Gov. Chris Christie (R., N.J.) is catching heat from New Jersey Democrats over his administration’s handling of the blizzard. ABC News reports:
In New Jersey, where a post-Christmas blizzard dumped as much as 30 inches of snow in some parts of the state, the website PolitickerNJ reports that “some lawmakers Monday were grumbling” that Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, as well as Lt. Gov Kim Guadagno, also a Republican, “were on vacation at the same time,” leaving state Senate President Steve Sweeney – a Democrat – as the state’s Acting Governor.
State Sen. Ray Lesniak, Democrat, chided the two for not better coordinating their calendars, noting that state Office of Emergency Management officials “aren’t allowed to go on vacation at the same time.”
Lesniak then took the opportunity to slam Guadagno. “I supported the creation of a Lt. Gov.,” said Lesniak. “That was a mistake. We clearly don’t need one.”
Christie in on vacation with his family at Disney World in Florida, while Guadagno is with her family in Mexico, Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said. Sunday, hours after taking the oath to become acting governor, Sweeney declared a state of emergency.
“It’s a big snow, definitely, but the world is not coming to an end,” said Drewniak. “We are a northeastern state and we get snow – sometimes lots of it like this – and we will get through it just as we always do.”
Drewniak noted Guadagno is paid in her capacity as secretary of state, not for being Lieutenant governor. She makes $141,000 a year in that cabinet position, which already existed in previous administrations.
Christie, for his part, has ably handled such storms before. In February, for example, he gained notice for leading during another icy emergency. With a scarf wrapped around his neck, he toured the Garden State, managing it all. His absence this week, of course, is a minor issue. But for an image-savvy pol, it is also out of character.