Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Desperate Christie taking a big gamble with future of N.J.

In the truck lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike on Sunday afternoon, light traffic, cheap gas and the absence of state troopers encouraged some drivers to pass me doing 85 mph to 90 mph  with not a care in the world.


More casino gambling in New Jersey? Are they out of their minds? 

Given the sordid history of casinos in Atlantic City, readers are puzzled today by The Record's upbeat, front-page coverage of Governor Christie's desperate gambles (A-1).

As he does on Page 1 today, Staff Writer John Brennan has been wasting readers' time in the last few months with story after story on a ballot proposal to add two casinos in North Jersey (A-1).

That proposal is certain to go down in flames.

Readers get the feeling North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record, will get behind the plan to add North Jersey casinos, just as the publishing company has backed repeal of Bergen County's blue laws.

Both would generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising revenue for NJMG, which more and more has been focusing news and feature coverage on advertisers, and reducing the amount of municipal news.

That also must be the explanation for why Editor Martin Gottlieb put the casino gambling stories on Page 1, and buried a long story on ballot questions, bills and other action in Trenton (A-4).

More vetoes

On A-4, you'll find reporting on 20 more vetoes from Christie on top of the 430 he has executed since early 2010, cementing the GOP bully's reputation as the worst governor in state history.

And you can read how voters will get a chance to clean up two of Christie's messes by approving quarterly payments to public-workers pensions, and dedicating all of the revenue generated by the 14.5-cents-a-gallon gas tax to transportation.

Dirty trucks

It's no surprise the Port Authority "has backed off a plan to ban thousands of older, soot-spewing trucks from hauling cargo" at its New Jersey seaports (A-1).

Staff Writer Scott Fallon should know the bi-state agency is no friend of the environment, as shown by the bigger jets using Teterboro Airport and its refusal to add another exclusive bus lane to the Lincoln Tunnel.

Local news?

Today's Local front is dominated by police news or news about the police, including two big stories from Paterson.

You know Assignment Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza were desperate to fill the section when you see an obit for the last survivor of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake (L-6).

Auto scams

Also desperate are The Associated Press reporters who covered the North American Auto Show in Detroit (L-9 and L-10).

Despite climate change, neither story discusses whether automakers are improving the efficiency of the antiquated internal-combustion engine or introducing more green cars.

Monday's paper

Three long stories on politics dominated Monday's A-1 as Gottlieb tried to generate interest in the most boring topic under the sun.

Readers were asked to plow through more reporting on how Christie is doing on the campaign trail.

On the Local front, Sykes and Sforza finally caught up to the surrender two days before of a driver in the Christmas Day hit-run death of a man in downtown Teaneck.

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