Showing posts with label Governor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Governor. Show all posts

June 30, 2016

Christie Hid Email Account Containing BridgeGate Related Conversations in Cover Up




 



For two-and-a-half years, New Jersey governor Chris Christie has maintained that he provided federal investigators looking into the 2013 George Washington lane closures with complete access to both his personal and government email accounts. According to WNYC, however, new court filings show that this was not actually the case, supporting earlier allegations from two defendants indicted in the scheme that Christie’s lawyers destroyed and withheld evidence.

 
Lawyers Say Chris Christie Destroyed Cell Phone, Text Messages and Emails to Cover Up Involvement in Bridgegate 
 
Christie:
“I turned over my email, both professional and personal, to all of the investigators who asked for them. And said, ‘Look at whatever you want to look at,’” Christie said at a campaign event in New Hampshire last year, insisting that he, unlike Hillary Clinton, did not conduct government business on his personal account. (Christie was running for president at the time.) “I had a private email account, but I didn’t do my business on a private email account. She did everything on that account and then when she knows people are concerned about it, she gets the server cleaned.”

As it turns out, Christie shared a personal email account with his wife, Mary Pat, that was never searched. (The sender was “Chris and Mary Pat Christie.”) He sent at least one Bridgegate-related email from that account to Port Authority chairman David Samson. WNYC reports:

That email forwarded an article with the comment “per our earlier conversation” that discussed a phone conversation Christie had with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo concerning the lane closure investigation.

Christie’s own taxpayer-funded attorneys from the Gibson Dunn law firm, which has so far billed more than $10 million to the state, were in charge of responding to federal and legislative subpoenas seeking such emails. The lawyers simply ignored this account, even though Christie regularly used personal email accounts, including the one shared with his wife, for government business, sources say. He even used this account to email journalists concerning state business.
In court filings, Christie’s lawyers said that they had been aware of the account, “which we understood was not used by the Governor for official business and contained nothing responsive,” and, as such, had not searched it for responsive emails. His lawyers say they have since searched the account but found no emails “related to and contemporaneous with the lane realignment.”

Perhaps even more unbelievable is the issue of Christie’s cell phone, which he was carrying at the time of the lane closings, and which has now simply gone missing. Attorneys for the two indicted officials want to review the phone’s contents, as they believe texts the governor exchanged with ex-aide Regina Egea in December 2013 will be useful to their case.

Last month, Christie said his cell phone was “in the hands of the government...I don’t know exactly who has it. But I turned it over in response to a request from the government, as I said I would.” The US Attorney’s Office said that it doesn’t have the governor’s cell phone and never did, NJ Advance Media reports.

However, Christie’s lawyers told the court this week that they had reviewed the cell phone and its contents to determine whether it contained any records responsive to the government’s subpoena. After that was done, they said, the phone was returned to the governor. His lawyers have thus far refused to comply with the other defense attorneys’ requests to share those records.


June 23, 2014

Drunkard Tx.Gov Perry says he made a mistake comparing Gays to Alcoholics


                                                                           

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said it was a mistake for him to use a story about alcoholism to explain his views on homosexuality.
Perry said Thursday at a forum hosted by The Christian Science Monitor that he "stepped right in it" after being asked during a trip to California last week if homosexuality is a disorder.
Perry said at the time that if he had the "genetic coding" to be an alcoholic, he still has the choice not to drink. "I look at the homosexual issue as the same way," he told the Commonwealth Club of California.
His response came after the Texas Republican Convention sanctioned platform language allowing Texans to seek voluntary counseling to "cure" being gay.
The platform stands in contrast to California and New Jersey, which have banned licensed professionals from providing such therapy to minors.
The governor, a potential Republican candidate for president, explained Thursday that he allowed himself to be "distracted" by the question.
He said he should have kept his focus on the importance of creating jobs.
"I got asked about issues, and instead of saying, 'You know what, we need to be a really respectful and tolerant country to everybody,' and get back to talking about, whether you're gay or straight, you need to be having a job," he said. "I readily admit I stepped right in it."
Perry's explanation is similar to one he gave in the aftermath of a November 2011 presidential debate when he forgot the third of three federal agencies he had pledged to dissolve.
"I'm glad I had my boots on tonight," he said at the time. "I stepped in it out there."

June 22, 2014

Brewer, The anti Gay Witch of Arizona changing direction on her anti gay ways?




