Jan 28th - 6:52 pm
With the $50 billion in Superstorm Sandy aid winning its final passage in the U.S. Senate, the three governors from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey said a joint statement this evening they’re grateful the package is finally approved.
In the statement from Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie and Dannel Malloy, the governors note that it was a “difficult pathy in getting to this moment” but thanked the Senate for speedy passage.
There’s also thanks for the “tenacious efforts” of the states’ Congressional delegations.
But those are the only references in the statement for a saga that dragged on for months following the storm that devastated parts of the New York City metropolitan area.
The dispute over funding to pay for cleanup costs and infrastructure repairs saw Christie and Rep. Peter King of Long Island, Republicans both, openly questioning and assailing the GOP leadership in the House of Representatives.
But the effort also put a focus on the relationships between the three governors in the tri-state area, with extra special attention on Cuomo and Christie, who have by all accounts worked well together, but are also potential presidential contenders down the road.
Here’s the statement:
“Our genuine thanks and gratitude goes out to the U.S. Senate for its thoughtful consideration and passage of the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief package. Despite the difficult path in getting to this moment, the Senate membership clearly recognized early on the urgency and necessity of approving the full aid package and its importance in rebuilding our battered infrastructure and getting our millions of affected residents back on their feet as quickly as possible. To all Americans, we are grateful for their willingness to come to our aid as we take on the monumental task of rebuilding and we pledge to do the same should our fellow citizens find themselves facing unexpected and harsh devastation.
“We also make special note of the tenacious efforts of our respective Congressional delegations in steering the Sandy aid package through their respective houses and bringing this aid home to their people.”
Jan 4th - 2:41 pm
They showed him the money — or at least part of it.
A day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was going to reserve judgment on the House’s plan to vote on federal storm aid for New York and New Jersey until they “show me the money” he and Republican Gov. Chris Christie are glad that a partial package has been approved.
The remaing $50 billion or so for the aid package is expected to be vote on Jan. 15.
The Cuomo and Christie statement:
“Today’s action by the House was a necessary and critical first step towards delivering aid to the people of New York and New Jersey. While we are pleased with this progress, today was just a down payment and it is now time to go even further and pass the final and more complete, clean disaster aid bill. We are trusting Congress to act accordingly on January 15th and pass the final $51 billion instrumental for long-term rebuilding in order for New Jersey, New York and our people to recover after the severe devastation of Hurricane Sandy.”
House Republicans had initially planned to vote on the full $60.4 billion package this week, but balked at a vote following the temporary conclusion of the fiscal cliff saga. After withering criticism from both Republicans and Democrats, House Speaker John Boehner relented and announced a vote would be held.
Dec 28th - 8:01 pm
Today the Senate has approved a $60.4 billion emergency spending package for Hurricane Sandy recovery that was backed by Democrats.
The 61-33 vote Friday sends the measure to the House, where the bill faces uncertain prospects.
Governors Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie and Dan Malloy of Connecticut responded by sending a stern letter to every member of the House in hopes the bill will pass before the new year.
Nov 30th - 12:18 pm
ICYMI: Here’s today’s CapTon morning memo, which focuses on the unusual, and probably short-term, alliance between three governors – Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie and (to a somewhat lesser extent) Dannel Malloy – forced by Superstorm Sandy. This piece by The Daily Beast’s David Freedlander is in a somewhat similar vein, though he focuses on the Cuomo-Christie relationship, which is particularly interesting because of the 2016 angle.
In the memo, which you should really sign up for on our SoP home page if you haven’t already, I wrote:
We already know about the terrible power of Hurricane Sandy when it comes to economic and physical damage. But is it possible the storm also has the power to mend – at least temporarily – long-standing political rifts between the governors of the tri-state area?
There are reports this morning that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Democrat), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (Republican) and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (Democrat) “are joining forces in a regional effort to land nearly $83 billion in federal aid to recover from Superstorm Sandy.”
Even though it seems logical for the governors to team up – the whole strength in numbers thing, particularly when it comes to wooing a reluctant Congress for additional cash – it took this trio a while to get together.
