Tag Archive: Tom Moran

Buono responds back to Christie: “A Record Like That”

We’ve said it before, and newspaper editorials have too. Christie’s success floats on YouTube moments, donut-eating on teevee and spider smashing with the cameras whirring. The blur of propaganda for this Governor is sophisticated and professionally managed, designed to look like it’s not even being managed. And he scores like a TV star. But his argument for re-election utterly falls apart when you examine his record on the metrics of New Jersey’s economic condition, particularly in the issue that New Jerseyan’s care about most, our property taxes. And property taxes up nearly 20% with 400,000 out of work doesn’t look good no matter how hard your spinners are spinning.

The video below from the Buono campaign is a response to Chris Christie’s negative ad on Buono. At :07, it cites Mark Magyar’s widely-read analysis at NJ Spotlight of the spike in property taxes under Christie (read it here). Christie’s response to Magyar’s piece? An attack on Magyar personally (read that here). Following that within hours, was the Ledger’s Tom Moran and his sharply critical piece defending Magyar’s good journalism (at a rival publication, which was a classy thing for Moran to do) and pointing out that for all Christie’s stomping around (my term) Christie has been unable to produce different numbers (Moran’s must-read, here).

Here’s Buono’s video. What do you think, Blue Jersey?

Thank You, Tom Moran

I have been very, very hard on the Star-Ledger’s Tom Moran – deservedly so. His stance on education is totally misguided and far too influenced by corporate “reformers” who pitch “solutions” that have no evidence to back them up.

That said – Moran’s column today was nothing short of brilliant:

I’ve gone through stages when it comes to the church, bouncing between anger, estrangement and exasperation. It started when one of my six sisters, at age 10, wrote the Vatican a letter asking why she couldn’t be an altar girl. She never heard back. But the dinner discussions on that planted seeds of revolt in all of us.

They flowered as I began to understand the church’s views on birth control and divorce, which put even my mother on the wrong side of the law, and taught us how Catholics cope with the hierarchy.

A decade after my father died, she married a divorced man, which should have barred her from receiving Holy Communion. Her local priest saw that she would be crushed by that and quietly told her that she was free to take Holy Communion in his church any time she wanted.

“That local priest was wrong,” [Newark Archbishop John] Myers said when I told him the story last week.

Tom Moran Forgets It Takes Two To Tango

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Tom Moran has, lately, been pretty good at holding Chris Christie’s feet to the fire, calling the Gov on his BS.  But today he backslid into the old bromance of last year.

It’d be nice if Christie took this opportunity to save the country.

Because what America needs most right now is a giant political compromise. And Christie is exactly the right man to make that case, in exactly the right spot, at exactly the right time.

Say what?  Christie is the right guy to deliver a message of compromise? And the GOP convention is the right place to do it? And the middle of a Presidential campaign is the right time?

No to all of those.  You know the evidence we have of that?  The 2008 campaign where Obama delivered a message of cooperation, bipartisanship and compromise.  He talked about working together, hope and change, etc. etc., etc.

A box of newborn kittens

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If you haven’t noticed, New Jersey Republican Legislators rarely disagree with Chris Christie.  I enjoyed this characterization of the Legislative caucus where they would stand on Christie’s plans for a tax cut while revenues continue to come up short:

Republicans will no doubt support this. They are so submissive to Christie that, in their caucus meetings, they are often confused with a box of newborn kittens.

Republicans used to just send press releases out challenging anything a Democrat thought was a good idea. Now they send out press releases challenging Democrats and expressing their undying love of anything Christie. Take for example Jon Bramnick, who following the announcement that New Jersey created 17,000 jobs (while it saw the unemployment rate rise to 9.2%) put out a press release with this screaming headline:


Bramnick seems to forget some of the other important statistics from that “model for the country to follow.” As Bill Orr wrote about, there is more to the job creation story including the rise in the unemployment rate. In addition, New Jersey saw it’s economic output decrease last year ranking 47th in the country and our gross domestic product actually decreased by .5%. And then there’s our housing market, where New Jersey foreclosures are way up, by 118% over last year giving us the 2nd highest increase nationwide.

You see there’s always more to the story than Christie and his Republican “newborn kittens” like to share. But I’m sure they’d just meow and say I’m being a Democratic pessimist in sharing the rest of the story.

Congressman Leonard Lance- Town Meeting- February 25, 2012

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There are those, myself included, who have noticed a great difference between former State Sen. Leonard Lance and current Congressman Leonard Lance.

Star-Ledger columnist Tom Moran, in a May 2011 column, observed that Lance has undergone a “curious transformation” upon his election to Congress. Moran notes, for example, that Lance was a “pro-choice Republican going way back, [however] he voted recently to cut off all funding for Planned Parenthood, even those clinics that provide health care with no abortion services.”

Considering that this is an election year, and Lance faces a primary challenge from the conservative tea party end of his party, don’t expect him to return to the moderate centrist Lance anytime soon.

