Tag Archive: PolitickerNJ

Donald Trump votes, gets booed

New Yorkers know what’s up. This was a few minutes ago, as Trump voted in mid-town, getting atto-boys from some nearby construction workers but boos from his fellow New Yorkers on line to vote themselves. With the candidate, his wife Melania, Ivanka Trump…
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Really, PolitickerNJ?

I love me some Politicker sometimes – I do. But take a look at this reader poll up today there, bylined PolitickerNJ Editor (Max Pizarro). Check out the last choice asking readers to rate Wiz’s choice to back Bernie Sanders: “I…
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Report: David Wildstein to plead Guilty

UPDATE 6:30pm: APP reporting Wildstein did not get the immunity he was seeking, but the idea he would plead guilty before charges are brought against anyone else raises the possibility he is cooperating.

UPDATE 5:13pm: Now hearing via Bloomberg legal reporter David Voreacos and his college Elise Young, that Wildstein’s plea is now rescheduled to Friday.

David Wildstein is going to plead guilty tomorrow, we hear. Of all the people involved in the Bridgegate scandal, he probably knows the most, and has the longest loyalty to Gov. Christie – who threw him under the bus. And he almost certainly has stories to tell. Bloomberg is reporting Wildstein will go to federal court in Newark tomorrow, and plead guilty, unclear to what charges. Wildstein said last year that Christie knew about the GWB lane closures while they were going on, that he informed Christie himself. The “order” to shut the lanes, which has been discussed as the “Time for some traffic problems” email, came from Christie’s inner office, from Deputy COS Bridget Kelly. Christie has distanced himself from both Wildstein and Kelly, and denies any wrongdoing. New Jersey taxpayers have spent a fortune on the self-exonerating Mastro Report, which jumped to that conclusion. But this may now be the floodgates, and the indictments, how high will they go?

Christie’s effort to skate away from Wildstein? Epic. A full take-down. Implied that he – as an athlete and class president – was above Wildstein’s lowly circle. Played him as a loser as a nerd. When the chips are down, Christie doesn’t return loyalty, even to somebody who’d been lapping at his ankles for decades. Christie claimed he barely knew Wildstein; now we know that was a lie.

Chris Christie, David Wildstein Sept. 11, 2013
Christie with Wildstein (speaking), who he says he barely knows. Taken Sept. 11, 2013 (by Port Authority), the day Wildstein says he informed Christie of the lane closures, which were in their third day

In what world do indictments in Bridgegate equal vindication for Christie?

If reports are right, there could be indictments this week (or just about any week) in the Bridgegate investigation. But I just can’t get past this headline today over at PolitickerNJ, because the majority of people will never read the story, they will just see this:

For Christie, indictments in Bridgegate investigation could mean vindication

This is exactly what Team Christie is hoping for and counting on. Check it out: If you Google Christie and Indictments, look at the 3rd news story currently:

Seriously. In what world is potential indictment and perp walk of your closest advisors, Port Authority henchmen and campaign chiefs vindication? If they’re indicted, it will be for work they did for a seated Governor launching a campaign for president. If they’re indicted, it will be for carrying out the business they had reason to believe Gov. Christie wanted, even if he says – repeatedly – he wasn’t aware of any of it? Is that how far the bar has been lowered now?

“Vindication.” Just wow.  

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.  

Will Chris Christie Sarah Palin himself to TV?

This afternoon, Mark Bonamo at Politicker has a tip from a source who says Gov. Chris Christie will stay in the 2016 White House race until the New Hampshire primary, then take a job in TV. Sarah Palin did something like that, leaving her duly-elected job (that she sucked at) to be a FOX News contributor and even a reality show.

Christie jumps to TV …So what would that look like?

Have You Heard About My Tough-Love Mama?