There aren't many more ticks of the clock in the turbulent administration of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, yet once again she continues to surprise.
The woman who rode the thermals of hard-nosed immigration law to her first elective term as governor is now gliding to a finish with this tantalizing hint of social progress:
Arizona should probably extend its civil-rights laws to gays, Brewer told Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services this week.
"I do not believe in discrimination," she said. "We are in the United States of America and we have great privilege that is afforded to everyone."
Take a moment and chew on that.
The same Jan Brewer who scratched her name on SB 1070 and launched 1,000 boycotts, who was the darling of Fox News and the defiant finger that upbraided President Obama, is now supporting gay rights.
Four years ago, when the cardinal of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was comparing Jan Brewer's Arizona to Nazi Germany and calling her handiwork "the country's most retrogressive, mean-spirited and useless anti-immigrant law," did you guess this story ends somewhere over the gay-rights rainbow?
The narrative of her last chapter picks up in February when the Legislature passes SB 1062, a bill intended to protect the religious rights of business people, but defined by the left as a right to deny service to gays.
As Jan Brewer contemplated signing or vetoing the legislation, the biggest names in the Fortune 500 hurled their thunderbolts. Big business put down its marker: If you bar gays from the public square this won't be a social issue. It will be a huge economic issue for your state. And there will be pain.
After three days of enduring criticism, Brewer vetoed the legislation. Today she still bristles at the notion she dawdled. That "was irritating," she told the Arizona Capitol Times. "It was, 'Why did she take so long?' Come on. That's why you have five days to veto a bill is that you consider it, you try to be diligent about what you're doing."
Rebecca Wininger, president of Equality Arizona, isn't buying Brewer's newfound empathy for homosexuals. Gov. Brewer was responsible for curtailing gay rights when she signed a 2009 law that pulled back benefits from the domestic partners of state employees, she told Fischer.
Whether Brewer supports gay rights hardly matters. The full spectrum of those freedoms, including gay marriage, is coming to Arizona. Our state, like the rest of the country, is moving unmistakeably toward greater equality and tolerance. And young people are already there.
But it is worth noting that a lot of Arizonans misread this governor. They thought 13 seconds of dead air meant airhead. That SB 1070 meant unhinged.
And they were wrong. Jan Brewer may have rode SB 1070 into office, but it did not define her. Her policies in the end, from support of Proposition 100 to Medicaid expansion, proved anchored in two important way:  Moderation and reality.

titled,editing: adamfoxie*

June 10, 2014

Gov.Christie squeaks by with a D+ on Civil Rights


 
A report card released by the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on Monday gave Governor Christie poor marks for his first term’s record on civil liberties and rights.

“Gov. Christie’s overall record on civil liberties and civil rights has been poor, ranging mostly from mediocre to failing,” said ACLU-NJ Executive Director Udi Ofer in a statement releasing the card. “The Christie administration’s first-term record on civil liberties will be remembered for its assaults on judicial independence and the separation of church and state, as well as for its disdain for transparency.”The ACLU-NJ examined 12 civil rights areas and gave the Governor a D+ average based on his and his administration’s public statements, actions and inaction on policy decisions. Christie received above average grades in respecting freedom of religion (B) and voting rights (B-), but received failing marks in separation of church and state, separation of powers, economic justice and transparency, where the report cited the ongoing George Washington Bridge scandal as exposing how the administration attempts to keep the public out of government business.

Michael Drewniak, the governor’s spokesman, dismissed the report saying it was to be expected from the ACLU, a non-profit liberal advocacy organization that works to protect individual rights.
“Does anyone really think the ACLU could fairly assess anything we do that doesn’t fit squarely into its agenda?,” Drewniak said in an email. “ I give them a D- for predictability.”
John Weingart, associate director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University, said report cards by advocacy groups are a way to get attention to issues that are important to them, but said they don’t generally have impact on political figures. He said they are only really helpful if they can be compared to previous report cards given to others in the same position.
He said he was surprised by Christie’s low scores on criminal justice and drug policy, since the Governor has been vocal about being supportive of finding alternatives for prison as a means of drug treatment.
“He has been more supportive of that and more outspoken of that than other recent governors in New Jersey, including Democrats,’’ Weingart said. “I would have thought that was an area the ACLU would have been somewhat enthusiastic about his actions in that area.”
The group also gave marks for freedom of expression, separation of church and state, women’s rights, immigrants’ rights, privacy, lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender rights.
The report criticized the governor harshly for not following through on prior statements. For example, the report states, that although the governor opposes discrimination against LGBT families, he fought against same-sex marriages in court and in the legislature, and while he supported giving immigrants living in the state illegally a chance at higher education by signing the NJ Dream Act, which allows them to pay in state tuition at public colleges, he removed a provision that would have allowed them to apply for state financial aid.
“Rhetoric without any substantive action helps no one but Gov. Christie,” the report reads.
The report lauded Christie for his “respect for religious diversity” citing his appointment of a Muslim lawyer to serve as a Superior Court judge, for speaking against critics of plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero and for signing legislation requiring out of state law enforcement agencies to notify state authorities of their actions before conducting surveillance in the state — a response to NYPD surveillance of Muslims in New Jersey.
The B- grade for voting rights came for his administration’s quick response after Superstorm Sandy in making sure that eligible voters could receive ballots through email.
“The Christie administration has worked closely with voting rights advocates, convening regular meetings that focus on improving elections,’’ the report reads.
For women rights, the governor received a C. He was given credit for signing legislation requiring insurance companies to cover breast exams and other testing, and signed a bill exempting cosmetic expenses related to breast reconstruction surgery from sales tax, outlawing genital mutilation of females under the age of 18, and supporting several measures aimed at closing the pay gap between men and women. But the report criticizes him for rejecting $7.5 million item in the budget for women’s health at family planning centers, and for rejecting federal funding that matches the state’s expenditure on family planning

