10/29/2014 Governor Christie faces off with heckler on 2nd anniversary of Superstorm Sandy by Josh Einiger for WABC-TV New York Eyewitness news
10/29/2014 Governor Christie faces off with heckler on 2nd anniversary of Superstorm Sandy By Josh Einiger | for WABC-TV New York Eyewitness news
STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (WABC) --
Governor Chris Christie was raw and uncensored on the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, unleashing a nasty rant on a heckler.
Christie went off on the man when he interrupted his speech about the recovery efforts in Belmar.
It was a carefully choreographed opportunity for Governor Christie to trumpet progress since Sandy in the shore community of Belmar.
"Sit down and shut up," New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said.
But he didn't expect to find himself in a shouting match with a man in the audience.
"Somebody like you doesn't know a damn thing about what you're talking about except to stand up and show off when the cameras are here," Christie said.
But Jim Keady, a former Asbury Park town councilman, told Eyewitness News he's no mere heckler.
"It took a year and 45 days to build the ESB. And we can't get a one-story home on the Barnegat Bay elevated and get someone back in, when there's $1.1 billion available to make that happen?" Keady said.
He's now part of the group "Finish the Job New Jersey" which claims Christie's administration simply hasn't moved fast enough, failing people like Sandi Mackay.
"Yes, my name is Sandi. Ha-ha the irony of this whole thing has not escaped me at all," Mackay said.
Two years ago, her Stafford Township house couldn't escape the devastating floodwaters.
Now, she's among as many as 5,000 families the group says still haven't seen a dime of federal funds earmarked for them.
In her case, she needs the funds to raise her house out of the water's reach.
"I just want to come home and stay home," Mackay said. "You can see look how dark it is. There's nobody living here yet."
She blames a flood of red tape for delaying the help. Of $1.1 billion allocated by the federal government for the state to distribute, the group says only $514 million has been allocated, and just $219 million actually handed out.
With thousands still on waiting lists, Lisa Stevens says she too is one of them.
"The governor likes to focus on Seaside Heights and the boardwalk and the rides. Well guess what, we don't live on the rides. We're on our own rollercoaster. We need action," a resident said.
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10/29/2014 Chris Christie goes off on protester: ‘Sit down and shut up’ By Joy Y. Wang | for MSNBC, All In With Chris Hayes
Chris Christie goes off on protester: ‘Sit down and shut up’
By Joy Y. Wang | for MSNBC, All In With Chris Hayes
Cheers erupted for Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday as the Republican shouted down a protester at an event in Belmar, New Jersey, marking the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
A man holding a sign reading “Get Sandy families back in their homes” and “Finish the job” stood directly in front of Christie, blocking cameras at the event. The sign and the man’s comments (inaudible in the video) set off the famously outspoken governor, who is widely rumored to be considering a 2016 presidential bid.
“I’m glad you had your day to show off but we’re the ones who are here to actually do the work,” Christie said to applause. “So turn around and get your 15 minutes of fame and then maybe take your jacket off and roll up your sleeves and do something for the people of this state.”
Public support for Christie’s handling of the recovery effort has fallen since Hurricane Sandy crashed into the state, devastating homes and businesses. At the time, the Republican was criticized by party members for praising and even embracing President Barack Obama as he toured the state to assess the damage. But in his mostly blue state, Christie garnered strong approval ratings for his efforts in managing the crisis.
Sandy aid has been slow to appear for some homeowners and business owners, however, leading public opinion to sour on Christie. Sandy victims have languished on wait lists for aid, had applications rejected or lost, and reported insufficient help for minorities and the poor, according to NPR.
This past July, Christie fired the Sandy “czar” he appointed in 2012, and, in January of this year, he fired the biggest contractor working on recovery efforts in the state. Added to the mire, the governor in recent months has struggled with the declining fortunes of Atlantic City businesses and the ongoing controversy over the politically-motivated closing of the George Washington Bridge in September 2013 — all of which has cast a shadow on his possible hopes for a 2016 run.
