So we felt that it was just as important to tell this story in Mississippi as it is for it to be heard in New Jersey.
A debris removal company ripping-of New Jersey towns was suggested to Gov Chris Christie by Haley Barbour, who helped Christie get elected and is throwing a fundraiser for him at the end of this month. Wasn't Christie elected to stop this type of nonsense?
During Chris Christie's successful run for Governor in 2009, Haley Barbour was Governor of Mississippi, and head of the Republican Governors Association. The two became good friends and Barbour directed $7.5 million in spending towards Christie campaign, a move Christie said was "probably one of the primary reasons that I'm governor of New Jersey."
Fast forward to October 2012, when Hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey shore. Barbour, now a partner at BGR Group, the lobbying firm that represents Florida debris removal company AshBritt, told Christie if he checked with AshBritt, they could start working in New Jersey the next day, due to an existing 2008 contract to clear debris in Connecticut that could be "piggybacked" in New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy struck on October 29. By October 31, AshBritt had a multi-million dollar contract in New Jersey. Days after that, AshBritt donated $50,000 to the Republican Governors Association now headed by Chris Christie.
And round and round we go on a carousel where money buys influence, secures contracts and gets politicians reelected, all at the expense of taxpayers at home...
This is New Jersey business, for sure. But follow the money. It would be wrong to wonder if another hurricane-prone state with connections to Barbour (like, you know...Mississippi) might have this troublesome deal...