Christie campaign good deeds not returned on Sandy vote

When Gov. Chris Christie traversed the country last year campaigning for a host of Republican office-seekers, there’s no way he could have anticipated that Superstorm Sandy would very soon trash the state of New Jersey.

But it’s likely Christie did anticipate that the candidates he stumped for might one day return a favor to the peripatetic governor. He was wrong. 

Yesterday, two of the three congressional representatives Christie helped elect voted no on the bill to provide some $51 billion in aid for the storm-ravaged communities throughout new Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), who was the recipient of a Christie campaign stop in April, was among the 179 House Republicans who voted against the relief package, as was U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

Of the House candidates Christie campaigned for throughout 2012, only North Dakota Republican Kevin Cramer, who campaigned alongside Christie on Oct. 6, voted in favor.

“It is appropriate for the federal government to act on behalf of the generous citizens of our nation who support victims of natural disasters wherever such events occur, including in North Dakota. We received such grace many times, and will likely need the aggregated resources only our federal government can provide in the future,” Cramer said in a statement on his vote, adding that though he voted yes, he still believes the lack of support for amendments offsetting the aid with cuts represents the height of fiscal irresponsibility.

Christie took heat from state and national Democrats over his support for King last September after King told an Iowa radio station that he had never heard of an instance where a victim of statutory rape or incest had become pregnant.  

“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way, and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter,” King said.  He also drew fire from Democrats for suggesting that an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Christie ignored the criticism and headed to Iowa anyway.

“I make decisions based on, in the main, do we generally agree on our plans for the country’s future. And I do generally agree with Congressman Steve King on those issues, so I’ll be campaigning for him,” Christie told reporters when asked about the trip.

In a statement issued today, King said the aid package did not meet the standard for responsible disaster relief.

“I support getting funding out to communities in need as the result of Hurricane Sandy. Just two weeks ago I supported immediately-necessary supplemental funding to ensure that policy holders in the National Flood Insurance Plan would continue to receive legitimate insurance payments for their damaged property.

“However, the legislation considered today did not meet the standard for responsible disaster relief. Long-term spending should instead be addressed when Congress picks up the appropriations process again in the coming weeks. It is unconscionable to use this tragic storm as an excuse to throw aside our budget restraints, pile on spending measures unrelated to disaster relief, the majority of which will not even be spent out for years, and continue to pile debt on our children.”

"This meeting is entirely off the record. Until somebody leaks it."
—Michael Kempner, addressing a roomful of Democratic powerbrokers organizng for Hillary Clinton