Tag Archive: Matt Katz

Headlines of the Day: Wisconsin (Scott Walker) & New Jersey (Chris Christie) editions

Scott Walker, please come home

              – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Zzzzzz. As the Christie campaign heats up, the Christie statehouse sleeps

               – Matt Katz, NJ Spotlight

In Wisconsin’s most respected daily, look what opinion writer Ernst-Ulrich Franzen is complaining about with 2016 hopeful Gov. Scott Walker; legislators in his own Republican party that can’t agree, a mess of a budget driven entirely too much by the pet projects and policy wants of GOP members, and serious problems that have worsened back home with him away.

Sound familiar?

Congratulations to WNYC’s team and reporters Andrea Bernstein & Matt Katz, Peabody Award winners

This week, WNYC & New Jersey Public Radio won a Peabody Award for their reporting of how Gov. Chris Christie and his administration exercise power in New Jersey. Their submitted work, spanning a year, was filed under the heading of White House Ambitions and the Abuse of Power. Big congrats to them for honor well-earned. Andrea Bernstein and Matt Katz, the reporters. Nancy Solomon, managing editor NJ Public Radio. Jim Schachter, WNYC’s VP for News.

On the jump, I’ll link what they won for. Here’s why you should see them:

(1) Got cousins in New Hampshire? Iowa? Send them this.

(2) The cover-up is always worse than the crime: Whether crime occurred, or more directly whether the Governor or those to report to him and did his bidding have left themselves open to prosecution, remains to be seen. But what is clear in the reminder these posts are, is the lengths to which the administration went (and is going) to muddy the waters. Anyone with a belief Chris Christie’s operation is accountable or transparent, should rethink that after clicking through the links below.

(3) It’s all simply great reporting, and a pleasure to read.

Along with the Peabody-winning links below, is a shout-out to the New Jerseyan who won a Pulitzer Prize yesterday (albeit for work at an NYC media outlet):  

Bridgegate Fall Guy Was Inside Man by Katz & Bernstein: Read it, bookmark it, share it.

Bridgegate Fall Guy Was Inside Man

by Matt Katz & Andrea Bernstein

NJ Spotlight & New Jersey Public Radio/WNYC

I flagged this for you this morning in the News Roundup, but I wanted to pull it out again before the end of the day. This is superb reporting, and more detail than we knew before about how much Chris Christie was in a position to know about the intentional Bridgegate lane closures. And what contact Christie had – directly or through his closest political advisors – with David Wildstein, the political operative who helped mastermind the intentional traffic snarl on the busiest bridge in the world. And for whom was created a high-paying job at Port Authority. Christie has portrayed Wildstein as a rogue employee isolated from the Governor, who Christie insists he barely knew in school, who nevertheless long before the scandal was described as Christie’s “eyes and ears” inside Port Authority.

Wildstein A/K/A the anonymous insider “Wally Edge” who founded and ran for 10 years the site that became PolitickerNJ, had “more extensive contact” with Christie’s inner circle than the Governor has acknowledged, Katz and Bernstein found.  

Who made Chris Cillizza’s list of Best State Reporters for NJ?

Chris Cillizza, who runs the Washington Post column The Fix likes to make lists of bests. Blue Jersey’s been named both as one of the best state political blogs and among the best state-based political tweeters for @BlueJersey.

Today, Cillizza picked his list of Best State Political Reporters.

Michael Aron, NJTV @MichaelAronNJTV

Mark Bonamo, PolitickerNJ @markjbonamo

Josh Dawsey, Wall Street Journal @jdawsey1

Heather Haddon, Wall Street Journal @heatherhaddon

Melissa Hayes, Bergen Record @Record_Melissa

Matt Katz, WNYC Radio @mattkatz00

Dave Levinsky, Burlington County Times davidlevinsky

John Reitmeyer, Bergen Record @johnreitmeyer

Congrats to all, it’s a nice resumé-builder. Special tip of the hat to The Record, whose reporters’ work on the evolving Christie scandals has been essential. And to Matt Katz, who has made watching Chris Christie into a brand.

