The Inside Story of His Rise to Power
by Bob Ingle and Michael Symons
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by Massscorecard.org:
This book is a heavy-duty review of New Jersey politics, focusing on Chris Christie, but with a lot of materials on Jon Corzine and Christie's other opponents. As the title suggests, reading this book will fully explain Christie's "Rise to Power" from the perspective of an "Inside Story." The authors are both long-time New Jersey-oriented news journalists.
According to the authors, New Jersey politics is a cesspool of corruption, which was just waiting for someone to come along and pick off the leading corrupt figures, and Chris Christie was that someone. As U. S. Attorney (the federal prosecutor for the state; Christie was appointed by George W. Bush in 2002), Christie prosecuted hundreds of politicians, including several high-level corruption convictions. (One of the authors previously wrote "The Soprano State" about New Jersey's other cesspool of crime, but Christie did not prosecute gangland crime with nearly the same level of enthusiasm). Christie's success in attacking the corrupt political system made his name and got him elected governor in 2009; he is up for re-election in 2013.
As governor, Christie does not have the usual insider network that comes from rising through the ranks of state politics. In addition, he is a Republican in a predominantly Democratic state (New Jersey has two Democratic Senators and the majority voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in every election since 1992, but New Jersey also currently has six Republican House members and had another Republican governor during that timeframe also). In that context, his rise to power is most similar to Mitt Romney or Arnold Schwarzenegger, who also got elected as Republican outsider governors in primarily Democratic states.
Like Gov. Romney and Gov. Schwarzenegger, Gov. Christie is a moderate Republican -- not a Tea Party member, not a libertarian, and not a Christian conservative, the three dominant factions of the Republican Party. On our VoteMatch scale, Christie scores as a Moderate Populist Conservative accordingly -- the "populist" component shown true by his anti-corruption history. On economic issues, Christie is not a hard-core anti-tax Republican -- he declined the "anti-tax pledge" (p. 153) and argued against a single tax rate (p. 138). On social issues, Christie supported abortion rights but switched to pro-life when his wife was pregnant (p. 54), and supports civil unions (which was the conservative stance in his gubernatorial race, in comparison to gay marriage, p. 140). This book does not explore Christie's foreign policy stances, except that he supports the PATRIOT Act with caveats (pp. 82-83); those stances will of course come out if Christie undertakes a presidential run.
Now, about that presidential run: Gov. Christie famously removed himself from the presidential race in 2011 (explored on pp. 121-122), and has declared his intention to seek re-election as governor in 2013. In 2011, he concluded that he had made a commitment to the people of New Jersey -- in 2013, the pundits will carefully parse his comments on what commitment he is making this time around, since his gubernatorial term will include the primary and general election for 2016. Even if he decides not to run for the presidency in 2016, Christie will certainly be on the "short list" for Vice President, as he was in 2012 (p. 259ff).
In conclusion, this book provides a solid background for understanding Chris Christie's public policy stances and his political background. It portrays Gov. Christie as a moderate on most issues, and hence outlines his positioning for the 2016 presidential race.
-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@Massscorecard.org, December 2012
| Massscorecard.org excerpts: (click on issues for details)
Chris Christie: 1994: Donated to Planned Parenthood; opposed public donation.
Chris Christie: 1996: partial birth procedure is reprehensible.
Chris Christie: Pro-choice until seeing daughter pre-natally.
Chris Christie: 1996: Switched from pro-choice to pro-life.
Chris Christie: Eliminate family planning funding from state budget.
Jon Corzine: Voters defeated his stem cell research bond proposal.
Budget & Economy|
Chris Christie: Let government shutdown occur, until Legislature is ready.
Chris Christie: 2011: 2% cap on most cities' municipal spending.
Cory Booker: Endorsed Gov. Christie's property tax agenda.
Chris Christie: Marriage is an institution between one man & one woman.
Chris Christie: Homosexuality is not a sin; people are born that way.
Jim McGreevey: 2004 resignation: "I am a gay American".
Jon Corzine: Settled for civil unions instead of marriage equality.
Jon Corzine: Running mate was sponsor of gay marriage bill.
Chris Christie: Casino regulators keep working during government shutdowns.
Chris Christie: Cut business taxes by $600 million annually.
Jon Corzine: Bond trader in 1975; CEO of Goldman-Sachs by 1994.
Chris Christie: 1994: Pushed for faster construction of county jail.
Chris Christie: 1995 juvenile justice plan: individualized to child's needs.
Chris Christie: Increased criminal convictions each year from 2002 to 2007.
Jon Corzine: Abolished the state's death penalty.
Chris Christie: 1995: Applied 25% of county salary to drug addict residence.
Chris Christie: Blocked implementation of medical marijuana laws.
Chris Christie: 1984: As student, made speech to Delaware state Senate.
Chris Christie: Wife and children attended parochial schools.
Chris Christie: 1999: Lobbied for Edison Schools, for-profit school operator.
Chris Christie: Allow students in failing schools to attend better schools.
Chris Christie: Vote down school budgets unless teachers freeze pay.
Cory Booker: Arranged $100M school grant from Facebook founder Zuckerberg.
