Dave Weigel did a tour through New Jersey over the weekend, and posted a whole bunch of good stuff, including an interview with Barbara “Oh yeah — the Democrat” Buono. And a long, dispiriting piece on “Christie, Getting Ready to Go National“:
… The last poll taken on the governor’s race before Hurricane Sandy put Buono down by 16 points to Christie. The first poll taken after the storm put her down by 38 points. Since then, she has never trailed by less than 18 points. This deficit understates how well Christie has outplayed Buono, and the impossible time she’s had looking for a consistent message against him. She’s tried to convince the state’s reliable Democrats to bail on Christie over his opposition to gay marriage, over his thwarting of a gun control bill, over the fact that he will probably run for president. In one of her final TV ads, Buono talks straight to camera about how she’s “the only one running for governor.”…
“She keeps saying he’s going to run for president,” says voter Jim Logan at Christie’s Somers Point rally. “Who cares? Some people think that’s a good idea. She shoulda fired whoever was working for her and she should have focused on property taxes.”
Too late to speculate. The governor has steadily won over local Democratic power brokers, even ones who (pre-Sandy) said they’d never back him. Their big idea: Spare the Democrats in the state legislature from the fallout of a Buono rout. It’s working, according to Democratic state Sen. Loretta Weinberg. “We’re up in our tracking polls,” she tells me at a Democratic campaign office. Even that Rutgers-Eagleton poll, which Democrats don’t trust (it was 10 points off in the October race for U.S. Senate) has them up by 6 points in the race for the legislature. Christie’s “cult of personality,” as Weinberg calls it, hasn’t been transferred to Republicans. He’s outspent Buono; Democrat-aligned independent expenditures have buried the Republican candidates down the ballot…
Christie’s candidate, Atlantic County Sheriff Frank Balles, smiles and waves as the governor praised him. Not far away, in the highly diverse crowd, state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. grinned at the prospect of taking the majority. All voters needed to do, said Christie, was vote straight down the ballot—“you’re not gonna vote for Buono anyway.” But neither in Atlantic City nor in Somers Point, both rallies attended by Balles, did Christie mention any particular policy he was stymied from doing because he didn’t have a Republican Senate. In Virginia, the struggling campaign of gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli insists that it’s gaining as the candidate makes the election a “referendum on Obamacare.” Christie never mentions Obamacare, or Obama, or any national political issue more specific than Washington’s status as a sick joke…
“Last election, for Cory Booker, that Senate election, did you know that three out of four people did not vote?” asks Buono. “It was the lowest voter turnout in our history for a general election. Cory Booker has twice as many people following him on Twitter! This governor wants to disenfranchise people. He wants you to think it’s over. Why else did he veto a bill we sent him that would have allowed in-person early voting?”
That Senate race might be left out of Wednesday morning analysis. Christie, empowered to set an election to replace the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, could have bundled it with the Nov. 5 race. He opted to set the Senate race for Oct. 16, a Wednesday—“People were showing up on Tuesday thinking they could vote!” says Buono—which unbuckled the fate of Buono or Jim Whelan from the fate of Cory Booker…
Voter suppression — the softer side. So hip!
That guy’s right. When I lived in NJ it was all about property taxes and nothing else. NJ’s a pretty good place to live except for the sky high property taxes. Its the one issue both sides agree on.
I’ve got teacher, police and firefighter friends who hate Christie yet are going to vote for him. Go figure. They deserve whatever they get. Chances are he’ll take their pensions, eliminate their jobs and not do a damn thing about their taxes.
Chuck Todd said on the Today Show this morning something about how Democrats now wish they’d put money and support behind Buono so Christie wouldn’t have such a decisive win and thus have such a strong start for a national election.
@Violet: The margin of victory is irrelevant. If Christie won by 3 points, the Beltway would still call it a mandate.
Conversely, a Dem win in VA will be spun as meaningless.
Cheap shot, but as regards today’s election, Christie is too big to fail.
Meh. Todd and the rest of the media have been pushing the Christie juggernaut win for months now. Of course he’s now going to go around with his Monday morning quarterbacking and claim some how Christie was vulnerable.
