ELDER PATRIOT – In a former life I was actively engaged in New Jersey politics working for the New Jersey Restaurant Association (NJRA.) This brought be into direct contact with many of the major players both Democrat and Republican. This included Governor Chris Christie.
Christie returned to the high school he attended today to announce his candidacy for president. God help us if he wins.
Speaking in platitudes and playing off his carefully sculpted public image as a tough guy, Christie said all the things that would make for a good president. The only problem is none of it is true. Not his image. Not the track record of his work as governor. Most importantly, he lacked the willingness to fight big government.
He spoke a good game but those in the know watched him work with NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney to divide the state for their benefit. For his part Sweeney is the quintessential union boss not above using thugs to threaten old ladies.
Add on top of all of this the fact that Christie is a vindictive person. Bridgegate – Christie shut down lanes on the George Washington Bridge – to punish a political opponent is just one example. While I was a board member of the NJRA I was asked to speak at a press conference to address the effects of energy price increases that would be certain to result from the carbon tax that Christie was supportive of.
Christie had his staff hastily schedule a press conference to run concurrent to the one I was to speak at. He held it on the opposite side of the state so that our voices would be muted. A staff member of the governor’s purposely let the president of the NJRA know that we had burned our political capital with the governor. This was political capital earned by being one of only two professional organizations that publicly supported Christie in the general election.
During his first campaign for governor I had the opportunity to engage Christie in discussion. I asked him if he would stop the costly corruption coming out of Trenton that was forcing the cost of living and doing business in NJ past all tolerable limits. He absolutely guaranteed me that was his mission. A look at the state of New Jersey today reveals Christie’s complete ineffectiveness in this regard. The governor has either been complicit in maintaining the corruption status quo, or he’s so stupid he never realized it was there under his nose. Not a good recommendation for a former federal prosecutor.
He never cut taxes as he had promised. Instead he used slight of hand and hidden fee increases to promise a balanced budget that was never achieved. Fees and tolls tripled. The budget his administration released used a 7% economic growth rate to predict enough revenue to cover the state’s expenditures. The governor is never above being disingenuous. He has sent his minions to infiltrate the state’s Tea Parties and the campaigns of true conservative candidates who he viewed as threats. He has co-opted the conservative label but has governed as a big, big, bigger government fat cat.
The negative facts about Chris Christie could fill an encyclopedia. Here’s the most important fact: New Jersey has been the leading outward migration state in the country over the past 5 years. The last thing our country needs is that.