If Chris Christie runs for President he will be going around the country telling people he's done a great job in Jersey, we love him here and he wants to do the same for the rest of the Country. As those of us who live here know, the picture he paints is not true. Governor Christie's popularity here is hitting all time lows in our State and it's not just about the George Washington Bridge scandal. A year and a half removed from his 'landslide" victory, the Governor's approval ratings in New Jersey are under 40 percent. So, before America falls for Christie's tales, here are some reasons we don't like him here.
To get to the heart of the matter, let's look at the economy first. The Governor will tell you that his policies of cutting taxes for the rich and corporations while not investing in our economy has paid dividends. Now we understand that any Governor would have a hard task rebuilding from the recession, but New Jersey's economic growth rate is behind the other States in our region and unemployment here is above the national average. His mismanagement of New Jersey's economy is so bad that the credit rating agencies have downgraded our rating as much as eight times since he became governor, more than any other governor in the state's history. While other states have been able to have budget surpluses, New Jersey's is in a structural deficit which Christie has filled with one shot gimmicks. Don't think we want him in charge of the nation's economy.
Now the popular opinion in this country is that Chris Christie is a truthful straight shooter. We in New Jersey know this is not the truth. He and the Democrats made an agreement which allowed for major changes the Governor wanted in public employee benefits. In exchange, the governor promised to make a scheduled payment to the State's pension fund. However, when it came time to make the payment, Christie didn't do it. He just used that money, as another of his one shot budget fix. Now I think we can all agree, a person's word should be his bond, not the case for Chris Christie.
Let's look at Hurricane Sandy and the State's recovery from the storm. Word gets back to us that you folks in Iowa like others in the country greatly admire Governor Christie for his work on bringing New Jersey back from the storm's devastation. You saw him at the shore standing with storm victim's, having a bro-hug with President Obama, and working hard to get money for the recovery. You cannot be blamed for figuring that all was well here thanks to Chris Christie's bipartisan leadership. Once again, not so. While some good work has been done and some communities, especially the visible vacation towns on the shore, have partially recovered, for many it is as if time has stood still since the storm struck. Thousands of New Jerseyans are still without their homes and many communities have barely begun to rebuild. The Governor entered into a $50 million contract with a firm to administer the Sandy recovery funds but the firm did such a bad job that the State had to cancel the contract. This was three year contract, but the State paid 70% of it over the first few months. So the tens of millions of dollars that could have helped Sandy victims are now padding that firm's bottom line. This is gross mismanagement at a time when many in our state needed him most, not a quality our country should look for in a leader.
Governor Christie also likes to hold to the fiction that he is a Governor that puts the interests of the people of New Jersey above his own political interests. Sadly, we see once again that this is not true, with the issue of pig crates. We know you Iowans approve of his veto of the ban on these types of crates in New Jersey but it passed by bipartisan majorities in the State Legislature and over 90% of New Jerseyans approve of it. The only reason for the Governor to veto it is to get in the Iowa caucuses. This is purely him putting his personal political interests ahead of his constituents' interests. Do you really want someone governing the country that way?
Another tidbit, Governor Christie vetoed early voting in New Jersey (something all experts say increases voter participation). He said it was because of its $25 million cost, ignoring the fact that much of the money would be recouped in savings because of decreased hours for election workers. Not much later however he authorized a special Senate election costing NJ taxpayers the same $25 million so he would not have to be on the ballot the same day as popular Democrat Cory Booker. What makes the cost of this Special Election even more outrageous is that it was held a mere three weeks before Election Day!!
These are just some of the instances constantly in the news that show how Chris Christie's reputation differs from his actions. America, if Chris Christie runs for President his spin machine will be putting a full court press on you as the primary season heats up. I hope then you will pull out this post and refer to it as I have tried to show you just a few examples of the Chris Christie we know here in Jersey. You have an important choice to make in 2016 and I hope this has been helpful in giving you information you need to make it an informed one.