Eyewitness News

What was Christie talking about?

Friday, February 08, 2013
Bill Ritters daily take on the news.

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

So a not-so-funny thing happened on the way to the blizzard of 2013. We broadcast a news conference by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, where we thought he would talk about preparations for this blizzard.

Instead, he was yammering about transparency in the distribution of nearly $2 billion of federal funds to help survivors of Superstorm Sandy.

It seemed strange at first, until he said he was naming his state Comptroller to oversee procurements of the federal Sandy aid funds.

Turns out that questions have been raised about the no-bid contracts for rebuilding from Sandy in New Jersey. And it just so happens that the Sandy relief fund in New Jersey is headed by a woman named Mary Pat Christie. As in Mrs. Christie. As in the wife of the Governor. Her group is getting ready to hand out its first $1 million in grants.

"It's essential that we make sure we have the confidence of the people of New Jersey and the people of the United States in this process," Christie said.

The Governor had steadfastly defended the no-bid contract awarding process - as well as his wife as the head of the fund. Now he's apparently had a change of mind.

Tough week for the Governor. He got angry after there was reaction to his admission that his doctor said it's a matter of time before he has serious health issues because of his weight. And now he's started a transparency campaign to make sure there are no doubts about the Sandy relief funds involving his wife. It was a curious side trip on the way to talking about the Blizzard of 2013.

And that's what we're covering of course tonight. Meteorologist Lee Goldberg and his team are tracking this monster storm  which in New England will be historic, dumping more than 2 feet in some areas.

And we have reporters out in it in our area. Power staying on is the biggest issue.

I hope you can join us for a special edition of Eyewitness News at 11.

Stay safe tonight and this weekend. And if you do lose power, please - no candles! Way too big a fire risk.

BILL RITTER

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