State House

Christie Booed After Catching Foul Ball

New York Daily News: “Christie, sitting in the third row behind the first base line, was able to make the catch after Cardinals second baseman Paul DeJong fouled off a pitch during the top of the third inning… Unfortunately for Christie, whose approval rating is down to 15%, the majority of fans in attendance didn’t appear to be too impressed with his catch — or the fact he appeared to give the ball to a young kid nearby — booing the unpopular governor after it became clear he was the one who caught DeJong’s foul ball.”

Said the TV announcer: “Nice to see him get from the beach to the ballpark.”

Bridgegate Mastermind Avoids Jail Time

“David Wildstein, the professed mastermind of the so-called Bridgegate scandal, was spared a prison term during his sentencing for his role in the closing of lanes near the George Washington Bridge as political revenge against a New Jersey mayor, ending one of the final chapters in a bizarre political scandal that grounded the national political ambitions of Gov. Chris Christie,” the New York Times reports.

“Though Mr. Christie was never implicated in the scandal, nor was any documentary evidence ever produced directly tying him to knowledge of the scheme, Mr. Wildstein remained adamant in his testimony that Mr. Christie knew about the plan.”

Christie Approval Hits Another New Low

A new Monmouth poll finds just 15% of New Jersey adults approve of the job Chris Christie (R) is doing as governor while 80% disapprove.

Said pollster Patrick Murray: “It really is difficult to drive approval ratings into the single digits barring something like a criminal conviction. However, you have to admire Christie’s seeming tenacity for trying to get his numbers down to that level.”

Bevin Seeks to Reduce Medicaid Rolls by Another 9K

In a move he says would save money but cut another 9,000 people from Medicaid, Gov. Matt Bevin (R) is seeking permission from the federal government for more changes to the state-federal health plan that serves 1.4 million Kentuckians, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

The Bevin administration said the changes, aimed largely at “able-bodied” adults, are part of an effort to “provide dignity to individuals” and help them toward “independence from public assistance.”

LePage Says He Feeds False Stories to the Media

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) suggested he makes up stories to mislead reporters, the AP reports.

Said LePage: “I just love to sit in my office and make up ways so they’ll write these stupid stories because they are just so stupid, it’s awful.”

He also characterized the Maine media as “vile,” “inaccurate” and “useless” and said “the sooner the print press goes away, the better society will be.”

Christie Doubles Down — Again — With No Apologies

“This is Chris Christie with nothing left to lose: Lounging on a deserted beach closed to the public due to his political gamesmanship, and mocking his detractors as his poll numbers sink toward single digits,” Politico reports.

“While Christie has always enjoyed the perks of office and tweaking his critics, the New Jersey governor has been especially brash in his showdown with Democratic lawmakers, leading to a state government shutdown right before the July 4th holiday.”

Washington Post: How Christie’s defiance lifted and then hobbled his political career.

Christie Lied About Going to the Beach

At a news conference on the budget stalemate that has closed the New Jersey state government, Gov. Chris Christie (R) denied he went to the beach: “I didn’t. I didn’t get any sun today.”

However, the Newark Star-Ledger had proof to the contrary. Earlier that day, a photographer flew by Christie and his family on the beach — twice — while taking photos from the open door of a small plane.

Republicans Outside Washington Warm to Tax Increases

“Something strange has been happening to taxes in Republican-dominated states: They are going up,” the New York Times reports.

“Conservative lawmakers in Kansas, South Carolina and Tennessee have agreed to significant tax increases in recent weeks to meet demands for more revenue. They are challenging what has become an almost dogmatic belief for their party, and sharply diverging from President Trump as he pushes for what his administration has billed as the largest tax cut in at least a generation.”

“And now some Republicans say that what has played out in these states should serve as a cautionary tale in Washington, where their party’s leaders are confronting a set of circumstances that looks strikingly similar.”

Christie Spends Holiday In State Park He Shuttered

Gov. Chris Christie (R) “joined his family at a state-owned retreat in Island Beach State Park on Saturday night, less than 24 hours after ordering the closure of all state parks and beaches because of the budget impasse in Trenton,” Politico reports.

“Christie, his wife, his children and their guests have the run of the 10-mile barrier island, where police are turning away all others visitors over the long holiday weekend.”

Said Christie: “That’s because the governor has a residence at Island Beach. Others don’t. It’s just the way it goes. Run for governor and then you can have the residence.”

Christie Adds Government Shutdown to His Legacy

“Chris Christie is heading into his final six months as governor presiding over New Jersey’s biggest government crisis in more than a decade: A shutdown that will literally turn the lights out in Trenton,” Politico reports.

“New Jersey lawmakers failed to pass a budget by the annual deadline at midnight last night, and Christie promptly issued an order sparking the closure of government offices and services deemed non-essential. State parks and beaches will likely be closed this morning, just in time for the holiday, as will motor vehicle offices. Courts could be closed come Monday. Tens of thousands of state government employees will be furloughed.”

Christie Says He Doesn’t Care About 15% Approval

Gov. Chris Christie (R), the least popular governor in New Jersey history, says he doesn’t care what people think of him because he’s not running for office.

Said Christie: “The poll that matters is when people actually go in and vote. It would be nice if people actually polled voters or people who are likely to vote, because everybody else’s opinion, quite frankly, doesn’t matter about whether you like a public official or you don’t — unless you’re willing to move forward and exercise that preference at the polling places.”

Is North Carolina the Future of American Politics?

Jason Zengerle: “Welcome to North Carolina circa 2017, where all the passions and pathologies of American politics writ large are played out writ small — and with even more intensity. Ever since 2010, when Republicans seized control of the General Assembly for the first time in a century, and especially since 2012, when they took the governor’s mansion, the state’s politics have been haywire.”

“In just a few years, North Carolina Republicans have not just run quickly through the conservative policy checklist; they’ve tried to permanently skew the balance of power in the state in their favor, passing some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country and drawing some of the most egregiously gerrymandered congressional and state legislative districts in modern American politics (though their moves have repeatedly failed to pass muster with the courts).”

FBI Pick Billed Taxpayers $2.1 Million for Bridgegate

“President Trump’s pick to be the next FBI director, Christopher Wray, billed New Jersey taxpayers more than $2.1 million in legal charges and expenses while representing Gov. Chris Christie as his personal attorney before during and after the Bridgegate trial,” WNYC reports.

“It is unclear what Wray and an extensive team from his firm, King & Spalding LLP, was doing for Christie — the bills provided to WNYC from the state Attorney General’s Office are heavily redacted, and Wray has never spoken publicly about his role.”

“The public did not even know that Wray was working for the governor until nearly two years into his work, when Christie’s spokesman said a cell phone that the governor used during Bridgegate was in Wray’s possession. Two former Christie aides who were indicted and ultimately convicted had unsuccessfully sought to subpoena the phone to use as part of their defense.”