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…
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.
In a column posted on NJ.com yesterday, Where is the sin in Cryan’s tawdry sex e-mails?, Star Ledger Editorial Board Editor Tom Moran argues that “the sin” is the “outrageous breach of privacy” that Cryan suffered as a result of the leaked emails.
Yes, Cryan, a Democrat from Union County, had sex with a lobbyist and tried to hide that fact for years. But we are talking about two consenting adults, neither of them married at the time. Where is the crime against humanity?
Anything goes if you’re an unmarried consenting adult and everything apparently did between Cryan and Karen Golding. But what does it say about New Jersey that texting while driving is a crime, but fellatio while driving is not a sin?
We’ve evolved as a culture to the point that sexual acts are no longer sins or crimes, unless they involve children, money exchanging hands or the violation of a marriage vow or vow of celibacy.
Golding says that Cryan emailed her pornographic pictures from his government owned computers, but that is apparently OK, because, unlike his former office mate, former Assemblyman Neil Cohen, the pictures did not depict children.
Moran should have read beyond the tawdry emails. Golding provides evidence of possible perjury, abuse of power, judicial misconduct, and official misconduct by several in the Union County/Trenton government machine. There is no apparent effort to investigate or prosecute these alleged crimes, but there is an announced investigation into who leaked the emails.
Evidently Cyran’s pride and privacy are more of a government priority than his actually working while on the government payroll as a Union County Under Sheriff or a State Legislator.
Cryan’s personal emailing activity from his government issue computers raises the question of how much political activity is done from those computers. How much of his “work” as Democratric State Chairman was done while on the Union County Sheriff Office’s dime? New Jersey residents deserve more investigating of Cryan and his protectors than Bob Ingle asking, “Where does he find the time?”
Don’t say, “Everybody does it” as a defense for using government equipment and offices to do personal and/or political business. Everybody doesn’t do it. I talk to many elected officials who won’t take my calls in their offices just in case the subject becomes political. They call back from their personal cell or home phones. Or they won’t meet me at their office, but at a restaurant accross the street.
Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray is a “go to guy” for journalists looking for expert opinions and analysis on New Jersey politics.
Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Matt Katz called Murray to ask him why Christie’s approval numbers are so high when many voters used the pejoratives “bully” and “arrogant” when asked to use one word to describe the Governor and when Jersey mainstream media pundits so frequently criticise Christie’s manners. Katz mentioned The Star Ledger’s Tom Moran, Inquirer opinion writers, and the Courier-Post editorial board. He could have included most of the Statehouse press corp, save Gannett’s Bob Ingle and the Capitol Quckies crew.
Murray’s answer was Christieesque in its refreshing honesty: ”Part of the issue is, voters of New Jersey are probably a little more savvy than reporters.”
Who talks to more reporters and voters in New Jersey than Murray? His is an expert opinion.
“Ouch,” wrote Katz, who often writes critically of Christie.
Credit Katz for including Murray’s quote in his article. If you start seeing Ben Dworkin’s name in The Star Ledger more than Murray’s, you’ll know Chrisite was right when he called famously called Moran, the editorial page editor, “the thinnest skinned guy and America.”
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon called for fiscal accountability in Newark this week. You wouldn’t have known that unless you read The Star Ledger. The Asbury Park Press, the newspaper/pay site that covers O’Scanlon’s Monmouth County district missed it.
At issue is the $24 million in state aid that Newark is “due” this year, after the state taxpayers kicked in $32 million to Newark’s budget last year, in the face of blatant waste on the part of Mayor Cory Booker and the city council.
Booker squandered $3.7 million in legal and consulting fees in a fight with the New Jersey Devils hockey team over revenue sharing. Booker lost the fight, which even The Star Ledger says was a waste and should have been settled, and vowed to spend more—O’Scanlon says $1 million more, The Ledger says $100 thousand more—in appealing the ruling that favored The Devils. As the ruling stands, Newark owes the Devils $600 thousand.
Newark’s city council is disgrace. A “gaggle of blowhards,” Ledger editor Tom Moran calls them, who “awards itself the highest salaries in the state, along with a free car.” Newark’s city council is paid six times more than Jersey City’s city council, according to Moran. $3.45 million in salaries paid to the Newark city council in 2011.
Also at issue is that the overpaid council has yet to pass their budget that was due in February. Yet, they want the $24 million from Jersey taxpayers.
