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The power of a Springsteen hug: Christie says Sandy recovery efforts force property tax increases

hayneMichael080311_optBY MICHAEL HAYNE
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
COMMENTARY

Superstorm Sandy (Frankenstorm just sounds like angry Al Frankens dropped from the sky) has not only irreparably altered the landscape of the Jersey Shore (the REAL Jersey Shore), it has also made for some very interesting political theater. Only in America does it take a massive disaster to encourage political cooperation, and boy has this been a bipartisan hurricane that has forced implacable political foes to actually (gasp) do their jobs and do them together (and with bro hugs).

Take Governor Christie, for example. Prior to Hurricane Sandy and the untold destruction it brought, the gargantuan governor was crisscrossing the country in support of Richard “rape is a gift from god” Mourdock and making rousing speeches (mostly for his own 2016 aspirations) for Mitt Romney that had enough partisan sting to make Karl Rove blush. Sandy must have been so strong that it brought us back in time to the 1990s, which was a time when Republicans were actually sane, and at least pretended to represent all the people. Instead of letting a million moron army of hilariously uninformed misspellers dictate his policy decisions, Christie is forced to do the adult job of using government when government is needed and required.

For example, Christie bluntly informed residents in storm-ravaged towns across the state Tuesday that they might see higher property taxes as towns seek to cover the costs of the damage incurred by Sandy.

“It’s got to be paid for,” Christie said. “It’s got to be done.”

Although Christie acknowledged that federal aid would cover the lions share of recovery, the very notion that certain residents will see higher taxes as their towns cope with the cleanup is not only unheard of in today’s Republican party of fiscal terrorists, but it marks a remarkable concession for a governor who has vociferously campaigned for lower taxes. Perhaps there’s some fantastical magic behind a Springsteen hug.

Even though Christie signed a measure that limits property tax increases to 2 percent under most circumstance, Christie indicated that Sandy would be covered under an exception allowing towns to raise revenue to deal with emergency situations.

And just in case the tincap wearing crowd of miserably uninformed morons with tea bags affixed to their fat ears are still buying the pink slime from the cult of Norquist and Koch, Christie reaffirmed that leadership is for grown-ups and therefore politics has no place during disasters.

“Hurricane Sandy recovery issues will be outside the political realm,” he said. “We know that the people in the state are counting on us to do our jobs.”

Michael Hayne is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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