I have to give a hat tip to Politico for coming up with the right title for this story: New Jersey Democrats troll Chris Christie. When it comes to completely frivolous legislation, New Jersey may be taking the cake. The Democrats there, apparently unhappy that Chris Christie is running for president (or just generally unhappy that he exists), are hoping to pass legislation making it illegal for him to do so and force him to resign.
A pair of Democratic lawmakers, state Sens. Raymond Lesniak and Loretta Weinberg, are likely to cosponsor legislation that would require Christie and future New Jersey governors to resign from office if they want to run for president, according to NJ.com.
“He’s not doing the state any good by spending the bulk of his time out of state,” Lesniak said. “And even when he’s in-state, he’s focusing on what he has to do to get elected president — which often runs contrary to what he ought to do for the state.”
The plan comes in the wake of a Monmouth University poll released a week ago that said that 76 percent of New Jersey voters think Christie is more focused on his political future than he is on New Jersey. The poll also found that 57 percent want him to resign since he’s decided to run for president.
This highlights another issue for Christie which doesn’t plague his red state colleagues. (At least not to the same extent.) He’s working from a home base where the other party controls pretty much everything except the governor’s mansion. He has his own legislature not only at odds with him on normal legislative deals, but pretty much out for his blood when and wherever they can find an opening to attack. They already know that passing a bill such as this – which Christie would have to sign unless they can override his veto – is nothing more than nonsense. Christie wasn’t biting on the bait either.
“It’s impossible to respond to every bit of silly nonsense that comes from this legislature,” Christie spokesman Brian Murray said in a statement to POLITICO. “The Governor has been clear that he is never disconnected from doing his job as governor.”
I’d need some legal beagles familiar with New Jersey law and their constitution to look this one over before seeing if there was any meat on the bone here. Can you pass a law which would affect the status of an elected official and have it take effect immediately? It just sounds like something which couldn’t be put on the books until the next governor was seated, having run for and been elected to office with those legal restrictions already in place. It sounds rather like trying to raise the minimum age for holding a given office and then booting out any younger officials the next day. If nothing else it would make for an interesting round of challenges in the courts during which time a stay would surely be granted and Christie would remain in office anyway.
The one thing which comes to mind here which could really spice things up (and be absolutely hilarious) would be if Christie came out and endorsed the bill and said he would sign it if it passed. That would free him up to run for the White House, no matter how quixotic that may seem, and New Jersey would still be stuck with his Lt. Governor until next year anyway.
Either way… nice trolling, New Jersey. You continue to proudly maintain your state’s reputation.