Why does this give Christie anything on the general election again? It’s an off year race that’s bound to have low turnout, plus Christie had to pump up his numbers by having the Senate race weeks earlier. He still loses in theoretical match ups against Dems in NJ for the Presidency, and he still has to run the gauntlet of Republican primaries in which he’ll have to let his crazy flag fly.
@Violet: bah. Anyone from the rep side is going to have an advantage at this point because the Dems have to wait for Hillary. For the next year, the talk is going to be about republicans the national press likes plus the super star presidential hopeful of the month.
Didn’t work out for Mitch Daniels. I’m not worried about the fat man.
The problem is that Christie has manged to convince voters that he reined in property tax expenditures by implementing a 2% max annual increase. Even if Buono hammered Christie on the fact that he also cut exemptions which led to a net increase of about 15% the past 4 years, Christie would spin it as a necessary step as part of a long term strategy to rein in out of control property taxes. And the people/media would buy into that explanation.
(IMO, the bigger problem is that Buono has not been able to counter Christie ads that paint him as the defender of public education, willing to take on the corrupt union, and Buono as refusing to hold teachers accountable – because she voted against basing pay on test score performance. I also think this is one reason national conservatives jumped on his bandwagon several years ago)
@Violet: Yet another example of Chuck Todd not knowing his ass from a hole in the wall. Two years from now, the story won’t be Christie’s decisive victory over Buono, it’ll be “What have you done for me lately?”. Not even the hair-brained Beltway pundits will remember this election (in fact, they’ll probably be the first to forget). Strong start on the generals, my ass.
It’s not just that property taxes are high. Property taxes are high and the money doesn’t stay home.
When I was growing up in Ridgewood, my parents and our neighbors dutifully trooped to the polls every April and taxed themselves to the hilt, and did it gladly, because they could see where the money was going. It was going into the nationally-recognized-for-excellence Ridgewood public schools, whose nationally-recognized excellence also served to prop up real estate values.
The state Supreme Court decision in the mid-70s that blew up that cozy relationship in the name of providing every student in the state with a “quality” education was good education policy, but the state never took the next step, which was to raise the income tax so that it could replace the local property tax as the primary source of funding for public education.
I completely understand why folks in (for example) Bedminster get a little resentful when their property taxes go to (for example) West New York.
When is Christie’s lap-band surgery going to kick in? It has been months now and he still looks like he’s a wafer thin mint away from a Mr. Creosote blow-up.
This drives me bonkers. How could they not have figured this out by now? I can not believe New Jersey is about to re-elect that rightwing blowhard by a fucking landslide. “Waaaaahhhhh…. Barbara Buono ran a bad campaign, so now I’m going to vote republican.” You deserve what you get, Jerseyites.
And they think voting for Christie is going to change that? Imbeciles.
Christi could not win a primary race. Simple as that. So with that in mind what Nationals are these idiots referring to? The Washington baseball team?
Christie is a candidate that has accomplished nothing during his term except show up on TV to bully people and ruin public education and public transit.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Hill Dweller: I tend to think you’re right– Chris Christie is at almost McCain level popularity with the Village, and I predict he’ll never lose them. On the other hand, I do think Dems could have done a little more in Jersey, an internet/radio/viral ad of the Limbaugh-level nasty shit Christie was saying about Obama while he wheezily campaigned for Romney. On the third hand, the race was pretty much always Christie’s to lose, and if Obama had gone in big, Chuck Todd would be portraying this as “Chris Christie vs President Obama”.
@Gypsy Howell: Actually they don’t want Christie to change that. Why should those annointed ones in Bedminster have to send money to the illegals in WNY?
I am so mad at the democrats, from President Obama down to the local bosses in Jersey. They bailed on Buono and handed that nasty bully an easy win. Let’s hope there’s a huge win for the Dems in the legislator to stop his abuses.
But that’s enough to re-elect him in a landslide.
@Hill Dweller: The margin of victory is irrelevant. If Christie won by 3 points, the Beltway would still call it a mandate. Conversely, a Dem win in VA will be spun as meaningless.
