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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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi- The Daily Beast
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