Gov. Christopher Christie, ripping apart the embattled Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority for hiring lobbyists, will likely take some money out of the pockets of Republican partners at bi-partisan (that’s a nice way of saying playing both sides and covering all their bases) lobbying firms. Lobbyists for the PVSA include Public Strategies Impact, Cammarano & Hagan, Winning Strategies, and Daniel Becht. And 1868 Public Affairs has a public relations contract with the authority.
The Public Strategies Impact contract actually belongs to Bill Maer, a Democratic operative who took a leave of absence from his lobbying firm to help run Gov. Jon Corzine’s re-election campaign. Maer continues to assist Democratic candidates – he’s helping Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney and Passaic County Sheriff Gerald Speziale get re-elected – but he’s protected by his GOP partner, Roger Bodman, a former Kean administration cabinet member and a productive member of Christie’s fundraising team.
Cammarano & Hagan are Peter Cammarano, a former Chief of Staff to Gov. Richard Codey (and a Metuchen Councilman, not a former mayor of a Hudson County city), and Kevin Hagan, a former Deputy Chief of Staff to Gov. James E. McGreevey and Frank Lautenberg’s 2002 campaign manager. After Christie beat Corzine, they added a Republican partner: Burlington County GOP Chairman Bill Layton.
Becht is a former PVSC Chairman and Republican fundraiser. In 2001, he resigned from gubernatorial candidate (now Education Commissioner) Bret Schundler’s finance committee in a public protest over Schundler’s attacks on his then primary opponent, Gov. Donald DiFrancesco.
Richard Ambrosino, a former Whitman staffer and GOP operative, is the spokesman for the PVSA. His partners include Michael Torpey, Gov. Christine Todd Whitman’s former Chief of Staff and a Christie fundraiser, and former Assemblyman LeRoy Jones (D-East Orange).