Let’s see, first up should be The Dems Would Always Win If Only They Nominated Rich Right Wingers, and then Cuccinnelli Wasn’t Conservative Enough, and Those Damn Women Always Whining About Their Vaginas, and If Only We Could Come Together To Cut Taxes & Entitlements, and The Voters Have Rejected The Extremism of Liberals and Republicans, and Why Can’t Politicians See That We Should Just Do What Rich Businessman Want, and Let’s Draft Bloomberg For a Third Party in 2016, and Bring On the Christie/Bloomberg Bipartisan Ticket, and Christie Makes Me Wet My Jeans (I Just Love His Manly Blubber), and The Tea Party Is Finished So Let’s Have a Government Shutdown Over Real Issues, Americans Are A Bunch of Whiners Always With the Class Warfare.
[‘Nibbled to death by ducks.’]
You know who raised the most money during the 2008 gop primaries…. no, not RMoney, no, not even McGramps,… no, it was Guiliani.
Guiliani was the “it” candidate of the “liburel” media. “Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!” the talking heads hailed. “The hero of 9/11”, they shouted. “Time’s Man of the Year”, they belted!
He even led national polls and even some state polls. He was the Frontrunner. He was inevitable.
After the media smoke cleared, “America’s Mayor” failed to win a single delegate. Not one.
Christie is Giulianni without the charm.
I asked the same question in a thread a couple days ago. Some kind soul replied right away. His surgery was in February. Based on the before/after pics that were posted he has lost quite a bit of weight. Still has a ways to go though.
The biggest tell:
Not one republican — not a single one — has asked Christie to campaign for him.
Not Coooch. Not Lhota. Not McConnell. Even that retard who ran against Booker called in Palin instead of his own state governor.
@kindness: Seems like there’s some sign of Republicans pushing back against the teabaggers. Michael Gerson’s opinion piece yesterday:
Who knows what will happen in a year.
Man did it feel good to vote against that fat piece of shit!
One smart move would be to put ads up on all NJ Transit and Amtrak trains that run from NJ into NYC pointing out that one big reason they are delayed all the time is that Christie turned down federal money to build another train tunnel under the hudson.
That would have been more helpful BEFORE today’s election.
@Rex Everything: For once, I commend you and agree utterly. I think the ex’s folks are pulling the lever for Christie. Yesus on a wax platter. You live on a pension and you vote for that fat bastid.
Do the people of NJ feel worse off than they did before Christie was elected? If not, it won’t matter what his opposition does. Look at W in 2004, or Perry here in Texas every freakin’ time he ran. They’re both idiots who didn’t do anything useful for the state or, in W’s case, the country.
That’s fine. Their problem is that for the foreseeable future they can’t win a national election without the TP’ers, but they also can’t win with them. If this is the start of them pushing back hard and taking the necessary drubbing for a cycle or two to demonstrate to the sane portion of their natural constituency that they’re out of thrall to the neo-Confederates it will be significant, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
I hate to blame the victim, but something tells me here that she just might not be that great of a candidate.
Look, up a few states north, only a year ago, compare Warren vs. Brown. She had a tough uphill battle too, against similar slimy Rethug masquerading as a moderate, but she was tougher, and won.
New Jersey needs a Democrat of Warren-level caliber, who’d be able to knock this blowhard jerk off of his pedestal. It’ll happen. Sadly, not this year.
@Belafon: I do not buy that for a second. That’s Clinton-ish selfish stupidity. Elections cannot, must not, be referendums on the economy. We really have to care about other things in this country besides just our own fucking wallets.
Don’t mistake “should” for “do”. People “should” do a lot of things, but at the end of the day what people mostly “do” is vote their wallets.
This is why it’s so dangerous to have a crazy-ass reactionary Republican Party. Because at the end of the day eventually the vote will come down to “the economy sucks and we need to do something different”. If the choices are “something that isn’t working” and “crazy people”, the crazy people will be handed the keys.
@fuckwit: I don’t know if Buono is a bad candidate or if local and national Dems didn’t think Christie’s win was inevitable so they spent money elsewhere. Taking a quick poke around the internet it looks like Warren’s campaign raised $30 million plus while Buono has less than $3 million in her budget including matching funds (and Christie has about $13 million)
Now off to cast my vote for Buono (and probably more importantly, for the down ticket Dems)
@fuckwit: I wish it weren’t true, but at the same time, I bet you I know more about New Jersey politics, from here in Texas, than a lot of people in New Jersey. Most people don’t have time to look up from the pressure cookers they are using to prepare their meals for the next week (sorry, had to tie in the last thread) to figure out anything more than “did he hurt my pocketbook.” I don’t like that either, but most evidence leads me to that conclusion.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@MattR: Steve Kornacki just laid— in his own mild-mannered geeky way– a righteous smack down on an individual named Michael Stack, a Dem legislator (and NJ power broker?) who more or less gave the game away to Christie.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Definitely. And you know Chucky Toad is disappointed he can’t do THAT set of stories. “Is Christie’s win a decisive repudiation of Obama, making him a lame duck, again?”