THE RECORD
 http://www.northjersey.com 

May 2, 2014

The End Of The Ignorant Opportunist Sara Palin

                                                                                 
                                                                              

After this weekend, it's probably safe to say that Sarah Palin is done. Like Jesse Ventura or Ross Perot, she may show up every once in a while to hurl red meat or use stunt cameos to remind us a little of her awkward charms. But recent events seem to confirm that she is an Obama-era novelty politician — and not much else.

First she gave a speech to the NRA in which she joked that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists, offending people who otherwise make up her base. Next, Robert Costa reported on theever-smaller crowds that have been greeting Palin in Iowa.

When Palin took the stage at the Hy-Vee Conference Center under a banner that read "Heels On, Gloves Off" on Sunday at an event for Senate candidate Joni Ernst, the ballroom was half-full, with a couple hundred attendees scattered in clumps. [Washington Post]

If the politically engaged seem bored with Obama, they have all but forgotten Sarah Barracuda, the manqué of anti-Obama populism. After years of halting appearances on Fox News, gaffes about Russia, and a parody by Tina Fey that nearly eclipsed the original, it may be hard to remember the whirlwind national introduction to Sarah Palin, which culminated in her galvanic speech to the Republican National Convention in 2008. Sarah Palin wasn't a joke back then — she was a live threat. In a few days, with the help of an ace stylist, an ace speechwriter, and sheer novelty, Sarah Palin almost transformed that election.

It later became a reason to knock Palin's vanity and ambition, but Lisa Kline's work as a stylist gave Palin a frontier glamor — that red leather jacket, the military-cut coats — that put starbursts in commentator's eyes. She was an idealized image of a hockey-mom governor from the endless Alaskan wild. Obama was new, but cool and aloof. Sarah seemed relatable and engaging.

Until the introduction of Sarah Palin, the 2008 election had been almost entirely framed as one of "change" vs. "experience." But speechwriter Matthew Scully must have discerned a kind of frontier populism in her accent, history, and politics, and wrote a convention speech that gave the election a completely different cast.

Here's how CNN summed up the speech:

She slammed Obama for "saying one thing in Scranton and another in San Francisco," argued that he had written two memoirs but never authored a major piece of legislation, and asked what he would do "when those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot," a reference to the stage where Obama gave his acceptance speech last week. [CNN]

My personal favorite line was this: "The American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of 'personal discovery.'" You could almost hear that punch landing.

Palin gave what many in the Republican base had been craving all along. It was no longer McCain's long résumé against Obama's promise of change — it was a more primal election of "us" versus "them." She humblebragged, "I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment.... I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion."

And there on that convention stage we saw a preview of the "summer of rage" over Obama's health-care reform and the Tea Party rebellion of 2010.

For Republicans in 2008, alas, it became apparent that the McGovern presidential coalition had waxed in the past 40 years, while the Nixon coalition had waned. And for Palin, it's basically been all downhill since the convention: Saturday Night Live, a disaster interview with Katie Couric, an election loss, a boring reality television show, a number of her endorsed candidates flaming out, a clash with Roger Ailes, and one too many appearances on Fox News in which she seemed onpopulist autopilot or totally anodyne.

My theory is that Palin will have trouble finding a niche in the post-Obama world. She was the right minoritarian foil for the White House. The president is a brainy, cool-tempered, wonkish Hawaiian; he is a bit like the man from nowhere. Palin was slashing, heated, and defiantly Alaskan.

As his administration comes up more and more lame, what role will Palin play? Maybe none at all. The Obama-Palin dynamic may go down as a Pacific Ocean holiday from the Clinton-Bush rivalry that is the natural embodiment of our two-party, two-family American political system.

