Tag Archive: Rob Tornoe

Declining enrollment in Camden schools result of charter growth

From cartoonist and essayist Rob Tornoe:

In his post, Rob walks through the cycle Gov . Christie and his Democratic allies have generated in Camden schools, one of the large city districts the state’s taken over. Shifts to charters, legislation to encourage more charters, layoffs in the schools that are left, more charters, things getting worse for the kids left behind when the charter students leave and the money follows them out the door in a very deliberate cycle:

Charter schools in Camden aren’t just draining students – they’re draining money, close to $66 million worth in 2013-14, compared with just just $52 million the year before. Next year, Camden has budgeted $72 million to transfer to charters. There’s your $75 million shortfall. [snip]

All I’m saying is don’t get behind a podium and pretend the declining enrollment in Camden schools isn’t premeditated, planned and encouraged by all the major stakeholders involved in determining the city’s education future.

Soon, half of all Camden students will attend charter schools, a fact everyone designing education policy for your kids already knows.



Read Rob’s full commentary here. And damn, I wish I could cartoon.  

Chris Christie: The Pied Piper of New Jersey

Christie might as well be the Pied Piper of New Jersey, luring unsuspecting supporters in with his common sense rhetoric, only to gut the programs that hurt them the most.

                                  – Cartoonist/commentator Rob Tornoe

Rob Tornoe, good friend of Blue Jersey’s, sums up last night’s NJ Gov debate in commentary and artwork, highlighting one exchange he says perfectly captures Christie the politician. His commentary at newsworks is spot-on. And here’s the cartoon:

Rob Tornoe cartoon

Miss last night’s debate? See it here.

Tornoe: It’s time for Chris Christie to evolve on marriage equality

Rob Tornoe cartoon 1/24/13

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

Yeah, that was President Barack Obama this week, the first president ever to say the word gay out loud in public, and he said it in his inaugural address number two. A big deal speech, and obvious leadership on gay rights, even if it took him a while to evolve enough to get there.

But where does that leave Chris Christie, who gets plenty of mileage among national (and NJ) right-wingers accusing Obama of failure to lead. Where does that leave Chris Christie now in a state where the majority of us back marriage equality? Rob outlines Christie’s ME problem here. It’s a good read.  

Rob Tornoe: New Jersey’s voters need Christie to be more than just Sandy

Chris Christie, befleeced and whining that we’re harshing on his victory lap:

Rob Tornoe cartoon 1/14/13

Artist is our friend, cartoonist and commentator Rob Tornoe who manages to call out Gov. Christie in both sketch and text. You can read Rob’s full commentary here, but here’s a pull-out:

But if Christie wants to really help New Jersey, he’ll come down from the Sandy wave he is riding and use this record popularity to dish out some of his self-anointed leadership to help the rest of the state. After all, Hurricane Sandy was rough, but once New Jersey recovers and rebuilds, the state will still face record-high property taxes, a budget deficit close to $2 billion and an unemployment rate among the worst in the nation.

It doesn’t really take much leadership to call out a Congress so dysfunctional it can’t manage to reauthorize something a non-controversial as the Violence Against Women Act. Sure, he gets some points for being willing to yell at fellow Republicans, but he’s the one who helped campaign for them to get elected.

Where could Christie show some damned leadership? Let’s see: Property taxes, a state assault weapons ban (gun violence conspicuously absent from the State of the State), our way-higher than national jobless rate, our second-highest in the U.S. foreclosure rate …

Rob Tornoe cartoon: Jersey politicians & burning buildings

Some of us rush into a burning building when we know a neighbor is in need. And some of us don’t.

Two images in New Jersey politics piqued the interest of our friend cartoonist Rob Tornoe this week; Cory Booker risking his life to help rescue a woman in a burning building, and Chris Christie snoozing at a Springsteen concert. Don’t jump down his throat, we all know the dedicated Springsteen fan meant no diss to The Boss. He was just plum tuckered out from blowing more hot air than Clemons used to blow into his sax. It gets Rob to thinking about the disrespect the Jersey Boss holds for people in need. And that needs talking about. Christie has picked a side. When he said what he said last week – “When the American people no longer believe that this a place where only their willingness to work hard … determines their success in life then we’ll have a bunch of people sittin’ on a couch waiting for their next government check.” – he was communing with his peeps, the supply-siders swilling together under George W. Bush’s watch. And congratulating their rising Jersey star, no doubt, for passing off corporate welfare and tax cuts for the rich to us dumb voters as economic development.

Rob says it better, his opinion piece is worth your read. As an appetizer, here’s the cartoon that goes with it:

Rob Tornoe cartoon 4/16/12

Christie’s Media Flock vs. Occupy Wall Street

Our friend political cartoonist Rob Tornoe just started a new gig posting weekly cartoons at Media Matters, which keeps a watch on right-wing distortions in the press. Below is Rob’s take on a press corps panting after Chris Christie and his every flirty hint, while missing the growing resistance known as Occupy Wall Street.

Occupy Wall Street, which Blue Jersey wrote about on its first day, has become something its organizers may not even have envisioned – the beginning of a movement, diffuse and responsive to the economic unrest that compels its participants. A dangerous thing to the powers that be. And when the crackdowns come the most reliable sources may be alt media.

Look what happened, for example, when ostensibly the most trusted news source in America – the vaunted New York Times – changed their story about Saturday’s massive arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge. We might not even know any of this if not for the side-by-side comparison of two versions of the story provided by Village Voice, alt media in transition to mainstream media. What news we’re hearing about the spread of this protest to New Jersey is via activist-to-activist email and organization via social media – Occupy Wall Street becomes Occupy New Jersey in Trenton October 6th. And Tampa, Omaha, Nashville, Dallas, LA, San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Christie might, and might not. And yes, it matters to us if he does, because we know more about him than that panting press corps does, or ever will. But I hope Blue Jersey’s on the left side of Rob Tornoe’s Media Matters cartoon too.

Rob Tornoe cartoon