Tag Archive: Tom Moran

Wall Street Super Pac Paid Jeffries Supporters $150 On E-Day

promoted by Rosi

It was all a conspiracy theory, right?

While much of the corporate media – particularly the now ex-Newark Star Ledger – ignored the forces behind “education reform” in Newark, journalist Max Blumenthal decided to actually investigate.

On election day the Wall Street backed Super PAC “Newark First” reportedly dumped $300,000 to pay workers – many of whom were truant students – $150 apiece to help get the vote out for Shavar Jeffries. Blumenthal spoke to e-day workers who confirmed the payments.

Star-Ledger, which endorsed Chris Christie and then had to apologize, now endorses Shavar Jeffries

In late October of last year, the Star-Ledger endorsed Chris Christie for re-election. It was a bizarre endorsement, openly mocked by Rachel Maddow, quoted from and questioned by newspapers across the country and argued over in J-school classes. Time, the shift away from dead-tree journalism, and a population weary of hard news, are helping drive the decimation of a once-great daily paper. But the Ledger’s own failures and confusions have contributed to it no longer being vital anymore. Case in point.

The Ledger called Christie a remarkable political talent. But after that first line, they said his achievements were “only modest,” noted that property taxes shot up on his watch, that he’s openly hostile to low-income families, a “catastrophe” on environment, and that he’s “much better at politics than he is at governing.” And then they asked you to vote for him.

In February, after that editorial had already done its damage, editorial page editor Tom Moran snatched it all back in an equally cringeworthy apologia.

Today, the Star-Ledger endorsed Shavar Jeffries, calling him the “real reformer” in the race.

It’s no surprise. Moran has used the state’s largest paper to cheerlead for the dissolution of local schools to make way for the shiny penny of corporate charter schools and the tycoons that come with it, and the PR firms that sell it, who see dollar signs where they should see kids, and fertile ground where they should see communities. So, no surprise – it’s just Moran, backing Christie again, backing the mayoral candidate who’ll let Cami keep running amok, backing the guy whose campaign is funded by investors who expect Shavar Jeffries to help Cami Anderson to help Chris Christie keep their investment opportunities hot for them.

The Star-Ledger, which endorsed Chris Christie and then had to apologize, endorsed Shavar Jeffries for mayor of Newark today.  

ICYMI: Tom Moran’s words, read back to him on your teevee

I just can’t stop watching Lawrence O’Donnell read Tom Moran’s words back to him. Not the Sunday take-back of his endorsement for Christie’s re-elect, but the original weird endorsement from October. Both made national news, and unfortunate J-school hot topics. A major paper’s editorial policies just going right off the rails. Have to say, Moran looked supremely uncomfortable on the teevee. Deer. Headlights. And I don’t think he expected his moment on MSNBC to go like this. I feel like this should be introduced thusly: And here it is, your moment of Zen …

Might be a brief ad. Skip to 2 minutes for the read-back.

NOON at Star-Ledger: Live-chat with Tom Moran: Why his Chris Christie endorsement was “regrettable”

UPDATE: Moran on CNN at 1:10pm with Wolf Blitzer. And MSNBC at 10 pm tonight, by which I assume he’ll be a guest on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.  The live-chat is now over. Some highlights, in Comments, below.

Tom Moran is doing a Live-chat at noon to talk about taking back his endorsement of Chris Christie for Gov. How to join: Tweet to @NJ_Opinion, post to the Ledger, or email eletters@starledger.com.



When Star-Ledger endorsed Gov. Chris Christie for re-election last October, it made national news. Not for the choice, exactly. The paper had already spilled considerable ink building the Governor, including full-throated defense of brand-building destruction of public education and vilification of teachers. No, it made news because it was just weird: Christie’s achievements were only “modest” … he is much better at politics than he is at governing … his “claim to have fixed the state’s budget is fraudulent … “Christie is overrated” It sounded like what you’d say to endorse the opponent. But they didn’t.

