Sandy The Focus In Christie State-Of-State
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. January 8, 2013
Governor Christie spent most of his state-of-the-state speech talking about New Jersey’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy.
The governor says Sandy hit New Jersey hard, but the state is fighting back.
“New Jersey’s spirit has never been stronger. Our resolve never more firm. Our unity never more obvious. Let there also be no mistake. Much work still lies ahead. Damage that comes only once in a century will take in some cases years to repair.”
Christie says he’s hoping there will be quick Congressional action next week on a Sandy aid bill, adding that New Jersey has waited seven times longer for assistance than the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
“One thing I hope everyone in America now clearly understands. New Jersey both Republicans and Democrats will never stand silent when our citizens are being shortchanged.”
Christie is urging state lawmakers to put aside what he called destructive politics in an election year and work together to help the state rebuild.
He did not unveil any new policy initiatives in his speech.
Democrats who control the New Jersey legislature say they share Christie’s goal of rebuilding from Sandy but are disappointed by what he didn’t say in his state-of-the-state speech.
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver says more needs to be done to help create jobs in New Jersey.
She says Christie also failed to mention other major issues.
“The revenue shortfall is nothing that you heard from the governor, and this legislature and this governor will be challenged to address something that could approach a two billion dollar deficit.”
Oliver says Christie also did not talk about what she says is increasing crime in communities across the state and the inability of cities to provide public safety to residents.
She says those issues will have to be addressed by the governor and the legislature.
Monmouth University political analyst Patrick Murray Christie’s state-of-the state speech is setting the stage for his re-election effort.
Murray says Christie used the speech to highlight his accomplishments and show that he’s the guy to lead the state’s recovery from Sandy.
“Those two things he feels are more than enough to run on in 2013, and he doesn’t need to propose any new initiatives, and we certainly didn’t see any new initiatives in this speech.”
Murray says for the Democrats to win the November election for governor they have to convince voters it’s Christie’s fault that property taxes and unemployment are still high.
“They haven’t done a good job over the past three years of doing that. So it’s not clear that they’re not going to be able to do that going forward, but they would need the kind of candidate who is able to claim at least some credentials in term of having working for property tax reduction, having worked for job creation, and really the pool out there doesn’t look too promising.”