Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’
January 10th, 2014 at 11:52 am
A Few Thoughts on the Christie Scandal
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Slowly returning from the holiday deep freeze, the political media has spent most of this week fixated on the scandal out of New Jersey, where the Port Authority closed two of the three lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge back in September, causing serious traffic jams for days.

That story turned into a firestorm after it started to become clear earlier this week that allies of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had engineered the traffic jams as political punishment for the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey (where the bottleneck occurred), who had failed to endorse Christie’s reelection. A few thoughts:

— What makes the made-to-order traffic jam so singularly offensive is its thoughtless victimization of ordinary citizens who had nothing to do with the political infighting. Politicians are always going to engage in this sort of petty one-upmanship. Treating the voters as little more than collateral damage in the process, however, is the height of irresponsibility and makes a mockery of the notion of “public service.”

— Even putting the propriety of the act aside, this whole affair wasn’t even a particularly shrewd exercise in brass knuckle politics. Christie was a Republican governor with a commanding lead in a Democratic state. Failing to get the endorsement of the Mayor of Fort Lee was hardly going to make or break his campaign. And, of course, any reasonable cost-benefit analysis would have factored in the potential damage to the governor of this story coming out (Imagine if Christie had been dealing with the fallout from this story just before the November election instead of just after the new year).

— Like a lot of conservatives, I’m wary of Christie on a handful of issues. That said, his “talk until there aren’t any more questions” press conference yesterday was a superb exercise in crisis management. He took responsibility, fired the people involved, apologized, and demonstrated the kind of accountability that we rarely see in the midst of scandal. He also vehemently denied that he had anything to do with the shutdown, which is probably true—his assertions were so forceful yesterday that his political career would likely be over if it was revealed that he was lying.

— The media (and, to some extent, the general public) need to be a little bit more realistic about executive accountability. As the head of New Jersey’s executive branch, Christie is, of course, ultimately responsible for what goes on underneath him. That’s not quite the same thing as being culpable, however.

In an era of big, complex government, it’s impossible for a chief executive to know every detail of what’s going on beneath him (though it’s important to maximize the flow of information). People are going to make mistakes, sometimes accidentally, sometimes—as in this case—through crass calculation. Governors or presidents shouldn’t be faulted for these things happening unless they’ve directly enabled it. Where they should be held accountable is in bringing this people to heel. By that measure, Christie has done his job very well this week.

February 27th, 2013 at 2:55 pm
Chris Christie to Expand Medicaid

The key passage from Governor Chris Christie’s budget speech yesterday speaks volumes about where the New Jersey Republican stands on principle:

Let me be clear, I am no fan of the Affordable Care Act. I think it is wrong for New Jersey and for America. I fought against it and believe, in the long run, it will not achieve what it promises. However, it is now the law of the land. I will make all my judgments as governor based on what is best for New Jerseyans. That is why I twice vetoed saddling our taxpayers with the untold burden of establishing health exchanges.

But in this instance, expanding Medicaid by 104,000 citizens in a program that already serves 1.4 million, is the smart thing to do for our fiscal and public health. If that ever changes because of adverse actions by the Obama Administration, I will end it as quickly as it started.

Almost all of the same criticisms I leveled at Florida Governor Rick Scott this weekend apply to Christie and his reasoning.

The Governor’s characteristic bluntness, though, merits one further point.

By claiming that the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) “is wrong for New Jersey and for America,” and that “in the long run, it will not achieve what it promises,” Christie is admitting that he has decided to entangle New Jersey in a fundamentally flawed program that will fail to achieve its goals.  But don’t worry.  In the meantime, New Jerseyans can breathe easy because Christie, like Scott and the other Republican capitulators, will make sure to gobble up as much “free” federal taxpayer money as possible until he decides to pull the plug rather than help cover the costs.

One of the first rules of persuasion is to be coherent.  Christie’s tortured, self-serving logic doesn’t come close.

January 3rd, 2013 at 2:13 pm
Christie Gets More Mileage Blasting GOP Over Sandy

After Chris Christie’s latest Hurricane Sandy-related misstep, don’t expect GOP bigwigs to be lining up behind any potential presidential bid in 2016.

