This latest incident reminds me of an old Johnny Carson joke when Mitt Romney’s dad, former Michigan Governor George Romney ran for President in 1968. Romney explained that he had been “brainwashed” during a visit to South Vietnam when he switched his position on the war. Johnny Carson joked “They only needed a thimbleful of water”. Seth Grossman
As Republican Governor of New Jersey from 2010 to 2017, Chris Christie:
- Approved illegal budget deficits that put Atlantic City government $600 million in debt. Then crushed non-casino business and homeowners with unsustainable property tax hikes by ignoring NJ Constitution and working with Democrats to give casinos 10 year tax break.
- Worked with Democrats to put NJ public employee and teacher pension funds in even worse shape. The whole New Jersey pension system is unsustainable because there is zero connection between how much public employees contribute while working and how much they receive when retired. Pensions are instead based on the highest salaries earned. This lets political insiders to contribute peanuts as low-pay, (often part time) employees for most of their career. Then they are appointed to high salary political jobs just before they retire. That is how the brother of ex-acting Gov. Richard Codey retired with a pension of $98,000 at age 55, even though he never earned more than $50,000 during most of his career. Rather than deal with this, Christie invested pension funds in risky “alternative investments”. These were made by politically connected hedge funds that promised returns of 8.5% when safe investments were lucky to earn 3% per year. Christie also approved fake audits claiming pension funds were getting actually getting 8.5% returns on their investments. A typical “alternative investment” was the reckless, unsecured “mezzanine loan” for the failed Revel Casino in Atlantic City.
- Intensified reckless borrowing and spending of NJ “Transportation Trust Fund Authority” until it was spending more on debt payments than it was collecting in tolls and gas tax. Then worked with Democrats to put deceptive “lockbox” Constitutional amendment on 2016 ballot. This allowed NJ to borrow and spend even more, and impose “mandatory” toll and tax hikes almost every year.
- Embraced Democratic President Barack Obama days before critical 2012 election to get billions of Hurricane Sandy federal relief. This assured Obama’s re-election, and ended efforts by the Tea Party to balance the Federal budget. Much, if not most of that money was spent to bail out corrupt, Democrat controlled state and local governments with programs that had nothing to do with the storm. Millions were spent to force Margate to ruin its beach with sand dunes it did not want and did not need. (Almost all Sandy flood damage came from the back bay, not the ocean!) Millions were spent on “Stronger Than Storm” advertising. This bought political support and favorable coverage from all major newspapers and radio and TV stations in New Jersey when running for re-election in 2013. Christie hoped that by winning re-election in “blue” New Jersey by a big margin, he would become a leading candidate for President in 2016. That, of course, was ruined by his “Bridgegate” scandal.
- Appointed and re-appointed judges, key public school and college policy makers, and Environmental Protection and Board of Public Utilities officials who promoted “progressive” Democrat policies and programs. Christie also ignored, isolated, and marginalized conservatives. Under Governor Christie’s supervision, Atlantic City’s Stockton University became a socialist indoctrination center. Zoning ordinances and building codes were overridden to allow unsupervised half-way houses and drug rehabilitation centers in safe, residential neighborhoods. New Jersey electric rates were raised to pay for wind turbines and solar panels that never produced enough electricity to pay for themselves.
- Christ Christie coached President Trump for his disastrous first debate against Democrat Joe Biden in Cleveland. That debate on September 29 in Cleveland was a golden opportunity for President Trump. It gave him the opportunity to ignore biased questions and tell his side of the story to 75 million people, without having it distorted by the media. President Trump instead acted like he was Chris Christie. Trump spent far too much of his time attacking and interrupting Joe Biden, as if Biden were his real opponent. President Trump lost many undecided votes that night that he could have won. Because of early voting, he was unable to win many of them with much better appearances in the second debate and televised town hall.
Did I leave anything out? If I did, please let me know and I will add it!
When Christie left office after 2017, he was the most unpopular governor in New Jersey since polling began. Nevertheless, Christie remained a powerful influence in New Jersey Republican politics. In 2017, Kim Guadagno, his former Lieutenant Governor, defeated popular State Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli to become the Republican nominee for Governor. This virtually guaranteed the election of Democrat Phil Murphy, who was then unpopular with most Democrats. This year, Christie helped an invisible Rik Mehta win the nomination to be the Republican candidate to run Christie’s old friend, Democrat U.S. Senator Cory “Spartacus” Booker. Christie also was the debate coach for President Trump just before Trump’s horrible performance in his first Presidential debate with former Vice-President Biden.
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Seth Grossman, Executive Director