This weekend, Tom Moran took it back. Sort of. And again, the weirdness of it – the unusual mea culpa (while continuing to defend some of his October thoughts) – is making national news again. Moran, a huge Christie cheerleader until the tides turned, writes like he’s stunned that Christie’s capable of misdeeds, and is doubling down on teachers, like he always has.

Moran gives every impression of a Star-Ledger Editorial Director who isn’t paying the attention he should, or is learning too slowly.  But he wants to hear from you. And that’s good.  

What’s Happening Today Mon. 02/10/2014

In Editorial Director Tom Moran’s luke-warm mea culpa article, apologizing for the Star Ledger endorsement of Chris Christie in the re-election campaign, Moran said, “We regard Christie as …  at least until now, a man who is better at talking than governing.” Indeed the man can talk. He carried a big stick and a big mouth as U.S. Attorney. Previously as a freeholder his “talk” temporarily cut short his political career and only gained him a lawsuit.

During Christie’s first gubernatorial election campaign some of his handlers were aghast that he would not follow their script. He won the election with his “straight talk,” loose promises, and a loud Jersey persona that some liked. Once in office his aides decided that his unrehearsed comments, stage performance, and even bullying could be put to good use in Town Hall presentations which as time went on became ever more glitzy.

Many have realized for some time that his faux populist comments and explanations bore little relationship to what he really thought or was doing. There have been many revelations in the past three months about what was actually happening in the Executive Office and the re-election campaign –  the over-reaching desire to gain Democratic endorsements, offering favors to RGA donors, and treating Sandy recovery monies as a political slush fund. To compound matters he has been caught in a number of untruths (how much he knew the mayor of Fort Lee and when was the last time he saw David Wildstein.)  He left many of us bewildered over his timetable of what and when he had knowledge about Bridgegate. A lot of off-the-cuff talk.

In the end both his talk and his governing are his downfall.

For more about the Legislative Select Committee on Investigation, Assembly comittee meetings, and the response from Dawn Zimmer’s lawyer to Christie’s lawyer, go below the fold.

Really, Tom?

Tom Moran, editorial page editor for the Newark Star Ledger, endorsed Chris Christie for Governor last year.  Now, in an extremely rare move, he’s rescinding the endorsement.

But he didn’t switch over to Christie’s opponent, Barbara Buono.  Why not?

And let’s not forget his opponent, Sen. Barbara Buono. She was not up to the job of being governor – even in the view of many Democrats. She got the party’s nomination because more credible candidates, including Cory Booker, backed out in the face of Christie’s strength.

And on education, the most important issue for any governor, Buono ran well to the left of President Obama. She embraced the state’s regressive teachers’ union and its relentless efforts to protect bad teachers and stunt the growth of even the best charter schools.

She was not up to the job?  A highly successful lawyer who served 20 years in the legislature, including as ranking member of the Budget committee, Senate Majority leader and Democratic conference chair isn’t up to the job?  And as for other Democrats not running — huh?  She won the primary overwhelmingly.

As opposed to a highly successful lawyer who last held elected office 20 years previously and was voted out by his own party?  Maybe some Democrats didn’t thing Buono was up for the job — though that could have been because Christie bullied them into it — but some Republicans didn’t think Christie was up to being Morris County Freeholder!

The only example Moran gave as to why Buono was “not up to the job” was her position on education “reform.”  That just means Moran disagrees with her on one issue.

The fact is, Moran was taken in by Christie’s star power even last fall.  He was willing to criticize Christie some, but that’s because things were so obvious.

But in the article rescinding the endorsement Moran uses the words “bully,” “overrated” and “creep” to describe Christie.  Moran even said that he himself had been bullied by the Governor in an attempt to get better coverage but never used those words before now despite acknowledging they knew.

The endorsement itself was a truly sad example of journalism, but the rescinding was even more so.  

Star-Ledger to New Jersey: Oops.

Cross-posted at A New Jersey Farmer

We’ll get right to it.

Tom Moran, the Editorial Page Editor of the Newark Star-Ledger, is now regretting the paper’s endorsement of Chris Christie for Governor in 2013. Am I supposed to feel bad? Reassess my political beliefs? Cancel my subscription?

