Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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.

POSTED: Monday, February 24, 2014, 4:11 PM
Gov. Christie’s job approval rating fell below 50 percent among New Jersey voters for the first time since 2011, according to a new Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll. ( TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer)

Gov. Christie’s poll numbers have continued to slide in the wake of Bridgegate, with his job approval rating falling below 50 percent among New Jersey voters for the first time since 2011, according to a new Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll.

Christie now has a 49 percent approval rating among registered voters and a 50 percent approval rating among residents, according to the poll released Monday. The ratings represent a 9 percent drop from a Monmouth poll taken in January, days after revelations that a top Christie aide had been involved in an apparent plot to create gridlock at the George Washington Bridge.

Overall, Christie’s approval rating has dropped 20 points in the past year, according to the Monmouth poll.



POSTED: Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 5:45 PM
FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2014, file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks in Keansburg, N.J., at a gathering of residents whose homes in Keansburg, were heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Where just months ago Republicans brimmed with pride in Christie’s landslide re-election, doubts about his prospects as a potential presidential candidate have begun creeping quietly into the minds of some donors in key states, according to some GOP fundraisers. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

Despite facing controversy at home, Gov. Christie raised $1 million for the Republican Governors Association in Chicago Tuesday, a spokesman for the group said.

Christie, the RGA’s chairman, raised the money while appearing at multiple private fundraisers, said the spokesman, Jon Thompson. The RGA did not disclose details about the fundraisers. The Chicago Tribune reported that Christie had met with Bruce Rauner, an equity investor and Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate.

While the investigations into the George Washington Bridge lane closures have prompted some critics to call for Christie to step down from the RGA, the association raised a record amount of money in January – $6 million, more than twice the previous record for that month, Thompson said.

POSTED: Thursday, January 30, 2014, 8:40 PM

Citing problems with the delivery of aid to Hurricane Sandy victims, Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) on Thursday introduced a “Sandy Bill of Rights,” setting standards for the treatment of applicants seeking relief money.

The legislation isn’t yet posted online, but The Inquirer obtained a copy. It says storm victims — including individuals, businesses, and communities — have experienced “unreasonable inconveniences and unfair treatment” while applying for Sandy aid.

“These problems have arisen in the form of unclear application and appeals processes, difficulties in obtaining the status of applications, rejections without any reasoning offered, waiting lists provided without any clear order … and an overall lack of transparency and refusals to respond to requests” under the Open Public Records Act.

POSTED: Thursday, January 30, 2014, 9:54 AM

Calling in this morning to a Philadelphia sports radio show, Gov. Christie gave his first live interview since the George Washington Bridge controversy erupted three weeks ago.

But the Republican governor faced no questions on the Angelo Cataldi show on 94WIP about the allegations that have clouded the start of his second term. Hosts said ground rules were set, and the conversation with Christie, which followed a discussion with a Playboy model about Friday' s Wing Bowl, would stick to sports and the Super Bowl.

With the Super Bowl in East Rutherford on Sunday, Christie talked about the state 's safety preparations and its rivalry with New York - the two NFL teams with New York in front of their names actually play in New Jersey - and the precedent this weekend's event could set for other cold-weather cities looking to host a Super Bowl, including Philadelphia.

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