First, there was Christie’s grinning, bear-hugging performance benefiting President Barack Obama at Mitt Romney’s expense.  Though politics should cease when disaster strikes, it was particularly irksome to many on the Right that the Republican Christie seemed to go out of his way to call the Democrat Obama “outstanding,” “wonderful,” and “deserv[ing] great credit.”  Occurring as it did in the final weeks of the presidential campaign, not a few politicos think Christie was not-so-subtly trying to shore-up his standing in a Blue State by hurting the GOP brand.

Now, Christie is back at it with his temper tantrum over the pork-laden Sandy relief bill that failed to pass the House before the 112th Congress ended.  Blasting House Speaker John Boehner and others for essentially lying to him, Christie accused House Republicans of “selfishness and duplicity,” “palace intrigue,” and “callous indifference to the people of our state.”

But as the Heritage Foundation, the Weekly Standard, and others have noted, House Republicans didn’t vote against disaster relief; they voted against awarding more than double the amount of requested relief to areas and projects that have nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy.

Thanks to Senate Democrats and liberals at the Obama White House the Sandy relief bill included such spending priorities as $28 billion for future disaster-mitigation projects, $100 million to Head Start, and $17 billion in Community Development Block Grants.  All of this and more is on top of the $20 billion scheduled to go to people and places actually impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

These non-Sandy-related giveaways were designed to get Red State senators to support the pork, but House members couldn’t swallow the bill after being served a bitter fiscal cliff deal.  To compensate the real victims of Hurricane Sandy, Boehner has promised to consider and pass a series of relief measures as early as tomorrow; without the wasteful, unrelated spending, of course.

As Christie gears up for what may be a tough reelection as New Jersey’s governor this year, polls show that his praise for Obama and tough talk on Hurricane Sandy have boosted his approval ratings in his Democrat-heavy state.  If all his high-profile Republican-bashing gets him reelected, it’s likely worth it for conservatives because of the fiscal reforms Christie is stewarding in the Garden State.  But if Christie decides to take his show on the presidential circuit, don’t be surprised if he finds a chilly reception among those for whom a discerning eye on government spending is a virtue, not a vice.

June 13th, 2012 at 5:08 pm
When Police Care More About Revenue than Crime

Creative carpooling or rogue riders?

Today, the Wall Street Journal details how commuters over the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York are picking up passengers at bus stops near the bridge in order to pay a reduced toll.

E-ZPass customers pay $9.50, while those paying cash must cough up $12.  (Each toll will rise another $3 by 2015.)

Price of the toll for cars carrying 3 or more passengers: $6 less.

Police officers working for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – the agency which owns and operates the bridge and six other crossings – are not amused.  They claim the practice of picking up strangers to pay a cheaper toll is dangerous to drivers.  To make the point, the cops hand out tickets for hundreds of dollars a pop.  (But they do not, mind you, patrol the bus stops for dangerous looking characters.)

Those on the receiving end have a different theory.

“In order to pad their pensions and lifestyle, they’re taking bread out of our children’s mouths,” says Ms. Javier.

According to the Journal, “With extensive overtime, some toll collectors make more than $100,000, while salaries for several officers working at the bridge topped $200,000 last year.”

Public employees gouging taxpayers to pad their compensation packages?


February 8th, 2012 at 3:00 pm
NJ Teacher Union Boss Making $300k Tells Poor ‘Life’s Not Fair’

With all due respect to the job New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is doing, perhaps his popularity in haranguing the excesses of liberal spending is made easier by Dickensian villains like Vincent Giordano.  Giordano, the Director of the New Jersey Education Association (i.e. teacher’s union), had this exchange with a news anchor over the injustice of denying poor families vouchers to escape failing schools.

During the interview, he was challenged by the host on why low-income families should not have the same options as other families when their child is in a failing school.

“Those parents should have exactly the same options and they do. We don’t say that you can’t take your kid out of the public school. We would argue not and we would say ‘let’s work more closely and more harmoniously,'” Giordano said.

When told some families cannot afford to finance the shift to private school without government help, Giordano said: “Well, you know, life’s not always fair and I’m sorry about that.”

