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Thursday, September 29, 2016

In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) announced his appointment for an interim senator to fill Senator Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) seat after his passing on Monday. New Jersey attorney general Jeffrey S. Chiesa will serve as New Jersey’s interim U.S. senator until the state holds a special election on October 16th.

Governor Christie said he had put considerable thought into this decision, knowing that Senator Lautenberg had been ill. “I knew this day might come, so I didn’t just start thinking about this on Monday. I’ve been thinking about it on and off for some period of time.”

Chiesa — whom Christie said Thursday he knows “almost as well as I know my family” — is a close political ally to the governor. From 2002-2009, Chiesa worked in the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey, and he served as chief counsel to Christie for nearly two years before being nominated as attorney general.

Christie said that Chisea will not be a candidate in the primary or the special election.

During the press conference Chiesa, a registered Republican as of 2000, was asked which issues he will consider to be most pressing when he arrives in Washington. He answered more than once that because of his background, border security is the most important issue. This suggests that he could quickly become a key player in the ongoing immigration debate. Past that, Chiesa admitted that a majority of issues are unfamiliar to him — but vowed to discuss these with his new colleagues and use his best judgment to make decisions based on the interests of the people of New Jersey.

Governor Christie faced criticism from his own party after announcing the October date for the special election, only three weeks before the general election on November 5. Some have speculated that Christie fears  appearing on the same ballot as Newark mayor Cory Booker, a popular Democratic Senate candidate.

Former representative Dick Armey (R-TX) said that Christie’s decision to hold an October election is “debilitating stupidity.” Furthermore, The Newark Star-Ledger said his decision is “a shameless move that will waste at least $12 million and risk the integrity of the vote.”

Christie defended his decision during Thursday’s press conference, saying, “I think my decision was faithful to the intent of the Constitution.” Christie also addressed criticism that the special election will cost taxpayers an additional $12 million dollars, attesting that in the context of the state’s $32 billion budget, the cost is rather minimal when considering the Constitutional duty to provide citizens with a properly elected senator.

Governor Christie plans to announce a nominee to replace Chiesa as New Jersey attorney general on Monday, June 10th.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File

  • Phil Temmer

    This Chriistie character is a pathetic, disgusting greaseball

    First, he wastes $12,000,000 or more of badly needed state funds on an unnecessary election so he doesn’t have to face Corey Booker three weeks later. Then he installs his old buddy, Republican Chisea, in an affront to the people of New Jersey who had elected a Democrat, Lautenberg for nearly 30 years.

    • jmprint

      Maybe we will get lucky and New Jersey folks will vote him out. He is a good guy with strings attached. Those puppet owners know how to pull strings.

  • Fairplay4

    There is something basically immoral about replacing a Democratic Senator with a Republican. It goes against the declared wishes of the People. The GOP pays only lip service to decency.

    • Fern Woodfork

      What Do You Expect From A Thug Like Krispy Kreem?? Duh ?? He’s A Member Of The American Taliban!!

      • Mary Ann Hoogeveen

        Fern,as usual you are 100% correct.The GOP/teaparty = The American Taliban!!!

    • sigrid28

      One of the first things Chiesa said to the media was that it would take time for him to answer their questions because many of the issues before the Senate WERE UNFAMILIAR TO HIM. What the hell is he doing in the Senate, then, I ask you! Chris Christie abuses the voters of New Jersey who elected Senator Frank Lautenberg time and again, and who were ably represented by him, by replacing a proven public servant with a political hack who boasts that he is incompetent–and gets away with it just because he is the governor’s best friend. I hope Chris Christie loses when he comes up for re-election and that Democrats throughout the nation never forget this, no matter how many times Christie avoids treating President Obama as disrespectfully as his Republican colleagues do. It is, in this case, the voters of New Jersey he insults, and Senate Democrats who have a right to expect better than political gamesmanship under these circumstances.

  • silas1898

    Barbara Buono ran ads telling how she is the daughter of an Italian immigrant butcher, Then points out how Christie’s “miracle” is BS. 44th in job creation.
    Christie is running the standard “She raised taxes ONE HUNDRED FIFTY FOUR TIMES!” staple from every republican campaign for the last 40 years and how he balanced 4 budgets. So what. A balanced budget is required by the Constitution and every year they come up with “creative financing” and call the thing balanced.

    • howa4x

      this past year Jabba da governor raided the surcharges we pay on utility bills that would be used for renewable energy to the amount of 700million to balance the budget, and the worst he took 75 million from the fund to help Sandy victims to make commercials showing him rescuing the shore with the slogan stronger than the storm

      • silas1898

        Somehow I’m not surprised.

    • johninPCFL

      And, oh by the way, a budget is not SPENDING. Reagan ran nearly balanced budgets and still added $4T to the national debt in eight years.

      • silas1898

        It’s all BS anyway. They borrow the money to “balance” the budget while increasing the debt and interest payments.
        I remember Econ 101 where they would pull variables out of thin air to make their “equations” work. It was baffling.

        • Troy

          Wow!! you are going back in the day I have not heard them mentioned in so damn long but you,are certainly correct on that front my friend.I am not nor have I ever been a fan of “Woo Fat”,and never will be and his ugly ass wife as well.That is one sorry looking first lady for my home state of New Jersey.

