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Christie State of the State Focuses on Sandy, Bipartisan Politics

Governor delivered his third State of the State address Tuesday in Trenton.

It’s been a consistent refrain from Gov. Chris Christie’s office following Hurricane Sandy’s landing on New Jersey’s shores. Make no mistake about it, he told the assembled crowd of lawmakers at the Statehouse Tuesday afternoon, New Jersey will be back.

As expected, much of Christie’s State of the State address focused on Sandy’s impact on New Jersey and the ongoing effort to see those areas most devastated by the storm restored as quickly as possible.

During the approximately 45-minute speech, one that was marked by several standing ovations—many of them for Christie, some for residents who performed heroically during and after Sandy—the governor appealed for bipartisanship in politics at both the state and national level as New Jersey works towards restoration.

Recalling advice delivered during a tour of Port Monmouth to a nine-year-old storm victim named Ginjer that the “adults are in charge now,” Christie praised rebuilding efforts undertaken thus far and called for the effort to continue until New Jersey is restored.

"The people of New Jersey have come together as never before,” he said in his speech. “Across party lines. Across ideological lines. Across ages, races and backgrounds. From all parts of our state. Even from out of state. Everyone has come together.”

In all, Christie’s office estimates Sandy caused nearly $37 billion in property damage. The stormed knocked out power to seven million residents, damaged or destroyed 346,000 homes and has left tens of thousands of residents displaced.

Backing off his harsh—and specific—criticism of the GOP and U.S House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, whose “toxic politics” Christie blamed for delaying aid to Sandy victims, Christie instead urged Congress to follow up on its approval of a preliminary $9 billion flood insurance package by passing the remainder of the aid at its scheduled Jan. 15 vote.

“You see,” he said. “Some things are above politics. Sandy was and is one of those things.”

Christie added: “We now look forward to what we hope will be quick Congressional action on a full, clean Sandy aid bill—now, next week—and to enactment by the President. We have waited 72 days, seven times longer than victims of Hurricane Katrina waited. One thing I hope everyone now clearly understands—New Jersey, both Republicans and Democrats, will never stand silent when our citizens are being short-changed.”

Much of Christie’s speech carried a tone of optimism. The governor, delivering his third State of the State, dwelled little on the politics that have dominated his tenure thus far, instead offering quickly-delivered recaps of policies he claims have kept property taxes low, reformed the pension system, cut the government workforce, and added jobs to the private sector.

Instead of discussing opposition from Senate and Assembly Democrats, Christie instead lauded a method of government that has gotten things done, now and even prior to Sandy.

“We are working together, not just as a people in digging out from Sandy and rebuilding our economy,” he said in his speech. “Here in Trenton, in this chamber, we have had our fights. We have stuck to our principles. But we have established a governing model for the nation that shows that, even with heartfelt beliefs, bipartisan compromise is possible. Achievement is the result. And progress is the payoff.”

The economy has been a top priority and will continue to be over the next year, Christie said. Sandy, as well as lingering effects of the national economic recession, have been stumbling blocks toward New Jersey’s complete economic recovery, Christie said, though new data shows that home sales are up, consumer spending is up, and industrial production is up.

Ultimately, the state’s economy benefits when more and better paying jobs are created, Christie said.

“Since I took this office, participation in New Jersey’s labor force is higher than the nation as a whole and the number of people employed has grown,” Christie’s speech read. “That means that more people have the confidence to be out looking for jobs, and more people actually have jobs.”

Though Christie refrained from too much finger pointing during Tuesday’s speech, New Jersey Democrats, in their official response to the State of the State, did object to some of the governor’s claims. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, D-34, said Christie has done a fine job over the last couple of months responding to the needs of those counties devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately, she said, he’s failed to address the needs of the rest of the state, now, and even before Sandy.

The foreclosure rate on residential properties in New Jersey is up, Oliver said. And while municipalities are unable to adequately fund their police forces because of, presumably, the governor’s mandatory two percent tax cap, crime is up in many areas already plagued with high crime rates.

Christie was also criticized by regular political rival Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-3, who on Monday said that the governor’s prayers were answered when Hurricane Sandy arrived on the coast of Atlantic City, though Sweeney later apologized for his remarks. Sweeney’s message was clear, however. He believes Sandy provided a convenient distraction for Christie’s economic policies, which have failed to jumpstart New Jersey.

With Christie advocating for an end to partisan politics in his address, his colleagues in the Statehouse were more than willing to pick up the slack. State Sen. Joe Kyrillos, R-13, representing towns in Monmouth County, attacked the governor’s Democratic critics who’ve challenged his positive economic interpretation.

“For anyone to say that 75,000 private sector jobs created, $120 billion saved taxpayers by pension and benefits reform, and the first meaningful limits on property taxes isn’t a record worth cheering is absurd,” Kyrillos said in a statement. “I encourage the governor’s critics to stop with the nasty, partisan posturing, leave the campaigning for the fall, and work with the governor to continue the progress.”