I attended the Congressman’s Town Meeting today, and Lance let pass any and every opportunity to return to his more moderate centrist former self.

Tom, Tom, Tom

Tom Moran gives us another  “a pox on both their houses” bon mot.

Such is the sorry state of school reform in New Jersey. We have a union whose highest goal is to protect bad teachers. And a governor who is fixated on scoring political points.

I’m sorry, but the NJEA is only interested in protecting bad teachers?  That’s the only thing they care about?  My local teachers, the people who make up the NJEA including their shop stewards, have been working without a contract for almost a year now.  But apparently they don’t care about the kids, the schools, the community or anything else.  All they care about is protecting bad teachers.

90 percent of the piece is about the Governor being intransigent, unwilling to compromise, demanding that the NJEA change to his positions before they meet.  There’s nothing about the union trying to protect bad teachers except a quote from a union leader saying she doesn’t know what a bad teacher with.

But a paragraph before the quote pulled above Moran outlined how the NJ Republican party and the Governor’s office are just fine with having college kids and party operatives stake out NJEA officials to videotape them in gotcha moments.

Please, Tom, please.  Stop with the equivalence.  We know you support the Governor’s policies and not the NJEA’s, but do you have to play this game of equivalence to make it happen?

How To Spin a Story, by Tom Moran

In a column titled, “Why did Sen. Robert Menendez block nomination of favored N.J. judge?” Star Ledger’s editorialist Tom Moran doesn’t answer the question until the twenty second (22nd) paragraph.

In between Moran says that ‘On the merits, it was a crazy move.”  He presents, without any direct quotes or sources, a number of “juiciest” rumors that make Menendez look bad.  He also examines the political “backfire” this will cause with the state and federal Democrats, again without any direct quotes or sources.  Then he explores the revenge factor, and states that Menedez might be doing it because he doesn’t like fellow US Senator Frank Lautenberg.

Finally Moran reveals that Menendez has a stated reason for blocking the — and Menendez provided it to Moran before Moran engaged in all the gossiping in the column — appointment:

Menendez said he asks a routine set of questions for nominees to the Court of Appeals, and she blew several of them. He blocked Shwartz’s nomination in secret, using one of the arcane rules of the Senate, because he didn’t want to besmirch her legal reputation, he says.

Once he was accused, however, of blocking her out of revenge on Nobile, Menendez felt he had to go public.

“She misapplied the law and I was taken aback,” Menendez says. “I waited to talk to my chief counsel, who was there, and said, ‘Did I get that wrong or did she misapply the law?’ And he said, ‘No, she misapplied the law.’ ”

Huh.  That could be true, and actual rational reason for denying someone a position that is, as Moran says above, is “just one step below the U.S. Supreme Court.”  

So after gossiping about possible terrible things people could think without using any named sources, and revealing a compelling reason to oppose a nominee, Moran ends with this:

Not a good start to 2012 for the junior senator from New Jersey.

It’s the kind of gossip and innuendo that we loved in the old days of PoliticsNJ, back when Wally Edge ran the show and it was essentially a gossip sheet.  We expected it there, because that was what it was all about.

But the Star-Ledger is not a gossip sheet, and the senior editorial writer is not an anonymous gossip columnist enjoying the inter-personal bickering and fighting among the political class.

This column could have been written in a factual way that presented both sides evenly, that provided the information that people thought Menendez was acting improperly but that Menendez denied it.  Instead Moran’s column is structured to portray Menendez’s use of Senatorial Courtesy in the absolute worst light, going through all the innuendo and supposition before providing the senator’s position. Such a spin is easy to do for any writer of skill and even easier for such a writer with a huge platform.  

It makes you wonder if the pot is calling the kettle black, and this is a column “based on lust for revenge or jealousy.”

The “Strange Territory” of Tom Moran and Ed Reform

Cross-posted from Jersey Jazzman:

The spat between Governor Christie and State Senator Ron Rice caught the eye of the Star Ledger’s Tom Moran today. The basic story is that Rice is holding up hearings on ACTING Education Commissioner Chris Cerf’s appointment, so Christie is holding up on appointing judges and taking away Sen. Dick Codey’s car in retaliation. Yes, you read that right.

I actually agree with much of what Moran writes until he steps once again into the reformy breach:

Tom Moran Replies

Yesterday, I published a post blasting Tom Moran’s piece on hedge fund billionaire David Tepper’s entry into the education reform debate. Moran, to his credit, posted a reply in the comments; I replied to him afterward.

Rereading the piece, I want to apologize for an ill-advised sentence:

If Moran really cared about education, he’d have insisted Tepper flesh out his positions and talk specifics.

It is unfair to imply that Moran does not care about education, and I apologize for saying so.

The rest of my post, however, stands.

Moran gave up a huge piece of prime real estate in the Sunday Star-Ledger to espouse the views of a man who has no standing to talk about education reform (other than his incredible wealth). Both his interview of Tepper and the accompanying editorial took nasty swipes at the NJEA without any serious attempt to either analyze or even just clarify the issues at stake.