March 3, 2015
chris christie triple playI don't wanna make any more fun of NJ Gov. Chris Christie for being a bully or arrogant or less than an Olympic caliber athlete or even for having a presidential campaign whose chances plummet with each passing day. I just want to lay these three fact out.
First of all, in 2014, when Christie was chair of the Republican Governors Association (which provides campaign cash to GOP guv candidates), ExxonMobil gave the RGA $750,000. This may not sound like a lot of money in the long run, but it was enough to make ExxonMobil the 15th largest contributor, with only thirteen contributors giving a million dollars or more.
Second of all, over the weekend the NYT reported that a long-standing environmental suit between ExxonMobil and the State of New Jersey had reached a settlement (yet to be submitted to or approved by the judge). The State had been seeking $8.9 billion in recompense for the contamination of 1,500 acres of wetlands, and the lawsuits had been ongoing under the last four administrations. In fact, ExxonMobil had admitted culpability, and all that was left was to agree on the amount of damages. Somehow and without fanfare, the Christie administration landed on a figure that was a little less than three percent of the amount originally sought. Good deal for ExxonMobil!
And finally, come to find out, in the 2014 NJ state budget there was a provision inserted by the Christie administration that allows the executive branch to apply environmental lawsuit recoveries into the general fund, where it would be used to pay for the state budget and not the purpose for which it was originally recovered. Accordingly, can apply everything over $50mm from a recovery to the general fund.
Odd bunch of coincidences, when you look them all together, wouldn't you say?
Posted by mrbrent at 1:44 PM