Let this put to rest any doubt that Chris Christie is in the pocket of the Koch Brothers and/or their Big Oil pals. From Slate.com:
Like a lot of Republicans, New Jersey governor Chris Christie likes to talk about how the government should get out of the way of the free market. In a speech last week in Washington, D.C., he railed against President Obama’s economic interventions. “We don’t have an income inequality problem, we have an opportunity problem in this country because government's trying to control the free market," he said. And he urged his fellow conservatives to shout their opposition to government regulations from the rooftops. “We need to talk about the fact that we’re for a free-market society that allows your effort and your ingenuity to determine your success, not the cold, hard hand of government determining winners and losers.”(my bold)
Then Christie came back to New Jersey and signed off on a cold, hard government regulation that blocks Tesla from selling its cars in the state.
The rule change prohibits automakers from selling directly to consumers, as Tesla does. Instead, it requires them to go through franchised, third-party dealerships, as the big, traditional car companies do. In other words, it requires that the middle-men get their cut. The Christie Administration made the move unilaterally, via the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. It was urged on by lobbyists for the state’s existing car dealerships, which fear the competition. The upshot is that Tesla will be forced to stop selling cars at its two existing dealerships in the state, and drop its plans to build more. It’s unclear what will happen to the employees of those dealerships.
These knobs are more afraid of the electric car than they are of government meddling in the free market. Talk about hypocrisy! Gawd - it makes my blood boil.
There is a chance that the NJ Legislature can craft a bill to reverse this fascist atrocity, but it hasn't happened yet. I hope Elon Musk and Tesla fight back with some high-powered legal muscle.
Maybe Christie figured he's on his way down the drain, so he might as well do one last solid for his puppet masters. Blech.