Gov. Christopher Christie, ripping apart the embattled Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority for hiring lobbyists, will likely take some money out of the pockets of Republican partners at bi-partisan (that’s a nice way of saying playing both sides and covering all their bases) lobbying firms. Lobbyists for the PVSA include Public Strategies Impact, Cammarano & Hagan, Winning Strategies, and Daniel Becht. And 1868 Public Affairs has a public relations contract with the authority.
The Public Strategies Impact contract actually belongs to Bill Maer, a Democratic operative who took a leave of absence from his lobbying firm to help run Gov. Jon Corzine’s re-election campaign. Maer continues to assist Democratic candidates – he’s helping Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney and Passaic County Sheriff Gerald Speziale get re-elected – but he’s protected by his GOP partner, Roger Bodman, a former Kean administration cabinet member and a productive member of Christie’s fundraising team.
Cammarano & Hagan are Peter Cammarano, a former Chief of Staff to Gov. Richard Codey (and a Metuchen Councilman, not a former mayor of a Hudson County city), and Kevin Hagan, a former Deputy Chief of Staff to Gov. James E. McGreevey and Frank Lautenberg’s 2002 campaign manager. After Christie beat Corzine, they added a Republican partner: Burlington County GOP Chairman Bill Layton.
Becht is a former PVSC Chairman and Republican fundraiser. In 2001, he resigned from gubernatorial candidate (now Education Commissioner) Bret Schundler’s finance committee in a public protest over Schundler’s attacks on his then primary opponent, Gov. Donald DiFrancesco.
Richard Ambrosino, a former Whitman staffer and GOP operative, is the spokesman for the PVSA. His partners include Michael Torpey, Gov. Christine Todd Whitman’s former Chief of Staff and a Christie fundraiser, and former Assemblyman LeRoy Jones (D-East Orange).
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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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