In full damage-control mode, Giordano’s union tried to spin his comments away from the obvious implication that poor families should stop whining and accept overfunded, underperforming schools so that people like Giordano can make a hefty paycheck (his topping $300k a year).  But even the spin doctors failed to explain how vouchers “take resources away from disadvantaged public schools and only exacerbate the challenges faced by students in those communities.”

It’s the people – not institutions – that are disadvantaged.  If the NJEA can’t be bothered to reform its work practices, then every student deserves a ticket away from it.

H/T: Fox News

January 6th, 2012 at 4:25 pm
Time Running Short for NJ Legislature to Enact Meaningful Telecom Reform
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With the New Jersey state Senate session ending this coming Monday, January 9, time is running short for it to enact common-sense telecom reform.

This past year, state Senator Raymond Lesniak (D) introduced S-2664, which would modernize New Jersey government rules for the telecommunications industry by eliminating unnecessary and costly red tape that hampers investment and growth.  The bill passed in the New Jersey State Assembly with overwhelming bi-partisan support, but now the State Senate must act.

The proposed legislation preserves important consumer protections, but at the same time modernizes the outdated regulatory structure developed when the primary means of communication was a rotary telephone.  In our modern marketplace, regulations must reflect evolving realities, but without these reforms New Jersey risks losing valuable ground.  Unless changes are made, telecommunications providers will be discouraged from increasing investment and innovation in New Jersey, so it’s in the state’s best interest to stay on the cutting edge of telecommunications technologies and the jobs they provide.

Accordingly, the Senate should enact S-2664 in the time that remains.  There is simply no reason to delay the reforms outlined in Senator Lesniak’s legislation, which New Jersey needs to ensure a more prosperous future.

December 16th, 2011 at 2:30 pm
Meaningful New Jersey Telecom Reform In Sight, If Legislature Acts Soon
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Earlier this year, state Senator Raymond Lesniak (D) introduced a bill (S-2664) to modernize New Jersey government rules for the telecommunications industry by eliminating unnecessary and costly red tape that hampers investment and growth.  The State Assembly passed the bill with overwhelming bi-partisan support, but the measure has yet to be considered in the State Senate.  With only weeks left in New Jersey’s legislative session, lawmakers must therefore act swiftly to pass these much needed reforms.

The proposed legislation exemplifies smart reform.  It preserves important consumer protections, while modernizing the outdated regulatory structure developed when the primary means of communication was a rotary telephone.  Regulations must reflect the realities of the modern marketplace, but that is unfortunately no longer the case in New Jersey.  Unless changes are made, telecommunications providers will therefore remain unable to expand investment and innovation in the state, and it’s in New Jersey’s own best interest to stay on the cutting edge of telecommunications technologies and the jobs that provides.

So before lawmakers in Trenton call it quits on yet another legislative session, they should enact S-2664.  There is simply no reason to delay the reforms outlined in Senator Lesniak’s legislation, which are exactly what New Jersey needs to ensure a more prosperous future.

November 21st, 2011 at 6:04 pm
Proposed New Jersey Telecom Legislation Would Increase Bureaucracy and Regulation, Not Reduce It
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Under the false banner of “deregulation,” New Jersey state Senator Bob Smith (D) today introduced telecommunications legislation that would actually increase unnecessary and job-killing regulation over an industry critical to economic growth and jobs.

Smith claims that S-3062 relieves regulatory burdens, but it would in fact broaden regulatory authority for the Board of Public Utilities while heaping even more bureaucratic mandates and obligations upon telecom companies.  Among other things, the law would reinstate Board power over competitive services, even though such oversight was removed by the state legislature years ago.  The proposed bill would also mandate tariffs for services classified as competitive, while discriminatorily imposing filing requirements on some businesses but not others.  Moreover, the legislation would complicate and add uncertainty within the patchwork of overlapping federal and state regulations, and expand Board power in the video realm.

The fact that Sen. Smith attempted to characterize new regulatory proposals  as deregulatory shows that even he knows our current economic environment is not one in which the public desires even  more government interference.  Unfortunately, that’s what his bill would do.  What struggling New Jersey citizens need are more jobs and more telecom competition, not more bureaucracy.