March 5, 2014

Gov. Christie’s Port Authority Slush Fund { How Christie Made it Happen}

Bayonne Bridge
Governor Christie announces that work has begun on a $1.3 billion Port Authority to renovate the Bayonne Bridge, June 2013. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Two former officials with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey described to Christie Watch a regime of secrecy, conspiracy and political favoritism inside the huge agency. They also claimed that Bill Baroni and David Wildstein, both of whom have resigned in the wake of the Bridgegate scandal, were key principals in a secret effort by Governor Chris Christie to raise tolls on the Hudson River bridges and tunnels in order to help fund a slush fund that was used to finance major construction projects that benefited the PA’s chairman, David Samson, and his law firm, Wolff & Samson. Among those projects: the raising and reconstruction of the Bayonne Bridge, a $1.2 billion project that benefited Skanska Koch, a construction firm represented by Wolff & Samson.         {{there Was a time Politicians went to jail over Slush funds}}
                                                     That Wont Happen Here
The projects, especially the Bayonne Bridge, were touted by Christie during his 2013 re-election campaign, and the governor used the project to win the backing of a major New Jersey labor union, the Laborers’ International Union.
The controversial toll hikes were the subject of major investigative articles in both the NewarkStar-Ledger and the Bergen Record on Sunday. The articles described how Christie and New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo manipulated public opinion on the toll increase by having Christie’s aides first float very large increases in the tolls, allowing the two governors to then appear to be demanding restraint. Orchestrating the effort, the papers said, were Baroni and Wildstein.
According to one former PA insider, Baroni and Wildstein operated as political hatchet men for Christie, running what amounted to a network of spies inside the vast agency. The source told Christie Watch:
Bill [Baroni] was Mr. Politick and David [Wildstein] was the finger breaker. Bill was very affable, very articulate, very handsome, he played a sort of political role of smooth operator. And David was clearly operating at another level, where he would sort of skulk around the PA, get there early, walk around, see who was around.
The source added that there were at least four other PA officials who operated under Wildstein’s direction:
Each one of them was in their own way a David Wildstein spy in the different parts of the agency. And everyone knew it, that they were there to ensure orthodoxy. If you joked about Christie or said negative things it would get back to Wildstein. And people knew that “Uh oh, that might end my career.” And they were always, “Oh no, don’t be ridiculous that would never happen.” But it did.
They created a “climate of fear” inside the PA, the source said. And, he added, Baroni and Wildstein were often closeted with David Samson, the PA chairman and Christie’s political mentor. Samson, who has been accused of using his position as PA chairman to benefit his law firm, and whose resignation has been demanded by the Star-Ledger, was a highly engaged and activist chairman, said the source, adding that that was very unusual for a chairman. “Samson was in the office a minimum two, sometimes three times a week and [Baroni and Wildstein] would be behind closed doors with the chairman for two hours at a time,” he said.
Baroni and Wildstein, the latter of whom maintained a secret list of favored officials, conspired inside the PA to press for the toll hikes. Along with $1.8 billion in federal and PA funds used by Christie for pet projects after he canceled a plan to build a new Hudson River transit tunnel, the toll hikes and the PA’s more recent PA’s capital spending plan created a tidal wave of new cash for Christie to spend as saw fit. In an editorial on March 4, the Star-Ledger said in an editorial that all these funds created a “piggy bank” for Christie, and it quoted John Wisniewski, chairman of the committee investigating the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, who said, “It’s a slush fund.” According to the Star-Ledger’s news article, Baroni and Wildstein also organized a cabal inside the PA over the toll hikes:
The sources say the toll hike operation was run out of a conference room on the 15th floor of the Port Authority’s Manhattan headquarters on Park Avenue, and only those on Wildstein’s secret list had access to the room.
Only in New Jersey! Baroni and Wildstein reportedly met secretly with Christie and handful of top aides to organize the toll-hike effort. According to the Bergen Record:
A knowledgeable source said that only days later, on Aug. 3, Christie held a meeting in his office with about five top advisers, including former state Attorney General and Port Authority Chairman David Samson, Baroni and Wildstein. According to the source, Christie instructed the Port Authority officials to float the immediate $4 increase, and that he and Cuomo would reduce it to $2.
The two former PA officials interviewed by Christie Watch pointed to the Bayonne Bridge project as a key focus of Baroni and Wildstein’s efforts inside the agency. Not only did the project benefit Wolff & Samson and help Christie’s reelection effort, but within the PA it was widely believed that the project did not need to be rushed ahead, and could wait for years. Said one source:
The Bayonne Bridge was Bill’s big, big project. Rushing that through, making sure the right staff was working on it was a major, major political priority for Bill. And why? Because it’s an unnecessary project now, it probably should have waited ten years but it was a major Christie announcement that this is the way to secure the port’s future. And it tied in Christie’s relationship with the Longshoremen, and all the big port operators. [Baroni] set up his own team to do it, they answered directly to him. He would have weekly or bi-weekly meetings. He created his own task force, answerable to him, on the status of how the work was going for it, the Bayonne Bridge.
The Bayonne Bridge project had long been discussed within the PA. But, another former official said:
I recall there were meetings with Wildstein and/or Baroni about the PA position on Bayonne and they were concerned that not everyone was fully on board with the Bayonne Bridge and were still questioning.… With the arrival of the Chris Christie administration the Bayonne Bridge proposal took on a different life. It had already been a topic of conversation with people on both sides of the issue. But it took on new life once they got hold of it. Bill Baroni pulled together a group reporting to him on a direct basis on the progress of moving forward with the project.… They formed a team and informed Baroni on the progress. There were also political people, they were involved, they were part of everything.
Christie kicked off his reelection effort in 2012 at a rally with the Laborers’ International union, whose leader endorsed Christie, and cited the Bayonne Bridge project as a major reason for his support. But the union wasn’t the only beneficiary. One of the major contractors was Skanska Koch. Last April the PA awarded a $743 million contract to the firm and a partner to raise the bridge, so it could accommodate larger ships. And Skanska is represented by Wolff & Samson.
 The investigation of Christie and his aides by the US Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Paul Fishman, began with an inquiry into charges that the administration threated to withhold Superstorm Sandy aid from Hoboken unless its mayor, Dawn Zimmer, backed another project that was connected to Wolff & Samson. Now, however, Fishman’s office is looking intently at the Bridgegate scandal, too. Agents from Fishman’s office have already visited the home of Bill Stepien, one of the governor’s former top political aides, and they’ve interviewed Paul Nunziato, the head of the PA police union, according to The Wall Street Journal, which added that at least three lawyers—J. Fortier Imbert, Lee M. Cortes Jr. and Vikas Khanna—from the US attorney’s office are looking into the GWB scandal.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey state legislative committee looking into the tangle of scandals has initiated a major effort to connect Bridgegate to the toll hike and tunnel cancellation issues, too.
Back in 2012, Baroni, who’s at the center of all this, was pressed by Senator Frank Lautenberg about the decision to raise the tolls. As WNYC reported at the time:
The senator was also unable to pin Baroni down on one of his key issues: what did Governor Christie know about the Port Authority’s plans for last summer’s toll hikes, and when did he know it? Baroni wouldn’t get specific. “I’m not going to talk about conversations that I have with different administration officials,” he said—spurring Lautenberg to retort: “Are you running a protection agency there?” “Excuse me?” responded Baroni, all wounded indignation.
Later, frustrated, Lautenberg told Baroni: “Your impertinence is barely tolerable.”
At that time, of course, the full story of how Wildstein and Baroni conspired with Christie to push through the toll hikes, and how the money was used in part to fund the pet projects of the PA’s chairman, wasn’t yet known.

