Tag Archive: Oprah Winfrey

I go to Hunterdon GOP HQ & watch Chris Christie endorse Steve Lonegan

Chris Christie comes to Hunterdon for an obligatory moment standing next to Steve Lonegan, and goes after Cory Booker for hanging out with Oprah Winfrey, despite the fact he’s warmed Oprah’s couch plenty himself. Promoted by Rosi

Chris Christie endorses Steve LoneganGovernor Christie could not have chosen a more out of the way place than Hunterdon County GOP HQ – hot, crowded, poorly ventilated – to endorse Steve Lonegan for United States Senate. I thought the endorsement would take place outdoors, at least in the parking lot. Or, on this beautiful cool August day, Lonegan could have opted for the Flemington Borough Park. But then the press would have noted just how sparse the crowd actually was. Packed in a room they look much larger.

However, all the key players were there: Rep. Leonard Lance (whom called Lonegan his “partner in fiscal conservatism” from his support of the then-State Senator’s lawsuit against then-Gov. Jim McGreevey). Lance mustered up just enough faux enthusiasm to sound almost real in his endorsement.

After Lance, State Senator Mike Doherty took the stage and sincerely endorsed the former mayor of Bogota. The two of them have been in simpatico since 2009 when Lonegan coattails enabled Doherty to crush Marcia Karrow in their State Senate primary in Warren and Hunterdon – two of the counties where Lonegan resoundingly beat Christie in 2010.

Then the show really began, when Christie showed up. Looking slimmer and ready for the road show for 2016 that he’d like to see begin for him the morning after Election Day 2013, Christie went right for the jugular on Mayor Cory Booker (a mayor with whim he has shared the stage many times; many more times than he’s shared any stage with Lonegan, I think). He attacked Booker for being the choice of the “Hollywood elites”, for appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and being a liberal. Never mind the fact that Christie himself has also warmed Oprah’s couch, has done his share of the TV circuit (Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, and the new Michael J. Fox show in the fall).  

Christie’s Crassness

Either Governor Christie thinks New Jersey residents are stupid, or he just enjoys kicking them in the groin.

Ever since the start of his reign in Trenton, Chris Christie has balanced the state budget on the backs of our children and those who could least afford it. Now that it’s an election year, he’s used sleight of hand to make election points. His latest obfuscatory move has been to increase state aid to public schools – aid that he had previously slashed. But the increase for dozens of towns has been the grand total of one dollar. Now, Christie can use his Koch Brothers backed TV ads and his taxpayer-funded town halls to spout out that he has increased aid to public education.

Even this one dollar increase is a lie, as explained by one of Christie’s victims, Hawthorne Superintendent of Schools Robert Mooney. As Mooney describes, additional state assessments have eaten away the one dollar increase and much more from aid to his district.

So while Christie pals around with billionaires like Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, and the Koch Brothers, just remember school districts like Hawthorne that don’t even get enough increase in aid to fill the coffee pot in the teachers’ lounge while millionaires and polluters are riding the Christie wagon to further riches.

Zuckerberg and Christie May Seem Perfect Together, But …

This post by Bill had only been up top for a few minutes when I posted updated news about Sen. Buono’s car accident, so I’m promoting it back up, with my apologies to Bill – Rosi

Both Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Governor Christie are extremely popular, frequently talked about and even held in awe by some. They have a lot in common. They share a similar philosophy on education which culminated in a $100 million secretive grant to Newark and a love fest TV moment with Oprah Winfrey and Mayor Corey Booker. They exude confidence and exert significant power. They both know many wealthy people and are wealthy themselves, although Zuckerberg’s assets are in the stratosphere while Christie’s income only barely puts him in the top 1%.

Both Christie and Zuckerberg also share a darker side as some members of the public view their practices with suspicion and financial analyts are skeptical about what they say and do.

