Tag Archive: Matt Katz

Profiles in Expediency

Philadelphia Inquirer State House reporter Matt Katz has been pretty busy. In the Sunday paper, he has two feature articles, one profiling Senate President Stephen Sweeney and another begging Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno for an interview.

The Sweeney piece is a classic example of the excellence in dead tree journalism. It’s a long article showing that even for the second most powerful elected official in Trenton, all politics is local. Punctuated by a photo of Sweeney admiring a Jimmy Margulies cartoon showing Sweeney decapitating his political rival, the article tells the story of how an ironworker fought his way to power, dealt with local Republican opposition, and has leveraged his blue-collar persona in the morass of Trenton politics. A major player in the article is a Sunoco refinery in Sweeney’s legislative district, and Katz describes Sweeney’s battle with Sunoco’s CEO on tax assessments and jobs, While the article never mentions Sweeney’s on-again, off-again bromance with the Governor, it presents a fair and accurate profile of a man that few New Jerseyans know. I learned quite a bit from reading Katz’s profile and would recommend it to anyone who yearns to understand the incomprehensibilities of Trenton politics.

The Guadagno piece, on the other hand, is a flippant attempt by Katz to score an interview with the Lieutenant Governor. While the article, which appears in Katz’s Christie Chronicles column, is informative, it only mentions in passing the Guadagno pension scandal allegations that may be the subject of a cover-up by the Christie administration.

Katz is in a difficult position here. If he writes something too critical of the administration, he risks incurring the Wrath of Chris, which would impact Katz’s access to the governor. And while there’s a theoretical firewall between the ownership and the editorial content of his newspaper, the fact that his (and his colleagues’) livelihood depends on Christie’s pal George Norcross III, part owner of the Inquirer, is troubling.

Yet, it’s up to a major metropolitan paper like the Inquirer to eke out the truth about political scandals. Even in the age of downsizing and layoffs, the mainstream media is the only venue outside of the government that has the resources and expertise to conduct such investigation. I’m not holding my breath waiting for the Christie administration to investigate itself. For all I know, the Inquirer may be working on the Guadagno allegations right now. I hope Katz gets his interview with the Lieutenant Governor. And when he does, I hope he presses hard on the pension scandal issue, not just to get at the truth, but also to send a message to other politicians that the Fourth Estate is alive and well and keeping an eye on them.

Fools


“I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.”

– Chris Christie’s mentor and patron, George W Bush

In a column extoling the support that Chris Christie is receiving from certain “Democrats”, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Matt Katz discusses the reasons why the governor has received accolades. Unsurprisingly, it boils down to money and power.

What Katz and the general public fail to see is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Christie is one of the most astute politicians of our lifetime. He rarely blunders in his quest for political power and influence, and his taxpayer-funded squad of spin doctors is among the best in the business.

They say that history repeats itself, and that is becoming apparent in the political ascent of Chris Christie.

FYI: Barbara Buono’s South Jersey Campaign Schedule

We’ve heard considerable complaining from some people in South Jersey that Barbara Buono’s campaign is invisible there, pitched more towards the Dem-heavier north. We’ve had repeated comments here claiming this, by two readers at Blue Jersey. Matt Katz, who writes the Christie Chronicles at Philadelphia Inquirer underscored the point when he posed the question a few days ago of whether Buono had simply forsaken South Jersey. Though in fairness, he also asked whether South Jersey had forsaken her.

Matt covers the governor and NJ politics for the consortium of papers (including ‘Inky’) owned by a group led by South Jersey boss George Norcross, so it’s never unreasonable to determine for yourself if the paper’s reporting is fair and accurate for any matters that directly affect Mr. Norcross. As this may, considering that his beneficiary Steve Sweeney wants to be governor himself one day, and has appeared to undermine the Buono campaign so publicly that one has to ask the question of whether his chances next time aren’t greatly increased if Buono doesn’t just lose, but loses big. As Democratic leaders failing to unify behind the top of the ticket so obviously weaken the candidate at top of that ticket.

