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Chris Christie on Technology


Bridgegate: Staff made some significant mistakes in judgment

Christie seemed determined to reassert himself as a Republican standard-bearer, despite the imbroglio over accusations of political intimidation. After weeks of subdued and somber appearances, at which he spoke of soul-searching and self-flagellation [over Bridgegate], it was the old Chris Christie who emerged: he boasted of his daughter Bridget's aggression on the basketball court ("it's almost embarrassing").

Asked about the bridge controversy, Christie replied that large organizations are "inherently flawed because they are inhabited by human beings."

"Some people who worked for me made some significant mistakes in judgment," he said, leaving it at that.

Former Gov. Ted Strickland (D, OH) was on hand to ensure that the controversy was not cast off so tidily, saying he found it hard to swallow the claim that Christie was unaware of his administration's role in the lane closings: "Either the governor knew & he is lying or he is the most inept, incompetent chief executive imaginable.

Source: NY Times on "NY Region" in 2013, 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 12, 2014

Fired aides for Bridgegate: traffic jam as retribution

It's no secret that Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Chris Christie aren't each other's biggest fans. On the Bridgegate controversy, Paul told reporters. "I don't know who e-mailed who and who works for whom. I have been in traffic before though, and I know how angry I am when I am in traffic--and I am always wondering, who did this to me?"

Christie has repeatedly denied he had any knowledge of or involvement in an alleged plot to cause massive traffic problems in Fort Lee, New Jersey, last year as a possible act of political retribution. He fired two of his top aides accused of orchestrating the incident, while a third resigned shortly before the story became national news. But now the issue is the subject of investigations by a state legislative committee and the Justice Department.

In a nearly 2-hour press conference last month, Christie defended his reputation as Democrats tried to characterize him as a spiteful leader. "I am not a bully," Christie said.

Source: 2013 CNN Political Ticker on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 9, 2014

Eliminate all funding for NJ public broadcasting

Christie announced his intention to eliminate all state funding for NJ's public broadcaster, including NJN, New Jersey Network. Philosophically, he didn't think the state should be in the news business and with a $10 billion deficit, the state had to trim anywhere it could. About 130 NJN workers were on the state payroll with hefty benefits.

Governor Christie Whitman, also a Republican, compared NJN to Pravda, the Soviet Union-controlled propaganda machine. Even Democrats, such as Corzine, had floated the idea of privatizing NJN.

Fast-forward to 2011, when Christie finally pulled the plug on NJN. After considering several proposals, his administration settled on a plan to sell NJN's 9 small radio stations for about $4.3 million (less than half of it in cash, and for less than the stations' appraised value) but hold on to the TV licenses and cut a deal with WNET, a NY-based public broadcaster considered the nation's flagship PBS station, to run the NJ operation, which was renamed NJTV.

Source: Rise to Power, by B. Ingle & M. Symons, p.176-178 , Jun 5, 2012

Put more Motor Vehicle Commission functions online

Technology upgrades, enhanced security operations & expanded services are the foundation of the Christie Administration's plan to help customers avoid unnecessary trips to their local Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) agencies. The modernizations are at the forefront of the MVC's future technology investments to streamline operations & enhance customer service. Some of the MVC's accomplishments under the Christie Administration include:
Source: 2011 gubernatorial press release, "Skip the Trip" , Aug 4, 2011

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Page last updated: Jan 15, 2015