What Chris Christie never seemed to 'get' about Beachgate was that it wasn't so much about what he was able to do, but more about how it collided head-on with what us average people could not. Every time he defended himself with things like, "We had this planned for months" he doesn't seem to understand so did everyone else who was shut out of Island Beach State Park and all other places shut down by the government. So did the cub scouts who were ordered to pack up and get out of Cheesequake State Park.

Now comes an idea from Assemblyman John McKeon. His bill A5128 would keep open to the public state parks and historic areas for the first 7 days of a state shutdown. At least it would give you a good week of breathing room if you already put down deposits and money were tight and the prospect of scrambling for another place to take the kids would be difficult at the very last second.

"The citizens in New Jersey that, in most instances, can least afford it are the ones most affected by the shutdown," McKeon explained. He's right. Many people who go camping in a state park aren't only doing it for the love of nature but for the fact it's an affordable way to vacation with your family. The state promised refunds would be mailed to people kicked out of or shut out of its state parks, but when you've got a $400 deposit locked up with the government and have to wait for it to be processed and mailed back to you, it's that much less money you have available to scramble for last minute 4th of July plans.

Incidentally, while A5128 awaits action in the Assembly, so does another bill which says no sitting governor will be allowed to use the governor's residence at Island Beach State Park in the middle of a state shutdown. That's A5132 introduced by John Wisniewski just days after the Beachgate controversy.

Had either of these laws already been in place we likely never would have known of our governor's let 'em eat cake attitude and the world would have been deprived of all those hysterical memes.

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