I live on the Philly side of the NJ / PA border, and I only know who Buono is because of the Christie ads bad mouthing her. I have yet to see an ad placed by Buono.
@MattR: She actually raised $42 million and outspent Brown by $7 million. she also rode Black Jimmy Carter’s coat tails, who won the state by 21 pts, while warren won by 7 pts.
@Hill Dweller: We have recent historical proof of this. Christie Whitman won NJ Gov twice, both times by 1-2% — which got her a multitude of “she should be on the national ticket!” promotions on CNN et al. Our media is forever in search of a “nice Republican”, preferably from the Northeast corridor. (A bill Chris Christie doesn’t even fill, by the way This guy gets unbelievable props just because he didn’t behave like an asshole to Barack while he was begging him for money)
That Christie consultant is right, though, that Buono is totally wasting her time with the “he’s running for president” angle. Bill Clinton was accused of same in 1990, Bush in ’98. All polling suggests, rather than discouraging voters, it makes them proud that thier guy is seen as a national figure.
@Tom Q: she won her first term by 1.04% and her second term by… wait for it….1.05% she squeaked by twice, but the liburel media anointed her a giant.
Reformed Panty Sniffer
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Actually its Brian Stack Kornacki is talking about, someone who got in bed with Christie long ago and is something of power broker in Hudson County. He became mayor of Union City as a reformer and promptly has proven himself to be as corrupt and self dealing as most Hudson County politicians (Charter schools, inside real estate development deals, patronage, bribes, etc.). Not much to see here but it is something of a joke as Senator Bob Menendez is a former mayor of UC too (I lived in UC for awhile back in the 1990s). Stack is not too bright and no friend to Democrats.. I expect he’ll be indicted some day in the not too distant future.
Because Obama and the national Democrats didn’t have anything else on their plate in September or October.
Ed in NJ
The bottom line is that despite Christie’s poor record- higher than average unemployment, huge budget deficits, etc. he’s coasting on his national reputation. As others said, he’s seen as a national candidate so people are proud to vote for him. He’s been running ads for months just highlighting him at Sandy sites with the tagline “The Governor”. Nothing Buono did could penetrate the media’s love affair with him.
What I hope is that the legislature doesn’t flip, because inevitably he is going to go hard right over the next year or so to position himself for the primaries. At that point, there will be alot of “I told you sos” flying around these parts.
@Reformed Panty Sniffer: It’s a very weird phenomenon: Democrats are advancing in recently red or at least purple states like CO and getting good things done. But in far longer reliable states, like NJ and NY, you have Dem legislators actively collaborating with GOPers to keep progressive policy stifled.
Can we be the first to pre-dub Christie as America’s Governor?
Reformed Panty Sniffer
@fuckwit: I tend to agree that Buono was a flawed candidate but without support from the larger political machine, she probably was doomed to fail. I like her views on education funding/reform, minimum wage laws, same sex marriage, and other things but this election became a “personality” race and Christie is very good at being Christie. Christie is the perfect candidate for MRA types and we seem to have a lot of angry white middle aged men voting Republican.
What has been weird locally is the rise of “independent” candidates for state offices, even in Morris County. Hard to tell if these candidates are for real. One is a local gadfly tea party type who tried to sell herself as actually aligned with Buono on some local issues, nevermind that her reputation is that of a nutjob thanks to a stint on the local school board awhile back.
@Reformed Panty Sniffer:
“Corrupt Hudson County politician” is redundant.
Here’s the dirty little secret about lap band surgery that bariatric specialists don’t like to talk about…
It doesn’t work for everyone, and if you’re not willing to do the kind of things that would make you lose weight even without one (restricted diet + exercise), they don’t do much for you. Most people experience their greatest weight loss in the months immediately following surgery, as you’re restricted to a liquid diet, followed by a mush diet.
