Thursday, November 19, 2015

Far more scrutiny of Christie on trail than he got in Trenton

The senior round-trip fare on an NJ Transit express bus to Manhattan from Hackensack is one of the biggest travel bargains around.

These NJ Transit buses outside the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel are among hundreds parked in New Jersey during the day, awaiting the afternoon rush hour. Then, they'll be driven bumper-to-bumper through the tunnel to the midtown Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, causing huge delays for home-bound commuters.


The Record's scrutiny of Governor Christie on the presidential campaign trail is unprecedented, especially when you compare the coverage to his years in Trenton.

The GOP bully has been in office since early 2010, but it wasn't until this year -- in his second term -- that the editors bothered to add up the hundreds of vetoes he has used to get his way with the state Legislature's Democratic majority.

Still, Staff Writer Charles Stiles, among the first to promote the governor's presidential ambitions, wrote one upbeat column after another supporting Christie's claim of being a compromiser who was able to work with Democrats.

Isn't it rich?

Yet, as today's front-page analysis shows, most of Christie's initiatives have hurt the middle class, and he has completely failed to fund the pension system for state employees or back a tax to pay for road and bridge repairs (A-1 and A-10).

Even in the wake of the attacks in Paris, touting his years as U.S. attorney prosecuting terrorists rings hollow in view of all the time he has spent out of state, and the mess he has made in Trenton. 

"Spending in the state budget has grown every year. So have New Jersey's high tax bills for homeowners ...," Staff Writer Salvador Rizzo reports deep on the continuation page. "Private-sector job growth has been among the slowest in the country." 

Out of the bubble

The Record's local editors gave reporters a rare assignment on Wednesday: Ask people what they think about an issue.

Three reporters worked on today's Page 1 story to gather reaction to Christie and other governors who want to keep Syrian refugees from coming to their states.

But they quote only two people, both immigrants, and report on only one Syrian refugee, who arrived in 2013.

On Tuesday, a story included an interview with another Syrian refugee who moved to Paterson.

About 75 Syrian refugees have moved to the state since January.

Shouldn't The Record make some attempt to report if any of them have acted in a way to justify Christie's racism and xenophobia?

Local news?

The lead story on the Local front today reports the estate of Mahwah Public Works Director Ed Sinclair is seeking $20 million in a lawsuit, claiming officials "caused his death through stress" (L-1).

There is no mention of Sinclair's obesity, and the challenge facing his lawyer to prove he died from being fired and reinstated, and not from a condition related to his tremendous weight.

On Aug. 13, Cliffview reported Sinclair, 57, died of a massive heart attack, but that isn't mentioned in The Record today.

The Sinclair suit is only one of the crime and court stories that dominate the local-news section today.

Assignment Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza were so desperate for local news they had to run a story on Comcast dropping a sports network (L-3).

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