State Sues Atlantic City as Finances Unravel

Atlantic City at dusk, November 2014

Photo | Dan McQuade

The state of New Jersey is suing Atlantic City, trying to force the municipality to make payments to the city’s public schools instead of making a scheduled payment to employees on Friday.

NJ.com quotes Gov. Chris Christie: “This won’t fix the city’s own financial problems. But it will prevent them from making Atlantic City students and their families collateral damage to their reckless financial games.”

ABC News reports the city owes the district $34 million through July. The lawsuit aims to put the school district “at the front of the line” for any money that Atlantic City, with its foundering casinos, can scrape together.  Read more »

Atlantic City: Nothing Will Be Different During 3-Week Shutdown

Don Guardian - Atlantic City mayor; Chris Christie - New Jersey governor

Atlantic City mayor Don Guardian (left) and New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

Come April 8th, Atlantic City is out of cash.

That doesn’t mean the boardwalk is going to crumble like it’s an episode of Life After People. But it does mean the city — which is generally bumpin’ on weekends, no matter the time of year — won’t pay its employees for three weeks.

Mayor Don Guardian said yesterday about 950 city employees have volunteered to work without pay. That’s almost the entire city workforce; Guardian said the city “is not going to look any different” during the government shutdown.

Employees aren’t guaranteed to be paid eventually for those three free weeks of work, though it’s certainly a possibility. But if you’re going to the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival (Dashboard Confessional and Reel Big Fish are playing!) or the Garden State Film Festival (there’s a movie called Catslaughter screening!), your experience in Atlantic City will not be any different. Read more »

Chris Christie Jokes Are No Longer Just About His Weight

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, gives a thumbs up to the crowd as he is introduced by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, at a rally at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C., Monday, March 14, 2016.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to the crowd as he is introduced by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a rally at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C., on March 14th.

Chris Christie jokes used to be mostly about his weight.

As Matt Katz chronicles in American Governor, his recent biography of the New Jersey governor, Christie’s weight was an issue from the beginning of his political career. In 1995, a letter to the editor said he “resembled the Pillsbury Doughboy.” In the 2009 gubernatorial campaign, Jon Corzine accused Christie of “throwing his weight around.” The New York Post once headlined a story about Christie at the Wailing Wall with, “Whale at the Wall.”

Christie has lost weight. He used a pseudonym to check into a hospital to get lap-band surgery in 2013. (“I guess Springsteen’s no longer the band closest to the governor’s heart,” Katz quipped at the Trenton Legislative Correspondents Club dinner that year.) But the fat jokes keep coming, and Christie generally deals with them as anyone does: With a shrug, a self-deprecating joke and maybe a chuckle or two.

But Christie’s weight isn’t really why he’s been the butt of jokes recently. Now it’s just Christie himself. Read more »

4 Things We Learned From the NYT Trump-Christie Profile

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, takes questions from members of the media during a news conference on Super Tuesday primary election night in the White and Gold Ballroom at The Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, takes questions from members of the media during a news conference on Super Tuesday primary election night in the White and Gold Ballroom at The Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Chris Christie-Donald Trump alliance continues to be an object of fascination, so the New York Times dives in today with a history of — and it seems air quotes are needed here — “friendship.”

Here are four things we learned from the piece:

Trump’s sister, a federal judge in New Jersey, brought them together. We told you last month about Maryanne Trump Barry, a senior judge for the Philly-based U.S. Court of Appeals in the Third Circuit. It seems her career has never entirely been separate from politics or Donald’s dealings — she ascended to the bench in the 1980s after her brother made a call to Roy Cohn, who in turn called then-Attorney General Edwin Meese.

The Times story suggests, too, that Christie got a little bit of help from his brother Todd — snagging an appointment as U.S. attorney for New Jersey after Todd made a big donation to the campaign of George W. Bush. After he took the job, Judge Barry told Christie: “My little brother really wants to meet you.” Read more »

Chris Christie on Trump: “No, I Wasn’t Being Held Hostage”

christie-trump

Chris Christie got the most attention of this presidential election season on Tuesday. Unfortunately for him, he’d already dropped out of the race weeks earlier. Christie got all the attention for the faces he made while standing behind Donald Trump during the latter’s victory speech that night. (Our own Joel Mathis collected 10 of the best “silent scream” memes yesterday.)

Christie endorsed Trump last Friday; a move that sparked a huge backlash. The New Hampshire Union-Leader, which supported Christie in that state’s primary, wrote an editorial apologizing for that choice.

After cavorting around with Christie over the weekend and into Super Tuesday and giving a press conference where he refused to answer questions about the Trump endorsement, six Gannett newspapers in New Jersey called on him to resign in a joint editorial. They went even further than that: If Christie doesn’t resign, the papers said the state’s citizens should initiate a recall effort.

