Tag Archive: AP

Eagleton’s Morning After – Watch the video

Hours after each primary and general election, Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics hosts a great “Morning After” discussion in the beautiful white mansion on the New Brunswick campus that serves as Eagleton’s HQ. If you’ve never been to one, those seats get filled fast by reservation, and the discussion is always meaty for political nerds. This morning’s talk, hosted by Eagleton’s John Weingart, is, I believe, only the second one Eagleton’s ever streamed. Great that they do that, and great that they make embeddable video available just seconds after. Thank you, Eagleton.

Christie Bridgegate lawyers to be subpoenaed & Christie Treasurer to be questioned on report’s cost

Oh, SNAP.

Yesterday, on Meet the Press, Sen. Loretta Weinberg rattled off what’s missing from the “internal investigation” report prepared by Christie lawyer Randy Mastro – including transcripts of interviews with the 70 “so-called witnesses” Mastro says his team talked to, and a list of who those people are. Via AP:

A New Jersey legislative committee probing a political payback operation carried out by Gov. Chris Christie’s aides and associates plans to subpoena interview transcripts and other documents from the lawyers the governor hired to carry out an internal investigation, the committee co-chairman [Wisniewski] said Monday.

The AP Shows “Balance,” or Why Our Media Sucks

promoted by Rosi

So last week a staffer for the erstwhile Steve Lonegan for Senate campaign sent out a tweet that purported to be Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s debate notes.  It included a map of Newark that labeled the parts of Newark as third world countries and areas where mostly people with dark skin live.

According to Rick Shaftan, an extremely conservative activist and long-time Lonegan booster and campaign consultant, as soon as Lonegan heard about it he demanded it be taken down.  Lonegan immediately recognized it was offensive and inappropriate (though took no responsibility for hiring the staffer who is still with the campaign).

So the candidate himself, the owner of the Twitter account, the guy at whom the buck stops says the tweet was offensive, unacceptable, in poor taste, problematic, bad form, etc., etc., etc.

Needless to say, many others found it offensive as well.  Cory Booker is one.  Many other Democrats.  They said so.  So did fairly reliable conservative Bob Ingle.

The Associated Press, in what can only be described as an extensive effort to prostrate itself before their most holy of media gods False Equivalence, used this headline:

Lonegan campaign tweet labeled offensive, taken down

Labeled offensive?  Seriously?  Apparently the AP is too scared to actually call an obviously racist and bigoted public utterance of a campaign what it is, an “offensive tweet.”

This is one of the reasons why our traditional media is so awful these days: they’re unwilling to state basic facts if there’s a chance one side or the other (usually the right) might call fowl.

And, no, that’s not a typo: the media is chicken.  

Hotshot Reporting 2012: Best Reporting by Traditional News Media

In 2012, there were a lot of things we might never have known if good journalists, good editors and their news outlets had not devoted resources to uncovering them. Sometimes this was simply a matter of going through mountains of paper or on line communication that is public record as a matter of law. But somebody had to do it, which usually means somebody else would rather it stay hidden.

Here for 2012, are some that really impressed us here at Blue Jersey, with thanks to the news organizations, and their editors & reporters for what we now know because of their work:  

Associated Press on Surveillance of NJ Muslims AP’s 24-part 2-year probe of NYPD’s secret surveillance (by the questionably-named ‘Demographics Unit’) of Muslim students, neighborhoods and places of worship in New Jersey.

UNLOCKED: Sam Dolnick’s New York Times exposé  of the consequences of New Jersey’s privatized halfway house system run by Christie pal Bill Palatucci, which led to hearings in both houses of the NJ legislature, Palatucci’s exit out CEC’s back door, and at least one lawsuit, by the sister of murder victim Viviana Tulli, killed at the hands of a CEC escapee.  (Note: Bill Orr tracked the aftermath of questionable policies by CEC for Blue Jersey).

Dolnick was looking at CEC and how Christie and Essex party boss Joe D were connected to it almost 18 months ago.

Star-Ledger brought to light the video of a mentally disabled man getting a beat down by state police as well (as well as the fact that authorities initially cleared the trooper of wrongdoing before Star-Ledger began to make inquiries.

Sal Rizzo at Star-Ledger was responsible for the Ledger’s in-depth examination  of how closely legislation from Christie & NJ Republicans matched bills written by fake-charity American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Trenton Times recently pored over 500 pages of emails and documents after TCNJ employees fall sick during chemical use in roof reconstruction on the campus. And that includes shedding light on internal emails about how TCNJ school officials, concerned staff members might require inconvenient building transfers to somewhere on campus where they wouldn’t feel ill at work, encouraged “hand holding” by administrators and the school’s environmental health officers to get workers to “live with” the odor that was making them feel sick.

AP wins Pulitzer Prize for NYPD Muslim spying story

It happened this week: Associated Press won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for its series on NYPD surveillance of the Muslim communities of New Jersey and New York. Congratulations to journalists Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman with Chris Hawley and Eileen Sullivan. Originally, I pulled this story for the morning news roundup. But I think these reporters’ work requires more attention from us.

More – including a link to the Pulitizer Prize winning series, and an appreciation of some local NJ journalists, below the fold.

Christie is still spending more

The AP is out tonight with a correction of their story on salaries in the Governor’s office:

In an April 19 story about Gov. Chris Christie’s payroll, The Associated Press reported erroneously that he is spending nearly $2 million more on salaries a year than did his predecessor, former Gov. Jon Corzine.

Treasury Department figures show the correct higher amount is about $440,000.

Because the AP had incomplete figures for all those on Corzine’s payroll – some were paid by other departments but still worked for the governor – the AP also erroneously reported that twice as many people in Christie’s office earn $100,000 or more than they did in Corzine’s.

Yeah, it’s not twice as many people making over 100K, it’s only 42% more. Why did they even push for the clarification? It’s definitely an embarrassing mistake for the AP to have to admit, but it’s good to make the retraction and update. Even with the correction, the Governor has more people making more money. We can argue about the details of how much, but the bottom line is that at a time when he is calling for shared sacrifice, he’s spending more than his predecessor he likes to ridicule so much. The average for a staffer in the Christie administration is 6% more than that of a Corzine staffer. And since people will be calling the AP to task over this correction, I’d like to point out this nonsense in that statement:

Corzine had a payroll of $8.43 million for 118 people, not $7 million, according to Treasury figures. Christie has 117 employees, including himself, with a payroll of $8.86 million per year. Unlike his multimillionaire predecessor, Christie collects the $175,000 salary allowed under the law.

They make it sound as if a millionaire more than three times over like Governor Christie according to his last released tax returns is living in the poor house. We are still waiting for his most recent returns as he filed for an extension. I don’t begrudge the Governor for taking a salary, but I wish the media would stop apologizing for it and justifying the need.  

Sue THIS

Apparently the Associated Press says that New Jersey legislators are considering bills to create alternative energy generation on farms!

New Jersey lawmakers are contemplating a bill that defines solar and wind energy generation as agricultural activity. The measure aims to promote alternative energy sources, but has been criticized as a possible danger to farmland preservation efforts.

Of course it might be a problem with farmland preservation, but it’s not mutually exclusive.  Farms are wide open spaces, and solar and wind generating devices can be placed to allow both open space and renewable energy.  It’s not as if farmland preservation is done to allow people to have recreational farming; it’s to prevent over building.

That blockquote is 37 words  Just saying.