Chris Christie drew international ire when he and his family were caught relaxing on a New Jersey public beach during the July 4th holidays, just days after his inability to cooperate with the New Jersey State Assembly had led to a partial government shut down that included the closing of that very beach.
Now, the New Jersey State Assembly is exacting its revenge over what has mockingly been called “Beachgate.”
Christie’s decision to close public parks, including beaches, during what is likely the state’s busiest tourism weekend seemed bad enough before he was captured by a crafty photographer with a long-range lens who spotted Christie and his family as he circled the otherwise deserted beach in a plane. Though the parks were open in time for the actual July 4th holiday, the shutdown affected many people’s long-weekend plans, including a large number who were already situated for their vacation.
On Monday, the Democrat-led State Assembly approved legislation that would close Chris Christie’s beach house in the event of another government shutdown–a likely scenario considering the overtly contentious relationship between Republican Governor Christie and the other branches of New Jersey’s government. The legislation would also keep public parks open in such an event. The legislation is clearly targeted at Christie’s actions and geared toward punishing him for his self-serving actions and shameless hypocrisy.
The State Senate will have to debate the legislation before it is actually passed and the legislation would ultimately have to be signed by Governor Christie.
Christie had previously stated that he would sign legislation that was passed to compensate government workers who went without pay during the three-day shutdown at the beginning of last month; but, his representatives have not yet commented on these other aspects of the measure.
Democratic Assemblyman John Wisniewski stated: “If a beach is closed because of a state shutdown, it ought to be closed to everybody. Having it open to the governor and his guests while it’s closed to all other New Jersey residents who are paying for them to be there isn’t right and it isn’t fair. Wisniewski has also previously stated that the governor’s beach house is a “sign of excess” when the state government is increasingly having to finagle how to function with less funding.
Christie defended his beach trip by arguing that he had informed the public that he would be at the state-owned property for the holiday and that the media merely “caught a politician keeping his word.”