Former Assemblyman Rick Merkt is the first of Governor Chris Christie’s former allies and fair weather friends to prematurely dance on Christie’s political grave.
Assembly candidates Chris Christie and Rick Merkt examine the ballot in 1995
Merkt, who was Christie’s running mate for Assembly in 1995 and ran a lack luster primary campaign against Christie in 2009, compares the governor to disgraced former President Richard Nixon in a interview with former MMM contributor Olivia Nuzzi for New York Magazine.
“You know, reading the reports about the GW bridge fiasco, I recalled how similar the governor’s conduct during the re-election campaign was to that of President Nixon during his victorious re-election campaign in 1972,” he said. …
… He had no need to engage in an abuse of power to win re-election, and, in fact, he won by a landslide. But Nixon just couldn’t help himself; he did it anyway; he eventually got caught, and it cost him his office and political career. One might surmise that it was the arrogance of power that did him in, but I suspect it was really his control-freak nature and deep vindictiveness fundamental to his nature. …
Remind you of anyone we know? I doubt the comparison will long be lost on New Jersey Democrats, who already smell blood in the water. …
…. Merkt says several people he spoke with in Trenton agree with the predictions that this will be the end of the governor’s 2016 presidential bid. “Given his vindictive nature, I always sensed that Christie would implode at some point, but I did not foresee it happening so soon or over such a petty matter,” said Merkt. “By the way, my recollection is that Nixon crushed McGovern by a 60 percent to 38 percent margin, a margin virtually identical to Christie’s victory over Buono. Funny how history repeats itself.”
Politicos with Christie envy might as well get their names in print over the next week or so. I think Christie will land on his feet and end up being an even more respected leader before the dust is settled on Bridgegate.
Before long Christie will be compared more to Truman than Nixon. Watch for a “the buck stops here” Town Hall Meeting in Fort Lee before the end of the month.
Posted: January 9th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Port Authority | Tags: Bridgeaquiddick, Bridgegate, Chris Christie, Fort Lee, George Washington Bridge, Nixon, Olivia Nuzzi, Port Authority of NY/NJ, Rick Merkt, Truman | 5 Comments »
UPDATE: LONEGAN FIRES SHAFTAN
GOP nominee for U.S. Senate Steve Lonegan’s chief strategist, pollster and spokesman, Rick Shaftan gave a profanity laced interview to Talking Points Memo this afternoon wherein he suggested that New Jersey voters would elect Lonegan to the Senate next Wednesday over Newark Mayor Cory Booker because of Booker’s “odd” way of relating to LynsieLee, the Portland, Oregon stripper with whom Booker interacts on twitter.
Shaftan implied that Booker is gay because he doesn’t relate to LyniseLee like a drunken frat boy might, with graphic descriptions of what he would like to do to her breasts. And he thinks that is why New Jersey will elect Lonegan.
In a disingenuous comment to The Star Ledger, Lonegan’s press contact, Will Gattenby , said Shaftan was not speaking for the campaign, yet attacked the TMP reporter published Shaftan’s comments.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 11th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Cory Booker, Senate Special Election, Steve Lonegan | Tags: @LynsieLee, Barbara Morgan, Cory Booker LysnieLee, Hunter Walker, Olivia Nuzzi, Rick Shaftan, Steve Lonegan, Talking Points Memo, TPM, Will Gattenby | 6 Comments »
click for larger view
Barbara Morgan, Anthony Weiner’s potty-mouthed hack, apologized in the press to Olivia Nuzzi for her vulgar rant over the Fordham junior’s New York Daily News spread. Morgan said she thought she was off the record.
It was reported that Morgan said she called and emailed Nuzzi a personal apology.
Nuzzi wouldn’t confirm that she received the personal apology, but she took to twitter to announce her forgiveness.
