Why is Sweeney Acting Governor?

Or in otherwords, why are Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno, the Lt. Governor, out of state at the same time?
The idea of creating the position was that the Lt. Governor would step in when the governor was away. Now, they’re both out of state and we’re back to having the Senate President as Acting Governor.
Can’t we coordinate vacation schedules here?


About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

28 Responses to Why is Sweeney Acting Governor?

  1. Tea Party voter says:

    You are correct. It will become a political issue too. not very smart.

  2. P says:

    Maybe it was all part of Christie’s master plan to save a few bucks, take off at the same time and let legislators realize what a waste it was to create the position in the first place. Looks like Sen Lesniak is already regretting his vote – http://www.politickernj.com/back_room/grumbling-over-absent-lg

  3. Hogwash11 says:

    Oh no two people have a conflict with their vacation schedule, the state will fall apart. Come on what is wrong with you folks. The only thing to worry about is that sweeny will try and give away the state while he is in con

  4. Mark in Rockaway says:

    Jim McGreevy announced he was gay and in a relationship with someone he had nominated as a homeland security advisor. He announced he would resign with 2 years left in his term but delayed his resignation until it was too late to have a special election, leaving Dick Codey as both acting governor and senate president for 2 years.

    That’s why we have a Lt Governor.

  5. Yes, of course, but both the gov. and the Lt. Gov. should not be out of state at the same time … that defeats the purpose

  6. P says:

    I think Mark is right, the major benefit -Having an elected Lt. Governor step in if the governor leaves office, is what everyone wanted, not a Senate President wearing two (very powerful) hats for up to a year.

    The Governor, Lt. Governor, or Acting Governor aren’t out plowing the snow, so does it really matter who’s sitting in Christie’s office for the next week? The professionals are running the show, and in due course, all the political clowns will be back under the Gold Dome screwing up the state as only they can.

  7. Kevin Nedd says:

    The bigger question is why is Christie still on vacation? If things were bad enough to declare a state of emergency, why hasn’t he returned? Along with his failure to reduce property taxes, his lack of attention, in terms of returning to the state immediately, will be noted during his bid for reelection in 2013.

  8. P says:

    The whole east coast of the US is socked in and I don’t see Obama rushing back from Hawaii. Why not? Interstate travel, which is a major responsibility of the US government has been devastated.

    Oh, and Joe’s gone too – http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2010/12/with-obama-in-hawaii-biden-heading-to-virgin-islands/1 I guess they left Nancy in charge for a few days.

    But the President did have time to talk up Micheal Vick – http://obama.net/obama-calls-philadelphia-eagles-owner-touts-michael-vick/ Glad to see his priorities are still in order.

  9. Come on, P, this has nothing to do with the president.
    The issue here is simple: The Lt. Gov, and the Gov, should not be out of state at the same time.

  10. Because … it defeats the whole idea of having a Lt. Gov..
    For years, we had the Sen. President serve as acting governor… The Lt. Gov post was created specifically to prevent that from happening. She really has not much else to do. But if the Lt. Gov is out the same time the governor is, what’s the sense of having one?

  11. P says:

    The main reason was they didn’t want to have acting governors for extended periods of time, like when CTW resigned to go to WDC, or McGreevey resigned because he was a low life crook, or Corzine made like a pinball inside his SUV; and you could have the possibility of one person exercising 2/3rds of the authority to pass legislation. You could also have a situation where the people elected a Republican, but ended up with a Dem (or vice-versa) for up to a year.

    Coverage just for a vacation (or Corzine’s many jaunts off to Manhattan or the Hamptons), was not the primary concern. This is just a lot of noise during a verrrrryyyy sllllloooooowwwww news week. People don’t care as long as the roads get plowed.

  12. No, vacations were NOT the primary concern. But still, when the gov and the lt,. gov. take them together, it defeats the purpose of having a Lt, Gov,
    The Senate President should NO longer be Acting Governor,

  13. P says:

    I guess the legislature forgot to write that into the law . . oh well . . maybe they’ll get it right next time and/or all the supportive editorial writers will pick up on the law’s short-comings. For now, nothing prevents it. So have a great time off Governor, you earned it. See you in 2011.

  14. Kevin Nedd says:


    The logic of your argument is so weak it’s laughable. A second grader could poke holes in it.

    The Governor was out of state during a period when a “state of emergency” was declared. He didn’t immediately return. Period.

    Last time I checked, Hawaii was still a part of the United States. So even if a national emergency had occurred, the President was still present in the jurisdiction for which he holds responsibility and could have presided over relief efforts.

  15. Mark in Rockaway says:

    Mr. Nedd: congratulations on passing the 2nd grade 🙂

  16. Ted Doty says:

    Pbrain, Pbrain, Pbrain are you suggesting that Christie’s job description needs to be that detailed for him to understand his responsibility?

    Or are you suggesting Christie is adolescent and should blame the legislature for this screw up?

  17. P says:

    Actually, given the state of communications in the 21st Century, it really doesn’t matter where Christie or Obama are, as long as there’s a network connection available. Additionally, neither does any of the heavy lifting, that’s done by the “troops” on the ground, and their line managers. This is much ado about nothing.

    P.S. It would have been difficult to “immediately return,” given the status of the area’s airports – CLOSED.

  18. Kevin Nedd says:

    EWR reopened at 6pm on December 27. Why is the Governor still in FL?

  19. P says:

    It’s sunny, the kids are having a blast, and Steve Sweeney has everything under control. Any other questions?

  20. Ted Doty says:

    Pbrain, Pbrain, Pbrain, Christie’s inability to return isn’t the issue. The scheduling of governor and Lt governor out of state trips is.

  21. Kevin Nedd says:


    Article 5, Section 1, Paragraph 7 of the state constitution requires that the governor be present in the state when executing his duties. The remote command situation you mentioned above is illegal. Try again.

  22. Ted Doty says:

    Again Pbrain, the fact that everything is okay isn’t the issue.Scheduling is.

  23. Kevin Nedd says:

    Yes…why did the governor choose to go to FL with a pending snow storm that had already crippled much of the mid Atlantic and his backup out of the country in Mexico?

  24. P says:

    No, it’s actually about a bunch of whiny crybabies looking for something to bash Christie about. Mission Accomplished.

    P.S. Enjoy the “victory” whilst it lasts, the Governor will be back tan, rested and ready the first week in January.

  25. P says:

    Why did the governor go . . . Non-refundable super-saver tickets, and, Haley Barbour wouldn’t lend him Mississippi’s state jet.

  26. P says:

    P.S. “Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex), who sponsored the bill to create the ballot question that proposed a lieutenant governor sees nothing wrong with Christie and Guadagno being out of state at the same time.

    “The real purpose of the law was to avoid that situation where you have one person controlling two-thirds of the government,” McKeon told The Star-Ledger. “I would imagine the governor and lieutenant governor will compare notes and say ‘This is something we should try to avoid in the future and maybe we’ll coordinate better,’ but I’m not overly critical, especially during the holiday week.”

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