Facebook has had its share of issues involving privacy and security of personal information. Last month the ACLU warned us that a new Facebook search capability means its time for us to review our privacy settings (again!) This new tool to find content and data on Facebook could wind up making information about you far easier for anyone to find. Both disclosed and undisclosed features of Facebook can be injurious to us. Much the same might be said about disclosed and undisclosed activities of our governor. Whether it’s AshBritt, halfway houses, or budget machinations there are reasons to be suspicious.

Just as rating agencies have questioned Christie’s budget projections and expressed concern over NJ ‘s indebtedness, other Wall Street analysts have been skeptical about Facebook. It’s stock price has ranged from $45.00, during its initial public offering (IPO) in May 2012 to as low as $17.55. Earningsforecast.com points out the company’s IPO investors are experiencing about 26% loss since last May, compared with 11% gain for the Nasdaq Composite Index. On Wednesday Investors/Observer issued a critical alert on Facebook. Progressives and others have issued their own critical alert on the governor who may in time lose 26% of his popularity.

They might seem to be perfect together and even best buddies. However, at Facebook there is a positive pro-LGBT approach whereas in our Executive branch there is not. Hopefully as a result of this Garden State Equality petition effort Zuckerberg will soon unfriend Chris Christie and reaffirm his support for all LGBT families and for marriage equality in the state of New Jersey. And just maybe some of that reaffirmation will rub off on our governor.  

The purpose of this diary is not to forecast the future change in Christie’s popularity level nor Facebook’s stock price. Nor is it to explain Zuckerberg’s position on marriage equality nor what Christie might say about the matter in the future. Nonetheless, while Christie and Zuckerberg seem perfect together, it’s time for all of us to join the effort to convince Zuckerberg to unfriend Christie. Friends don’t let friends veto equality.

Chris Christie Talks to Oprah

First Look: Governor Chris Christie on Politics Today

While talking openly with New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie, Oprah asks if he thinks Congress will ever not be at war (based on a quote from Governor Christie). Watch him share his thoughts on Washington politics and President Barack Obama’s chances for re-election.

Blue Jersey Focus: Troy Singleton, featured

How would you like to be the speaker who goes to the podium before two international celebrities? And do it while you are nursing a very bad cold? Well, New Jersey Assembly candidate Troy Singleton was in just that position last night, and he hit a home run.

Last night’s Get Out the Vote rally in Willingboro featured nine time Olympic Gold Medal winner Carl Lewis and Oprah celebrity Newark Mayor Cory Booker. But Singleton was a star in his own light.

Singleton’s district, the seventh, is one of the few competitive legislative races this year. He and his running mate, Assemblyman/Doctor/Lawyer Herb Conaway are competing against the flip-flopping Mayor of Mount Laurel, Jim Keenan, and Christie Clone Chris Halgas.

Singleton already has a list of accomplishments that would make him one of the best prepared Assemblypeople in Trenton. As chief of staff to former Speaker Joe Roberts, Singleton knows the ins and outs of the State House. He’s a labor leader and serves on the Turnpike Authority, the Burlington County Bridge Commission and is a trustee of Rowan University.

Lewis and Booker were inspiring in their remarks last night. But listening to Troy was the highlight.

Marie Corfield – Next Stop, Oprah?

Unless you have been living on Mars the past week, as a Blue Jersey reader by now you know of Flemington, NJ teacher Marie Hughes Corfield, who acquiited herself and did all NJ public servants proud on The Ed Show (friendly territory) Monday, and Fox & Friends (enemy territory) Saturday.

Now, since Oprah Winfrey has involved herself in NJ's public affairs, the obvious next talk show appearance for Marie should be the Oprah Winfrey Show.

How about an email campaign to the Oprah Show's producers, urging them to air the NJ teachers' side of the story? 

CLICK HERE to contact the show.