Posted: July 31st, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Anthony Weiner, Olivia Nuzzi | Tags: Anthony Weiner, Barbara Morgan, Olivia Nuzzi | 2 Comments »
Potty-Mouthed Barbara Morgan, left. Anthony Weiner’s better side, right
Weiner for New York Mayor spokeswoman Barbara Morgan was more upset that Olivia Nuzzi wrote in her New York Daily News article that the Weiner campaign staff is inexperienced than she was about Nuzzi’s revelations that Weiner called his interns “Monica” and that much of his staff joined the campaign to curry favor with the candidate’s wife, Huma , who is on Hillary Clinton’s staff, rather than to get Weiner elected, according to a vulgarity laced rant at TalkingPointsMemo.
Which more than proved Nuzzi’s point about inexperience.
Morgan used language in reference to Nuzzi that Dan Jacobson wouldn’t print in the Tri CityNews and that, if uttered by a male spokesperson or Vice President of the United States, would cause more of an uproar than Eliot Spitzer’s socks.
Prior to joining the Weiner campaign, Morgan was the Director of Communications and Media Relations at the New Jersey Department of Education, a job she started in May of 2012 and is still listed as current on her LinkedIn profile.
MMM is not going to inquire with NJ DOE about Morgan’s departure. We’re just glad she’s gone.
Posted: July 30th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Anthony Weiner, Olivia Nuzzi | Tags: Anthony Weiner, Barbara Morgan, Barbara Morgan Potty Mouth, Dan Jacobson, Eliot Spitzer's socks, Olivia Nuzzi, Potty-Mouth, tri-CityNews | 3 Comments »
I knew this woman was going places.
Former MMM columnist Oliva Nuzzi is on the front page of the New York Daily News today.
“Oh no, what did she do?” said both Dan Jacobson, who stole her away from MMM for $50 bucks, and Vin Gopal, for whom she had her first political internship in 2011, when I asked them if they’d seen it.
Nothing bad at all! Actually its great for Olivia! The Daily News saw her piece on NSFW about Anthony Weiner calling her “Monica” when she was his intern and paid her to write an article for them.
Olivia is smarter, funnier and better looking than most TV news personalities and pundits of any ideology or gender. The Middletown native, now a junior at Fordham, has a lot more than 15 minutes of fame in her future.
Posted: July 30th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election, Anthony Weiner, Media, NJ Media, Olivia Nuzzi | Tags: Anthony Weiner, Dan Jacobson, Middletown, NY Daily News, Olivia Nuzzi, Vin Gopal | 6 Comments »
Early in his New York City mayoral campaign, former Congressman Anthony Weiner gathered his twenty interns into his private office for an introduction.
Olivia, not Monica, Nuzzi
“I always say that on every campaign, there are one or two volunteers who really make a difference,” he began. (There were roughly twenty of us in the room.) “So I just want to let you know that no task is too small, and the work you’re doing is important and it is appreciated.” He continued to speak for a few minutes, reiterating this point over and over.
“Okay!” Weiner said loudly, though not enthusiastically. “I’m going to go around the room now and ask you your name and a fact about yourself, and then I’m going to go back around and repeat your name to you.” A member of the campaign staff looked on, nervously. “I’m great at this,” Weiner said.
The Weiner proceeded to listen to the interns names and facts and then went back around the room and called the first tw0 women “Monica” and gave up.
“We all laughed nervously. Monica is an interesting intern name to pick out of the air. (Weiner’s wife, we should remember, works for Hillary Clinton.),” wrote former MMM columnist Olivia Nuzzi in a piece for her current gig at NSFWCorp.
Posted: July 25th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Anthony Weiner, misogyny, Olivia Nuzzi | Tags: Anthony Weiner, New York, Olivia Nuzzi | 1 Comment »
Far be it from me to note the superficial and inconsequential, but when I see Fluke I think more “chaste librarian” than raging “slut.”
By Olivia Nuzzi
The Sandra Fluke-Rush Limbaugh drama has succeeded in sparking a national debate about false equivalency in the media. Of course, things like sexism and misogyny exist on both the right and left. But on which side is it worse? And on which side – if any – is it fundamental?
In a piece posted here yesterday, Art Gallagher attacked “misogynists lefties” whom he admitted he had “never heard of” until The Daily Beast’s Kristen Powers brought them to his attention. Though, not knowing about these media figures didn’t stop Gallagher from blindly agreeing with Powers that they were “misogynists.”
