After Sandy, just a year ago, I thought it was super-cool that Governor Christie wore his fleece and
hugged stood next to President Obama and showed concern for residents who had had their lives upended and submerged and interrupted. And admittedly, I was amused by Chris Christie’s personality — even, sadly, when he was spouting ideals that grate against my moral fiber.
Then I went to a Christie Town Hall in Montville (because he doesn’t take constituent meetings, town halls are more “for the people” and all). And he was really offensive when it came to comparing urban and suburban areas. See my tweets here. I mean, things like this about Montville-type towns paying too much already, juxtaposed with this about Abbott schools being wasteful. And, with hindsight and recent news, this chilling comment about how he wants to change the NJ Supreme Court in order to affect change in Abbott districts is even more disturbing. Can you say CODED LANGUAGE? (Find out what Abbott Districts are.) You should know that the Montville Town Hall was not close to what anyone would call ethnically or racially diverse.
A month later, in Paterson, I attended another Governor Christie Town Hall. Over 700 people filled the pews. It was more diverse than the Montville district, but most of the audience was African-American. This was the pseudo-infamous Town Hall where Christie responded to an audience member shouting out “Fix the Public Schools!” by saying “Yeah, I hear you boy, I hear you.” Somehow, my tweet about the audience holding its breath and then deciding to give Christie the benefit of the doubt has disappeared. Hmm. Here are the other tweets from that town hall. You can see the exchange here to judge for yourself. Anyway, all this to say that the Paterson school district is one of 31 Abbott Districts. So, this is a district that Christie said was “wasteful” to the Montville Town Hall. Odd then that several audience members, including a Board of Education member, asked that the state release Paterson from state control.
After attending these two very different Town Halls, both times as an outsider, I felt dirty. The Governor’s attitude was one of smugness and “wink, wink” at Montville. In Paterson, his behavior was thick with condescension and self-satisfaction. And he actually TOLD the audience in Paterson that they use up more taxes than they pay; this after telling Montville residents that they pay too much. Completely disregarding the realities and hardships of one group while pooh-poohing the privilege of the other.
But we oughtn’t to choose or not choose a Governor on an elitist attitude or a supercilious personality. Instead, consider the words of my friend Nicola below — printed with permission.
Planning to vote for Gov. Christie on Nov. 5?
Gov. Christie vetoed common sense gun legislation that would expand background checks and require a gun safety training course for gun owners that would help keep guns out of children’s hands. He completely reversed his stance and stood with the gun lobby to veto a bill to ban .50 caliber rifles capable of taking down a helicopter.
Gov. Christie vetoed marriage equality legislation — and while New Jersey is now proudly (and rightly) a marriage equality state, it is in spite of his actions, not because of them.
And if you still have fuzzy feelings remembering Gov. Christie tour the shore with President Obama last year, you should know that there are a lot of concerns regarding his actions regarding Sandy recovery too…
Gov. Christie spent millions more to hire a PR company that would feature the Governor prominently in NJ tourism ads. And the Christie administration has been invited and has declined to attend all four legislative hearings on Hurricane Sandy.
Think he is an accessible, tell-it-like-it-is guy? Well, then why has he refused to answer questions regarding his 6pm Friday night vetoes on gun legislation that over 80% of residents want?
Oh, and did you know that for the past 5 weeks, Gov. Christie has refused to allow any press questions at over 30 public appearances? Christie may not be a Ted Cruz or Michelle Bachmann, but he isn’t exactly a moderate and his focus right now surely isn’t on Jersey.
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