If you eat liquid or mush for several weeks, you’re going to lose weight anyway.
Are you saying that Obama and national Democrats were unable to assist anyone running for election this cycle because of the government shutdown, debt ceiling and Obamacare rollout? So he probably wouldn’t have had time to speak at DNC fundraisers in September, right? Nor would he have had time to endorse Bill de Blasio for Mayor or Cory Booker for Senator, something he did not do for Buono.
Reformed Panty Sniffer
@Tom Q: Agreed. I think part of that is we have a large group of Corporate Democrats, as opposed to real Progressives, especially at the NJ state level. They want to be re-elected; they like the power and money, and they are all addicted to corporate money in elections. They will not stand up to Christie.
As for NY, Cuomo is really a lite Republican in the way he has governed for the most part. I think he and DeBlassi are going to be at loggerheads in the coming year over a lot of issues that DeBlassi will not be able to do because of state interference.
@Ed in NJ:
Well, judging by most of the comments here at BJ, jibes about “I told you so” – especially re voting for Chris Christie – are going to be, at best, misdirected!
But I agree with the blog’s CW about Barbara Buono’s astonishingly feeble campaign; even if she was a foregone underdog, handing Christie an unnecessary and undeserved landslide helps no one..
@Reformed Panty Sniffer: This is pretty much it. They may be socially liberal, ie. pro-choice, pro same sex marriage and gay rights, pro immigration reform, etc. But they are not populist type progressives who will work to actually improve the life of the lower and middle classes at the expense of the corporate class. Their social politics are essentially the ‘bread and circus’ that keep the average Dem voter happy enough that they don’t completely revolt.
That’s sad—it indicates both sides are ignorant of basic economics, such as the fact that property taxes (well, at least the fraction landing on site value, which is presumably pretty high in most parts of NJ) are both 100% efficient (no deadweight loss) and extremely equitable.
Too true. When Corey Booker won over his opponent (forget his name.) by ten points, all the press was bitching how it shouldn’t have been that close.
Well, at least they did something right. There’s nothing worse for an economy than stuffing money in the pockets of landowners for doing nothing.
I know, right? President Obama has to babysit every Dem in their elections for some folks.
Saw a headline about a mall shooting in Paramus, NJ. The article was about Christie saying mental health issues need to be dealt with.
I want to shoot the knee-caps off of the media that failed to point out Christie savaged the fuck out of mental health care in 2009 and 2010, so he could cut taxes for the rich.
@Gypsy Howell: Thing is .. Christie can’t do crap … unless traitor Democrats in the state legislature help him … which is what they did these past 4 years .. blame George Norcross
And the people love him for it; very Reaganesque if you ask me.
@Anya: The Democrats have controlled the Jersey House and Senate the whole time Rudy Jr. has been Governor. What does that tell you?
Exit polls showing a landslide underway in VA
@burnspbesq: Do you have a source for this? Everything I can find says that each town has a separate property tax rate used to fund the local gov’t (schools, police, fire, etc).
If you go back through the taxation history, it appears that there used to be additional funding mechanisms in place that got taken over by the state and there was a decision in the 70’s that exempted many public properties from property taxes. That was supposed to be replaced by payment’s in lieu of taxes from the state, but that program has never been fully implemented or funded. Perhaps that is what you were referring to.
People who say Chris Christie can’t win a GOP primary are underestimating how badly Republicans want to take back the White House. You’ve even got Ted Cruz now saying he won’t support any tea party primaries of less-crazy Republicans.
I’m actually hoping the Tea Party does NOT split off from the GOP, because the last thing I want to see is the Republican Party becoming more moderate. I don’t believe there is this yearning in America to have Hillary Clinton be president, the way there was for Barack Obama, and I’m surprised at how many people who should know better support that Piggy-looking piece of shit who always looks like he lost his specs and is about to have an asthma attack (I mean Christie, not Hillary, in case that’s not clear).
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: He should have blamed George Norcross instead. He’s the real power broker who sabotaged Buono and helped Christie ram his crap though the Jersey House and Senate.
How many prominent MA Dems endorsed Brown over Warren?
The who is who of NJ Dems publicly endorsed Christie over Buono.
