TRENTON — A bill to force Gov. Chris Christie and all governors who follow him to reimburse New Jersey taxpayers for travel and security expenses associated with their out-of-state political trips easily cleared the Senate’s State Government committee Thursday. “All we are asking for is fairness here,” said Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), the bill’s sponsor. “If… Read the rest of this entry »Posted: July 23rd, 2015 | Author: admin | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature | Tags: 2016 Presidential politics, Chris Christie, Christie Security Costs, NJ State Legislature, NJ State Senate | 2 Comments »
Governor Chris Christie’s post-election attempt to replace Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr with Senator Kevin O’Toole was not a matter of Christie doing Senate President Steve Sweeney’s bidding, as has been widely perceived, but the culmination of a months long battle over differing strategies over how to wage the legislative campaign.
That Christie was unable to persuade Senate Republicans to dump Kean as their leader in favor of O’Toole was viewed by the media and political observers as a shocking act of defiance of the governor by the caucus viewed as obedient followers. But insiders say the united Republican front portrayed to the public masked an ongoing dispute between Kean’s and Christie’s political teams that resulted in Christie’s landslide reelection yielding no pick up of seats in the Senate.
Early on in the campaign, the Christie campaign concluded winning a majority in the State Senate, picking up 5 seats, was unlikely given the legislative map and the resources that South Jersey Democrats and their Independent Expenditure supporters were known to be deploying to defend their turf. Team Christie devised a strategy of winning a “functional majority,” by winning three Senate seats…District 14 (Middlesex and Mercer Counties) where former Senator Peter Inverso came out of retirement in an attempt to unseat Democrat Linda Greenstein, District 18 (Middlesex County), gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono’s district where East Brunswick Mayor David Stahl switched parties to run as a Republican against Assemblyman Peter Barnes, and District 38 (Bergen County) where businessman/educator Fernando Alonso was out to defeat Democratic Senator Bob Gordon…and courting policy friendly Democrats…Senators Brian Stack and Sandra Cunningham of Hudson County…to deliver the 20th and 21st votes for a majority when needed during Christie’s second term.Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election, NJ Senate Republicans | Tags: 2013 Election, Chris Christie, NJ Legislature, NJ Senate Republicans, NJ State Senate, Tom Kean JR | 4 Comments »