Jeb Bush Releases 250,000 Emails, Distancing Himself from Chris Christie

GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has posted 250,000 emails to his website. GOP presidential hopeful Chris Christie, meanwhile, is fighting 23 separate court battles to keep a tight lid on a host of state documents, according to Mother Jones magazine. This is the same Chris Christie who promised in his first inaugural address, “Today a new… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 13th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Former Democratic Senator Torches Obama

Former Senator Robert Torricelli. Screenshot via NJTV

Former Senator Robert Torricelli. Screenshot via NJTV

In an interview with NJTV’s Michael Aron broadcast this weekend, former U.S. Senator Bob “the Torch” Torricelli inferred that Barack Obama was not prepared ready to be President of the United States and that his policies have caused irreparable harm in the Middle East.

Torricelli said that Obama is risking the last two years of his administration by issuing his immigration Executive Order and he blamed Obama for the Democrats loss of the United States Senate.

The remarkably frank 28 minute interview can be viewed here.

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Posted: November 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Barack Obama | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Bridgegate: What difference does it make?

Some members of New Jersey’s press corps, along with Senator Loretta Weinberg, Assemblyman John Wisniewski and the Democratic National Committee seem think they finally have an issue to thwart Governor Chris Christie’s rising star.   They’re hoping traffic jams in Fort Lee will prevent Christie from becoming President of the United States.

The Star Ledger has an article this morning quoting Democrats and academics saying “the scandal” could hurt Chrisite’s national ambitions.

But questions about the incident have fueled a scandal that even Christie’s masterful team of brand managers can’t make go away.

The Record’s Charles Stile writes that “Christie won’t easily shake GWB flap.”

Stile and The Star Ledger’s reporters have it wrong.  Christie deftly accepted “ultimate responsibility” for the mistakes made in Fort Lee last September, while deflecting blame, at his press conference on the matter on Friday. As NJTV’s Michael Aron said on Reporters Roundtablethe issue is ‘fundamentally over.”   If the ‘Bridgegate’ story gets any ink at all in 2014 and beyond, it will be deep in the back pages.

It’s doubtful that the subpoenas that Wisniewski, as Chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, issued will result in any smoking gun that proves that Christie or anyone in his inner circle other than Port Authority’s Bill Baroni or David Wildstein knew about the George Washington Bridge lane closures that tied up traffic in Fort Lee for a few days is September.  Even if a smoking gun is discovered, as Hillary Clinton would shout, “What difference does it make?”


Now that Christie is a legitimate presidential contender, the front runner in the early polls, it is perfectly appropriate that the press and his opponents attempt to make mountains out of traffic jams and other mole hills as part of the vetting process for a president.  Barack Obama got a pass from the press and his opponents in 2008 and 2012. Look what that got us.

Posted: December 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Port Authority | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Booker Insists T-Bone Is Real, Says He Put Drug Dealers Up In His House While Mayor

on the record 91513In an interview with NJTV’s On The Record with Michael Aron aired yesterday, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, insisted that T-Bone is a real person and not a composite or archetype as has been previously reported.

The mayor said the Newark police told him there are currently five people in the city using the alias “T-Bone.”  He went on to say that he, as an attorney prior to entering public office, “and after I became mayor”  would hold meetings with drug dealers, “100’s of guys involved in the narcotics trade,” in his house, ” even putting them up with me.”

The Booker interview can be viewed here.  Aron starts the T-Bone questioning at the 9:15 mark.  Booker talks about his meetings and his hospitality for drug dealers, while mayor, at the 11:29 mark.

Booker said he was dealing with non-violent drug dealers.  Aron did not ask him how he knew they were non-violent drug dealers.

When MMM first reported the T-Bone controversy, we asked, Did Booker Fabricate A Drug Dealer Or Did He Harbor A Fugitive?  Last week, I argued that Booker’s “story telling” to make a point or to inspire action was not a big deal and was politically insignificant.

However, if Booker is telling the truth in his stories, as he insists he is, it is a big deal.  It seems to me that Booker is confessing to his own crimes of harboring fugitives and maybe even aiding and abetting.

