BY BOB HOLT
For all of the destruction created in the state by Hurricane Sandy, the storm has shown signs of washing away some of New Jersey’s political barriers.
Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg says he is pleased with the way Republican Governor Christie has handled the storm situation. Lautenberg hasn’t found a lot of reason to be pleased with Christie over the past two years.
Problems began between the two when Christie gave up construction of the ARC commuter rail tunnel between New Jersey and New York. Lautenberg had battled for funding for the project. Lautenberg said, according to the Huffington Post, "Gov. Christie wiped it out with a campaign of public deception. The future of New Jersey's commuters was sacrificed for the short term political needs of the governor."
The New Jersey governor, never one to mince words, called the 88-year old Lautenberg "an embarrassment to the state" and a "political hack," according to NewsWorks.
Christie will be meeting with New Jersey’s House and Senate in Trenton to create a strategy to gain federal funding, according to Lautenberg. Lautenberg and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez said they senators said they have expedited $25 million in funding owed to New Jersey Transit, which suffered severe flooding damage to 25 percent of its cars, according to Businessweek.
Menendez and Christie have had a few bumps in the road in their relationship. Capital New York reported that before the 2006 midterm elections Christie, then United States Attorney for New Jersey, had subpoenaed records from a nonprofit group that leased office space in a building that Menendez owned.
And Christie campaigned against Menendez in the recent elections, supporting his friend, Joe Kyrillos.
Christie said, according to Businessweek, “Even if Frank Lautenberg drives me crazy at times, it doesn’t mean I don’t understand his importance in the process of helping to rebuild my state and to aid the people who have been so severely damaged by this storm.”
Menendez said he and Christie differed on some policies, but they’re “New Jerseyans first.”