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IN MY OPINION . . .

No Motive to Lie

Clearly, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer is telling the truth, and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable are not. How can I be so sure, when the matter seems like a classic "she said-she said" standoff? The mayor has no motive to lie, while Guadagno and Constable have every motive to lie: otherwise, they'd be admitting to a crime.

Using federal funds, or the withholding of those funds, to pressure a public official—in this case, making Sandy relief money for Hoboken contingent on the mayor supporting a redevelopment plan promoted by Gov. Christie's closest political ally, David Samson—is extortion. Read More 
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Bridging the Credibility Gap: Chris Christie and the George Washington Bridge Scandal

Gov. Chris Christie, in a December 2, 2013 news conference, ridiculed the notion that anyone in his administration had anything to do with the GWB lane closures, which snarled traffic for four days, September 9-12, 2013, at the bridge and throughout most of Fort Lee.

"I moved the cones, actually, unbeknownst to everybody," Christie said, with his trademarkable brand of sarcasm. It was a traffic study, the governor asserted, referring to testimony of his appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, before the NJ Assembly's Transportation Committee, on November 25th.

In an attempt to transform outrage over Fort Lee's traffic problems into a discussion of preferential treatment, Christie expressed indignation at the idea that Fort Lee, or any town, would have three dedicated bridge lanes. He promised that PANYNJ Chairman David Samson, another of his appointees, would look into that policy.

There was no traffic study, despite Baroni's dog-and-pony show before the Transportation Committee.  Read More 
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Gov. Chris Christie's electoral triumph

If you've read my op-ed articles in The Record or my blog posts, you know that I have often been critical of the governor. I blasted him when he cut $800 million in state aid to education soon after taking office ("NJ schoolchildren caught in the crossfire"), giving school boards little time to plan for the impact. I blasted him for expense-account overreach when he was the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey ("A Tale of Two Christies") and for screwing up our "Race to the Top" application for federal aid to education ("Christie plays the blame game, the digs a bigger credibility hole").

But then, in a featured Sunday op-ed piece last December ("Rethinking Christie"), I succumbed. The man has political courage, perhaps the trait I admire most. And he was responsible for getting a pension and health benefits overhaul through the Democrat-controlled state legislature, despite the opposition of public employee unions. It will save property taxpayers in New Jersey a billion dollars per year once fully implemented.  Read More 
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