Tag Archive: Bob Ingle

$5.43 Million: The Cost To Taxpayers To Create The Christie Brand

We may not have money to build and repair our roads, but we found money to build up Chris Christie’s image. Bob Ingle has a piece up today that is worth a full read, but in essence says that Governor Downgrade started believing his own press releases and in essence now is tripping over the headlines his staff has created.  The thing that caught my eye is how much it cost taxpayers for those press releases:

Those releases were manufactured by a communications operation that grew even as Christie boasted he had downsized government. Mark Lagerkvist of New Jersey Watchdog looked into it and reported the governor’s communications officers have increased by 50 percent in five years, costing taxpayers $5.43 million “to pay the team that helped turn him into a rising star on television, radio, YouTube, Facebook and other outlets.”

“The governor’s media team has expanded to include 16 full-time staffers and a payroll of roughly $1.36 million last year. Five of the employees collect six-figure incomes, led by communications director Maria Comella at $140,000 a year.” Previously, Comella was deputy communications director for Rudolph Giuliani’s presidential campaign.

A 50% increase? 16 people full time to brand the Governor? Come to think of it, maybe New Jersey residents should root for a Christie presidency just so they can at least realize some return on their taxpayer investment.  

Ingle: People realizing Christie is “more or less politics as usual”

Chris Hayes on Friday night looked at the current situation with the new inquiry looking at what apparently was called the “Chairmans’s flight” that David Samson took, that didn’t exist before he was Port Authority Chairman and ceased existing 3 days after Samson left the position.  You can see the segment here:

They went on to talk about the Governor’s no good, very bad week and what got my attention was this line from Bob Ingle toward the end of the segment:

The people who had this image as the guy who is above all of this corruption, this guy who is a regular sort of fellow who would eat a cheesesteak on the boardwalk is not really who they thought he was. That he is more or less politics as usual and I think that is hurting him with his fan base

That’s really Christie’s biggest problem, all of these stories undermine the image they have worked so hard to craft. We here at Blue Jersey would argue it is more than politics as usual and we’ve made that argument for years, but it’s good to see everyone else taking a second look at Governor Downgrade through that lens.

Bob Ingle’s Partisan Math

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A Rutgers-Eagleton poll out today says that only 22 percent of New Jerseyans say the word “trustworthy” describes Republican Governor Association Chair Chris Christie “very well” while about 75 percent say is is either “somewhat well” or “not at all.”

Seventy-five percent think Christie is, at best, somewhat trustworthy.

Bob Ingle, the Gannett political reporter who is considered by many the most influential in the state, describes this absolute public opinion debacle of a Republican Governor as:

Trust in Gov. Christie is on the decline in New Jersey.

Yet way back in January 2007 Ingle discussed Democratic Governor Jon Corzine’s approval rating of 51 percent this way:

[T]he public is not happy with Corzine’s failure to deliver on promises of property tax relief and a cleaner, more ethical government.

Horrible ratings for Republican Christie are a “decline” while better than 50% approval for Democrat Corzine is evidence of extreme displeasure.

Damned liberal media.

Chris Christie comments on James Gandolfini’s death

Christie’s press operation sent this to reporters this evening:

“It’s an awful shock. James Gandolfini was a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy. I was a huge fan of his and the character he played so authentically, Tony Soprano. I have gotten to know Jimmy and many of the other actors in the Sopranos cast and I can say that each of them are an individual New Jersey treasure. Mary Pat and I express our deepest sympathies to Mr. Gandolfini’s wife and children, and our prayers are with them at this terrible time.”

I told Bob Ingle tonight that I’d probably be more interested in what he had to say about Gandolfini’s passing, given that he called the book (and later documentary) he wrote about Jersey politics The Soprano State. Ingle wrote the following on his Facebook:

“When the movie based on our book, “The Soprano State,” premiered in New York, most of the cast of “The Sopranos” sat in the row in front of me, Sandy and our colleagues and families. They also were at the after party at Patsy’s, the Sinatra hangout. Not among us was James Gandolfini because that night he had a premiere elsewhere. Always regretted that, now especially.”

Gandolfini, a 1983 Rutgers grad, lived not too far from me in Tewksbury, Hunterdon County but much closer to former governor Christie Todd Whitman.

Facebook’s been all-Gandolfini for hours. Terrible shame. Rest in Peace.  