Rudy Giuliani: Favored privatization of failing public schools.
Energy & Oil|
Chris Christie: Consider windmills off NJ coast.
Chris Christie: Pulled out of ten-state Regional Greenhouse Gas program.
Sierra Club: Fight the Koch brothers' agenda for oil.
Chris Christie: Canceled work on new Hudson River rail tunnel NYC to NJ.
Chris Christie: Rejected $9B transit project as "tunnel to Macy's basement".
Jon Corzine: Began work on new Hudson River rail tunnel NYC to NJ.
Jon Corzine: Look for additional resources from NJ Turnpike.
Chris Christie: Stricter limits on PAC campaign donations.
Chris Christie: 1998: Opposed spending $15,000 for new public utility logo.
Chris Christie: 1997: Doubled size of US Attorney's anti-corruption unit.
Chris Christie: Judges who legislate from the bench will not be reappointed.
Chris Christie: Forced resignations at Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission.
Jon Corzine: 2005: "Unbought and unbossed".
Jon Corzine: OpEd: Insider Dems rejected Corzine as not one of them.
Jon Corzine: Paid state workers for time missed from government shutdown.
Chris Christie: We already have too many firearms in our community.
Chris Christie: 2009: No right-to-carry cross-state reciprocity.
Chris Christie: Favors gun control measures from law-enforcement perspective.
Chris Christie: Prosecuted politicians & their cronies, including jail time.
Chris Christie: Allow insurers to sell "mandate-free" policies.
Chris Christie: 2002-2006: uncovered $800M in medical kickbacks to doctors.
Chris Christie: Patriot Act OK to monitor library book selections.
Chris Christie: FBI inappropriately detained many people after 9/11.
Jon Corzine: 1969: Joined Marine Corps Reserves; served tour in Vietnam.
Jon Corzine: Childhood family received farm price supports.
Jon Corzine: Union rally: We will fight for a fair contract!
Principles & Values|
Bret Schundler: Served in Gov. Christie's cabinet as Education Commissioner.
Chris Christie: Interest in politics started at age 14 in Junior High School.
Chris Christie: 1995: Unapologetic about taking on the establishment.
Chris Christie: Lifelong struggle with weight, despite repeated efforts.
Chris Christie: Occupy Movement and Tea Party agree on anger at government.
Jon Corzine: 2007: Ten days in coma after 91 mph traffic accident.
Chris Christie: 2009: Single tax rate would raise taxes for low earners.
Jim McGreevey: 2004: Instituted temporary millionaire's tax.
Jon Corzine: Irresponsible to take no-tax-hike pledge.
Jon Corzine: 2009: Instituted temporary millionaire's tax.
Chris Christie: Eliminate all funding for NJ public broadcasting.
War & Peace|
Jon Corzine: One of only 23 Senators to vote against 2002 Iraq War.
Robert Menendez: Appointed Senator in part due to anti-Iraq War vote.
Welfare & Poverty|
Chris Christie: 1996: Working poor hurt by limits on childcare subsidies.
Christine Todd Whitman: 1996: Proposed rule changes on subsidized childcare.
The above quotations are from Chris Christie
The Inside Story of His Rise to Power
by Bob Ingle and Michael Symons.
Autobiographies and Biographies of Governors:
- What A Party!, by gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D, VA)
- The Last Line of Defense, by gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli (R, VA)
- Chris Christie: The Inside Story of His Rise to Power, by Bob Ingle and Michael Symons
- Can`t is Not an Option, by Gov. Nikki Haley, April 2012
- Governor`s Travels, by Gov. Angus King, Oct. 2010
- The Governator, by Ian Halperin (about Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-CA), Aug. 2011
- A Governor`s Story, by Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), Oct, 2005
- The Agenda for America, by Gov. Haley Barbour (R, MS), April 1996
- Blue Man in a Red State, by Greg Lemon, (about Gov. Brian Schweitzer, D, MT), June 2008
- Scorpions for Breakfast, by Gov. Jan Brewer (R, AZ), Nov. 2011
- Crossroads: The Future of American Politics, by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D, NY), Oct. 2003
- A Reason to Believe, by Gov. Deval Patrick (D, MA), April 2011
- Against the Tide, by Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I, RI), April 2008
- Teachers Under Attack, by Mike Spina, about Gov. Chris Christie (R, NJ), Feb. 2011
Press Releases etc. from Governors, Mayors, and Justices:
- Gubernatorial State of the State speeches, 2013
- Gubernatorial State of the State speeches, 2012
- Gubernatorial Press Releases, 2011
- Gubernatorial Press Releases, 2010
- Gubernatorial Press Releases, 2001-2009
- Mayoral Press Releases, 2011
- Gubernatorial Campaign websites, 2010-2011
- Mayoral Campaign websites, 2011
- Gubernatorial State of the State speeches, 2011
- Gubernatorial State of the State speeches, 2010
- Mayorial State of the City speeches, 2007-2011
- Gubernatorial Campaign websites, 2010
- Gubernatorial Campaign websites, 2001-2009
- My Grandfather's Son, by Justice Clarence Thomas, Oct. 2008
Page last edited: Jan 26, 2013