          • silas1898

            Hacking on their appearance is what wingnuts do. Honestly, I never noticed his wife, (insert bad fat joke) leave her out of it.. There are plenty of reasons to depise Christy, the lastest being this Special Election sham.

          • Troy

            First of all who in my family died and made you my father? Don’t you ever tell me who I can talk about and who I can’t.I have seen her up close in elections OK!! because I am from New Jersey,and they came to my home town when he ran against Corzine,and lost so I know what the hell!! I am talking about do you?Are you from Jersey,and of all things you have my six year old grandson’s name Silas.
            But I will talk about who ever the hell I want too she is fair game as far as I am concern,and no one not even you who probably is not even from New Jersey,will tell me who to talk about OK!!

          • silas1898

            Troy, I was born in Hudson County, raised in northern Passaic County, HS in Warren County, lived 15 years in Morris County and now 17 years in Gloucester County, so I know my way around the fucking state.
            Corzine ran the worst campaign ever. He acted like he really didn’t want the job, but felt he had to run for whatever reason. It was pathetic. Jersey doesn’t vote for wimps.

            You can say whatever you want, no matter how crude or tastless it is. I really don’t give a fuck.

  • Howard15

    It is unrealistic to expect a Republican Governor to appoint a Democrat to an interm Senate position, ever. And vice versa. Unfortunately , he will retain his Governership. By putting the special election in October he is protecting other Republicans from the Booker effect that are also running in November. He knows that he wins easy even if the special election is on November 5th. He is making an effort to appease both parties this way. He could have appointed Chiesa and had the Senate election in November 2014. With that being said , he has no intention of getting the Republican nomination for President in 2016. He is going to wait for them to rid themselves of the right wing lunatics first and come back to him. That should occur by 2020 after the Republicans lose badly in the next few elections. Ted Cruz will be the nominee in 2016. The Democrats will even agree to change the rules of natural citizenship so they can face Cruz. He was born in Canada. He will only carry the confederate states and maybe the GOP will really attempt to rebrand then.
    Democrats Only 2014

    • johninPCFL

      It will be interesting to see how the teabaggers/birfers react to Cruz’ nomination. The public hypocrisy will be hillarious.

  • Troy

    I knew “FAT MAN COMETH” would do that the scum bag of a governor the state I was born and raised in.He could had left that sea vacant but no!! he had to put another stink ass republican in that sea.You will loose the governors election in November Fat Man,for doing that watch and see.Than you and your ugly ass wife can roll off into the sunset.

    • Mikey7a

      Can they please take my waste of good air, criminal, two faced, Governor Rick Scott with them when they go?

      • Troy

        Mikey7a
        You are so correct when you talk about Rick bald headed fucker Scott,smelling up the air,and being about as two faced as they come.First he comes into office making all these cuts especially to the school system,cutting pays,retentions,raises for the teachers and now he wants to give them back when he took in the first damn place.He came in trying to be a billy bad ass,and now if the thinks his Tea Party Sorry Ass,is going to be re-elected again he better think twice on that because it is not going to happen.I hate the mother fucker with a passion and I will be glad when his sorry baled headed ass is gone,

  • Hopefully this will serve as a model for Democratic governors to follow when a Republican member of Congress cannot complete his/her term in the future, regardless of circumstances.
    Needless to say, this complicates things for Democrats in 2015 more than they already were. With almost twice as many Dems and Republicans running for re-election or for vacant seats next year, the probability of losing control of the Senate was there. Hopefully we will have a record turnout next year because if we lose the Senate, that will be the end of Obamacare, a reversal of everything that has been accomplished during the last 4.5 years, and the end of President Obama’s second term agenda.

  • edwardw69

    Well, his friend will now serve a few months, and then receive a lifetime pension and some of the best taxpayer healthcare in the world. For life. Free.

  • Mikey7a

    Can there be a better argument for TERM LIMITS for ANY public office? On the other hand, the GOPigs ARE the OLD Rich White Party. Maybe you younger Dems can out wait these fossils, and as soon as any of THEM pass away, fill the seat with a Young Democrat! I just hope the good people of New Jersey have the common sense to oust this Christie Crony, come October.

    • sigrid28

      Chiesa has said he is not running in October, as I heard it. Even more of an indication that he is just a place holder–not as good as voters in New Jersey deserve, under the circumstances.

  • howa4x

    He will take orders from Christie on how to vote. when Fat boy needs to be conservative this guy will no and when he wants to be more blue state this guy will vote yes

  • Lilacgypsy

    No surprise there…saved face with his comrades and screwed the Dems…tell me again how he became Republican Govenor of a Blue State?

    • silas1898

      Corzine didn’t want the job anymore. He ran the most pathetic campaign since Al Gore. Rmoney may be the new holder of that title though. I have no idea why he ran. He wasn’t quite the same after that limo crash.

  • JSquercia

    IMHO there should be a law requiring the appointed Senator MUST be from the same Party as the deceased Senator .

    This is Christie continuing to try to not alienate the right wing of the Party .

  • DarkNight

    I agree with that 1000% that the senator should be from the same party that lost the senator due to illness or death.
    And now you wonder why i cannot stand Christie,and never once voted for him when he ran against Corzine,and another person dunning for governor like Jim Floria,I believe when he ran and the other that left in disgrace because of his sexual orientation being revealed