Archive: February, 2013
Another big speech, another big promo video.
(Or as some Democrats will undoubtedly crow, another taxpayer-funded campaign ad.)
Christie lays out his election-year budget plan in a 3 p.m. speech today, and as he often does before major addresses he has released a slick new video depicting him rocking the Sandy fleece, visiting an old man in the hospital, hanging out with kids, laughing with an old lady at her kitchen table, shaking hands with a doctor and looking downright gubernatorial.
For my full story in Wednesday's paper, click here.
In a year in which he will go before Democratic-leaning voters for re-election, a combative Gov. Christie offered a largely non-controversial $32.9 billion budget this afternoon that accepts a key provision of Obamacare, abandons his proposal for an income tax cut and slightly boosts funding for education.
"Fiscal sanity has indeed returned to Trenton," Christie said in front of a joint session of the Legislature. He touted that his budget is lower than the 2008 budget signed by former Gov. Jon Corzine.
In Monday's paper, my story on the politics of climate change and Superstorm Sunday. Here it is:
Did global warming and rising sea levels trigger Hurricane Sandy?
And does it matter?
Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder worth more dough than all of us combined (and then some), opened his home last night for a Christie For Governor fundraiser that marked the tech titan's first foray into partisan politics. Zuckberberg and Christie became boys back in 2010, when Zuckerberg made a $100 million matching grant to Newark schools, and they have since become texting and one-time sleep-over buddies.
Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice stopped by, perhaps hoping to get on the short list for veep if Christie lands the GOP nomination in 2016. As did Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, and a bunch of other important Silicon Valley types. Bloomberg News reported that "black sedans mixed with the occasional Maserati, Ferrari, BMW and Mercedes" dropped off attendees..."Attire was mixed, with Rice in a yellow jacket, black top and gold necklace, while a man in a black Audi came in jeans and a hoodie."
The event capped Christie's three-day gold rush to California. Untold dollars were raised, but $3,800-per-person is the max. (Although Republicans are exploiting a loophole for more money, as the Bergen Record reported today.)
State Sen. Barbara Buono (D., Middlesex), the main Democratic challenger against Gov. Christie, suffered a cut to her forehead after a car accident last night in Central Jersey, her campaign said.
An aide was driving and Buono was in the back seat when her vehicle collided with an oncoming car as it was turning on a road in Franklin Township. The incident happened about 8 p.m., according to campaign spokesman David Turner, and neither driver was hurt.
Buono was not wearing a seat belt.
Do you think Gov. Christie a tax-and-spend liberal? Now you have an alternative. An Atlantic County lawyer is running as a right-wing alternative to Christie in the Republican gubernatorial primary.
Former Atlantic City councilman and freeholder Seth Grossman announced today that he's running for governor. He made the announcement in front of the Revel Casino, the struggling beacon on Atlantic City's skyline that Christie has supported with tax breaks.
In a statement, Grossman said that Christie's "bailout Republicans are as bad as big union Democrats like former Gov. Jon Corzine.“ He said that voters simply don't know what Christie is doing to the state.
Gov. Christie opened the week by splitting a jelly donut with David Letterman in a well-received "Late Show" bit that mixed discussion of Sandy recovery with some good-natured poking fun at his girth.
He ended it, apparently, by yelling at the former White House doctor who told CNN that she worried about the governor's health.
Dr. Connie Mariano had said that she was concerned that Christie would die of a stroke or heart attack, complicating any presidential ambitions.
Here's my story in today's paper on a new firm hired by Gov. Christie to handle Sandy recovery:
To devise a plan to distribute billions in federal money for Sandy relief, the Christie administration hired a company fired for poor management under a similar contract in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in 2008.
"It was a complete nightmare," said Steve Greenberg, a former councilman in Galveston, Texas, who said CDM Smith failed to pay subcontractors and to deliver on its promises of home construction after the storm.