Having said that, I sometimes disagree with him, but in my book Katz is an excellent reporter. And he appeared to specifically concern himself with Dem activity in the Philly suburbs closest to the paper.

As an FYI, I wanted to know how many visits Buono had actually made to South Jersey. If any of the complaining had teeth. The Buono campaign provided this list on my request, as we are on their distribution list to receive her daily schedule the night before every day, so this is a compilation of info available to all news outlets. The list is theirs; the commentary and conclusions drawn above all mine.

All of these events were open to the public.

Atlantic County

3/23: Atlantic County Democrats Convention KEYNOTE SPEECH

4/30: District 1199J National Union of Hospital & Health Care Employees Leadership Conference ENDORSEMENT

5/17: NJ Dem Convention: Salute to New Jersey Workers Breakfast

5/17: NJ Dem Convention: Step Up Women’s Lunch KEYNOTE SPEECH

5/17: NJ Dem Convention: Cocktail Reception with Mayor Booker SPEECH

5/17: NJ Dem Convention: Congressional Dinner KEYNOTE SPEECH

Burlington County

1/26: BIC Retreat

2/6: Burlington County Jefferson Jackson Dinner ENDORSEMENT

4/25: Burlington County Democratic Committee meeting KEYNOTE

Camden County

3/23: National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Southern NJ Chapter ENDORSEMENT

Cumberland County

3/30: Cumberland County Democrats Women’s Leadership Luncheon ENDORSEMENT

Gloucester County

3/15: AFSCME 71 Meeting ENDORSEMENT

Monmouth County

1/5/: Hazlet Township Mayor Swearing In

1/17: Monmouth County Democrats Holiday Party ENDORSEMENT

2/23: Monmouth County Democrats Convention KEYNOTE SPEECH

2/27: Monmouth/ Wall Democratic Organization’s JFK Valor Awards PRESENTED WITH AN AWARD

3/2: Belmar St. Patty’s Parade (Marched in Parade)

3/4: Monmouth County Democrats Women’s Caucus Women’s History Month event SPEECH

Ocean County

1/26: Ocean County Democrats Breakfast ENDORSEMENT

3/23: Ocean County Democrats Convention KEYNOTE SPEECH

4/6: Stand Up for NJ: Fighting for Clean Water, Air & Communities Conference KEYNOTE SPEECH

Salem County

3/30: Salem County Democrats Convention KEYNOTE SPEECH

More Christie Apologia

promoted by Rosi

Yesterday, there was an article in Blue Jersey that talked about how the so-called mainstream media tends to go after Democratic politicians while giving Republicans a free pass. Today, we saw another example of that in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

In an otherwise well-written piece on Christie’s relationship to the African-American community, reporter Matt Katz fails to mention the recent racial epithet that Christie used in his rally in Paterson. As reported by Blue Jersey, the Governor used the derogatory term “boy” when referring to an African-American questioner. Nowhere is this mentioned in the Inquirer article.

The media gave Dubya a free pass on the Iraq war. Ten years later, we are trillions in debt and countless lives lost. Christie’s failings are not as overwhelming as those of his mentor – yet. But the people of New Jersey will be paying for Christie’s policies for years to come. And in both cases, part of the blame goes to the overly-compliant media.

Something is Very Wrong With Chris Christie

Yesterday, our governor distinguished himself by calling an Iraq War veteran an “idiot.”

No, I’m not kidding. Matt Katz tells the story:

At a town hall meeting in front of hundreds of people at the Roebling firehouse, Christie said current Rutgers-Camden students would be able to graduate with Rutgers degrees. But that did not placate William Brown, 34, a former Navy SEAL and second-year Rutgers-Camden law student, who asked about the future.

“What about my son? What about my neighbors? What about my friends?” Brown asked.

More below the fold …