Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford (D) has fallen under scrutiny from Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) for informing residents of Atlantic City that they could stick around during Hurricane Sandy. Christie ranted:
You have a mayor, a rogue mayor, telling his citizens not to leave, that it’s O.K. not to leave. I don’t know what you call that. I don’t call it effective governance.
Many Atlantic City residents apparently were upset that they evacuated during Tropical Storm Irene last year. Christie ripped them as well:
I will never understand these people. They came home to very little property damage and they were alive. And they’re angry because they spent a couple of days at Rutgers. We’re going to see how they feel now, when they stayed. It’s just not acceptable conduct ….
Now I’m going to have federal and state emergency personnel going in their first thing tomorrow morning with live downed electrical wires all over the place, risking their lives. Because Mayor Langford was worried that some of his people were angry? That’s not leadership, everybody.
Christie and Langford have been going at it for years, largely because of Langford’s radicalism. When Christie proposed a tourism district for Atlantic City, for example, Langford said that the district was creating “apartheid.” Seriously. He wrote, “The point is, when a white imperialistic out-of-town minority imposes its will on the indigenous people of color (the majority) and usurps the sovereign right of that majority to govern themselves by stripping away zoning, planning and policing, it is reminiscent of apartheid. So don't chastise me and accuse me of race-baiting for calling attention to the obvious, inherently racist reality that I did not create.”
Christie ripped him for “playing to the lowest common denominator.” According to Christie, Langford has “failed” as mayor and is “impossible to work with in any significant kind of way.”
One of Langford’s priorities this year was a city ordinance raising his salary some $16,000. Langford blames Christie for virtually all the problems of Atlantic City, including the murder rate. “For the record,” Langford recently wrote to Christie, “New Jersey is now home to ‘the most violent city in America. This was not always the case. In fact, prior to you becoming governor, we never had this distinction.”
As the fallout from Hurricane Sandy continues, look for Langford to play the race card. After all, he’s done it in the past.