With his plans to seek reelection for a second term as New Jersey’s governor, Christie called for Trenton to work together towards a positive future. Over the next several years the state will be tasked with rebuilding following Sandy, restoring New Jersey’s economy to growth and prosperity, and reclaiming the promise of a positive New Jersey for future generations.

That requires assistance from both Republicans and Democrats.

“Let’s put aside destructive politics in an election year. Let’s put aside accusations and false charges for purely political advantage. Let’s work together to honor the memories of those lost in Sandy. Let’s put the needs of our most victimized citizens ahead of the partisan politics of the day,” he said. “Let’s demonstrate once again the resilience of New Jersey’s spirit. And let us continue what we have started.”

BillBalls January 10, 2013 at 04:02 PM
B@B – I can name you a ton of states, counties, & towns where your rights to your properties are severely restricted, some of them down to what color you can paint your house and how high your grass can grow. But let me just make this very clear to you B@B. There are two types of people in America. Those who have been run over by the government for the greater good, and those who will be run over by the government for the greater good. Clearly, you haven't been hit yet! There is a few of wise,old saying that we’d all be better to remember and understand: 1) There is no such thing as a free lunch. 2) The government can give you nothing it first doesn’t have to take from someone else. 3) The 10 scariest words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help you. Our founding fathers NEVER intended the government to be used to push someone’s ideology down someone else’s throat! Sure we need some central control, but when that central control is reaching into every facets of our every breath it has gone way too far. BTW, I hope all American women are taking advantage of their “free” birth control now! Free my foot, just the cost has been shifted from them that use it (which is fine by me) to every wage earner and consumer in this country. Yea, that’s really fair! When will someone start paying for me? Wahhh, Wahhhh, Wahhhh, why can’t I have a free cell phone, a WIC card and cheap property taxes too?
stewart resmer January 10, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Roundup: Christie media blitz, N.J.'s $123M budget shortfall The Record: Numbers don't lie The Record State revenue projectsions for the remainder of the fiscal year appear overly optimistic. Herald News: Revenue projections look too rosy Herald News THAT TAX cut Governor Christie talked about much of last year is not looking very likely. We don't know what the governor will say about cutting taxes in his annual State of the State address on Tuesday, but his speech is scheduled five days after the ... The Record: The spirit of Jersey The Record IT IS not what Governor Christie said Tuesday that was disappointing; it is what he did not say. This was not a State of the State, but rather a Spirit of New Jersey address.
Jack Q January 10, 2013 at 04:23 PM
OK, so again by your logic it is the democratically controlled State Senate and Assembly that is creating all the problems, not the governor. You can't have it both ways when it is convenient for your argument. By the way, when the man you elected as President presented his only budget (by the way, Constitutionally it's supposed to be done annually), it was voted down in the Democratically controlled Senate 97-0. What does that tell you about your hero Obama? Can't blame the Republicans for defeating that one.
I am Spartacus January 10, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Stewart, again you don't pay attention much. He came in and Corzine left him an $8bn structural deficit. Seriously, if you have a problem w/ deficits then how about you support a governor who cuts waste, cuts dead weight, cuts spending and cuts the deficit for once in your life.
PeterB January 10, 2013 at 04:35 PM
What exactly did Corzine do for the state? Had he done anything to prepare for a storm. Or better yet what did he do for the state period.
stewart resmer January 10, 2013 at 04:36 PM
by my logic, the republican party are free wheeling spenders that are pikers that hand the bills off to future generations calling the dems tax and spenders when the gop are just gvt bloatting spenders that advocate for less taxes on the uber wealthy while at the same time sending other peoples children off to unfunded off the books perpetual war and then deny health care and job benefits to veterans and the most needy in our society under the guise of fiscal conservativism and then refuse to pony up for Sandy reief for NJ/NY/Conn cause it fits in nicely for the timing of their obstructionist agenda that is relegating the gop to minority party status under the law to appease an 8% minority and as they do these and more, the rest of us will not have it and you cant stand that because we just trounced the right in no uncertain terms and set the agenda for the future that you cannot abide by, by my logic
PeterB January 10, 2013 at 04:44 PM
You have your facts wrong because according to Romney, Christie didn't go to PA to campaign for him hence he lost the election. He stayed in NJ and took care of the residents here. As far as job creations go, you might not be reading too much. Are you aware, the Amazon is building distribution center in Robbinsville? Will create hundreds of full time jobs and construction jobs as well. You will have to start paying taxes on your online purchases but so be it. I was out of work for 2.5 years, there are jobs in the state. But if you are a prima donna and don't want to get your hands dirty then so be it. BTW I am highly educated and know there is a time that you need to reinvent your self to make money, however, we have become a society of entitlements.
