Advocacy

New Jersey Governor Christie Addresses NAIOP New Jersey Members at Public Policy Symposium

File Type: Article
Release Date: March 2013
Chris Christie

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and leaders of the state senate and house spoke at NAIOP New Jersey’s members-only Public Policy Symposium on Wednesday, March 6.

Governor Christie, often mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for the presidency in 2016 and running for re-election as governor this year, touted his successes in his three years as governor, including creating more than 100,000 private-sector jobs in the state,  reducing regulations and lowering business taxes, while at the same time reducing the size of government. Christie also joined in with other political and business leaders at the Symposium who criticized the inability of politicians in the nation’s capital to agree on important issues, and contrasted that with his success in working with Democrats in the New Jersey legislature. 

“We’ll bicker, but the bickering ultimately leads to the table and more times than not a resolution of the issue,” said Governor Christie.

Prior to the governor’s address, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assemblyman Louis Greenwald participated on a panel, moderated by NAIOP members that answered questions specifically on issues affecting the commercial estate industry and NAIOP members in New Jersey. They also addressed issues that have arisen from Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Senate President Sweeney (D) noted his success in working with Governor Christie on important issues, in contrast to what he saw as the continued dysfunction of the federal government.  

NAIOP Vice President for Government Affairs, Aquiles Suarez, also addressed the group and provided an update on NAIOP's agenda and priority issues and the challenges the commercial real estate industry faces in Washington. In discussing the continued partisan gridlock, Suarez pointed out that there are many people in both parties who in fact do not want to reach a deal with the other side on the larger fiscal issues, but would rather wait to advance their agendas under more favorable political circumstances. 

For example, until last week’s outreach to Republican senators, President Obama had pursued a political “outside-the-beltway” strategy meant to increase criticism of Republicans in Congress, and which had been characterized as designed more to help the Democratic party take back the House in the 2014 elections than to achieve legislative consensus. The same had been true of Republicans who were in office prior to the 2012 presidential elections, who had no intention of coming to agreement with the White House on important issues so as not to allow President Obama a legislative victory.

“This is not a justification of their actions,” Suarez emphasized, “but rather an explanation of the recent failures to reach political compromise.”