February 5, 2014

The Fat Man is Cooking


Chris Christie by Jason SeilerIllustration by Jason Seiler

If You don’t know why he is cooking, Look back at our pages and you will find about a lying politician that some for some reason thought as a straight shooter. Like straight shooters’ don’t lie. The worse about straight shooters is that they straight shoot lie convincing people of ‘How could I, I me?> stoop so low to do that?

October 20, 2013

Gov.Christie Folds on Gay Marriage and Reactions of NJ Lawmakers




The Star Ledger in NJ gauges the reaction of local politicians including the Governor on the  fast tract decision of the NJ Supreme Court. I was most interested to see if Governor Christie was going to continue to fight gay marriage. It seems that he already showed his republican party that he can run for president because he is loyal on opposing gay marriage. 
The truth is regardless of how personally he feels about gay marriage all his emperors clothes have been disappearing up to the point that even  he can see how naked he is on the issue. First it was the DOMA excuse and Obama and the US Supreme court ripped his imaginary clothes on that. Then there was his religion, Governor Christie being a Catholic.  Pope Francis took care of his underwear on that excuse. Finally it was the will of the voter and the courts and to that the NJ Supreme Court took away his socks and thus he sees himself naked and with no more excuses he says he will make things smooth for same sex couples to marry.  This whole charade of coarse did not fool anybody.  Everyone knew he was holding gay marriage hostage to his aspirations as candidate of his party for president. 
Congratulations New Jersey!
Adam Gonzalez
~~~~~~~~~~~


 
TRENTON — Local lawmakers and gay marriage advocates are reacting this afternoon to a state Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriages can begin in New Jersey on Monday.
The court ruled marriages can begin on a provisional basis until the court makes its final ruling on gay marriage rights next year.
Among those reacting to the ruling:
Michael Drewniak, Gov. Christie's press secretary:

"The Supreme Court has made its determination. While the Governor firmly believes that this determination should be made by all the people of the state of New Jersey, he has instructed the Department of Health to cooperate with all municipalities in effectuating the order of the Superior Court under the applicable law."
James Allen, spokesman for Newark Mayor Cory Booker:
"For more than seven years, Mayor Booker has refused all requests to officiate New Jersey marriages because gay couples have been denied that equal right. After today’s wonderful news, Mayor Booker is excited to marry both straight and gay couples in City Hall on Monday morning beginning at 12:01 a.m."
Lawrence Lustberg, one of the lawyers for the six families involved in the case:

"This is enormously gratifying. The court correctly applied settled law to the facts and made good on the promise of equality that it made in the Lewis case. And in doing so, it made a lot of people happy, because they can marry the ones they love and are just as importantly because they are no longer being treated unequally."
Steven M. Fulop, mayor of Jersey City:
"We are extremely pleased and gratified that the New Jersey Supreme Court has upheld the lower court's ruling that same-sex marriages will be legal in the state of New Jersey beginning Monday, Oct. 21st, as this is a civil rights issue that affects thousands of Jersey City and New Jersey residents. The Jersey City City Clerk has begun accepting applications for same-sex marriage licenses and on Monday we will begin performing the ceremonies which will be legal and binding."
John Tomicki, president of the New Jersey Coalition to Preserve and Protect Marriage:

"Court after court is misinterpreting and misreading the law in order to get the result that they wish, which is to destroy the historical definition of marriage. Once you do that by a judicial fiat, no longer will you be able to limit marriage just to two people of the same gender. We would still wish that the question were decided not by the court, not by the Legislature, but by a referendum."
Sen. Barbara Buono, Democratic candidate for governor:
"This governor needs to step aside. He's on the wrong side of history and he's been on the wrong side of history for a while. He just needs to let it go."
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester):
“This unanimous ruling is yet another victory in the fight for marriage equality in New Jersey, and affirms what we already knew: that same-sex marriage will inevitably be the law of the land. Oct. 21st will go down in history as the day same-sex New Jersey couples were finally provided the freedom to marry, a right that millions of people in this state already have. As the legal case proceeds, we will continue our effort in the Legislature to ensure that marriage equality remains and that all residents are treated the same under the law. I applaud the court for its decision and for recognizing the importance of protecting the rights of same-sex couples in our state.”
New Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington):
"I am overjoyed to see the Supreme Court will allow loving same-sex couples to get married starting Monday. At long last, true equality finally begins in New Jersey. The Supreme Court has now signaled what we in the Legislature have long expressed: marriage equality will be the law of the land in New Jersey; it is a simple matter of when, not if."
