Tag Archive: Sen. Bob Smith

The Press Reporting On Things Unsaid

“From Ernest Hemingway I learned to listen within my stories for what went unsaid by my characters.”

– Author Nadine Gordimer

Newspapers (and blogs) thrive on quotable quotes from their sources. During Christie’s tenure he has offered a barrell-full of them which journalists report with gusto. However, just as important in a given article can be what the source does not say.

Over the weekend Sen. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex) stated that the governor’s office called every Republican senator and threatened them with their lives – their political lives – if they did not vote against the “Open Space” resolution. Undoubtedly Sen. Smith was using hyperbole. Nonetheless, on Monday the resolution failed by two votes.

True to form when Christie was asked about the accusation he launched into a multi-sentence personal attack against Sen. Smith. Christie ended his tirade saying “Smith is no leader. He’s a joke.” Such a juicy quote was reported by the press with gusto.

More telling, however, than the nasty, outrageous response from Christie was the opening sentence in the news article as reported by By Jenna Portnoy and Ryan Hutchins in the Star-Ledger:

Sidestepping whether he pressured Republicans to vote “no” on putting open space preservation on the November ballot, Gov. Chris Christie instead slammed the Democratic state senator who sponsored the resolution.”

The fact that Christie would not respond to whether his office pressured Republican legislators is more important than the colorful and insulting quote he provided. Christie is a master of this. All too often politicians avoid answering a question, and when that happens it’s important that the press tell us. Good for Jenna Portnoy and Ryan Hutchins.  

New Jersey’s Environment: A Matter of Life and Breath

The LD16 GOP incumbents get a big, fat “F” grade on environment. Time for a change. 2 Days till Marie #CorfieldMoneyBomb. Blue Jersey's all-in. Promoted by Rosi.

“What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Have you ever seen a fish out of water, lying there helpless as it gasps for oxygen? That’s what it feels like to have asthma. I know because I have it—along with a host of other food, air and chemical allergies.

The single most important thing we do every day is breathe. To the average person it’s a no-brainer. They can do it in their sleep—literally. But, for almost 700,000 New Jerseyans, breathing, even in their sleep, is a life and death struggle. Fortunately, my disease is well managed. That means taking 3 different prescription medications and carrying an Epi-pen. (Thank goodness I’ve never had to use it.) But for those without health insurance—many of whom are children—every day is a potential fish out of water day.

I grew up in the heart of the opening credits of the Sopranos—Kearny—smack dab in the middle of the toxic stew of the Passaic River and the Diamond Shamrock Plant to the West, New York City and the once-pristine-meadowlands-turned-garbage-dumps to the East, and Newark Liberty Airport and the oil refineries to the South. As a kid, the only time I could really, truly breathe was when we were on vacation in LBI. I moved to Hunterdon County almost 20 years ago for, among other things, better air quality.

But many people in New Jersey don't have that luxury.

According to the New Jersey Environmental Federation, a chapter of Clean Water Action:

• In 2011, there were nearly 2500 hospital admissions for asthma in New Jersey at an average charge of $15,000/stay. Extreme heat and declining air quality are expected to increase risk of respiratory problems and heat stress, including premature death.