It has been a long year for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and it’s only February. After a week of snow panic followed by daunting reports of rock salt shortages in his state, Christie fled New Jersey with his family for a resort vacation in Puerto Rico.
CNN first reported that Governor Christie was out of the state, citing “a person who saw the governor poolside at a resort in San Juan” (the source, apparently, did not provide photographic evidence). CNN confirmed with the Governor’s office that he was spending “a long weekend with his family, and will return Monday night.” Trenton was quick to note that Christie left the state after weather reports showed that the snow was long passed, though many towns continue to suffer the wages of a month of heavy snowfall.
In Christie’s absence, much of Northern New Jersey continues to attempt to solve a significant rock salt shortage that has left many streets with a thick layer of ice over them and stranded a number of cars. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has cautioned residents to stay off the streets because the city cannot clear them, inviting criticism from local residents who can neither remove their cars from the streets nor, apparently, drive them. Smaller towns like Hoboken are experiencing similarly dangerous road situations. Both Mayor Fulop and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer have had public disagreements with Governor Christie; the former disparaged him in private emails relating to the George Washington Bridge scandal for his adversarial relationship to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, while the latter has accused current acting Gov. Kim Guadagno of threatening to deny her city Hurricane Sandy funds should she not cooperate with a housing redevelopment project.
The federal government has denied New Jersey’s request to expedite salt from Maine down to New Jersey to resolve the dangerous ice situation.
This is not the first time Governor Christie has left the state for sunnier pastures during a devastating blizzard. Long before the George Washington Bridge scandal, Christie first felt the brunt of national media criticism during a snowstorm in 2010, when he and his family left the state to visit Disney World. At the time, Christie spokesperson Michael Drewniak dismissed criticism of Christie by noting that “the world is not coming to an end” and New Jersey was “a northeastern state and we get snow.”
Governor Christie will return Monday to a new probe by the Port Authority in the Fort Lee bridge scandal, seeking to find who ordered police officers to blame the week-long traffic jam on Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich and not the alleged Port Authority traffic study then underway.