for, but it will be another three months at least before that money starts to flow.
The HUD Community Block Development Grants (CBDG) grants are the last resort funding for homeowners and renters/landlords, designed to fill needs not covered by insurance proceeds, FEMA assistance, Small Business Administration loans and other sources.
Before New Jersey receives the $1.46 billion second round of funding, there is a 30 day public comment period on the CDBG Disaster Recovery Action Plan. The public comment period runs through March 5. In Monmouth County, there will be a public hearing on February 13 at Brookdale Community College, Robert J. Collins Arena, 765 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft from 4pm-7pm. There will be hearing is Atlantic County at Stockton University on February 11 and in Essex County at the New Jersey Institute of Technology on the 12th. Written comments can be submitted via email to email@example.com or can be provided by mail to the attention of Gabrielle Gallagher, NJ Department of Community Affairs, 101 South Broad Street, Post Office Box 800, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0800. All comments must be submitted by 5 p.m. on March 5, 2014.
They think they’ve found it by continuing to attack the Governor’s greatest perceived strength: Hurricane Sandy. Just elsewhere. Both the general pace of aid disbursements AND how it’s spent, specifically, in the Essex County community of Belleville.
Having trouble keeping track of the Bridgegate sideshow going on in Hoboken, Save Jerseyans?
Fear not; we’ve put together a streamlined timeline for you to consult/post/share and, once you’ve reviewed it from beginning to end, I don’t think you’ll conclude that the chronology is flattering for Hoboken’s Mayor:
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once said “[t]here is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
I’m neither a woman nor a theologian, Save Jerseyans, rendering me ill-equipped to pass judgment on the veracity of Secretary Albright’s admonishment.
I’ll say this much with a degree of certainty attached: there’s a special place in hell for women of authority who serve as poor role models for the next generation of women. Classical courageousness subtle and therefore seemingly rare but contagious when identified. Cowardice can be easily communicable, too, if you spend too much time hanging around cowards.