Christie on offensive against critics of AshBritt pact

UNION BEACH – Gov. Chris Christie slammed the recent Star-Ledger stories focusing on the AshBritt debris removal contract, dismissing it as “shoddy, crappy journalism.”

He said it’s inaccurate to call it a no-bid contract, saying the agreement is based on a similar one that Connecticut did.

Christie also called Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sen. Barbara Buono “ill-informed” for calling the AshBritt contract a no-bid contract.

He pointed out that Senate President Steve Sweeney corrected himself when he initially called it a no-bid contract.

The AshBritt contract in New Jersey requires it to remove debris from waterways, among other things.

States can access contracts that were bid by other states through government cooperative agreements. In the case of Ashbritt, Connecticut bid on the contract last year.

Christie added that municipalities were not forced to use AshBritt if they felt they get could a better, less costly deal.

Christie said that Ashbritt’s experience in handling paperwork, espeically on reimbursements from the federal government, is a skill that other contractors may not have, which could leave towns vulnerable.

“If you don’t make the request right, you’ll not get reimbursed,” he said. “All we’re doing is providing a service.” 

"He’s obviously working very, very hard at it. I mean he’s traveling all over the country as chairman of the [Republican Governors Association] and I think at this point he has as good a chance or better than anybody else. His name is household word all across the country, and I think he would make a great president."
—former U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3), on Gov. Chris Christie