Today, Christie gave one of his old-fashioned freewheeling press conferences where he did take questions about his endorsement of Trump, the newspapers’ editorial and whatever else reporters asked of him. Read more »

10 of the Best Chris Christie “Silent Scream” Memes

Have you seen this picture of Chris Christie at a Super Tuesday news conference with Donald Trump? Take a good look at Christie’s face. It’s the face that is launching a thousand memes:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, takes questions from members of the media during a news conference on Super Tuesday primary election night in the White and Gold Ballroom at The Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, takes questions from members of the media during a news conference on Super Tuesday primary election night in the White and Gold Ballroom at The Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Let’s start with the Washington Post, where the column on this picture is currently the most-read article on the paper’s website. It’s titled “Chris Christie’s wordless screaming,” and it’s a doozy:

Someone just told Chris Christie that there is no God. Or Chris Christie has just discovered that God does exist but She is an enormous snake who hates or is indifferent to mankind. Or Chris Christie has just discovered that there is no God but that Hell is real.

“When are they coming to airlift me out?” Chris Christie’s eyes are pleading. “Please tell me that they are coming and that it is soon.” But then his expression hardens. Chris Christie knows that they are not coming back for him.

There’s more of that. But our favorite laugh-out-loud re-mixing of this moment adds a little bit of music: Read more »

Allies Turn on Christie After Trump Endorsement

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, wave as they arrive at a rally at Millington Regional Airport in Millington, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, wave as they arrive at a rally at Millington Regional Airport in Millington, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016.

Chris Christie said he was not taking any questions from the media about Donald Trump. Still, a reporter raised his hand and asked permission for just one question other than the selected topic of Christie’s press conference today, which was about Christie’s nomination to fill a long-standing vacancy on the state Supreme Court.

“No off-topic questions!” Christie bellowed from the podium. “I won’t permit you to. I told you that there will only be on-topic questions allowed today. Permission denied.” Christie later said he wasn’t taking questions about Trump “because I don’t want to.”

And why would he want to? Ever since he endorsed Donald Trump on Friday, things haven’t been going so well for the New Jersey governor.

He is taking shots from all sides. Jennifer Rubin, a columnist for the Washington Post who was previously a huge Christie backer, wrote that he was “now ruined.” Supporters like Meg Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and a surrogate for Christie on the campaign trail, denounced his decision: “The governor is mistaken if he believes he can now count on my support, and I call on Christie’s donors and supporters to reject the governor and Donald Trump outright.” Read more »

WATCH: Did Trump Diss Christie?

It wasn’t necessarily an easy first weekend for Chris Christie as Donald Trump’s surrogate and ally — more on that later — but this might’ve been the low point: A video that looks for all the world as though Trump is treating Christie as an errand boy. Judge for yourself:

The Wall Street Journal observes: “The words could be taken as purely logistical, but they were framed by critics on social media as showing Mr. Trump being dismissive of his highest-profile backer, who at one point was a rival for the Republican nomination.” Read more »

Christie Endorses Trump for President

One theory about the quick demise of Chris Christie’s presidential campaign — once so full of promise — is that there was only room for one brash-talking northeasterner in the GOP race. Once Donald Trump jumped in and started being Donald Trump-ish, Christie’s usual strengths were overshadowed.

In any case, Christie is out. And today, he endorsed Trump for president.

The New York Times reports Christie said Trump “will do exactly what needs to be done to make America a leader around the world again,” and said they’d been friends for a decade. “I am proud to be here to endorse Donald Trump,” he said, at Trump’s side at a Texas gathering.

The reaction was quick on Twitter, with observers expecting Christie to play a big role in the campaign going forward.

Statistician Nate Silver, though, wasn’t so sure this is a prelude to Christie winning Trump’s VP slot:

More to come, almost certainly.

N.J. Residents Don’t Like Chris Christie Much Anymore

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his budget at the Statehouse, Tuesday, February 16, 2016, in Trenton, N.J. Tuesday's budget address comes nearly a week after Christie ended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his budget at the Statehouse, Tuesday, February 16, 2016, in Trenton, N.J. Tuesday’s budget address comes nearly a week after Christie ended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Chris Christie’s run for president has been over for more than a week. Now he’s back in the state where voters elected him governor with more than 60 percent of the vote more than two years ago. That has changed.

The Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released two surveys on Christie this week. Both show New Jersey’s registered voters increasingly dissatisfied with the governor.

“It is no coincidence that New Jersey voters give Governor Christie some of his lowest character ratings to date upon his return home,” Ashley Koning, assistant director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University, said in a release. “With the governor spending the last several months on the campaign trail, positive perceptions of him have taken a hit across the board in his absence – especially leadership, a trait that has usually been his strong suit since taking office.” Read more »

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