Home>Governor>Christie has right to defend EDA programs, Bucco says

Anthony M. Bucco.

Christie has right to defend EDA programs, Bucco says

By Nikita Biryukov, May 06 2019 3:58 pm

Assemblyman Anthony Bucco has no problem with former Gov. Chris Christie wading into the state’s battle over the Economic Development Authority.

“I think he has the right to defend his work and his administration,” Bucco said. “Camden is a perfect example of the great things that resulted from these programs that he’s championed, and he’s got the right to say that.”

Christie signed the Economic Opportunity Act, the law that enabled the EDA programs now facing scrutiny, in 2013.

On Thursday, the task force Gov. Phil Murphy convened to investigate abuses of the EDA’s tax incentive programs recounted irregularities in award applications filed by four firms with ties to Democratic power broker George Norcross, a Christie ally.

The former governor hit back, attacking Murphy over his time as the U.S. ambassador to Germany.

“While Governor Murphy was collecting his pay-to-play gift from President Obama entertaining the wealthy of Germany at embassy parties, we were back here doing the hard work to rebuild Camden from the most dangerous city in America to the most hopeful city in America,” Christie said in a statement last week.

Bucco also defended the EDA programs, saying they were valuable to the state despite the need for

“There has to be a balance, and the rhetoric has to stop,” Bucco said. “Will we need to make some corrections? Probably so, but we need to make sure that people don’t get the wrong message that New Jersey’s not open for business. We are”

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