Tag Archive: Brian Thompson

Sen. Loretta Weinberg & NBC’s Brian Thompson on Hardball

Yesterday, as the Bridgegate Select Committee on Investigation (SCI) prepared to formally release their findings everything had to come to a halt so Sen. Kevin O’Toole could throw some smoke. It was quite the show.  He complained Republicans were being mistreated, and  went on to question co-Chair John Wisniewski’s motives and actions – – even comparing him to Kim Jong Il. Asm Greenwald, watching this, said he’d never seen such a level of unprofessionalism in his 20 years in Trenton. There were also loud complaints about the number of times co-chairs Wisniewski and Weinberg had been invited on TV.

So this sober account of where the investigation stands – with Weinberg and NBC’s Brian Thompson on Hardball with Chris Matthews – should unsettle O’Toole mightily. Oh well.

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Was Christie the Leak?

There’s been a lot of supposition over the years that the US Attorney’s office under Chris Christie leaked like a sieve, slipping information damaging to Democrats to the press while holding tight to information that could hurt Republicans.

The evidence was largely circumstantial.  How did the press find out about the subpoena to Bob Menendez just weeks before the Senatorial election?  Why was Brian Thompson standing around as subpoenas were served on Democrats in the Christmas Tree investigation?

Back on March 1, 2007 we wrote:

There is surely no fire here, and maybe only a scent of smoke from far away.  But the actions and subpoenas of the past seven months are exactly what a US Attorney who was told to put pressure on the Democrats would start doing.  Every time a Democrat starts gaining points, hit them with a subpoena.  Every time a Republican needs to score points, make an announcement.

Well, now there’s fire to go with the smoke.  The Corzine FOIA requests for Christie’s communications have unearthed actual phone slips of calls from the media to Christie late on the afternoon of February 27th, 2007 — the day before subpoenas were dropped on three Democratic legislators.

Here’s Brian Thompson of television’s NBC News, talking with Christie the afternoon before the subpoenas dropped: thompson-227afternoon

And here’s Michael Gartland of The Record talking the same afternoon:  gartland-227afternoon

Both Thompson was hanging out at the statehouse just in time for the subpoenas on February 28th, 2007 ensuring quick coverage on television and the Internet.

It’s no stretch to think that Christie was the leak, telling reporters about secret Grand Jury actions — which is, by the way, a crime.  Christie has to answer for this, and either reveal what he talked about with Thompson and Gartland that day or tacitly admit that he personally was the leak.

Before today it was easy to believe Christie used leaks from his office to aid in his political goals.  After today it is hard to refute.

A childish start to a campaign

If he’s trying to hide his age, success. Lautenberg really looked like a baby yesterday.

Brian Thompson at WNBC is on it:

Thompson: “Would you have stood on the same stage with him [Rob Andrews] this afternoon?”

Lautenberg: “I’m not going to answer the question. Come on, Brian.”

Thompson: “Whatever the misunderstanding, a campaign source tells me there was no way the Senator was going to share the stage with his challenger.”

Corzine’s Monetization Plan Details Emerge

Brian Thompson at WNBC has the scoop on the governor’s plan to monetize the state’s toll roads in order to cut the state’s debt and fund transportation projects:

Tolls would go up as much as 75 percent in the year 2010, and then 75 percent more on an “every four year” schedule after that. In addition, any inflation would be factored into those increases.

The bottom line, a trip from Bergen County to Newark Airport that now costs $1.70 would be at least $5.20 by the year 2014. A 70-cent toll on the Parkway would be $2.13 that same year. […]

Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts said that while he wants to see details, he is initially supportive and challenges critics “to look honestly at this idea and if you don’t like this, tell me what your idea is.”

For starters, we should begin with the assumption that whatever the plan is, future legislators will try to borrow and spend their way back into the same mess we’re in right now. Given past performance, it would be naïvely irresponsible to assume otherwise. In his speech last week, Corzine indicated that he’s aware of that possibility. That’s encouraging. Unless we can ensure legislatively that any gains from this plan can’t be squandered away, moving forward with monetization will just speed up the process of putting us further into debt.