Jack Q January 10, 2013 at 04:55 PM
You won the election and won the last election and had the Senate and House for two years, yet blame the Republicans for everything. Pass a budget and we'll talk again. You keep saying that the Dems are fiscally conservative, yet taxes keep going up. Remember when Obama said he was only going to raise taxes on the 2%? I guess what he really meant was that he was going to raise taxes 2% on everyone. You can bob and weave around the facts all you want Stew but this is and has been Obama's economy. And stop inhaling Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown's second hand smoke.
stewart resmer January 10, 2013 at 05:26 PM
ok jack, one more time again the gop under Bushco took the historic Clinton surplus and blew through it while at the same time creating the LARGEST DEFECIT IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD which is to say they are terrible at economics, and now that the gop has created the mess they obstruct any effort to reconcile the books even if today they have to destroy the full faith and credit of the republic any way that they can conjure. the rest of us get it, but that doesnt mean we have to allow it. one way we do not allow it is be ending the Bushco wars based on a pack of lies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2W1FZWML6wA the gop lied then the gop is lying now amd it is time for the gop to go the way of the whigs, the US is out of Iraq, afghanistan is next and the US is not going to entertain the rights penchant for perpetual wars, and the economic viability of the US will be the result and you know it and cant stand it, we are right, you are wrong, we will prevail in due course but the gop will never recover from any of this.
Pat C January 10, 2013 at 05:27 PM
hahahahahahahahaha Glen Beck hahahahahaha that guy is a joke who spreads propaganda and BS to make money off of morons who believe him. hahaha hope you bought the Glenn Beck Doomsday kit because according to him American would have been in ruins 3 years ago
Pieter Filter January 10, 2013 at 05:39 PM
PeterB, please are you saying that Christie did not spend time campaigning for Romney? please look at the news from the previous year. You are referring to the period of Sandy, yet Christie stayed in the state for about 2 weeks then, Agreed. Amazon deal is just now signed, very nice, those warehouse jobs, will not come into being for a year. I was also unemployed and I also reinvented myself and skill set, however, there is high unemployment under Christie please do not try to hide that under your job searching advice, which I do agree with. I also work at 2 jobs, one of them menial so I am not a prima donna, however, not everyone is able to work a physical menial job, and the emotional costs I bear there is very high also so I don';t blame someone for trying to work in the field they got their degree in.
Jack Q January 10, 2013 at 05:43 PM
There is your problem. You get your news from Youtube. We are not out of Iraq and they want to send more troops to Afganistan. And your Sec of State froze on Benghazi and the new candidate doesn't even want to use sanctions against Iran. Yet you ignore that THIS administration continues to create the greatest deficit. Make all the excuses, blame Bush all you want, but this is all Obama. You blame Christie for the misdeeds of the past Dem governors, yet you blame past Presidents for this administrations failing. Why do you keep ignoring the fact that Obama just raised taxes on everyone? Are you with the complicit media?
Cletus January 10, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Poor BillBalls just took that thimbleful of credibility and flushed it away forever. Glenn Beck: hahahahaha!
stewart resmer January 10, 2013 at 07:26 PM
well jack, there you go again. the reality of the matter doesnt evade you, its just that refuse to acknowledge the facts, the gop is reckless when it came to the economy in the past, is now, and cannot be allowed to continue to attempt to push the nation and state for that matter in to default.
Jack Q January 10, 2013 at 07:40 PM
And the reality that you fail to admit is that the NJ Dems spent recklessly give sweetheart deals to their sweetheart (remember Corzine and his girlfriend - the head of the Communications union?) I am not saying the GOP in recent years has been as fiscally responsible in the past, but the Dems have never seen a handout they didn't like. And once again in your comments, you blame the repub governor for the state's woes, yet you don't blame the president. Your logic is absurd, it is better suited for the left coast.
stewart resmer January 10, 2013 at 07:53 PM
jack lest take it from this direction, the current state budget projections are described as being unrealistic. now, if that were the 1st time we heard that would be one thing, but the dems have been saying it for quite awhile now and what do we here from the governator? that the ones tasked with accounting for the monies are wrong? that the dems are jockeying for politcal advantage? and along comes a natural disaster that coumponds the problem, and now what do we hear? oh, its those people in DC? But even if Mr Christie is even half right on these then what pary tell is his strategy to deal with them? nada zip bupkiss
Jack Q January 10, 2013 at 08:06 PM
And how was it any different when Corzine or MacGreevey was in office? It wasn't and that's my point.
I am Spartacus January 10, 2013 at 08:12 PM
It was far worse when Corzine was in office. We had a higher budget, no property tax caps, no limits on COLAs for the pension system, workers contributed less to the system to cover their health insurance costs, we had a massive structural deficit and the man was trying to raise taxes.
Nicholas Robert Homyak January 10, 2013 at 08:30 PM
