Wednesday, March 13, 2013

SPLIT DECISION: Edelstein says back off of Mary Pat on Sandy relief

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the Jersey Shore isn’t being rebuilt in a single season.
It’s going to take years for the Superstorm Sandy-ravaged land to once again resemble what it once was, years for the victims of Sandy to recapture their lives on the once-idyllic coastline.
This is not a slam-bang project.
Money and support for the rebuilding project is needed now, tomorrow and well into the future.
And that’s why I think anyone who has issue with Mary Pat Christie’s Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund should just take a step back.

She’s under fire for failing to donate dime one of over $32 million she’s collected. Of course, her husband, Gov. Chris Christie, gave Congress and FEMA a good tongue lashing last year for doing the same thing, namely withholding money to those who need it.
But comparing Mary Pat Christie’s charity to Congressional spending is like comparing me to Mark Twain: In short, ridiculous.
Most of all because in the original press release announcing her role in the chair of the fund, it was spelled out that this charity was not going for the quick hit. “While New Jersey remains in the initial stages of recovery,” it read, “helping New Jerseyans return as close to normalcy as quickly as possible, recovering from the devastation of Sandy will take much more time, resources, and assistance to families who need it.”
It’s going to take time, and in an interview last weekend with the Asbury Park Press, Mary Pat Christie echoed the sentiment and more. “I have taken excruciating steps to make sure that we give the money out in a really judicious way,” she told the paper. “You want accountability, you get accountability when you go through a methodical structure, so in three years when I’m still distributing money at Hurricane Sandy Relief, ask me if we’re doing enough.”
Her charity is a small piece of the puzzle. Probably a good idea at least one organization is looking toward the future. Let the governor worry about the here and now, and let people like Mary Pat Christie worry about the later.
— Read Jeff Edelstein every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at, and



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