According to The Ledger, O’Scanlon said,
“Cory Booker is fighting an expensive personal vendetta with one hand while he has the other hand out expecting state aid”
“As the ranking Republican member of the Assembly Budget Committee, I cannot, in good conscience, imagine handing Newark another $24 million when the mayor is continuing to rack up legal fees and costs for litigation that could have been settled months ago,” O’Scanlon said. “The state should not be in the habit of bailing out towns and cities that are unwilling to help themselves.”
“I’ve never seen a less optimistic time, in my lifetime, in this courtry. And people wonder why. I think it’s really simple. It’s because government’s telling them stop dreaming, stop striving, we’ll take care of you. We are turning into a paternalistic entitlement society…”
“….more importantly, there will be more money, more hope, more aspirations, in the hearts of our children and grandchildren than there are today. And that’s what will make the 21st century the second American century. That more than anything else, will allow the United States to export hope, and liberty and freedom around the world. Not by just saying but by living it everyday in the way we conduct ourselves and in the way we govern ourselves.”
~Governor Chris Christie
Chris Christie believes that unrestrained by oppressive and “paternalistic” government, that ordinary people can and will live lives of accomplishment.
Tom Moran, that sanctimonious polyhistor responsible for The Star Ledger’s editorial page, thinks that makes Christie conceded.
The Asbury Park Press editorial board, the Nudniks of Neptune who have fewer orginal thoughts that Joe Biden, agrees with Moran.
Christie made his remarks at a George W. Bush Presidential Center gathering in New York on Tuesday, April 10. Moran posted his rant calling the governor’s message “condescending” early yesterday morning, the 12th. The Nudniks followed yesterday evening calling Christie’s message “hectoring,” “insulting” and “condescending.”
The editorialists of New Jersey’s two largest news outlets must be appalled by Christie’s soaring popularity.
It was the content of Christie’s remarks in between the two phrases I quoted above that got to the liberal regressive pundits. Without naming the president, Christie had the audacity to point out that the Obama agenda has not resulted in hope, but in pessimism. That if it continues we will be financially and morally bankrupt, waiting for the check to show up rather than striving for bigger checks.
Here’s what Christie said, unfiltered by the bias of Moran, the Nudniks or MMM:
The Star Ledger’s Tom Moran is back to his old tricks of using the race card while attempting to advance his political agenda.
In early 2010, shortly after Governor Chris Christie took office, Moran tried to derail the Christie administration by teaming up with Assembly Speaker Shelia Oliver to call Christie and his team “…white men, most of them political neophytes…” who never rode a bus and couldn’t understand how their deeply their economic policies were impacting “working poor families.”
Moran did that before he realized that Christie is a “force of nature who could probably make a dog sing if he put his mind to it.”
In a column posted on Tuesday that defends the President’s constitutional pronouncements about the Supreme Court’s right to overturn ObamaCare Moran employed Jeanane Garofalo’s tactic of accusing Obama’s critics of being racist.
Because Moran is smarter and prettier, his accusation is sublter than Garofalo’s crude remarks, yet it is no less offensive:
Obama went on to make an important point: That if the court overrules the health care law, it will be practicing judicial activism. Conservatives have been complaining about judicial activism since the Supreme Court struck down Jim Crow segregation laws in the South, and the heat rose considerably after Roe v. Wade.
Maybe fellow Star Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine can explain the difference between judicial activistism and constructionism to Moran.
Activistism is when a Court finds, invents or redefines a constitutional provision in order to make new law that is consistent with its political or ideological preference. That is what the U.S. Supreme Court did in Roe v Wade and what the NJ Supreme Court did in the Abbott decisions.
Constructionism is what a court does when it decides that the legislative or executive branches exceeded the power granted to them in the Constitution, like mandating people buy something they don’t want.
Moran, like Obama, probably knows the difference. Also like Obama, he probably just doesn’t think the Constitution is that important. That’s OK for Moran who hasn’t sworn to protect and defend the Constitution. It’s not OK for the President who has sworn that oath.
The race card worked well for liberals in 2008. The invoked it successfully to mute Obama’s poltical opponents in the Democratic primary and during the general election. They appealed to ‘white guilt” to get Obama elected. It was a disgusting and effective strategy.
But the race card is played out. It didn’t work in the politicization of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. It didn’t work when Garofalo played it. It didn’t work in 2010.