Here is what I wrote:


Now that Oprah Winfrey has injected herself into NJ politics and NJ public education (the two are inextricably linked) by giving a forum to Governor Chris Christie, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, on her show, she ought to give voice to the teachers themselves. Marie Hughes Corfield, the Flemington, NJ teacher who was famously smacked down by a belligerent Christie at a town hall meeting, has been making appearances on talk shows to defend her profession and debunk Christie's notion that the fiscal woes of NJ are directly attributable to public servants. Please have Ms. Corfield on your show to give her the opportunity to present her side of the story.
Thank you.


Feel free to plagiarize, or write your own pitch as you see fit. 

But please, do it!

Prison Reform in NJ: a Moral and Economic Imperative

NJ Raymond Lesniak wants to reduce prison recidivism rates by offering a small fraction of now risk, non-violent drug offenders early release in exchange for entering a rigorous drug/alcohol treatment program.

Learn about how it’ll pay for itself (+ an intriguing connection between former Gov. McGreevey & First Lady Mary Pat Christie) in this 2min. clip.

Remembering And Feeling Sad

By all reports, Tyler Clementi of Ridgewood, New Jersey was a young man of great promise and enormous talent.  Can we imagine what desperate feelings Tyler might have been experiencing as he drove to that spot on the George Washington Bridge? Can we imagine secretly having our most intimate moments photographed and sent viral over the internet? Can we imagine being 18, just starting college and finding out your roommate “spied” on you with a hidden camera to make the pictures into a “joke”?  How desperately sad for Tyler and his family and indeed for all of us.

What could have made these two young college students think this cruel idea was a “funny prank”?

We’ve all asked each other the most appropriate questions. We’ve written and talked about how in our State gay folks do not have all the same rights as the rest of us do!  We comment on people who think being gay is a choice which can be “cured”!  We know how some in our community still think they can bully and torment others, snicker and make them the brunt of awful jokes. Tyler Clementi’s suicide is being discussed in the national media.  The higher incidence of suicide among gay teenagers is dissected.  A new blog by Perez Hilton called “It Gets Better” was announced on CNN (and even on Fox News), and is designed  to reach out to gay teens.

People are asking should the two idiots who dreamed up this horror be prosecuted under hate crime laws. Should our laws be re-written or changed?   We know that Garden State Equality has been working with Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Valerie Vaineri Huttle to re-work our anti-bullying law to make it more appropriately stringent.

How will we work to build a community where these laws won’t be so necessary? This week I don’t have very many answers.  As an affilliated Jew in the Bergen/Hudson area, I receive a weekly newspaper which I greatly respect:  The Jewish Standard. Last week they printed their first engagement announcement of a gay couple. This week, they announced that they will not do “this” again. Their editor’s note said they received many letters of condemnation as well as letters of support, but because of the sensitivities expressed by a strong segment of leaders in our religious community, they do not want to divide the community or offend these sensitivities. That is certainly their editorial right to do so. But coming in the same week as Tyler Clementi’s suicide, it makes me even more sad.

So here’s a letter to the Jewish Standard, written by Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu, a member of our Teaneck community:

Letter & rest of diary after the jump:

NJ Education: Yes We Can!

“NJ’s commitment to implement its Abbott plan and ensure equitable resources to all students proves that it can be done at the state level – as NJ is the only state with a significant Black male population with a greater than 65% high school graduation rate.” John H. Jackson, Schott Foundation for Public Ed.

YES WE CAN: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males 2010 presents positive news about education in NJ. The study demonstrates that whereas the US White Male Graduation Rate is 78%, in NJ the Black Male Graduation Rate (BMGR) is a high 69% and in Newark it is an even higher 75%. NJ overall ranks 9th among the 50 states in BMGR, but it is Newark’s record for which we can be most proud. As the report points out, “The increased resources from Abbott v. Burke funding in NJ, which became effective about 2003, have allowed the much-maligned Newark school district to nearly close the gap for Black males with national White male graduation rates.” Newark is ranked #1 in the Ten Best-Peforming Large Districts for Black Males.

The report also looks at the data by the percentage of Black male students scoring at or above proficiency, using the National Assessment of Educational Progress 2009, Grade 8 reading percentages.  

(continue reading below the fold)