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."
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"Enlisting Fox is another reminder of how much Christie has truly relied on insiders, including Democrats, to bolster his agenda or bail him out of trouble. Not long after arriving in Trenton in 2009, Christie began collaborating with George Norcross, the deeply entrenched Democratic Party kingmaker, to help him cut deals with a Democratic-controlled Legislature.
When his close ally David Samson resigned as chairman of the Port Authority over conflict-of-interest questions earlier this year, Christie replaced Samson with John Degnan, a pillar of the Democratic Party establishment. And now, confronted with a crisis, Christie has turned to “Jamie,’’ as Fox has been known throughout political circles since he began as an aide in the Democratic Senate in the 1980s." - columnist Charles Stile
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