June 2nd, 2011 at 5:59 pm
California’s Shameless Legislators Make Congress Look Good by Comparison
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In 2009 and 2010, the news out of Washington was dominated by stories of Congress rushing through legislation without reading it, voting in the middle of the night, and generally disregarding the adjective in the term “representative government.” Perhaps more than the specifics of policies like the stimulus package, Obamacare, and cap and trade, it was this disdain for honest dealing that set the public firmly in opposition to the Pelosi-Reid Congress and precipitated the blowout midterm elections of 2010.

As with most pathologies in American politics, what’s bad in Washington is usually even worse in Sacramento. The Sacramento Bee reports today:

Numerous bills to crack down on California lawmakers have been shelved quietly by the Legislature in recent weeks.

Casualties included proposals to bar middle-of-the-night legislative sessions, to restrict lawmakers from receiving pay for serving on state boards within four years of leaving office, and to require annual disclosure by public officials of their pay, benefits, travel and other compensation.

Legislators opted not to dock per-diem pay for absences or to create a “do not call” list for campaign robocalls.

What’s consistently fascinating about California politics is that, for all the dysfunction of state government, the Golden State doesn’t have a criminal political culture akin to Illinois or New Jersey, states where the capstone of a successful electoral career is often a stint in federal prison. And why would it? With six-figure legislative salaries and virtually guaranteed appointments to one of the (literally innumerable) state boards and commissions that act as legislative rest homes, one need not break the law to plunder the taxpayers.

As with most of its deficiencies, California would do well to replicate the example of Texas, a state that has shown that a massive population and a sophisticated economy do not necessitate governmental incompetence. Texas has a part-time legislature that only convenes once every two years. The stated goal of this policy: to protect the liberties of the people of Texas. Considering that Texas has created more jobs in the last five years than every other state combined, that seems to be a decent formula.

The upshot: California can take Texas’s principles or Texas can take California’s jobs. Reforming the way the Golden State’s feckless legislature does business would be a good start towards the former end.

March 2nd, 2011 at 2:51 pm
Chris Christie Claims He Would Win If He Ran

Previous threats of suicide notwithstanding, Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) isn’t doing much these days to tamp down speculation he might run for president next year.  In an interview with National Review, Christie says he knows he could win the presidency if he ran.  The issue holding him back is his belief that he isn’t ready to be successful.

He added, “The issue is not me sitting here and saying, ‘Geez, it might be too hard. I don’t think I can win.’ I see the opportunity both at the primary level and at the general election level. I see the opportunity. But I’ve got to believe I’m ready to be president, and I don’t. And I think that that’s the basis you have to make that decision.”

“I think when you have people who make the decision just based upon seeing the opportunity you have a much greater likelihood that you’re going to have a president who is not ready. And then we all suffer from that. Even if you’re a conservative, if your conservative president is not ready, you’re not going to be good anyway because you’re going to get rolled all over the place in that town.”

The most attractive aspect of Christie’s character is his ability to be direct and honest in public.  It’s true that history waits for no man, but Christie is watching President Obama make the kind of rookie mistakes on governing, foreign policy, and communication that Christie – rightly – wants to avoid.

America could use more self-aware politicians like Chris Christie in 2012, 2016, and beyond.

February 25th, 2011 at 1:34 pm
The Secrets of Chris Christie’s Success

In a characteristically well written piece Matt Bai identifies several political skills wielded by New Jersey’s dynamic governor.  Among them, Chris Christie’s ability to humanize mundane issues like pension policy stand out.

The theme of the week was pension-and-benefits reform, and in his introductory remarks, Christie explained the inefficiency in the state’s health care costs not by wielding a stack of damning statistics, as some politicians might, but by relating a story.

When he was a federal prosecutor, Christie told the audience, he got to choose from about 100 health-insurance plans, ranging from cheap to quite expensive. But as soon as he became governor, the “benefits lady” told him he had only three state plans from which to choose, Goldilocks-style; one was great, one was modestly generous and one was rather miserly. And any of the three would cost him exactly 1.5 percent of his salary.

“ ‘You’re telling me,’ ” Christie said he told the woman, feigning befuddlement, “ ‘that no matter which one I pick, the good one or the O.K. one or the bad one, I’m going to pay 1½ percent of my salary?’ And she said, ‘Yes.’

“And I said, ‘Then everyone picks the really good one, right?’ And she said, ‘Ninety-six percent of state employees pick the really good one.’