I have a big problem with anyone making a diagnosis from a distance. Is Rush Limbaugh a misogynist? I suppose to figure that out you’d have to talk to his mother and four wives.
Does Rush Limbaugh say misogynistic things, and has he done so consistently throughout his career? From his claim that having “two or three abortions” is a part of a feminist “paying her dues” to his cracks about First Lady Michelle Obama’s figure, the evidence isn’t difficult to find.
However, none of that means that Limbaugh is without insight. And liberals who nod in agreement with the establishment left – conceding that he’s a mere useless blowhard – are not doing themselves any favors.
Limbaugh is right on occasion – there are indeed militant feminists, and what they espouse is arguably as harmful as Mel Gibson calling your daughter “sugar tits.” Admitting that doesn’t mean that I’m not a feminist, it means I’m not an ideological imbecile (though the readers on this website may disagree.)
The assertion that “lefties” are never reprimanded for their sexist or racist remarks may read as accurate if you live in a bubble. Evidently, Gallagher’s bubble hasn’t yet been punctured by reality on this topic.
Last May, MSNBC host and converted-liberal, Ed Schultz, was suspended by the network after calling Laura Ingraham a “right wing slut” on his radio program. I condemned that statement, as did every one from Alyssa Rosenberg from the left-wing Think Progress, to the Women’s Media Center’s President Julie Burton, to Keith Olbermann – that’d be one of those “misogynists lefties” Gallagher had “never heard of.”
In 2008, the National Organization for Women (NOW) circulated a petition, protesting MSNBC host Chris Matthews’ “record of ‘overt sexism when discussing women.’” They based this claim on research conducted by the known-liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America. The left-leaning NOW denounced Matthews for “sexist comments” made about Hillary Clinton, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the female correspondents who he worked with at MSNBC.
Also in 2008, MSNBC suspended Tucker Carlson’s guest-host David Shuster for suggesting that the Clinton campaign had “pimped out” Chelsea Clinton.
The late, great Christopher Hitchens was often the subject of liberal rage for his alleged sexism in the form of observations such as “Mrs. Clinton, looking like the dog being washed” and assessments of that same target as being “flagrant, hysterical, repetitive and pathological lying.” One of Hitchens’ later works, a Vanity Fair piece entitled “Why Women Aren’t Funny” saw him denounced as “sexist” by Mediaite’s Rachel Sklar and comedian Sarah Silverman.
In 2010, liberal hero Michael Moore, along with noted feminist author Naomi Wolfe, was the subject of a left-wing protest labeled “Moore and Me.” After making comments deemed “insensitive” regarding rape allegations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and offering to post his $20,000 bail, Moore was declared a “rape apologist.” Also smeared with the label was Naomi Wolfe, who – along with Moore and a handful of others – refused to condemn and dismiss Assange by virtue of the unclear rape allegations made against him.
And should you be under the impression that those on the left are only castigated when they’re criticizing fellow liberals, you’re mistaken.
Keith Olbermann has come under fire numerous times from the liberal and feminist establishments for his bombastic remarks about conservative women. In 2009, Olbermann was called out by the left-wing Air America’s editor of news and politics, Megan Carpentier, for “belittling” Malkin’s voice with his impersonation of her. Carpentier went on to suggest that Olbermann’s attack relied on “silly stereotypes” and “imagery that brings to mind victims of domestic violence.”
This past November, Bill Maher – another one of those “misogynists lefties” Gallagher had “never heard of” – was scolded by feminists after he made a joke about the detention of CBS’s Lara Logan, wherein he suggested that America would be willing to send Elisabeth Hasselbeck to Egypt in exchange for the safe return of the foreign correspondent.
The Sandra Fluke-Rush Limbaugh episode is a unique one, mainly because Sandra Fluke is not a public figure. Limbaugh did not simply take a one-shot at a commentator – he used his platform as the loudest voice in radio to verbally batter a civilian for days.
