Thursday, April 10, 2014

In the court of public opinion, Christie is still guilty

Borough Hall in Fort Lee, where George Washington Bridge lane closures caused four days of traffic chaos in early September. The lane closures were ordered by Governor Christie's aides, allegedly to punish Mayor Mark Sokolich, one of the Democrats who refused to endorse the GOP bully for a second term.


On the Bridgegate scandal, the court of public opinion has been unwavering:

Governor Christie knew that members of his inner circle were lashing back at Democrats who refused to endorse the GOP bully for a second term in the election last November.

In Democratic Fort Lee, that political retribution took the form of lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, resulting in four days of traffic chaos.

Probe setback

Today's front-page news in The Record -- that a state judge won't force two former Christie aides to turn over documents (A-1) -- won't change the public's opinion about the governor.

A Charles Stile column on the future of the legislative panel investigating the lane closures uses a number of silly plays on words, such as saying the committee is "itself jammed at a crossroads" (A-1).

How awkward.

Subpoena Christie

The head of the panel, Assemblyman John Wisniewski, calls the lane closures a "threat to public safety and abuse of government power."

And nowhere in the column or the news story on Page 1 is there any mention of whether the legislative panel or a separate probe by the U.S. attorney in Newark will subpoena Christie.

Since the scandal exploded in January, the governor has never spoken under oath about what he knew and when he knew it.

Wouldn't it be rich to see the former corruption-busting federal prosecutor hiding behind the Fifth Amendment?

More bad news

The really bad news on today's front page is Standard & Poor's downgrading New Jersey's credit rating, while blasting Christie for lagging behind many states with "sizable budgetary surpluses" (A-1).

Three more corrections appear on A-2 today, testament to six-figure Production Editor Liz Houlton's inattention to detail.

Christie's environmental record continues to take a hit with word he denied 5% raises to members of the Pinelands Commission, which split, 7-7, on a plan to build a natural gas pipeline through the protected reserve (A-4).

A lobbying firm hired to push the project was headed by David Samson, former chairman of the Port Authority and a Bridgegate character, who has been called a mentor and father figure to Christie.

Is there a public agency anywhere that hasn't been infected by Christie's politics and cronyism?

(201) magazine

Restaurant reviews are considered so important at (201) magazine they are entrusted to a low-paid editorial assistant, which is a publisher's title for "clerk" or guy/gal who answers the phone.

In a Bergen County Dining Guide in the April 2014 (201) family, Ryan Greene says ramen is "trendy as all heck in New York."

He also wanted to say the pork in Santouka Ramen's noodle soup melted in his mouth, but a word was dropped and it came out "melt-in-your-pork."

In the April 2014 (201) magazine, his review of Cafe Matisse in Rutherford ends this way, "Every dish is art. Every bite is beauty."

No prices appear in the review, and it isn't clear whether (201) magazine pays for Greene's meals, as The Record does for Staff Writer Elisa Ung.

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