Christie interviews Heartland Republicans about the Wisdom of their Mothers. Catholic Television Network

It’s My Mendham – with Chris & Mary Pat

LIVE Q & A from the Mendham Starbucks. Each week, the Christies answer questions from new residents on how to hire a pool boy, equestrian wear and more. Local cable.

My Wingwoman

Hijinks and the high-life as a famous fictional governor, played by former Gov. Chris Christie travels the country on private planes to 5-star hotels. Along for the ride his favorite “aide,” played by former NJ Economic Development chief Michele Brown in her first publicly co-starring role. TV Land

Adventures in School Reform

Current affairs discussion. Live from a Undisclosed Location in Newark and under heavy security, where Christie reminds viewers each episode he was born, leading lights of the school reform movement brought from New York by limousine are interviewed. Topics range from counseling out autistics, how to rig student test scores, and the pros and cons of smart offshore investing. FOX News

So You Think You Can Govern?

Advice show with humorous edge. Each week 3 new mayors discuss problems their residents bring to them, and Gov. Christie tells them how to tell their constituents to go fuck themselves. FOX TV

Project Chris’s Way

Orange sweaters. Statement ties. Pin-striped suits. Fledgling designers compete for top prizes by designing menswear for the active average-sized American man. Sponsored by Londoners of Livingston. BRAVO

Political Apprentice

Spin-off from executive producer Donald Trump. NBC

Who Wants to be a Millionaire

Wealthy Republican voters & GOP governors seek advice from the former NJ Governor on how to teach the poor to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps. Subscription only

Wait, Wait, Sit Down and Shut Up

Premiere offering in NPR’s effort to expand their listenership to more conservative Americans. Host: Chris Christie. NPR


Spin-off of Gotham crime drama based on characters from the DC Comics Batman franchise. Christie plays Gotham City’s hard-nosed prosecutor. Not yet cast: Loretta Weinberg as Catwoman. FOX TV

Jersey Shore II

The return of MTV’s popular reality show updated to focus on the boisterous fun of the Garden State’s posh set. In the first episode, Mantaloking, Just Looking, , argument erupts over martinis about dunes, with guest star former Gov. Chris Christie playing himself, making the argument for high, well-built dunes to protect oceanfront properties. Richard Stender plays himself. Production delayed until federal investigation of NJ handling of Hurricane Sandy funds is resolved.

Anger Management II (Working Title: Fantasy Football)

Spin-off of popular Charlie Sheen series about a one-time minor league baseball player beset by anger issues. Here, it’s a football player in his first NFL year. Starring Nick Lachey as the troubled Charlie Badson, with Chris Christie as Coach, teaching him an explosive personality can be useful in the gridiron sport. FX

19 Indictments and Counting

Former Assemblyman and unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor John Wisniewski hosts this documentary series recreating the cover-up to the scandals that brought down former Gov. Chris Christie, now serving 4 years in federal prison. With John Goodman as Christie, Richard Schiff as David Wildstein, Amy Poehler as Bridget Kelly, Tina Fey as Dawn Zimmer, Alec Baldwin as Mark Sokolich, Glenn Close as Kim Guadagno, Ralph Fiennes as Michael Drewniak, Kathy Bates as Loretta Weinberg, James Cromwell as Wisniewski. And the late Vincent Gardenia as the “late” David Samson.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 4.18.41 PM

NJ-3 Lessons Noted and an Election Post-Mortem

A mentor once taught me the difference between a Lesson Learned and a Lesson Noted. By documenting things we learn and suggesting a better approach, we are generating Lessons Noted. Only if we take appropriate action to do things better have we developed a Lesson Learned.

So after a year working as a full-time volunteer on Aimee Belgard’s congressional campaign, here are some Lessons Noted. It’s up to the next candidate two years from now to make these into Lessons Learned.