Far be it from me to note the superficial and inconsequential, but when I see Fluke I think more “chaste librarian” than raging “slut.” Not to mention, Fluke’s testimony itself had nothing to do with sex. Which leads me to believe that Limbaugh didn’t even bother to listen to her speak – and perhaps he didn’t even bother to look at her. Had he done so, he would’ve witnessed a civil woman discuss a friend who paid, out of pocket, for the birth control pills she was prescribed to treat a medical condition.
It’s true that both the liberal and conservative movements have leaders, followers and mouthpieces who often thoughtlessly employ incendiary rhetoric. But it’s also true that those with sharp tongues on both sides of the aisle face consequences.
Unfortunately for ideologues, more people are governed by their sense of Right and Wrong than Right and Left.
Olivia Nuzzi was briefly a MMM contributor until Dan Jacobson’s triCityNews lured her away with money and colorful language. We’re glad to have her back, even if only to set us straight.
Posted: March 6th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Art Gallagher, Media, misogyny, Olivia Nuzzi, Sandra Fluke, sexism | Tags: Alyssa Rosenberg, Art Gallagher, Bill Clinton, Bill Maher, Chelsea Clinton, Chris Matthews, Christopher Hitchens, David Shuster, Ed Schultz, Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange, Julie Burton, Keith Olbermann, Lara Logan, Laura Ingraham, Media Matters, Megan Carpentier, Micheal Moore, Michelle Malkin, Michelle Obama, misogyny, MSNBC, Nancy Pelosi, Naomi Wolfe, National Organization for Woman, NOW, Olivia Nuzzi, Rachel Sklar, Rush Limbaugh, Sandra Fluke, Sarah Silverman, sexism, Tucker Carlson | 28 Comments »
By Olivia Nuzzi
Beyond the question of “will he or won’t he?” a number of possibilities also hang in our polarized American air. One of those is the possibility that Governor Christie may be able to swiftly pick up the pieces of Rick Perry’s shattered opportunity to secure the youth vote. That elusive demographic is arguably what pushed President Obama over the river and through the woods and into the White House. Christie is now positioned to lure the kids to his side.
Before Rick Perry collapsed onto himself, he stumbled into the most brilliant vie for the affection of Generation: Everybody Gets a Trophy that the Republican party had ever seen. While it’s common wisdom that young people will always vote their conscience (more specifically, who they deem to be on the right side [the Left side] of the social issues track), it is rarely noted that conscience is precisely what a large percentage of 18-25ers lack. Being of the crop of ’93, I would know.
Weeks prior to deserting his straight-talking, straight-shooting persona, Perry was on the path to kid-fueled victory with quips like “anybody that’s for the status quo with Social Security today is involved with a monstrous lie to our kids, and it’s not right.” Message: “they’re screwing you, and I’m here to make it stop. I understand you.”
While hope and change is good and fine, “I’m going to make sure you get what’s rightfully yours” is even better. Money talks, and Mr. Christie is anything but soft spoken.
With it’s distrust of authority and ever-decreasing supply of patience for our current United State of Affairs, I sense parallels between the Tea Party and the youth that have rested largely ignored. The spirit that fuels a young person’s stomp in the face of perceived unfairness is the spirit that drives revolt against an institution.
Spooked by the National stage, Perry lost his identity and promise in a few stuttered moments. This is unlikely to happen to Governor Christie, who is undeniably – regardless of what I think of him – a skilled, political force of nature. He possesses the power to harness the energy bubbling beneath the streets to blow Obama’s White House down.
Olivia Nuzzi is a student from Middletown and an intern for the District 11 Democratic campaign. Her opinions are her own and not those of MoreMonmouthMusings or the District 11 Democratic campaign. MMM welcomes her fair and biased contributions.
Posted: September 29th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie | Tags: 2012 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Olivia Nuzzi, Youth Vote | 26 Comments »
By Olivia Nuzzi
It is impossible to disagree with the Tea Party’s fierce insistence that budget reform is necessary. It is no secret that New Jersey is in dire financial straights. While our impressive near-$33 billion debt has the stains of many administrations, it cannot be ignored that Senator Jennifer “Romney” Beck and Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande, Mary Pat Angelini and their cronies have made decisions which have halted progress and placed enormous, unwarranted burdens on tax payers.
