Christie’s New Staff – That We Paid For

The Washington Post reported on who got hired to be on Chris Christie’s presidential campaign staff with a lengthy list that made one wonder how so many people have the wherewithal to sign up for a fledgling campaign operation that is likely hurting for money (unless Ken Langone changes his mind).

The answer is that they should have money saved from the last few years – from jobs that Christie got them and New Jersey taxpayers paid for in one way or another:

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Christie’s 49-State Strategy

How do you turn a 30% approval rating in your home state to your advantage nationally? Here is one way:

Another way is to turn being the governor of New Jersey into an advantage on the national stage. YouGov compiled a ‘State of the States’, asking Americans how they feel about each and every state.  Here are the results:

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Who Would Donate to Christie For President?

This guy:

This is Bill Palutcii, Christie’s former law partner, who first cashed in on Christie through prisons but apparently was not very good at it so in 2012 he got out of prisons and landed a new job. As it turned out his new employer then got tabbed by the state of New Jersey for a particularly sleazy task* which it undertook for  a fee that has now hit $1.7 million.  Some of that money is sure to find its way to Christie’s PAC based on past history and Bill Palatucci is hardly the only one eager to repay a favor to a patron generous with other people’s money.

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Takeaways From Christie Announcement

For something that has been years in the planning stages the production values were fairly amateurish with audio problems, awkward introductions, and cheat-sheets on the podium.  The speech itself was a rehash of prior talking points but three things were noteworthy:

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Christie’s Next Jam

Chris Christie will announce for president and his youtube stream has been updated for 10:30 tomorrow morning:

His first problem could be a market collapse which would relegate the announcement to an afterthought (or a ‘Christie sat on it’ joke) but what is more likely to dampen the festivities is traffic.

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OPEB – One Pretty Expensive Benefit

In working up a countywatchers blog comparing insurance costs for county governments in New Jersey I needed a link to an explanation of OPEB in New Jersey and one of my old blogs came up which I reproduce below word-for-word from 2009.  What strikes me is that:

  1. so little has been written explaining governments’ liability for OPEBs that my six-year-old blog would come up near the top of a search; and
  2. OPEB liabilities have gone down.

I expected (1) but (2)? The latest OPEB valuation for New Jersey (July 1, 2013) lists total Accrued OPEB Liabilities as $66.8 billion which is less than the $68.8 billion reported back then.  With more people in the system and New Jersey still providing those ‘cadillac’ benefits that supposedly would save the state $3 billion annually if cut back to ‘gold’ how are these liability reductions coming about (if not by actuarial voodoo ordered up by politicians)?

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Telling It Like He Thinks It Is

A brand new youtube channel appeared today, simply called:

Chris Christie

The first youtube:

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