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Posted: September 16th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Cory Booker, Crime, Crime and Punishment, Newark, News, NJ Media, Senate Special Election | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Lonegan’s Own Words

Lonegan PC presserGOP U.S. Senate nominee declared in his primary victory speech last Tuesday night that he would not that he would not alter his message nor parse his words during his special election campaign against Democratic nominee Cory Booker.

In his appearance with NJTV’s Michael Aron this weekend (video not yet posted), Lonegan presented himself as a reasonable fiscal conservative focused on the economy.  He distanced himself from the Tea Party, which he characterized as an eclectic, leaderless network.

During an appearance MSNBC’s Weekends with Alex Witt yesterday afternoon, the former Bogota mayor again comes off as reasonable, not a radical, framed Booker as an extreme liberal and stuck to economic issues:


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This morning on Fox and Friends (also not yet posted Save Jersey has the video), Lonegan emphasized his Ridgefield Park roots, 32 year marriage, and two Gold Star Girl Scout daughters to make the case that he is representative of New Jersey and its values and that Booker is the liberal extremist.

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Posted: August 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Senate Special Election, Steve Lonegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

Bennett and Doria go On The Record with Michael Aron : Red meat for New Jersey political junkies and history buffs

Two former New Jersey political powerhouses joined NJTV’s Michael Aron on his weekly show, On the Record, this week to discuss the 2013 gubernatorial race, the 2014 U.S. Senate race and to reminisce about the good old days… the governors they served under and how the climate has changed in Trenton since the days when they held power.

Watch Joe Doria and John Bennett on PBS. See more from On the Record.

Democrat Joe Doria served in the State Assembly from 1980-2004.  He was Speaker in the 1990-1992 session.  Doria left the Assembly after losing the Democratic primary in 2003. In 2004,  he was elected by the Hudson Democratic Committee to fill the State Senate term vacated by the death of Senator Glenn Cunningham, who was also the mayor of Jersey City. Doria also served as mayor of Bayonne from July of 1998 through October of 2007.  He resigned from the Senate and as mayor when Governor Jon Corzine nominated him to become the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, one of the most powerful Cabinet positions in the State.  His public career came to a sudden end in July of 2009 when Corzine announced his resignation as DCA commissioner after his home was raided in the Operation Bid Rig sweep the resulted in 44 arrests.  Doria was never arrested and the U.S Attorney’s Office cleared him of all charges in October of 2011.

Doria is collecting a state pension of $58,895 per year.

Republican John Bennett is chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Committee.  He served in the State Legislature for 24 years, 10 in the Assembly and 14 in the Senate. While a Senator, Bennett was co-president of the chamber with Richard Codey during first two years of the McGreevey administration. Bennett was Acting Governor for 3 1/2 days, during the week between the Whitman/DiFrancesco administration and the McGreevey administration when New Jersey had five governors…DiFrancesco, Codey, Bennett, former Attorney General John Farmer and McGreevey.

Bennett’s career as a senator came to an end after he was defeated at the polls by Ellen Karcher, then a member of the Marlboro Township Committee.  The Asbury Park Press ran Bennett out of office with a relentless series of articles, over a period of months, over a billing irregularity while he was Marlboro’s Township Attorney.  Bennett was cleared of any wrong doing by the Feds in March of 2007.

Bennett is collecting a $90,000 annual pension from his years in the legislature and a plethora of part time law appointments tacked together to provide a handsome income.

On the Record interview highlights

Gubernatorial Race

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Posted: January 27th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2014 U.S. Senate race, John Bennett, NJ Media, NJTV | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Michael Aron Joins NJTV

By Art Gallagher

Michael Aron, the guy who made New Jersey Public Television interesting during his 29 year stint at NJN, has joined NJTV, the station’s successor.

Aron has been named Vice President of News and Public Affairs of the Foundation for New Jersey Public Broadcasting and Chief Political Correspondent of NJTV.   His two highly esteemed weekly shows, On The Record and Reporters Roundtable will return soon.  Aron will also contribute statehouse coverage to the stations “NJ Today” nightly broadcast when it premieres in the fall.

Posted: July 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NJ Media | Tags: , | 4 Comments »

NJN Michael Aron Will Be Missed

By Art Gallagher

State owned TV is gone from New Jersey.  From a philosophical point of view I think that is a good thing.

