Meet Jim Keady, the man New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told to “sit down and shut up.”
Ready stood up at a two year anniversary event where Gov. Christie was talking about all the progress made since Hurricane Sandy. Ready, however, wanted to know why the bulk of funds allocated to help NJ folks was still sitting in an account.
In an interview, Keady, a small business owner and former Asbury Park councilman, told Bloomberg:
“I’m a 6-foot-4, 215-pound former pro-athlete. I’m not going to be bullied by him. And when he goes into his bullying routine, it lays bare the fact that he does not want to talk about the political realities that are being presented to him.”
During their back and forth, Christie told Keady that “somebody like you doesn’t know a damn thing about what you’re talking about except to stand up and show off when the cameras are here. I’ve been here when the cameras aren’t here buddy, and done the work.” Christie went on to tell Keady that “I’m glad you had your day to show off” and now, “turn around, get your 15 minutes of fame, and then maybe take your jacket off, roll up your sleeves and do something for the people of this state.”
But Keady is no stranger to what New Jersey has been through. He grew up in Belmar, now lives in neighboring Spring Lake, and after the storm, he said, he took a month off of work and volunteered “every day” in Belmar. “They trusted me with one of their borrowed dump trucks and I was running clean up crews all over town,” Keady said. “I wanna know how many crawl spaces the governor was in, cleaning up. But he got his photo-op in Belmar.”
Keady talked about how only 20 percent of a $1.1 billion a program to get people back in their homes has actually gone out. “His administration is sitting on $800 million of taxpayer money that was supposed to go to our fellow New Jerseyans,” Keady said.
“If I’d just stood up, sat down, and been polite, you and I wouldn’t be talking right now,” Keady added. “It’s necessary at times to do small and large acts of civil disobedience so people’s voices can be heard. And if Governor Christie doesn’t like that, he’s in the wrong business.”