Lessons Noted:

Money is King. Tom MacArthur’s vast wealth enabled him to overwhelm the airways with his negative ads, hire scads of paid canvassers, and advertise everywhere from Facebook to on-line games to Jeopardy! But it’s not just the fact that he could afford to buy the election. In order to remain competitive, Aimee Belgard had to spend a minimum of 30 hours per week on the phone soliciting donations as well as attending countless fundraisers both locally and across the country. This is time that she could have spent meeting voters – a luxury that MacArthur had and she didn’t. If we don’t correct the Supreme Court’s egregious error in Citizens United, then congressional seats will not be determined by the will of the people, but by the highest bidder.

PNJ Doubles Down On Blasting Democrats

promoted by Rosi

We know we just wrote on this issue, but Politicker followed up its condemnation of Democrats for not being able to “pry” away votes by accusing Democrats of not wanting to get the votes so they could score political points.  

At issue are the Republican Assembly members who voted for a bipartisan, unanimously passed bill regarding how the state reports debt information in June, but then voted against the same bill after the Governor vetoed it. Democrats continued to support the formerly bipartisan bill, while Republicans switched sides solely to back their party leader.  

First at 3:19 pm PNJ describes this as a case of Democratic weakness:

The Assembly this afternoon could not summon the necessary votes to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of A961, as Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) prevented Democrats – some of them outraged – from peeling away an adequate number of his caucus members.

But later in a second story by the same writer at 4:32 pm the same situation is described this way:

In a calculated move desigend to make the GOP caucus look cowed by executive power, Democrats fell short of overriding Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of A961 …

PNJ Blames Democrats For Republicans Switching Votes

PolitickerNJ.com took a story of how Governor Christie’s used naked partisanship to force Assembly Republicans to switch their votes on a hugely popular bipartisan bill they had unanimously supported three months ago into a story on how Democrats are so weak they can’t even get a few Republicans to vote with them.

The headline for a story about how 23 Republicans switched their votes under pressure from the Republican Governor is: “Dems fail to pry sufficient number from abstemious GOP caucus to pass debt report bill

It’s another example of how PolitickerNJ has a bias towards the New Jersey Republican Party, not slamming Democrats overtly but spinning stories so that no matter what happens the Democrats are the bad guys, either mendacious or weak.

The bill in question, which changes the way the state reports the affordability of its debt, passed the Assembly unanimously back in June with the votes of all but three Republicans joining all the Democrats.  The three GOP were called “not voting” which means they weren’t in the room at the time of the vote.

It then passed the Senate 40-0, with everyone voting for the bill.  That means out of 120 legislators who could vote for the bill 117 voted yes.  

Then the Governor vetoed the bill, and used his hold on the Grand Old Party legislators to force 23 Republicans to vote to override a bill they supported.

Now, to most observers out there this is an issue with the GOP.  The Republican Governor vetoed an overwhelmingly popular bi-partisan bill, one that didn’t have a single “no” vote, and then 23 Republicans backed the their party instead of their constituents.

But for the “unbiased” PolitickerNJ the problem is the Democrats are too weak to break the Governor’s absolute control over GOP legislators.  When the Democrats are united it’s evidence of partisanship and self-interest, and when the GOP is united — even against their own previous votes — its evidence of Democratic weakness.

And in this article PNJ didn’t mention that the bill passed 77-0 until the 14th paragraph of the story.  

But in the first paragraph PNJ does mention that Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) led the effort to switch the GOP votes from Yea to Nay, not mentioning anywhere in the article that Bramnick had voted for the bill the first time.

And in the fourth paragraph PNJ writes “An original staunch backer of the bill, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) backed up the leader on a change of course.”  No mention that O’Scanlon was not just a backer, but was a co-Sponsor  of the bill.  Somehow the fact that a co-sponsor of the bill helped reverse course didn’t get a mention.

But the headline blames Democrats for not prying off enough votes?  It’s entirely possible that PNJ’s editors don’t know what they’re doing, and think that this is simply writing all sides.  But when there’s an obvious story and you twist it to ensure all sides are wrong you’re not reporting, but editorializing.