Chris Christie

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Illinois: Christie Slams Effort To Boost Voter Turnout For 2014 Election As Democratic ‘Trick’ | International Business Times

During a campaign stop in Illinois on Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie decried efforts to simplify voter registration. He suggested that the higher voter turnout produced by such efforts is harmful to Republican candidates, and that Illinois’ new same-day voter registration statute is a Democratic “trick.” Referring to Illinois joining other states — including many Republican-led ones — in passing a same-day voter registration law, Christie said: “Same-day registration all of a sudden this year comes to Illinois. Shocking. It’s shocking. I’m sure it was all based on public policy, good public policy to get same-day registration here in Illinois just this year, when the governor is in the toilet and needs as much help as he can get.” … Christie, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, denounced the effort to boost voter turnout as an underhanded Democratic tactic. (The Illinois State Board of Elections is composed equally of Democrats and Republicans, according to the Chicago Tribune.) Referring to the same-day voter initiative, Christie said Quinn “will try every trick in the book,”  according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Christie said the program is designed to be a major “obstacle” for the GOP’s gubernatorial candidates. In fact, most of the 11 states with same-day registration laws currently have Republican governors. 

Full Article: Christie Slams Effort To Boost Voter Turnout For 2014 Election As Democratic 'Trick'.

National: Wall Street Campaign-Cash Restrictions Face Legal Attack | Bloomberg


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s chances to be the 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee were hampered by a U.S. regulation that could have an even bigger impact on the next race for the White House. The three-year-old rule from the Securities and Exchange Commission effectively bars governors and other state officials from raising money from Wall Street for state or federal elections. Having Christie on the ticket would have complicated Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, which took in more money from securities and investment firms than any other industry. Now, with governors including Christie, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana contemplating a White House run in 2016, two state Republican committees have filed a lawsuit to overturn the regulation.

Full Article: Wall Street Campaign-Cash Restrictions Face Legal Attack - Bloomberg.

New Jersey: Bill would address post-Christie special-election scenario | Philadelphia Inquirer

If Gov. Christie were to resign early to pursue a bid for the presidency, a special election could be held to replace him, depending on the timing of his resignation. That scenario – an unusual one – could put candidates with lesser financial resources at a disadvantage: Unlike candidates in a regular gubernatorial election, they wouldn’t be able to opt into the state’s public financing program to raise money for their campaigns. The discrepancy, realized by officials at the state Election Law Enforcement Commission, prompted the introduction of a bill that cleared a Senate committee Monday.

Full Article: Bill would address post-Christie special-election scenario.

Editorials: Mega-Donors Are Now More Important Than Most Politicians | Peter Beinart/The Atlantic

Quick: Name a senator who served between the Civil War and World War I. Struggling? Now name a tycoon who bought senators during the same period. J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller … it’s easier. And for good reason. The tycoons mattered more. Gilded Age industrialists—who had amassed levels of wealth unseen in American history—frequently dominated the politicians who enjoyed putative power to write the laws. In 1896, when corporations could give directly to political candidates, pro-corporate Republican presidential candidate William McKinley raised $16 million to populist Democrat William Jennings Bryan’s $600,000. “All questions in a democracy,” declared McKinley’s campaign manager, Mark Hanna, are “questions of money.” The Roberts Court seems to agree. The astonishing concentration of wealth among America’s super-rich, combined with a Supreme Court determined to tear down the barriers between their millions and our elections, is once again shifting the balance of power between politicians and donors. You could see it during last weekend’s “Sheldon primary,” when four major presidential contenders flocked to Las Vegas to court one man.

Full Article: Mega-Donors Are Now More Important Than Most Politicians - Peter Beinart - The Atlantic.

New Jersey: State Senator Turner’s bill would prevent more special elections |

The critics were united. Confusion and inconvenience, they said, would lead to an embarrassingly low voter turnout at the special U.S. Senate election Gov. Chris Christie had called for a Wednesday in mid-October, a mere 20 days before the regularly scheduled November voting. And they were right. Only 24 percent of the state’s registered voters took part. It was higher than the participation rate when your average New Jersey fire district chooses its commissioners, but it was the lowest figure ever for a general election. Some performance. Some payoff for the $12 million extra it cost the state to vote on two days instead of one. Why did the governor set it up that way? If you’re not a rabid Christie partisan, the answer should be easy. As a candidate for a second term on the Nov. 5 ballot, he preferred not to share it with popular Democratic Senate candidate Cory Booker and diminish his own chances for the landslide victory he’d like to be able to flaunt when the time comes for him to pursue the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Full Article: Amick: State Sen. Turner's bill would prevent more special elections |