Assemblyman Ruben J. Ramos (D-Hudson):
"The Supreme Court claimed a victory for the LGBT community today. Friday’s ruling gives justice to the many who have waited decades to be wed and be treated equally as other married couples under the law. No more waiting. No more appeals. This is a great day for New Jersey. And Monday will be a triumph etched in New Jersey’s civil rights history."
Chad Griffin, Human Rights Campaign president:
"The New Jersey Supreme Court has sent a momentous and vital message to the entire country. No government should stand in the way of committed and loving couples seeking to marry. And I have no doubt that when this case is resolved on the merits, marriage equality will come to the Garden State permanently.”
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen):
“The battle for equality has been long and arduous for the LGBT community. Monday will be the beginning of a new era of equality in New Jersey. I applaud the court’s decision to rule in the name of justice. It is the right thing to do. And it is time that all people who wish to share their lives together are able to do so, equally, under the law. The long-awaited dreams of many in New Jersey will thankfully become reality starting Monday.”
Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Bergen):
“This ruling just brought us closer to justice. I commend the court for recognizing that civil unions are unconstitutional and denying the governor’s request to further delay a final decision on marriage equality in New Jersey. Monday will be a game-changer for couples who have long waited to exchange ‘I do’s’. As the court continues to deliberate the case, I hope the administration and municipalities will work together so Monday goes smoothly for all those couples who have patiently waited for this day.”
Michael Premo, New Jersey United For Marriage campaign manager:
"This is an amazing moment in New Jersey history, and we rejoice with our family and friends who will finally be able to get married. Despite our joy, we know the fight is not over. Though we have a very strong case, the final decision by the Court is far from certain. Just as quickly as these weddings start happening, the court can stop them. We cannot control the final outcome of the New Jersey Supreme Court, but we can continue to make our voices heard by legislators. The quickest route to guarantee marriage equality still remains with the Legislature. The Court's ruling, while a momentous step forward, is not final. With the Supreme Court not set to hear the merits of the case until after the new year, we will continue to work every day to guarantee the freedom to marry as quickly as possible. The fastest way to do this once and for all is through the Legislature. The ball is in their court now to stand on the right side of history with loving and committed couples.”
Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-LedgerBy Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger 

October 9, 2013

Gov. Christie Debates Gay Marriage With Patron at Diner


photo.JPG
Gov. Chris Christie greets a patron during a campaign stop at the Edison Diner on Route 1 this morning. (Brent Johnson/The Star-Ledger)

 
EDISON — For the first 15 minutes, it looked a lot like most of Gov. Chris Christie's campaign stops. The popular Republican walked from table to table at the Edison Diner, signing autographs, posing for pictures, and even joking about his support for the New York Mets.
But then Christie stopped at Bert Bueno's booth, and the Highland Park resident grilled the governor on gay marriage.
"How come you're in opposition?" Bueno, a straight woman, asked.
"Listen: Lots of different people have different views on this," Christie responded. "I think marriage should be between a man and a woman.
"My view is: If you want to change it, put it on the ballot," he continued. "Let everybody decide. It shouldn't be decided by courts, it shouldn't be decided by politicians in Trenton. It should be decided by everybody. If the majority of the people of New Jersey want same-sex marriage, I'll enforce the law."
The calm, four-minute conversation was one of the rare occasions when someone in the crowd questioned Christie sharply at a campaign event, which are usually packed with supporters carrying signs. Bueno said she simply was having breakfast and didn't know Christie would be there.
Christie — who is running for re-election Nov. 5 against state Sen. Barbara Buono, his Democratic challenger from Middlesex County, where Edison is located — vetoed legislation last year that would have legalized same-sex marriage in New Jersey, saying voters should decide instead. Democrats balked, arguing that it's a civil rights issue.
photo.JPGView full sizeHighland Park resident Bert Bueno (left) discusses gay marriage with Gov. Chris Christie during a campaign stop at the Edison diner this morning. 
Last month, a state Superior Court judge ruled that New Jersey must begin allowing gay couples to get married Oct. 21. But the Christie administration is seeking a stay and appealing the decision to the state Supreme Court.
A new poll released today showed that nearly two-thirds of New Jerseyans support the judge's ruling.
"How could you as the leader of the state speak and have such a point of view that really is in opposition to many, many people?" Bueno asked.
"Whenever you have an opinion that's in opposition to many, many people ... " Christie started to reply.
"But this is different than gun control or taxes," Bueno interjected.
