Thursday, July 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 4:12 PM

More than four months since Bridgegate interrupted his national ascent, Gov. Christie said in Washington Wednesday that the scandal hadn’t imperiled a presidential bid.

Instead, Christie said, the controversy will be seen as a “footnote” to his career.

“As far as the impact on my political future, I think it will have none, because I didn’t do anything,” Christie said at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit, an event that also featured a talk from former President Bill Clinton. Christie’s remarks were streamed online by the event.

POSTED: Monday, May 5, 2014, 5:21 PM

If Gov. Christie were to resign early to pursue a bid for the presidency, a special election could be held to replace him, depending on the timing of his resignation.

That scenario – an unusual one – could put candidates with lesser financial resources at a disadvantage: Unlike candidates in a regular gubernatorial election, they wouldn’t be able to opt into the state’s public financing program to raise money for their campaigns.

The discrepancy, realized by officials at the state Election Law Enforcement Commission, prompted the introduction of a bill that cleared a Senate committee Monday. The bill – sponsored by Sen. Jim Whelan (D., Atlantic) – would allow gubernatorial candidates in special elections to tap into public financing, letting them receive $2 in public money for every $1 they raise in private donations. Candidates must raise and spend $380,000 to qualify for the program, which caps their spending at $12.2 million in the general election.

POSTED: Thursday, April 24, 2014, 6:09 PM

Gov. Christie doesn’t have a spot on this year’s TIME Magazine list, released Thursday, of The 100 Most Influential People. But the New Jersey governor did make it into the feature – with praise for a potential rival in a 2016 Republican presidential primary.

Christie, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, authored a tribute to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who did make the list. (Another potential 2016 rival to earn mention: Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.)

Lauding Walker’s move to repeal collective bargaining for most Wisconsin public workers – a step that drew heated protest in 2011 from the state’s unions – Christie wrote: “Leadership takes many forms in public office. One of the most difficult challenges is standing up for what you believe in when faced with relentless public attacks. Scott Walker faced that test and passed it with flying colors.”

POSTED: Monday, April 21, 2014, 10:59 PM

Do Gov. Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have too much power over the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – the bi-state agency involved in the George Washington Bridge controversy?

As experts discuss ways to depoliticize the agency, Christie, who approved the hiring of the former Port Authority official who oversaw the September lane closures at the bridge, cautioned against stripping too much appointment power from governors.

“We do need to remember that Gov. Cuomo and I are the only two people who are elected in either state who have authority over the Port Authority,” Christie said Monday night on NJ 101.5’s Ask the Governor, a call-in radio show. “I don’t know that people would want to go exclusively to an unelected group of people to be making these decisions regarding tens of billions of dollars. So I think we have to be careful about it.”

POSTED: Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 2:25 PM
Attorney Randy Mastro of Gibson Dunn law firm, answers questions at a news conference, in New York, Thursday, March 27, 2014. The law firm, which was hired Gov. Christie, said the governor was not involved in a plot to create gridlock near a major bridge as part of a political retribution scheme. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The law firm that produced the report that cleared Gov. Christie of wrongdoing in the George Washington Bridge controversy recently donated $10,000 to the Republican Governors Association, which Christie leads.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher made the donation to the RGA on March 18, according to IRS filings made public Tuesday. The firm made the donation nine days before releasing its report on Christie's administration.

Christie has been chairman of the RGA since November, traveling out of state to drum up donations for fellow Republican governors. In that time period, the RGA has raised $33 million.

POSTED: Thursday, April 10, 2014, 6:56 PM

New Jersey landed in the unwelcome company of Illinois and California Wednesday when Standard & Poor’s downgraded the state’s general-obligation bond rating to third worst in the nation.

But while a political hit to Gov. Christie — whose administration drew the credit rating agency’s concern for relying on one-time fixes to fill budget holes — the downgrade will likely have little effect on state finances, several experts said.

“Financially, the impact is going to be modest. It's not a serious increase in their costs to borrow,” said Matt Fabian, managing director of Municipal Market Advisors, a research firm, in Connecticut.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 5:30 PM

A billionaire co-founder of Home Depot – and political patron of Gov. Christie – lashed out at politicians’ campaigning on income inequality, comparing their populist appeals to the rhetoric used by Nazi Germany.

“Because if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany,” the billionaire Ken Langone told Politico Tuesday. “You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy.”

President Obama has described income inequality as the “defining challenge of our time.” Obama and Democrats in Congress are pushing for a raise in the federal minimum wage – an issue they think could boost the party’s prospects in November’s elections. Obama has also long called for higher taxes on the rich.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 4:16 PM
Thousands crossed the Ben Franklin Bridge in the 2012 Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge 10K. The annual race raises money for the Larc School in Bellmawr. (ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer)

During his recent town halls, Gov. Christie hasn’t been getting Bridgegate questions from the public. At an appearance today in Camden, he got a bridge joke – from a powerful Democrat who also praised the Republican governor.

“There’s one thing the governor, with all his power, has not been able to achieve,” George Norcross, the South Jersey Democratic power broker and chairman of Cooper University Hospital, told a crowd of Camden officials and business types at Cooper Medical School, where Christie participated in an event promoting a new hybrid district-charter school that is partly a project of Norcross’s.

“I’m the one who’s able to shut down a bridge,” Norcross said, “and have the LARC school charitable run for 7,000 people.” Cooper University Hospital and The Norcross Foundation sponsor a race over the Ben Franklin Bridge to benefit the special-education school.

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