Home > Uncategorized > The Curious Origin of Governor Christie’s Office of Rebuilding and Recovery

The Curious Origin of Governor Christie’s Office of Rebuilding and Recovery

Newsflash: Important New Office Formed – Will Control $37 Billion! 

From Czar to Office – In One Drewniak Spincycle

Rebuild Czar meets with Christie Cabinet - look closely to see the Reagan bio on the table. This is no doubt a shameless Christie propaganda effort to look historic and presidential (Source: Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

We are closely following (and criticizing) Gov. Christie’ s “Rebuild Czar” – in fact, on December 10, we wrote a detailed post about the strong contrasts between President Obama and Gov. Christie’s approach to the rebuilding issues.

So, in big news to us, the  Press of Atlantic City story cavalierly reported today – actually, they just mentioned it in passing – that Governor Christie has created a new Office of Recovery and Rebuilding:

Drewniak said the governor’s newly formed Office of Recovery and Rebuilding is working with a disaster recovery consulant to formulate rebuilding policies and that multiple other stakeholders, including local and county officials, business and real estate analysts, and other experts are being consulted.

Office? News to me. I thought it was a Czar.

That new Office will have enormous power and control billions of dollars (more than the entire NJ annual State budget).

The Office has such a low profile, it almost seems like they’re trying to keep it a secret.

(and has it undergone Red Tape Review by Lt. Gov. Guadagno? Sounds like a new bureaucracy to me! Has it survived “common sense” “regulatory relief” review and cost benefit analysis under Christie’s Executive Order #2? Steered clear of “unfunded mandates” under Christie EO #4? No doubt it is consistent with and a logical culmination of Gov. Christie’s Privatization initiative under EO #17)

And I am very curious about the timing.

So, when was this Office of Rebuilding and Recovery created by the Governor? When did the Czar become an Office?

I must have missed the press release and Executive Order.

What kind of staff and budget do they have? Was money appropriated or shifted from another account? From what account? What is the mission of the Office? What’s the Rebuild Plan?

The original Christie November 28 press release on appointment of the “Rebuild Czar” said nothing about any new Office of Rebuilding and Recovery.

In fact, just the opposite: it said the Czar would “manage” the storm recovery and be working with Christie’s cabinet.

So, Drewniak might be spinning this big time. The press corps should find out! And I would expect a strong legislative interest as well.

The timing is curious in light of yesterday’s enviro’ press event. Did Enviro’s play a collaboration game and keep their powder dry until after the Gov acted? Or did the Gov respond to enviro recommendations? Or to criticism here?

I’ll look for the press release and background on this new Office.

I see it first mentioned in a December 10 Christie release, where the Czar himself mentions it – as casually as getting a haircut.  But nothing specific. Very curious. 

Something this big would typically involve at least a press release and open announcement or event showing cooperation with the legislature.

But my research suggests a low profile on this. Why?

Oh wow! the Govannounced the Office to business leaders on 12/11 and posted a photo 12/13 on his bog! (so if the Gov. posts a photo on his website, does that means that deals are not cut behind closed doors?)

Is that how King Christie governs?

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