Skip to main content

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
This guy? Surely not!
It's one of those things that makes perfect sense when you hear it: Of course Gov. Chris Christie's cronies are helping Walmart get approval to build a store in New Jersey that had already been turned down by the state's Department of Environmental Protection—twice—for taking habitat from a protected species of snake, among other things. Isn't it just the perfect synergy of the essence of Christie and Walmart?

It's like this: Walmart wanted to build a second store in Toms River, New Jersey. But its proposal was rejected once in 2006 and again in 2010. And then, David Freedlander reports:

Days after the Department of Environmental Protection rejected the second application for a Walmart in 2010, saying that it would destroy too much woodland, would take away habitat for the threatened northern pine snake, and would take away too much coastal area, Christie told the editorial board of the Asbury Park Press regarding the rejection, “There may be a way around it.”

"It will get more review, and the DEP commissioner will be meeting with the folks at Walmart to talk about alternatives to their current plan that will make it workable,” he added.

Please read below the fold for more on this story.

Walmart also hired various state power brokers to lobby for it, including Wolff & Samson—the "Samson" in Wolff & Samson is David Samson, the longtime Christie crony who was chair of the Port Authority during the infamous George Washington Bridge lane closures. And lo and behold, in April 2012, the state Department of Environmental Protection approved essentially the same plan it had already rejected twice. While it's not uncommon for developers to be told to revamp their proposals, environmental groups say that both the repeated returns to a plan that had been rejected, rather than sent back for revision, and the lack of changes to the initial proposal stand out:

“This thing was dead. Next thing you know, Wolff & Samson get involved and it gets approved,” said Jeff Tittel of the Sierra Club. “It was the first time that the state had allowed the direct taking of endangered species for development, moving their dens rather than building around them.” [...]

“Doing a 180 degree turn on exactly the same development plan? That is very unusual,” Carlton Montgomery, executive director of the Pinelands Alliance, said. “You rarely see an agency deny a permit on day one and on day two turn around and grant it. This is an extreme case in that regard.”

Allies of Christie and Walmart will claim that this was nothing different or questionable. But given everything we know about how Christie operates, those denials seem awfully weak.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 07:35 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site