Saturday, August 29, 2009

NJ Governor's Race: Pot vs. Kettle Behind the Wheel

This just in from Roxy's Ridiculous Newsroom... since my blog is devoted to all things Roxiticus -- or the Greater Roxiticus Valley, including Mendham, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack-Gladstone, Morris County and Somerset County, New Jersey -- I have a Google alert set up for the word "Mendham," and now that our neighbor, Chris Christie, is running for Governor, there's always some tidbit arriving in my e-mailbox. Today, the Daily Record reports:

Governor Jon S. Corzine's spokeswoman blasted Chris Christie today as "a complete menace to society on the highways of New Jersey" following disclosures about a spate of moving violations issued to the Republican gubernatorial candidate over the past quarter-century — including two in Morris County.

The Daily Record didn't go on to say, but I will, that if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what qualifies....Rex, London, and Maddie have grown accustomed to my (Republican? Non-partisan?) catcalls of "I'll get out of your way, Governor" when a car or SUV passes us going 90 mph or more on the Garden State Parkway, driven by a dimwit with a car full of unbuckled passengers.

For those of you who were living in a cave with no TV or Internet access at the time, I'll mention here Governor Corzine's April 2007 accident, hailed by Fortune magazine as "what not to do in a car":

Fact Number One: Why was Corzine thrown around the inside of the vehicle? Simple - he wasn't wearing a seat belt. "It was not his habit," said a former aide, Scott Kisch, to Newsday. Kisch was Corzine's driver when he served in the U.S. Senate. "You had to tell him if you wanted him to wear it. I gave up early on." Not wearing a seat belt happens to be a violation of New Jersey state law. It is also beyond stupid. I won't drive down my driveway to the mailbox without buckling up.

Fact Number Two: Corzine was going too fast - way too fast. When originally questioned about the accident, Corzine's driver, a state trooper, had told investigators he didn't know how fast he was driving. A state police official added that speed was "not a factor" in the accident. But a crash data recorder in the Suburban told another story. It turns out that Corzine was leading a two-car caravan with emergency lights flashing that was going down the road at 91 miles per hour. The speed limit on the parkway is 65 mph. Where's the fire? If you or I had been pulled over by a trooper going 91 mph it is hard to imagine what a reasonable answer would be to the question, "Where are you going in such a hurry?" Turns out Corzine didn't have one either. He was heading to a meeting between disgraced radio host Don Imus and the Rutgers women's basketball team. Important? Yes. Worth endangering your life for? Probably not. In fact, if Corzine had been traveling at a mere 60 mph, he would have had so much time that he would have beaten the basketball players there.

Fact Number Three: The state police driver had been involved in four - count 'em, four - previous accidents, two while on duty. One hopes that Corzine selects better-qualified people for other state jobs.

Fact Number Four: Police caught up with the driver of that red pickup they said caused the accident. But it turns out he wasn't responsible. He had pulled over the side of the road to make way for Corzine's motorcade, its lights blaring. When he swerved back on the road, another pickup truck behind him swerved to avoid hitting him, and collided with the Suburban. The driver of the second truck wasn't to blame, either.

Concluded the New York Times, from which much of this account was gleaned: "It now seems clear that Mr. Corzine's own vehicle was responsible for the crash."

Here's more of the "hard news" about Chris Christie to accompany Roxy's chortles and sarcasm: "Between 1985 and 2009, Christie was found guilty on 13 tickets, including seven for speeding, according to records provided by the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission. MVC records on Democrat Corzine date to 1992 and show two tickets for speeding and a third for failing to use his seat belt in 2007 following a near-fatal crash in which he was riding in the front passenger seat.

"Jon Corzine, like most drivers, has had an occasional infraction, and he paid the ticket,' said Lis Smith, spokeswoman for his campaign."
Clearly an upstanding member of the driving community and a role model for today's new teenage drivers. "Chris Christie, on the other hand, has been a habitual offender and a complete menace to society on the highways of New Jersey. Every day it becomes more evident that Christie has always had one set of rules for himself, and another for everyone else," Smith said.

A phone call to the Christie campaign was not immediately returned today. Christie is a Mendham Township resident, former U.S. Attorney and former county freeholder.
When we first moved to the Roxiticus Valley in 2003, London and Maddie's nanny was friends with the Christies' nanny and the kids all played together. In retrospect, I should probably be thankful that Chris Christie was too busy working to be driving the kiddies around at high speed on the curvy backroads of Mendham Township.

Christie's driving history came under scrutiny upon the disclosure that, while U.S. Attorney, he was ticketed in Lambertville in 2005 for speeding and driving an unlicensed and uninsured vehicle. Christie ended up pleading guilty to a reduced charge of unsafe operation of a motor vehicle and paid a $250 fine. All seven speeding tickets paid by Christie were issued in the years prior to him becoming a U.S. Attorney in 2001. In 1986, Christie received two speeding tickets six days apart, in Summit and West Amwell. Though his driving record currently shows no points, between 1985 and 2000 Christie was found guilty on 10 tickets totaling 25 points on his license according to MVC records. Periodic safe driving credits enabled him to clear his record. "He is a driver in good standing," MVC spokesman Mike Horan said. Two tickets were issued in Morris County, where Christie was a freeholder from 1995 to 1997. In February 1998, Christie received a two-point speeding ticket in Harding for driving 44 mph in a 30 mph zone. In 2000, Christie was cited for unsafe operation of a motor vehicle in Morris Township, a no-point offense. In Southampton Township in 2006, Christie was cited for obstructing passage of another vehicle, an offense which carried a fine but no license points, Horan said.

Christie had resigned as top prosecutor and launched his campaign for governor when he was ticketed in Morristown last January for failing to wear his seat belt. Additional details on that traffic stop were not immediately provided today by Morristown police.

Additionally, Christie was involved in six motor vehicle accidents between 1989 and 2007, the last being in Netcong, but was not ticketed in connection with any of the accidents according to MVC.

Driving records on Corzine date only to 1992, seven years fewer than those found for Christie, for reasons not clarified by MVC. During that time, Corzine either pled or was found guilty on two tickets totaling six points, both for speeding. One was in New York City and the second was a 4-point speeding violation for driving 56 mph in a 35 mph zone in Morristown in 2000, during his successful run for a U.S. Senate
. I guess being the dimwitted unbuckled passenger, in a 91 mph collision, urging one's driver to hurry up, doesn't count.


Mizé said...

Hi Roxy, Long time no seen...
I´ve been so busy with my job that I almost don´t have time to update my blogs. Thanks for still visiting my blog. I saw your widget on EC.
I hope all is going well with you and your family.
Good weekend :)