Archive: March, 2012
In a trip officially dubbed "Jersey To Jerusalem: Economic Growth, Diplomacy, Observance," the governor, his staff, a contingent of New Jerseyans and the First Family head to the Holy Land this weekend.
Christie will meet with political leaders and check out the tourist sites in Israel before stopping in Jordan for a family vacation on the way home. The trip to Jordan, according to Christie's office, comes "by invitation from the king." (The last time I was in Jordan I hailed a cab from the Israeli border. So this is a different kind of thing, I guess.)
The trip to Israel is intended to "strengthen New Jersey’s economic and diplomatic relationships with foreign nations," his office said.
UPDATE: Based on Christie's comments about Springsteen yesterday, I took a look at the Gov versus the Boss, and "Wrecking Ball" versus "The New Jersey Comeback." Check out the story in today's paper, here.
The conservative Jersey governor made a "direct plea" today to the liberal Jersey rocker: Play the new Revel casino in Atlantic City on Labor Day weekend!
The plea, which Christie has now repeated several times on Twitter ("hey @bwilliams lets get @springsteen to perform @revelresorts Labor Day Wekend #MeetMeInAC"), came today when I asked Christie about his thoughts on Bruce Springsteen's new "Wrecking Ball" album.
In case you missed it, in today's paper I looked at the steep drop in general welfare recipients in New Jersey. Turns out the state is saving money and denying more people for welfare because of a new requirement that advocates for the poor say is onerous and unfair:
The number of general-assistance welfare recipients in New Jersey has plummeted, with thousands of applicants being denied enrollment, in part because of a controversial new policy of the Christie administration.
The July 1 change, which already has saved the state money, established a prerequisite to qualify for aid: attend job training or offer proof of an active employment search, for four consecutive weeks.
Read the final version in Friday's paper, here.
Updated at 7 p.m.
One of Gov. Christie's nominees to the New Jersey Supreme Court, Phillip Kwon, was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday evening in a stinging blow to the governor's agenda and an unprecedented check of the governor's power by the Democratic-controlled Legislature.
For the first time since the lead-up to the New Hampshire primary more than two months ago, Mitt Romney's most prominent gubernatorial supporter is headed back to the presidential campaign trail. Gov. Christie is scheduled to headline a Romney event tomorrow in Illinois, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Illinois has its GOP primary next week.
Christie's October endorsement of Romney was seen as significant and possibly game-changing, but Christie has not stumped as often as some expected. Most of his campaigning for Romney has been done away from the campaign trail -- touting the former Massachusetts governor in national TV interviews, Statehouse press conferences and conference calls with supporters. There's likely some behind-the-scene fundraising, too.
But Christie hasn't revved up a crowd in person since headlining a Romney rally in New Hampshire in early January, winning over new fans in that crucial presidential primary state but also triggering a brief controversy over his reaction to a couple of female hecklers.
A Farleigh Dickenson PublicMind poll out this morning shows that New Jerseyans' confidence is at the highest level in a decade, with 51 percent saying the state is "headed in the right direction." Gov. Christie also clocks in with a 54 percent approval rating, his highest since two months after he got into office in 2010, and along the lines of other plus-50-percent rankings he's pulled in other recent polls.
Could this be because the governor, as evidenced just today in this very story, is so supremely confident in both his policy pursuits and rhetorical style that it has infected the populace? Is his confidence (detractors call it "arrogance") contagious?
“We’re a tough crowd in Jersey,” said poll director Peter Woolley. “We’re not naturally sunny. So if we think things are on the right track, it’s not Snooki’s impending wedding that’s doing it for us.”
This morning at Bordentown Regional High School, just a few miles away from the scene of the gov's latest controversial remark, Christie was asked if he had any regrets about calling a Rutgers-Camden student/Navy SEAL/former Democratic Assembly candidate an "idiot" at a town hall meeting last week.
The answer was not surprising, at all: NO.
"He acted like an idiot, he's an idiot," Christie said.
In case you missed it, in Sunday's paper I wrote about the growth in the lobbying business in the Christie era:
Are you in the governor's crosshairs? Does he want to enact policies that you object to? Care to respond?
No problem. It'll cost you just $10,875,011.