Bob Ingle Gets It Backwards

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So, there are traditions in the New Jersey Democratic Party.  One of them is that the gubernatorial nominee gets to select the Democratic Party Chair for the duration of the campaign.  If the nominee loses, the choice is revisited and sometimes they stay, sometimes they don’t.

Barbara Buono is the Democrats’ presumptive nominee for governor. Other people — Steve Sweeney, for instance — had a chance to put up a different candidate they found better or more palatable. None did, and Buono is so far in the lead that she’s put forward her choice for party: Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell.

O’Donnell and Sweeney have a history, especially since O’Donnell was part of an effort to overthrow the current leadership of which Sweeney enjoys power.  So Sweeney is publicly, loudly and with great fervor opposing Buono’s pick.

Against tradition.  Because he has power.  And position.

And had he wanted someone else he could have run someone other than Buono against her.  But he did not, and essentially acquiesced to her getting the nod.  In doing so he should have acquiesced to her getting to pick her chair, at least for six months.  But he didn’t.

So who is to blame for this division in the party?  Is it the presumptive nominee following tradition, or is it the powerful party leader going against tradition.

Bob Ingle says it’s the one following tradition:

Sen. Barbara Buono, likely opponent of Gov. Christie’s re-election, not only can’t get any traction for her campaign, she continues to divide her own Democratic Party. Senate President Stephen Sweeney says Buono’s choice of Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell of Hudson County to be state Democratic chairman is a bad decision and that O’Donnell has done nothing to prove he’s worthy to lead Democrats.

Bob Ingle is an opinion writer hiding in a reporter’s job, which is how he presents himself on 101.5, and even in his books (the quote is from his blog). And he’s never afraid to give opinion and slant things to fit his world view.  But this is little more than carrying water for one side against the other.

The real problem here is that the odds are Buono will not win the race.  Her choice will be there until November when things will be reviewed.  If she does really, really well and loses maybe O’Donnell keeps the job.  But if she gets beat as most expect, Sweeney et al can claim her crew was weak and replace him.

It’s a tempest in a tea pot, fanned by the media.

Random Drug Testing Students is Wrong. Wrong.

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I saw this in Bob Ingle’s blog and my blood starts to boil:

Six Monmouth County high schools may have students be subjected to random drug tests. The Asbury Park Press reported they are part of the Freehold Regional High School District – which includes Colts Neck, Freehold, Freehold Township, Howell, Manalapan and Marlboro high schools.

This is something that all sides of the aisle — strict Constitutionalists, conservatives, libertarians, civil libertarians, liberals, people who don’t give a damn — should oppose.  Outright and without reservation.

  • The government forces parents to sent their children to schools (which I support);
  • The government then wants to take these children’s bodily fluids — blood or urine — against their will because they’re in school.

Talk about government overreach.  They can’t force kids to give up their Facebook passwords but can take their urine?  How is it possibly legal to compel attendance, then compel behavior because of that attendance in the absence of any evidence, accusation or suspicion?

We’ve not just gone through the looking glass, but smoked the caterpillar’s hooka and licked the mercury-laced Mad Hatter’s wares.

I completely fail to understand what benefit this would have except to ruin young lives, even young lives who never did drugs at the school when the school has oversight.  If a kid smokes a joint at a non-school party on a Saturday will test positive on a Wednesday.  A kid who gets tested on Wednesday then, knowing she won’t be tested for a while, gets stoned during match class the same daywill pass the test.

And the kids who failed the tests will lose scholarships, get into lesser schools, see job potential dim.  All because of … I don’t really know what.  

We know definitively that Barack Obama did drugs. He’s admitted it.  If a policy like this were in place his life would have been destroyed instead of being an inspiration to so many here in the US and around the world. There are rumors about Bush, and Clinton tried but didn’t inhale.

We all know many of our high school classmates who are now doctors, lawyers, Mayors, Governors, bankers, mothers, fathers, teachers, principals and otherwise contributing to society smoked marijuana in high school.  And probably after.  Should they all have had their futures damaged by government intrusion into their bodily fluids?

And, if we’re honest, many of us smoked in high school as well.  Should your life have been ruined for that?

Insanity.

Shield Law Upheld For Blogger, But I’m Still Confused

MediaBob wants to know what you think of this, Blue Jersey. Promoted by Rosi.

