BY MATTHEW Q. CLARIDA
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is coming to Connecticut on Monday night to raise money for state Republicans, and both the state Democratic Party and gun-control advocates are not happy about it.
At issue is Christie’s recent veto of a gun control bill in New Jersey which would have limited magazines to 10 or fewer bullets. Christie explained that, in his opinion, simply limiting the capacity of a magazine does not solve the root problem of gun violence. In the bill’s place, he proposed improving the state’s mental health services and strengthening involuntary commitment procedures.
Shortly before announcing the veto, Christie was unavailable to meet with family members of children who were killed in the 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The parents had driven to New Jersey hoping to catch Christie, but were told the governor was not free for a meeting. One parent called the experience “a slap in the face.”
Devon Puglia, a spokesperson for the Democratic State Central Committee, criticized the veto, the ignored calls for a meeting, and Christie’s fundraising plans together.
“It’s remarkable that Chris Christie has the audacity to insult the parents of Sandy Hook victims, but then come to Connecticut to hobnob, glad-hand, and raise money. It’s an insult to family-members of Newtown victims – and it’s a slap in the face to this state,” Puglia wrote in a statement recently.
State Republican Chairman Jerry Labriola responded to Puglia’s charges: “It seems that the Democrats will do anything to distract attention away from the last place Malloy economy, including politicizing the Newtown tragedy.
“It’s truly pathetic and hypocritically [that] they failed to mention that the leader of their party, President Obama, spent this last week hob-nobbing at fundraisers in Texas but was unable to find the time to visit the human tragedy unfolding on the U.S. border,” Labriola added.
The fundraiser will be at hedge fund magnate Brian Olson’s mansion in the upscale Belle Haven section of Greenwich. Tickets go as high as $10,000, although Republicans under 35 can get in for only $250.