This is not fiscal conservatism, this is political theater. The Twisted Sisters have saved the state money for their own sake by taking it directly out of the pockets of those they claim to protect.
With February marking our second credit downgradesince 2008 at the hands of Standard and Poor’s, the only way to ignore the fact that poor is rapidly becoming our new standard would be to bury your head in Asbury Park’s tourist-friendly sand.
While balancing the budget is important, effectively stepping on the necks of residents by forcing local governments, schools districts, and individual taxpayers to shoulder additional costs defeats the purpose of spending cuts. The “tough choice” Ms. Beck made in order to keep that budget of ours balanced was the choice to advance her own political career, even if it meant harming the very voters that allowed her to have one at all. I’m sure she lost a lot of sleep over that.
Budget cuts are indeed necessary. Even destructive budget cuts may be justified if they effectively do what they are intended to do: lower taxes. But the cuts that Ms. Beck, Ms. Casagrande and Ms. Angelini advocated for have increased property taxes significantly. If you were worried that New Jersey’s status of having the highest property taxes in the country was going someplace, breathe a sigh of relief. So long as the Three Blind Legislators are in office, you can be confident that we will retain the title.
Here’s the rundown:
- Freezing Senior Freeze: Program that freezes property taxes for seniors so
they don’t continue to increase over time. Beck, Casagrande and Angelini
voted for the budget that gutted it and against the budget that restored it.
- Cutting School Aid: Cutting billions in aid to schools – including $50 million in aid to District 11 schools alone – has resulted in serious budget holes that have been closed by raising taxes, cutting programs altogether, forcing students to pay for previously funded extracurriculars, and in some cases going as far as to force student teaches to pay a fee to work.
- But! A few districts will receive more aid this year than under Corzine’s last
budget. One of those that did is Colts Neck, Caroline Casagrande’s
hometown, which is patently absurd, considering the average family income
in Colt’s Neck is $109,190, while the average family income for the state is
$55,156. Why, instead of providing that aid to a district that needs it – a
middle class district for instance – is that aid being given to one of the
wealthiest communities in New Jersey?
- Slashing Property Tax Rebates: The average citizen now receives 75%
less in property tax rebates than they did under the previous administration.
- Cutting Municipal Aid: This has resulted in serious budget holes which
have been closed by catastrophic cuts and paralyzing tax hikes.
A political parade of careless cuts results is nothing more than the violent trampling of taxpayers. Ms. Beck, Ms. Casagrande and Ms. Angelini have not only run over their constituents, they have proceeded to back up over their bodies before running over them again. Ms. Beck, of course, is driving.
Olivia Nuzzi is a student from Middletown and an intern for the District 11 Democratic campaign. Her opinions are her own and not those of MoreMonmouthMusings or the District 11 Democratic campaign. MMM welcomes her fair and biased contributions.
Posted: September 28th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Caroline Casagrande, Jennifer Beck, Mary Pat Angelini, Olivia Nuzzi | 38 Comments »
In seven weeks New Jersey voters will have the opportunity to elect an entirely new state legislature.
Patrick Murray’s Monmouth University/Neptune Nudniks poll conducted in August indicates that New Jersey voters disapprove of their legislature by a 48%-35% margin. Democrats disapprove by 45%-38%. Independents, the majority, disapprove by a whopping 50%-28%. Surprisingly, Republicans approve of the legislature by a 45%-41% margin. Public workers disapprove by 55%-26%.
Based solely on those poll results, one might expect that we’d be in the middle of a spirited campaign with Democrats and public workers rallying to throw the Republicans out of office. Obviously that is not the case. Democrats control the legislature that their base and Independents disapprove of strongly.
Due to Dr. Alan Rosenthal’s decision that New Jersey voters are better off being continuously represented by legislators they don’t know, there are only a handful of competitive legislative races. The Democrats will continue to control the legislature for the next two years. Probably the next ten years.
The 11th district race is the only local race that is remotely interesting, so far.
