By VICTOR E. SASSON
All the signs are there that The Record's editors, columnists and reporters are resuming their work of repairing Governor Christie's battered image.
It isn't news that a prominent Republican lawyer Christie hired to conduct an "internal" investigation, and the attorney's staff, which has ties to the governor, may have cleared him, but it is all over Page 1 today.
And what did readers turned off by Charles Stile's political columns do to deserve two "he's-not-as-bad-as-he-seems" columns on the front page today and Monday?
So far, the internal probe has cost taxpayers more than $1 million.
It's hard to understand how the editors and Christie's allies see such positive signs when members of the governor's inner-circle continue to stonewall on turning documents over to the state Legislature's Bridgegate investigative committee (A-6).
Men are animals
If you classify this latest flurry of stories about the GOP bully as "animal news," the Woodland Park daily seems to be devoting a lot of space lately to four-legged species.
Witness Sunday's front page, where a so-called debate over a pro athlete's dog-fighting conviction played out.
Today, the front of Local and L-3 are dominated by tear-jerking horse and dog rescue stories.
I guess nothing was going on in Hackensack, Teaneck and other towns that are missing from today's Local section, which is put out by editors who some would call "horse's asses."
The first Business page today reports a Bergen County legislator wants to make it legal for Tesla to sell its revolutionary electric car directly to New Jersey consumers (L-7).
The company's CEO says Christie and New Jersey auto dealers made a "backroom deal" to stop Tesla from selling its Model S premium sedan from Paramus and Short Hills showrooms.
"The governor talks a big game about attracting innovative businesses to the state, but this move does the exact opposite," says Assemblyman Timothy Eustace, D-Paramus, sponsor of a bill to amend the restrictive law.
The only editorial comment on the controversy came from freelance cartoonist Margulies on Sunday's O-2, which showed Christie telling a kid at a 5-cents lemonade stand he can't sell directly and has to go through "a beverage dealer."
Funeral home cops
Monday's Page 1 story on retired police officers who work at North Jersey funeral homes may help rehabilitate their image, which the paper savaged in a series of stories on high salaries and pensions when Francis "Frank" Scandale was running the newsroom.
The paper argued that high teacher and police salaries were the chief cause of municipalities' financial problems.
But why does Monday's story have two photos of the same man, Sal Arena, who was a captain on the Pompton Lakes force?