(NEW JERSEY) – In light of today’s news that Governor Chris Christie’s backers were staking out New Jersey Education Association offices in an attempt to ambush staffers with video cameras, it seems clear there is more of a focus on carrying out a political vendetta against a Christie-picked opponent than actually having a serious discussion on how to best improve the state and New Jersey’s schools.
Not satisfied with merely using taxpayer-funded town hall meetings to generate manufactured YouTube moments of outrage, Christie’s political team is now resorting to James O’Keefe-style stunts. In their blind vendetta against an organization they deem a political enemy, these Christie backers weren’t even sure whom to tape – running up to random people on the street and shouting out a name in hopes that it was their target.
Video tracking by political campaign at public events is commonplace. In fact, it has become part and parcel of 21st century campaigning. But sending young men dressed in hoodies and knitcaps to harass people at random on their way to work goes beyond the pale.
If there was a true desire to bring to light information that matters to the people of New Jersey, a far better use of time and resources would be for Christie’s political team to turn the video cameras inward to the governor’s own malfeasance and abuse of taxpayer money.
So, in a bid to make jobs relevant to what matters to taxpayers, here is a tidy cheat sheet as to where the Christie cameras should instead be trained. This short list alone should keep the Christie cameras rolling for quite some time:
- Every time Christie misuses the taxpayer-funded state helicopter – to attend family events or meetings at Drumthwacket with out-of-state fundraisers
- Every time Christie uses state resources to travel out-of-state for political events, fundraisers and partisan rallies for Republican candidates
- Every time Christie hires a political patron or places a crony in a high-paying government job
- Every time Christie uses taxpayer funds for corporate welfare, bailouts and hand-outs to the One Percent
- Every time Christie has private lunch meetings with Wall Street money managers or attends confabs with corporate lobbyists
- Every time Christie holds a taxpayer-funded GOP rally under the guise of a town hall meeting…..oh wait, they already use state employees to tape these events in order to create viral video clips – all in an effort to buff up right-wing bona fides and national acclaim when Christie shouts down and berates those who dare disagree with his spin
Finally, two junior staffers carrying out orders need to exercise sound judgment. But, ultimately, the buck stops with those who sent out a college student and a former Christie aide to do their bidding. Since Christie seems to enjoy the attention he gets when he demands the firing or resignation of those who he holds no influence over, perhaps he should take this opportunity to exert actual leadership and call for the resignation of N.J. GOP State Chair Sam Raia, Spokesman Doug Mayer or whoever was responsible for sending these staffers out with orders to harass people on the street. At the very least, they should be taken to task for the incompetence of not even knowing what the target of their political payback looked like.
One New Jersey is shining a light on politicians who act against the best interests of New Jersey’s residents and who seek to divide our state for their own political gain. It is giving voice to the important issues that affect our daily lives. One New Jersey will closely monitor policy positions and actions of elected officials and expose their records on the issues that matter. You can follow One New Jersey on Twitter or search for “One New Jersey” on Facebook.