Moran should stop playing the race card. Conservative opposition to ObamaCare has nothing to do with the Jim Crow laws, just as Governor Christie’s economic policies have nothing to do with how many of his cabinet members and staffers have ever ridden a bus.
Moran’s job is the inform, educate and persuade. He should leave the obfuscation to politicians, activists and B-rate entertainers looking for their next gig.
Since Governor Christie took office, The Star Ledger’s Editorial Page Editor Tom Moran has been constantly critical of Christie’s style. It was Moran’s question about the Governor’s “confrontational tone” at a May 2010 press conference that lead to a “honest and refreshing” Christie becoming a YouTube phenomena and now a national media star.
Since the “chopper gate” story hit the fan last week, The Record’s Charles Stile has been gleefully making the case that the media and partisan noise about Governor Christie’s use of the State Police helicopter has been so ferocious because of “smash mouth” style. Stile, and other NJ media elites, have cited two recent polls, both taken before the chopper hullabaloo, that showed Christie’s approval ratings slipping as evidence that his style is wearing thin on New Jersey voters.
Stile has noted correctly that the chopper noise has been so harsh, despite the facts that Christie’s use of helicopter has been far more frugal than that of his predecessors and that his use of the chopper didn’t cost taxpayers anymore money than if he had traveled by SUV, because of Christie’s “in your face” plain spoken style. Christie’s political opponents and their media lapdogs have been laying in wait for an opportunity bash him back.
Stile has joined The Star Ledger’s Tom Moran in arguing that Christie should be nicer and more polite while turning Trenton upside down. Stile and Moran would have Christie’s compromising more and reforming less.
The irony here, from my point of view, is that over the last few months Christie has been nicer and more compromising. He’s toned it down. His opponents have subsequently stepped it up.
Maybe Christie’s poll numbers have slipped because he’s toned it down. Last spring he was railing against the NJEA and urging voters to defeat school budgets where unions wouldn’t compromise. Voters responded by defeating budgets in record numbers. Christie’s polls were strong. This spring Christie was silent on the school budgets.
Is there no more waste in our public schools? Has the the problem of excessive compensation, pensions and benefits been solved?
Since the GOP lost the legislative redistricting battle, Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney announced a compromise over Supreme Court nominee Anne Patterson’s nomination that had been held up for a year. Part of the compromise included a promise by Sweeney that a hearing to fill the Court seat of former Justice John Wallace, which has been vacant for a year because Sweeney didn’t like that Christie did not reappoint Wallace, would take place next March. By making that agreement Christie acknowledged that Sweeney would still be Senate President in March, meaning Republicans are not going to win control of the State Senate in the coming election.
That the Democrats will retain control of the Legislature after the November election is probably realistic calculus on Christie’s part. He probably made a strategic decision that he can get more of his agenda accomplished by compromising than by fighting. That might be the best decision, but it also means that New Jersey will only have incremental improvement to our dysfunctional governments, rather than real reform…turning Trenton upside down reform…for the rest of Christie’s term.
I’d rather have the confrontational governor we elected. Even if it means stalemates and the shutting down of government, I’d rather Christie ridicule and embarrass the Trenton cesspool than compromise with it. Christie has only been in office less than 18 months. The cesspool has spent decades putting us into the mess we’re in.
As a matter of style, the chopper hullabaloo demonstrates that the media/establishment cesspool is not going to respond to a kinder, gentler Christie in kind. As a matter of substance, today’s news that the Democrats are going to attempt to increase education spending more than the Supreme Court has ordered and increase income taxes, demonstrates that the cesspool will always try to maintain and protect the status quo that makes them fat at the taxpayers’ expense.
Christie came into office promising to govern as if he only had one term to get the job done and without consideration for whether or not he’d be re-elected. Since then he has admittedly fallen in love with the job and become enamoured with national attention and presidential wooing his in your face style has brought to him.
Christie’s “in your face” style works. His adjustments should be by adding humor and charm to his ridicule, like Reagan did, not by compromising and being more polite.
If Christie has concluded that he has accomplished all he can in New Jersey with confrontation, he should get ready quickly and run for President. New Jersey and the United States both face horrendously serious problems. Compromise and tinkering around the edges of a broken system will not do.
We need Chris Chirstie’s unabashed leadership in New Jersey and in America. As Christie advised the new Republican leadership in Washington, we need to put up or shut up.