After he infamously enjoyed a day at a state-run beach with his family – while the rest of the state was barred from accessing state government-run venues after failure to agree on a budget caused a temporary government shutdown – Democratic legislators in New Jersey have included Chris Christie’s beach house among a list of items that will be shut down in the event of future government recesses.
The measure, which would force Christie’s house to be off limits should the government shut down again, is in addition to a second measure passed Monday, which allows state parks to stay open in the event of a government shutdown.
“If a beach is closed because of a state shutdown, it ought to be closed to everybody,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski, a Democrat who proposed the measure to close the beach house during shutdowns. “Having it open to the governor and his guests while it’s closed to all the other New Jersey residents who are paying for them to be there isn’t right and it isn’t fair.”
Claiming that his family didn’t need the government services of trash collection and lifeguard duty to use the beach, Christie’s hand was forced when a photo of him surfaced, lounging on the barren sand bar in shorts, sandals, a Mets tee, and hat. It was Fourth of July weekend, to boot, and the rest of the state was forced to cancel their Jersey shore plans.
“Most camping trips or outdoor plans are made weeks or months in advance. It is unfair, and unreasonable to hold residents’ holiday plans hostage over the governor’s and the legislature’s inability to meet the budget deadline,” Democratic Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle said.
At the time, Christie spun his mistake by saying that he had announced prior to the photo that he would be at that beach, claiming the media simply “caught a politician keeping his word.”
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