Scandal-plagued New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) reportedly gave away pieces of metal salvaged from the wreckage of the World Trade Center as gifts to his political allies. According to the New York Times, the twisted chunks of metal were presented to a group of mayors who endorsed Christie ahead of his bid for re-election in 2013.
An investigation into Christie’s handling of the state’s Port Authority has revealed that the one-time 2016 hopeful was using the transportation nerve center as a “de facto political operation,” handing out political favors to supporters and pursuing vendettas long before the still-unexplained closing of George Washington Bridge in 2013.
The Port Authority was crucial to Christie as a means of winning the endorsement of Democrats and union leaders, said the Times, which Christie used to strip his Democratic gubernatorial challenger Barbara Buono of allies and political capital.
Furthermore, NJSpotlight.com reported on a Senate Legislative Oversight Committee’s findings that Christie inappropriately handled federal funds intended for relief from Hurricane Sandy.
As thousands of New Jersey residents anxiously awaited relief funds to rebuild their lives in the wake of the storm, Christie mishandled more than $25 million, diverting funds to places with no hurricane damage at all, locations that Christie allies had targeted for development.
Locations with desperate flooding issues were left hanging and, as Mayor Dawn Zimmer (D) reported, short-changing the city of Hoboken by $700,000.
Christie has seen his approval ratings in New Jersey plummet. The latest Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll showed the governor’s disapproval ratings overtaking his favorable ratings for the first time. Only 41 percent approve of Christie’s job performance, with 44 percent disapproving. The approval rating is down 20 points from November.