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Christie bashed from both sides for scheduling Senate election for Oct.

posted 6/6/2013 1:16:40 PM |
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  StraddleMyNose


TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Seven months after he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with President Barack Obama in what was celebrated by many in storm-battered New Jersey as a selfless display of bipartisanship, Republican Gov. Chris Christie finds himself accused of hypocrisy and naked political self-interest.

The reason: On Tuesday, the day after Sen. Frank Lautenberg's death, Christie announced a special election to fill the seat. But instead of holding it in November, when Christie is on the ballot for re-election, the governor scheduled it for Oct. 16, at an expected cost to the state of $12 million.

The move seemed at odds with Christie's reputation for budget-cutting, and it infuriated both Democrats and Republicans.

Some said Christie clearly doesn't want to be on the same ballot with a strong Democrat for Senate — say, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a rising star in the party — for fear that that could boost black and Democratic turnout and deny Christie the blowout victory that could make him a strong candidate for the White House in 2016.

Former Rep. Dick Armey, a tea party leader from Texas who was once GOP House majority leader, called the October special election "debilitating stupidity."

In an interview with ABC, he predicted it would backfire with Republicans because Christie was stressing fiscal responsibility as governor, yet willing to waste millions on special elections.

The Star-Ledger, New Jersey's largest newspaper, called it "a shameless move that will waste at least $12 million and risk the integrity of the vote."

The sharp criticism from so many directions is unusual for Christie, whose often combative style and quick wit have made him popular in New Jersey, an attraction as a fundraiser for Republicans across the country and a frequent guest on TV talk shows.

Last year, he worked closely with Obama in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and hugged the president when he visited storm-devastated parts of New Jersey. That drew criticism from some Republicans, who said he was too cozy with the president days before Obama was re-elected. But the blowback this time is more widespread.

When he unveiled the plan Tuesday, Christie portrayed it as a nonpolitical move designed to uphold democratic principles by giving voters a say in their representation as quickly as possible under state law.

"This is about guaranteeing the people of New Jersey both a choice and a voice in the process in the representation that they deserve in Washington," he said.

Christie also scheduled a Senate primary election for Aug. 13, saying the candidates should be chosen by the people and not party bosses. That will cost the state another $12 million, and set up three elections in a span of less than three months.

"It's as if he gave the residents of this state the finger," Democratic state Sen. Richard Codey said.

"Instead of holding an expensive special election that tries to protect the governor's political vulnerabilities," he said, "the voters should have the opportunity to have their say in the regular election in November."

Booker and Rep. Frank Pallone, both well-financed Democrats, had previously expressed interest in the seat held by Lautenberg, a Democrat whose term expires at the start of 2015. Neither man has said whether he will run in the special election.

If Booker were on the ballot in November, he could bring out Democratic voters who would not bother to show up at the polls for Barbara Buono, the state senator who is challenging Christie for governor. Big Democratic turnout could hurt the GOP's chances of picking up seats in the Legislature.

On the Republican side, some lawmakers are reportedly considering running for the Senate, along with some political outsiders, including Al Leiter, a former major league pitcher who is now a broadcaster. Conservative activist Steve Lonegan, a former mayor of Bogota, N.J., said he is gathering signatures and raising money for a run.

Even though New Jersey elected Christie as governor, a Senate run is expected to be a challenge for any Republican, a state that has 700,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans and has not elected a Republican to the Senate since 1972.

Some Republicans believe their best shot would be for Christie to appoint a strong Republican now and schedule the election for November 2014, giving the GOP choice some time to gain voters' respect.

"From the folks that I've talked with, Chris Christie's glow has diminished," said Don Rogers, a tea party activist in South Carolina, which holds the first-in-the-South presidential primary. Rogers said the special election is the latest issue to give him misgivings about Christie, starting with the governor's willingness to appear with Obama along the Jersey shore shortly before the 2012 election.