Voting Blogs: A Very Special Special Election: “Opposite-Day” in New Jersey? | State of Elections

On October 16, some five million New Jersey residents can head to the polls and cast their votes for the senator of their choice. And twenty days later, they can go to the polls again to vote for governor. The reason: New Jersey’s October 16 special election. On June 3, 2012, New Jersey Senator Frank S. Lautenberg died while serving as a New Jersey senator. The next day, NJ Governor Chris Christie issued a Writ of Election setting the date for primaries for the vacant seat on August 13, 2013, and a general election for the seat on October 16, 2013. For political pundits in New Jersey, Christmas comes twice this year. But state Democrats—as well as some Republicanscounty governmentsminority and public interest groups, and coastal communities – aren’t seeing it that way. For these groups, the October 16 special election is a political ploy— and an expensive one. The special election is estimated to cost the state $12 millionmore than having the senate vacancy election on Election Day 2013, according to anopinion issued this summer by the state’s bipartisan Office of Legislative Services, obtained by the Huffington Post. Democrats criticized Christie for wasting taxpayer money to serve his own political ends (namely, avoiding Cory Booker’s supporters at the polls in November).

Full Article: A Very Special Special Election: “Opposite-Day” in New Jersey? : State of Elections.

Editorials: Let’s not give Chris Christie a pass for election chicanery | Rob Richie/

On October 16th – a Wednesday, no less – New Jersey voters are being asked to go to the polls to select a new U.S Senator to replace Jeffrey Chiesa, Gov. Chris Christie’s stand-in for the long-time Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg, who died earlier this year. Bizarrely, this oh-so-special election takes place just 20 days before these same voters will be asked to return to the polls for the regularly scheduled election for governor and state legislature. The cost to New Jersey taxpayers? Some $12 million. The adverse impact on voter turnout for having two separate elections in 20 days? Significant. The partisan calculation behind the election date? Blatant. It’s hard to know when we’ll hit bottom in shameless manipulation of our electoral laws by leaders of both major parties, but let’s hope it doesn’t get much lower than Gov. Christie’s “datemander.” When announcing his election schedule last spring, Christie justified the October 16th date with his professed belief that New Jersey voters needed as many days as possible with an elected Senator – then proceeded to appoint a Republican who for four months opposed most of the positions held by the man originally elected by those voters.

Full Article: Let’s not give Chris Christie a pass for election chicanery -

New Jersey: Donors’ Funds Sidestep Law, Aiding Christie | New York Times

In early May, Gov. Chris Christie arrived at the Liberty National Golf Course in New Jersey for a political fund-raiser. Donors, many of them longtime backers of his, enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and views of the Lower Manhattan skyline while he spoke of the important work to be done on issues like jobs and the economy. Not a single check was written to Mr. Christie’s campaign. Indeed, some of those in attendance were legally prohibited from doing so, because they had sizable contracts with state agencies and were therefore barred by New Jersey law from making large contributions to the governor. Instead, the donors wrote checks for as much as $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association, an organization Mr. Christie helps lead that has collected $1.65 million from New Jersey donors during the first six months of the year. The association has, in turn, poured $1.7 million into Mr. Christie’s re-election effort, with television advertisements attacking State Senator Barbara Buono, his Democratic opponent in the election this year.

Full Article: Donors’ Funds Sidestep Law, Aiding Christie -

New Jersey: Christie vetoes bill to move general election to October |

Gov. Chris Christie today vetoed a measure that would had New Jersey voters casting ballots on just one election day this fall: Oct. 16. “Moving the date of the general election has the potential to cause unnecessary voter confusion, as the general election takes place at the same time each year,” Christie said in his veto message of the bill to move the election (A4237). “While the bill would require the Secretary of State to provide appropriate notice regarding the date change, there is no guarantee that every voter would know that the general election had been moved to October.” After U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) died on June 3, Democrats wanted Christie to call the special election to fill his seat for Nov. 5 — the same day Christie and candidates for all 120 seats in the Legislature are on the ballot. Christie, however, called the Senate special election for Wednesday, Oct. 16. The special election is estimated to cost an extra $12 million. Democrats charged it was because he did not want to share the ballot with a high profile Senate race.

