(Trenton) — As news reports highlight New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie scheduled appearance on Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight" show this evening, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie is asking whether perhaps the people of New Jersey would laugh better and louder if their governor saved the kidding for later. No joke.

“When the going gets tough, it's time to get going, not to start joking,” said New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chair John Currie. “Governor Christie should focus on solving the state’s policy problems, rather than creating distractions and making light of his many shortcomings. The governor's scandalous behavior has already made the Garden State the laughing stock of the country, so this late night comedy booking only adds insult to the the injury his failed economic policies have caused to middle class families."

Many of the Garden State's serious challenges — challenges that Christie blames on everyone but himself — are of Governor Christie’s making. In addition to the ongoing investigations into how and why the world’s busiest bridge was blocked by the governor's political appointees and citizens were put in harms way on the first day of school, the Christie administration has neglected Sandy survivors struggling to rebuild their lives, allegedly misused and misdirected public resources, and taken cronyism to “a whole new level.”

New Jersey is also enduring record foreclosures, anemic job growth and falling credit scores. And, because of Christie’s conservative priorities and excessively optimistic revenue projections, the state is facing a large budget shortfall, meaning it literally doesn’t have enough money to pay its obligations. The Christie administration’s proposal — for which he has no alternative — is to withhold promised payments to New Jersey's pension fund for public workers, a move that may well be unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, New Jersey’s deepening budget crisis has not inhibited the Governor from rewarding his political team. Despite the state's lagging economy, a Bergen Record report found that in recent months “nearly all of the state employees responsible for helping Governor Christie craft and promote his image… got raises that averaged 23 percent.” This may explain why the governor is booking television appearances instead of addressing policy concerns.

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