On Wednesday, though, Christie was back in form, brashly shouting down the protester.
“I’d be more than happy to have a debate with you anytime you like, guy, because somebody like you who doesn’t know a damn thing about what you’re talking about except to stand up and show off when the cameras are here,” he said. “I’ve been here when the cameras aren’t here, buddy, and done the work.”
Toward the end of the nearly two-minute confrontation, Christie summed up his attitude toward the man with a succinct: “Sit down and shut up.”
10/29/2014 Christie to Sandy Heckler: ‘Sit Down and Shut Up’ Claude Brodesser-Ankner | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Christie to Sandy Heckler: ‘Sit Down and Shut Up’
Claude Brodesser-Ankner | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
BELMAR — On the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, a crowd of 350 people stood at the intersection of 7th and Main Street under a mix of sun and clouds. This time, though, a new weather system had blown in: Hurricane Christie, the governor who brooks no hecklers. When Jim Keady, annoyed at the pace of storm recovery, interrupted Gov. Chris Christie's speech to Belmar reisdents several times, the often combative governor told him: "Sit down and shut up."
As Christie began to speak, Keady, who runs an advocacy organization called Finish the Job, held a sign and shouted: “Do your job!"
"Yeah, you do yours, too, buddy,” Chrisite shot back, and continued speaking.
But the heckler wasn't standing down, and continued his tirade.
"Now, you all know me," said Christie. “So if we're going to get into a debate here today, it's going to get very interesting and very fun."
He wasn't kidding.
“I'll be more than happy to have a debate with you anytime you like, guy, because somebody like you doesn’t know a damn thing about what you're talking about except to stand up and show off when the cameras are here. I've been here when the cameras aren't here, buddy, and done the work. ... Turn around, get your fifteen minutes of fame, and then, maybe, take your jacket off, roll up your sleeves, and do something for the people of this state."
Keady, who said he is a lifelong resident, continued, "I was here for a month after Sandy, and ..."
Christie finished Keady's sentence for him.
" ... and there's been 23 months since then, when all you've been doing is flapping your mouth and not doing anything. So listen, you want to have the conversation later? I'm happy to have it, buddy. But until that time, sit down and shut up."
At this, the crowd of mostly local residents erupted into applause, even if a new Monmouth University poll released yesterday found that 66 percent of Garden State residents are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with the recovery effort now, a level largely unchanged from a year ago.
The heckler, eager to accept Christie's offer to continue the conversation, invited the governor to have dinner with him.
"There's about a thousand things I'll do tonight," said Christie, "Going to dinner with you is about number 1,001."
"Listen everybody," Christie continued, regaining his composure, "The fact is that, no matter what, in this job, you're going to face challenges, and you're going to be confronted with opportunities. And those are some of the challenges," he said, motioning to the heckler. "And you see, that's why I love this state: The reason I love this state is because you got characters who are willing to do that kind of thing. Good; I'm thrilled for him. Stand up, yell and scream, do your thing. But here's the bottom line. You gotta do work."
With the heckler silenced, the governor took a momentary victory lap.
"I still have plenty of Jersey in me," said Christie, "so when it comes to having a little 'back and forth' I will not hesitate to have a little 'back and forth.'"
Afterwards, in a scrum of reporters, Christie turned his ire at criticism from New Jersey's Democratic U.S. Senator, Robert Menendez, and state Senate President Steve Sweeney, both of whom held their own press conferences today to excoriate the state's administration of Sandy relief funds. Christie blamed red tape from the federal government for the slow disbursement of funds.
According to the New Jersey Organizing Project, of the $1.1 billion Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation program, which provides grants of up to $150,000 to help homeowners repair, rebuild, or raise the elevation of their homes, just shy of $300 million had been disbursed to affected families.
"I love these people in the silly season a few days before an election, who all have critiques himself, and Senator Sweeney and I haven't heard a word of suggestion from either one of them in two years," Christie said, "If they have something they want to say to suggest, both Senator Menendez and Senator Sweeney have my number - and they've used it before."
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