Full Article: Christie vetoes bill to move general election to October |

New Jersey: State will reimburse Mercer County for Senate election expenses |

With special elections to fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat fast approaching, Mercer County election officials received word yesterday that the state will reimburse their election expenses — but they are still trying to figure out how they will come up with the upfront costs of the balloting. “It looks like it’s going to cover the majority of the costs,” Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello said. “It’s a very good thing and I was pleased to see the letter.” Mercer County’s costs for a primary next month and the special election in October are expected to approach $1.2 million. A letter from the Department of State says the state will cover costs such as ballot printing, board worker salaries, overtime for county or municipal election office staff, polling place rentals and voting machine transportation.

Full Article: State will reimburse Mercer County for Senate election expenses |

New Jersey: Hunterdon, Warren counties won’t receive special election funding until after votes |

State reimbursement for the costs of the upcoming special primary and elections will not come until after October’s election is over, Hunterdon County Administrator Cynthia Yard told freeholders Tuesday. That means the county should be prepared to authorize and pay overtime for poll workers during both elections, Yard said. Though the board offered no protest, Freeholder Matthew Holt asked Yard to reassure him that poll workers would be closely monitoring their hours and expenses. “I just want to make sure they’re tracking that,” Holt said. …The state Office of Legislative Services projects both elections to cost about $24 million statewide.

Full Article: Hunterdon, Warren counties won't receive special election funding until after votes |

New Jersey: Hudson County to state `sue us’ – balks at $2.4 million U.S. Senate special-election costs | Hudson Reporter

Saying they will likely refuse to pay the $2.4 million costs associated with the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Frank Lautenberg, the Hudson County Board of Freeholders said at its July 11 meeting that they may force the state to take the county to court. The county is expected to use funds dedicated to the November regular election to cover the cost of the August primary and then inform the state it does not have the revenue to cover the remaining elections that include a special election in October, and a number of state and local elections in November. Freeholder Bill O’Dea said the county will explore its options, but will likely withhold payment for additional elections now that the budget for the year has been depleted by the cost of the August primary. Representatives from various county departments dealing with the election said the primary and the special election would cost about $1.2 million each.

Full Article: Hudson Reporter - Hudson County to state `sue us County balks at.

New Jersey: Election Consolidation Bill to Save $12 Million Passed By Senate | Politicker NJ

Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) to prevent wasting $12 million in taxpayer money on a special election was passed today by the New Jersey Senate with a vote of 22-15-1. The bill, S2858, would temporarily move the regularly scheduled November 5 General election to the date of the October 16 special election scheduled by Governor Christie to fill the vacancy in the U.S. Senate after the passing of Senator Lautenberg. Senator Turner has criticized the Governor for using his authority to schedule two special elections that will cost taxpayers approximately $24 million. “Governor Christie’s October surprise election on Wednesday, less than three weeks before the General election where his name is at the top of the ballot, is all about naked political ambition for national office,” said Senator Turner. “Having three elections every other month and a fourth less than three weeks apart will also cause voter fatigue, suppress voter participation, and cost millions of dollars.”


New Jersey: State Senate Passes Special Election Bills | Berkeley, NJ Patch

A pair of bills aimed at altering the special U.S. Senate election were passed in the state Senate Thursday following a spirited debate and with votes split along party lines. The first bill, sponsored by Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer, calls for moving the Nov. 5 general election to the Oct. 16 polling date called by Gov. Chris Christie to elect a U.S. Senator to replace late Sen. Frank Lautenberg. The second bill, sponsored by Sen. Nia H.Gill, D-Bergen, would allow registered voters the opportunity to vote in the Nov. 5 election at the same time and polling place as the Oct. 16 special election. Both bills, which were each passed in the state Assembly on Monday, were passed 22-15.  They will now be sent to Christie for his signature.

Full Article: State Senate Passes Special Election Bills - Top News - Berkeley, NJ Patch.

