A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Christie's Bad Karma

I remember just shaking my head and sighing when Governor Christie rejected funding for the Access to the Region's Core (ARC) project last fall. I didn't even comment on it here, frustrated that New Jerseyans could be so penny wise and pound foolish. The Asbury Park Press was boasting that Christie had made his mark with his abrupt decision to reject this $9.7 billion federal-state transportation project, but I thought he had lost his mind. Our quality of life was heading down the toilet, revenues from the largest transportation project ever were being tossed away, and the struggle between Federal and state interests was reaching a new low.

But now things aren't going the Governor's way. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) wants $271 million back that they directed to NJ Transit in anticipation of New Jersey's participation in ARC, according to press reports. If Trenton doesn't give it back, the Feds will simply withhold it from future payments on other transportation projects. Our two US Senators tried to mitigate the cost to NJ taxpayers, but Christie's legal team never pursued the arrangement and the FTA has since withdrawn the offer.

Trenton is pondering its options. So far it's arguing that the $271 million in improvements should be looked at more broadly. The FTA is hearing none of it. A bit of backlash for the Governor's boorishness, I imagine. Or maybe it is just bad karma? I mean, how many bad things can you say about teachers before you get a ruler square across your knuckles?


  1. As a train commuter, I am torn on this issue. I feel that we need a new tunnel, but it needs to be done right. But, you mention our senators. What, if anything, have they ever done? Our senior senator does nothing for us! How about fighting for our state regardless of the Gov being a Republican, etc. They should be fighting for us regardless. Does anybody think the NY senators would sit idle and do nothing whether they agreed with their governor or not?

  2. Interesting comment. I knew that Lautenberg worked on a senate committee involving transportation, but this was an excellent opportunity to check the current state of things.

    Senator Lautenberg serves on three Senate committees: Appropriations; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Environment and Public Works. He also serves as chairman of two Senate committees, one on the Commerce Committee and the second on Environment and Public Works.

    It seems that Lautenberg in fact, helped write the last 6-year highway bill (called “SAFETEA-LU”), which substantially increased New Jersey’s highway funding (by 30 percent) and transit funding (by 50 percent), representing the highest rate-of-return on the federal dollar ever for New Jersey in a highway bill.

    He also secured approval for the federal side of the funding listed above in order to improve NJ Transit. So, I guess he WAS the federal funding part of the Quid, to which Christie denied the Pro Quo.

    Not bad for an elder statesman.