"No, I don't think it is different," the governor said.
"It's a human rights issue," Bueno insisted.
"Says you," Christie responded. "The fact is: We've been very supportive of a lot of other things, like banning gay conversion therapy. This is an issue where we have an honest difference of opinion. Okay, so you put it on the ballot — you vote your way, I vote my way. And whoever gets the most votes wins."
Christie signed a bill last month outlawing licensed therapists from using conversion therapy to try to change a child's sexual orientation from gay to straight.
Before Christie moved to the next table, Bueno asked him if he would ever be open to sitting down for an open conversation with a group gay and lesbian people "to really see how this is affecting them."
"I have relatives who are gay, I have friends who are gay," Christie said. "I think I have an understanding. That's not the point. We have a difference of opinion.
He continued: "The fact is: I'm open to having conversations with anybody, but I don't think it's going to change my point of view."
"I appreciate this interaction," Bueno told Christie.
"Sure," the governor said. "Me too.

August 5, 2013

Christie Handing Gays in Jersey a Dirty Deal



New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s used to having his cake and eating too. You can watch on the Letterman show and is no doubt about that. Since Hurricane Sandy destroyed parts of Coastal NY and Nj along with the Jersey shore and Atlantic City he came out and ask for help and got the help and all the backing that Pres. Obama could give him. It brought his negatives down, which where high, manly as a bully and stubborn governor hard to work with if he disagreed with you on anything. People saw a more human side of him, he admitted about his weight problem instead of hiding behind it, which he could easily could have done.

Everyone knows that he has been playing political games with game marriage in NJ and gay Nyeseyans have gotten the wrong end of the stick more than once even before he was governor. There was even a governor that convince everyone that the way to go was civil Unions after the NJ Supreme Court rule that gay couples were being discriminated and gave the state a choice. Marriage or Unions but they most be treated like straights. This particular governor went for unions because it was the easiest thing for him knowing full well that it was apples and potatoes. Nothing was similar except they were mostly round. This was Mc Greavy who was outed for cheating on his wife with a male staffer that was blackmailing him, according to McGreavy.
Now comes the republican Christie and he wants everyone to be equal knowing that he can’t have gay marriage because he still with the old idea that this will hurt him. A Northeast State and he is not afraid of the North-easteners, he is afraid of people with tea bags under the eyes who hate everything including the constitution, statue of liberty and everything in between that has to do with the Northeast, gays, gun laws and social security until they start collecting it. What should he care? He want to be Mr. P R E S I D E N t like Marilyn Monroe would say.
Hey but he wants to appear fair because her is not going to win without the folks in the Northeast, like Liberals, Progressives and independents. So He is been watching black jack at the Casino's in Jersey and he thinks he can do a double hand. A bill for gay marriage was passed and he vetoed it. It’s the best for the gays because it should go to a referendum. Don’t you love people that tie up your hands and screw you with a broomstick and ask you if you are having a good time. Christie does. Hey he is good buddies with the gay president. The one quiet about the treatments of gays in Russia.

Christies' administration filed a brief last week defending the state’s 2006 Civil Union Act, which grants gay couples all the benefits of marriage yet bars them from actually getting married. The brief is Christie’s first official legal statement on same-sex marriage. Given his apparent aspiration to be the next Republican nominee for president, it is especially too bad that the brief also may be the most incoherent defense of heterosexual supremacy yet. That’s saying something in an era in which lawyers have tied themselves in logical pretzels to defend indefensible anti-gay laws. Even by that low standard, the brief reads like a student paper written during an all-nighter. You’d think an aspiring president would take the task more seriously.
The Christie brief was filed in state Superior Court, in a suit brought by six couples who sued New Jersey for the right to marry in 2011. After the Supreme Court’s June ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act—the 1996 law that denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples—the New Jersey plaintiffs asked the superior court to allow gay marriage in the state to begin right away. They argue that civil unions are inherently unequal now that the Supreme Court has tossed the key component of DOMA. The feds are now granting benefits to gay spouses, but New Jersey’s civil union law prevents gay partners from receiving those benefits.
Christie’s brief defends civil unions in three ways. First, it argues that the state can rationally restrict the label “marriage” to heterosexual unions because it is “preserving” the definition of the word. Second, it contends that it’s actually the feds who are now blocking gay equality by withholding benefits to civil union partners. And third, it claims that the state courts should move very cautiously when contemplating a major change in social institutions—all fine and well except that, as the state itself admits, calling a gay union a marriage isn't much of a change anymore. In fact, throughout the brief, what’s most striking is that every last argument Christie’s administration makes, it then proceeds to blatantly contradict.
 The brief starts by arguing that the state’s 2006 Civil Union Act—passed in response to a state court ruling in the same year that New Jersey had to either let gays wed or grant them all the attendant benefits of marriage—has a rational relationship to a compelling state interest, and is therefore constitutional. “To reserve the name of marriage for heterosexual couples,” says the brief, makes sense because “altering the meaning of marriage” would, in the words of the 2006 ruling, “render a profound change in the public consciousness of a social institution of ancient origin.” The definition of marriage has “far-reaching social implications.” 

Oops, except then it doesn’t. The brief then does an about-face, insisting that the nomenclature distinctions have no meaning at all—an effort to show that the law is not rooted in anti-gay prejudice. A “long-standing precedent,” the brief explains, dictates “that courts look to essence, not label.” It cites a 1915 court case finding that a law’s import “lies in the essential nature of the work done rather than the names applied to those engaged in it.” The brief goes to great lengths to drive home this point, even dragging in the Bard: “Shakespeare wondered what’s in a name?; for purposes of federal criminal law, the answer is ‘nothing.’ Substance rather than nomenclature matters.” And: “A rose by any other name is still a rose.” And: “Counting a dog’s tail as a leg will not give the dog five legs.

As if to illustrate this muddle, the brief proceeds to use the terms “partner” and “spouse” interchangeably, going so far as to argue that the civil union partners the state bars from getting married are nevertheless “spouses.” Indeed, the brief refers to “civil union spouses” in the same breath that it complains that the sovereign state of New Jersey should not be forced to cede the definition of marriage to include gays.
Let’s imagine for a moment that it’s true that nomenclature doesn’t matter a whit. If that’s right, then it’s the strongest case yet for the other side. If there is nothing in the name “marriage,” then New Jersey’s Civil Union Act has no rational relationship to an important state interest. The label is the single distinction the law makes. How can that both serve a compelling governmental interest and mean absolutely nothing, at the same time?
The idea seems to be to further New Jersey’s bizarre argument that it’s the feds who are depriving gays of equality rather than the state. Because the Civil Union Act intended to treat gay and straight couples equally, the brief argues, now that DOMA is dead, the federal government should give civil union partners full benefits “because they are spouses.”
The trouble is, New Jersey did not intend to treat gay couples equally. If it did, it would have actually made them spouses, granting them access to marriage—to the word itself. This is the precise meaning of the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that separate is “inherently unequal.” Awarding equivalent material benefits does not erase the stigma of separating a class of people from the core institutions of American life.
The contradictions continue: Precedent, says the brief, also requires a court to exercise “maximum caution” in intervening where “highly significant policy considerations” are involved. Therefore the New Jersey courts should not invalidate New Jersey’s law. But the state’s entire position is that there is no policy consideration at issue. There’s no material difference between civil unions and marriage, just a distinction in name only—and names don’t matter. Why shouldn’t the court act, then? Christie isn’t just making an argument against judicial activism here either. When he vetoed a same-sex marriage bill earlier this year, he said the legislature shouldn’t decide whether marriage should include gay unions—only “people” should, by a direct vote at the ballot box. That might be fine for deciding how to fund a town library, but the whole point of constitutional rights is that they’re not subject to a vote.
Can the Christie administration get away with its absurdly twisted logic? In 2009 the Obama administration defended DOMA against a California couple’s challenge. Its brief was so poorly worded and overreaching—it appeared to compare same-sex marriage to incest and pedophilia—that the administration infuriated gay and straight activists alike. The outrage helped push the gay rights movement into overdrive. The Obama administration eventually had the sense to reverse course. DOMA’s demise in June, of course, followed. Luckily for Obama, the president emerged unscathed. If Christie doesn't get smart, he might not be so lucky.
Adam Gonzalez and bottom parts by Slate Magazine

Amazon SearchBox Use it for All Meerchandise

The Forest Needs help

Summer Athlete

Adamfoxie Blog Int.

Adamfoxie Blog Int.
Amazon

ONE

ONE
Relief World Hunger

Taylor Made 2016 Family Clubs

Click Here To Get Anything by Amazon- That will keep US Going

Amazon EcHo

Blog Archive/White No# Stories per Month/year

Popular Posts

Everyday at the Movies

Orangutans ARE Part of the Forest

The Gay Man in You♥ or Him