What else does he have to do? Maybe if it keeps him from shepherding the Trans-Pacific Partnership on it’s fast-track to fucking up the world, then it would be good for him to get out of the house a little bit.
@AxelFoley: It’s not a matter of babysitting, but a matter of getting a fucking DEMOCRAT elected, instead of a mean, rightwing bully like Christie. The ultimate responsibility for this failure lies with the traitorous and corrupted democratic establishment in New Jersey, but the president not even mustering a lousy endorsement is dissapointing to say the least.
@David Koch: Details? I’m happy to believe you, but I’m not seeing this anywhere else, yet.
How can you blame Norcross? His hospital looked to make out like bandits, when Christie proposed to merge Rowan and Rutgers-Camden. Norcross still made out pretty well from the changes to UMDNJ and Rowan.
Edit: I mean Norcross just exercise rational self interest. Political values are nice and all, but when the opposition is offering me millions? How can you expect me to say no?
The quotations around “nice Republican” are correct. The media just wants someone from their demographic slice and social environment.
Union people who vote for Christie deserve to lose their pensions.
Its laughable that because Christie isn’t a typical GOP lunatic governor the media fawns over him like he’s been sent down from heaven. He;s done such a great job on creating jobs that NJ’s rate is 8.6% (August 2013), ranking 43 out of 51 states (includes DC). I’m sure he can blame it all on thhe unions and the media will run with that.
Can’t blame the Prez. Why would he want to get into a state level Party pissing contest. And yes, even beyond Dem endorsements for Christie, Party power brokers wanted to deny Buono the normal rights – as the candidate- to appoint the state party chair.
Fuck the NJ state Dem Party. The DNC and other national Party groups should avoid the NJ state Dem party, unless it involves hitting NJ Dem party bosses with baseball bats.
Polls closing in Virginia in 10 minutes.
Exit Polls: Virginia to Cooch – “you can take oral sex away from our cold dead hands”
He is just as right wing as Corbett, Scott, Walker et al, but does have enough push back from the legislature to keep transvaginal ultrasounds from being an issue.
I would never for Christie but I have to admit that he is a pragmatist. Compared to the current GOP crazies, he’s relatively sane.
@Gene108: The whole thing is depressing. This asshole is an ALEC dream governor and he gets away with all of his wingnut policies because of the inept NJ state Democratic party.
PPP does it again. They predicted a 7 pt Terry Mac win and exit polls showing Terry Mac winning by 8 pts.
@feebog: Yup. As someone who went through gastric bypass surgery I watched Christie with interest and he’s lost a good deal of weight. he used to be literally round and now he’s just really big. In this area I give props to anyone with a difficult weight problem and trying to solve it. Also too, it can be hard to keep it off (though easier than before surgery), so I hope he’s successful. Having said that, it’s no reason at all to vote for him, and he sure is a rude asshole.
@ruviana: why is it hard to keep it off?
Keeping weight off requires a total lifestyle change, which is really difficult for most people to do. Not just what they eat, but changing the whole way they think about food and eating. If your idea of a fun vacation is sitting on the beach instead of hiking, you probably won’t keep the weight off. Etc.
Bad habits are very, very hard to break.
@David Koch: What Mnemosyne said. Also some things you shouldn’t eat or drink but people do anyway, for example booze, which actually hits you harder after surgery. It’s a serious problem and one I’m dealing with. Also portion creep. Over time you can eat bigger portions. And then there’s variation in people–I don’t react too much to fat but some people can’t handle it at all. But if I don’t react, I can eat more and of course this allows me to gain weight. It does however, seem to reduce cholesterol, hbp and diabetes, though we don’t know yet how long-term that is.
For all the things that are wrong with Chris Christie, he’s what’s standing between the people of New Jersey and Governor Scott Garrett, and for that he deserves a small thank you.
Why don’t we wait until the actual votes are counted before gloating?
Christie may win re-election but it won’t translate to republican down state victories because New Jersey has more democrats and very few registered republicans.
Christie will not be president and if he wins the nomination he won’t win any states in the Northeast.
Like others have said Christie is another Giuliani.
Reformed panty Sniffer
Buono called out the Democratic party bosses in her concession speech, though not by name.
A little late, but we did pass a raise in the minimum wage law, which Christie opposed.