From a practical point of view, I think it is unfortunate that the NJN Foundation  got used to surviving on the government tit instead of doing the fund raising necessary to sustain independent public television in New Jersey. 

From a selfish point of view, I was hoping to make “Bloggers Roundtable” part of my annual Thanksgiving week routine.

Most of NJN’s programing came from PBS.  For the most part New Jersey probably won’t notice the difference between NJN and the new NJTV run by Steve Abudato, JR and WNET-New York.  For example, as I write this “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot” is playing on NJTV and “Seseme Street” is playing on WNET.

What will be missed is Michael Aron and his two weekly shows, “Reporters Roundtable” and “On the Record.”

“Reporters Roundtable” gave New Jersey insight into the people who deliver the news about their state government.  While the reporters analysis of the various issues of the week was interesting, what I found most useful was learning about the capability and biases of those who deliver the news.

The enormously high standard that Michael Aron set for journalists with “On the Record” is a great loss to the State and to journalism.  Aron’s knowledge of New Jersey history, government and politics probably more in depth than anyone in government and the media.  While Aron knows more than everyone, he never lost his curiosity and was never a “know it all.”    He didn’t suffer fools lightly, but he never embarrassed them.  He is a generous gentleman.

That Aron has not already been hired by NJTV probably has more to do with politics and rivalries than it does with work product and service to New Jersey.  That is the way things go in New Jersey, but it is too bad.

Posted: July 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NJ Media | Tags: , | Comments Off on NJN Michael Aron Will Be Missed

Musings on the future of NJN

By Art Gallagher

That NJN will survive is good for New Jersey, and not just because I’ve been a guest on one of the station’s best shows.

NJN has been given a reprieve from going dark on January 1 because people like it.   Tens of thousands of people like, “not hundreds of thousands,” as News Director Michael Aron told Politickernj.  

What those tens of thousands of people like, and what is important to New Jersey, is the station’s news coverage. In particular its coverage of state government and politics.  NJN was not given a reprieve because of reruns from the 60’s and 70’s of Christmas with the King Family or Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air.   If only tens of thousands of people like the station’s news coverage, how many are tuning in for 3 Steps to Piano Success?

Legislation that Governor Christie recently approved empowers the NJ Public Broadcasting Authority to work to transfer NJN from a government entity to the control of a non-profit organization or an existing public broadcasting entity.

Why not a for profit Jersey-centric commercial station with Jersey news and programing?   If HBO (The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire) and MTV (Jersey Shore) can get millions of viewers with Jersey-centric programing, a real Jersey TV station should be able to get the hundreds of thousands that Aron aspires to have.

I realize that that creates red tape and regulatory hurdles with the FCC, but it should be doable. 

Aron tells me the annual barebones budget for NJN is about $20 million, which includes “in-kind” contributions from the State for rent and other overhead items.   A good Jersey TV station should be able to sell a lot more that $20 million in advertising.  Expand the “sponsorships” to more that PSEG and the NJEA.

If we can sell advertising on our school busses, we ought to be able to sell advertising on our TV station.

Let’s find a way to make it happen and have more Jersey news, entertainment and sports.

Posted: December 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: NJ Media, NJN | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

Bloggers Featured on NJN

On the left, Jay Lassiter and Jeff Gardner of BlueJersey.com. Michael Aron of NJN, seated center. On the right, Art Gallagher and Murray Sabrin of MurraySabrin.com

On the left, Jay Lassiter and Jeff Gardner of BlueJersey.com. Michael Aron of NJN, seated center. On the right, Art Gallagher and Murray Sabrin of MurraySabrin.com

NJN’s Reporters Roundtable will be a bloggers roundtable this week.

I was privileged to join BlueJersey’s Jay Lassiter and Jeff Gardner, along with Murray Sabrin for the taping on Michael Aron’s weekly show this afternoon at NJN’s studio in Trenton.

The half hour show will air Friday evening at 7PM and Sunday morning at 10AM and be posted on NJN’s website on Monday the 29th.

Posted: November 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: NJ Media, NJN | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »