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Joint Statement From Governors Christie, Cuomo and Malloy Regarding U.S. Senate’s Action on Hurricane Sandy Disaster Aid Bill

Trenton, NJ – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy released the following statement regarding the Senate’s passage today of the disaster relief package:

 

“Our genuine thanks and gratitude goes out to the U.S. Senate for its thoughtful consideration and passage of the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief package. Despite the difficult path in getting to this moment, the Senate membership clearly recognized early on the urgency and necessity of approving the full aid package and its importance in rebuilding our battered infrastructure and getting our millions of affected residents back on their feet as quickly as possible. To all Americans, we are grateful for their willingness to come to our aid as we take on the monumental task of rebuilding and we pledge to do the same should our fellow citizens find themselves facing unexpected and harsh devastation.

 

“We also make special note of the tenacious efforts of our respective Congressional delegations in steering the Sandy aid package through their respective houses and bringing this aid home to their people.”

 

Posted: January 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Dannel Malloy, Hurricane Sandy, Press Release | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Joint Statement From Governors Christie, Cuomo and Malloy Regarding House of Representatives Action on Disaster Aid Bill

Trenton, NJ – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy released the following statement regarding passage today of the disaster relief package by the House of Representatives:

 

“We are grateful to those members of Congress who today pulled together in a unified, bipartisan coalition to assist millions of their fellow Americans in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut at their greatest time of need. The tradition of Congress being there and providing support for Americans during times of crisis, no matter where they live across this great country, lives on in today’s vote in the House of Representatives. We anticipate smooth passage when this package moves back to the Senate for final approval and for this long-awaited relief to finally make its way to our residents.” 

 

Posted: January 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Congress, Dannel Malloy, Hurricane Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Joint Statement of Governors Christie and Cuomo on Congressional Failure to Pass Hurricane Sandy Relief Package

Trenton, NJ – With all that New York and New Jersey and our millions of residents and small businesses have suffered and endured, this continued inaction and indifference by the House of Representatives is inexcusable. It has now been 66 days since Hurricane Sandy hit and 27 days since President Obama put forth a responsible aid proposal that passed with a bipartisan vote in the Senate while the House has failed to even bring it to the floor. This failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented. The fact that days continue to go by while people suffer, families are out of their homes, and men and women remain jobless and struggling during these harsh winter months is a dereliction of duty. When American citizens are in need we come to their aid. That tradition was abandoned in the House last night.

 

The people of our states can no long afford to wait while politicians in Washington play games.

Posted: January 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Congress, Hurricane Sandy, Press Release | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Announce Reopening of World Trade Center and Exchange Place PATH Service on Monday, November 26

Trenton, NJ – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that weekday PATH service will resume to Lower Manhattan along the World Trade Center line beginning Monday, November 26 at 5 a.m.

The World Trade Center PATH line will run Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., with stops in New Jersey at Newark, Harrison, Journal Square, Grove Street and Exchange Place and in New York at the World Trade Center. Disabled access will be available at Newark and World Trade Center.

Floodwater from the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy had inundated the World Trade Center station, covering its track bed with several feet of water. Port Authority PATH crews have worked around the clock to remove millions of gallons of water from the tracks and platforms and also to fix and replace damaged switching and signal systems as quickly as possible. Weekend service will not yet be available to enable crews to continue the remaining necessary repair work.

The restored service to the World Trade Center will be in addition to the PATH service currently running from Newark in New Jersey to 33rd Street in New York. That line is running seven days a week between the hours of 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and includes stops in New Jersey at Newark, Harrison, Journal Square, Grove Street and Newport stations and stops in New York at 9th, 14th, 23rd and 33rd Street. Once service resumes at the World Trade Center on Monday, service on the 33rd Street line will resume running between Journal Square and 33rd Street and will make all station stops including Christopher Street in Manhattan.

Weekend service on the Journal Square to 33rd Street line extends to Harrison and Newark in New Jersey. Disabled passengers have access to the platforms at Newark, Journal Square, Newport and 33rd Street.

Service at the Hoboken station, which saw unprecedented and widespread flooding remains suspended due to the fact vital switching equipment was destroyed and cannot be salvaged. Crews are working 24/7 to replace the signal equipment and restore communications in the tunnels, a process that is expected to take several weeks.

To provide additional mass transit options from Hoboken to Manhattan, the Port Authority and New Jersey Transit are operating a ferry service from the Hoboken Ferry Terminal. NJ Transit customers will now be able to take a bus to the Hoboken Ferry Terminal and then transfer to a ferry that will take passengers to Pier 79 at 39th street in Manhattan. The fare is $5 and ferries will run back and forth between Hoboken and Manhattan from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday thru Friday. Free shuttle buses will be provided from Pier 79 to midtown Manhattan.

Passengers who normally use the Hoboken station to get to Manhattan can also choose to make the ten minute walk to the Newport station, or take advantage of several other ferry and bus alternatives. Ferry service to Lower Manhattan is available from Liberty State Park and to Midtown Manhattan from Weehawken, New Jersey. In addition, NJ Transit has increased the number of No. 106 buses from Hoboken to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in both directions.

For up-to-date information on PATH service, visit the Port Authority’s website at www.panynj.gov/path/and follow them on Twitter @PATHTweet.

Posted: November 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Hurricane Sandy, PATH, Port Authority, Press Release | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Booker’s next step….Why not the White House?

Updated September 10, 11:20 am

Prior to last month the buzz about Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s future was that he would run for U.S. Senate in 2014, challenging Senator Frank Launtenberg if necessary.  Booker opened a federal PAC last year and Lautenberg has been sniping at him ever since.

But in the weeks leading up to the convention Booker met with county chairs to plant the seeds of a gubernatorial run against Governor Chris Christie last year.  In Charlotte he went into full campaign mode without making an announcement.  In the process he made himself the front runner for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2013.  A Booker candidacy for governor will clear the Democratic field. Without Booker in the race there will be a contentious primary.  Senators Dick Codey, Barbara Buono and Steve Sweeney could be contenders.  Assemblymen John Wisniewski and Lou Greenwald are acting like candidates.  Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage says he will run if Booker doesn’t.

None of the other potential candidates will be able to gain any traction until Booker makes his intentions clear.

As a nod to Booker’s front runner status, Quinnipiac polled a Christie/Booker match up.  Christie won the poll by 7%, but Booker’s name was recognised by 60% of those polled.   That is an extraordinary high number for a New Jersey politician who has never run a statewide race.  Booker has better name recognition than Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.  He is as well known and better liked than U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.

Booker told the New Jersey delegation in Charlotte that Christie can be beat and that he is only governor because urban Democrats didn’t come out to vote for Jon Corzine in 2009.  The implication is that he can get urban voters out, regardless of the desires of Democratic bosses George Norcross in the south and Joe DiVincenzo in the north who didn’t rev their machines for Corzine in 09.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: September 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2014 U.S. Senate race | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Middlesex County PACs Update

Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Peter Barnes is responding to the controversy over the Middlesex County PACs that are circumventing the State’s pay to pay laws by ranting that Governor Christie is doing the same thing, according to a story at Politickernj that also takes credit for breaking the PACs story last month, even though Harold V. Kane broke the story here at MMM last September.

Someone should tell Barnes, and Politickernj’s Darryl Isherwood, that Democratic NY Governor Andrew Cuomo is employing the exact same fund raising technique to promote his agenda in New York that Christie is using in New Jersey.

All of this ranting about PACs and 501(c)4’s circumventing the pay to pay laws is silly.  The campaign finance system is working exactly the way it was designed to work.  It decreases transparency and gives politicians something to shout at each other about while the public tunes out to pay attention to something more entertaining.   That’s what the system was designed to do!

Note to Isherwood:  The New York Times broke the story about Cuomo’s use of a 501(c)4.

Posted: May 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Cuomo, Campaign Contributions, Campaign Finance, Chris Christie | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Starve The Beast: Roll Back The Port Authority Toll Hikes

Given the results of the audit of Port Authority released earlier this week, it is fair to conclude that PA has been overcharging New Jersey commuters and truckers for decades.

Too much money has been the addictive substance that made PA “dysfunctional.” 

Lack of money is what has enabled Governor Christie, and many other governors across the country to implement necessary reforms.  Christie is extraordinarily talented, but would he have been able to get the Democrats to compromise with him if tax revenue was rolling in with abundance?  No way.

Yet, with the September toll hikes, Governors Christie and Cuomo have helped the the dysfunctional, wasteful, corrupt Pork Authority to more of their destructive substance.

New Jersey Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen County) and New York State Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) have called for the latest toll hikes to be rolled back, according to The Star Ledger.

At the very least, tolls should be rolled back to their pre-September levels until the ongoing audit of PA is complete and reforms implemented.  A rollback to the 2001 toll levels should be seriously considered.

Phase two of the toll increases announced last August take effect in 2014.  Christie and Cuomo should immediately revoked that authorization and roll back the current tolls to the September 2011 levels, at the very least.

Posted: February 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Port Authority | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Joint Statement From Governors Christie and Cuomo On Port Authority Consultants’s Report

Trenton, NJ – New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today released the following statement regarding the Phase 1 Interim Consultant’s Report on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey:

 

“The interim report released today on operations of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey describes an agency which failed to exercise proper oversight, control costs and budget transparently. The report’s Executive Summary describes an agency that is challenged and dysfunctional, and where poor management obscured full awareness of billions of dollars in exposure to the Port Authority.  

 

“Cause for further concern is the report’s conclusion that the WTC gross project costs, last publicly reforecast at $11 billion in 2008, have since grown a staggering $3.8 billion to $14.8 billion, at a minimum.  Similarly, the report finds capital planning is plagued by management deficiencies that have resulted in a doubling of debt in 10 years as the agency drifted from its core responsibility as a transportation infrastructure organization. Coupled with the consultant’s assessment of the impact of add-on compensation for agency personnel – an institutionalized practice that has contributed to an unacceptable 19 percent increase in gross compensation in just five years – the interim report makes clear that wide-ranging reform is long overdue.  

 

“This record of historic failure must be reversed.  Steps have already been taken in the last two years, but much more must be done to restore the Port Authority to a responsible, highly transparent, well-managed organization focused on its core mission of maintaining and expanding our states’ shared transportation infrastructure for the health and growth of our overlapping economies.  We will demand nothing short of the agency’s implementation of comprehensive recommendations and reform to achieve this critical mission.” 

Posted: February 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Christie And Cuomo Direct Port Authority To Scale Back Toll Hikes

Governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New York sent a joint letter to Port Authority Chairman David Samson and Vice Chairman Stanley Grayson today directing that the toll and fare increases the authority proposed two weeks ago be scaled back and that a comprehensive audit of the capital plan and operations take place.

A copy of the governors’ letter can be found here.

Christie and Cuomo said that their commissioners were able to identify $5 billion in savings within the capital plan over the last two weeks. 

Imagine what they could have found if they weren’t in a hurry.

Tolls for cars on the Hudson River crossings will increase by $1.50 in September and then $.75 in December in each year from 2012-2015.  The Port Authority’s proposal would have raised these tolls by $4.00 in September. Overall tolls on cars will increase by $4.50 over the next five years rather than the $6.00 PANYNJ proposed over four years.

Drivers paying cash rather than using EZ Pass will pay a $2.00 penalty.

Tolls on trucks using EZ Pass will increase by $2.00 per axle in September, and then an additional $2.00 per year per axle starting in December, 2012-2015.

Trucks paying cash will pay the same increases, plus $3.00 per axle.

Fares on the PATH trains will increase $.25 per year for the next four years.

The governors said that these increases would stop the fiscal crisis at Port Authority and allow for the completion of the World Trade Center and hundreds of other projects that “will ensure the safety and economic viability of a transportation system that millions of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans rely on.”

This toll deal, since the Port Authority’s initial announcement through today’s joint letter by the governors is just too cute for my liking.

Why institute five years worth of toll increases before the comprehensive audit is completed?  What happens if the audit reveals another $5 billion in savings?  Will tolls be reduced by another $2.50 like the governors were able to reduce the proposed increases with $5 billion in savings discovered in two weeks?  Who will conduct the audit?  Is prevailing wage on the table for reform? Will the audit be made public?  How long will the audit take to complete?

If there is a real fiscal crisis at PANYNJ with a possibility of defaulting on bonds, a more reasonable alternative would have been to grant temporary toll and fare increases, for six months to a year, until the audit could be completed, studied and money saving reforms implemented.

The fact that this fiasco happened during two weeks in August while so many people are vacationing before the back to school rush increases my cynicism and disappointment.  It makes me fear what might be in store for us during the last two weeks of December and during the lame duck session of the legislature.

Posted: August 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Port Authority | Tags: , , | 6 Comments »

Unions To Dems: Shut Up About Port Authority Toll Hikes

By Art Gallagher

Politickernj is reporting that New Jersey’s construction unions are leaning on Democratic lawmakers not to criticise Governor Christie over the proposed 50% toll and fare hikes by the Port Authority of NY/NJ. Yet.

The labor unions want New Jersey commuters to fund the $33 billion in NY and NJ infrastructure projects, including the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, that the toll hikes will support.

Trenton Democrats and U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg had initially come out strongly against the toll hikes.   Governors Christie and Cuomo claimed they were caught off guard by the toll hike proposal and would review it.  Most observers expect Christie and Cuomo to approve lower toll increases than the Port Authority has proposed.

Trenton Democrats are now holding their powder on criticising the proposed hikes, figuring that Christie will look good politically if he responds to the criticism by scaling back the increases.  Instead they will attack Republicans after the final hikes are approved.

Christie has blamed the need for toll hikes on years of mismanagement  in the Port Authority and has claimed that the people he has appointed are improving the operations and finances of the mega agency.  Cuomo said that the proposed toll hikes don’t work for him.

Posted: August 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Port Authority | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Unions To Dems: Shut Up About Port Authority Toll Hikes