Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bridgegate probe targets only delay the inevitable

If you live in Hackensack, your property taxes don't pay for buses to take your children to school, unless they are handicapped. On Wednesday, this bus dropped off disabled children at the four-story high school, where the elevator used by the handicapped has been broken for about two months.


First, they lawyered up. Now, they're shutting up.

We can only imagine what Bridget Anne Kelly is trying to hide by refusing to turn over documents to state lawmakers investigating last September's George Washington Bridge lane closures (The Record's front page today).

Many believe the resulting gridlock in Fort Lee was part of a pattern of political retribution by the Christie administration in Democratic strongholds in the months leading up to last November's election, when Christie won a second term.

Kelly, Governor Christie's former deputy chief of staff, is shown in a Page 1 photo today wearing a string of pearls, a suggestion of the noose she deserves for her infamous e-mail to the Port Authority, which operates the bridge:

"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

Not that Kelly

Many readers are sorry the headline over a Charles Stile column on A-1 -- "Kelly looking for a new image, new job" -- doesn't refer to Mike Kelly, the tired columnist who often merely pushes around words to little effect.

Bridget Kelly's famous criminal lawyer, Michael Critchley, challenged the state Legislature's subpoenas for more documents, including earlier e-mails, "on constitutional grounds." 

He even said there is no proof she sent the e-mail that blew open the Bridgegate scandal and tied the lane closures to Christie's inner circle and his cronies at the Port Authority, including David Wildstein, who answered with an e-mail of his own, "Got it."

Exaggerated headline

The headline -- "GWB inquiry on trial" -- is the kind of simplistic ignorance that exists in most newsrooms.

And no one, including Staff Writer Shawn Boburg, believes Superior Court Assignment Judge Mary C. Jacobsen will kill the subpoenas for documents from Bridget Kelly and former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien.

Newsroom potholes

Many drivers yawned when they saw today's Page 1 story on New Jersey's decision to repave its stretch of the Palisade Interstate Parkway, which is used by a small minority of The Record's readers.

The story, written by Road Warrior John Cichowski, continues his pattern of exaggeration and hype about potholes when he reports "some cabdrivers refuse to use the Bergen County portion."

My recollection is that a past Road Warrior column quoted one man who said his cabdriver refused to use the parkway.

Why isn't the state going to repave state highways that are in equally poor condition or award grants to municipalities like Hackensack that can't seem to find the money to repave Prospect Avenue and other pockmarked streets?

More corrections

Corrections on A-2 of a story on The Children's Place and a non-profit item have readers wondering if The Record will ever correct the hundreds of errors that have piled up in the Road Warrior column in the past decade.

The headline on A-3 today makes it sound like protesters have succeeded in getting Christie to renominate New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, a Democrat, but the story says that isn't the case:

Protesters push
Christie to rename
Rabner to bench 

Battle of the rich

The Record has resumed its blanket coverage of the Hudson News inheritance battle, which is playing out in Superior Court in Hackensack, where James Cohen is testifying (L-1).

Publisher Stephen A. Borg has ordered Editor Marty Gottlieb to report more on the activities of multimillionaires like himself.

That will mean Staff Writer Kibret Markos, who covers the courthouse, will continue to neglect civil trials involving lesser folks.

Wrong photos

The Tesla story on L-8 uses photos of an all-electric roadster the company stopped taking orders for in August 2011. 

Why didn't the Business editors use photos of the current all-electric sedan, the Model S?

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