New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s ascent to the status of would-be savior of the national Republican Party started with one viral video – a clip of him telling my colleague, Star-Ledger Editorial Page Editor and columnist Tom Moran, “you must be the…
NJ.com updated their headline to include the word “accused” this morning, but has not lifted a finger to verify the accusation, nor have they referenced MMM’s story that disproved the allegation that a warrant for DiSomma’s arrest is outstanding or had ever been issued. MMM has previously been cited by NJ.com and The Star Ledger on several stories. They can’t honestly claim that they don’t consider this little blog a reliable news outlet.
The Asbury Park Press doubled down on their defamation of DiSomma in a story updated this morning: (Screenshot from the app.com story)
APP reporter Larry Higgs has not responded to numerous messages via twitter, public and private, asking if he personally confirmed a warrant with the Dallas municipal court.
Such a confirmation would be impossible, because there was never a warrant.
There were three shootings in Asbury Park this afternoon, according to a report at NJ.com.
The shooting happened around noon on Mattison Avenue, near Langford Street, Detective Lt. David DeSane said. As of around 2 p.m., DeSane said he did not know the extent of the injuries.
Two people in the area, who asked not to be identified, said they heard four or five shots, but did not know what happened.
In the triCityNews last week, publisher Dan Jacobson said there have been four fatal shootings in the city, population 16,132, so far this year.
In their award winning series, Gripped by violence, published last October, four days before Superstorm Sandy, the Asbury Park Press said there had been an average of one shooting per week in Asbury Park through October 25, 2012 and that the city was second only to Camden in terms of violent crimes in New Jersey. That’s right, Asbury Park is more dangerous than Newark, Trenton and Jersey City, where there were also three shootings today.
She hasn’t officially secured the Democratic nomination yet and the wheels are falling off State Senator Barbara Buono’s gubernatorial campaign.
Buono will be the nominee. Her only competition on the ballot is Troy Webster, an aide to East Orange Mayor Robert Bowser. Webster isn’t really running for governor. He agreed to through his hat in the ring on the same slate as Bowser for ballot positioning purposes in the primary.
But the wheels are falling off the Buono wagon. She can’t raise money. She defiantly divided the party and broke with the legislative leadership with her choice of State Democratic Chairman. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews dubbed her Dawn Quixote.
Buono is on track to be the first major party candidate not to qualify for state matching funds for her campaign. She named Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell her choice as State Chairman, against the advice of Senate President Steve Sweeney and over the objections of Assembly Speaker Shelia Oliver. A prominent Monmouth County Democrat told MMM “Buono should never go on TV again,” after her appearance on Matthew’s Hardball.
Just when things couldn’t get any worse for Buono they did. Over the weekend former Democratic Governor Brendan Byrne, on a teleconference with former Republican Governor Tom Kean, told The Star Ledger that Buono should consider dropping out of the gubernatorial race.
One of the Dominican escorts who said she was stiffed by Senator Bob Menendez now says she was paid to read a fabricated script and that in truth she has never met Menendez, according to a Washington Post report. (hat tip Star Ledger)
The woman identified a lawyer who approached her and a friend to make the videotape, according to affidavits obtained by the Post. That man has in turn identified another lawyer who gave him a script for the tape and paid him to find women to fabricate the claims, the affidavits say.
The escort was one of two women who taped videos that seems to support a tipster’s allegations that Menendez had patronized prostitutes while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.
FBI agents conducting interviews in the Dominican Republic have found no evidence to back up the tipster’s allegations, according to two people briefed on their work.
Daily Caller, the site that first broke the Menendez prostitution story has yet to report on this latest development. Breitbart, the site that now employs the reporter who broke the story, posted a wire service piece on the escort’s latest claims.
Media bias evident when contrasting coverage of allegations against Oxley to allegations against Menendez
Former Monmouth County Sheriff Joe Oxley will finally get a hearing on his nomination to become a Superior Court Judge.
The Star Ledgeris reporting that Senate Democrats have reached a ”blockbuster deal” to hold hearings on 20 judicial nominations, including Oxley’s, this week. The Senate Judiciary Committee has been sitting on these nominations with no action for months and New Jersey’s court system is backed up due to 55 judicial vacancies on the Superior Court level.
The Ledger is characterising Oxley’s nomination as “controversial” based upon their own report of a leaked deposition transcript wherein convicted fraudster Soloman Dwek said that Oxley gave him insider information regarding foreclosures in exchange for campaign contributions. The FBI investigated Dwek’s allegations and like many other of his tales, found that they were without merit.
The Ledger obviously thinks nothing of smearing a Republican’s good name based on allegations that have been investigated and dismissed, yet as we have seen since early November, they’ve been hiding from the public Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Menendez alleged ethics violations and patronage of underage victims of prostitution.
