Christie talking about Sandy on shore boardwalks as Buono pushes minimum wage increase

STATE — Gov. Chris Christie spent the week making appearances on shore boardwalks all along the coast talking about Sandy recovery, while his opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono, focused on strengthening the middle class by raising the minimum wage, which is the point of a public question on the same ballot as the election for governor.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Fairleigh Dickinson polls are showing a decrease in Christie’s lead, as his “Stronger Than the Storm” television ads are viewed as political messages funded with $25 million of federal disaster money.

Christie may also be getting some reaction to his decision to schedule an extra election to replace US Sen. Frank Lautenberg, which will keep Democrat Cory Booker off the ballot on which the Republican incumbent appears.

Lawmakers put the ballot question to voters after Christie vetoed a proposed increase in the minimum wage.

Progressive Democratic Sen. Barbara Buono

Senator Barbara Buono is a progressive Democrat running for governor of New Jersey

“We have a middle class that has shrunk under this governor,” Buono said at a Labor Day observance with the Southern New Jersey AFL-CIO Central Labor Council. “We have poverty that has increased every single year under his tenure.”

“People expressed to me their frustration with being unable to cut through the bureaucratic red tape with the Department of Community Affairs – every time they call they get a different person,” said Buono, but the greatest difference between her and Christie is that the Republican will not prepare for future storms by taking action against climate change.

Christie pulled New Jersey out of a regional effort to reduce emissions and he has called climate change “a distraction” when the subject rises about what caused Sandy to be so destructive.

In 2011, Christie withdrew New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, although at the time he said climate change is affecting the state and “human activity plays a role in these changes.”

More recently, Christie has become something of a ‘climate change denier’ who has said, “that is a scientific discussion and debate that I’m simply not engaged in.”

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