Now, with the Senate vacancy, "we're afraid that he might make a moderate decision on this replacement," Rogers said. "If he believes in his own conservative principles and he has an opportunity, he needs to take it — he needs to find the most conservative individual."

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Comments:

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sugarnspice005

Jun 6 @ 1:36PM  
So, instead of playing politics like a good little politician, he is going to let the PEOPLE decide who they want to represent them, and both sides are bitching.

Let me see, if he had appointed a Republican replacement, democrats would have have cried fowl because it was a Democrat who held that seat, but, if he had appointed another Democrat, then the Republicans would have bitched that he betrayed the party.

So, he lets the voters decide, and is still being bitched about by both sides. And there are people who say there is nothing wrong with the politics in this country.


He's doing what his constituents want, I guess that's his mistake.
StraddleMyNose

Jun 6 @ 1:58PM  
Umm, Dawn, did you read the whole article?

The problem is his scheduling of this special election in Oct. instead of the general election in Nov. in that state, where it's now going to cost taxpayers 12 million dollars.

Pretty self-serving and hypocritical of him since he has a reputation for budget-cutting.

Some said Christie clearly doesn't want to be on the same ballot with a strong Democrat for Senate — say, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a rising star in the party — for fear that that could boost black and Democratic turnout and deny Christie the blowout victory that could make him a strong candidate for the White House in 2016.

I really never cared for the guy.



sugarnspice005

Jun 6 @ 2:02PM  
ummm yeah....I did read the article, yeah, I did see where it said the election is in October, and yeah, I saw where it will cost the $12 mill.

Do you or I know NJ laws regarding this? I can answer for myself, no, I don't know NJ law regarding this. It is quite possible he is going by that...does anyone ever stop to think about that? And no, going by what someone says in a news article isn't all that reliable.

And if he's playing politics, then it's up to the voters in NJ to "teach him a lesson". Right?
StraddleMyNose

Jun 6 @ 2:04PM  
And you don't find this in any way self-serving with his scheduling? Okay... lol
sugarnspice005

Jun 6 @ 2:08PM  
Oh for crying out loud!!! Really? Tell me ONE politician who isn't self serving!!!!!!!!
StraddleMyNose

Jun 6 @ 2:20PM  
Christie is a high profile politician who is up for re-election in NJ, and may even run for President in 2016. And yet, he's going to cost taxpayers in NJ 12 million just so he doesn't have a threat of losing his governorship to a heavy black democrat voter block turning out for this senate race.

May be a smart move, but it certainly shows his flaws. With his possible run in 2016 for President, I'm sure it's going to be an issue.

You may be cynical about politicans, but I for one expect a little more from them.
sugarnspice005

Jun 6 @ 2:26PM  
That wasn't me being cynical, that was me pointing out the obvious. Politicians are always working to their advantage, much like we do out here in the work world.

If Christie is indeed thinking of a Presidential run in 2016, he is doing himself no favors with this move as, like you said, it will come back to kick him in the ass. And if the economy is still shaky at that time, it will definitely work against him.

I just choose to not be surprised at this "self serving" thing politicians do. All of them are up there with the thought in mind about the next election. Like I said, name me one that doesn't do that. It's part of their job. Nothing cynical about seeing the reality.

I'm not defending the guy. My personal opinion is he should have just appointed someone and be done with it.

StraddleMyNose

Jun 6 @ 2:30PM  
he should have just appointed someone and be done with it
Yes, we will agree on that.
Wordsofwit

Jun 6 @ 2:50PM  
The problem is his scheduling of this special election in Oct. instead of the general election in Nov. in that state, where it's now going to cost taxpayers 12 million dollars.

I agree with you on this one, Shawn.
RJ53

Jun 7 @ 2:31AM  
Problem is that the person from that special election will only serve six working days in the senate at about two million dollars a day, The gov wants that seat himself and is trying to fix it so his main opponent will not be in that race, just politics as usual,

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Christie bashed from both sides for scheduling Senate election for Oct.