There are two reasons that it is interesting. Independent candidate Dan Jacobson is colorful and is wisely using MMM, as well as his own publication to generate interest in his campaign. Republicans are not happy about this, but MMM has had a long standing policy welcoming voices other than Art Gallagher’s. Democrats have foolishly ignored the opportunity for years despite Gallagher’s overt invitations.
The other reason that the 11th district race is interesting is that Senator Jennifer Beck made gay marriage an issue. That’s right, Beck, not Jacobson, not MMM, gave gay marriage prominence in this race. She did so when she told Gannett columnist Jane Roh that she would change her vote on the issue.
“There are lots of reasons why I ultimately voted no. My position has evolved. I spent a lot of time on this issue, and at the end of the day, I would support it if it came before me.”
The Democrats, jumped on Beck’s curiously timed “flip-flop.” She had given them an issue.
The issue heated up again when Beck told Garden State Equality that she would vote to override Governor Christie’s veto of same sex marriage if given the opportunity. Put on the spot, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini took the same position with some reluctance.
As a result, Beck and Angelini’s running mate, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, is now in a tough spot.
Casagrande has been, ummm, straight, in how she has responded to the issue. She could have remained silent and let people continue to assume that she was against gay marriage rather than say she has yet to take a position. This has resulted in attacks by Jacobson, Olivia Nuzzi and other Democrats who scoff at Casagrande’s insistence that the issue is not simple and that the rights of religious organizations need to be respected as well.
Gay marriage advocates say they have no problem with religious rights being protected and that is no longer a valid reason to withhold support of marriage equality. While that might be true now, it has not been true in the 11th district’s recent past. The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association lost the tax exempt status of its Pavilion in 2007 when it refused to allow a lesbian couple have a civil union ceremony there. The Methodist organization told the couple they could have their ceremony on the boardwalk that is also owned by the group, but not in a structure where religious ceremonies are held.
That compromise wasn’t good enough and the couple complained to the State Division of Civil Rights. Eventually, Lisa Jackson, Governor Corzine’s DEP Commissioner and now President Obama’s EPA Commissioner, declined to recertify the pavilion’s tax exempt status which the Camp Meeting Assoication had enjoyed under New Jersey’s Green Acres program. Reports indicate that the loss of tax exempt status for the structure cost the association about $20,000 per year.
New York’s recently enacted gay marriage law would have protected the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association from the lesbian couple’s complaint and from Jackson’s punitive action had it been law in New Jersey in 2007. I’d be willing to bet that Jacobson, Nuzzi and the 11th district Democratic candidates did not know that before it reading here. Garden State Equality was front in center in the 2007 fight against the Camp Meeting Association. I’ve yet to hear a peep from them about the rights of the religious or the rights of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association in particular with regard to gay marriages now that New York has set a new standard.
While the gay marriage issue is not going away, so long as Chris Christie is governor it is not a practical political issue for a legislative race. While Democrats are expected to continue their hold on the legislature, there in not enough support from their side of the isle to override a veto. Garden State Equality blew their chance to get a gay marriage law passed when they agreed to Governor Corzine’s request that they not push the issue until after his re-election race.
The importance of gay marriage to voters in the 11th district depends on who you believe. Beck told MMM that Garden State Equality told her that there are 10,000 same sex couples in the 11th district. I would would want to see a list and match it up to the voter registration records before I bought that claim. There is no historical evidence of such a voting block.
Until I see such a list, I won’t be convinced the issue is as critical to 11th district voters as 6 of the 7 candidates running seem to think it is. Its the economy and those who are trying to make the campaign about something other than the economy think the voters of the 11th district are stupid.
While all this chatter is fun, it won’t have much of an impact on election day. Despite a 10,000 voter registration edge for the Democrats, Jacobson and the Democrats expect the Republicans to win a low turnout election by a wide margin.
Coming soon, What if we held an election and nobody cared? Part 2, 13th district.
Posted: September 25th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Legislature, Monmouth County, NJ State Legislature | Tags: 11th Legislative District, Caroline Casagrande, Dan Jacobson, Jennifer Beck, Mary Pat Angelini, Olivia Nuzzi, What if we held an election and nobody cared? | 8 Comments »