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|The Feds may withhold aid to NJ Transit and apply it to the state's $271 million debt.|
Page 1 and Page A-4 of The Record of Woodland Park today contain more really bad news about Governor Christie's management of state finances.
The Republican bully is not only being hit up for $271 million the Feds say they spent before the governor killed the Hudson River tunnel project (A-1), but now, it seems, New Jersey blew another application for federal education aid.
Last time, it was $400 million in "Race to the Top" funds. This time, the state won't get $14 million to help charter schools with start-up costs.
And just on Monday, The Record's front page painted such a rosy picture of how charter schools could blossom under the encouragement and support of the Christie administration.
Christie has turned his back on a millionaires' tax or raising the low gasoline tax to fatten the state's bottom line -- decisions that have critics questioning his ability to manage the state's fiscal crisis. But he hasn't lost his ability to manage the news.
Staff Writer Karen Rouse apparently doesn't have the muscle to get any intelligent comment from the governor's spokesman and chief spin doctor, Michael Drewniak, on this enormous $271 million debt. She couldn't even get anything from NJ Transit, which referred her to the Governor's Office.
Rouse's story comes six days after the $271 million demand letter was sent to the state mass-transit agency. But the amount of the bill has been known since Nov. 28.
It's only in the last paragraph readers learn Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., is trying to get the debt reduced after what his spokesman calls Christie's "disastrous decision" to kill a project that would have doubled the number of NJ Transit trains into Manhattan.
The state's finances are so bad, another Page 1 story reports, $150 million in promised aid was never sent to the New Jersey Cord Blood Bank in Parmaus.
Editor Francis Scandale goes all artsy-fartsy on us today, with a huge Page 1 photo of a "lost" Picasso. This story is of so little interest to North Jersey, the stand-alone photo and caption must surely be the act of a desperate man, and a slap in the face to the paper's talented photographers.
Head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' Local section today has little in the way of municipal news, and nothing from Hackensack, Teaneck or Englewood. But you'll find stories about Verona's water, a fire in Rockaway Township, where the paper is printed; and Bergen Community College.
In Better Living, food news consists of a single, wire-service recipe. Monday's section also had a single, wire-service recipe.