Democrats Will Highlight Sandy Rebuilding Issues in Governor’s Race Against Chris Christie

By. Heather Haddon
The Wall Street Journal

New Jersey Democrats are criticizing the handling of housing funding for victims of superstorm Sandy and intend to make it an issue in the November governor’s race.

In response to two stories in The Wall Street Journal Monday, officials with the New Jersey Democratic Committee said that housing aid to Sandy victims should be delivered in a more efficient and sensitive manner.

The stories documented some criticisms among homeowners of a Louisiana contractor administering the housing programs for Sandy victims. The contractor, Hammerman & Gainer Inc., was also criticized during its handling of a large rebuilding effort after Hurricane Katrina. Also, a powerful New Jersey Republican and his law firm helped HGI with its bid in the Garden State.

Gov. Chris Christie is “known for the persona he projected during hurricane Sandy. Implicit in that was the promise that New Jersey families would be well taken care of,” said Matt Farrauto, communications director for the state committee, which coordinates the Democrats’ campaigns. “We’re seeing signs that he hasn’t followed through.”

The state Department of Community Affairs defended HGI’s work, as did Louisiana officials for the firm’s efforts to help the state rebuild after Katrina. HGI declined to comment on open contracts.

Original article

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