Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Christie is returning to familiar role of screwing New Jersey

A view of the Navesink River from the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank.


Editor Deirdre Sykes' obsession with partisan politics continues to dominate The Record's front page even as Governor Christie is back at his old job of screwing New Jersey.

A major story about the GOP bully led Saturday's paper, reporting he opposes the latest plan to resolve the crisis over funding statewide road, bridge and rail improvements.

Insider deals

On Monday, another front-page story on politics reported Christie's "national prospects" have improved once again with rumors he could become Donald J. Trump's attorney general, if the wacko racist is elected to the White House.

Christie might be hoping to get the same kind of lucrative contract he steered to John Ashcroft in 2007, when the governor was the U.S. attorney for New Jersey and Ashcroft was his former boss in the U.S. Justice Department.

As the Star-Ledger reported, the former attorney general's D.C. law firm was poised to collect $52 million in 18 months to monitor a $311 million settlement Christie won to end a probe into kickbacks by leading manufacturers of hip and knee replacements.

Christie also handed lucrative contracts to other lawyers who served as monitors:

David Samson, his mentor and "father figure," whom Christie later appointed chairman of the Port Authority; and Debra Yang, one of the lawyers who led the "internal investigation" into the George Washington Bridge lane closures.

That whitewash of his role in the September 2013 lane closures in Fort Lee cost New Jersey taxpayers more than $10 million.

More conflict

Today's lead story emphasizes dissension and protests at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia that USA Today compares to last week's meeting of Republicans (A-1).

But Sykes must have gone home early, because readers can't find a word of first lady Michelle Obama's inspiring speech to get out the vote for Hillary Clinton, who will be formally nominated  for president tonight.

Sure, a photo of the first lady appears on Page 1 (where the caption misspells her first name), but the speech must have been given too late for The Record's early deadlines.

The decision over a decade ago to move printing of the paper to Rockaway Township -- more than 30 miles from the heart of the circulation area in Hackensack -- means The Record often misses such late-breaking news while generating clouds of pollution from diesel-powered delivery trucks tearing up Route 80.

Back to Camden

Instead of the first lady's speech, the front page carries two inconsequential columns from Staff Writers John Cichowski and Mike Kelly.

The big news on the first Business page is the expected Aug. 5 opening of a "luxury" movie theater in Fort Lee where tickets will go for $19 to $24 (L-7).

The Better Living section also promoted the theater and its restaurant on Sunday.

I guess the Woodland Park daily is hoping to land big advertising contracts from both.

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