New Jersey’s largest newspaper, the Star-Ledger, published an editorial Wednesday calling for Gov. Chris Christie (R) to step down from his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association in light of the growing scandal surrounding his administration and economic issues in the state.
The Star-Ledger editorial board began by noting Republican candidates shunned Christie during his recent fundraising trips to Illinois and Texas. Though Christie’s trips were financially successful, the newspaper noted some have suggested the fact Republicans have apparently avoided sharing a stage with Christie is proof he can no longer be an effective chair. However, the Star-Ledger said there are other reasons Christie should resign from his RGA role.
“We agree he should step down, but for a different reason: He has a job to do in Trenton that he is neglecting. With all the attention on the scandals, few have noticed that New Jersey faces a fiscal crisis. Our credit rating is dropping, our structural deficit is rated as the worst in the nation by researchers at George Mason University, and now the chairman of the state Senate Budget Committee is warning of giant revenue shortfalls.”
Christie currently faces multiple investigations into alleged abuses of power including Hoboken, N.J. Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s allegation administration officials threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy aid from her city unless she approved a real estate project. He also faces questions about why officials ordered lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September. The Star-Ledger editorial argued Christie and his staff have too much on their plate with the scandals for him to have a role fundraising for other Republicans.
“Keep in mind that the bulk of Christie’s senior staff is ensnared in the Bridgegate scandals as well. So who is minding the store?” the editorial said. “It is undeniable that the RGA job is a major distraction, especially when heaped on top of the scandals.”
The Star-Ledger also posted an online poll Wednesday asking readers if Christie should resign from the RGA. As of early Wednesday afternoon, 982 people had voted on the poll with about 72 percent saying Christie should resign and nearly 20 percent saying he should not.