Christie was Romney boy the republicans don't think in their "opinion" climate change is real or does not deserve their attention, so why is he so obsessed with Sandy life goes on right? especially when your rich and uncaring..so he hugged a bunch of people; but thanks to him it will be harder to experience bears in New Jerseys' wild-places..One Term Wind bag..soon to be forgotten..
stewart resmer January 10, 2013 at 08:31 PM
Brown predicting California will see budget surplus After years of red ink, the governor says that California's $96.7-billion general fund is now poised to end next year with a surplus. LATimes.com
I am Spartacus January 10, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Massive tax hikes tend to lead to short term increases in revenue. But don't worry b/c that won't last and California's unemployment rate which currently is at almost 10% will rise as those high taxes chase more jobs out of the state.
stewart resmer January 10, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Gov. Jerry Brown: California's budget deficit is gone Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday that California faces no budget deficit for the first time since the recession. "This is new. This is a breakthrough," Brown said. But Brown allowed that the state still faces fiscal risks, notably uncertainty in the federal government's fiscal affairs and the still-unknown cost of federal health care reform. "It is best to maintain a very solid budget and a good reserve...or we'll go back to the boom and bust, borrow and spend," he said Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/01/gov-jerry-brown-no-more-deficit.html#MTRecentEntries#storylink=cpy
I am Spartacus January 10, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Sure Stewart, it is gone now. It won't be gone in a couple years when the state gets left holding the bag for that $100bn high speed rail line that is going to run at a massive operating loss that the state will be subsidizing from now til the end of time. It won't be gone if 2x as many California residents keep leaving the state as residents of other states move to the state along with all the businesses and jobs they create. California is a mess, it is a mess b/c of high taxes, high levels of regulation, too much spending and everyone who is fed up w/ that moving to places more business and taxpayer friendly. But you go ahead and keep drinking the Kool Aid if it makes you happy.
lifelong jerseygirl January 11, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Christie is acceptable because people like someone who speaks their mind. At least in Jersey. He knew Romney would lose and he is running in 2016. Bet on it. He's been self promoting out of state as we pay for a lieutenent gov. for the 1st time in decades along with a good chunk of the travel expenses. He hasn't been in NJ a good portion of his term. His mostly handpicked town hall meetings are repetetive. The budget is not balanced. The pension fund is underfunded. He plays games with the #'s. Lost educational funding. Closed health clinics. Lost federal funding on that also. His croneys are making boodles on educational restructuring. Won't release travel schedule. Nj has one of the highest unemployment rates at 9.6. Against Right to Choose. Anti Union. Was supportive of tea party before everyone reallized they are wing nuts. Poor health example. But hey if you want someone who speaks his mind, go for it. After all, now that he is definitely running he has toned down his obnoxiousness and people have short memories. I like him sometimes too but lets not get silly. Read and research.
lifelong jerseygirl January 11, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Ps. Let us not forget the millionaire's tax he thought unreasonable. Jersey has some of the wealthiest towns in the nation.
John Santaella January 12, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Christie did a great job after Sandy. But, listen to him: 'gimme, gimme'...He sounds like the type you're knocking. Be consistant TCG
Gottardo DiGiacopo January 13, 2013 at 04:18 PM
thankyou for the reminder Jerseygirl! new jersey is lagging behind the country physically and spiritually largely due to Christie's arrogant incompetence and wrongheaded views of what our problems are. He is a posturing politician with selfish ambitions. and just because Corzine, or anyone else, sucked does not make Chrischristy good!!!
Nicholas Robert Homyak January 14, 2013 at 09:12 PM
He did not have to fight; it was forthcoming from the Federal Government, the same government he knocks.Oh yea and Christie environmental record stinks; he help to weaken many protections including wetlands all in favor of developers..
Mike February 25, 2013 at 12:52 PM
You know TC, when you have a president that does not operate in the best interest of the people which I think we now have with OBAMA, you have to lower yourself to try to get the ALL POWERFULL to support the people in need, Christie did what he thought would avoid any possible way for this president to hold this state hostage and try to tarnish a republican Gov. because you know that would have been the spin this admin would have taken and probably counted on...I’m sure OBAMA was disappointed at the respect he received from our Governor, I know it was hard to watch..
Nicholas Robert Homyak February 25, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Come on Captain Christie we all know the greatest experience in your life was steering your boat through the hurricane; now let us have a moratorium on development, rather dumb development just to stimulate some short term work, ruin our environment and bring on the next super storm..Go back to your bathtub and remember water doesn't come from a plastic bottle aquifer. WATER WATER EVERYWHERE NOT A DROP TO DRINK. STOP WATERVIEW OVERLAY DEVELOPMENT.

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