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Stupid Snow Storm Controversy Continues in New Jersey

2:48 PM, Dec 30, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The silly outrage in New Jersey is continuing to grow. Here's what happened: It snowed while New Jersey Republican governor Chris Christie is in Disney World, lieutenant governor Kim Guadagno is on "vacation" in Mexico, and state Senate president, Democrat Stephen Sweeney, has been acting-governor.

Why, critics are saying, would the governor and lieutenant governor vacation at the same time? Well, it seems that Christie's vacation was long planned. And, after staying quiet about it for the first few days, it's now come out that Guadagno is visiting her cancer stricken father in Mexico. 

But this hasn't quieted the critics, who insist that this must only be spin coming out of the lieutenant governor's office.

Here's Paul Mulshine, a columnist for New Jersey's Star Ledger, last night on NPR:

Mr. MULSHINE: Apparently, Kim Guadagno went down to Mexico on vacation and stayed longer than Christie had expected. Now, Guadagno, there's now some spin coming out that she's visiting her ailing father, and she might be a little bit more off the hook than she was. But as for him, I don't know how you fly out when you're facing the biggest blizzard of the year.

So because Guadagno is with her ailing father, and because Mulshine just found out the reason for her "vacation," the lieutenant governor is putting "spin" on her trip to Mexico. That's a bit of stretch. It seems to me that this is pretty valid reason for not being in the state, even during the first big snow storm of the year.

On his blog, Mulshine has another gotcha Guadagno to explain (via conservativenewjersey.com):

…the Star-Ledger editorial page staff queried Christie spokesman on the question of whether Guadagno is in Mexico for personal reasons or vacation.

“Vacation” was [Michael] Drewniak’s response.

So Guadagno still has some ’splainin’ to do, it seems.

Hmm. So the messages aren't exactly coordinated, therefore there must be something nefarious going on?It seems to me that it is reasonable to assume that Christie's office wanted to preserve the privacy of Guadagno, and they probably hadn't realized that her office had announced the real reason she was out of the state.

Of course, it probably would've been most politically prudent for Christie and Guadagno to postpone "vacation" and shovel the snow for their constituents, just as Newark mayor Cory Booker has done. But let's not forget that we're talking about New Jersey, not New Mexico. Snow is expected, not at all a surprise. The state has procedures in place to clear snow, and the snow is being cleared with or without the governor or lieutenant governor in the state. 

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