I will do none of those, but I will shake my head and lament the media landscape that deigns to recognize Chris Christie as a politician worthy of a second term. Or a first term for that matter. Many other writers have already pored over Moran’s writing, and if you want a blisteringly accurate analysis of his blindness on Christie’s educational policies, then please take a detour here.take a detour here.

I have two favorite passages from Moran’s article. Here is the first:

Yes, we knew Christie was a bully. But we didn’t know his crew was crazy enough to put people’s lives at risk in Fort Lee as a means to pressure the mayor. We didn’t know he would use Hurricane Sandy aid as a political slush fund. And we certainly didn’t know that Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer was sitting on a credible charge of extortion by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

With all due respect to Moran, and I do agree with him on many issues, I knew that Christie was a nightmare way before he actually lulled the rest of New Jersey to sleep. He did put people’s lives in danger by cutting programs to the poor, the less fortunate, and to schools by making cuts that could have been alleviated with a small increase in revenue. He did treat Sandy as a political event right after it happened and rode that wave all the way to this past November since he didn’t have an economic record he could successfully run on. His YouTube videos also showed that he had no patience for anyone who disagreed with him and that he would not take any responsibility for the negative aspects of his policies. I can’t speak for Kim Guadango, but she and Christie do make a wonderful team.

So when Moran says that we didn’t know, he’s wrong. Many of us did know and tried to make it clear what was happening. But the Christie ad machine was too well-oiled and too loud. Blame yourself, Mr. Moran. Leave the rest of us out of it.

And now for the second:

And let’s not forget his opponent, Sen. Barbara Buono. She was not up to the job of being governor – even in the view of many Democrats. She got the party’s nomination because more credible candidates, including Cory Booker, backed out in the face of Christie’s strength.

I have not forgotten Barbara Buono and the ethical, caring campaign she ran. Nor have I forgotten that she spoke about the people who make up the majority of New Jersey; people who need to work for a living and whose lives have not benefited from the governor’s policies and, indeed, are being asked to give more while the wealthy are not. She was, and is, certainly up to the job of being governor.  The problem is that Moran cannot recognize the difference between a noise machine and beautiful music. That the Democratic Party did not support her is a problem that I recognized and wrote about. President Obama could have come to New Jersey, and he abdicated his responsibility. But you can’t make the connection between Barbara Buono’s ability to run this state with the lack of endorsements.

Governor Chrisite has always been an ego-driven bully and he has now been wounded politically. What was going to be one of his main campaign weapons, his outrageously inappropriate berating videos, will now be his greatest liability. He’ll need to come up with a different persona in order to reclaim the political middle if he wants to be president, and that will be extremely difficult. Will the core conservative Republican voter shun him? Probably not, but that’s not where elections are won.

Chris Christie has won his final election victory. He was always as he appears now, and it was always apparent to those of us who looked hard at his record and actions. That the Star-Ledger is just noticing tells us all we need to know about its myopia.

For more please go to:

www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives and Twitter @rigrundfest    

Christie’s Bullying Was Made Possible By Tom Moran and the Media

What vmars says – Rosi

Tom Moran, editorial page editor for the Star Ledger, has finally come around.

Gov. Chris Christie, aka the Incredible Shrinking Governor, is not such a scary figure anymore now that his bullying has been exposed.

It’s nice to have Moran with us after all these years, but he’s still wrong when he suggests Christie’s bullying has only recently been exposed.  We’ve been screaming from the rooftops for years that this was the Governor’s modus operandi.  

In return Moran once called us conspiracy theorists. At least he read us, I guess.

But the evidence was always there.  When US Attorney Christie decided to use his federally funded public relations staff to hold a press conference attacking Governor John Corzine and Senator Nia Gill for completely legal actions on a judicial appointment Moran lauded Christie’s combative hissy fit.

For the first time, Christie took off the restraints and went after the Democrats in Trenton with real gusto.

For most, a US Attorney using his powerful office to attack elected officials who committed no crime — local, state or federal — is kinda bullying.  For Moran it was a reason to endorse Christie for Governor.

