Archive: January, 2013
WASHINGTON -- "Here I am, Washington, DC, my kind of town."
And with that sarcastic remark, Gov. Christie opened his Sandy-centered speech tonight to several hundred New Jersey politicos and business leaders at the annual New Jersey Chamber of Commerce dinner.
Last year, Christie delivered a highly partisan speech at this dinner, trashing legislative Democrats for pushing gay marriage. Democratic U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg weren't even invited, bucking tradition.
Check out this brand-new Tumblr of Christie pictures set to lyrics from the rapper Ludacris. And submit your own!
Christie is out of town, vacationing with his oldest, 19-year-old son Andrew. Is it possible that the governor combined his vast database of selfies with Andrew's knowledge of rap into a meme that can snag him the youth vote in the 2013 governor's race and 2016 presidential campaign?
Barring any knight in Democratic armor, Gov. Christie has his opponent in this year's governor's race. She's a petite 59-year-old veteran lawmaker with a liberal voting record and a track record of bucking her own party. She runs (literally) every day -- and she once relied on public assistance to get her through college and law school.
New Jersey, meet Barbara Buono. And Barbara Buono, meet the world -- because now that you're running against Chris Christie, your name recognition is going to go up a hell of a lot faster than it did when you went from the state Assembly to the state Senate.
So, it's BB vs. CC, an alliterative fight to rename "The Christie Chronicles." (Please help: I may need a "b" word that's a synonym for "chronicles.")
Yesterday I covered a Supreme Court hearing that goes to the heart of how the governor is trying to exercise his powers in the state. Here's the story in today's paper:
TRENTON - Gov. Christie has the authority to "destroy" independent state agencies and take over their duties, according to an argument one of his lawyers made Monday before the New Jersey Supreme Court.
That pronouncement, met with skepticism by justices and denounced by an opposing lawyer as unconstitutional, forms the basis of the legal power that the Republican governor has sought to use in changing a key element of state government.
In today's paper, I wrote this piece about Christie's efforts to privatize the lottery:
TRENTON - Gov. Christie hasn't held a news conference about it, and his treasurer has refused to testify on it. But the Republican governor is close to privatizing the bulk of a $2.8 billion New Jersey institution.
Following a national trend already under way in Pennsylvania, Christie is negotiating a 15-year contract with a company to operate the state lottery in an effort to increase sales, thereby building more revenue for schools and state institutions.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will host what is believed to be the first political fundraiser ever at his home, and he'll be doing it for Gov. Christie.
Good news keeps pouring in for the Christie Re-Election Campaign:
- Christie has 73 percent approval ratings, according to a poll this morning from Quinnipiac University, which ties him with New York's Andrew Cuomo for the most popular governor in all of the states that the university polls in.
- Christie is destroying his possible opponents. He is beating State Sen. Barbara Buono (D., Middlesex), the only Democrat who has declared, 63 to 22 percent. The other possible opponent, State Sen. Richard Codey, would lose 59 to 30 percent (although he has yet to declare).
- New Jersey loved the fact that Christie went off on Republican congressional leadership over the delayed Sandy aid vote -- 79 percent said he was right, according to the Quinnipiac poll. And Republicans don't mind, either: They still give him a 93 percent approval rating.
- Christie ammased $2.1 million in campaign donations at the very end of last year, mostly from those who wrote the maximum $3,800 checks. He got money from the likes of Cowboys great Roger Staubach (Christie is a Cowboys fan), former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and a who's who of big-name state lobbyists. As for Buono, his lone major Democratic challenger, she took in less than $250,000.
- Christie has two endorsements from unions that endorsed the other guy in 2009.
- Despite all the big names that have murmured about running against him, no one has stepped forward. No Dick Codey. No Steve Sweeney. No Bill Pascrell. And Cory Booker is already out, getting threatened with a spanking by the guy he wants to replace, Sen. Frank Lautenberg. And yet the Democratic establishment has yet to coalesce around Buono.
In Case You Missed It, on Sunday I wrote about the continued search for someone (anyone) to run against Christie.
TRENTON - The Booker Watch is so 2012. We're now on the Codey Watch.
After Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker opted to pursue the U.S. Senate in 2014 instead of Republican Gov. Christie's seat this November, many Democrats turned to a familiar name who already has "governor" on his resumé: State Sen. Richard Codey of Essex County.