I wonder if people realize how wealthy Chris Christie is. How the hell does Mr. Wall Street have the balls to criticize an elderly legislator for working PART-TIME while collecting a pension? Yet he looks the other way when one of his buddies is double-dipping:
Christie’s latest foray into bullying rhetoric came yesterday, where he asked a group of reporters to “take the bat out” on a 76-year old female legislator Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D) because she has the temerity to collect a pension in addition to her part-time salary as a legislator:
Governor Christie told reporters Wednesday to “take the bat” to 76-year-old Sen. Loretta Weinberg for collecting a taxpayer-funded pension while making $49,000 a year as a legislator. […]
“I mean, can you guys please take the bat out on her for once?”Christie said to a crowd of reporters at a State House news conference. “Here’s a woman who knows she did it, yet she comes to you and is pining … ‘Oh! My goodness! How awful this is! What a double standard!’ But she’s the queen of double standard.”
Asked about Christie’s comment, Weinberg replied, “The guy’s a little over the line. I’ll continue criticizing him on the issues I think I should criticize him on.”
NorthJersey.com notes that Weinberg, a widow, lost much of her savings in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which is why she applied for retirement benefits to supplement her part-time legislator’s income. The site also notes that on “Tuesday, an Eagleton Institute of Politics poll showed 53 percent of Democrats and 16 percent of Republicans found Christie to be a ‘bully.’ In an August survey, 35 percent of Democrats and 10 percent of Republicans had described the governor as such.”
The thing that’s most ironic? When Christie was a statehouse lobbyist for the Wall Street trade association, he worked for … one Bernie Madoff.
The Madoff family gained unusual access to Washington’s lawmakers and regulators through the industry’s top trade group. The Madoff family has long-standing, high-level ties to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the primary securities industry organization.
Bernard Madoff sat on the Board of Directors of the Securities Industry Association, which merged with the Bond Market Association in 2006 to form SIFMA. Madoff’s brother Peter then served two terms as a member of SIFMA’s Board of Directors.
Peter’s resignation as the scandal broke in December 2008 came amid growing criticism of the Madoff firm’s links to Washington, and how those relationships may have contributed to the Madoff fraud. Over the years 2000–08, the two Madoff brothers gave $56,000 to SIFMA, and tens of thousands of dollars more to sponsor SIFMA industry meetings.
In addition, Bernard Madoff’s niece Shana Madoff was active on the Executive Committee of SIFMA’s Compliance & Legal Division, but resigned her SIFMA position shortly after her uncle’s arrest. She married an SEC compliance official, Eric Swanson, after an SEC investigation concluded in 2005. A spokesman for Swanson, who has left the SEC, said he “did not participate in any inquiry of Bernard Madoff Securities or its affiliates while involved in a relationship” with Shana Madoff.