From the Star Ledger: When U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson lit into Gov. Chris Christie during the Chamber of Commerce dinner in Washington 10 days ago, some thought it was the first shot fired in the 2013 campaign.Others thought it was just a fun way for Jackson, who was former governor Jon Corzine’s chief of staff and environmental protection commissioner, to get back at the guy who defeated her ex-boss. Those close to Jackson say it’s neither.
The Auditor is told the EPA chief, who went to work for President Obama last year, was simply taking on a new role as a public voice on New Jersey matters. During the Chamber banquet, Jackson mocked Christie for not going on the annual Washington trip.
She closed her featured speech by saying, “Folks, we can bring more change by sitting down at a table and having a meal here, in D.C., talking to each other, than we can yelling or editorializing about why we are not here.”
Jackson spokesman Allyn Brooks-LaSure declined to comment. But one person close to Jackson said “she will continue to remain a voice on matters important in the Garden State.”
Time to mend the fences
Apparently, Christie’s feud with the business lobby and the New Jersey Education Association has gotten the attention of others who were at odds with the Republican during the fall election. One group that took notice was the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood.
The council of rabbis that runs the massive rabbinical college in town broke with its tradition of interviewing both major-party candidates before endorsing someone; instead, it gave its nod to Corzine without ever meeting with Christie.
Now that Christie is governor, The Auditor is informed the rabbis made a move to smooth things over by meeting last week with Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), a Christie intimate who chaired the Republican campaign. Kyrillos declined to say much about the sit-down with Rabbi Aaron Kotler, CEO of Beth Medrash Govoha, except to say, “I trust and hope the rabbi and his community will be there to support the governor on the tough agenda items upcoming, many of the goals of which he shares with the governor.”
Sen. Robert Singer (R-Ocean) helped broker the sit-down, which was also attended by Sister Rosemary Jeffries, president of Georgian Court University in Lakewood. Singer said he was disturbed by the rabbis’ refusal to meet with Christie and blamed Corzine, “who was overly sensitive” and insisted that they not sit down with the Republican.
With Christie in office, “the rabbis certainly wanted to let Joe know they would be supportive,” Singer said.