Of course, while you’re following all these folks, we also hope you’ll follow @BlueJersey.  

QoTD: “the only tidbit”

Quote of the Day goes to Matt Katz:

As New Jerseyans by the tens of thousands were hours away from the biggest climate change march in history – in NYC and around the world – Christie was – in your face, science – hobnobbing with GOP money bigshots convened by the Koch brothers who are firmly on the side of wrecking the environment for their almighty dollar.

The dinner was firmly off-limits to the press, so we don’t know much beyond the fact that Christie made food jokes to the party, and how much poundage he’s dropped.

We do know that Christie is capable of letting NJ policy be driven by what serves the Kochs and their ilk, who don’t open their wallets for candidates that put the interests of their states ahead of the interests of guys like the Kochs. Don’t need reporters in the room to know that much.  

Video: Wiz & Weinberg on Schuber’s zero ‘curiosity’ testimony

Here – below – are GWB panel co-chairs Sen. Loretta Weinberg and Asm John Wisniewski talking to press after Tuesday’s questioning of Port Authority Commissioner William “Pat” Schuber and his I don’t know, I don’t remember, I wasn’t there testimony.

For more on this, highly recommend Matt Katz’ Port Authority — or Politburo?

Next up to testify is Christie chief of staff Kevin O’Dowd, who had knowledge that Deputy COS Bridget Kelly might have known something about the lane closures, as early as December 5th of last year – a conversation Gov. Christie walked in on, suggesting his Jan. 8th 2-hour shock and awe press conference might have been more showmanship than actual righteous outrage.

Roundup of media coverage of Chris Christie’s $1 million PR stunt

Much of the time, I wish the DNC and the DGA would pull back on, or at least refine, the Christie-bashing. It’s an optics issue. I get that they smell blood. And I think they believe they’re helping. But there are still people here making up their minds how they feel about the daily Christie news in New Jersey. His avoidance of the press and their hard questions vs. “town halls” where he get mostly softballs. And his “Bridgegate”  denials that his key operatives ever checked with him on anything vs. the investigations, where that hasn’t been determined yet. What I always want the D.C. Dems to recognize is that there’s still slow, linear, dogged due diligence going on in these investigations. And New Jerseyans who haven’t made up their minds yet what they believe are watching it all. In the legislature, Wisniewski & Weinberg appear to take that work very seriously. No showboating. No overreach. No partisan scoring (the GOP would disagree, but their leader’s a key player in the scandal **). I hate anything that looks like that investigation is rigged by party (including D.C. bombast) Because I don’t think it is.

So I prefer it when the national Dems keep it simple. So, I like this unvarnished roundup of media response to the news that Christie’s “internal review” – conducted by friendly, politically-connected lawyers at taxpayer expense – finds him blameless. Who thinks Christie’s “internal investigation” has credibility? Read on:

Christie’s Bridgegate investigation is baloney

The Star-Ledger // Editorial Board

“It cost New Jersey taxpayers at least a million bucks, but here’s what we finally know for a fact: Gov. Chris Christie’s lawyers think he’s innocent.”

That’s the best headline. The rest, on the jump.

Matt Katz pulls a little irony out of Bridgegate emails

Yesterday’s release of unredacted emails back-and-forth between Gov. Christie operatives in his inner office and public employees he was using as operatives inside the Port Authority showed a highly-questionable jokey convo about using their government power to cause traffic problems for a rabbi named Mendy Carlebach who David Wildstein said “pissed me off”. Here, he’s writing with Christie Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly:

Kelly: “We cannot cause traffic problems in front of his house, can we?”

Wildstein: “Flights to Tel Aviv all mysteriously delayed.

Ah, then, WNYC reporter Matt Katz filed this little gem of irony, about a trip a group of NJ legislators made yesterday to Tel Aviv, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Metrowest in North Jersey. Among the travelers, six members of the Bridgegate investigation committee including both its chairs, Sen. Loretta Weinberg and Asm John Wisniewski. Katz:

And wouldn’t you know it? Their flight to Tel Aviv was, indeed, mysteriously delayed. Two hours on the tarmac at Newark Airport, which is operated by the Port Authority.