Author Archive: Hopeful

Quote of the Day

I’m not sure how much longer I can laugh at the Trump Republican chaos rather than be frightened of it, but for now, here is a good quote:

One reporter asked about Chris Christie calling Mr. Trump self-obsessed and pointing out that Mr. Priebus didn’t give the same respect to the New Jersey governor for his signature. Almost guffawing, Mr. Trump referred to Mr. Christie’s polling, saying, “You don’t have to be met when you’re at 2 percent.”

Talking science

Rosi and I have been discussing having a science series on the weekends here at Blue Jersey. The problem is I find it difficult to find topics to blog about that have a New Jersey angle.

After all, so many important problems are settled. One of the great government triumphs of the last century was the system of childhood vaccinations that defeated dangerous diseases. We don’t have to worry our tough-talking governor would be wishy-washy on vaccines.  

Meanwhile, the great challenge of this century is controlling our greenhouse gas emissions, lest we suffer disastrous global warming. Our own Rutgers is a leading center of research on climate change. If nothing else, we have to fear the sea level rise wrecking the coastal towns and beaches. Our governor loves the Jersey Shore, so we don’t have to worry he’d break the law to pull out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Oh well, something will come to mind. At least our governor didn’t run away from evolution.  

So the King of Jordan is also a personal friend

When you’re Chris Christie, anyone with money is a close personal friend

Letting the king pay for his three-day weekend in Jordan back in 2012 would not have been allowed if Mr. Christie were, say, president or a United States senator; it is illegal for federal employees to accept gifts of more than nominal value from agents of foreign governments. An executive order Mr. Christie signed in 2010 allows New Jersey governors to have travel and related expenses paid by foreign governments; it does not specifically address gifts such as the parties the king held for him, but the governor’s staff said it was covered under a provision that allowed gifts from personal friends.

No word on hugs.  

A nice lesson on poll accuracy

Rutgers-Eagleton has released an independent study of why their 2013 polls did so poorly. Basically, they correctly forecast that Christie and Booker would win by a lot but overestimated the margins by a huge amount. They had Christie at +36 but he “only” won by 22; Booker was at +22 and won by 10. I would have wrote it off to the problems of forecasting low-turnout elections, but I would have been wrong:

The Langer report identifies the primary reason for the inaccurate results as the failure to put the “head-to-head” questions, which asked respondents for their vote intention, at or near the beginning of the questionnaire. Because these questions were asked after a series of other questions, it appears that respondents were “primed” to think positively about Governor Chris Christie in the November survey, which then may have led Democrats and independents in particular to over-report their likelihood of voting for the Governor. A similar process occurred with the October Senate poll, where voters were first reminded of how little they knew about Lonegan and how much they liked Booker before being asked the vote question.

As the post makes clear, this was not done for a nefarious purpose but simply to continue a series of questions polled over the years. Ideally there would have been separate “horse race” and issue polls. It’s a good lesson in how difficult it is to poll fairly but a perfect example of public accountability. It’s too bad Rutgers-Eagleton doesn’t have a large budget because I view their polls as a important public service.  

The Super Bowl News Dump

Typically bad news is released on a Friday in the hopes the media overlooks it. Here’s a “super” case. The AP is reporting:

A member of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration who has been subpoenaed in an alleged political payback investigation has resigned.

Christina Genovese Renna left the governor’s office Friday, the same day former Christie loyalist David Wildstein claimed to have evidence contradicting the governor’s account of a lane closing operation, apparently to create traffic chaos as a political vendetta.

This resignation was kept quiet, until she confirmed it on Super Bowl Sunday.  

Quote of the Day

Who could have predicted?:

At the time of the sale, Mr. Norcross’s partners and the newsroom hoped that Mr. Norcross, a full-contact political operator with a reputation as a bully, would find the better angels of his nature as he sought to broaden and burnish his legacy. But by many accounts, he just cannot help himself and his ham-fisted efforts to dictate personnel and coverage matters are certainly not useful.

Who Paid to Smear Menendez?

The Washington Post reports that the escort in the Menendez smear “has never met or seen the senator before” and was paid to make it up:

The woman identified a lawyer who approached her and a friend to make the videotape, according to affidavits obtained by the Post. That man has in turn identified another lawyer who gave him a script for the tape and paid him to find women to fabricate the claims, the affidavits say.

Who paid that lawyer? How far will this trail lead?