Cuomo was the first to put a price tag on Sandy damage, pegging the total at $30 billion – a number he has since revised upwards. That figure was leaked to the New York Times three days before President Obama was scheduled to make his first trip to New York to tour areas damaged by Sandy.
During that visit, the president reportedly advised the governor and Mayor Bloomberg to incorporate as many states as possible into their disaster aid ask in order to maximize their chances of getting Congress to say “yes.”
Easier said than done, since doing so requires the setting aside of egos and long-simmering political rivalries.
Both Christie and Cuomo are seen as potential White House contenders in 2016. But the two nevertheless seem to have a good working relationship that pre-dates Sandy. (Remember: They have, among other things, the Port Authority in common).
There’s a veritable love fest between Christie and Obama ever since the president’s pre-Election Day visit to the Sandy-ravaged Garden State shore – a move that infuriated Republicans, who believe the New Jersey governor, an outspoken surrogate for Mitt Romney before the storm, was in part to blame for Romney’s loss to Obama on Nov. 6.
An anonymous senior Obama administration official even leaked to the New York Post that the Christie people had been “so much easier to deal with” than Team Cuomo after Sandy.
But that hasn’t stopped Christie and Cuomo from collaborating. They issued a joint statement this past Wednesday, pledging a “shared commitment” to receive federal aid in order to rebuild after Sandy.
Cooperation between Malloy, Cuomo and Christie is perhaps more difficult to navigate.
Nov 4th - 6:13 pm
As her Democratic opponent Sean Patrick Maloney trumpets a robocall from former President Bill Clinton that explicitly references rebuilding from Sandy, Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth counters with one of her own: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The high-profile New Jersey governor is very much the face of the storm recovery efforts in his home state, though the call does not reference the disaster.
Still, the call could either be a potent counter to the Clinton call for Maloney, or does have the potential for backfiring should voters believe both candidates are politicizing the storm.
But the Christie robocall does help Hayworth shore up a potential trouble spot for her when it comes to the Democratic push that she would support turning back federal spending for disaster relief that isn’t off set by cuts, a position of top Republican lawmaker Eric Cantor.
Hayworth has since said she doesn’t agree with that position.
Here’s the script of the Christie robocall:
“Hi! This is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. You know, for everyone who lives in the Hudson Valley — I have one strong bit of advice for you: Please vote for Nan Hayworth! You know I’m supporting her, and I hope you will, too.
Nan is a strong, principled woman who has lived in the Hudson Valley for over 24 years. A doctor, a mother, a small business owner, Nan knows that tax relief, spending restraint, and fewer regulations on small business owners is the only way to create new jobs for everyone in the country — she gets it! And I hope Nan will get your vote on November 6.
Thanks for listening to my message. I’m New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.”
Sep 19th - 4:42 pm
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released its long-awaited audit this afternoon that, among other changes, $41 million was saved in having all non-union employees contributing to the cost of their health insuracne.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had requested the audits saying that the years of financial mismangement, along with delays at the World Trade Center rebuilding, required an independent look into their finances.
“Last year, we directed the Port Authority to undertake a full and independent audit of its operations and finances in order to be responsible and transparent to our toll payers and taxpayers. Today’s conclusions by two independent reviews show that the Port Authority is finally on the right track, and the necessary reforms put into place by the agency’s leadership are beginning to deliver results, just as we demanded,” Cuomo and Christie said in a joint statement. “The Port Authority plays a powerful role in the economies and transportation infrastructures of our two states. We thank its management for their hard work, and together we will continue to invest in and rebuild the states of New York and New Jersey.”
Aug 26th - 6:17 pm
During a conference call updating reporters on the latest RNC schedule, Romney campaign strategist Russ Schriefer said all of the prime-time speakers will stay the same.
But because of Tropical Storm Isaac and the cancellation of tomorrow’s schedule, some speakers “had to be let go.”
For now, this is what we can expect:
On Tuesday, Ann Romney and N.J. Gov. Chris Christie will speak. On Wednesday, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
Then for the finale Thursday, we will see Sen. Marco Rubio, who will introduce Mitt Romney.
Schriefer did not go into detail on what speakers exactly were “let go.” The revised schedule is forthcoming.