Is Soloman Dwek a more credible source than State Senator Sam Thompson? Thompson filed an ethics complaint against Menendez on November 3rd, 2012 yet there was no mention of it in the Ledger until last week after the FBI raided the office of Menendez’s friend and campaign contributor Dr. Salomom Malgen in Florida.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and much of the left stream media has justified their lack of coverage of the Menendez scandal because of “the source,” the conservative website The Daily Caller. MMM has learned that The Daily Caller’s source shopped the Menendez story to The Star Ledger before going to The Caller.
There would be no controversy over Oxley’s nomination had The Star Ledger declined to turn a politically motivated leaked of Dwek’s allegations into a salacious story.
Shame on The Star Ledger for smearing the good name and threatening the career of Joe Oxley based on the word of Soloman Dwek while ignoring the words of Sam Thompson and giving Bob Menendez political cover.
Ocean County GOP Chairman Geroge Gilmore is among a handful of connected lobbyists hired by AshBrit, the Florida company that won the sole state contract for Superstorm Sandy clean up, who was making sales calls to municipal officials looking for lucrative non-bid clean up work after then storm, according to an article in The Star Ledger this morning.
MMM was the first to report that former Corzine staffer Maggie Moran and her firm, M Public Affairs, was selling AshBrit’s premium priced services to Sandy ravaged municipalities. The Ledger report expands the list of lobbyists working for AshBrit in New Jersey to Gilmore, former Corzine cabinet member Kris Kullari, and former Assembly Republican director Jon Bombardieri.
AshBrit has been widely praised for the quality of the clean up work it hired subcontractors to perform. Their no-bid pricing is the issue. AshBrit charged $100 per ton for debris removal. Towns that didn’t hire AshBrit got the work done for $26 per ton.
“If this isn’t a classic example of how everything is connected in New Jersey politics, I don’t know what is,” said state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), who was Corzine’s running mate in 2009 when Moran managed his re-election campaign.
MMM is generally not a fan of Weinberg, but we are with her on this issue. Excess profits paid to AshBrit for making phone calls and signing contracts could have been used to rebuild infrastructure, house the displaced, etc, or not borrowed from China in the first place.
Embattled U.S. Senator Bob Menendez reimbursed his friend and campaign contributor, West Palm Beach eye doctor Salomon Melgen $58,500 for two flights to the Dominican Republic on Melgen’s private jet almost three years after the flights took place, according to reports in The Star Ledger and The Daily Caller.
Menendez’s spokesman Paul Brubaker told the Ledger that the senator, prompted by the ethics complaint filed by NJ State Senator Sam Thompson last November, reviewed his travel and discovered that he should have paid Melgen for an August 2010 flight between Florida and the Dominican Republic and a September 2010 flight from Teterboro to the DR. Menendez paid Melgen $58,500 for the flights on January 4, 2013.
Menendez’s chief of staff, Dan O’Brien told NBC News that the over two year gap in paying for the flights was an office mistake, according to Daily Caller.
“This was sloppy,” O’Brien conceded about two 2010 flights. “I’m chalking it up to an oversight.”
No one has reported what, if anything, Menendez reimbursed Melgen for his food, lodging and party favors on the trips. Senate rules prohibited members from accepting gifts valued at more the $250 without prior permission from the ethics committee. We’d call Brubaker, but he stopped returning our calls last summer during the senator’s campaign.
Menendez finally denied he had sex with prostitutes while in the Dominican Republic, saying the charges were manufactured by a right-wing blog. Presumably he’s referring to Daily Caller.
FoxNews reported last night that Menendez cleared his Washington schedule yesterday. He cancelled a meeting with Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew and skipped John Kerry’s fare well speech on the Senate floor.
On the home front however, it was politics as usual for Menendez. Yesterday afternoon he sent out a fundraising email asking his supporters to thank Hillary Clinton for her years of service.
This morning, The Star Ledger announced that they are laying off 34 people, including 10% of the newsroom.
In a poll published on January 8, Monmouth University’s Patrick Murray said that since 2005 newspapers as the primary source of news has decline from 48% to 27% among New Jerseyans. The shift has favored the interent where 28% now get their news, up from 6% in 2005. Television as a news source has also declined since 05, according to Murray. 48% got most of their news from TV in 05. Now 34%, still the highest percentage, are informed by television.
There is not much good news for the industry looking forward, according to Murray’s report. 45% of 18-34 year olds now look to the net as their primary news source, up from 33% in 2009.
United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced her resignation yesterday. Jackson was Governor Jon Corzine’s Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner and briefly his chief of staff before joining the Obama Administration.
The Asbury Park Press’s coverage of Jackson’s resignation is more glowing than an obituary. Both the APP and the Star Ledger used the news to fuel speculation that Jackson could be a candidate for governor of New Jersey or the next president of Princeton University.
Neither of New Jersey’s two largest media outlets bothered to mention the recent scandal surrounding Jackson.
Jackson is being investigated by at least two congressional committees and her own agency’s inspector general. The Justice Department just agreed, as the result of a law suit filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, to release 12,000 emails from an alias account that Jackson used to conduct the government’s business under the name “Richard Winslow.”