And when US Attorney Christie’s office dropped a subpoena on Senator Robert Menendez for a property rental for which he’d received prior approval from the House ethics committee Moran saw nothing wrong with it.  In fact, he said Menendez “asked for it”.  

The evidence was always there, from his admission to lying in campaign ads when running for Freeholder to his screaming at people on a jersey Shore boardwalk, but Tom Moran ignored it.  Heck, he even reveled in it at times.

It’s great that Moran is recognizing that Christie is a bully, but he needs to also recognize his role — and the media’s role — in ignoring the evidence for so long and enabling Christie’s bullying.

Star-Ledger’s Christie endorsement: Anatomy of a Serious Journalistic Error & ICYMI: Maddow video

Star-Ledger probably didn’t gamble that it’s bizarre “endorsement” of Chris Christie would become national news. How do you think they’re handling it?

The Endorsement: Read it. Highlights: Christie is “”better at politics [than] at governing” … “achievements only modest” … Governor’s claim at fixing the state budget? “Fraudulent” …”Measurable failures” …”Hostile to low-income familes” …Property taxes “up sharply on his watch” …”His spin is way better than his substance”  All these things were said not about the candidate they didn’t endorse, but the one they did. Why didn’t they endorse Buono, then? Jersey Jazzman has the shorter Star-Ledger: Christie Stinks, But We Hate Teachers Unions More.

Braun: The best takedown is from former Ledger columnist, now blogger, Bob Braun. Simply put, Braun has the Ledger’s number. Quoting: “Most of the argument for Christie-in fact, all of the argument for him-is a rant against Barbara Buono who is guilty of the sin of offering support for, and receiving support from, teachers and their unions. This is typical of The Star-Ledger’s editorial obsession with  school privatization, its invention of “studies” that somehow prove charter schools are better than conventional public schools, and its hero worship of political bosses turned educational entrepreneurs like George Norcross and Steve Adubato.”

On Braun’s blog, Tom Moran gets defensive (and gets his facts wrong): Bob Braun’s entire post is golden. But you have to read through to the comments. Ledger editorial page editor Moran writes he’s “surprised” by Braun’s “indignant personal insults” and then goes on to, pretty much call Braun’s positions “nuts” and “conspiracy thinking”. And he shows how little he actually knows about education by crediting a charter advocacy group with a university affiliation it doesn’t actually have, which somebody has to correct him on.

Reader Poll: Today’s (non-scientific) reader poll is not supportive: Paper should have endorsed Buono 48-31% (at post time).  

More & the Maddow video ICYMI, below the fold.

Tom Moran 11am live-chat at Star-Ledger. Topic: Why Christie is ‘America’s most overrated Gov

On Sunday, Tom Moran, the Star-Ledger’s editorial page editor, published a piece titled: Chris Christie, America’s most overrated governor. This morning, 11am, he’ll do a live-chat at the Ledger to discuss his position with readers:

Click here to participate.

I wanted to flag this for you for a couple reasons, one being that I’ve got something else going then and I can’t read it live or participate. But obviously I’m thinking people here might like to.

Look, it’s been our position here that most of NJ’s political media was complicit in helping Christie legend-build himself  (particularly early in his term) by reporting on him as some kind of political celebrity, rather than asking the tough questions of him they’d ask a character they found less exciting, less outsize. What will Christie say next? He called her a WHAT? Him a WHAT? Christie is so cool. I wonder if I could get a book contract …

Tom Moran has been one of the worst offenders; he’s still cheering Christie’s efforts to open New Jersey further to education tycoons who know money more than they know how to teach. But Moran’s focus in calling Christie overrrated is all about Christie’s economic failure – our rising poverty rate, falling state tax rating, failure to recover economically as states around us have, and the mirage of his promises on property taxes. And he’s right; Christie’s vulnerable on this.

I don’t know whether Moran’s availability for something like this is a Hail Mary pass for a struggling newspaper, as some people I talked to this morning said. I do think it’s good, and wise of Moran to engage. And I hope the level of conversation rises above the usual misspelled jackassery of some of the comments people post after Ledger on line pieces.

Good on Tom Moran for engaging this way. I hope it goes well.