New Jersey: Counties: Show Me The Money For Special Elections | South Brunswick, NJ Patch

While the state’s highest court killed off a challenge to the special election to fill New Jersey’s empty U.S. Senate seat, the Christie administration may be facing other hurdles as counties line up for state money needed to pull off the October polling. Gov. Chris Christie earlier this month called for a special election to be held Oct. 16 to fill the seat left vacant by Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s death. The move survived two court rulings in a Democratic challenge to Christie’s authority, and on Thursday the state Supreme Court put the matter to rest, saying it would not hear the challenge. But there’s a lingering issue of money. New Jersey’s 21 counties are realizing there’s little in their coffers to pull off a primary election and two general elections this year. And they want assurances from the state that they’re going to be paid, promptly and in full, for any expenditure they couldn’t have possibly planned for. “This could have horrible consequences,’” Bergen County Freeholder Chairman David Ganz said. “It will affect every county in the state, unless they have money to pay for these elections.’”

Full Article: Counties: Show Me The Money For Special Elections - Government - South Brunswick, NJ Patch.

New Jersey: Legislation To Allow In-Person Early Voting During Special Election Advances | Politicker NJ

Legislation sponsored by Senator Nia H. Gill to improve access to the polls and maximize turnout in the fall elections by giving voters the opportunity to vote early during the Special Election called by Governor Christie, at the same polling place, for the November General Election was advanced today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The measure is scheduled to be considered today by the full Assembly. “The governor has created a confusing election schedule for New Jersey voters by calling a Special Election in mid-October, and in the process is wasting $12 million in taxpayer money,” said Senator Gill (D-Essex and Passaic). “His decision will mean two elections will be held just weeks apart, which may lead to decreased voter participation. The least we can do is provide voters the opportunity to cast their ballots for the General Election on the same day, which will ensure a more convenient alternative for voters and improved access to the polls.”


New Jersey: Assembly passes two Democrat-sponsored special election bills |

Democrats continued their fight today against the October special election Governor Christie ordered to fill the late Frank Lautenberg’s U.S. Senate seat. One bill that passed a Senate committee and the full Assembly would combine the general and special elections, moving the general from Nov. 5 to Oct. 16. Another, somewhat contradictory bill, would allow New Jerseyans to cast their general election ballot when they vote in the special election. That legislation also passed the full Assembly and the Senate Budget Committee. The two bills passed mostly along party lines, with Democrats in favor and Republican against. Democrats said the legislation would make it easier for voters to participate in both elections, while Republicans argued the proposals were unnecessary.

Full Article: Assembly passes two Democrat-sponsored special election bills | The Political State |

New Jersey: Christie calling in reinforcements for election bonanza |

Gov. Chris Christie is ready to hire more state workers and rent extra voting machines to avoid any last-minute chaos between New Jersey’s two major elections this year, his administration told the state Supreme Court this week. After U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s death earlier this month, Christie called a special Senate election for Oct. 16 at an estimated cost of $12 million — a price tag that would rise if the Republican governor goes through with any of the backup plans his staff described to the court. The date for the Senate election — 20 days before the Nov. 5 vote for governor and for all the seats in the Legislature — has rankled Democrats who said Christie could have combined the two elections but chose to spend millions to split them and boost his re-election chances. In a worst-case scenario, the 20-day window between the special election and the regularly scheduled one in November could dwindle to just 48 hours, state election officials said in a filing to the state Supreme Court, which is expected to rule soon whether Christie must combine the two elections.

Full Article: Christie calling in reinforcements for N.J. election bonanza |

New Jersey: Court clears the way for U.S. Senate special election | Reuters

New Jersey’s special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Frank Lautenberg will go ahead this year as scheduled, after the state Supreme Court declined on Thursday to hear a legal challenge. Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, ordered a special primary election on August 13 and a special general election to be held October 16 – three weeks before the regularly scheduled November election, when Christie himself is up for re-election. Democrats accused Christie of making a political calculation, ensuring he would not appear on the same ballot as a race that might energize Democratic voters by authorizing a special election that will leave taxpayers with a $24 million tab.

Full Article: New Jersey court clears the way for U.S. Senate special election | Reuters.

New Jersey: Bergen County freeholders: State should pay for special election; would cost county $3.6 million |

The Bergen County Freeholders on Wednesday voted to seek a court order directing the state to reimburse the county for the special election to replace the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg. In a unanimous vote, the freeholders directed their attorney to file a “declaratory judgment action” in Hackensack Superior Court contesting the cost of the Oct. 16 election, as well as the Aug. 13 primary. It’s estimated that the two elections would set the county back $3.6 million. David Ganz, the board’s chairman, said the elections would tip the county over the state’s mandated 2 percent property tax cap to recoup costs, creating a “financial emergency” in Bergen County.

Full Article: Bergen freeholders: State should pay for special election; would cost county $3.6 million |