Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Christie has no opinion -- and that's a campaign issue

Three times now, the gov has been asked for his opinion on last month's Supreme Court decision that struck down much of the Voting Rights Act.

Christie has no opinion -- and that's a campaign issue

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Three times now, the gov has been asked for his opinion on last month's U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down much of the federal Voting Rights Act.

Three times, most recently today, he declined, saying he hadn't read the decision. 

Christie regularly opines on national issues, so his lack of an opinion is intriguing. Democrats see him cynically straddling the line between 2013 and 2016: The Supreme Court decision was popular among national Republicans, who could vote for Christie for prez in 2016, but wildly unpopular among minorities and Democrats, who make up a key part of the electorate in New Jersey, where Christie is up for re-election in 2013.

Of course, this is a complicated issue, and maybe he just didn't read it yet. I imagine he has more to read than you and I combined.

The court's decision struck down a provision intended to remedy historical discrimination against minority voters by mandating that certain jurisdictions, mostly in the South, get approval from the U.S. Attorney General before making changes to voting rules. 

Christie's Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono, is making this a campaign issue. Her spokesman issued a news release today entitled "22 days and counting..." -- the number of days since the decision came out. And her office released a video, below, blasting Christie, and another, here, dripping with sarcasm as it explained to Christie how to go about finding the decision online.

Christie's explanation today was that he was on vacation, according to the Star-Ledger (he was in Idaho for the Allen & Co. conference of business moguls, philanthropists and big-time politicians).

"What was he reading on the plane, Us magazine or OK magazine?" Buono asked, according to the Star-Ledger. "Maybe he needed to unwind and the Supreme Court decision didn't do it. But frankly, you don't need to read the entire decision to form an opinion...I don't know what's more important than taking a stand on voting rights and standing up for the core of our democracy."

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