“Which led me to have two reactions,” Christie told the crowd. “First, bring those other 4 percent to me! Because when I have to start laying people off, they’re the first ones!” His audience burst into near hysterics. “And the second reaction was, of course I would choose the best plan,” Christie said, “and so would you.

Bai goes on to report seeing Christie’s mixed race audience nodding in agreement that public employees should be required to pay more for the better plan.  As Christie says, this isn’t rocket science, just common sense.  His ability to relate hard truths in understandable terms is a unique gift shared by the likes of Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, JFK, and FDR.  Not bad company for a guy from New Jersey.

January 10th, 2011 at 1:25 pm
Public Employee Unions’ Favorability Sinks Below 50%

Rasmussen Reports is out today with some interesting survey results.  In the wake of severe budget deficits Americans’ support for public employee unions is sinking to new lows.  According to Rasmussen’s telephone survey, 45% of respondents oppose allowing public employees to unionize, while an equal number favor the practice.  Just last May, 53% of Americans favored unions for public employees.

The 8% drop in approval rating combined with the rise in outright hostility undoubtedly concerns the mandarins over at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the nation’s largest public employee and health care workers union.  This kind of growing opposition will surely earn more hysterical charges from AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee’s like this one that 60 Minutes engaged in media bias when it granted air time to reform Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ).

It’s time to get serious.

December 1st, 2010 at 4:56 pm
Too Long Without a Chris Christie Update?
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I thought so too. Check out the Trenton Thunder as he takes a shot at the self-interested bureaucrats attempting to stymie his plans for education reform in the Garden State:

July 1st, 2010 at 12:48 am
Should Conservatives Flock to New Jersey?
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It’s the latest in a series of improbable questions to emanate from the Garden State since Chris Christie took over as governor earlier this year. But Joe Scarborough raises it here and after watching his interview with the big man, you may begin to understand how Christie inspires the gypsy sentiment in conservatives’ hearts.


June 2nd, 2010 at 5:56 pm
Update on Female Conservatives

Last week, CFIF highlighted the rise of female conservatives as a political force.  Last night, voters had their say.  Republican primary voters in Mississippi’s first congressional district deflected Fox News analyst Angela McGlowan’s overtures, handing her a distant third place finish.  McGlowan’s political future will depend on whether she steps up her local presence in Oxford, MS, to build towards another race.

For Susana Martinez, though, the future is now.  After handily beating her male opponent in the GOP primary yesterday, Martinez is poised to be a “game changing” candidate if elected governor of New Mexico later this year.

If you haven’t heard of Martinez, you will.  She’s served thirteen years as the Las Cruces-based District Attorney where she secured reelection twice despite Democrats outnumbering Republicans 3-to1 in her county.  Most impressively for the governor’s race, she has a detailed plan to fix New Mexico’s sputtering economy.  Hmm…tough career prosecutor with a detailed fiscally conservative vision.  Sound familiar?  Thankfully, she’s a lot prettier than New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

If she’s half as forceful, in a few years New Mexico might join New Jersey as two of the friendliest states to business and consumers.

May 26th, 2010 at 10:23 pm
At This Rate, We’re Going to Need a Blog Just for Chris Christie Updates
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More from America’s best governor:

May 20th, 2010 at 5:02 pm
The Beginning of an Economic Avalanche?
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No, I’m not referring to the recent precipitious decline in global stock markets (though there may be a connection). Instead, I’m talking about the tidal wave of state pension obligations that threaten to put the country’s entire economic infrastructure in peril. From a story in today’s Financial Times:

Joshua Rauh, associate professor of finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University said that, without reform, some state pensions might run out within the decade. By 2030, as many as 31 states may not have the money to pay pensions. And, if these funds exhaust their assets, the size of payments for the benefits they have promised will be too large to cover through taxes, putting pressure on the federal government for a bail-out that could potentially cost more than $1,000bn, he says.

For those of you not accustomed to the British rendering, that last number would normally be referred to stateside as a jaw-dropping “trillion” .

But how could this scenario have ever gotten this far? The FT piece explains:

Estimates put the unfunded liabilities at between $1,000bn and $3,000bn after years of states promising benefits but not contributing enough in both good times and bad to cover them.