OK, I like the New Jersey shield law, and that it protects bloggers.  But I’m not sure I get the recent decision about Tina Renna, an activist blogger in Union County who runs The County Watchers blog.  She writes (and states in court documents) that she has 16 names of county employees who used county generators for personal or unapproved purposes after Hurricane Sandy.

Prosecutor Ted Romankow subpoenaed Renna for the names of those 16 people because misusing public resources is a crime.  But Renna fought the subpoena by saying the names would reveal her source.  I can see that.  

But here’s where I get confused. Apparently Renna as a blogger is shielded by the law because:

Judge Karen Cassidy … said Renna “obtained material in the course of professional newsgathering activities” with the aim of disseminating it over the internet. (sic)

But Renna didn’t disseminate the information on the Internet, and is trying to keep it secret. She is, instead, in court trying to keep the information private.  

I’m torn.  Renna is an activist as well as a blogger/reporter, and she definitely has it in for the Union County government and it’s leaders.  I don’t have a problem with that, obviously, since Blue Jersey is similar.  But Renna made an allegation of malfeasance and crime by people holding public jobs, and to me this seems like wanting to have it both ways: 1) she gets to hurt the folks she’s working against with an allegation; but 2) doesn’t actually have to back up the allegation.  

So what do you think, Blue Jersey?  Does this meet what you think the measure should be for shielding reporters?  Not what the law says (though any lawyers who want to weigh in on that, come on!), but what you think would be the proper use of a shield law in this case.

And some snark below the fold.

Bob Ingle, Brief, Succinct and 100% Dead On

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Apparently Jon Bramnick, a lawyer turned Assemblyman turned comedian, is starting to confuse his jobs with his humor.  Bob Ingle slaps him down.

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick says the” recent cold-blooded killings of law enforcement officials in Texas and Colorado necessitate the need to reinstitute the death penalty in New Jersey which was repealed in 2007.” Why would that be? Both Colorado and Texas have the death penalty and it didn’t change anything.

Dear NJ Politiicians: STOP SAYING ONLY IN NJ!

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What is it about New Jersey that it’s elected officials like to bash it so much?  Any time you hear of an annoying governmental screwup or stupidity some politician will pop up with an, “Only in New Jersey!”

Today’s is Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, who I don’t know and don’t mean to pick on.  But still, here he is about someone getting an arrest warrant for a 40 year old ticket:

“You cannot make this stuff up – this is a government money grab that only could happen in New Jersey. This is an unwarranted, unreasonable money grab. It’s gotta stop.” Dancer points out

OK, so it’s stupid for the town to spend time and money going after a $45 ticket (not really a money grab, just a waste of resources).  But “only in NJ”?

Essentially he is saying, about the state he represents, that the Garden State is full of the most stupid, mendacious, evil, covetous, horrible governmental workers in the world who will stop at nothing to grab a couple twenties and a fin from your pocket.  Nowhere else would an old ticket be sent out.  No, New Jerseyans have elected the worst governments in the world!

That’s what “only in NJ” means — that we suck as a state.  Why would a guy who allegedly loves the state enough to run for high office say things like this?

Especially since it’s not true.  A quick Google search gave me this Chicago woman who got one a decade old. Here’s another Illinois woman who was tracked down for a California ticket.  And Rhode Island going after a Massachusetts man for 20 year old tickets.  And an Auburn football player arrested for tickets he got in high school.

This took two minutes on the Internet. Which, as noted below, was made possible as we know it by the invention of UNIX at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ.

Here’s what Dancer should have said: “We don’t want to be like other places in the world where they do stupid stuff like threaten to arrest a guy unless he pays up for a 40 year old ticket. Only in New Jersey could we put a stop to things like this!”

We should reserve “only in New Jersey” for things like Bruce Springsteen, the phonograph, our awesome beaches, delicious cranberries, the transistor, UNIX and all the other great stuff about our home state.  Like this:

Imagine a world where there were no record players, no transistor radios or computers, cell phones, the Internet based on open sourced UNIX software.  ‘Cause only in New Jersey could those things have been invented!  Only in New Jersey!

So unless you are giving us a positive, tiny Dancer, please stop with the “only in New Jersey” attacks.  We’re pretty awesome, and the world is much better off because of the Garden State.