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Christie For VP? Why Mitt May Be Wary

Christie For VP? Why Mitt May Be Wary

Will he, won’t he, will he, won’t he. First New Jersey Governor Chris Christie flirted with whether or not he would run for president. Now for months he’s been at it again, saying oh no, Mitt won’t choose him as his vice presidential candidate.

Christie says, so very coyly, he’s not interested and just wants to stay in the Garden State, “making sure that New Jersey continues to move in the right direction.” The state would, he asserts, “get off on the wrong track again if I go. So I’d rather stay.”

Halfway-House-Gate

But Mitt’s reasons for steering clear of Christie as his pick, whatever the fundraising prowess this governor has, may have more to do with all the baggage that Christie carries in the form of his ties to, for example, New Jersey’s private halfway-house industry. The New York Times has carefully detailed Christie’s connections to a West Caldwell-located company, Community Education Centers, that holds extensive contracts to run a system of halfway houses in New Jersey.  Just before Christie became governor in January of 2010, the company defaulted on its debt and considered declaring bankruptcy, a July 16th New York Times article says:

Since then, the state, while paying the company tens of millions of dollars a year for its services, has not closely examined Community Education’s financial standing or operations, according to the documents, former company executives and state officials.

If Community Education were to collapse, that could significantly disrupt New Jersey’s corrections system, and if the company remains financially hobbled, its halfway houses in New Jersey could continue to suffer.

Community Education receives about $71 million of the $105 million New Jersey allocates to run halfway houses. Thousands of inmates, who are leaving prison or on parole, pass through the company’s halfway houses, which are understaffed; workers receive minimal training and are paid little. Escapes, violence including rape and drug use are not at all uncommon.

Christie’s ties to the company run deep. He was a lobbyist for Communication Education in 2000 and 2001; the company’s senior vice president, William J. Palatucci, is his close friend, political advisor and former law partner; the son-in-law of the company’s chief executive, John J. Clancy, was hired as an assistant in the governor’s office soon after Christie was elected.

The Real Cost of an “Aggressive Expansion”

The reasons for Community Education’s financial straits arose from “aggressive expansion” attempts in states including Alabama and Texas; these have meant that the company has had to lower staff levels in its New Jersey facilities. Overall, Community Education received about $300 million annually from government contracts around the country in 2009 and 2010 but, due to debt burdens, the company only had about $13,702.02 in cash on hand in 2009. In 2010, Community Education received a $235 refinancing deal (at very steep interest rates, of as much as 15.25 percent). But the company’s finances have remained shaky.

After the New York Times‘s investigation about conditions at some of Community Education’s halfway houses (including Albert M. “Bo” Robinson Assessment and Treatment Center in Trenton, New Jersey’s state capital), state legislators demanded that the industry be regulated with far more scrutiny. New Jersey’s state legislatures are controlled by Democrats who passed a measure requiring the Corrections Department to acquire more information from halfway-house providers.

So guess what Christie did.

He added a line-item veto that significantly weakened the requirements. “His aides said the measure was burdensome, but some lawmakers contended that he was trying to protect Mr. Palatucci, the company executive who is his close friend,” says the New York Times. One must ask: Only “trying”?

“Halfway-house-gate” suggests all too clearly why Christie just keeps batting his eyelashes about being Mitt’s running mate. Without him in New Jersey’s highest elected office (and Christie’s approval rating is high), the state would indeed have the opportunity to “get off the track” Christie has put it on, of directing Jersey taxpayers’ dollars into the pockets of certain people he knows.

Related Care2 Coverage

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Chris Christie’s Ties To the For-Profit Halfway House Industry

 

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24 comments

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5:44PM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

With Christie, it would be like Romney having two Vice Presidents.

5:04PM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Its thing like this that shows why the gop must go, if they (gop) get in the USA will be flushing its self down the toilet .

2:22PM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Thanks Kristina for posting the article. I find it very hilarious that all the choices he has to choose from are as bad or worse then him and I most heartily agree with Christopher F. "It doesn't matter who Romney picks as his VP candidate. He is going to lose" and with Chris C. "No matter who Romney picks, he's screwed!". @ Rudy B. where in this world did you buy your brain? Get the facts straight and turn off those voices in your head with better medication.

12:58PM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Whats-a-matter you don't want a hood for a VP?
If nothing else the Pentagon might be put under a real contract and cost over runs would not be an option...

12:15PM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Rudy B - I'm STILL laughing at your post! Nice try!

No matter who Romney picks, he's screwed! Too much baggage, too many skeletons in the closet, on them all! All of his choices are wackjobs! Good luck! And Romney has to first get past all the LIES he's told and his being a traitor to his country by not paying his taxes due to his "sheltered" wealth. He is SCUM!

11:39AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

PERFECT CHOICE....(altho they 'may' have 'weird-looking' children...)....just sayin'....

10:31AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

The good Governor of NJ will not be Mitt's running mate. Why? Because, unlike Barack Hussein Obama many many broken promises, the Gov promised the voters of NJ that he would not quit in mid-term. He has said that several times.

Now, for your libs in this chat room, please tell Obama to stop lying about Mitt's background at Bain Capital. Tell Obama to stop personally attacking Ann Romney. Tell Obama to release his college transcripts.

RudyB

10:10AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Christie has screwed NJ......he doesn't want to leave (if I even believe that statement) because he knows they'll never let him back in! NJ used to be an awesome, compassionate, blue place to live....and now? now it stinks like the Livingston swamps.

10:07AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Ah yes....the final piece of fat to clog the withering arteries of Mitt's campaign!

8:19AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Hmmm. Christie becomes VP, Romney gets cement overshoes, Christie becomes POTUS. It could work.

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