|Cedar Lane and River Road in Teaneck on Thursday afternoon.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Governor Christie's insults, vetoes and mean-spirited budget cuts have earned him the title of "GOP bully" everywhere but at The Record.
In April 2011, Christie urged the media "to take the bat" to state Sen. Loretta Weinberg of Teaneck for collecting a taxpayer-funded pension while making $49,000 a year as a legislator -- even as one of the governor's Democratic allies was guilty of far greater abuse.
Today, the Woodland Park daily compares Christie's attacks on "shadow government" -- unelected authorities, boards and commissions -- to his exploitation of the patronage, lucrative employee perks and a lack of public accountability at the Port Authority (A-1).
For example, David Samson's law firm has seen its legal and lobbying work increase tremendously since Christie appointed the lawyer to the unsalaried position of Port Authority chairman, according to National Public Radio.
Christie regards Samson as "a father figure," WNYC-FM radio reported last week. They met when Christie was U.S. attorney and Samson was state attorney general.
During the lull in the Bridgegate scandal, The Record is desperately trying to keep the story alive until the Legislature's investigation begins (A-1, L-1 and O-1).
At the same time, Editor Marty Gottlieb continues to squander space on the front page and inside the thin Local section to cover the upcoming Super Bowl (A-1, B-1 and L-3 today and Saturday).
The big game will attract drunks, perverts and gambling addicts, inconvenience hundreds of thousands of non-fans and line the pockets of wealthy team owners.
Restaurants, caterers and hotel companies are among the few that will fight over the remaining scraps (B-1).
It's a real stretch
In Bridgegate coverage, Staff Writer John Cichowski makes a desperate attempt to compare a mobster's bribe to then-Fort Lee Mayor Burt Ross in the 1970s to Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer's allegation that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadano sought favors for a developer or risk losing Sandy aid (A-1).
The developer is represented by Samson's law firm, and investigators want to question Samson about e-mails regarding the politically inspired September closure of George Washington Bridge access lanes in Fort Lee.
Also on A-1 today is a photo of Bridget Anne Kelly, the deputy chief of staff Christie fired after disclosure of her e-mail to the Port Authority: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."
Kelly, who lives in Ramsey, looks older than in previous photos, and she is accompanied by Michael Critchley Sr., a prominent criminal defense lawyer who probably is charging her $400 to $500 an hour.
The Record still has not reported whether Critchley and all of the other lawyers flocking to the sides of Bridgegate figures will be paid with taxpayer funds.
Old news made new
Cichowski's Road Warrior column on L-1 today is filled with breaking news about decades of gridlock in Fort Lee caused by drivers who seek short cuts to the bridge through borough streets (L-1).
This is a variation of the story that runs every year or so when Paramus residents who oppose the end of Blue Laws complain they can't get out of their driveways because of mall traffic.
The Record and the greedy Borg publishing family hate these residents for denying the paper new revenue from full-page ads promoting Sunday sales.
On A-4, a story on a gunman who killed two at a Maryland mall is an ugly reminder of the lack of security at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus and the Mall at Short Hills (A-2) -- a story The Record won't touch.
The photo of heavily armed officers (A-4) -- like those taken at the Paramus mall on Nov. 4 -- brings home how much taxpayers spend on local police departments that always seem to show up too late to prevent random shooting or killing.
The headline over Saturday's Page 1 story on Christie's limited appearances since his State of the State address says:
Similarly, a reader noted in a letter to the editor published on Saturday's A-13 that an editorial used "hone in on" instead of the correct "home in on."
More 9/11 news
Saturday's Page 1 is dominated by a Mike Kelly column on the price of admission to the long delayed 9/11 museum that should have run in Travel in view of its limited appeal to North Jersey readers.
Why spend money to enter the museum when there is no admission charge to go and see the two reflecting pools in the footprints of the Twin Towers?
Travel Editor Jill Schensul piece on saving money during a European vacation would have been better, if she had mentioned credit cards that don't charge a foreign currency transaction fee of about 2% (T-1).
Comedian Bill Maher had lots to say on Friday night about how conservatives love bullying.
During the New Rules segment of his HBO show, Maher noted:
"Somehow, we've gone from Teddy Roosevelt's 'Speak softly and carry a big stick' to Chris Christie's speak loudly and be a big dick."