Jun 16th - 4:42 pm
Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie continued their unusual bi-state and bipartisan alliance today, penning a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar calling for federal assistance in funding the September 11th Memorial and Museum.
“Ground Zero is coming back to life with soaring office towers racing in to the sky. However, the memorial and museum plays a different role. It is a place for people from all around the world to visit and remember. Like so many other historic sites where tragedy struck, the National Parks Service would bring the resources and experience to ensure long term stability for the memorial and museum, while preserving the site’s rightful place in our national history,” the governors said in a joint statement issued this afternoon.
The cost of building the memorial at World Trade Center site, which the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is responsible for constructing, have skyrocketed to nearly $1.5 billion. A dispute over financing between the Port Authority and the September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation has ground the project to a virtual standstill.
From the letter and the statement released today, it’s not entirely clear how much money Christie and Cuomo are seeking from the National Parks Service.
But the move is yet another example of the unlikely relationship the two governors, one a Democrat, the other a Republican, have built over the last 18 months.
Cuomo and Christie broke bread in private last July, only days before they jointly announced their support for toll hikes at Port Authority bridges and tunnels coupled with a bureaucratic overhaul.
In an interview with GQ, Cuomo praised Christie as a “valuable commodity” for Republicans.
On the surface, Cuomo and Christie are very similar: hard-charging former prosecutors who pushed public labor unions and recalcitrant state lawmakers to adapt to fiscal austerity in difficult economic times.
But stylistically as well as politically, they’re very far apart.
Christie embraces the national spotlight; Cuomo shuns it.
Christie favors open confrontation; Cuomo does his arm twisting behind the scenes.
Still, because of their successes, stature and public images as well as the historic New Jersey-New York rivalry, political reporters salivate at the idea of a Cuomo-Christie presidential race in 2016.
The odd man out in the relationship is Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, who, as The Connecticut Post demonstrated in a multi-part series, is frustrated by the comparisons to his neighbors.
Mar 23rd - 12:14 pm
In a phenomenally awkward interview with The Times Magazine, TV personality and gubernatorial lady friend Sandra Lee is kinda sorta trapped into being asked if she thinks New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is just too darn overweight to lead the nation.
Here’s the exchange:
When you first saw your boyfriend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, you described him as a “huge, musclebound man.” There’s a chance of a Cuomo versus Chris Christie presidential election in 2016. Do you think physical fitness has any bearing on performance?
I think you have to have an enormous amount of emotional and physical stamina to be in public service. It’s a grueling job.
So are you saying that Chris Christie is too fat to be president?
No, I absolutely never said that. I have no comment.
As Admiral Ackbar might say, “it’s a trap!”
Christie’s weight is a sensitive issue for Cuomo himself. In a GQ interview, Chris Cuomo revealed that his old brother chastised him for the media’s obsession with his New Jersey counterpart’s weight.
There’s more “fun” stuff — though Lee doesn’t seem to be having a blast — in the interview, including whether there’s “a lot of crockery” being thrown around a home and if she and the governor have any plans to marry.
Another gem: “Is this interview about me or about Andrew?”
Dec 20th - 11:17 am
Mitt Romney’s campaign is surely more focused on Iowa and New Hampshire right now, but they just put out a press release thanking several dozen New Yorkers for their support. Complete list is after the jump.
“I am so pleased to have the support of these New York leaders. They know how necessary it is that we create an economic climate that allows us to create jobs and rebuild the middle class. I look forward to working with my New York team in the months ahead to spread my message of a ‘Simpler, Smaller, and Smarter,’ federal government,” the Presidential candidate said in a statement.
Earlier today, Romney appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where he continued to hammer away at Newt Gingrich, calling him a career politician and suggesting that he would be a better candidate against President Obama because he spent much of his professional life in the private sector. This has been a talking point of his for weeks now. Gingrich fired back against the line in the last debate, suggesting that the only reason Romney wasn’t a career politician was because he lost his campaign against Ted Kennedy back in 1994.
Romney’s appearance was actually overshadowed by comments from one of his supporters. NJ Governor Chris Christie was interviewed before Romney and said he’d like to see the former Massachusetts Governor have more of an edge. Here’s both segments.