Many states base their calculations on an 8 per cent annual return and use an accounting method called smoothing, which staggers gains and losses over several years, two factors that some observers warn could mask the size of the shortfalls. The problem has come to the fore with the financial crisis and recession. Pension funds, like most money managers, suffered losses. The tax revenues that fund annual contributions to pensions, along with essential services such as healthcare and education, have plummeted, leaving little room to reimburse the losses.

Assuming that governments can get themselves out of this morass before it’s too late, the only way to prevent a reoccurence is to switch public-sector pensions from “defined benefit” plans to “defined contribution” plans. Mort Zuckerman did a good job of showing why over at U.S. News and World Report earlier this week:

[New York City] pensions are “defined benefit” plans, which are more expensive since they guarantee specific benefits on retirement.

On the other hand, private sector workers in the survey were mostly in “defined contribution” plans, which means that, unlike their cushioned brethren in the public sector, they do not have a pre-determined benefit at retirement. If New York City were to require its current workers to pay contributions toward health insurance equal to the amounts paid by the employees of local private sector firms, the taxpayer savings would approximate $628 million a year. In New Jersey, [Governor Chris] Christie says government employee health benefits are 41 percent more expensive than those of the average Fortune 500 company.

We know when the next bubble is coming.  But with the coming attractions provided by belligerent bureaucrats in Greece, which American politician will be the first to throw himself in front of the union gravy train?

May 14th, 2010 at 3:00 pm
More of the Honest and Refreshing Chris Christie

It’s official; CFIF has a collective mancrush on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  After watching this video, it’s easy to see why.

May 13th, 2010 at 7:59 pm
Chris Christie Plants the Flag
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Come next January, a bevy of new Republicans in Washington are going to face the question that dogged Bill McKay, Robert Redford’s character in “The Candidate”, after finally winning office: “What do we do now?”

The Obama agenda leaves so little room for compromise with the center-right that the GOP has found it both politically expedient and ideologically consistent to throw up a wall of opposition. But when they have at least partial control of the reigns of power, that dynamic will change.

Conservatives searching for a role model when it comes time to lead should look to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who in only a few months has demonstrated the precondition of effective leadership in this age of runaway government: a spine of steel. Per a story in today’s edition of the Hill:

As the United States watches a debt crisis in Greece like a fiscal oil spill, waiting to see where it will spread first and when it will make landfall on our shores, Christie is tackling the nation’s worst state deficit — $10.7 billion of a $29.3 billion budget. In doing so, Christie has become the politician so many Americans crave, one willing to lose his job. Indeed, Christie is doing something unheard of: governing as a Republican in a blue state, just as he campaigned, making good on promises, acting like his last election is behind him.  

Upon taking office Christie declared a state of emergency, signing an executive order that froze spending, and then, in eight weeks, cutting $13 billion in spending. In March he presented to the Legislature his first budget, which cuts 9 percent of spending, including more than $800 million in education funding; seeks to privatize numerous government functions; projects 1,300 layoffs; and caps tax increases.

Much like Rudy Giuliani’s quest to rescue New York City from its own excess in the 1990s, Christie’s crusade shows a politican willing to sacrifice his career in order to save his constituents.  It’s a model for politicans from Greece to California. And soon it will be a model for the entire nation.

April 23rd, 2010 at 2:26 am
Perpetually Campaigning Yourself Out of a Career

It’s hard to believe that Florida Governor Charlie Crist is on the precipice of being a one term chief executive with only a new wife to show for it.  Haled as the difference maker for John McCain’s struggling presidential campaign, he single-handedly decided which Republican candidate would win the 2008 GOP Florida primary.  Yes, he was that popular in a state where he now trails his Republican challenger for the open Senate seat, Marco Rubio, by 20 points.

Aside from doing little more in office than unwind many of Jeb Bush’s conservative accomplishments, Crist is likely to leave office in November without having ever fully concentrated on being the most powerful politician in a crucial swing state.  In stark contrast to New Jersey’s recently elected governor, Chris Christie, whose budget balancing is a model for skillful public policy in action, Crist will be remembered as a politician who couldn’t be satisfied with his current job.  Very soon, Florida voters will relieve him of the burden.