The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

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


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Billboard urging "No" vote on Kansas abortion referendum

That Kansas voted to protect abortion rights guaranteed in its state constitution didn’t surprise me, although I certainly never expected a landslide. The original “Jayhawks,” after all, waged a guerilla war to prevent Missourians from bringing slavery into the Kansas territory, a violent dress rehearsal for the Civil War. A good deal of the state’s well-known conservatism is grounded in stiff-necked independence.

In the popular imagination, Kansas has always signified heartland values and rustic virtue. Superman grew up on a farm there, disguised as mild-mannered Clark Kent. So did Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz, a spunky young woman with an adventurous spirit. But cartoonish fantasies have little to do with the real world. My favorite Kansas politician was always Sen. Bob Dole, war hero, Senate majority leader, 1996 GOP presidential nominee, and unmistakably his own man.

Keep reading... Show less

Colbert Mocks Trump's Bad Toilet habits

Image via YouTube

The political world was rocked by the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago residence, perhaps prompted by reports that he had flushed classified intelligence documents down the toilet. Not surprisingly, Late Show host Stephen Colbert found this image laughable if alarming. (Over the weekend, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman had revealed photos from a White House source revealing scraps of paper at the bottom of a toilet bowl.)

“To be fair, it’s unclear if those are official White House documents or his toilet’s suicide note,” Colbert noted, although the papers did appear to have Trump’s Sharpie handwriting, as well as the name “Stefanik” written on them -- as in Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}